Were Back and the fish are hungry and waiting

Posted on by mike

After a long summer of hell caused by BP. There was some light at the end of the tunnel on Wednesday the 6th of October NOAA finally opened some water that we could tuna fish in. The day was spent on the phone and computer sending out emails and making phone calls. On the 8th I had the Steins in from Missisouri for some mangrove snapper fishing. This trip was planned for the summer but had to be put on hold and they still wanted to do it so the tuna would have to wait for another day. Everything went perfect the mangroves were fighting over the pieces of cut poagie that the red snapper let get down farther than a foot under the surface. Even with 40lb fluro we were able to win more than we lost and ended up with 25 mangroves from 5-11lbs and our 10 red snapper from 8-15lbs. With plenty of fish onboard we pointed the bow at the pass and headed home early. What a great feeling to finally be doing what I do, FISH.
On the 9th and 10th I had a long time client come in with a crew of all stars as Marsad put it. They had a marathon drive from Miami to make it to the dock for Saturday morning but they made it on time. Marsad wrote a report of the trip and I can’t top it so I will cheat a little bit and cut and paste it.

After a great three days of fishing I decided it was time to hit the deer woods since I didn’t have any trips until Saturday. What a bummer as the big fish behind the shrimpboats went crazy and multiple fish over 200lbs were caught. Of well I had the next days to make up for it.
On the 16th I had the Murdock’s in for some hopefully big tuna fishing. I gave a prediction of what we would do for the day I was right except I was short by about 70lbs. I told them we would have a 150 yellowfin and about 11 blackfin. Our yellow only weighed about 80 or so. The day was fun with all of the blackfin you wanted to catch. And way too many sharks to go along with them. Just about the time you forgot about the sharks you would get bit and lock up the 50W with 130 mono and heavy drag to have it get smoked but the run would always end up with the heavy head thrashing of a pissed off shark. Of well reel in and tie on another hook.
17th I had Jay Powell and his son and two of his buddies onboard. What Jay wanted to really see is how we livebait tuna fish in the summer.
So the 50w’s were taken off and the Torsa 40’s went on. We left out of south pass and made bait easier than I can remember in a very long time. With the well full in about 10 minutes we were off. The first rig we could see tuna busting when we were about a half mile away. Perfect or so I thought we only managed a cuda while the tuna were busting all around us. Well Jay started leaning at that point. It doesn’t matter how many fish are there if they don’t bite what you are offering leave. The next rig south was a complete dud. The one after that was a little better with Jay catching his first yellowfin. A nice 50-60lb summertime model. At that point it was either turn north and let the boys get some snapper and cobia or hit one more. I opted to hit one more rig, another lesson don’t get frustrated and give up to soon. The next rig was a good as it gets. As I pulled back the throttles I saw a nice fish bust. I threw a bait on its head and we tight. A second rod had a livebait pinned on it and it was immediately eaten. In the next 45 minutes there was never more than 20 seconds with out a fish on. Everyone caught there first tuna and bonus dolphin. We could have really put a hurting on the tuna if the 15lb dolphin would leave us alone. Out of the chaos we landed 7 yellowfin from 35-70 and 5 dolphin from 10- 15lb. You know everyone is tired when they decided to skip the easy snapper fishing on the way home. Not a bad day for three 14 year olds a father.
18th and 19th I had Franklin and his crew in from South Carolina. I have fished with these guys for about five or so years now. They are the magic group that every captain has. No matter how bad the bite is they always make them bite. There mojo was not needed for this trip but I am sure it helped. I gave them the option of chase big fish and get anywhere from one to four shots plus some blackfin. Or we can run long and fish the 30-70lb fish and a few dolphin. The run for numbers was made and of course we did the same route as the day before. The only twist was the first spot gave us a 75lb yellowfin instead of our cuda from the day before. With that fish on ice we made a beeline for the hot rig from the day before. Once again it was just like taking candy from a baby. We did 17 yellowfin from 30-70lbs on livebait and topwater lures. We traded two yellows for a huge uncut ribeye, 20 pounds of steak for 80 pounds of tuna on the hoof seems like a good trade to me. The workboat wanted fish and I wanted the ribeyes. We ended the day early with a legal limit of yellowfin along with three dolphin. A pattern was noticed in what would make the fish hit. They were so focused in on flying fish that you had to throw the bait up high and let it hit the water hard. If you did that you would get an immediate bite 3 out of 4 tries. The 19th was a total repeat from the day before. Except the cudas were horrible along with the snake wahoo. We did box one wahoo that got greedy and didn’t cut us off. We couldn’t do anything right we had a double only to break one of and pull the hook on another. We did get revenge on a cow dolphin we, well I broke off trying to gaff it the day before. It now 1 in the afternoon with two yellows and two dolphin plus our wahoo in the box. The pressure was starting to build so I made a move I don’t know why I didn’t do earlier. But we moved over to a crewboat about 200 yards on the side of the rig. The first cast added another nice dolphin to the box. And the next ten livebaits added 10 more yellowfin. All in about a 20 minute timespan. Not a bad way to save the day. We ended the day with 12 yellowfin,3 dolphin, and a lonely wahoo.
On the 20th I had John Do in and we headed back to the spot from the last two days. I was expecting a repeat but Mother Ocean threw us a curveball with a nasty chop. The only thong biting was the cudas on livebaits. I had told John that jigs are not the best way to target yellowfin but I had to eat crow. Because without the jigs we might of come up empty handed. I know jigs will catch the smaller yellows the livebait is the best way to go about doing it. But on this day we caught 11 30-45lb yellowfin ALL ON JIGS. It helped to have excellent jig fisherman onboard to do it. As another boat with inferior jigs and jigging rods didn’t get on the bite like we did. No matter how long you do this you can always pick up a new trick or two.
With the off bite on livebait the following day with Matt Stone we decided to chase the shrimpboats. We started off boxing six or eight blackfin for bait and for eating fresh. Then we bounced around a couple more shrimpboats until we found the right one. The first yellow was a solid 90lb fish and everyone was in good spirits. Then we had to wade through a few more blackfin. Then we got the bite we were looking for. As the 50W was put into gear the fish was dumping it pretty good. A harness was put on Tate and the fight was on. We had to go through a few anglers but Andrew was the one to finish the fish off. Later back at Cypress Cove the fish weighed in at 174lbs. After that the bite died so we picked up and ran in to try for cobia. We managed one and then headed for the barn. Total for the day was 1 90lb and a 174 yellow and a 40lb cobia.
The last day of this string of trips was spent the same as the day before. Except the water was clean and we had 150 plus pound yellowfin boiling at our feet for the first part of the day. We pulled the hook on the first one broke the second one off. And did get the third bite into the boat a solid 90-100lb fish. We could have filled the boat it it’s gunnels with 15-20lb blacks but I was hunting big fish that day. Our next bite was as pretty as it could be. A 180 plus at a 2lb chunk of blackfin at the boat and screamed off. After about 20 minutes or so the fish settled down and I thought we would get him. The anglers fought the fish well. But we were robbed a major portion of the fish by a monster shark of some species. The head section weighed somewhere in the area of 120lbs or so. Once again the bite was over for the day but we stuck at it with no more love from the yellowfin. In the end we did put a few blacks in the box and not in the bait bucket.
It was a great run of trips with plenty of fish for everyone. I do have pictures but I will have to add them in later. I don’t have the computer skills to add them. So I will have to have my office manager (wife) pull them from the email. So now it’s off to the deer woods again. Until next time.
Capt. Mike

Posted in Fishing Reports

Tagged: ,