Wilmington Jigging - 5.2.2008

Discussion in 'Offshore Fishing Reports' started by BretABaker, May 5, 2008.

  1. BretABaker

    BretABaker Guest

    So finally I'll stop being lazy and post the report....

    We left the dock around 530AM, to come out and see that the 10-15kt winds that were predicted, were um....slightly larger. The seas weren't that bad, but it was an very short chop, so we really got the hell beat out of us going out. In any other 23' boat I'm not sure we would've made it, but the Contender is very solid. I think it took 3.5-4 hours to head out 70 miles, which I believe is about double the normal time.

    We got out, and I believe the first drop yielded some hookups. A few hooks were pulled, and for the first time we had Alberto knots fail.

    We finally started bringing some fish over….I think the first was a false albacore, followed shortly by the onslaught of AJs. Most were smaller, in the 20-35lb range, but still a great fight as always. My dad was high hook, seemingly on a fish at all times. Rich caught the two largest, one around 50lbs and one 65-70. I have no idea how many amberjack we caught, but it was a ton. We also caught one jack we couldn’t identify. I think Chip or CT has the picture of it. It had very large eyes and bars across it’s back. Pretty cool looking.

    The biggest fish was definitely the fish that busted off on my dad. This thing was taking huge runs over and over again at 24lbs of drag. It was definitely the big fish of the day, unfortunately it broke right before we saw color.

    I also caught the biggest false albacore of my life, haha. When I first saw color, I thought it might be a nice blackfin, unfortunately not!

    After a few hours and some tired arms, we headed in closer to try for grouper. We ended up getting quite a mixed bag. My dad had a short scamp, I had a keeper red and a triggerfish. We also caught a black sea bass, lizardfish, silver snapper and a few others. Bait was working better in here, but we mostly continued jigging.

    Headed in after this and got to the dock around 630PM.

    I was mainly fishing with the Stella and the OTI rod Paul wrapped. It worked great….I think we have some pics of it on the big fish that was lost. I did set the Saragosa at 30lbs of drag the night before, but never really used it as I was enjoying the Stella too much! I also fished the JM 500 which again is a very nice rod, really easy on the angler because of it’s action. The Zenaq line I had on the 665 was really nice. Extremely soft and smooth. As far as the Varivas FC shock leader goes, it is very nice but I think Blackwater is better.

    I used the OTI jigs almost exclusively. The Jackals worked well, but were a bit light given the current we were in. When they got down though, they produced. It seemed like the jig of the day was a chartreuse jinkster, or anything that was give or take 9”. We did not have enough heavy jigs….400-500g were probably the best weight on this day. I would recommend bringing everything from 120-500g since you don’t know exactly how the current will be! Diamond jigs were also working well.

    The OTI rod was great, very light and had nice action. I think if it was cut down (as Kilsong did) it would be as light as the Wei World, but with more power.

    All in all, this is some of the best fishing I’ve ever seen. True, we did not get a monster, but that is just dependent on what fish hits your jig. They are definitely down there. Plus, since you are in the Gulf Stream, you can catch many different fish which is really exciting. I cannot wait to go back. Chip was great, he knows his stuff and will be a great charter capt. I had a ton of fun fishing with everyone. I highly suggest heading down to Wilmington if you are into jigging, you definitely won’t regret it.

    Rich, CT, Chip - post up those pictures!!


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  2. paul708

    paul708 Site Sponsor

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    NICE..great pics
    looks like a really fun time
     

  3. BretABaker

    BretABaker Guest

    it definitely was........i can't wait to go back and get some monsters!

    CT or Chip should have pics of Rich's big AJ.
     
  4. JerseyBrian

    JerseyBrian Senior Member

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    Nice report Bret! Sounds like you guys had a good time out there!

    Do you think it was a Horse-eyed Jack that you caught? Can't wait to go down.
     
  5. gman

    gman Senior Member

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    hmmm nine inches or more, I should be fine then I have huge jigs LMAO

    Great report Bret, Jesus you need to get to the gym though. Only joking if i had your size I would be jigging goliath groupers. More importantly how are the babies. Who are we looking at in pictures
     
  6. BretABaker

    BretABaker Guest

    I thought it might be a horse-eyed, but Chip didn't think so.

    Babies are good....growing a lot!

    My pics are either my dad or myself.....Rich/CT/Chip have pics of all of their fish :)
     
  7. gman

    gman Senior Member

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    so 200g would be too light?? did you like the 80# versus 65 and how long were your leaders, Im thinking Im going a little longer for shock purposes. You guys used fluro instead of regular mono
     
  8. paul708

    paul708 Site Sponsor

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    what size blackwater were you using
     
  9. ksong

    ksong SPONSOR

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    so 200g would be too light?? did you like the 80# versus 65 and how long were your leaders, Im thinking Im going a little longer for shock purposes. You guys used fluro instead of regular mono
    We used mostly 200 - 250 g jigs for AJ even we used 80 lbs braided line. It doesn't make any difference to use fluoro carbon or mono leader line as AJ didn't care even we used heavy mono leader line like 130 - 150 lbs. When I fish there again, I would use 80 - 100 lbs leader line as you seldom lose AJ due to structures there. The use of 65 lbs braided line should be fine there too.
     
  10. BretABaker

    BretABaker Guest

    I think 200g would be OK if the current isn't whipping too hard. On Saturday it was very fast, so 200g would reach bottom....but it would take a looong time. 400g or so was ideal.

    I think in general 180-300g would work just fine. the jackals are really nice though, nice shape and action.

    It also seemed the faster you retrieved the jig, the more the AJs responded.

    Our leaders were 10' give or take. On the 80lb I used the Varivas Fluoro....on the 60lb I used 60lb Blackwater.

    honestly, I don't think AJs care whether its mono or FC.
     
  11. TBaker

    TBaker Senior Member

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    All I can say is WOW! Chip said it was kind of an ok day. Granted, we didn't get any giants, but if hooking up on virtually every drop is is just ok, don't think I'd survive a great day! ;) I have no idea how many are out there, but it must be somewhere close to a bazilllion! :D Man, those AJ's are tough! My first jigging trip and I guarantee I'll be back for more.

    We pretty much stuck with 80 or higher. Most of the fish could have easily been handled on 65, but where Chip had us, the next fish that hit could have been 100+! You just didn't know. I hooked up a really big one on Bret's new OTI 500g rod and his Stella spooled with JB 80. (Both of which performed fabulously. Great work on the rod, Paul!) Fought that thing for around 15 minutes and it was making long runs on 24 lbs. of drag! :eek: Unfortunately, had a knot fail right toward the end. I was glad I was using 80, thats for sure.

    As Bret and Kilsong have said, leader didn't seem to matter much. Just had to make sure to use a jig heavy enough to get down there, and jig like hell on the way up. On that day, anything in that 9 inch or so category worked like a charm.

    Oh, and take a look at the rod in the rod holder in the background of the last picture Bret posted. Thats Rich's Hot Wei rod. Thing must weigh like 5 oz. , but thats the rod he caught his 65 - 70 lber. Amazing!

    Thanks, Chip! You were a great host, and a real trooper for taking us all the way there in those seas! And you do know your spots. Rich and CT, great fishing with you guys. Gotta do this again!
     
  12. paul708

    paul708 Site Sponsor

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    All I can say is WOW! Chip said it was kind of an ok day. Granted, we didn't get any giants, but if hooking up on virtually every drop is is just ok, don't think I'd survive a great day! ;) I have no idea how many are out there, but it must be somewhere close to a bazilllion! :D Man, those AJ's are tough! My first jigging trip and I guarantee I'll be back for more.

    We pretty much stuck with 80 or higher. Most of the fish could have easily been handled on 65, but where Chip had us, the next fish that hit could have been 100+! You just didn't know. I hooked up a really big one on Bret's new OTI 500g rod and his Stella spooled with JB 80. (Both of which performed fabulously. Great work on the rod, Paul!) Fought that thing for around 15 minutes and it was making long runs on 24 lbs. of drag! :eek: Unfortunately, had a knot fail right toward the end. I was glad I was using 80, thats for sure.

    As Bret and Kilsong have said, leader didn't seem to matter much. Just had to make sure to use a jig heavy enough to get down there, and jig like hell on the way up. On that day, anything in that 9 inch or so category worked like a charm.

    Oh, and take a look at the rod in the rod holder in the background of the last picture Bret posted. Thats Rich's Hot Wei rod. Thing must weigh like 5 oz. , but thats the rod he caught his 65 - 70 lber. Amazing!

    Thanks, Chip! You were a great host, and a real trooper for taking us all the way there in those seas! And you do know your spots. Rich and CT, great fishing with you guys. Gotta do this again!
    Glad you liked the rod:D
    that is a fantastic "first jigging" trip . i guess there is no turning back now
    the pics are great.
    hopefull we can get down there soon
    maybe carpool
     
  13. BretABaker

    BretABaker Guest

    i think i shrunk 2 inches from my spine being compressed on the way out. once we got there, i didnt think the seas were bad at all....we just had to slam into each one on the way out
     
  14. BretABaker

    BretABaker Guest

    i think you'd have been spooled by that fish if you had lighter drags
     
  15. paul708

    paul708 Site Sponsor

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    i think i shrunk 2 inches from my spine being compressed on the way out. once we got there, i didnt think the seas were bad at all....we just had to slam into each one on the way out
    yeah thats the way the contender/fountain crew is here:D
    they are running the 36 and 38 ;)
    just get comfortable on a bean bag and wait till thay stop:D
     
  16. TBaker

    TBaker Senior Member

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    Oh, yeah, that fish wanted to go home VERY badly!

    Oh, and funny thing about those seas. We were hitting 'em pretty good on the way out. But once we started hooking up constantly, seas seemed to be just fine! :)

    Paul, it'd be great to do a trip. 8 hour drive is knda long on your own. But, man, the fishing. I know now why you do it, Kil!
     
  17. ksong

    ksong SPONSOR

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    I know now why you do it, Kil!
    I fish NC only 5 times this year. I should have done more. :)
    I planned to drive down to NC today to fish tomorrow, but I realized today is my 32nd wedding anniversary.:eek:
     
  18. BretABaker

    BretABaker Guest

    I think I want to move to wilmington.
     
  19. ksong

    ksong SPONSOR

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    I think I want to move to wilmington.
    It is funny. A guy I know retired to Fl from NY a few years ago and he is serious considering to move to NC after seeing recent fishing reports from NC. :)
     
  20. TBaker

    TBaker Senior Member

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    I fish NC only 5 times this year. I should have done more. :)
    I planned to drive down to NC today to fish tomorrow, but I realized today is my 32nd wedding anniversary.:eek:

    I'm working on 34 myself, Kil. But, come on, where are your priorities?! :D