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Discussion Starter #1
Most will tell you to avoid fishing around the full moon. Well, I guess I let that go in one ear and out the other, because I was boarding the famous Yankee Capts out of Key West, FL for a 2 day fishing excursion. I wasn't going to let a little thing like a full moon get in the way.....lol, well it kinda did. The fishing was tough and the 20 man crew was able to scratch out a decent result. Catches included Grey Tile, Yellow Edge Grouper, Blackfin Snapper, Snowy Grouper, Blackfin Tuna, Red Grouper, Mutton Snapper, Vermillion Snapper, Scamp Grouper, Yellow Eye Snapper and Queen Snapper.......oh, and one type large Black Grouper.

This was my first Yankee Capts trip, and it did not disappoint. Boat was spotless, and all the crew were on point. They really couldn't do a thing more to make the experience a better one. Captain Greg put us on the fish and was trying to coach us from above. Guys fishing bait were using 3 to 5 lbs of lead. The mates, Bryan, Matt, and Scott, busted their hinny's and were incredibly helpful. They were on every gaff shot, tangle, and reef snag with the quickness. They gave great advice on tackle and techniques, unfortunately some people don't listen.

Myself and my buddy Bryan (brn2surf) were doing our best to produce on the jig. We both bagged grouper, snapper and tuna on the jig. We were mostly fishing depths of 500 to 600 ft. Our shallowest spots were maybe 400' and the deepest, being 800'. Again the strong tide provided a challenge, as we had to use jigs heavier than we'd like too. Jig range was 260g to 750g, on the jigs used. Some jigs, like the Sea Floor Control (SFC) Arc, proved to be fast sinking in the heavy water and allowed us to fish a little lighter. Most of my catches were on the SFC Arc 320 gram.

By the end of the trip, I felt like everybody had a good time and was satisfied with the effort put in and the end result. The highlight of my trip was catching a 72 lb Black Grouper, which is probably the best fish of my lifetime. The Marine Research Scientist back at the dock, said the fish was probably close to 50 years old! Dang! Wow what a dream come true! I certainly look forward to my next Pulley Ridge trip and I will be a little more prepared the next go around. There was some definite learning going on. I highly recommend you guys getting one of these very special trips and fishing aboard the Yankee Capts.

Tackle used for most of the trip (jig wise that is)
Rod: Evergreen Poseidon High Pitch Jerker PHPJ 410
Reel: Shimano Torsa 16
Line: Berkley Fireline 30 lb
Leader: Yo Zuri Pink Flourocarbon 50 lb
Jig: Sea Seafloor Control Arc 320g Gold/Pear Zebra Glow

bkgrpr1.jpg
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mutton.jpg
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Here is the weigh in on the scale for the grouper
bkgrpr3.jpg

Here is the culprit or my accomplice...lol. The jig is now retired!
sfcArc1.jpg
sfcArc2.jpg
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks guys, it was a culmination of all the right things coming together. I put the time in. You get out, what you put in. I don't do any other form of fishing and if I do it's just to pass the time. I am passionate about slow pitch jigging. It's my thing, it's what I like, and I still have more to learn.
 
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Discussion Starter #5
I thought this was a good question, I just got PM'd

How much drag did I have?

How long was the fight?

Answer

15 lbs of drag on the reel, but I use my thumb carefully if I think I need more drag. I fight the fish strictly off the reel, and never pump the rod. I rock back and then take a couple cranks, then repeat. The fish was hooked in 600 ft so he put up a good fight up the column until he was probably close to 150 ft from the surface. Then it got real easy, because he began to embolize.

Fight took 20 to 25 minutes. I went as hard as I could, because the sharks were bad and I already lost a few good fish to the tax man. I also did no want to allow him any chance to turn his head. I had to keep him coming....plain and simple
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I was just asked if I used any of my regular slow pitch rods, which are Temple Reef Levitates ( I own all 3 models and love them)

Answer
I used the TR 682 and 683 but didn't hook any thing. The High Pitch rod was the way to go, and will be my go to rod if I'm fishing 400 ft or more. The current was too fast for the soft slow pitch rods. High pitch rods are super stiff all the way to the tip. That's the only was to generate power to lift/pitch the jig in deep fast moving water.
 
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Discussion Starter #10
I think I see a trip south in my future ;)
I was going to tell you Luke to come down and do a Pulley Ridge trip. I'm eye balling a trip in September.
 
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Discussion Starter #11
good stuff guys

have you ever done the LR trips out of Hubbards? they're probably more feasible for me in the near future
Never done longe range but I have done a full day. Those long range trips are big warsaw, snowy, and gag producers. However, I've heard the middle grounds is not like it was in years past. Even Pulley is getting a lot of pressure
 

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September could work, I have a lot going on this summer but September just might be perfect ;)
 
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Discussion Starter #14
What rod and line U use with jm pe5n
Rod: Evergreen Poseidon High Pitch Jerker PHPJ 410
Reel: JM PE 5N HG
Line: Berkley Fireline 20 lb
Leader: Yo Zuri Pink Flourocarbon 50 lb

I used the high gear PE 5N. My mainline broke off due to chaffing on several tangles with guys fishing around me, and I lost around 300 yards. I kinda saw it coming. I had a few Blackfin run me down the rail a few times. So, I had to switch to my back up reel, the Torsa 16 for the rest of the trip.
 

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Just curious why do U use 20 lbs line ? Pe5n hold like 500 yards plus 40 lbs line (1500')asking because I never fish dry pulley ridge or tortuga
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Just curious why do U use 20 lbs line ? Pe5n hold like 500 yards plus 40 lbs line (1500')asking because I never fish dry pulley ridge or tortuga
I had a little over 600 yards of 20 lb Fireline. I needed the capacity to jig up to 900 ft, which is what the trip is capable of. Thinner line minimizes scope and give you more sensitivity to the jig movement. Fireline has an incredible breaking strength and is a very popular line for slow pitch jiggers. We can fish our small reels on our light rods and still have some ballz to stop a big fish.

You can't totally eliminate scope, so you still have a belly in your line. You can't effectively fish those deep spots without 500 yards or more on your reel.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
What about spiderwire ultracast 30 lbs I believe is same diameter as fireline 20 lbs and breaks over 50 lbs
I like spider wire ultra cast. Good choice. You can go with that.

If you do the same pulley ridge trip I did you'd catch the same fish we caught. I mentioned it in the report above
 
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