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TOPIC: No red snappers, no problem

No red snappers, no problem 2 years 1 month ago #28194

  • yelladevil17
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With our buddy Capt Beachtyme out of commission for red snappers, we decided to fish for our other favorite snappers...the mangoes. My cousin Tan and buddies Dennis and Geoff went out on the rough ride to our mango hole about 20 miles from PAG. Loaded up with 30 doz shrimps, we finally dropped our lines into the cobalt blue water. I threw my leftover bait chum...and it must have put a crazy scent in the water as a huge hammerhead swam right next to the boat! First few bites were undersized scamp and mangoes that were tossed back. Then the smaller AJs had a liking to Geoff's new spinning outfit...and he landed about 5 of them in a row. Still nothing in the box after a little while until Dennis landed a fat mango. The skunk is off! As he was rerigging, I stepped into Dennis' spot and landed myself a hefty mango too. haha Sure enough, the mango bite was pretty consistent throughout the day. Next, Geoff said that the fish he had one felt a little different...and it sure was

IMG_3974.jpg


Dennis was struggling with this fish...it felt like he was pulling up a manhole cover

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After fishing slowed a bit, we moved over to a couple spots. We were able to drift fish, but the bite picked up again. So we dropped anchor and proceeded to pull more mangoes, red grouper, another giant porgy, and more hogs. This was our best day yet for those tasty hog snappers...6 in all including 2 huge males. We had a smorgasbord of fish...but the surprise was this little dandy that I can now scratch off my fish bucket list as well...

Juvenile African Pompano
12-F8A5DF77-199146-960.jpg


The body count: 30 mangoes, 6 hogs, a few porgies and grunts. Released gags, RGs, scamp, small AJs
12-E43411FE-1519465-960.jpg


more close-up pix

IMAG0230.jpg


IMAG0229.jpg


Equipment:
med/light - med/hvy inshore spinning rods
4000-5000 spinning reels
20-30# braid
14-20# fluoro leader
1/2 oz knocker rigs with 2/0 - 3/0 circle hooks
1/4 chartreuse or glow jigheads
30 doz medium shrimps

Location:
20-25 mi west of PAG
45-60' of water
rockpiles and ledges

Weather:
Air: 85-87 degrees
Water: 77-78 degrees
Wind: 10-13 kts
Seas: 3-4'
Clarity: 20'
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Re: No red snappers, no problem 2 years 1 month ago #28222

  • FishHawk
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Neat report and very comnplete. You had some good fishing.

Now, where is this "PAG" you speak of?
"There are hunters and there are victims. By your discipline, cunning, obedience and alertness, you will decide if you are a hunter or a victim."
Gen. Mattis
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Re: No red snappers, no problem 2 years 1 month ago #28227

  • yelladevil17
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Thank you sir! PAG is Passe-A-Grille...so pretty much Treasure Island, St.Pete Beach. We launch out of John's Pass. Even with the rough weather, the fishing was phenomenal. The mango bite is only to get better during the summer too! Get out and get yourself some!
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Re: No red snappers, no problem 2 years 1 month ago #28229

  • Carolinaboy11
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Gotta love a mixed box of fish!!
What is size and limit on Hogs?
Three-fourths of the Earth’s surface is water, and one-fourth is land. It is quite clear that the good Lord intended us to spend triple the amount of time fishing as taking care of the
lawn.
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Re: No red snappers, no problem 2 years 1 month ago #28238

  • srchn4salmon
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Thanks for the detail on the gear used. That is the hardest thing I have found so far is figuring out how heavy or light I need to be fishing.
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Re: No red snappers, no problem 2 years 1 month ago #28249

  • gatonegro
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Awesome report man....Thank you. We fish alot of hard bottum and catch good numbers of grouper and other hard bottom species but we struggle finding Mangos. Is there something that we should be looking for? A specific bottom characteristics? Any tips?

Thanks,

Vic
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Re: No red snappers, no problem 2 years 1 month ago #28250

srchn4salmon wrote:
Thanks for the detail on the gear used. That is the hardest thing I have found so far is figuring out how heavy or light I need to be fishing.

The gear mentioned is sufficient for mangos up to 6#... and in water up to 80'... you can use it in deeper water but will lose the bigger fish unless you have them way up off the bottom...

For the "goozers" (6-10#) I use either a big spinning reel, ie, Baitrunner 4500 "old style"... don't know what that equates into todays newer versions... or a Penn Slammer 760... you can also use conventional reels in the 2/0-3/0 size... my choice is the Daiwa 50H and the 300/350H Sealines... all these are loaded with 20-25# mono using 40# mono leader... I can't afford braid or flurocarbon and usually out fish those that do!!! :thumbsup:

Oh and 1/4 ounce jig head... the ones that look like they have the sturdy 3/0-5/0 hooks built in, not the flimsy looking stainless 2/0-3/0...

FYI, at night in 40-50' you can actually just freeline... use a small barrel swivel to connect your line so it doesn't twist... bury your hook with a chuck of bait matched to the size of your hook (frozen sardines, threadfins, Boston mackerel) and just close your bail when you feel the line speed up...

The deeper water calls for the bigger tackle and 1/4 jig heads to help sink the bait...

FYI, you are free lining in the deeper water too... however, you can use a 2-3 ounce egg sinker rig and go to the bottom... I have best success on the larger fish cranking up 4-6 times...

You don't need to go heavier unless you are fishing for gags and that's just normally a 4/0 sized reel... I prefer the Daiwa 400/450H Sealines loaded with 50-60# mono... 60# leader and a 7/0 hook...

Further offshore and spots known to house the big boys may call for those in the know to use a 6/0 sized reel with 60-80# mono... leaders up to 125# and a 10/0 or even larger hook... of course the baits are large too... a 2# grunt, mango, porgy, yellowtail, whole frozen mullet (full size not finger mullet)...

*If I think there's a 25+# grouper down there, I'm using the 6/0 set up... I know that I need to turn his head or he wins...
Billy F.
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Re: No red snappers, no problem 2 years 1 month ago #28251

gatonegro wrote:
Awesome report man....Thank you. We fish alot of hard bottum and catch good numbers of grouper and other hard bottom species but we struggle finding Mangos. Is there something that we should be looking for? A specific bottom characteristics? Any tips?

Thanks,

Vic

Anywhere you catch a mango in the day, go back there at night... your stomach can thank me later!!!

Also, if restricted to daylight only, use the tackle and baits mentioned... your trout, redfish, bass spinning set ups with a 20# mono leader is ideal...

The mangos are everywhere you are fishing... TRUST ME!!! :thumbsup:

The Port Manatee Reef... the shipping channel (all depths)... Skyway bridges (old and new)... wrecks and artificial reefs... rocks and ledges... The Peaks aka The Hump aka The Little Middle Grounds (20 miles west of Anna Maria)... the Pipe (all depths)...

The deeper the bigger is normally how it goes... so I guess they are depth/size proportionate...

However I have caught offshore "Middle Grounds" sized mangos in close and even inside Tampa Bay...
Billy F.
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Re: No red snappers, no problem 2 years 1 month ago #28252

  • DavidT
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Nice job bro!
If people concentrated on the really important things in life, there'd be a shortage of fishing poles. -Doug Larson
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Re: No red snappers, no problem 2 years 1 month ago #28289

  • hookthis1
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Awesome report heman! I would love to catch a hogfush someday
Practice CPR... Catch, photograph, release
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Re: No red snappers, no problem 2 years 1 month ago #28300

  • yelladevil17
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Thanks guys! Everything Billy said is correct. For the most part, our mangoes range between 16-18". We do get lucky once in a while and get goozers over 20". We like to use light tackle (your trout rod setup) with really long and light leader (6-10 ft of 14# fluoro). We target them mainly around rock piles. There are many spots on the Pipe that has them, especially near the mitigation areas. The deeper you are, the bigger they get. The spot we have just happen to have some hogs there. And it's strictly shrimp with those fish. Normally, a male will have harem of 12 females with him and he's very protective of them. So, chances are if you catch a few females, a male will close by. Go get yourself some...the mangoes will be on fire during the summer!
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Re: No red snappers, no problem 2 years 1 month ago #28329

  • gatonegro
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Thanks Billy, YellaD.......I will try that......So a jig head and some kinda plastics....paddle tails and such.......casting around artificial reefs and other rock piles? Am i understanding that correctly? I heard those rock piles around the main spans of the skyway are pretty solid......Thanks again for the input.
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Re: No red snappers, no problem 2 years 1 month ago #28333

No plastics... use cut bait or shrimp (I prefer cut bait) on the jig head... and using the jig head in deeper water (past 50') or in strong currents in shallower water (Tampa Bay) to help get the bait down but in a more natural way / presentation...

And its not a cast and retrieve action... it's a freeline until you get hit or hit bottom... you want to let the line go thru your hand / fingers so you can feel the difference when the fish picks it up on the way out...
Billy F.
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Re: No red snappers, no problem 2 years 1 month ago #28335

Yella, I think those "small AJ's" you threw back are actually banded rudderfish... look nearly identical and are actually very tasty...

A lot of times out on Hubbard's they would fillet some fresh caught rudderfish and cook them up... can't get any fresher than that!!!

You owe it to yourself to try some...

Banded Rudderfish
Family Carangidae, Jacks and Pompanos
Nearshore and Offshore over hard bottom, generally in shallower water than other amberjacks; young associated with weed lines or floating debris and may follow shark and other large fish.
Size usually less than 10 lbs.
Attachments:
Billy F.
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Re: No red snappers, no problem 2 years 1 month ago #28336

  • yelladevil17
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Actually, my buddy (jewfish7) from the FS Forum that I ride out with loves to challenge himself by catching mangoes with DOA shrimp....and it sometimes works pretty well. He likes the glow white or the gold glitter ones.

Billy - yeah, I will def try a few next time. Thanks man!
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