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    SCAMPZILLA!!! on the Hook' em...4/7/21... 170' - 08 Apr, 2021

    Have a hall pass for Saturday because my wife has training all day and of course the weather looks like crap.  Was talking to Burch this weekend and he said he was going out on Wednesday.  My little mind started spinning Monday night...Go fishing on Wednesday with Burch and work on Saturday....Hmmm....  Lets run that up the flagpole.  Check with Burch, he has room.  Check with the wifey, she is good with the plan.  So lets do this.

    Burch, where we fishing.  I have a buddy Roger and we are going like 60 miles out.  Ok, lets do it.

    Gorgeous day.  Burch, his lovely wife Dawn, myself, Roger, and his buddy Matt.  Burch got a bunch of threadies and some white bait on Tuesday and put them in his pen.  I arrive at the boat at 5:45'ish and the bait pen got caught on the barnacles as the tide went out so what we discovered is that bait needs water to survive.  Well crap...Strike 1

    We were on Burch's boat and we were idling out to find the bait traps.  After a bit of searching we find them and pull them up...nada.  They are usually LOADED.  Probably 5-10 baits between two traps.  Strike 2...

    We had a lot of frozen and Roger and Matt were also getting a bunch of bigger baits but we wanted some white bait so we bit the bullet and paid for a couple scoops at the bait guys by Oneill's.  

    Did hear one funny line from an older  captain to a much younger captain as they were buying bait for their day...The older one says to the younger one "You should have to throw a net for bait until you are at least 35".  Found that humorous...

    Anyway, we are now loaded up, we pick up Roger and Matt, pick up their bait which was fantastic huge pins, pigs, squirrels, etc... and off we go.

    Get to our first mark and don't really see what we were expecting.  Hunted around a bit and finally found the honey hole.  Picked off a red grouper or two.  I was trying the normal jig stuff but lighter jigs.  Roger was fishing like a 2 oz jig, Burch a 2 oz'ish knocker, Matt a heavier jig and Dawn heavier as well.

    ARS start coming up.  BIG BIG BIG ARS.  Just ridiculous size.  But alas, off they go back until we get our 12 hour window to fish later in the year.

    But then Burch brings something up and it is the biggest scamp I have ever seen in person.  HOLY CRAP...Ok, my light jigs are only getting ARS so looks like I have to remember how to use a conventional rod and reel.  First bait down gets hammered immediately.  Something BIG.  Not sure what happened but line broke.  Wasn't the rocks, maybe a nick, not sure but no fish for me.  So, new hook, new bait.  Bam.  Bring in a huge fire truck.  Throw him in the box.  

    In the mean time, Matt throws another ridiculous Scamp in the box.  I put another bait down and bam, fish on.  Pull him up and a 3rd monster scamp.

    Keep filling the box with red grouper mostly but three huge scamps made our day.  Never even seen a scamp this size.

    That red grouper was a big firetruck and it looks small next to those pig scamps.

    Could have kept 200 pounds of huge ARS too.  

    Tide was very manageable all day long.  I was able to use a 3/8 oz jig with no issues in 170' of water but the ARS were too aggressive.  Best rig was a heavier weight to get (2-4 oz jig, knocker or carolina rig) to the bottom and big pigfish.  I think all 3 scamps and the biggest RG came on those.  Rods were bent all day long.

    Were hoping to find some yellow tail but we ran the 7 miles to Roger's YT spot and there was a boat sitting basically right on it so that was not to be but we still had a great day.  Hit a few spots on the way in and picked off another Red Grouper or two and finally Roger landed a mango.  

    Thanks to Burch for letting me play Boat Beeatch, thanks to Roger for providing some spectacular bait and the numbers.  Good meeting Roger and Matt.  I am sure we will fish together again.

    We also had a little buddy join up with us 60 miles out.  I look back and this little guy is sitting on the motor...

    He got pretty chummy with Matt...

    Dawn set up a birdie buffet for him....

    He hung out with us for like 30-45 minutes and then poof he was gone...

    Tight lines...but now I have to work on Saturday.  WORTH IT!!!!!  Off to the bahamas next week to try for some more fun fish.  Hopefully will have a good report from there.