Since our reserved slip in Charleston won’t be ready for us for another 36 hours, we spent today offshore South Carolina with our favorite time killing pastime: fishing.
I was anxious to experiment with new gear and techniques, and we stopped at an artificial reef about 60 miles offshore where we marked a large number of fish on our sonar. I rigged up one of my new jigs, with the matching rod for its first real test.
The technique of “slow pitch jigging” was one that I experimented with using improvised equipment and had good success. It is one of a series of jigging techniques to come out of Japan over the last few years. We attended a seminar while we were in Fort Lauderdale to pick up the finer points of technique and equipment. A shopping trip or two, and we were ready.
As we drifted over the reef 150 feet below us, the sonar showed us large, densely packed schools of big fish. In our past experience, these kinds of marks indicated large jacks. I was hoping the we could find a tasty grouper lurking nearer the bottom.
As I dropped the jig for the first time, the first bit came before it even got to the bottom. I wasn’t ready for that, and missed him. Not to worry, less than a minute later, before I could bring the lure half way up I was hard into a nice sized Almaco jack. The gear is light, and the fish was strong, it took a while to tire him out and get him to the side of the boat. I lost him just before landing which wasn’t terrible since Karen isn’t especially fond of the taste of jacks. But they are fun to catch!
The action continues in that vein. In fact on the next drop of the lure I land TWO more Almaco jacks! You’ll have to wait for the video to see how that happened! Every drop resulted in a fish hook up. I lost a couple jigs to sharp-toothed King Mackerel, and we decided to move to deeper water.
Dropping to the bottom at the edge of the continental shelf in 400 feet of water quickly hooked us up with a 12 pound Blackfin Tuna. Now THAT is a fish worth the effort to get on the table!
Further experimenting with deep fishing for tilefish didn’t get anything further into our freezer.
We are going to hangout off shore in delightful weather overnight, and target an arrival in Charleston harbor on Monday.