In June 2021, I was introduced to Captain Kyle Eldridge (retired Firefighter / Paramedic) and Captain Paul Long (retired Helicopter pilot), from Liquid Assault Charters and Top Contender Charters. I was surprised with their knowledge about fishing in the area and all their vast experience as veteran Captains.
After 30 years of chartering in the Tampa bay area, I wanted to introduce my new friends to a growing technique in America, vertical jigging, we decided to go on a “NO BAIT TRIP”. With loads of doubt , no bait???? Really??? Only armed with lead specialized jigs, they were up for the challenge. The trip was set for June 5th and I, Diogo Yamada (owner of The Fisherman`s Hut) invited some good friends to join this unusual adventure.
3am comes early. The crew from The Fisherman`s Hut armed with all the proper jigging set ups (jig, rods, reels and some accessories) after a 116 mile run out of Bradenton, Florida to 400’ +/- the battle began on the first drop. Looking at the lit up SIMRAD, we were exited when Chad hit the bottom and immediately hooked up with a large Gag Grouper. While Chad was boating his fish, Nico got slammed by a big Blackfin Tuna and Jeremy on the port side of the boat also engaged in a battle of his own, with a monster Red Snapper. I also was hammered after a couple sharp jerks of the rod by a another huge Gag Grouper. We knew at this time Kyle and Paul had put us on top of a good area of fish!!! Looking at the book of thousands of numbers, I was very impressed they chose this area to fish for the day.
With a strong wind out of the Southeast and a current moving North, became challenging to keep our lines straight up and down. Captain Kyle put the stern of the vessel into the wind and held us where we needed to be.
The nonstop catching action continued for the next four hours until my arms felt like they would fall off and our quota was met for the day. Chad, Nico and Jeremy didn’t want to leave all the excitement of this awesome “baitless trip”. Several more Tunas were boated and large sharks became hungry visitors to our area, based on safety we decided to call it a day when the weather began to turn. Knowing we had approximately 120 miles to run home, Captain Kyle and Captain Paul made everyone comfortable in the bean bag chairs for the ride home. Tired, sore, and happy on the way home I dreamt about the amazing fish we caught the monster fish that I lost.
Looking forward to the next trip with these amazing Captains and new friends! Couldn’t have asked for a better experience, quality knowledge and friendship on this fishing adventure!!!
For your all your “NO BAIT” needs, Consultation, Tackle, Equipment, and now offering Personal Tailored Seminars/Education on the water with our new partners, Liquid Assault Marine Services that you can count on. Custom Trips available through The Fisherman's Hut in Bradenton, FL. Check out www.thefishermanshut.com