NO OIL REPORT

Posted on by mike

   This report is a glimpse into the life of every charter  fisherman in Venice right now. This story started out as a simple run down to Venice to do some routine maintenance on the boat. It turned out  that I would not get home until eight days later. Once I arrived at Cypress Cove it looked like someone had kicked an anthill. There were satellite trucks all over and media crews from all over the world were running around with cameras and microphones wanting a story. Well we gave them a story but it has now come back to bite us in the ass. We were all scared of what could happen if they closed our fishery. How would we pay our house and boat notes and feed our family and send our children to school. So unfortunately we gave them the story they wanted. With the threat of not having a source of income coming we all started running media trips to take them to see oil boom and different rookeries. Meanwhile as the stories started to hit the TV paper and newspapers around the world. The phone calls started to come in not to book charters but to cancel. Some of my cancellations were all the way into August. The story was the same thing we are not coming because of the oil, we can’t eat the fish,fishery is closed and any number of other oil related excuses.

   With the oil not hitting the beaches the media started to get antsy and started to get real pushy wanting the story of doom and gloom. Which simply wasn’t there all I managed to find was a little light sheen on the surface. Now after several days of this it started to get kind of old and stressfull being at the center of this with no information. It was time to go fishing. The 20-30 knot winds that had been hammering Venice finaly let up and dropped and we had mirror calm conditions. Perfect right, NO the clients I had canceled out. So here I am stressed out and perfect weather and no clients. A couple of other charter operations got out a put a whipping on the tuna. So the scramble was on to call some of my regular customers to come and get in on the great tuna fishing. I only had to make a couple of phone calls. Before Jared and his brother Schawn and Bret from Texas said were on the way. I rounded up Scott a hunting buddy from Mississippi to finish off our crew.

    I don’t think I have ever been more excited the day before a trip than I was this time. I iced the boat heavier than normal in anticipation of the slaughter that was to come. I went over everything. Then the ultimate oh s_ _ t I have no tackle down here. Remember this started out as a simple routine maintenance trip. But I was able to borrow some gear then I spent more time going over it and changing line and tying new leaders and hooks. With Scott’s help and a special guest appearance by the captain himself, Captain Morgan the rod work was done before the alarm clock went off.

    Finaly here is the story I have been building up to. Arrived at the marina and loaded the rods and the crew.  The conditions could not have been better. [img]http://www.forumpictureprocessor.com/pictureprocessor/images/DSC04660_1.jpg[/img]

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           There was no horizon the surface just melted into the sky. We were on the lookout for oil slicks so the livewell pickups could be shut down but we never ran over a drop of oil.  We ran across several weedlins loaded with chicken dolphin. We didn’t bother to stop to pick any up since we had a date with the yellowfin. Once we got to the first rig the tuna were going nuts on the surface maybe they were jumping out of the water to escape the oil they heard was all over the gulf. We quickly made bait and pulled off to try our luck with them. After several perfect shots at them with poppers the livebaits went out and the first fish of the day was soon in the box. This was Schawn’s first yellowfin ever so the trip was a success. [img]http://www.forumpictureprocessor.com/pictureprocessor/images/IMG_1340_4.jpg[/img]

         

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With the fish being very picky there we picked up and made an18 mile run to the southeast where we quickly picked up two right off the bat on live baits. [img]http://www.forumpictureprocessor.com/pictureprocessor/images/me%20&%20sean.jpg[/img]

           Then the key to the fish was found and we put it to good use. The only problem was we had to make more bait since we used exactly what they wanted up. Back to bait fishing: Luckily this rig had the absolute most perfect red tail scad on it. Here is a shot to show you how thick they were.

[img]http://www.forumpictureprocessor.com/pictureprocessor/images/bait%202.jpg[/img]

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This rig would be our final stop the yellows were marking real thick on the sounder and the lack of man-o-war jellies and the small bait under them were no where to be seen. I forgot to mention it but this rig is about 15 NM from where the Horizon was anchored. The first fish came as I was letting it out and the second fish hit as I was putting it in the rigger. With them biting like that I didn’t even bother putting them in the riggers. We just fished them on flat lines. Before we knew it we had 13 yellow fin in the 35-60lb range in the box around 3PM so with 80 miles to the dock we cleaned up and headed north. The best part was when I had Scott throw the rest of the bait overboard it all ran under the boat and when we took off they had nowhere to hide and the tuna went nuts destroying them on the surface. On the way in we ran across another group of animals that didn’t know they should not be here because of the oil and it was a pod of whales. Not what you would expect in an oil polluted gulf. The amount of life right now offshore is amazing. Every rig we checked had yellow fin and there were open water schools of tuna from well offshore all the way to the pass. Every charter that has managed to put trips together has been able to box at least 10 yellow fin a trip. So people PLEASE DON’T CANCEL YOUR TRIPS YOU TRUSTED ME AND THE OTHER CAPTAINS YOU BOOKED SO CALL AND TRUST OUR JUDGEMENT NOW BEFORE YOU JUST CANCEL.

Capt. Mike

 

 

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Posted in Fishing Reports

Tagged: ,

Winter 2010 Recap

Posted on by mike

Now that our winter season is just about past us. It’s time to move on to the good stuff. Warm weather and livebait tuna fishing. This winter was full of ups and downs. It was either a wide open bite or you had to resort to whatever would bite that day. On some days it was only sharks and kingfish. And then the next day it was a tuna slaughter. With the Wahoo bite we had last year this year’s bite would have some big shoes to fill. We are not getting the numbers we did last year but the average size is up from last year so that makes up for numbers. Like with Jason Gauthier’s crew in from Connecticut. They had three Wahoo that weighed in at 263lbs. Plus all of the topwater blackfin they wanted. Of course as with the rest of the winter, the following day the fishing dropped off. With the blackfin only biting for about forty five minutes then stopping for the rest of the day.  The yellowfin which are everybody’s favorite have played hardball most of the year but when you get them they were all over 150lbs. You just had to put your time in for them. On the days the wahoo and tuna didn’t want to play. The jigging tackle and the jigs I import and sell were brought out and the jacks and other assorted fun fish were caught.

   Here are a few shots from this winter.

 

Capt. Mike

 

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gg0cwbYsRBU

 

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Posted in Fishing Reports

Daytime swords,tuna,dolphin

Posted on by mike

Another series of successful trips is on the books. The fishing is a good as it gets right now. Most days we are done tuna fishing with our self imposed boat limit anywhere from 12-1:00 in the afternoon. I started out this series with a trip like I just mentioned with the James Bozeman crew in from Texas. It was a day nothing could go wrong the herring where more than willing to bite. I think we put four dozen in the boat without moving the boat once. All you had to do is put the sibiki in the water up to the swivel and pull out 2-5 herring. From there it was off to what I thought was going to be a one stop spot. But the porpoise were just too thick. We hooked two and had six or so baits ripped off the hooks so we made a short run to what would become my rig of choice for the next several days. Upon arrival it was on fire. There was not many fish busting but every bait out was just about an instant hookup.[img]http://www.forumpictureprocessor.com/pictureprocessor/images/200071.jpg[/img]

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 It wasn’t insane since I had time to clip the lines in the outriggers but it still very good. We quickly seven yellows in the boat and shut it down early to go chase some daytime swords. You know the bite is good and everyone is happy and it’s 12:30 and the fish are eating everything you put in the water and they elect to go chase something else. No sense being greedy. We made a move to try for a daytime sword but the green eyed sharks would not leave us alone. So we packed it up and headed in.[img]http://www.forumpictureprocessor.com/pictureprocessor/images/2000351.jpg[/img]

         

   The following day I had James Shaw and crew in for hopefully a tuna slaughter. The day started off not to bad but just enough chop to make the bait difficult to see on the surface. But I soon picked up a pod of herring and we quickly filled the well with more than enough baits for the day. I made a beeline back to where I was the day before and it was on just like the previous day. Except it was just singles at first which was fine since no one in the crew had caught yellowfins before. [img]http://www.forumpictureprocessor.com/pictureprocessor/images/IMGP08101.jpg[/img]

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          But after  two yellowfin hit the boat and everyone had a chance to pull on one. The fish turned on big time and it was doubles and triples until the 8th tuna hit the deck. It was like work as soon as that 8th yellow was in the boat there was a sigh of relief that they could finaly go home. They didn’t even go into overtime since it was only noon. If we wouldn’t of lost a few then we could have been done by about 10:30 or so. We elected to not try for the swords and went straight to the house. The next day the weather keep me at the dock and doing boat maintenance.

  The following day the weather was still a little bit of a factor and throw that in with it being a Saturday. I just couldn’t put it together at all. I didn’t go back to where I had been putting a hurting on the tuna since a huge cell was sitting over the rig. So I went to the east only to find dirty water and sharks. Thankfully I had a group that I have fished with several times so it took some of the sting out of a ZERO day. It’s the first blank that I can remember in a long time. It was hard to swallow after being on top of the fish for a few days. But now I am mad at them and they will pay the following day.

   With the poor performance from the day before, I was ready to kill some fish for Butch Cardanes and Travis. The weather was perfect the bait was perfect and the fishing was perfect. We discussed getting a couple of tuna and then spending the rest of the day daytime swordfishing. When we were a half mile from the rig we could see the yellowfin going nuts chasing bait. I put out baits and had a triple of two yellowfin and a dolphin on the popper. We lost one of the yellows but at least we got the other one and the dolphin. We picked away at them for awhile to only put another yellow and a blackfin in the boat along with another nice dolphin. We had plenty of shots but our hookup ratio was not the best. That would all change later in the day as the one fish we needed to catch we did. I was kind of getting antsy to go and search for a sword but we tried one more rig to only find short yellows and cudas. Finaly the word was given to go hit the swords. The JL audio system was turned up and off we went. After getting rigged up the first drop was a immediate swing and a miss on a sword. We repositioned and droped again only to catch a green eyed shark. But the third drop was the charm. As soon as the bait hit the bottom a sword was whacking the bait. After a couple of whacks with his bill the line just went slack. Butch caught up with the sword about four hundred feet off the bottom and the fight was on. It took a little over an hour to get the swordfish to the surface. It wasn’t a monster but it weighed out at 112lbs on the scale at Crypress Cove. But with it being the first daytime sword for me in the Gulf it was more than sufficient. It caused such a stir that the tuna and dolphin were almost left on the dock and forgotten about. Here are some pictures from that trip minus the tuna and dolphin. We tried the daytime thing the following day and had one confirmed swordfish bite but we couldn’t come tight to it. Now for the pictures.

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  Can anyone guess what’s in the 32oz cup in my hand. Anyway that’s a wrap up of the last several days down in Venice.   

Posted in Fishing Reports

It’s not good to be a tuna right now.

Posted on by mike

Well with a few days at the house due to a sick lower unit and the weather. I have the time to give a recap of the past few weeks of fishing. I started off with a tuna flyfishing trip of which we were successful. [img]http://www.forumpictureprocessor.com/pictureprocessor/images/WE7Z8283-21.jpg[/img]

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           One of the highlights of the trip was our third sailfish of the summer. Even though not on fly it was still nice to get a billfish in some pretty green water. [img]http://www.forumpictureprocessor.com/pictureprocessor/images/WE7Z8246-21.jpg[/img]

          The tuna fishing has been just about as good as it gets. Even with it being very good there are still days you have to fish for them.

   On one such day I made a huge loop throughout the gulf with a great group of guys in

          from south florida. We tried everywhere only to double up on 80-90lb fish on the last two baits at the very last spot of the day. Needless to say it was pretty nerve wracking trying to get both fish in with guys that have never caught them before. But Jesse,Matt,Russ and Dan managed to get them both. I had to add everyone since it took everybody to get them. [img]http://www.forumpictureprocessor.com/pictureprocessor/images/Johnny%20Lawyer%20Trip.jpg[/img]

     [img]http://www.forumpictureprocessor.com/pictureprocessor/images/Jesse%20Zisholtz.jpg[/img]

             The only other tough day we had was with Scott Leif and Jeff in from California. We only got two yellows also on a double at the last spot of the day. But the majority of the day was spent on a real decent blue caught on 50lb mainline and 60lb fluro with a threadfin. We capped off the day with our snapper.[img]http://www.forumpictureprocessor.com/pictureprocessor/images/th_0807091827a.jpg[/img] Here is Scott with the blue and the following picture is Scott after the blue.[img]http://www.forumpictureprocessor.com/pictureprocessor/images/th_PICT1749.jpg[/img]

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           Other than those couple of days the norm has been my two per person boat limit of yellowfin. Or either the clients saying no more. The upside is the topwater bite has been pretty good if you have the patience to wait for your shot.

  There is a couple of  days that I have to talk about on Sunday the 9th I had the Carter Benton crew for the Fishing to Hear Rodeo. Only Jim and his father made it in the morning as the rest of the crew came down with a case of food poisioning.  We only caught one tuna but the father son team put the screws to a 83lb tuna good enough for first place. [img]http://www.forumpictureprocessor.com/pictureprocessor/images/100_1766_2.jpg[/img]

 Here is the full crew.     [img]http://www.forumpictureprocessor.com/pictureprocessor/images/100_1781.jpg[/img]

         It  was only one fish but the way in which we caught it was rewarding. And on the way in we picked up our four snapper. OnWednesday the 12th I had Cooper,Cutler and Johnny in from Ft. Lauderdale in for a tuna slaughter. At first the weather was a non issue but by the time we loaded the well with four dozen or so threadfin. The long run I was palnning on making was out of the question. And with thunderstorms boxing us in. I went to the only clear spot I could find. It was divine intervention as we pulled up to tuna going berserk. We would double up and then retreat under the rig due to the lightning and 47 mph winds. As soon as it cleared we would ease back out and either double or triple up. It was as fast as it gets. Without the weather. I am sure we could of caught the 15 out of 19 in less then a hour instead of quitting at 11:30. I am waiting on the guys to put together the video with some killer underwater footage and send me a CD with the pictures. On all my trips the rigging is pretty simple 50-60 mainline and 60lb Seaguar fluro. The bait is coming off of number 8 Mustad sabiki’s. And as long as you find the threadfin most days the fish will commit suicide for you. Until the next report catch’em up.

 

Here are a few assorted shots.

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Posted in Fishing Reports