By 5:15AM, the boats pushed off the loading ramps and under a clear sky with the constellation “Orion” above us, the Metal Militia quietly made their way to the battle ground
With most of the activity for AJ jigging taking place when the sun comes out, we chose to troll a bit in the morning for Wahoo as the bite has been VERY good in the past few days. Unfortunately for us, the bite was non-existent However towards the end of the troll, we did run into a gang of Mini Mahi which provided some fun action to start off the morning for us….but we didn’t come here for that. We came for BIG Amberjack. Off to the spot we go….
On our first spot, Glenn immediately hooks up. The day has begun!! I quickly hook up after Glenn and after both fish are released, we drop back down again without any rest and get hooked into 2 more fish! Not before long, Nick gets tight and lands his first AJ into the boat! Great start Nick to the FANTASTIC day of AJ jigging you had! Brian also hooks into his first AJ of the day and before you know it, a nice 40lb AJ cracks the ice for Brian!
We continued to move from one area to another while constantly putting solid 50-60lb’ers on the boat and then we hit Godzilla-world. On Nick’s 2ND AJ EVER…. his Saragosa is just screamin’ …his JM400 rod bent over and when we finally see color…we all know this is a VERY LARGE FISH! After a few pics, the fish tapes out to be 54 inches long (at the tail fork) and 34 inches in girth It’s so amazing to see the size of the heads’ of these BIG AJs…they look fake …..well that just fueled the fire for me, Glenn and Brian…game on biatch!!
With the energy of competition and AJ blood on the deck of the boat, we all started to jig with a purpose. Chip positions the boat again at the top of the drift and without any notice Nick, Glenn and I triple up!!! Awesome! After several agonizing minutes of swearing and cussing….three 70lb AJs are brought onboard!!! woohoo! Biggest fish I’ve ever caught…..so far
Well, Nick screams over to Brian to get his butt up, he couldn’t stand not being in the triple hook up, so he decides to drop his jig…moments later…his Daiwa 6500 Saltiga reel start SCREAMIN for 40 seconds straight. QUAD HOOKUP! After a good initial 5 minute fight, Brian’s line popped and we all knew that was a BIG fish. But that didn’t stop Brian from re-rigging immediately after the rest of us 3 landed all of our AJs. So Brian drops again and BAM, a looong 15-20 minute fight, he lands a 90lbs AJ! He takes the lead!!! The fish measured out to 56? Fork Length and 33? girth. A BIG 95-100lb AJ! Now Brian is in the lead!!! Way to go my southern Korean brother from another mother
And then….it happened.
Glenn hooked into a fish that felt like it was dead weight….for the first 20 seconds …AND Glenn even said it wasn’t a big fish!!! ….then it was ON like Donkey Kong! For 25-30 minutes Glenn was at a stalemate. We all knew it was a BIG fish when Glenn couldn’t even move his Shimano Blue Rose and Stella 20000 from the underarm position upwards….it looked like he was just stuck it was soo heavy. So finally, we see color and we all go crazy…at deep color the AJ already looks enormous. By the time it was on top of the surface we all knew Glenn did it. He landed a 120lbs+ AJ and it was a GIANT. The thing looked like a friggin’ dinosaur! The fish ended up being the largest of the trip and measured out to 63? Fork Length and 36? Girth 70 inches overall!!! Arlen contested that the fish was easily over 120lbs and that’s coming from the guy that caught a 100lbs AJ on our last trip.
**Glenn, I’m so proud of you man. I’m so happy I was there to see your accomplish your goal of AJ jigging down in NC. Words cannot express how happy I was for you….AND YOU FINALLY SMILED IN YOUR PICS!!! **
Soon after the highlight of Glenn’s weekend, I hooked into another Big fish. On a Hots Fake Lez rod and a Stella 8000, it took me 30 minutes to land this fish which ended up taping out to 52? Fork Length and 32? girth. A solid 80lb’er. My biggest fish (not sharks lol) ever to date. I was thrilled!
I was only broken off 2 times yesterday where 2 unstoppable AJs just took my stella 8000 to the max and ended up cutting me off on structure. The other jigs were donated to the Wahoo Free Charitable Foundation
After seeing Glenn’s dinosaur, Brian wanted a 100lb AJ cuz he and Chip didn’t think his last BIG AJ hit the 100lb mark ….which was ONLY hovering in the 90lb range. So he dropped his Nagamasa jig again and I swear, it was like Babe Ruth point towards to the stands in Yankee stadium. A good 25 minute fight ensued and Brian’s biggest AJ was landed. It taped out to 57.5? tail fork and 36? girth. It was an easy no brainer…. that fish was a 100lb’er…solid. It was amazing. If I ask for a million dollars, could I have it? Cuz I would spend the couple of hundred bucks fishing with Arlen and Chip again to get MY 100lb AJ! haha
We also filled the box with some nice Scamp Grouper which both Nick and Glenn jigged up. yummy!
All in all, Saturday was the BEST day of jigging I’ve ever had with such LARGE class fish. Most of our fish on our previous trip was anywhere between 40-60lbs with a few 70lb’ers and a rare 80lb’er or so. On this trip, the class of fish we were landing were steadily into the 60-80lb range with the occasional 90 and 120+ lber!!!! Insane! By the end of the day, we had all landed several 50+ inch (at tail fork) AJs into the boat and the weather could not have been more beautiful. Calms sees with a nice breeze (unlike last trip, right Tony ) made it for a great day to jig offshore in the gulfstream.
And as per usual, Chip was a fantastic guy to fish with. Funny as all hell and KNOWS the spot to hammer on these Big Dawg AJs. It was my utmost pleasure to fish with Nick, finally, after hanging with each other and talking about fishing so much! lol As well as Brian (kidflex) who is a VERY cool guy and a lucky SOB for catching that 100lb AJ RIGHT AFTER you catch that nice ~95lb’er! I wish I had more time to spend with Brian because his funny personality is just contagious and you just want to laugh all the time when you hang out with Brian.
We ended the day with a fantastic dinner at the Front Street Micro Brewery where we recapped the days events on both boats as well as meeting Sami and his crew which were going to fish on Sunday for their crack at the 100lb mark. It was like having dinner with 14 of your dearest friends in a random restaurant in NC….all just because we all have a passion for fishing…and jigging slob AJ’s in general
Capt Chip Baker
Chip getting in on some action
Al with a nice fish. Jigging Master belt
Nick and Glenn – notice Glenn’s AJ blood warpaint!
Nick licking the AJ eyeball. A jigfest tradition
Nick hooked up
Glenn and Brian resting before the battle!
Al fighting a fish
Nick with a nice fish
Doug with a nice fish
Brian with an 85lber
Jersey Brian with a 100lber
Chip laughing as Brian can’t pic the big boy up!
NOW HERE COMES THE FREAK!!!!!!
Submitted by: bretabaker