I know it’s been awhile since my last report. I know I have been slacking on the reports. But now that my daughter is old enough to want hang out with daddy all of my spare time when at home is devoted to her. Just about all of the last several trips have been fishing with the rest of the fleet on a hump out to the east of Venice. Some days it has hard to stay and deal with the multitudes of kingfish and sharks but by the end of the day you would be rewarded with some yellowfin and blackfin in the box. The only good thing about the kings and sharks is that you got to go through your entire stock of hooks and get rid of any slightly rusty ones. Once the kings get real thick we would switch over and cast Braid wahoo bombs at them to pass the time and to restock the bait pile. But the real reason was to get some sweet revenge on them after them taking so many hooks. I have to say that doing that was kind of fun on a 8 to 1 Avet reel with 40lb line on a 6’3” Cape Fear. Most people enjoyed that more than the grind of chunking the tuna. We did have several trips that stood out from the rest of them. The first one that comes to mind is the bachelor party for Derek Fliener and crew. The group was big enough to need two boats so I had Billy Wells run the second part of the group on Wild Bill. Day one started out a little on the bumpy side but not to bad at all. We both started out wahoo fishing only I had no interest in what I was trolling Billy managed to find one. So now with some pressure on me from the bachelor group to not be outdone by Billy. I decided to make a far run to the east to get into undisturbed water. About halfway there I see a fin and yelled out mako and told everyone to hold on and did a 180 as quick as I could. Thankfully I had a couple of kingfish in the box from the day before. So I cut a big chunk of king and drove the boat to the mako but he was making it easy by coming to see what just did a 180 at 40MPH. The mako rig ( 30’ 600lb cable windon to straight 130 Jerry Brown) was quickly put out for the perfect jaws type of hit. It was a quick zip followed by a few clicks followed by her just swimming away slowly until I hit her with the hooks. Dustin was the closest to the rod so he was the one to get the thrill of fighting him.[img]http://www.forumpictureprocessor.com/pictureprocessor/images/Dereks%20b%20party%20021.jpg[/img]
The fish was fairly tame until close to the end and then he did his best marlin impersonation and tailwalked in a huge circle before giving us a couple of jumps[img]http://www.forumpictureprocessor.com/pictureprocessor/images/Dereks%20b%20party%20086.jpg[/img]
. After that I got the flyer in her and a tail rope on the biting end and the tail end[img]http://www.forumpictureprocessor.com/pictureprocessor/images/Dereks%20b%20party%20038.jpg[/img]
Now what it was to early to quite fishing but it would be a shame to waste the fish. So we made the call to fish a couple more hours and then head in and weight he mako. We stopped short and tried the hump with only a few kingfish to show for our efforts and with the building seas. We decided to get back on the troll and fish towards the pass. We didn’t get to far before we had a good knockdown on a brown to clean green color change. At first the fish was acting like a real nice wahoo. And my angler was doing a great job on the fish until we saw what we had. As soon as the fish was ID’ed as another mako he kind of freaked out a little.[img]http://www.forumpictureprocessor.com/pictureprocessor/images/Dereks%20b%20party%20065.jpg[/img]
A call was made to Billy who was fishing the same line as we were. To come and get the rod since we already had a mako onboard. By this time it was rough not just bumpy but flat out rough. You can see how rough it was in the picture.[img]http://www.forumpictureprocessor.com/pictureprocessor/images/Dereks%20b%20party%20084.jpg[/img]
We successfully handed off the flyer and the rod with the mako hooked to it without incident. [img]http://www.forumpictureprocessor.com/pictureprocessor/images/Dereks%20b%20party%20078.jpg[/img]
They fought the fish for about 20 minutes or so and got some jumps out of her before she rolled up in the leader and broke off. Trying to judge her size from the jumps she would of easily been in the 200lb or so range. Back at the dock our make went 302lbs. And filled every ice chest they had.[img]http://www.forumpictureprocessor.com/pictureprocessor/images/Dereks%20b%20party%20110.jpg[/img]
The next day was just as fun since we had enough meat and the wind was howling we out out west and had a sheephead roundup. I think you could of sunk the boat with them. The fishing was as simple as it gets a 1/2oz jighead with a small piece of shrimp on it. No fluro or anything fancy at all. We had pompano,redfish,Spanish mackerel and red snapper as bycatch.
The next trip that comes to mind is the Harvey and his girlfriend Nicole trip. The weather was picture perfect of the trip. We started off with a couple of wahoo coming unglued but you could tell it was going to be one of those days so it was no big deal. We got into a area with blackfins showering ballyhoo and a few yellows mixed in. So out went the circle hook rigged ballyhoo and one plug for the stay wahoo. The blackfin loved the ballyhoo and we quickly went through all that I had rigged. [img]http://www.forumpictureprocessor.com/pictureprocessor/images/P3130086.jpg[/img]
The hookup ratio was pretty good with the circle hooks. I was pretty amazed at how well they swam. I think that if I stopped the boat they would of kept on swimming past us. After the blacks went down we moved over to the hump and started chunking. The first bait was a big kingfish which we put to use as bait instead of a blackfin from out of the fishbox. The very next bait was a real good yellowfin which beat Nichole after a pretty long fight. Harvey stepped in to finish it off. [img]http://www.forumpictureprocessor.com/pictureprocessor/images/P3130123.jpg[/img]
After pictures and a short cleanup we moved back into position for another drift.[img]http://www.forumpictureprocessor.com/pictureprocessor/images/P3130141.jpg[/img]
We had a couple of malfunctions with backlashes when yellowfin ate right at the boat. I was not able to get a one out without breaking off the fish. But our luck changed with Harvey on the next chunk in the water. The yellows came up on a handful of chum and got one of the pieces with a hook in it Harvey whipped the fish pretty quick along with himself also. With all the fish they needed we decided to leave them biting and headed to the house around noon or so. [img]http://www.forumpictureprocessor.com/pictureprocessor/images/P3130148.jpg[/img]
The next trip was with the Southern pipe crew this trip was memorable not because of the size of the fish but because they were just fun to fish with. We started off and jigged a limit of Aj’s and then on the the hump to try for some tuna. The blackfin had taken the place of the kingfish we we put a hurtin on them. I don’t know how but two yellows managed to beat the blackfin to the bait. We ended the day early with two yellows a limit of Aj’s and a full box of blackfin. It is nice to know when it’s time to quite killing fish. They threw in the towel just before I was going to mention that they might not have the icechest room to hold the fillets. It was a perfect day back early with the boat and fish cleaned and sitting down to a extra thick steak and cocktail by 5PM.
The last trip I will mention was my last trip was with the Bradshaw family. The weather was susposed to be on the rough side but the bouy was reading 1.3’ at 4 seconds so the call was made at the dock to try the tuna. Well that was the wrong call I think I should of done some metrological form of math as it was nowhere near the prediction from the bouy. With Ms. Bradshaw out for the count due to the seas so I wasn’t going to go any father offshore. We decided to switch gears and use butterfly jigs to see what would bite. We quickly got a limit of Aj’s using a mixture of different jigs. The OTI jigs and the Shimano’s were neck and neck. But the OTI’s beat them out on price since we lost quite a few of them. Well that is the human wrecking ball A.K.A. Bob did along with a reel. I wouldn’t let him quite I just tied another jig on and told him to drop it. If we made 75 drops I bet we didn’t have 6 drops that came up without a fish. We could never even hit the bottom due to the jacks. We ended the day with everyone having sore arms from the jacks. We lost a few UFO’s we couldn’t stop on 80lb braid and a SevenSeas jigging rod. At the end we had a limit of jacks and a lone blackfin. The fishing is pretty good right now somedays you just have to settle for whatever the weather throws at you.
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I am finaly just getting my thoughts together after a picture perfect weekend in Venice. I had Chris Ashoff and Jim Scarletta from Avet Reels and Seeker Rods in from Cali. Jim brought a whole arsenal of tackle he put together after several lengthy phone conversations about the way we fish tuna and wahoo out of Venice. Jim’s rod choices were perfect for the way we wahoo fish. To perfect since I now have to call Seeker and place a order. The model numbers for the blanks were Super Seeker SS 6470 And the SS 6463. The rods had the perfect amount of tip with all the backbone you need for wahoo trolling. Chris was a spinning rod type of guy and once again the Super Seeker spinners along with Quantum Cabo reels were the weapon of choice. In fact the first fish of the trip came off one of the spinners and it worked out very
well. Jim on a wahoo and the results of the fight. [img]http://www.forumpictureprocessor.com/pictureprocessor/images/DSCN0321_1.jpg[/img]
We started out on Thursday with the weather man being wrong about the seas but in our favor. It was the perfect way to wahoo fish. We had two rigs with dry runs then we started to pick one up here and one there.[img]http://www.forumpictureprocessor.com/pictureprocessor/images/fishing%20004_18.jpg[/img]
Which makes a trip last the entire day instead of what we had the following day. So after moving around a little we got into a good bite from a different species. Every pass by the rig and it produced at least a double on nice sized amberjacks. With it getting late in the day we made one more move then our mojo must of worn off during the ride. Because at the next rig we missed the first four bites and lost three lures. It was just the thin to put a little downhill slide in a otherwise perfect trip. And it made the next high spot and rig we fished so much sweeter.[img]http://www.forumpictureprocessor.com/pictureprocessor/images/Venice%20Fishing%206feb09%20040.jpg[/img]
I made the call to pull in the lures and make the final move of the day. We were about 300 yards or so from the next rig and we doubled up on real good fish one a little over 80 and one about 60. From that point on you couldn’t set a bait out without it getting hit before you got it set. I even tried to leave the fish and troll over the high spot but I couldn’t closer to a ¼ mile from it. Going to it we got spooled on a spinner with 400 yeards of line on it and we lost another fish on a Avet can’t remember the model that just never slowed down before it came off. We ended the day with 9 wahoo with two over 80. More than enough fish for Chris and Jim to ship back to California. Actualy they shipped back on one trip what they wanted to get out of three.[img]http://www.forumpictureprocessor.com/pictureprocessor/images/Venice%20Fishing%206feb09%20063.jpg[/img]
The next day we got a late start due to what I was told was a alarm clock issue but I think it was just plain old worn out. I was watching all the other boats leave out and I was a little worried but I was going to make a beeline for where I left them the day before. We finaly got away from the dock sometime after six. The Freeman was in high gear as every rig we passed all had boats on them. We arrived at the scene of the crime from the day before and the first pass a quad on wahoo. [img]http://www.forumpictureprocessor.com/pictureprocessor/images/Venice%20Fishing%206feb09%20046.jpg[/img]
We only managed to get three in the boat then we made another pass with more of the same. So we quit and switched over to throwing Tady and Raider jigs at them and picked up one that way on the first cast. We were not keeping fish this day unless they were hooked to deep. But you know how that goes the first four had to go into the box to pay off some favors I had to take care of. After that it was get them to the boat and shake them off.[img]http://www.forumpictureprocessor.com/pictureprocessor/images/Venice%20Fishing%206feb09%20067.jpg[/img]
I don’t remember how many we caught that day but it would have been a lot more than my boat limit of ten wahoo. We headed back to the dock pretty early to get the grill fired up for some wahoo steaks and drinks. We kept four wahoo on Friday just enough for a few fresh meals for the dockhands.[img]http://www.forumpictureprocessor.com/pictureprocessor/images/Venice%20Fishing%206feb09%20071.jpg[/img]
The final day of the trip was susposed to be pretty rough and with more than enough wahoo killed we decided to do a little deep dropping. The weather man was right it was rough. At least he got one day out of two right. The bite was pretty slow well at least at the one rig we tried. Instead of running around in the rough stuff all day everyone opted to just head in with only a couple fo fish in the box. It was kind of anti climatic after the last couple of days but a nice way to end it. I will be back at it after the Maimi Boat show and a short trip to the Bahamas.
I am finaly getting warm after getting back from several days down in Venice. The lump has yet to kick off this year. So our fishing is based on wahoo fishing. But with all of the crowds of people doing the same thing it makes for some crowded fishing. And our customers wanting tuna we have been running to the Green Canyon for tuna. Of course it is not an every trip type of thing as the weather has to be perfect to make it that far. But on the trips that you can make it the fishing is still summertime fishing. And on the days when you can’t then the wahoo amberjack and grouper have to fill the void. Now for the recap of last week.
I started off with the Adams group in from Tampa for some tuna fishing. I was having drinks with another captain at the marina and we were trying to figure out what to do the following days we decided to go to Green Canyon. A call was made to Robert to increase the speed my 20 MPH to get here for the 4AM departure. To my relief no fog in the morning and best of all no wind. We quickly loaded up for a four hour run through the dark to the canyon. It felt just like summer with the water being a very nice 77 deg. Flying fish were everywhere along with a few open water schools of tuna. At first the bait was a little slow until we figured out how deep they were then the cudas figured out that we figured out how deep the bait was they were taking more than their fair share. So I made move to another rig a couple miles away and caught all the bait we needed in pretty quick order. The baits didn’t last long once they were in the water and the first fish of the day was on. Robert started it out and Mike B. finished it up. [img]http://www.forumpictureprocessor.com/pictureprocessor/images/100_0237_10.jpg[/img]
The fishing went on like this until we hit our boat limit of two yellowfin per person. [
We ended up the day on a double with Robert and Mike L. getting the fish in with no assistance. The best bite of the day was when a group of tuna came up close to the boat and I threw a Yo-Zuri sashimi slider at them and a 100 plus yellowfin found the lure. Mike B just happened to be the closet to the rod so he got to fight it[img]http://www.forumpictureprocessor.com/pictureprocessor/images/100_0241_15.jpg[/img]
. We hoped to another rig just to check it out on the way home. I wish I would of started there the fish were larger and the dolphin were pretty thick as well. We put one dolphin in the boat since no one on the boat had ever caught one before. It was a great day with six yellows in the boat from 80 to a little over a 100 and a bounus dolphin.[img]http://www.forumpictureprocessor.com/pictureprocessor/images/100_0266_6.jpg[/img]
We went 6 for 9 on tuna not a great average but still pretty good with the better fish at the
last spot and nobody wanting to reel in another tuna we headed for the house.
The next day was with the same group and with the icechests full we decided to do a half day of deep dropping for grouper. We caught a couple of snowy in 30-40lb class along with some of the biggest breaded bratoulas I have caught this year.[img]http://www.forumpictureprocessor.com/pictureprocessor/images/100_0288_4.jpg[/img]
We called it a day and came back to the dock with two grouper and six bratoulas oh and a rosey for a little color.[img]http://www.forumpictureprocessor.com/pictureprocessor/images/100_0298_4.jpg[/img]
The following day Saturday proved to be my toughest day of the year. I had the Justin Smith group in for some wahoo fishing. I just couldn’t find them to save my life. I drug ballyhoo on the downrigger over every knocked down rig that I knew of only to come up empty handed on the wahoo. In the process we managed to find every oversized jack crevelle the gulf has. We switched gears and since the wahoo didn’t want to play at least we had something to pull drag I think we caught a couple dozen of them. We ended the day with some Spanish mackeral and a couple of almaco jacks. Not the kind of catch we were hoping for but we tried hard.
I had the Bright group the following day and the call was for tuna. The conditions didn’t allow us the make the Green Canyon run since the west side of the river was to rough to make the run. We went out east and found only small blackfins and yellowfins at the first spot. We did managed one 30lb yellowfin on a livebait. Then the bite died with that one fish so we were back on the hunt. We covered a lot of ground and at the last spot I live chummed up a nice tuna only to have it’s tail wear through the leader after about thirty minutes into the fight. At least we had our target species in the box. We ended another tough day with one yellowfin and four blackfin. We were using butterfly jigs for a big portion of the trip and that’s what the blackfins wanted.
The final day of my week was with the Roberts group in from all over. We decided to make the canyon run only to hit a brick wall about 65 miles offshore. We made a turn to head back north to another rig to give it a shot as it was pretty much the only option we had. The bait was tough and it was only in one spot. And that was where the rig was spray painting. We managed to get six baits real quick before we got painted. By this time it was getting pretty rough and just to make it a little more fun it started to rain. We quickly doubled up on 35lb yellowfin and the that was it for us on livebait. We broke out the jigs and lost one tuna into the rig and caught one blackfin for the box. We fished the rest of the day without a bite. We ended the day with only two yellowfin and a blackfin. The fishing wasn’t typical Venice this time of the year but you have to take what is dealt to you.