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Date posted June 21, 2007 12:49 PM
Posted by baywatch
Report location New York > Montauk > Tarpon Springs / Florida The Pipeline
Fishing method Boat
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Just got back from doing a 24 hour jigging trip on the newly repowered Gulf Star, part of the Viking Fleet, cruises at 20 knots with top end of about 24 knots. This was going to be a jigging for Grouper, all species, American Red Snapper. This trip sort of is a first for Florida fishing and we all learned something out of this.

Jigged the first few hours, with gold hammered 6 OZ jigs but still dark at 5:30 am. Kept going deeper and deeper and pulled a few here and there. Guys who have fished jigs before came with a array of different jigs, kind like going to jig school.

Later in the morning we dicided to use some whole sardines on tandem hooks, basicly bottom fishing. I jumped right on that one in a heartbeat. Once the bite stared a few people kept throwing jigs with some success.

The conclusion we all come up with if doing this have 1/2 the boat fish bait and the other half jig and it proved to be the right way to go.

Remember this was a first for Florida Grouper fishing and the amazing part is we still sailed with only 7 paying fares. Nice to have a 65 foot boat to yourself...LOL..

To the crew and Captains credit and we all learned.

I finished with 4 American Reds Snapper up to about 6 pounds, 3 Scamp Grouper, Few nice mangrove snappers and tons of porgies.

Boat had a mixed bag of Red, Scamp, and Gag Grouper, dozen or so American Red Snapper, Mangroves Snapper in the 4-5 pound range and porgies all over the place. Few sharks and one Cuda that took the body of what appeared to be a nice red grouper. Nasty suckers.

All in all a good trip with a bunch of guys who where willing to try something new down here on the West Coast and didn't know what to expect.

Good Captain's and the mate Casy was a great guy who did a nice job.

BTW... I won the Red Snapper Pool!!! Now you know it's a first...LOL

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Author Message
SeaCock Club Member

Noreast Writer

Joined: 08/10/2001
Posts: 593
Location: Queens
 06/21/2007 01:50 PM  

good report man. i have fished 2 44 hour trips on the viking superstar down there in feb/march. capt. rich, capt george and their entire staff there are all top notch

Products Editor
[email protected]

Joined: 11/09/2003
Posts: 7171
Location: long island
 06/21/2007 03:23 PM  

nice job captain up

Tom Farrell
Vice President - New York Coalition for Recreational Fishing
[email protected]


Joined: 09/16/2002
Posts: 231
Location: Brookhaven L.I. NY
 06/21/2007 07:32 PM  

That sounds like some good eating fish Bill. Nice Job.

Joined: 05/16/2005
Posts: 2435
Location: yaphank long island
 06/21/2007 08:07 PM  

great report capt.


check it out friends
Aquaholic Fishing

Joined: 11/18/2003
Posts: 65
 06/22/2007 03:12 PM  

I have fished for grouper out of Clearwater (a little south of tarpon springs) and didnt have much success. My natural instict was to yank up and set the hook when I got a bite, but apparently with grouper you have to just reel immediately and fast! Those things are crafty. Made blackfishing seem like a day at the park.

Joined: 10/10/2001
Posts: 5514
Location: Cape Coral, Fl. was LI for 52 Yrs
 06/23/2007 10:06 AM  

Different Strokes

I was told to reel right away but I have been grouper digging before and had another method that works just as well, for me anyway.

Keep the rod tip pointed towards the water (down) without any slack in the line. Once you get that first little tickle get ready to stick the fish, then when you get that second tickle then stick em raising your rod tip as high as you can and cranking like hell the whole time. Now once you have em that far lower your tip to comfortable position while still cranking like a mad man, then a steady retrieve from there.

The whole idea is get them out there hole as fast as you can, even a slight let up they will try to get back to there house/hole and once back in there hole/house you will never get em out.

Few months ago I had a good fish on, had it about 20-25 feet out of the hole and let up for a second or two and it went right back in. I had a Newell 335 locked up and the fish still managed to pull line back off getting back in his hole. Man I was pissed but learned a good lesson.

The 2 Captains both told to use the same method you are talking about and I missed the fish. I went back to my old method and hooked 4 American Red Snapper, 4 Scamp Grouper, few nice size Mangrove Snapper, and lost count on the Porgies ( Pork Chops called here) and was high hook on the boat that day. What works for some may not work for you especially if you where shown another way. Always nice to have an alternative if one method doesn't work.

I also stepped up to a Newell 533 with a 4.6-to 1 ratio. I made sure that wasn't going to happen againToungueWink

Lots of private charters and P/B don't use Power Pro/ braided line either which in this type of fishing, to me anyway is a must. I used 50 pound P/P with a shock leader of 50 pound fluro about 12 foot long. The sensitivity of braided line gives a slight advantage and no stretch which is exactly what you want. You don't get that on a boat rod.

Sometimes as soon as the bait hits bottom you will be hit and if you can't feel it how ya gonna catch them. I had plenty of times on this trip where this happened, missed the bite on the first tap and was missing my bait when I had nothing after I checked my line.. Fast CRITTERS Wink they are.

You think grouper are fast try American Red Sanpper, like lighting striking. Needless to say I am hooked on ARS & can't wait to do it againup.

This post edited by baywatch 10:27 AM 06/23/2007
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