Great weekend of fishing Slow Pitch Jigging! Long write up so fair warning. We’ve been in touch with Ryan Smith about coming up to Alabama and fishing with his friend Capt. Boe Strange for some large scamps and long tail bass and some other species. We set a date for a weekend and Derek Engle and myself made the drive up to see what it’s all about. To start off, Boe is one of the most organized people I have ever met, the boat was immaculate and everything was in a specific place, which made fishing on his 37 freeman a absolute dream. No wasted space, nothing in the way and just overall a perfect setup.
For the fishing, we started out with ARS which were open while we were there. We got to the bottom and hooked up instantly and got a six man limit in under 30 minutes with some quality fish.
We moved out a little deeper in search of the large scamps they get but we just couldn’t get them to play and the Jacks just kept jumping on the jigs. It wasn’t for a lack of effort from Boe, we checked multiple spots and it just wasn’t happening, so we had to adjust. We went ahead and headed out to some deeper water at around 800’ to target some long tails and it wasn’t long before they started coming aboard. Lakyn even got a double! She also got a very nice scorpion fish while chasing the long tails, which was cool. We were all able to put them in the boat and check them off the list of targeted species for the day and make the move.
Next we headed out to 1100-1200’ to see if the golden tiles wanted to chew and it wasn’t long before we found out they did. As soon as Ryan hit the bottom he hooked up and landed a quality golden, which was a species for him to check off and was great to see. Not long after, Captain Boe hooks up a stud fish and, about half way through his fight, Derek then hooks up a quality one while I’m jigging away. Unfortunately, Boe had his fish break off about 100’ below the surface, which was a heartbreaking moment, but luckily, Derek was able to brinhis first Golden which, went 18lbs, which is an awesome fish. After all, the Lakyn hooks up and is bringing her golden up and low and behold here comes Boes big fish floating to the surface with a 540g STRYKE - JYG PRO hanging from his mouth.
We were quickly able to get Lakyns solid fish in the boat and back up to gaff Boes 23lb monster tile. Eventually, I was able to put one in the boat, maybe 7lbs or so, but we were all able to put one in the boat, so on to the next. We bumped over to 1000’ to chase one of my longtime bucket list fish. Conditions were great and the screen was looking even better, so we made the drop and as soon as I hit bottom, I made one pitch and I hooked up to a solid fish, but it came unhooked, which always sucks. Derek makes a couple pitches and comes right to a solid fish of so I make the drop back down and I hook up.
After several minutes of reeling, we see Derek’s fish and its what we are after and we all start shouting "Barrelfish" which we got in the boat safely. After lots of "hell yeahs!" and high fives, we see mine and it’s also a barrel. After even more profanity and laughter brought mine aboard for a nice Barrel fish double, which was a huge accomplishment for Derek and myself.
All in all, a very successful trip despite the lockjaw and the grouper. Lots of laughs and shit talking along with firsts and PBS. I can’t thank Boe enough for allowing Derek and I to come aboard. Also, thank you to Ryan for setting the trip up. Boe also has a YouTube channel, The Fishing Public, which will have the video from the trip before long, so be sure to check it out and subscribe. He’s a great guy and a hell of a fisherman!