APM Fishing Retreat

February 8th, 2011

This pas week we had a group of business owners who are clients of Auto Profit Masters that came to the Keys for a class and relaxation.  What a great group of people from kids to grandparents I was able to find fish for them to catch.

The first day I took out Alan and his son, who fished me a couple of years ago.  We headed out to the hump for a day of tuna fishing.  When we arrived at the hump we saw an oasis of tuna.  Tuna busting the water all over the place, jumping out of the water, terrorizing the bait on the surface.  We caught tuna on the first drift and watching the tuna eat right behind the boat still gets my blood flowing.  There were a few boats out there and they seemed to gravitate to my stern, causing them to scare the fish behind our boat to go down.  To get the big tunas to eat behind the boat can take 100-300 freebees.  We can only hold so many baits, so when another boat ruins our drift that’s just one less tuna we can catch.  So when you are out at the hump be courteous, don’t troll or run your boat behind anyone, go in front of them so you don’t ruin their fishing.

After getting mugged by the other boats we started to jig the tunas and we were hooked up, mostly smaller ones than we were catching on the live bait.  I had a game plan of jigging for a while until some of the boats to leave so we could live bait again.  We caught lots of tuna on the jigs, and later in the afternoon we caught a bunch of 20-30 pounders on the live bait.   I also dropped a bait down 400 feet to target amberjacks.  The hump has some of the largest concentration of amberjacks which we were able to catch one over 50 pounds.  What a great trip father and son, having the time of their lives catching and laughing, just a great time had for all.

On the next day I had out Brian and Kobi from Alaska, John and another Alan.  Since I fished all last week for snappers, we decided to go out and find some for these guys.  I went to one of my patches, which has been smoking hot all last week.  We caught some, but it was a little slower than I had liked.  We caught mangroves, mackerel, and yellowtail.  They were on the smaller side, but they still taste good.  We also caught about 15-20 small groupers, just about all the shallow water spices.  We caught black, red, grasby, and red hind groupers.  Most of them were small blacks around 18 inches long, but a good fight on light tackle.  After catching 30 or so snappers we headed to some wrecks for some bigger fish.  It was really slow, but I kept hitting different wrecks until we found one that was producing.  It was a little weird, we would get bites on all the wrecks, but then after loosing a few the wrecks would shut down.  This happens usually when there are predators around, but I think we just lost them in the wreck, which happens when we fish close to them.  Finally we found a wreck, which produced a mutton snapper, our target species, and some amberjacks and almaco jacks.  We kept one to smoke; they are wonderful for smoked fish.

On the third day I took out some of the staff from Auto Profit Masters, Will, Andy, Jake and Chad.  It was a rough day to go to the hump but the bite was better out there then on the reef and wrecks.  So we roughed it to the hump, a long trek out there but well worth it.  We were the only ones out there and we caught tuna after tuna.  The bite was as good or better than a couple days prior.  The fish were all over 10 pounds, and some up to 20 pounds.  Live bait wasn’t working very well, so we jigged most of them.  Even in the rough water, these guys stuck it out and caught a tremendous amount of tuna.  We didn’t keep them all, but enough for them to split up to take home.  We had a close encounter with a hammerhead shark where I grabbed him by his dorsal fin.  That’s how close he was to us, trying to eat our tuna we were able to get some good photos, and I got the silly notion to grab a hold of a green hammerhead shark.  Once he noticed I had a hold of him he got upset and took off at a blistering speed.  When we got back to the dock I had cut up some of the tuna for some fresh sashimi while my clients waited for their fish to be cleaned, another benefit of keeping my boat behind a restaurant that serves sushi.

On the fourth day I took out one of the Owners of Auto Profit Masters and his family.  Since they had to do class that afternoon we were scheduled for a half-day charter, which would mean that we weren’t going back to the hump.  So we hit the wrecks and caught amberjacks and almaco jacks.  It was as good as it gets, double headers AJ’s take a while to get in, averaging a 30 minute fight we had enough time to catch eight 30-pound jacks.  Smiles all around, the brute strength of these fish is tremendous.  From catching walleye to 30 pound Jacks, there is just no comparison.  Up in Colorado they fish for walleye and they were telling me it is like catching a plastic bag, they weren’t used to fish that fought back, so all in all they were extremely satisfied with there big fish experience.

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