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Work Hard, Fish Harder...
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Left Joes bayou boat ramp yesterday around 5:45 am planning on do bottom fishing with live bait only all day.
Made bait very easy and quick, tons of bait by destin pass along another 100's boats, started heading SE and the 1 Foot seas was not quite accurate lol.
We did our 4 men limit really quick, with the bigger one being 25", got couple black snappers, almaco and 6 amberine, released lots of legal snappers smaller then 20" and few illegal groupers, i had finger mullet on the fly all the time, but no takers, saw bunch of bonitas posing on the surface and caught few for bait, around 11 we headed to the edge targeting groupers, we did caught few but no keepers, around 1 we hauled ass back in. Was little choppy and my trim tabs are not working so made it title bumpy ride. As we were passing few public spots i slow down to check my bottom machine, and one of them at 125' my Garmin lit up all the way and i gladly decided to try it, we were keeping same strategy, live bait only.
We were catching snappers left and right among few groupers and small ajs, as we were running out bait i dropped a mullet we still had, as soonest i dropped i felt a much heavier and solid hit and immediately put my reel on low speed in order to get the mystery fish off the structure which was successfully done, that fish was angry and really not giving up at all, i felt like was reeling up a tank, and that thing was a giant, once we started to see colors i could not tell what was until i saw that big mouth and said "goliath grouper" everybody was freaking out with the size of that fish, especially one of my mates (fist time ever fishing offshore), such of beatifull fish, one of my mates quickly took a picture, i think he was afraid the fish would take off, remove the hook of its mouth and jumped on the water while both of us recovery from our battle, our tug war lasted about 30 minutes, after couple minutes our giant shook its tail splashing water on my mates and swam down.
We are so blessed and always have more then we deserve, Its funny because in the same morning i was saying that i had jew fish on my bucket list and few hours later i crossed that off. Many times i had hooked up something that i could not handle, i am so glad i had spent money on some good tackle, it really paid back and still counting.
 

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Man, we caught one a few days ago. Must be moving North on us. Maybe they will eat the Lionfish.
 
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Awesome fish story and with the pic to make it a true one... LOL.

As many fish as I've seen just absolutely hammered by a shark at the side of the boat, last thing I'm doing is swimming with one.
 

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Awesome fish story and with the pic to make it a true one... LOL.

As many fish as I've seen just absolutely hammered by a shark at the side of the boat, last thing I'm doing is swimming with one.

Thank you guys

Lol I guess we are not really smart and got lucky twice then...




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Awesome fish story and with the pic to make it a true one... LOL.

As many fish as I've seen just absolutely hammered by a shark at the side of the boat, last thing I'm doing is swimming with one.
Damn straight on the shark deal. Had a giant after a mingo by the boat Saturday.
 

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Dang, I need to follow you around..... hahaha We went Sunday fer fathers day but only caught 1 keeper snapper that Logan threw back thinking we'd catch bigger and better but nope all shorties!!! Hit several numbers loaded with fish but had to be trigs cause all the way down you'd feel the bites...Caught several species and several tax men/women were paid off!!! Only brought home a white snap and a bo bo to add to the priors day sucky haul!!! Enjoyable day regardless!!!
 
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congrates on the jew fish,bucket list are getting ready to kick the bucket.

very ballsie entering water w/ that giant live bait.

I hope these jew fish stay south.

the FWC should have enough sense to understand the jew fish which is no longer endangered species is worst than the lion fish.

edit: retrieval at Joe's bayou is the FWC girl waiting for catch inspection?
 
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Dang, I need to follow you around..... hahaha We went Sunday fer fathers day but only caught 1 keeper snapper that Logan threw back thinking we'd catch bigger and better but nope all shorties!!! Hit several numbers loaded with fish but had to be trigs cause all the way down you'd feel the bites...Caught several species and several tax men/women were paid off!!! Only brought home a white snap and a bo bo to add to the priors day sucky haul!!! Enjoyable day regardless!!!


Jason we did check several public spot on the way out but no decent keepers, we slammed them at few spots around 22 miles SE, i dropped my bouy with a chum bag tied at the bottom and had another tied to the boat all the time while catching snappers, I also toss few chum balls around my bouy, seems to work very well, Sunday we had almost no current in the morning so drifting was the best way to go, as far as the chum you can buy or make it yourself, I always buy mine, another rip for bigger snapper is keep your bait suspended From the bottom, the bigger ones are not afraid to swim alone on the water Column and at the bottom is where the little ones hang normally, I had caught 20+# ARS in the fly line few times, but PM me we can figure something out maybe head out together as a buddy boat, good luck!


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congrates on the jew fish,bucket list are getting ready to kick the bucket.



very ballsie entering water w/ that giant live bait.



I hope these jew fish stay south.



the FWC should have enough sense to understand the jew fish which is no longer endangered species is worst than the lion fish.



edit: retrieval at Joe's bayou is the FWC girl waiting for catch inspection?


The FWC girl was not there this time, but the lawn enforcement boat stoped us near the bridge, as they were trying to tie both boats somebody passed little quicker and it’s wake cause cops boat to hit mine putting a beautiful gauge with few cracks on both boats, and then he laugh and said “that’s what bumper are for”, they were pretty rude at the beginning, measure every fish and had to check their paper work, I guess were not really sure on the regulations, took them over an hour for the whole thing, and boats and wave runners speeding left and right, all ended up good, just got home hour late then planed which is fine


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The FWC girl was not there this time, but the lawn enforcement boat stoped us near the bridge, as they were trying to tie both boats somebody passed little quicker and it’s wake cause cops boat to hit mine putting a beautiful gauge with few cracks on both boats, and then he laugh and said “that’s what bumper are for”, they were pretty rude at the beginning, measure every fish and had to check their paper work, I guess were not really sure on the regulations, took them over an hour for the whole thing, and boats and wave runners speeding left and right, all ended up good, just got home hour late then planed which is fine


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the very few times I've been stopped in that area was never boarded just a quickie stop, I think they where interested in the passenger also to see the usell safety stuff that most can be seen from there binoculars 100 yards away.

the regulations change so frequently they where covering the ass's. but one hour is excessive where they searching for contraband.

sorry to hear about you're vessels damage, every expedition for me I break or lose something, sucks that the folks serving & protecting us had a attitude I would still yes Sir: them as politely as possible,
was that the sheriff the vessels w/ the green stripes.

people need to take responsibility for there wakes.
 
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Jason we did check several public spot on the way out but no decent keepers, we slammed them at few spots around 22 miles SE, i dropped my bouy with a chum bag tied at the bottom and had another tied to the boat all the time while catching snappers, I also toss few chum balls around my bouy, seems to work very well, Sunday we had almost no current in the morning so drifting was the best way to go, as far as the chum you can buy or make it yourself, I always buy mine, another rip for bigger snapper is keep your bait suspended From the bottom, the bigger ones are not afraid to swim alone on the water Column and at the bottom is where the little ones hang normally, I had caught 20+# ARS in the fly line few times, but PM me we can figure something out maybe head out together as a buddy boat, good luck!


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Usually good at chumming em up to the top but couldn't get nothing but sneakerheads to the boat... Cut up a bunch of the bonita fer cut bait next time... Think I'm going Saturday with a buddy and his dad on their sled...gonna carry a net to load up on the cigs, prob won't be there if we are ready!!!!:whistling:
 
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Usually good at chumming em up to the top but couldn't get nothing but sneakerheads to the boat... Cut up a bunch of the bonita fer cut bait next time... Think I'm going Saturday with a buddy and his dad on their sled...gonna carry a net to load up on the cigs, prob won't be there if we are ready!!!!:whistling:


Nice, catching cig on net you will need to anchor and chum them near the boat, we did that last but no success on my net, I have a 12’ 5/8” mash 1.5ppf, what do you normally use?


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Big snapper tricks: here are a few I have learned from my fishing buddies

1) chum does work in getting a feeding frenzy going and often will call in bigger fish from a distance
2) 20 pounders are on the bottom typically
3) They also aren’t right on the wreck or rig as they don’t need the protection of the bottom or cover of the wreck like other fish.
4) This is counter to logic somewhat but it works, go small on your line 30-40 pound test and 30 pound fluorocarbon with red blood circle hook hidden in your bait, maybe large squid or something small weight. He is that big because he is stupid.
5) especially when chumming , Use the drift rig 30 pound test long flouracarbon leader no weight, throw it behind the boat let it drift with the current with very light drag, almost like you are trying to catch a king. The tide has to be moving away behind you and wind not doing the opposite, etc. We put this rig in the t-top and forget about it while dropping etc. it will typically give you a few 15 pounders per trip. (Just don’t run over it )
6) again best when chumming, a snapper slapper or other jig touched up with a squid or something right under the boat 10-20 foot. Left alone, really for cobia but for some reason big snapper will grab this too
7) cut the fins on your live bait to make them struggle more, you can make them swim up, down, circles etc depending on how you cut them
8) The obvious horrible truths hit the small sites, etc. my buddies with private reefs all caught 20 pounders on opening day and only a few If them are decent fisherman. Mark everything you run over regardless of whether it ha fish on it.
9) we used to catch our big snapper in December and January but I guess that’s one tip only available to commercial guys now. (Sorry has to vent)
10) Downriggers with live bait at your target depth can produce big snapper too, and something I only tried once, use green bream as bite. They are freshwater fish but will not die as soon as you put them in but struggle greatly attracting fish as salt water irritates them, so I am told. Didn’t use them enough to confirm this but did catch fish with them years ago.
 

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Nice, catching cig on net you will need to anchor and chum them near the boat, we did that last but no success on my net, I have a 12’ 5/8” mash 1.5ppf, what do you normally use?


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I think mine is 11, not sure of weight but HEAVY!!! I saw a dude throwing a walmart 5 ftr and laughed the other day. Several times we just drifted and the bait came to us so I figure I may be able to catch a few. I was even thinking about ways to design some drag net but haven't looked into the legalities about them.....
 
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I think mine is 11, not sure of weight but HEAVY!!! I saw a dude throwing a walmart 5 ftr and laughed the other day. Several times we just drifted and the bait came to us so I figure I may be able to catch a few. I was even thinking about ways to design some drag net but haven't looked into the legalities about them.....


Mine is real HEAVY TOO!!!! Lol, specially after a few throws, I am interested on the drift net idea, please post a feedback if you ended up trying


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Big snapper tricks: here are a few I have learned from my fishing buddies

1) chum does work in getting a feeding frenzy going and often will call in bigger fish from a distance
2) 20 pounders are on the bottom typically
3) They also aren’t right on the wreck or rig as they don’t need the protection of the bottom or cover of the wreck like other fish.
4) This is counter to logic somewhat but it works, go small on your line 30-40 pound test and 30 pound fluorocarbon with red blood circle hook hidden in your bait, maybe large squid or something small weight. He is that big because he is stupid.
5) especially when chumming , Use the drift rig 30 pound test long flouracarbon leader no weight, throw it behind the boat let it drift with the current with very light drag, almost like you are trying to catch a king. The tide has to be moving away behind you and wind not doing the opposite, etc. We put this rig in the t-top and forget about it while dropping etc. it will typically give you a few 15 pounders per trip. (Just don’t run over it )
6) again best when chumming, a snapper slapper or other jig touched up with a squid or something right under the boat 10-20 foot. Left alone, really for cobia but for some reason big snapper will grab this too
7) cut the fins on your live bait to make them struggle more, you can make them swim up, down, circles etc depending on how you cut them
8) The obvious horrible truths hit the small sites, etc. my buddies with private reefs all caught 20 pounders on opening day and only a few If them are decent fisherman. Mark everything you run over regardless of whether it ha fish on it.
9) we used to catch our big snapper in December and January but I guess that’s one tip only available to commercial guys now. (Sorry has to vent)
10) Downriggers with live bait at your target depth can produce big snapper too, and something I only tried once, use green bream as bite. They are freshwater fish but will not die as soon as you put them in but struggle greatly attracting fish as salt water irritates them, so I am told. Didn’t use them enough to confirm this but did catch fish with them years ago.


Good stuff brother!!!! We will apply some of your tips this weekend and report results here, thanks for sharing!


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