360 Tuna Fishers Forum banner
1 - 19 of 19 Posts

· Senior Member
Joined
·
3,586 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Very interesting last 3 days. I broke a couple of personal records. Cold front hit us hard about 3:45AM causing lighting and steady 30 to 35 KT winds. Seas went from nice to un-fishable conditions. That was a tough 135 NM ride home. I'll give a better report later but my wife is having a birthday party for me this afternoon and have a lot to do. I need sleep real bad.

I arrived home last night about 1:00AM and have a few hundred pounds of roughed out YF's in cooler's that needs attention. I also have a major dry out of tackle to mess with as salt water invaded coolers. I've never had igloos fill up with salt water spray in my life.

Five people catching 14 YFs could have been a lot more productive if two wouldn't have spent so much time throwing poppers on a none top water bite night. I shot some PICS with 35mm film and will get it processed and post PICS at some point.
 

· Senior Member
Joined
·
3,586 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I stopped off at Roy's around 5:30 Thursday afternoon on my way down to Port A. As I was entering, my lawyer was walking out. We started talking and he was booked on a 48 hour trip on the Gulf Eagle out of Deep Sea Headquarters. He needed to stall some time as he was picking up his personel deckhand at the airport in two hours. (His son) His son goes to college in Dallas and has worked the past three summers as a deckhand at DSH.

I was supposed to go out on a private boat. I got a call while we were eating dinner. Somebody had ripped off the electronics on the boat and my trip was in serious jeopardy. Then my lawyer had two of his group whip out because of the weather forecast. To shorten things I ended up on the Gulf Eagle with an interesting group of five old friends.

Etan, your buddy is a nice guy. He's bound to remember me. Next time you talk to him, ask him about the guy who screamed out "That's how you kick a tuna's Ass" every time one of his tunas hit the deck. That was me. I put the hammer to the drag as I had a bet that I couldn't bring one in under 15 minutes. The first one took me about 22 minutes. I changed tackle. The second one was flopping around in 7 minutes. Right after that one I had another on and put him on the deck right at 5 minutes. That was three YF under an hour's time for me. A new personal best. Those three were nice size. About a 80 pound average with one going 103.

Etan, tell me if this is your buddy. The first picture is him around 3am when it was around 90 degrees. Both him and the deckhand were sweating. I was dripping wet myself. The next photo will be around 4am and the temp is now 50 degrees with a 35 knot wind and rain. Your buddy is on the far right and the same deckhand is wearing a yellow hood. The third photo will be him tell someone how the cow ate the cabbage.

!!!!!!! I have to resize all my photos. I shot 35mm film and the photo place burned me a CD and all the pics are too large to post. I can only put up a 800x800 pic. This might take me a while. I also have people knocking at my back door as I gave up on tuna processing. I brought back two 162 qt igloos full of loins. I'm tired of being a packing plant and I'm very tired. I'm giving it away.
 

· Senior Member
Joined
·
3,586 Posts
Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Etan, is this your friend. If so, he's an old salt that loves to fish. He told me he's going on another 48 hour next weekend. I hope I still get excited about tuna fishing at his age.
 

Attachments

· Senior Member
Joined
·
3,586 Posts
Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Ksong,
I know you are a jigging nut and interested in the jigging on this trip. First off, the blackfins were almost non existing. We stopped off at two rigs and loaded up on hardtails for bottom fishing. The crew did not want to use live bait for the tuna bite.

Some of us started jigging for blackfins to use as chunk. We couldn't catch one for fifteen minutes, so dead mackerel were put on hooks to get some action. The biggest problem until the storm arrived was catching a blackfin to make bait.

To be honest, I was probably the only guy on the boat with intentions of catching a YF on a jig. The problem with me was that someone made me a sizable bet that I couldn't hog in a YF under 15 minutes. So, I was chunking and getting hooked up every drift. I felt sorry for two guys near the bow who I have never met. They saw me hook up three straight times ( I was in between them) and had long faces. So I felt sorry for them and hooked one up for one guy the next drift and hooked a second one for the other guy the next drift.

By the time I was ready to jig, the storm arrived. I set up one of my group with a tuna max and torsa combo. The guy had never tuna fished before. He is a professional hunting guide and works on the king crab and salmon boats in Alaska to make a living when he is not hunting. I've haven't seen him in ten years. He went nuts catching YF's. Very hard core. He hadn't dropped the long smith jig down more than 50 feet before he had a hit. It was a very small YF, about 20 pounds. I think it turned into chunk. He then helped another angler muscle in a YF that had been on for over an hour.

My intentions were jig the whole second night. That never happened. The skipper called us into a safety meeting around 8am. The conditions were very poor and the storm was worse than he had expected. The fact that the last tuna took 3 hours and 15 minutes to get to the boat was a big factor.

Four tuna got hooked up on the last drift. and it was a bear to bring them in. The last drift the boat was rolling real bad and drifting at a pace that made it almost impossible to get a tuna to gaff. We were in 12 footers with a steady 35 knot wind. The last fish was handed off to 8 different anglers who gave up. It finally was gaffed.

I might also add that as far as gaffing goes, these deckhands were great. I only saw one body gaff and that was the one that was on for 3 hours. All of mine were stuck right in the gills. These guys were awesome dockhands and did not want to loose any fish. I think we boated a total of 27 YF's with only two break offs.
 

· Senior Member
Joined
·
3,586 Posts
Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Glad to hear you had an awesome trip

Brad

It was fun. I never thought I would go on a head boat out of Port A. I think the Gulf Eagle is about 68 feet. We were the only boat offshore at the floaters that night. No Big E in site. In fact, I never saw another fishing boat the whole trip.

We fished boomvang for about 5 hours then ran to Nansen to fish. It was covered with cudas. I think we only put two YFs in the boat. When we returned back to Boomvang the second time the lighting show and rain began. The crew and the Capt. were very serious about catching fish. No messing around, all business and very busy at all times. I'll definitely go out with these guys again.

I'm going to bed. I have serious heartburn. I had a Mexican food craving and ate 6 jalapenos. That combined with a last minute food stop at the grocery store in Port A didn't help. The only food I took on board was 6 double meat double cheese microwave hamburgers. They sucked. Major grease. One of our group was an ER doctor and he gave me something to help with the heartburn onboard. Thank God for his little black bag. He had enough medical stuff to take care of anything that would have happened on the trip.

The Gulf Eagle needs a new crapper. That thing is disgusting. The whole ride back in I couldn't sleep because I had to take a crap. I went outside to let it go on the deck but I couldn't find anything to hold onto. The saltwater spray was like a couple of firehoses on me. The wind was howling so loud that if I would have screamed nobody would have heard me. If I would have gone overboard nobody would have seen me as I was the only one without a bunk. My fishing tackle took up my whole bunk.

When we got back to port the first I did was go inside the office to take care of my problem. I was the fourth guy in line. To make matters worse, I walked over to the portacans next to the ferry landing. There was no TP. I did my thing and walked into the boat ramp water to clean myself.
 

· Senior Member
Joined
·
3,586 Posts
Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Uncle Russ,
I just answered your PM with a PM. I'm not sure if you want to try to get a 75-100lb tuna to the boat in 5 minutes, but if you do as I wrote you, it will work.

North Texas Fiberglass,
yes Capt. Keith was the man. Tony and Chris were the deckhands. Great deckhands and great gaffers. Chris was in shock when he saw me hook up and I called him for a gaff in 5 minutes. I did it to him twice. That bow pulpit on the boat is dangerous. I scoped it out as I boarded the boat and noticed the big anchor with sharp edges sticking out. I went around that thing at least 10 times with 30 pounds of drag. That's not easy with that big chain laying on the pulpit.

Ksong,
This gulf of Mexico fishing is going to be different for you. There are tons of 65 to 120 pound YF's at the floaters. Every trip is different, but nobody had been to boomvang in two weeks because of the bad weather the past two weeks. I could see them running in the lights about 20 feet down.

Maybe they were eating little blacfins because we had a tough time catching a blackfin. The ones we did jig up were tiny. About 2 to 5 pounds. Lots of dolphin out there also. Big 20 to 30 pounds were running in the boat lights.

The problem with the party boats is that they run up to the floater and start a drift. There is always a hot spot within 25 yards of the floater. Once the boat drifts passed the hot bite spot it will drift until all the people get thier fish on the deck. Every now and then a hookup will occur in the middle of the drift. People using light tackle really screw it up. Spending 45 minutes on a 75 pound fish is to long. Maybe I'm a little impatient, but I like pressure fishing.

Jigging on a party boat for you will be hard as you drift off the floaters. You have a good chance jigging close to the floater, but odds decrease when you drift a couple of miles waiting for people with light long rods bringing in their fish.

I not bragging, but I could have put 10 in the box in the 6 hours of fishing we did that night. I have a chunking technique that is killer. It takes a well tuned reel but it hoods up every time. It also tends to piss off other fisherman as they watch you hook up every time you put a chunk out.

I try and put a some more pics tonight. I have to call up my friends and ask for permission. I'm not sure they want their face on the internet. I'm supposed to receive some pics from my lawyer but as of now they have not been emailed to me. I had him take a classic. I think it is very funny, and hopefully some people on this board will see the humor of the pic when I post it.

When I had it done Capt Keith saw me do it. At first he was pissed until I told him the story behind the purpose of the pic. He started laughing and though it was great. We became buddys after that conversation. He'll remember me for a while.
 

· Senior Member
Joined
·
3,586 Posts
Discussion Starter · #21 ·
In the first PIC is the deckhand and others that have been fighting this tuna for 3 hours. Notice the roll of the boat. The fish was hooked in darkness and the strong winds had drifted us over 9 miles from boomvang.

In the second PIC, you will see one of my friends fighting a tuna. Boomvang is barely visible in the center of the skyline. This fish was hooked next to the rig. He spent 1 1/2 hours on this fish. It was nearly impossible to boat him with 10 to 12' seas and 30 knot winds. He made over 15 trips from the stern to the bow on this fish.

The last two are of him still putting Max pressure with little results. That was his forth fish of the night. After these fish were boated the decision was made to run in as the conditions made it to hard to boat a fish in a reasonable time. Capt. Keith was trying to stand next to me when I took these pictures. He told me that pictures never show the seas. So I told him to strap on a life jacket and jump overboard to help show the conditions. He refused.
 

Attachments

· Senior Member
Joined
·
3,586 Posts
Discussion Starter · #33 ·
Yea, thats Chuck. He's not that old, just got finished with a bout with colon cancer! I'm glad to see him back fishing hard. Tony is a great deckhand and always fun to fish with.

I liked Chuck. When we stopped off at the first rig to make bait, he was nailing them. 4 hardtails every drop. I was standing right next to him doing the same thing but only put two in the tank. His sabiki was white and mine was yellow. Next stop the bait wanted yellow and not white. Therefore, I nailed them and he only got a few.

I fished next to him for a couple of hours on the stern. He couldn't believe that I put them on the deck so fast. He uses a braid belt and harness which has seen some time on the water. He does know how to use it. The whole crew knew him very well as he fishes with them a bunch. We are from the same city. He caught two YF's and was saving energy for the bottom bite the next day which never happened because of the weather.

In fact, 7 of the 13 fisherman on the boat were from San Antonio. 5 were from the D/FW area and one guy from Austin. The D/FW head guy just bought a condo in Port A. He and his group have been fishing Port A for 20 years. They need better tackle. They spent way to long on the tuna. I would guess an avg. of 45 minutes per fish.
 

· Senior Member
Joined
·
3,586 Posts
Discussion Starter · #35 ·
Tom,
The guy from Dallas hooked the fish at 5:15am at Boomvang rig. Others hooked up as well but the fast drifting of the boat was a big factor. The guy also had a 7' rod with no beef to the stick. The sad thing is that the top water actions was just starting to happen. Tuna were starting to bust the surface after flyers.

I think there was three hooked up at the same time. I felt a little guilty and didn't even put out a bait on that last drift. I'd already put to many in the box. My friend in the above PICS spent about 1 hour getting his fish. He's good and never let up. The third fish broke off as the angler pushed the drag lever to full in frustration of not being able to gain line on the spool.

Tony was getting very frustrated after two hours as was all others awake at the time. The fish was handed off to all five of the Dallas guys and they never gained ground until Chris (deckhand) and Tony started double thumbing the line for more drag.

I told Keith to chase the fish. He said he would drown those guys on the pulpit. Ten minutes later, he had the boat in gear aiming toward the fish. That helped capture about 100 yards of line while getting the people on the bow very wet in the seas. I almost went out and cut the line several times. One of my friends kept telling me "What if that was your fish." I replied "I don't fish with bass gear."

We were just sitting and watching as we were told that after that one fish got to the boat, we were headed to bottom fish. After the fish finally got gaffed, Keith had the safety meeting and I think he made the right call to go to port. There was no way we could have tied up to a rig to AJ fish.
 

· Senior Member
Joined
·
3,586 Posts
Discussion Starter · #37 ·
Someone sent me a PM wanting to know what a floater looks like. The floaters actually float in the water. They are very deep water, 3000 feet and deeper. The single cylinder coming out of the water is around 450 feet deep and is filled with water to stay stable. Big chains run down the sides of the cylinder and are anchored to the ocean floor. Pipes run along the ocean floor to a network of other floaters carrying gas and or oil. About 40 people live on the floaters year round. Here's a pic.
 

Attachments

· Senior Member
Joined
·
3,586 Posts
Discussion Starter · #40 ·
Hi semipro,

Welcome to 360tuna

I use 3-4ft fluorocarbon leader if the sea is calm and water is real clear but I straight tie to circle hook most of the time.
JMO

I agree with Minnow. At night chunking, fluorocarbon really isn't needed. It does help durning a daytime bite at a anchored shrimp boat. I caught two on this trip by tying 50 pound Berkely Big Game in Electric Blue right to a 6/0 Super Mutu. By the time the chunk of bait is beyond the lights of the boat and has sunk to about 20 feet, the tuna don't seem to care.

It's more important to have a fresh chunk of bait than fluorocarbon. I change out bait every other free spool of the drift. When the bait starts turning white, I toss it overboard. I also like big chunks. A 2 1/2" x 2 1/2" size is ideal. Those little 1 1/2 x 1 1/2 size chunks don't produce as welll as the bigger ones.
 

· Senior Member
Joined
·
3,586 Posts
Discussion Starter · #41 ·
Just got emailed this Pic. Some of my group had fish cleaned at dock while me and others piled them into a truck and went to process at fish cleaning house. Some idot saved some Cudas. I quickly put them in the trash can before getting after the tuna.
 

Attachments

· Senior Member
Joined
·
3,586 Posts
Discussion Starter · #43 ·
One of my friends was obsessed with tossing a top water all night. The top bite was off, but he did catch two. He also caught 4 cuda's on the tuna hunter. On the way back to port he was taking off the lure to store. It had been crushed at some point during the night. He never even noticed it until he handed it to me. I was sitting in the galley when the photo was taken. Below is the lure. I'm not knocking tuna hunter lures. This is just to show you how powerful a fish can be when he locks down.
 

Attachments

· Senior Member
Joined
·
3,586 Posts
Discussion Starter · #55 ·
MrBill,
Just to let you know Chuck landed a Blue Marlin off that boat this weekend.

Good for Chuck. He deserves a blue. They trolled for about an hour with us while we were waiting for the sun to go down. I gather that is when he hooked up. He said he was going for two weekends in a row. How was the tuna bite. The deckhands on the boat are great. One of the guys that was with me, has booked the boat for a private tuan charter. I think he told me that the charter will be the pelican instead of the Gulf Eagle. Looking at the buoy reports, weather was nice out there this weekend off Port A.

How big was the blue? Did they kill it or send it back?
 
1 - 19 of 19 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top