Thank you Rubin for your take on this trip….

~I went on 52-hour trip to the Golden Ground several times and this was time to upgrade the experience to the 100 fathom/600 feet depth. Doing everything for the first time is always tough and one can never be fully prepared. I kept asking about this trip and captains/crews were amazed ( well they did not say it explicitly)…. “Rubin, you have been deep sea fishing with us before. Same thing”.
Ugh… the similarity was “fishing”. The rest are very different.

First, It was 600 feet. From surface of the sea to the bottom, there could be currents with 2 different directions.

Then, fish were only on the mood to eat when it was sunny. Tough to believe but it was true. no bite at night. At night, we went to sleep to regain some energy.

It may be because it was dark down there, we only caught tile fish, amber jack , and groupers ( snowy, warsay, and yellow edge). The deeper it was, the less variety the fish.

On the way there, we stopped by a spot where there used to be plenty of mutton snappers. So the first night ( Thursday night), we started fishing around 10 pm ish for about 2-3 hours looking for mutton snappers. The boat only caught one and some mango snappers, margate, etc. Most of them were used for bait for next day.
We also trolled on the way to out to get some bonita (oily fish) for bait the next day. I am happy to report that 2 of them hit my lures and I lost one. At least, I can say that my lures works. I seldom caught fish during trolling.
First day, Friday, started with breakfast. Hmm …. Thanks Chef Kenny for such a great sandwiches. It was over cast, we picked tile fish here and there and some groupers. Then, around 2 pm, when sun at full blast, captain Jerry decided to go for warsaw groupers. We were divided into 2 teams of three. So, 3 lines would pull the warsaw grouper which could be as heavy as 250-300 lbs.

First drop, a big shark hit our mullet. Darn! Second one, it hit the bottom and a warsaw grouper hit it right away. I was on the left wing and could not reel hard enough to keep up with the middle one ( the leader, quarterback in football, point guard in basket ball ). Somebody yelled for me to switch to high gear ( I have 2 speed reel). I did that and reeled fast but it was too fast …. That I broke my line. The “baby” warsaw grouper was pulled by only 2 lines. It was about 60-70 lbs one. It was a baby. The second team did not get any hit. But captain Jerry hooked one which pulled him to the reef and by miracle touch, the fish decided to get out of reef. It was the wrong move. Capt Jerry was on the other end of the line. The fish just did not get a second chance. Way before it came to surface, captain Jerry already knew it was a warsaw grouper.

Then a bunch of amber jacks were hooked. I got a small fish at 175m depth. I pulled it to 135m but then something hit it hard and brought back to 150-160m depth. I tried hard to bring it up but I seemed to get stuck at 135-138m. Captain Jerry yelled… “Stop playing with it, pull it up.” “ I cannot do it. I seem to hit a wall at 135m.” He took over and brought it to surface in 10-15 minutes later. Hmmmm…. I still need to learn a lot of deep see fishing.

Right after that, i moved to the front of the boat. dropped my line to the bottom. Bang…. a big fish hit it hard. i slowly reeled it to 78m depth…. then my line snapped. Ugh …. I just wanted to kill somebody. what was it? a big grouper? another amber jack? a shark? a beautiful mermaid? that feeling that kept me coming back again and again and again.

We fish till about 9-10 pm and rest for the rest of the night till next morning while boat went north for rest of night to arrive at the new ground for snowy grouper, yellow edge and tile fish.

That was all we did all day Saturday. Steady bites never crazy bites. At 8pm, captain jerry called it done and started to sail back. It took us 15.5 hours for us to get back home. Ugh….

At the end, I did OK but I am still not quite get it. fishing with rough weather in first day and 5 lbs weight in the second and such a hard /stiff rod, it was hard to feel the bites. I got my shares of grouper, amber jack, and tile fish and warsaw grouper but I still feel that I have not graduated from this 600 feet depth fishing. I still need to put 1-2 trips to this depth before i said … “done that”