We were heading out 50 miles on a 10 hour deep sea fishing trip! Our boat ride was 2.5 hours before we got to the bottom fishing grounds. First let me explain a little bit about deep sea fishing. The difference in going out on 6, 8, or 10 hour fishing trips is not really more fishing time, but actually more driving time. Sounds kind of like a waste of time and money, but actually you catch WAY more fish out away from everyone else. Most everyone typically goes on the 6 and 8 hour trips, so everyone is basically fishing the same spots as everyone else! When you drive the extra 20 miles or so offshore, you are fishing in water that doesn't get fished, and these fish are ready to EAT!
Chris made one big mistake, and that was to put us on the MOTHERLOAD at our very first spot. It wasn't even our main destination, but just a spot to try out en route to the live rocks. Anyhow everyone started dropping 2 hook rigs baited with mackeral chunks and pieces of squid. The standard procedure for the day was to drop your bait to the bottom, get a bite within about 20 seconds and real up either a fish or an empty hook! We never would know exactly what kind of fish we were reeling in (Shawn and Chris typically could tell just by how the rod was acting) but it was a mystery to us until we started to see "color" With 9 people fishing as hard and fast as possible, we were quickly filling up the cooler with triggerfish, lane snapper, white snapper, and grouper! Here is Feddi with an awesome Triggerfish!
While everyone was getting the fish "fired up" as Chris would say, he started marking some big boys on the graph, coming over to check out all the commotion. At his cue, Jared rigged up a live pinfish and sent it down about 45 feet below the boat. In a matter of 10 seconds, he was reeling in a 20 lb amberjack. Let me rephrase that, he was getting 'whooped' by a 20 lb amberjack on steroids! Those fish are definitely 'juiced up' becasue they pack a serious punch, you cant even comprehend a 20 lb fish fighting so hard!
Our standard procedure for this spot was to keep everyone rolling with the 2 hook rigs to keep the fish basically chummed up and active around the boat. Then we would send a live pinfish down on the big rod one at a time and the school of 20-30 lb amberjack would eat the bait within 20 seconds every time down! All 9 of us boated an amberjack at this first spot. We could only keep one amberjack per person, so we would throw the small 20 lbers back in, and keep the bigger 25 lbers! Once we all landed one, and we kept 6 of them (we didnt want to fill our whole 9 fish amberjack limit at our first spot, because the best amberjack water was yet to come) we stopped using up our pinfish and switched to a chartruese jig on the big rod.
Shawn has been a commercial fisherman since the age of 12 and he immediately started chopping up those fish faster than you could imagine! By the time we were done with pics, he had a pile of meat that would have taken me hours to clean!
Even though Shawn was lightning fast, he still had 100's of lbs of fish to clean and we decided it would be best just to come back in the morning to pick up the cleaned and packaged meat. From home brought 2 big coolers to bring the fish home from our trip, but we are going to have to buy at least one, possibly two more just to get the fish back to our condo!!!