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Old 02-23-2011, 12:50 PM   #1
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Default AJ help

I'm a comlete newbie - but just bought a 23 ft CC and I want to catch more than just snapper. I've uploaded all the public Alabama spots to my gps. I would also really like to bow up on some AJ's as well. So a couple of questions for you old pros.


1) Can you catch AJ's on tanks/pyramids on public spots?
2) Is "vertical relief" the vital element to an AJ spot?
3) How do you rig? I plan on using hard tails, and other assorted live goodies for bait...but what lb test leader/hook size?
4) Is it just a matter of getting your bait well above the wreck to maximize the change of getting an AJ and decreasing the chance of an endangered red snapper bite?
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Old 02-23-2011, 01:44 PM   #2
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I've always had the best luck in deeper water (150' +) well above structure using the biggest live bait I could find. Of course the last time I tried that last year I caught the biggest Red Snapper I've ever caught and I've been fishing here for over 18 years. Good luck, there should be some guys that chime in here I would hope.
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Old 02-23-2011, 01:47 PM   #3
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Yes you can catch AJ on public spots, matter of fact since AJ like large structure, public spots can be the best, To get into the larger AJs you need to get into some deeper water, like the Marathon or Swingle Reefs or any of the rigs to the west in water over 200'. Rigs like the 252s and surrounding rigs can be a sure thing for large AJs.

As a rule if AJs are present they are easy to catch with either live bait or jigs. With live bait just use 5-10' of 80lb mono with a egg sinker above that is 4-8oz and use a large circle hook, drop 1/2 to bottom and hang on. I catch most of my AJs on jigs on reels loaded with braid, more fun this way to me! Just attach 3-5' of 80lb mono as a leader and tie jig to terminal end, let jig hit bottom and wind as fast as you can till you are 1/2 way up and do over till you get hit.

You need a reel with lots of power to whip larger AJs. I use Penn Torques and Shimano 20 and 30 Toriums, all with 65lb braid.

Hope this helps
Robert
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Old 02-23-2011, 01:49 PM   #4
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Live bait of any kind is good. the bigger bait bigger fish ! like Viking said 150' for the nice ones.
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Old 02-23-2011, 01:55 PM   #5
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Pretty much the same as what is said above but I will add that you shouldn't just work the jig halfway up or drop halfway down, quite often AJ's will follow a jig all the way to the boat before hitting it. Once you pull up on a spot to fish, watch the depthfinder and try to figure out what depth the fish are holding. Drop your bait/jig to bottom and count as you go down. Once you've established an approximate count for the depth being fished you can more accurately adjust to a certain depth. If it takes 20 seconds to hit bottom and the fish are holding about a third of the way up from bottom, count to 14-15 or so and adjust by lowering or raising the bait a little if you don't get bit. AJ's are very aggressive and if you are in the zone you should have no problem getting a bite.
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Old 02-23-2011, 02:21 PM   #6
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Dang, thanks for all the help folks. I really appreciate it. We bought an 23 ft sea hunt ultra 232 w/ a 250 yamaha. If conditions are right and my sea tow is up to date, would y'all say I'm pushing it going out the 30+ to Swingle or Marathon out of Orange Beach.
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Old 02-23-2011, 03:16 PM   #7
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Pick you weather days and I would not hesitate going to the Swingle or Marathon in your boat. Ideally try and go with another buddy boat, regardless you have enough boat to go
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Old 02-23-2011, 05:11 PM   #8
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The sea height will make that call for you !! 3 ft seas in a 23' vessel is tough !!!
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Old 02-23-2011, 05:47 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Orangebeach28 View Post
Dang, thanks for all the help folks. I really appreciate it. We bought an 23 ft sea hunt ultra 232 w/ a 250 yamaha. If conditions are right and my sea tow is up to date, would y'all say I'm pushing it going out the 30+ to Swingle or Marathon out of Orange Beach.
Marathon Jacket was loaded with AJ's last Monday and I'm sure that hasn't changed since then. Every drop of a jig got an AJ
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Old 02-24-2011, 12:28 AM   #10
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Try speed jigs too, with at least one assist hook. I always use two. Williamson benthos and Shimano butterflies works great.
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