Road Trip to NC/SC/Florida
Posted 27 December 2013 - 04:41 PM
Fishing schedules and targeted fish are very flexible depending on availability of boats though main purpose of the trip is to test inshore rods for red fish or sea trout.
The only fishing trip set now is to fish grouper out of NC tomorrow.
I am going to test new one-piece Black Hole Cape Cod Special 80g and 150g for grouper.
I might try red fish/sea trout in Mosquito Lagoon, Fl on Monday or Tuesday as weather looks good.
There is a possibility to fish swordfish out of Jupiter, Fl at night, but it depends on weather.
Posted 29 December 2013 - 10:12 AM
Capt Joe decided to go for gag grouper and seabass running 11 - 12 miles just to have fun.
instead of running far for red grouper. (commercial red grouper season is still open).
Seabass bites were relentless where we went that it was a pain to concentrate on grouper bites. Nonetheless, we got our limit (one per person) easily and we released many gag grouper later.
I stayed with jigs and was rewarded with 7 gag groupers on jigs.
The choice of jig was Black Hole Taifun jig which is also a killer jig for seabass.
I don't know how many seabass on the jig while jigging for grouper.
too many seabass. I have no clue why they close seabass season from January 1st.
Black Hole Taifun jig with JM Assist hook.
First gag grouper on the jig.
I used new one piece Black Hole Cape Cod Special 150g and new JM Ocean Devil PE8 reel. After the trip, I felt I could land 20 -30 lb grouper with the light rod.
I gained the confidence with the rod on the trip that I will test the light rod for big yft on upcoming Feb PV trip.
nice 12 - 15 lb gag on Taifun jig.
It seems the max drag of Ocean Devil PE8 I used is as good as JM PE reels.
Even I used heavy drag ( grouper rarely took line and I had to loosen the trip a little bit).
Even on heavy drag, moving the lever drag is very smooth like JM PE reels.
Everybody had fun today. It was a rare day Capt Joe didn't fish much and enjoyed himself.
Capt Joe's friend Roger did very well. He offered me to fish 3 - 4 days on his boat just for grouper next summer. Fishing grouper 3 - 4 days day and night ? It is my dream grouper fishing ! I am looking forward to it next year.
The nice 15 pounder by Joe was immediately released after this picture.
Thanks Joe for setting up this fun trip.
Capt Joe said the Black Hole Cape Cod Special 450g rods are the best commercial rods I've used over 25 years. He said the rods have enough flex, but show tremendous power.
Roger confirmed it by saying that he had 25 - 30 lb grouper on the 450g rod which was on the rod holder and he thought the rod could get broken when the big grouper pulled so hard, but it didn't.
I know Black Hole 450g rod is stronger than any rod in its class, but I am still hesitant to use the 450g rod for commercial grouper fishing as they use electric reels with rods on the rod holders. I suggested to use 6' Black Hole Giant rods for the purpose as the BH Giant blanks are super strong and are designed for big fish over 400 lb.
We landed over 20 giants in 600 lb - 1000 lb range with the Black Hole Giant rods in P.E.I. last fall.
Posted 01 January 2014 - 11:23 PM
I met Courtland and guide Drew at Southern Drawl Outfitter in the morning.
Fishing ground is only 5 - 10 minutes from the shop.
We fished low tide and oyster beds were everywhere.
When we saw a few red fish, we were confident we would catch some fish.
But they were not in biting mood at all. I feel sorry for guide Dew as he worked so hard and ran everywhere to find some fish for us. They have been catching lots of red fish and red fish just stop biting just in time. It is not new. I was kind of human banana when fishing bluefin in NC.
The purpose of this trip is to see how they fish red fish and what kind of tackle they use for them.
I think 6'6" - 7' light rod is adequate here because they usually fish in creek during low tide using a push poll in shallow water.
Thanks Courtland to spend time with me and arrange everything for me.
I drove down to Florida after fishing to fish with Austin and his friend Gary.
Austin is a bass tournament organizer and his friend Gray fish Mosquito Lagoon regularly with his boat.
Posted 02 January 2014 - 12:10 AM
That was an encouraging news.
Fishing in Mosquito Lagoon is much different from Hilton Head's fishing.
It is wide open and one drift last 30 minutes - one hours and all fished together as we didn't need to use a push poll.
Sometimes, it is too shallow that someone has to push the boat .
It seems soft plastic bait is number one choice for red fish.
They used 7'11" Black Hole Hyper conventional rod and 7' Black Hole Silk rod while I used 732 Black Hole Magic Eye rod.
They were very good at casting light/small swimbait with bait casting reels.
I thought most red fish fishermen prefer spinning reels, but they used bait casting reels more than spinning reels on this trip.
Fishing condition was very good though it was not a calm day, but again, fish didn't cooperate. :confused:
Gary said he usually catch about 6 - 12 red fish and 6 - 12 sea trout a day there.
Sea trout was biting, but they were small. I must be a human banana.
Finally I had a first red fish on the boat. I lost another one later.
Gary got this one only a few feet from the boat.
I don't know how many cast I made for hours. My arm is still soar.
Austin and Gary love fishing as much as I do. I promised them to come down again soon to fish with them for red fish as well as largemouth bass.
Fishing is not done yet. I drove south for night fishing from the shore.
Posted 02 January 2014 - 12:39 AM
After fishing with Austin and Gary in Mosquito Lagoon, I drove down to Sebastian Inlet.
My fishing trip is not complete without visiting famous Sebastian Inlet.
I arrived at Sebastian Inlet at night and some were fishing under the bridge.
Tackle is very heavy for pier fishing.
But it didn't take long why they use such heavy tackle.
I met Ray whom I know from a fishing site. He came down from West Melbourne to meet me. Nice to see you, Ray.
I tried to cast jig and popper there, but it was very hard because the bottom was covered with discarded fishing lines and current was screaming when I fished there.
Posted 02 January 2014 - 01:44 AM
I contacted my old friend Crazy Al who live in Fl now.
While he couldn't fish with me because of family gathering for New Year's Holiday,
he asked his fishing friend Lydia to take care of me.
It turned out to be Lydia is a hardcore surf angler and is well known fishing lady locally.
When they talked about 50 - 150 lb tarpon and 30 -40 lb drum on poppers from the shore,
I was very exited, but I admit that I was a little skeptical.
Lydia was kind enough to let me use his tackle and lures. When we got to the spot, there were a few surf fishermen were working and one guy was fighting fish.
I told Lydia that I would watch how they fish for a while. When I saw one guy hook up a big tarpon which jumped a few times, I couldn't wait any longer and joined them.
After casting, I tried to get rid of slack line. Then I had a hit and pulled me very hard.
Fishi is on !! I could see a big tarpon was jumping a few times in darkness.
Big tarpon with a lure on a first cast from the shore ? Every thing was unreal.
I had 80 lbs Jerry Brown Hollow with 150 lb leader line on my Stella 18000.
So I didn't worry about breaking line, but I was concerned the factory treble hooks of the lure I borrowed. So I loosened the drag.
Lydia was next to me all the time to take pictures and to help me.
Finally I could see the tarpon closer on the beach and Lydia grabbed it for me.
Am I dreaming ? After releasing the tarpon, I told Lydia I am done fishing to cherish this exiting moment.
Thanks Crazy Al and Lydia for all your friendly help.
anglers enjoying fighting
I was very lucky not to lose the fish.
After landing the tarpon, I quit fishing and headed for NJ.
1,147 miles to go.
Posted 08 January 2014 - 03:09 PM
I am going back to Florida on Jan 10. I don't think tarpon are still there and I am going to concentrate on red fish this time to test rods.
Posted 14 January 2014 - 02:02 PM
But I became a friend with many local die-hard fishermen. That was a huge catch for me.
I traveled all around Fl for fishing. In my opinion, Sebastian Inlet and Bot Sikes Cut in St. George Island in Panhandle area are two most productive
fishing spot from the shore.
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