Author: Austin Porter
Fishing in the Tortugas.
The beginning of January I put the boat on the trailer and went South. The following morning headed out from Key West to Tortuga about 5am. Once the sun hit the horizon we saw shrimp boats in the distance.
Chasing Shrimp boats in search of bonito.
We pulled up to the shrimpers to catch the bonito's that follow them for bait. At the shrimper managed to pick off a blackfin tuna.
Heading west, shallow waters, chum bags and jigs, SNAPPER HEAVEN.
After catching tons of bonito and a blackfin we continued West to find the shallow water. At the shallow waters (no more than 10 feet) you put a chum out and drift along with the wind. You will soon find out you have tons of yellowtail in the chum. You cast behind those with a super strong yellowtail jig, you catch muttons.
Every day is a new day for Mutton Snapper. Except when sharks are around.
The muttons in that shallow water range from 3lbs to 13lbs, everyday is a different day for them. Once we fished their for a few hours we headed to some deeper wrecks for other snapper. Soon to realize as soon as we put the chum out, sharks were everywhere. The commercial guys were king fishing in the same area, gutting all their catch creating a frenzy for the sharks. Anything you hooked on the bottom was eaten, no lie within 3 seconds.
Sharks don't scare yellowtail, At least not this time.
Even with the sharks charging the boat, the yellowtail were balled up behind the boat. Using Bullbuster 20lb mono and a locked drag to get them 30 feet to the boat. All in all it was a slow trip in Tortugas, we had a west wind which shut down a few of the fish. However in two days their, we catch plenty of fish for dinner.
I used bullbuster 20lb mono and 60lb regular leader 90% of the time their. The yellowtails have no care in the world what pound leader you use.
Until next time!
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