I ran a trip on saturday the 11th for Kerry of Outer Limits charters as part of a big corporate trip. We all like to only post the incredible trips but you have to post the good with the bad and the so-so trips. The weather guessers were calling for a front to come in and push the seas from 2-4 to 4-6 by late afternoon. They were wrong but only by a few hours and a few feet to start out. I got to the marina without a breath of wind so I decided to roll the dice and head to a rig a little over 90NM from the dock. As I cleared the pass things still looked perfect. That is until I hit the first of several bait stops that day. At the first spot I didn’t have a bump now the pressure starts to mount. Hey no problem my next spot is only a few more miles farther offshore and in the same general direction we are headed. But as you guessed it the bait was on vacation as they were at the next three spots. So now I am 35 miles offshore with no livebait to show for my efforts. I didn’t want to make the long run and gamble on the bait being where I was going to fish. Especialy since the bait was really thick in all the other spots I hit so far. I had to do it so off we went another 40 miles or so to the next bait (hopefully) and tuna spot. The pressure is like a ton of bricks now with no bait in the well. At least some of the pressure was off my shoulders as the next spot the perfect baits came aboard 6 at a time. Perfect right well almost the bait was there but no tuna. My crew got the bean bags back out for another 20 something mile run farter offshore. This rig had been good to me all summer so my confidence was high. Now thing started going my way to a extent. We had two swing and misses just a couple of minutes after the baits went out. Then the rainbow runners found us and were putting a hurting on our bait supply. But the action was as fast as I could get a bait out and it was most of the crews first time offshore. All the activity from the rainbow runners attracted the attention of a lone cow dolphin. Which was Martene’s first dolphin ever. The next bite was the one we were looking for and Kelly made pretty quick work out of a 60-70lb yellow. Now I had the momentum I needed and I put out three baits to double up on the deep line and a flat line. Jimmy got to eat the heart out of a 60-70lb yellow as Kelly did on his first yeelowfin also. The second part of the double was a 30lb fish that was on the deep line Mike managed to keep him out of the other line. And both were soon in the fishbox. I set back up and caught two throw back yellows. And then Mike made the call to head back since they had a charter bus waiting to leave at 5PM. This was the best move made all day. Since the front that was susposed to be on top of us was still not here. And I was ready to go to another rig. But as we left the rig I heard a few radio reports of very slow fishing and with the freshning wind we headed for the marina. The weather played out pretty nice until about the last 15 miles or so then I had to stand up and actualy drive the boat and play captain. But by the time we hit the jetty it was blowing 20-25 knots the river was even choppy. I never thought he weather was that bad offshore. Maybe it was because of the awsome ride of the 33 Freeman. All in all it was a good day no fish were lost due to tackle or angler error so we were batting a thousand right there. We beat the oncoming front in and my crew took the pot for biggest fish they had with the other boats fishing.
I have decided to start doing walk on charters. Recently I have had a bunch of calls from guys that only had one or two in there group and are looking for a few more to make the trip a happen. I am offering the trips at $475 a man with a mininium of four on the trip and of course a max of six. I am going to start running these trips on Fridays. Everyone needs a three day weekend every once and awhile. All fish will be split between every angler on board. But I will leave that that portion up for you guys to handle. The only other expense is a fishing license for $5 and whatever gratuity you see fit. To hold your spot all you need to do is give me a call.
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It was nice to finely get back in the saddle after dealing with both Gustave and then Ike. I had Anthony Michael and Jeff Fusilier in from Little Rock. After a few reschedules due to the north part of highway 23 being flooded. We hit a picture perfect weekend the biggest wave we saw all weekend was from a crewboat. On Saturday I made a decision to make a real long run to where I thought we would have the best shot at some decent tuna. A push of barely legal yellowfins came in after the hurricanes, and that is not what I wanted with only two guys onboard. The run out was pretty uneventful we did come across a huge leatherback turtle which Anthony or Jeff has never seen before.
We finally got the rig only to find not much going on. But a quick check with the sounder showed some promising marks. Out went the baits it took about 15 minutes to get the first bite was a swing and a miss. The next to bites came pretty quick after that and it was a double header. But neither fish was taking much line at all. Jeff’s fish was taking the most line but still not much. Anthony had a rainbow runner, which went into the box for deep drop bait the next day. Jeff worked his fish to the boat and it was a 30” yellowfin. Not the size of fish I wanted to catch for them but at least the skunk was off the boat. On the next bite the fish was finally taking some line things were looking up. Anthony worked about a 70lb yellow to the boat after some grunting and groaning. After that I started live chumming and we quickly put two more 50-60lb fish in the boat then another 29” fish. We finished up with one more fish at 1:30 and headed to the dock. The fish were all on 60lb fluoro and 6/0 Mustad 39952 circles. One the way in about 30 miles from the pass in nasty peas green water we came across a pod of about 30 or so whales. We were able to get scary close to them we could of scratched their backs. We shot a few pictures and left them to do whatever they were doing.
On Sunday I only had Anthony onboard he wanted to try his hand at deep dropping and I was pretty sure that nobody had hit the area I wanted to hit. So with high hopes we set off with a tight time schedule for the trip. We crossed a nice rip and made some bait just in case. About five miles from the rig we came across and pretty big patch of grass. A cast with a popper brought out the green hornets a few freebie livebaits brought out even more. Anthony wanted to take a few of the chicken dolphin home to one of his employees so we put a few in the boat. I glad we had those because at the first rig the only thing I could get to bite was sharks. After losing more rigs and lead than I wanted to we left for my backup rig. Again more sharks but at least we were getting some nice bites when we could hit bottom. I had to use 5lbs to hit the bottom in 750’ just to get past most of the sharks. Finally up comes a decent yellowedge then a couple of nice fish got us in the rig or straightened out hooks. It was time to get Anthony back to the dock so he could get home. But with only a handful of dolphin and one grouper in the boat the schedule got thrown out. And a few more drops were made and few more decent grouper were put in the fishbox. After that we left them biting about an hour later than Anthony’s scheduled time to be at the dock.