Offshore Wreck Fishing for Big Amberjack

After a VERY long winter, I finally ventured offshore last weekend. Conditions were perfect as we set out from Punta Gorda at 6 a.m. aboard Running With Scissors. Cap’t. Bowers was at the helm, along with two of his coworkers. I was joined by Cap’t Dick and his son David.

We hit a couple bait spots and loaded up on blue runners, pinfish and big greenbacks. Next stop – the Bayronto, a 400′ wreck off Venice in 100′ of water. David dropped a big runner on a heavy rod. By the count of ten, we were hooked up. We proceeded to land big amberjack one after another, and had our limit by noon. Cap’t Dick landed the biggest fish of the day, a nice 60 pound brute:

The problem with the Bayronto is that is is just LOADED with Goliath grouper. Every time we hooked a snapper (or even an amberjack under 20 pounds), we’d get nailed. Sometimes immediately; sometimes up top near the boat. These 400 pound fish really make it tough. Even the barracuda (which were thick) didn’t stand a chance.

I had a big greenback out on a light spinning rod, hoping for a kingfish or even a blackfin tuna. Pretty soon, the drag started screaming out. It was a good fish, and I only had a 30 lb. leader on, so I couldn’t pressure the fish too much. After an hour long battle, I discovered that it was…. another amberjack! Fun fight, anyway:

Here are a few more pix:


9 Responses to “Offshore Wreck Fishing for Big Amberjack”

  1. Jay T. Says:

    awesome trip. Hopefully i’ll be heading out of Oregon Inlet in NC in a few weeks to go hit some AJ’s. been a long time since i’ve been offshore. hopefully you can help me get on some merry pier gags in june. nice job.

  2. Big Michael Estep from Cincinnati Says:

    Coming down last week of July frist week of Aug…any prediction if the oil will hit the beaches there…and hopefully not, what can be caught off Merry Pier at that time.

    Thanks, Big mike

  3. Steve Says:

    Jay T & Big Mike,

    C’mon down! Things should be in full swing by then. And I’m not expecting to see any oil until the first Gulf hurricane.


  4. Luke Mccann Says:

    You know I got a bigger fish than that a few years back and shes still with me and sure knows how to cook a mean fish dinner.

  5. Big Michael Estep from Cincinnati Says:

    Thanks for the good word Steve…We will be there and looking forward to seeing you on the pier again. I am sick over the oil spill, just hoping every day they can stop that flow and do something to save the beaches and fishing in your area, in fact all along the coast. You know we love saint Pete. Good fishing my friend….

  6. AnaVar Says:

    Awesome! It’s my first time here. I like your blog and I enjoyed going through it. I’m interested in fishing and I find lots of great, useful and fun information here and amazing photos!

  7. Hunting tips Says:

    Good Luck & Good Fishing.

  8. Joshua Says:

    Those reef donkeys really know how to put on a show. Gotta lovem. 😉

  9. Big John Says:

    These amber jack look giant! I’m down here in Costa Rica and haven’t seen any lately. Wish we could get in on some of that action. Killer photos!