Amberjacks

Discussion in 'Jigging and Popping' started by Iman, Nov 23, 2009.

  1. Iman

    Iman Senior Member

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    Hi , . in the last weeks we went near an oil rig and we caught AJ but they were realy small(1kg-4kg). Well we fished right Under it. I heard that bigger Aj's stay a bit away from the oil rigs. Is it true? and if you know where I can read ,watch or anything else about AJ near oil rigs and Big AJ preferred habitat please tell me since this winter I Want to catch my dream:D . Im targeting them with jigging.
     
  2. Courtland

    Courtland Site Sponsor

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    Hi Guys as you know I live in Malta, and here its pretty hard to catch Big AJ(Over 20kg). in the last weeks we went near an oil rig and we caught AJ but they were realy small(1kg-4kg). Well we fished right Under it. I heard that bigger Aj's stay a bit away from the oil rigs. Is it true? and if you know where I can read ,watch or anything else about AJ near oil rigs and Big AJ preferred habitat please tell me since this winter I Want to catch my dream:D . Im targeting them with jigging.

    If you have found the little ones, you have most likely found the big ones(or atleast a few). Although I am not sure if the species in your part grow the same and are like our East Coast fish. But I have seen 70-80# fish eat 5-10# AJ right behind my boat on numerous occasions, out of the same school. I would suggest chumming up current of your structure. This will pull the fish out of the safety of the rig and expose them. You will be able to target bigger fish, and get a good look at the entire school(on the sounder or in the water).
     

  3. gman

    gman Senior Member

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    Most amberjack will be in one or two places but remember amberjack are larger school fish therefore you will need to sort through smaller fish to get the larger ones. Ive found the faster the better

    1. Structure such as wrecks, oil rigs: Mostly found n our gulf waters, Ive had luck on the down current side or right under the rigs. as smaller bait fish are swept to that side in strong current

    2. live bottom such as coral formations, natural ledges or humps: The larger fish we have caught have been off of ledges and bottoms with coral formations. Being that they are school fish normally we find them in mass all about the same sizes. So if we drop and find 50 pounders we move on until we find the right patch with larger fish. One spot last year we had 4 fish over 100 pounds including one beast
     
  4. Iman

    Iman Senior Member

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    here in malta I know people that caught AJ up to 60kg but with live bait. Last time we went there an AJ of 7kg was caught but only one. the things im curious about is what time does big AJ eat? and in which moon phase the Big Ones eat?
    Maybe I load you guys with lots of qustion but please understand me because Im a not so experienced on finding Aj on the sounder, maybe if some one could explain for what I have to look for it would be easire. at the moment my Fishfinder is Garmin 400c
     
  5. gman

    gman Senior Member

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  6. gman

    gman Senior Member

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    here in malta I know people that caught AJ up to 60kg but with live bait. Last time we went there an AJ of 7kg was caught but only one. the things im curious about is what time does big AJ eat? and in which moon phase the Big Ones eat?
    Maybe I load you guys with lots of qustion but please understand me because Im a not so experienced on finding Aj on the sounder, maybe if some one could explain for what I have to look for it would be easire. at the moment my Fishfinder is Garmin 400c


    If your bait fishing big amerjacks will eat big live bait. I dont think they feed of of moon phase they just eat all the time. On a fish finder they will show up as big red marks in massive quanties
     
  7. Iman

    Iman Senior Member

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    Gman I set up my FF to show fish symbol when ever it detects fish. I dont know if I did right. how should I do the settings to gain the most accurate signal, maybe I should spread chum of bait around the drift area would it work to attract bigger fish?
     
  8. gman

    gman Senior Member

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    Gman I set up my FF to show fish symbol when ever it detects fish. I dont know if I did right. how should I do the settings to gain the most accurate signal, maybe I should spread chum of bait around the drift area would it work to attract bigger fish?


    Unfortunately I'm not a captain and I'm pretty dumb about all the electronics. I just see red marks drop a jig to them and fish LOL but im sure someone here can better explain how to dial in your electronics
     
  9. Iman

    Iman Senior Member

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    oh ok thank for all your help, maybe a capt here can help me out about the FF settings.
     
  10. Courtland

    Courtland Site Sponsor

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    Gman I set up my FF to show fish symbol when ever it detects fish. I dont know if I did right. how should I do the settings to gain the most accurate signal, maybe I should spread chum of bait around the drift area would it work to attract bigger fish?

    1) Take the fish symbols OFF.
    2) If you have dual beam transducer(use 200khz for under 200') use 50khz for over 200'
    3) Increase the gain until you start to get fuzzy under the boat then back off until the picture is best.
    4) Here is what AJ's look like in 165'

    [​IMG]

    Notice the difference of the shape of the return from the next one. Can you tell me what we caught here?

    [​IMG]
     
  11. Iman

    Iman Senior Member

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    wow mate thank you. well I did not recognize the fish int the second Best maybe small AJ??
     
  12. Courtland

    Courtland Site Sponsor

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    wow mate thank you. well I did not recognize the fish int the second Best maybe small AJ??

    Not everything in the water is an AJ.:D

    The screen is broken into 3 areas

    Left side: this is my navigation page. I change the color and shape of my "waypoints" everytime I fish. That way when I look at my screen I can tell an area that has produced fish, marked bait, or showed good relief on more than one occasion.

    Right side: this area is zoomed on the left side for the bottom 15' of the water column. This lets me see the exact area I want to when bottom fishing. In this picture if you follow the dark red thick line(which shows the bottom) you will see I just passed a nice 7-8' relief/ledge. The stuff on the bottom is called live bottom or I like to call it "grouper fuzz". This area in particular shows the ledge, live bottom and most likely small baitfish moving in and around the corals/live bottom. It may not produce on every day, but rest assured an area like this should be visited regularly during different seasons to see when the right time for that spot is.

    The right side of the right side shows the full water column and depth. You can see a bit of clutter under the boat(upper 1/5 of the picture). I have the gain turned up and I don't care if it is to high to read well up top. I will turn it down if I am trolling to see bait in the upper column, though. You would likely anchor in an area like this to bottom fish for grouper and snapper. AJ's might be close by as they will also frequent an area like this. Turtles are another good sign and when you see them the surrounding area should be fully inspected as they only live around live bottom. Good luck!
     
  13. Enoch

    Enoch Senior Member

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    thats an amazing video and some vent up anger towards the hell divers....

    thanks for posting.
     
  14. cabosandinh

    cabosandinh Moderator

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    in GOM AJ hang around between 90-150 ft
    the bigger the live bait, the bigger AJ you catch

    if you have dual screen sonar, split the screen: have one in full mode
    and the other zoom in where you see the most suspended fish, use 200Khz

    The best way to know if you have big AJ is to invite a friend that is
    scuba certified and send him down for a look. I saw this done in Aug
    of this year out of Freeport, TX
     
  15. Iman

    Iman Senior Member

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    thank you guys for you info Now lets me hope I use the info you gave me to catch my dream xD. BTW which FF Brands you suggest? im Going to jig from 50mt-150mt or more. I have a garmin FF 400c is it good for that depth?
     
  16. Courtland

    Courtland Site Sponsor

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    thank you guys for you info Now lets me hope I use the info you gave me to catch my dream xD. BTW which FF Brands you suggest? im Going to jig from 50mt-150mt or more. I have a garmin FF 400c is it good for that depth?

    Most recreational transducers are 600 watt transom mount. They are good for most applications. I use a 1kw thru-hull unit as my machine is capable of utilizing that much power. I can get a good bottom picture running 30kts in most conditions.

    Overall Furuno probably makes the best bottom unit although it is widely debated. A crappy unit can show more to a good fisherman than a good unit can show a bad/inexperienced fisherman. Learn how to use it. Mark something of interest and drop down a bait. Make a mental note of what you caught and how the machine looked. You can repeat this process over and over. Put this info together with the temperature, depth, time of year and you can mark something and call out what you will catch 9 times out of 10 with a little practice. For real!
     
  17. ksong

    ksong SPONSOR

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    That is exactly how dogfish are shown in depth finder in Cape Cod. :)
     
  18. gman

    gman Senior Member

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    That is exactly how dogfish are shown in depth finder in Cape Cod. :)

    ahhh you left out the key word ... "endangered" hahahah LOL
     
  19. cabosandinh

    cabosandinh Moderator

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    thank you guys for you info Now lets me hope I use the info you gave me to catch my dream xD. BTW which FF Brands you suggest? im Going to jig from 50mt-150mt or more. I have a garmin FF 400c is it good for that depth?


    your unit is fine, just learn to read it and pay attention

    learn to zoom and slow down your scrolling rate

    sonar can only tell you if there are fish , if they're big or small, they
    can't tell you what is there

    Furuno is the best but very expensive. I use Raymarine with 1kw transducer
     
  20. crazy8

    crazy8 Senior Member

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    I am in no way an AJ expert. But I learn quickly, and this is what I picked up from fishing for AJ's off Miami this past October:

    Big AJ's like BIG baits, and FAST moving BIG jigs.
    Biggest one we caught was on a 2-3 lb Almaco jack (he swallowed it whole no problem).
    The faster you moved the jig, the harder you got hit, and was usually a bigger fish.
    I used 14oz Williamson jigs, and caught fish over 25 lbs.
    I used 5-7oz Butterfly jigs, and caught fish 2-10 lbs.
    Live baits are much more productive for big fish.
    We were wreck fishing- on the sounder, the wreck was tight to the botttom, then we showed clouds of small fish tight to the wreck up to 100' off the wreck, the BIG AJ's, were suspended 25-100' down current of the wreck, also down current of the clouds of fish.
    It took multiple passes over each wreck to catch the biggest AJ's.

    Next time, I will bring my own heavy stand up tackle with a heavy wire. I want to know how big the shark was that was eating half the fish I hooked on jigs!