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Green Eggs And Ham
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Need advice on Reef Donkeys. I am going for the first time and try and get an AJ. I got a king the other day which I am sick of catching but when I pulled it up to the boat 3 huge AJ's came up with him I guess being curious. I think my Saragossa-20K can handle it with 65# braid? WHat do you guys think or advice on tackle/bait?
 

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That should handle them. I use special senator 4/0 and 6/0 with 80 or 100 lb braid and at least 100 lb leader about 8' long. Hardtails only with a 14/0 circle hook through the nose. When you drop try to be a little bit off the spot and just go half or qtr way down so when a big one gets on he doesn't take you straight into the wreck (or at least you have a chance). They're getting bigger and bigger now and I'm catching 30lbers fairly frequently which are big enough to easily pull line a locked down drag. You should be able to see them pretty easy on your bottom machine if they're there and early in morning is best for wary ones. Try to get them in as fast as you can as the sharks are horrendous now and you'll just end up feeding them.
 

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Green Eggs And Ham
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Ok thanks guys I will get some bigger hooks and jump up on the fluorocarbon leader. I can get some big threadfins but I will try some rubys as well.


ohh btw any Jigs you would recommend?
 

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Jiggin Finatic
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Your 20 will handle them no problem. Any long speed jigs will also work. A decent blue runner, good live mullet, live big croaker, ruby, white snapper. All will work. Use a good length leader, the longer you can handle the better, and use a big strong circle hook.
 
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Big big live bait. White porgies are my go-to. You can feel the small AJs tap the bait then a big one will load you up. Good Luck!
 
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Big ole vertical jigs or big live bait...We've hooked em on frozen cigs too though.
 
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You can troll your live baits to them on the near shore wrecks if the kings will leave you alone this time of year after catching 2 of them you will be tired lol fun to catch and smoke up!!
 

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Folks that purposely target AJs are masochists. You'd better eat your Wheaties if you're after a big one.
In my younger days we used to live chum them up to the surface and try to find something they wouldn't bite. Once they get fired up anything moving will get eaten. A buddy made the mistake of laying his rod down with a bare hook dangling over the side as he reached for a bait.
 
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Folks that purposely target AJs are masochists. You'd better eat your Wheaties if you're after a big one.

In my younger days we used to live chum them up to the surface and try to find something they wouldn't bite. Once they get fired up anything moving will get eaten. A buddy made the mistake of laying his rod down with a bare hook dangling over the side as he reached for a bait.
I'd never hooked an AJ until this year when my father and I were fishing together. The first one that I hooked into was hurting me when he broke me off. My dad said "aww. Too bad he broke off". I said, "No. I couldn't have stood too much more of that".
 

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I see you need some help, i dont know where you are coming out from but im going out of panama city and i go to the Grey Ghost with 8" Hardtails, get about 100ft off the wreck, drop down and you will feel them tap it, after one or two just start reeling BUT dont lift the rod! You will rip the hook out of their mouth once you have the hook set and secure, put you boat in gear and drive another 600 feet away from the wreck to make sure they cant get away, last time we did this we got a 30,31, & 35 pounders and we broke of on one that was easily 80+ because it took half the spool in 30 seconds, hope this helps! Good luck out there and stay safe!
 

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Amberjack and Kings

I have a spot in just over 100 feet of water on steel structure. Did well on snapper there. And in one case, we broke off something we could not move off bottom. Sound like an amberjack spot?

For those fishing for kings, are you trolling? Over structure or just off shore 50--60 feet of water?
 

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Bearded Brotula
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I have a spot in just over 100 feet of water on steel structure. Did well on snapper there. And in one case, we broke off something we could not move off bottom. Sound like an amberjack spot?

For those fishing for kings, are you trolling? Over structure or just off shore 50--60 feet of water?
Sits in one spot is the wreck or a holed up grouper.
 

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AJs and grouper ... how deep?

Half Hitch fishing report says you need to go out to 150 feet plus for AJ's and deeper than that for grouper.

Sometimes I see well over 200 feet, which might be a bit of a distance for my 21 foot Key West. It's a long run for a newbie to get skunked lol. Do they move in closer in the fall?

Your thoughts?
 

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Half Hitch fishing report says you need to go out to 150 feet plus for AJ's and deeper than that for grouper.

Sometimes I see well over 200 feet, which might be a bit of a distance for my 21 foot Key West. It's a long run for a newbie to get skunked lol. Do they move in closer in the fall?

Your thoughts?
That's not necessarily true, but generally, the further out you are, the less pressure fish see, so they'll be larger on average.

You can catch 8-15 pound AJs off of the Russian Freighter in 80ft all day, (there might be a couple of big boys there too)
 
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