Sunday February 19, 2023
Late Last week we noticed an opening in the weather and the seas laying down below 2’ with winds forecasted around 7-9mp, perfect opportunity for Slow Pitch Jigging. Sunday looked like our best shot… We got lucky and the forecast held so Capt. Boe gave us the green light Saturday afternoon!! We set course early Sunday morning out of Dauphin Island, AL with a game plan to get on some Barrelfish or maybe Black Drift Fish??… I’ll leave that debate for another article. After a smooth 60 plus mile run we pulled up and began the JYG selection. I already knew I was going with the 540G STRYKE Highlighter yellow. The depth read just over 1100’! I could certainly get away with a lighter jig dealing with nearly no current….But I’ve been here and I knew the first one to the bottom had a huge advantage. With 5 on board we all dropped and sure enough I hit bottom and after 2 movements I get a nice STRIKE! The fish felt very heavy and I wasn’t quite positive what I had….after about 150’ up it all changed. The fish made some strong pulls and the bottom assist hook came loose from its tail. Now I had a better idea. It was the one we came for! Fast forward a few minutes after some awesome pulls from the Barrel and he was on the surface, still fighting! We got a gaff in him and just like that I added an awesome new species to my list! I snapped a picture and sent the 540 right back down. I hit bottom and came tight AGAIN! One pitch this time and I’m reeling as fast as I can to get slack out between me and Barrel number 2. Same pulls, same 1100’ of braid to crank up on the Ocea jigger 4000. An absolute blast to catch from the deep! On the 3rd and last drop on the spot its a repeat! They were loving the Highlighter yellow STRYKE! This one shook loose about half way up and got to stay. In total the boat produced 4 Barrels on jigs for the first spot of the day!
We decided to make a move and try to get on some big Golden Tile but we just didn’t have the current or wind to cover any ground. We came up empty. It was 12:00 now so time to make a move in. Next, we moved in to target Yellow Edge and BIG Longtail Bass. This is where Mr. Tim Gibbs steals the show! Tim just recently picked up his first SPJ set up and I know he’s glad he did!! We all drop, and right away Tim is tight with a good one! He boats a beautiful Yellow Edge Grouper making it his first YE, and on the jig made it the much better! The show continues for Tim pulling in a MASSIVE Bearded Brotula. Lastly, he pulls a HUGE Scorpionfish fish up. This is all on the same spot in a matter of 3 drops.
The rest of the boat was producing some nice Longtails and Scorpionfish so the box was looking good. A bonus Cobia came up and made the measurement adding to an already great day! After bouncing around looking for some more Yellow Edge it really slowed down so we made another big move back towards the Island for some Shallower YE spots.
The Red Snapper were thick and relentless! I was able to pull my new personal best ARS at 25lbs on the Deep 300G Highlighter yellow. I highly recommend dropping your JYG jig on the ARS this year…one of my favorites to fight! I swapped over to a new WYLD 320G. I was able to pull my new personal best ARS at 25lbs on the Deep 300G Highlighter yellow. I highly recommend dropping your JYG jig on the ARS this year…one of my favorites to fight! I swapped over to a new WYLD 320G in black to see if I could target the YE bite, but the ARS loved that one too and I just couldn’t get past the big girls. ARS is currently closed so we safely got the snapper back to their reef after a couple quick pics. It’s always a great time to get on the boat with Capt. Boe and the guys and have some tough competition onboard.
Slow Pitch Jigging never disappoints!