Jurassic Park revisited in Florida Keys
I had a narrow window yesterday morning before the wind was going to get too strong to stay out on the ocean. I left at 1st light.... just enough to see and miss the crab pot buoys on the way out. It's a 21 mile boat ride to the 1st sunken ship that is in 235 ft deep water. On the 2nd drop with the vertical,metal jig I caught a barracuda about 8#s. Fortunately, it was hooked in the corner of the mouth so it didn't cut the line. Released it in good shape. I was hoping to get some small Blackfin Tuna on this wreck, but it was not to be. 1/2 hour later I was on my way to a deeper sunken freighter in 345 ft deep water. This wreck is one of the 2 I've named Jurassic Park. The other part of the Park is a freighter in 405 ft.
This morning Jurassic earned the name that I gave it. No Jumbo Tuna like in previous trips, but monster Amber Jack were on the prowl. I was deep dropping 8" long metal jigs. The reel had 50# test line with a 60# leader. The reel has 24#s of drag when it is locked down, which it was. I even thumbed the spool for additional drag, but to no avail with the 1st 2 Reef Donkeys that grabbed my jigs. They just burned out the line until they got back down into the freighter, then broke my line. The 3rd hook up was the charm. The battle see-sawed back and forth, but as my boat drifted away from the sunken freighter, he lost his hiding place. Then there were a couple of weird tugs on the line, and the Amber Jack was coming up. A shark had chomped off the tail end and another big chunk out of 1 side. The Jack's back bone vertebrae were about 1 inch in diameter, and the shark severed it in the middle of a vertebrae. By the time the fish was in the boat, the wind was up and I had a bumpy ride home.
I brought it home to give to the neighbor for his crab traps. He is the guy that gave us a pot full of Stone crab claws as barter for crab bait and fresh Tuna. He weighed the remainder of the fish and it was 32#s. The whole fish would have been about 40#s.
You can see the back bone in one of the pictures.
The Blackfin Tuna was 1 of 3 from a previous trip to Jurassic Park.
The close-up picture is "the eye of the tiger" Amber Jacks have pretty eyes. The quarter next to it shows the size