Author: Bob Orban
Fishing Miami's Wrecks For AJ's & Grouper
I had some big guys who played college football with me down to go fishing, and there's nothing like making a big guy cry, so we headed down south to find some reef donkeys. We decided to start with bent butt 80 and let these guys crank and then see if anyone wanted to get strapped into the stand-up harness and fight one on a 50.
Our first drop was in 130 ft and it didn't take long to get a bite. I throttled up to get us off the wreck while the first victim watched in awe as 80 lb bull buster pealed off the reel as we inched the drag up to full. 15 minutes and one tired linebacker later we had 250-300 lb bull shark boatside. High fives abound as we cut the heavy leader and watched him swim away. After a few more drops and a couple cut offs we decided to head the next wreck.
Dropping a live mullet down 235ft produced a bite almost instantly and the next man up reeled hard, eventually turning the two handed crank! A 50lb AJ hit the deck, destined for the smoker as the first two guys talked about how strong the fish were. A couple more big amberjack and we had some very tired ball players and no more live baits. Before heading home we had one more trick up our sleeve.
First Mate Stephen went into the cooler and produced a small bonito, about 15 inches long. What was originally intended for a swordfish bait was about to catch us a different kind of monster. After butterflying the bonito and tipping him with a squid he was quickly carried to the bottom. Straws were being drawn to see who would be forced to reel the next fish up, when the rod tip nearly touched the water! The guys ended up taking turns on this fish as it slowly rose from the deep. Soon enough Stephen started yelling that it wasn't another AJ, but in fact a Monster Black Grouper!
Pictures were taken before venting this beauty and sending him back down to the bottom. He was estimated at 40 lbs and was quite the ending to a spectacular day! Thanks again bullbuster for keeping us fishing!
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