This past week I had the pleasure of fishing with Captain Garrett and Captain Laramy with Fishing Florida Charters out of Crystal River. This was actually my 4th trip of the year with them and once again they made it one to remember.
On this trip I was lucky enough to be joined by my good friends Ricky and Derek for the day. We made a game plan for the day to target some Gag Grouper before the season closes and anything that may bite after that. We departed at 3:30am and made our long run to the grounds to jig a bit deeper water. This trip was a bit different as we were testing out some equipment and also really focusing on using the new WYLD jig. If anyone knows me I usually have at least 80lbs of jigs with me, for even just a day trip, so to stick with 1 or 2 jigs for the whole day is very strange for me, but I was set with a plan. Unfortunately the day didn't start off too well for me, as we were on our way out we stopped for a bathroom break and I managed to knock my phone out of my pocket. My heart sank as I watched my phone sink. With the bright screen lit up it fluttered to the bottom waiving goodbye to me and telling me that's going to cost me at least 1000$. Once I slept my sorrows away on the way out I realized that it had to turn into a great day of fishing with a start like that- and I wasn't wrong.
After about a 3.5hr run in the Freeman we made it to our first spot and all three of us started off with a 220g WYLD. Within the first minute of being down I get bit and after a decent fight I bring in the first gag of the day that went in the box.
Not long after Derek hooked up to a size large one, did a great job and managed to land his PB 30lb Gag on the jig (such a quality fish and pictures never quite do them justice). Not to be out done Ricky hooks up and lands a quality gag as well. By 10am we had managed to hit our Gag limit for the day. With it being so early we decided to go check some other areas and see what we could find.
We hopped around for a while picking off some Scamp Grouper and Amberjack, catching double Jacks on the jig at times. We continued to do this until around 1pm, then decided to work our way to some shallower water and this is where things went pretty crazy. Once arriving to the area it wasn't long before all of us were hooked up, from Jacks/Grouper/Snapper and Kingfish- you name it- we were catching like crazy.
I was using the 120gram WYLD and I got hit on the drop what felt like 7 out of 10 times, at one point I just had the jig hanging in the water talking to the captains and about a 40lb amberjack eats it while only the boat movement was moving the jig. Ricky put 2 very nice kingfish in the boat, both fish easily over the 20lb mark. From what I would guess 1:30pm till about 3:30pm we had caught and hooked up to more fish than we needed to, so we decided to call it a day.
I know this might sound like a sales pitch for the WYLD, but it really was just that ridiculous, I know all jigs can catch and that they all have their day, but that being said the jig just performed better than I could've imagined. This was my first day really putting it through the paces and seeing how it fished and I hope to have more success with it but only time will tell.
Till next time