Frankly, I would just as soon poke hot needles under my eyelids than bottom fish on a full moon. However, I was chartered by some world class jig fisherman that have fished with me before, and I figured if anybody could make them chew it would be these guys. Headed out at 6 am into beautiful seas and started the quest. It was made clear that there would be zero bait used during this trip, jig and poppers only, no trolling of any sort was allowed as well. I knew I was gonna have to work when the first stop had the sonar lit up with the right stuff, but the AJ's wouldn't play. Made a short move over some live bottom and it was polluted with seabass in the 20 inch plus range. The guys wanted no part of catching 4 an 5 pound seabass on jigs so we quickly moved on to two more wrecks, where, the sonar looked great, but the fish had lockjaw.
At this point I am pulling what little hair I have left out trying to figure out why the jacks wouldn't play. Pointed the bow for the deep and tried some numbers that always produce the donkeys. A couple drifts resulted in a handful of almacos in the 40 pound class, but no big amberjacks. Tried a few more spots nearby, with the same result.
Talked to the crew about going real deep. They were game to jig in 500 ft during the heat of the day so I set a course up the break. Along the way I ran by a bucket floating in the water and told the guys to throw a popper to see if we could raise a wahoo or dolphin. The dolphin piled on the poppers an soon we had about a dozen chilling in the brine tank, there was another 80 or so swimming around the boat that we left behind hungry and willing to eat. This crew wanted a battle, they wanted to sweat, they wanted to hurt, so we pushed on to the deep.
Once in 500 ft. the sonar looked great and I had my fingers crossed that they would chew. Chew they would and soon enough we had our snowy and a couple other scamps and yellowmouths. Caught some nice aj's , almacos, skipjacks, false albacore, and other jacks. The guys got the fight of their life when a 70 lb. amberjack got foul hooked in the belly. That about wore them out in the midday heat. It was tough fishing with the current and full moon, but it felt good to take the challenge and scrape up a bit of a catch. What a pleasure to see a group of anglers that worked hard all day and stuck to their guns and were appreciative of the extra miles I put on the boat. I actually can't wait for the next "NO BAIT ON BOAT" trip.