Some feedback on Lesser Amberjacks off the pier

This is where you can find the Pier fishing reports, Pier photos of those huge fish, and other information. This is a beautiful place to walk along the Pier and shoot memory photos of the Pier and Navarre Beach. Bring your camera and post your Pier photos here!
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PensacolaKid
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Tue Sep 30, 2014 10:03 am

Several weeks ago, I was blessed to be able to spend a couple of days in Navarre. Spent the better part of a day and half on the pier fishing. Miserably hot for sure and the water was super calm and super clear. These are not ideal conditions for fishing. In fact, that week the fishing was very slow (the week of August 4th). On both days that I arrived, one being at 5:15 in the morning, nothing was being caught. So, instead of going for the Kings, like everyone else was doing at the end of the pier, I decided to put on a Bubble Rig and try for Spanish...at least that was my goal. Actually I already had my bubble rig all rigged up. I have, for those of you who have fished the end of the pier caught several Mahi-Mahi on a bubble rig before, so in the back of my mind, I thought.."who knows, maybe a mahi-mahi."

So anyway, literally from the time I set my tackle box and cooler down on the pier (there was just barely enough light to see the bubble hit the water), I was throwing out my bubble. Well, after about three throws, I saw the first blow up. That is, something came up from the depths and behind the bubble and tried to pounce on the bubble straw. I thought of course it was a Spanish, even though one of the regulars (Mack) said they had not been catching many Spanish of late. The excitement level was heightened in that something was about to be caught and secondly....what? That to me is what is so exciting about Saltwater fishing and especially from the Navarre Pier. You just never know what is lurking and waiting to be landed. This experience was a perfect example.

Once I reeled the rig back in after that first blow up, I immediately threw out again. Once it hit the water and I was throwing out at about 10 o'clock if 12 was looking directly due South, I started reeling pretty rapidly and popping the bubble.......pop, pop pop......then BAM, I was hooked up and boy did this fish fight. I thought for sure I had a very nice Spanish on the line. For the first time in my life, I had my reels outfitted with, "braided" line vs. monofilament and you can most definitely tell a difference in the feel and strength of the line. I am sold and will never go back to mono again.

Back to the fight....it was now just light enough that I could see the silver of the fish as I got it closer to the pier. An incredible fight it was. Mack and a couple of the others on the pier started calling this fish a Barjack.....ok, a little disappointed it was not a Spanish but it was a good sized fish. Actually, I thought I had hooked up with a big Bluefish. It fought like one. I reeled the fish up to the pier and immediately noticed it looked like a juvenile Amberjack complete with the dark stripe down the eye. I, not knowing as much as I probably should have known, gave this one to one of the regular little Vietnamese women who fish the pier. Come to find out, they have to be 14 inches...ok, cool this one was and it was going to be harvested.

That got me excited and I fixed my bubble to throw out again. BAM another hook up and it was another great fight. Well, I knew I was going to be leaving for Houston, Texico once my fishing was done and I made a deal with God that if He would bless me with (4) of these Lesser Amberjacks, I would be thankful, call it quits and head back to the house. So, He did indeed give me my four. I had them on ice and I headed to the Sound over by Juanas and where folks park their trailers. I took the fish out to the water and cleaned them there. Nothing goes to waste in the Sound. I have my four cleaned fish now on ice. I went back to the hotel and showered, stopped at my favorite McDonalds and then headed up to I-10 for the trip home.

Once I got home, I filleted the fish and then froze them. The other night, I took two fillets out and seasoned them with olive oil, lemon juice, garlic powder, cracked pepper and a tab bit of blackening seasoning and I broiled them. I was told by pier folks that they were not that good (as if Kings are) and in fact my Florida Sportsman, Sports Fish of Florida book also said they were just ok table fare. I must disagree!! These were very tasty and in fact, looked a bit like Spanish...although not quite as white as Spanish. Good taste, flaky and just enough for one person. I was and am thankful for those fish and very much enjoyed catching them. So, if you ever catch some juvenile Amberjack (Lesser Amberjacks, get a few and broil'em up. Here is a picture of what landed on the table.

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AngelGirl
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Tue Sep 30, 2014 10:46 am

Kid, that was a REELY (mspl intended) fun read! And my mouth is watering from the description of your fish preparation! BTW, what did you serve as sides?
AngelGirl
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Once again, Jesus spoke to the people and said, "I am the light of the world. Whoever follows Me will never walk in the darkness, but will have the light of life." John 8:12 BSB
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PensacolaKid
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Tue Sep 30, 2014 10:53 am

Baked Tater and my version of the Harbor Docks (Destin) salad. Romaine lettuce, thinly sliced red onion, slivered almonds and mandarin orange slices with homemade vinaigrette dressing (as close as I can come to the HDock's recipe)...and it is darn close.
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PensacolaKid
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Tue Sep 30, 2014 12:54 pm

Thanks for moving this. Once I posted it, I thought it might be best in another title.
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Kenny Wilder
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Tue Sep 30, 2014 3:21 pm

Great fishing post PensacolaKid.
Kenny Wilder
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