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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I fly down to Fort Myers, Fl for an overnight trip on the Sea Trek to Dry Tortugas on Friday.
After I heard the Sea Trek had a great grouper fishing on the last Dry Tortugas trip, I couldn't resist. :)
Some suggest that bucktailing is great for groupers, but I am going to stick to reliable diamond jigs most of time and experiment some other jigs.
My goal of the trip is to land a grouper over 40 lbs on jigs.
I read Capt Phil of the Eastmans landed six grouper using 50 lbs mono on the recent Viking trip out of Tarpon Spring, Fl. It is an remarkable achievement and it shows how skillful Phil is. But it is like to use 10 - 15 lbs mono for blackfish for me. :)
I can land decent blackfish with lighter lines when bottom is not sticky, but I don't want to take any chance as I don't expect many bites on jigs on the trip and there is no way I can land trophy grouper on lighter lines when bottom is sticky. I am going to use 80 lbs braided line and 80 -100 lbs leader line to land a trophy grouper.
I hope I can post nice grouper pictures after the trip. :)
 

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Good luck Kil
Remember heavy line big jig = big Grouper.
Kil try a big Aluminum Jap jig like the 2 foot long ones,I bet you a big Golith sees that bouncing near his cave or ledge he would rush out and inhale it
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Sam, there must be some big groupers down there. Someone broke a heavy rod and a captain I know lost a big one as his 100 lbs Power Pro got broken.

I was thinking about going blackfishing with you weekend or go down to Virginia to fish for seabass, tile, grouper or wreckfish with Capt. Jim on Tuesday, but I got to go grouper jigging when they are hot. :)
 

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You will have a great time, Very fertile water and the warm weather this time of year is hard to beat, Wife might be jealous!
I would like a large jig with allot of flutter, as you don't need to work much of the water column, just those last few feet, and you will be fishing relatively shallow most of the time. Diamond jigs won't set you back too much, You will probably donate allot to the rocks and maybe a kingfish or two. I hope you get your 40 pound black and then a 150+ pound jewfish. If you hook up on something small just make sure to slow crank it up to give the fish time to purge his airbladder!
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
They found new areas loaded with nice groupers on their last trip two weeks ago. I heard there were many break-off due to tackle failures. Groupers sometimes ignore jigs or artificial lures completely. I hope they are biting mood on jigs on this trip.
I might catch a few mutton snappers on jigs on this trip too. :)

This post edited by KILSONG 09:53 AM 01/23/2008
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
The best grouper fishing I've ever had was with Capt Tommy Butler on the Reality Check out of St. Petersburg, Fl years ago. It didn't take more than 30 seconds before we got grouper bites all day.
However, I had only a few scampi on my jigs though I jigged hard.


 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
tunafever wrote:
Kil, What are the details of the trip ie departure time, cost, etc. and do they have openings?? DO they usually sell out fast in your experience??
They sail 43 hour trips every weekends unless chartered and you need reservation in advance. I was lucky to get a spot even on a short notice.
The trip is limited to 16 guys and the fare is $400.
 

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Kil I just returned and the weather is perfect now. Hopefully it will hold for you. The weather was Very BAD for me on arrival, Sunday yielded sustained 30mph N/NE winds with gust well into the 40mph. The reef looked like a washing machine. The sailfish tournament still wnet on with tough fishing and nice catches on the dirty and clean water edges. I wanted to go sowrd fishing but the weather was too bad. I talked to captaind there about the sowrd fishing and it is really good, but it seems that most are going day time fishing because the fish are much bigger. I think the day time bite is impossible for the jig as they are caught in lumps about 1700 feet of water. The night bite is still very good and they are jiggable. After seeing your 2 caught, I need to get one of these bad boys.
Oh yeh the tarpon cooperated. My biggest was about 70lbs caught on custom plug. Had about 30+ hookups. Fun to get out of the winter weather
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Live report on the Sea Trek

I arrived at Fort Myers airport from Laguadia by 10:30 am today.
The Sea Trek left dock at 2:00 PM, but I still within 10 miles off shore at 3:15 pm as the boat cruises at trolling speed. :)
I heard we are going to fish snapper tonight after running about 60 miles and head further out tomorrow morning for grouper daytime.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Grouper fishing was excellent. This is one of the best party boat grouper fishing I've had in terms of quality. The majority of groupers caught were in 15 - 25 lbs range. I got limit(5) on jigs and three of them were in 20 - 25 lbs range. Most grouper caught on the boat were gag groupers and there are only few red grouper caught. I had one red grouper on a jig.
I met another Noreat member Timmy(Lerch) on the boat who also flied down to Ft Myers from NY for the trip. He also got grouper limit. Timmy was the first guy who caught a grouper on jigs on the boat.
Timmy and his friend flied to NY on Jet Blue with fish on their coolers. I hope they made it. When I checked in my cooler with fish on Continental at Ft Myers, they just asked to pay $35 for dry ice in my cooler.

Yong(monocom) with nice gag grouper on a jig. This is his first ever grouper on jigs.


My firt grouper of the trip on a 8 oz hammered diamond jig. Most guy who jigged used hammered diamond jigs on the trip. The hammered diamond jigs become popular for grouper jigging on Florida paty boats.


My only red grouper.


Nice scampie caught by this young kid. He looks professional from top to bottom. :)


Nice gag grouper gaffed by mate Greg. very nice mate.


Before this gag grouper, I hooked up a monster grouper, but I dropped the fish while fighting. As soon as I dropped back my jig to the bottom again, this grouper hammered my jig.


Timmy and myself.


Pile of groupers


Pool fish


My good friend, Capt Les with nice grouper and cobia


Quality groupers I caught on jigs


This post edited by KILSONG 11:06 PM 01/27/2008
 

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GO GET EM KILL!!

Your an animal as usual! nice catch! i got to get down there! this is supposed ot be my slow time of the year but it is not this year!!


Congrats on the nice red!
 

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Hey Bob.

In Florida the fish have to be cleaned at the dock. Thats what we were told and it stinks more for the mates. A 5 hour ride in they'd have them all done instead their stuck at the dock 5 hours after the trip. You ready to head down, work can wait!
 
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