2009-01-11 - Over Under Weekly Fishing Report

Over Under Weekly Fishing Update



Dry Tortugas Trip Loads the Boat!

Wow what a way to start out the New Year!! The Keys seem to have finally turned back into a haven for fish!!  Over the last couple of years I feel like we have been in some type of cycle which caused the East coast fishery to struggle. Just like everything else it eventually turns around, I saw this in the late 80’s. It was the same thing as we struggled to produce and it seemed to last about three years. What causes this? I believe the weather patterns affect it the most but that’s another story for another day.  Anyhow the Keys fishing has been nothing short of awesome lately. The sailfish are biting just about every day somewhere along the reef. The bait has been plentiful and the marine life along the reef edge has been a sight to see. The birds at sunrise is quite a spectacle. I bet there are half a dozen different species doing what they do and the coolest thing is each species has its own way of feeding. Some never even touch the water while others will dive and plummet 10 feet below the surface. It’s been a pretty wild show to watch while we’ve been anchored down catching bait. The Mackerel’s have been a sight to see also. One day last week the Mack’s were so thick that we couldn’t even see the sandy bottom in 60 feet of water...it was jaw dropping!.  You would cast the bait behind the boat and you could watch 10, 15, heck 30 Mack’s attack your bait. It REALLY was that crazy! The fish have ranged anywhere from 8lb’s to 30lb’s and on 12lb and 20lb test line it has been very exciting, to say the least.

Tortugas FishingDry Tortugas Fishing

Ending 2008 on such a positive note sure has been a great sign. With the fishing so good, what better way to start the New Year than to do a Tortugas Trip!!  We left Saturday afternoon. The weather was pretty good, about 80 degrees with an east-northeast wind blowing about 10 to 15 with seas two to four feet. We arrived about 9:00 pm that night and anchored down on a reef patch in about 70 feet of water. The water temperature was about 74 degrees and the visibility was about 40 feet. The water was a blue-green color hence the level of visibility. The gang fished a little that night and they caught some nice 3 to 4lb Yellowtails and a hand full of 5 to 8 lb Mangrove snappers. The live baits seemed to attract some 30 to 50lb Amberjacks and we also found a few sharks.  After breakfast we headed a little further down, more towards the Bank. I anchored down again and fished a huge rock in about 75 feet of water. The action was quick to happen, the 2 to 5lb Yellowtails were very hungry as they began to show themselves in the chum slick. The current was very light if any at all, this made things a little tough but we just took our time until they got really happy and then it was game on.  

Had two guys fishing the bottom and three yellowtailing. We had it going on...over the rail and in the pail, LOL! It was full contact for several hours, my arms still hurt. The two on the bottom caught a few nice RED Groupers, a few more AJ’s and a couple of sharks. One of the guys started to flat line dead goggle eyes and sure enough he catches a few real nice Mutton snappers.  

Next we decided to take a break, eat some lunch and go check out another spot.  Oh boy...Houston we have a problem!  The grapple hook is stuck and I cannot get it out. Bummer we lose our chain so now we are unable to spend the night in the deep. We will never get the anchor to stick without any chain so we are pretty much obligated to fishing in about 90 feet or less. Believe me worse things could have happened. Anyhow we spend the afternoon anchored up in about 65 feet of water looking to catch some Groupers and the plan worked. The guys fished cut baits with knocker riggs on the bottom. They did great.  We had a lot of Red Groupers which ranged from 6 to15 pounds, a few Black Grouper  from 12 to 25 pounds, and several real nice Strawberry Grouper and even a couple of Scamp Grouper.  All are very yummy!!  It was getting late, so I decided to make a move back towards the Marquesas and try to drift a few deep spots since I was unable to anchor there. It worked out OK. We stopped on a rough bottom spot in 180 feet of water. We sent down a Chicken rig, a jig with ballyhoo, and a live bait. We caught a couple schoolie Mutton’s and a few Porgies on the Chicken rig’s. The jigs caught two nice Groupers and the live bait produced a few Sharks and a few big Mackerels. It was getting dark so we ran back inside to about 80 feet of water and anchored down for the night.  The wind picked up just a touch after the sun went down but we were still pretty comfortable. The night produced yet some more Yellowtails and Mangrove snappers, however I think we were all pretty tired from the long days. Sleep was more on the minds of most, so needless to say, there really wasn’t much fishing going on after midnight.

We awoke to a beautiful sunrise, had some coffee and breakfast and fished till about 9:00am and headed home. The morning was good, a few more Muttons, and a real nice Dogtooth Snapper about 10lb’s. We probably could have caught all the Cero Mackerel we wanted as they were swimming all around the boat. It was fun to watch them.  By now, we were pretty much out of bait and ready to go. Overall it was an outstanding trip and we hit the slip at around 2:00 pm Monday afternoon with big smiles all around. And by the way, those of you that know me realize that I now have spare chain onboard, LOL that was a first!

Tight Lines,
Capt. John Oughton - That's Right

Check out the audio report for this trip - Dry Tortugas trip

Box Full of Fish
Dry Tortugas Mutton Snapper

Dry Tortugas Fishing Charter

Pics from today's Florida Keys Half Day trip....

Check out Captain John's Audio Reports of his last two fishing trips on THAT'S RIGHT!!!
January 10 - Full Day fishing in the Keys & Keys Half Day - January 11


This Week in New Jersey

We’d like to thank everyone who attended George Poveromo’s Seminar in Atlantic City on Saturday. Looked like there were about 800 people there, so the turnout was great, despite the forecast for bad weather. Capt. Trey said he really enjoyed getting the chance to talk with so many people. For those who missed the seminar, Trey discussed Tuna Trolling and Chunking, Using Your Electronics to Better Your Fishing, and also Day Time Swordfishing. Capt. John will be speaking at the Virginia Beach event on February 21st, and we hope a lot of folks can make the date, and get a chance to hear Capt. John’s tricks of the trade!




New Updates for Morehead City Giant Bluefin and Florida Keys Fishing! Take a listen and hear first hand what's biting!

Over Under Videos - Click to Watch!

Pictured to Right - Nice Florida Keys Grouper!

Grouper Fishing



We left the dock at 4:30 am today hoping we could get the day in. The wind was predicted to come on around noon today. We made our way out to NW Places where we read bait yesterday. From there we began working the edge of the shoal. At 7:00 am we started marking bait and had a few birds picking. Then at 7:10 we marked a few fish when our down rod went off. The first run was a good one. We kept him tight as we cleared the rigger baits. About 40 minutes later we had him at the boat. We got the dart in him, he took a short run then the dart pulled. After stretching him out again and bringing him back to boat side we were able to get the flyer in him.We double tail roped the fish and started dragging him to bleed him out. We had a few small cuts in the tail and raked the gills. After this you would think the game is over but this fish started thrashing with its tail out of the water and the tail just about broke off as it turned 90 degrees. We had the flyer in him, held and used a straight gaff along with two meat hooks. At this point the tail was barely holding on. We had control again. Then came the hard part, getting the fish in the boat without a door and without being able to use the tail to lift. We worked it out and finally got him over the side with a few come alongs and a little ingenuity. This fish weighed a surprising 366.5 pounds and cored out at 307 pounds. So far with seven total fishing days, we have logged 480 miles which resulted in two bites and two fish.


Capt Keith Burnet - Pretty Work
ps: the fish was caught with a pink and white lure tied by "Lil John"


Bahamas Fishing - Abacos & Cat Island Fishing Report

It was yet another great week here in the Bahamas with light winds and 78 degree weather. All around fishing remains pretty darn good throughout the Out Islands and Abacos. Water temps remain in the 74 degree range and we are starting to see some dolphin and yellowfin mixed with wahoo. The wahoo bite remains strong and double digit bites are the norm on a full day trip.

This week the bulk of the bites were in some deeper water in the 300 to 500 foot depths. Along with the wahoo bite we are starting to see some more dolphin as well as an occasional yellowfin. The blackfin continue to be littered throughout the 200 foot depths. Just put out a cedar plug if you want some guaranteed tuna. We received a good bit of reports this week up and down the Bahamas chain so here it goes…


We started to see some bigger wahoo this week. Some of the fish were in the 70 lb. range. Bigger fish typically start to show in the later winter. I expect this trend to continue as we approach February and March. The larger fish this week came off the pocket of Nunjack Cay. There is some pretty good structure right out of the cut which has been producing. Down towards Guana and  Man O War the bite still remains very good. On a full day trip you can expect in excess of 10 bites.


We received our first report of a great yellowfin bite this week. The tuna here seem to live there year round. Some of the tuna this week were in excess of 50 lbs.

In this area chunking is the way to go. You start your morning by catching live pilchards then off you go. Spot the birds and the yellowfin are there. Start your drift in this area. Start  by having  2 or 3 hooked pilchards attached to a circle hook. Then start freelining them while throwing over 30 or 40 loose pilchards. This should get the tuna in a feeding frenzy. It seems the fish are trained here as sometimes the tuna will gather underneath the boat before you even throw out the pilchards.


Cat Island continues to see some of the biggest wahoo of the season. Top hoo of the week went to the boat Cow Hunter at 79 lbs. They caught this one at Devils Point just 4 miles from the marina. Dolphin fishing remained very good this early in the season for Cat. Spotting the frigates is the key. Once you start seeing the frigates approach the water slow down and put out some ballyhoo. All the dolphin this week were in the 20 to 35 lb. range.

We continue to see a great bite here in the Bahamas. Its great to see the wahoo bite remaining excellent as well as some dolphin and tuna start to show. I expect some of the biggest wahoo of the season to show in the next couple months.

Captain Joe Trainor - Low Profile