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This is a post written by my clients after they got back from a overnighter with me on Saturday. It does have some tuna involved in it but it also has the largest sword I have put in the boat off of Venice so that is why I am putting it on here for you guys to read. The sword measured out at 77" and since the marina wasn't open I couldn't weigh it but I am guessing it would fall in the 240-250 range. I couldn't load all of the photos on here but you can view them at www.relentlesssportfishing.net

Capt. Mike

I had been trying to plan an overnight trip to Venice for almost a year. Katrina messed things up real bad, but as soon as I heard they had power and a clean bed I was setting up a trip. I called up Captain Mike Ellis, checked on some date, and talked with three of my best friends. Aug. 12 (last Sat) right after my summer semester seemed to fit everyone the best. BTW Capt. Mike and his wife are expecting a baby around Aug 20th.
Andy, Jamie and Myself, hit the road Friday afternoon planning on meeting up with Jim, Jamie's father, around New Orleans. We got delayed in traffic and thunderstorms so we finally gave up on New Orleans and were headed straight to Venice. We got onto Hwy 23 and just after passing through Fourchon, I joked that there's not much down here and that just may be the last gas station; well it was, until the end of the road. It was little nerve racking worried about gas and to make things worse we got pulled over about 10:00pm, the cop said we were doing 75 in a 55, but there was no way, the roads are so bumpy we could only go 55 in a 65. He was more just checking us out, and after Jamie said something about meeting his father for tuna fishing and we were off with no problems.
The next morning we woke up and cooked breakfast expecting to leave out about 1:00pm. I called C. Mike and offered some breakfast, being the only breakfast joint in town we had the Captain come over and started discussing the game plan. We could go east and get on some stupid-good tuna fishing, then go sword fishing at night, or we could go west and hit the rigs for tuna, try to catch tuna all night, but just in search of the unknown, because all the other guides have been going east. We could all see that Capt Mike wanted to go sword fishing pretty bad, and I felt if we struck out that he would work hard to put fish in the boat.
We got on the boat about 12:00 and left the dock shortly after. We made bait on open water schools of threadfin herring, then off of a mooring buoy that held tuna crack. The word on the radio was the fish were still there but the small yellowfin had moved in as well, and were killing allot of bait. Still on the way out to the Rig for tuna, we stopped on a nice weed line, to check for some dolphin, nothing home but some more small hardtails were caught. About a mile and a half off the rig captain yells "Marlin" and drops the boat off of plane. I rig a threadfin fast and get him into water, only to see about 12" of the marlin's bill out of the water and streak 40 yards in a second in a half. Unfortunately it was not towards our bait, but we gave him about 20 mins to find the bait, and then headed to the oil rig.
There was another boat at the rig, they were shooting a Tv show, and had the fish working hard for the camera. They were flying a kite w/balloon, and live chumming baits. Lets just say the tuna were putting on a show. Big fish boiling, and Small tuna 10 feet out of the water. We hooked up in about twenty minutes of bump trolling. And it was on, Jim was up on the rod first and handed it over to his son Jamie, who complained that all his dad did was let the tuna go as deep as possible, so Jamie had to work that much harder to get it up. (that's ok Jim would redeem himself)
This tuna was about 80 pounds. The Mike asked if it was his first tuna, then quickly smeared bloody on his face. He was so tired he didn't even care.

The next fish hit the rod my rod, an Avet 40/2 with 80 pound line. The fish got me past my 125 yards of mono and well into my braid, in about 30 seconds. After that I worked him almost straight up to the boat and Capt. stuck a gaff in him after about only 15 mins. That was pretty sweet.
Then we hooked up with something that never jumped but never went deep, it stayed out to the side, Andy was on the rod for about 35 mins. And then handed it to me, only 3 or 4 mins later, the fish thrashed it's head three time and broke off. Capt. Mike said it was most likely a Marlin with the way it fought out to the side the whole time and the way the line was scarred above the break. I hate breaking fish off, that sucked.
It was pretty slow for about an hour, and just as Mike is saying they might have turned off for the night, the other side of the rig had a few fish busting on it. We bump trolled over there and as soon as we did the side of the rig we just left went ballistic. Capt. gave it about 30 seconds and was like screw those baits get those lines in quick, We can't sit here while they are doing that. As soon as we got the bait back out, the Captains Tiagra 16 went off again, and Andy is on the rod. Then while Jamie is clearing the other line, my rod gets hit again, and Jamie is on it. Now we have a double on, so I set down the popper-rod and go back there to help, I look and Jamie has my avet pushed up way past strike, and I know he was pulling 22-25 pound of drag without a fighting harness. I bet that felt heavy. I back it down a little and let them work. They were doing good zig-zagging around each other, But captain was getting nervous and told somebody to get one of those fish in the boat. A few Minutes later Jamie was whooped and I grabbed my avet from him. I switched to low gear and bumped up the drag and grinded a 100 pounder to surface. Then we fought that other fish for a while. It is amazing what a difference few more pounds of drag makes in the fight time, We had the 16 pushed up to full, but with only 50 pound line, it still was a real battle to get this second 100 pounder in the boat, Makes for a good photo, though.
With everyone tired from 4 big tuna in the boat, we grab a beer and head off to the sword fishing grounds. This is where captain mike started to impress me, and it was nothing groundbreaking, it was just the little details and the attention to everything that he was displaying; from watching the jugs constantly, to the baits he was fishing and the way he rigged them.
The Current was't very strong and the wind was variable, this made the drifts tough, and a couple of times it looked like all three jugs were tracking in different directions from the boat. Bam, one jug pops off and the reel starts screaming. I have done a good bit of night fishing in freshwater, but to see the sword strobe lights coming up to the surface with a fish on it is a pretty cool thing. Get all the lines in and it turns out to be about a 5' shark, maybe a dusky? So we reset all the lines and about 30 mins later another jug pops, off, this one just comes up and goes around the motors, and captain thinks it's a shark, so we leave the lines set. Then all of a sudden the fish come up and breaches right on the other side of the light ring. Wow that's a big sword, so everybody but especially Mike instantly is in freak out mode. Since Jim didn't finish off any tuna, he is on the rod, I run up with him and help capt get the harpoon, get it screwed together, my buddies are getting Jim in the harness. Then we all are clearing lines. Everything settle down, Jim is tired but Mike is pumping him up, saying "this could be the third largest sword in the state if you stay on the rod", and then talking him up repeatedly "Jim I know you are tired but you got to stay with this keep on fighting" Jim would get another burst and about 12:30am this big fat 200 pound sword popped up.
Jim Looking happy with his "Catch of the Day"

Then Mike wanted to somebody to go over and pick him up. Everybody else looking exhausted, so I ran over and gave it the heave-hoe. It took everything I had to get this big boy up to my waist.

We cleared the fish-box to throw the sword on the bottom and the tuna and Ice on top of him. We soon realized we had no more room for fish and the sword bill wouldn't allow the box to close.
I am sort of expecting to haul for the barn and the Captain then looks up at me and says you want to make one more drift. Hell yeah, my kind of fisherman! So we go to reset the lines and soon realize that the bait had gotten lost in the bottom of the fish box. We know we can't let the sun get up, and melt all of our ice, so we decide to make one more drift with the two baits we have remaining.
Captain is letting out the line on first rod when it gets hit before we got the jug on. This turned out to be a little black-fin that we threw back. We only have 1 more bait, but out he goes, and about and hour later the rod goes off. We can tight but after a few minutes the hook pulled. I would have never thought you could talk me into going in early, but with the box full of great fish, we couldn't risk the catch for the morning bite, and I looked around and all I saw was big smiles. I was expecting this to be a trip of lifetime, but everyone on board was thrilled beyond our dreams. Thanks Captain Mike,
Here are the Dock photos


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I wanna see some baby pictures Mike.

That's a great report that you fishermen wrote. Thanks for sharing it.

May God bless you and your wife with a healthy, happy child. I pray that ALL goes well and that you are there for the delivery.

I wanna see some pictures from the proud Daddy.

Oh yeah, your life is gonna change....
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