On Wednesday November 6th marked the day our adventure would begin. The crew consisted of Karl (Flagman), Rob (Pescado), Alexis (LegalLimitII) and Alex G. We left to Venice Louisiana for what would be a fishing trip of lifetime. There were moments when we were sure that it wouldn’t be but when we had almost given up hope things turned around for us in a major way.Our Cabin:
Here’s how the day went: Since we were supposed to meet Captain Mike of Relentless Sportfishing Charters at 6:00AM we agreed to get up at 4:45 AM. After having breakfast and getting everything we would be taking with us to the boat ready, we jumped in the car. When I start the car and look over at the clock I see that it’s not 5:45AM, as we’re expecting it to be, but 4:45AM. Everyone forgot to set their clock back for the time difference between Florida and Louisiana so we go back in and sleep another hour until it’s time to go.
We were very pleased when we arrived at the boat. The 33’ Freeman was in spotless condition with excellent tackle and the captain and mate were ready to go!
It was a beautiful day around 70 degrees with the sun shinning brightly. The weather would remain like that for the rest of the day and the seas were 2 feet or less. Catching bait on the way out was not difficult so at this point we’re convinced were going to tear the yellowfin up. Shortly afterwards is when we started to realize that things were not going to be as easy as we thought.
When we pulled up to the first rig, 70 miles offshore, we immediately start to mark big fish at the 200ft rage. We setup a slow troll consisting of live bait (Runners) which results in a small dolphin. We continue to slow troll the area while casting out a popper on a spinning rod to small blackfin tuna busting on the surface. We only managed to get one black and decided to try another nearby rig.
The second rig was also holding fish but they where not coming up to the surface. Since trolling wasn’t working the captain decided to change the approach and we start drifting baits in the 200-300 foot range in order to bring the baits down to them. Bingo, we get a bite. We fight the fish for a few minutes but managed to lose the first 4 solid hits we get. 0 for 4 on the yellow fins and now we are starting to worry. This brings us to approximately 4:00PM with no yellow fin on the boat.
Now we have to make the decision of continuing another 20 miles and trying another rig or heading back home and giving it another try on Friday. With the way things were going it was a very tough question but after the captain advised us that the weather may be a little too sporty to go out on Friday the consensus decision was to continue on. We were all determined not to return to Florida without catching our yellowfin and we were not going to take a chance on the following day. Our decision turned out to be the right one because we would not have been able to go out Friday because of the weather as the captain had advised us might happen and we eventually started to catch fish.
We arrive at the last spot of the day and it immediately looks promising. We hook a large dolphin shortly after starting our troll but wouldn’t you guess it, it pulls the hook and add another lost fish to the list. After we give up on the trolling we start setting up our drifts in the same manner which produced the bites at the other rigs. After several drifts without a bite we start to see more and more yellowfin crashing in the area.
These were not small fish. They all looked over 100#s and our hearts where racing in anticipation of hooking one of these monsters.
Finally, Rob breaks the ice and lands the first yellowfin in the 20#s. range. At this point we’re all thrilled to have the first one in the boat when things really start to heat up.
Just as the sun is about to set Alexis gets a bite. It’s a big fish but we’ve gotten awfully close to the rig and the fish is digging down. At the same time a group of 30#s dolphin who had been swimming around the boat each time we approached the rig decided to also start to bite. We lost the tuna but landed three of the dolphin.
At this point we’re convinced our luck had changed and we were correct. Next thing we see is the small yellowfin caught earlier pulled out of the ice and getting filleted. Sweet sashimi time, so I thought, it turned into chunks and they started going overboard. A concerned look on my face was immediately relieved when yellowfin after yellowfin got hooked on the chunks. We hooked and landed every fish after that. We kept the bigger fish weighing in at 145#s, 135#s, 80#s and 75#s.
To say we ended on a high note is an understatement. If you’ve never caught a tuna over 100#s make sure you’re in pretty decent shape before making the trip. These fish will absolutely kill you. We all have sore muscles we never even knew existed.
Fresh tuna at the marina:
Special thanks to Captain Mike Ellis, from relentless sport fishing, for going the extra mile and putting us on fish. It’s nice to fish with a Captain that has as much passion and hurts as much as you do when a fish is lost. His boat was very impressive and comfortable. The fuel efficient vessel was very appreciated especially at the end of the day when you’re settling fuel cost. He never gave up on us when things just weren’t going our way and the results were spectacular. If you would like to charter Captain Mike his contact information can be found on his website: https://www.relentlesssportfishing.net. Highly recommended!!