Week of 1/8/24-1/14/24 FISHING REPORT

Week of 1/8/24-1/14/24 FISHING REPORT
Southeast Florida Report
Golden Tilefish are Open

Golden Tilefish finally opened back up after a 6 month closure and we were chomping at the bit to get out after them. We got lucky with decent weather window on opening day so we put the plans in motion and met up at the dock with my good friends Pj and Vedat for a first light push off. We had about a 20 mile run to the first spot once we cleared Lighthouse Point Inlet. While the water was calm, boy was it cold. We were all bundled in our foul weather gear which most guys from anywhere else in the country would laugh at us. But as Florida natives, anything below 70* is cold!

We decided to make a stop on the way out over a deep water wreck that we marked on the trip prior which proved to be a great idea. Three jigs down, and three fish up. We started off with an Almaco Jack and two blackfin tuna. Skunk off the boat. We made a few more drifts over the structure and picked off a few more small blackfin tuna and a couple bonitas. After we felt like the bite was slowing we decided to stick around the area and make a slight wiggle to a smaller structure just a quarter mile away. Again, instant bites and right on the bottom. Ofcourse the first thing that comes to mind is some sort of demersal whether it be a grouper or even a snapper, but as the fights progressed, we quickly realized that it wasn’t what we were expecting. First fish came up and we were all hyped at the sight of it! We had found ourselves a school of the biggest Atlantic Bonitos I’ve ever seen! For the next 20 minutes hooked up on just about every drop filling the box until we were warmed and ready to hit the deep and chase that sweet gold that we came out here for.

We made our run out deeper to our tile grounds and were greeted with a nice slow current. Or so we thought. While it showed between 1.5-2 knots on the bottom finder, there was a weird deep current that was pushing our jigs into the direction we were drifting. I started off with a 540g Stryke but quickly switched over to the 730g Semy to try to keep as vertical as possible with the weird current we were experiencing. Now fishing this 730g Semy, I would normally opt for the JygPro Tribute Power 10 but to my surprise, the Tribute Power 8 handled that jig with ease. When the jigs hit bottom, we’d feel the jig sink into the mud which told us we were in the right area. We bounced and dragged our jigs through the mud and started to pick off some very respectable Black Belly Rosefish which is another good sign in hopes of Golden Tilefish. Unfortunately that was all we were able to muster up out there. We fished old spots and started scouting new spots and could only get the Rosefish to bite this time around.

While we were a bit bummed out, we pushed back into shallower water to see if we could finish off the day strong, and that we did! We got back over a wreck that we knew could produce for us right around that magic hour before the sun set. With a favorable current, I decided push some gear a bit picked up my light/micro jigging setup to drop above this wreck in a bit over 400ft. The setup was the Power 0 from JygPro’s new high end line of rods, the Tribute. And I ran an 80g Stryke on 8lb braid and a 20lb fluorocarbon leader. I figured there would be tuna all over this wreck at this time of day and boy was I right. Over the next hour we hooked up on every drop. Tuna and amberjack mayhem! All catch and release as we already had a decent box of fish. The Power 0 handled those tuna with ease and made them a blast to catch on such light gear.

As the sun started to set, we raced back into the inlet and back to the marina to process the days catch share a few more laughs before we said our goodbyes. It doesn’t always go your way out on the water so it helps to be flexible and be able to switch gears when needed. With that mindset, it still made our day on the water enjoyable. Good friends, full coolers, and tons of laughs! Can’t ask for much more than that.

Just a reminder that Golden Tilefish season is officially open in Federal waters so take advantage while you can! I know this I’ll be out after them as much as I can this season. And p.s…..they love the jyg!
Report By Tristan Terorotua/@tristan_tero51
Gulf Coast Fishing Report
Offshore fishing saw a few small windows between the high winds and rough seas to bring in 2024! Here is a report from our friend Tyler Mistich out of Cocodrie, LA!

New Years rang in with a tight window for Tyler and crew who made the call to give it a shot. Tyler along with fellow Coco Charters guide Ross Caillouete and “Gulf of America” guide Martha Spencer  left Cocodrie Marina at first light and headed south west for natural bottom.

35 miles from the area they planned on starting they were greeted by a 12-15 knot south west wind…. once the seas started building they all made the call to divert their course to another area only 20 miles away with a better heading in the building sea. (Head Seas are less than ideal!) They stopped and checked a few rocks on the way and picked up their Red Snapper on black crackle and white crackle 240G Strykes! The Stryke is a go to jig when Tyler is targeting aggressively feeding Snapper.

By 930 they had to make a decision. Head another 11 miles south in building conditions or stay and get their limit of ARS since it was the last day of the recreational season…They made the call to push south and got on the natural bottom in 180-200’. The crew was fishing two jigs along with one bait rod.  For whatever reason on this day (three days after the full moon) it was a tough bite and every fish of the day was caught on JYG Stryke 140 and 240g. “I think the fish just couldn’t resist the instinct of the injured and fleeing JYG presentation.”

By that time Tyler was fishing a yellow crackle 240g. First fish was a scamp. Followed by a queen trigger then  a Fireback grouper…which they all decided to release after some great pictures! Then they finished off their session with a pair of scamps before deciding to call it due to building seas.

When getting offshore just isn’t an option, he targets inshore species such as crappie or speckled trout.

The following Sunday he jumped on with Captain Tim Ortego of Louisiana Livin Adventures (985) 209 1812 www.capt-tim.com

They left mid day for an afternoon sac a lait (crappie) trip. Capt Ortego took Tyler to an area he had never been before, North of Houma Louisiana to fish the maze of canals lined with cypress trees.

They worked 1:16th oz jigs at various depths under a cork and started the day with a respectable 12” fish. They continued to grind it out working their way down a canal, which seemed to have alittle more moving water than the rest of the canals. After trying other areas, they returned to where they started the day, picking up a really nice box of crappie. As the day went on the fish seemed to be working closer and closer to the bank and before dark we were fishing our jigs only a foot under a cork.  They ended up with just under 30 nice crappie and a couple small bass!

The big fish for this trip went 13.5” and 1.7 pounds 👏

Tyler Mistich- “This time of year can give us all tough conditions. Try and take what Mother Nature gives you, and make the best of it and when it’s the slow season and the guides aren’t guiding. We’re usually fishing together, trying to become more well rounded fisherman. Thanks to JYG for the support! And to Tim Ortego for taking me somewhere I’ve never been and showing me something new!”

Capt. Tyler is available for booking trips on a beautiful 37’ Freeman in 2024! Info 👇 (SPJ friendly)

http://cococharters.com (http://cococharters.com)
Cell: +1 (985) 855-0959
IG- https://www.instagram.com/tylermistich?igsh=MWVyYnNxdm9wYzhnYw==


Report by Ryan Smith/@gulf_coast_slow_jigging