Advice for Galveston Party Boats First Timers

Discussion in 'Charter Boat & Party Boat' started by TomH, Sep 30, 2020.

  1. TomH

    TomH Active Member

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    So if you have just booked or are considering your first tuna trip with Galveston Party Boats here are some observations and tips from someone who just took their first trip with them.

    First off, if you have chosen GPB rest assured you made a great choice. I've done a number of tuna trips with other boats and I can tell you that GPB is a great choice. Capt Matt's reputation is well deserved and his crew is A++++.

    Second, you need to read scubaarchery's beginners guide to GOM party boat fishing. Its mandatory reading. There are a lot of questions to be asked about equipment and if you are reading this you are in the right place to ask.

    After my trip I can tell you there are a few things in that guide I would stress. Bring a sleeping bag or something warm! The cabin is cold! I like my thermostat low when I sleep but wow, even I was freezing when I tried to sleep.

    The suggestion of a popping rig, or at least something that can cast for distance isn't a suggestion if you want big YFT. You need to cast out of the lights to get a good chance. I chose a cost effective rig to do it all. I was slinging an Ugly Stik Tiger Elite with a Battle II 8K and it worked great, except my casting distance limited me. You don't need a Stella and a custom rod, but you need distance.

    Fish for live bait and bring it to the boat that morning, live bait gets results, plain and simple.

    If you are into jigging blackfin then make sure you have bright glowing jigs. Size and shape didn't seem to matter as much as bright glow. I had a number of jigs with me but as soon as I switched to an all glow color jig I got hit on every drop.

    Halcos, you will read it here over and over and there is a reason. Halcos draw strikes. Have a variety of colors in case they are picky, but in general be sure to have halcos.

    When the trip is over and it's time to deal with your catch DO IT YOURSELF! I forgot my knife roll and trusted my fish to the cleaners at the dock. They don't work for GPB to my knowledge and the results were not positive. My fish look like they were cut by a drunk with Parkinson's using a weed eater. The fillet count when I got home wasn't even right. I hope I'm not pissing anyone off with this part, but my experience with that was terrible.

    I probably have other things to say but it's all I can think of now other than securing my next booking. Tight lines all!
     
  2. Illy

    Illy Active Member

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    What’s the best way to work the halcos and yummees/frenzy’s if you are throwing them?
     

  3. TomH

    TomH Active Member

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    I tried multiple methods. The most effective seemed to be giving it a 10 count after it hit the water and a medium speed retrieval. I think that will depend heavily on the mood of the tuna at that time, just like color. I caught everything on a pilchard colored halco but I saw almost all colors thrown catch something. The majority had blue of some sort.
     
  4. lite-liner

    lite-liner troll enforcement Staff Member

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    halco's- throw, count to 20, reel. think rattle-trap.
    when you can feel the wobble in the rod, that's the speed.

    Frenzy flyers- just drift back on top of the chunkers. rip it every
    few minutes.

    easy peezy!
     
    Maitai53, esgeo and Illy like this.
  5. Stevo

    Stevo Well-Known Member

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    It depends on the mood of the tuna.
    Sometimes they like it a little deeper with a slower, more linear retrieve, sometimes they like stuff burned to the boat.
    On my December 2018 New Year Scat Cat trip I caught 2 the first night on a more deeper slower retrieve. second night I Couldn’t get a bite to save my life. When I saw someone catch one on a fast retrieved maguroni I did the same with the halco s d caught another 2 yellowfin and a bunch of black fin
     
    lite-liner likes this.
  6. TomH

    TomH Active Member

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    Tuna are the only creatures moodier than my wife! I think I do better with the tuna. Don't tell my wife.
     
  7. Oliver Batinga

    Oliver Batinga Active Member

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    I used a variety of retrievals techniques and had success with all of them. If I didn't get a strike on one technique, I'd switch to another on my next cast and kept this method until I hot a strike. This is what worked for me...Cast, let it sink for 10-15 sec. and begin ur retrieval. I started with this but it's up to your discretion on which works for you.
    - start with straight retrieval (try various speeds)
    - light jerking. This definitely makes the rattling more pronounced but can pit a strain on ur arm.
    - Twitching. Similar to jerking but smaller, quick jerks.
     
  8. moranmd

    moranmd Senior Member

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    "After my trip I can tell you there are a few things in that guide I would stress. Bring a sleeping bag or something warm! The cabin is cold! I like my thermostat low when I sleep but wow, even I was freezing when I tried to sleep." Great advice. That thermostat only has one setting: freezing! Great in August, but it is like January camping in Colorado during the colder months. They should just store the fish in the cabin on the way home. But yes, GPB has the best crew in the TX fleet! And I am not really complaining. I have been on boats where you had to sit in front of the vent to get cool in the summer.
     
    Stevo likes this.
  9. Tailhook

    Tailhook Member

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    Appreciate the heads up on the cabin being cold. My trip is in November. I will definitely pack some warmer clothing lol.
     
  10. Stevo

    Stevo Well-Known Member

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    Sheet ( optional but with current events I would definitely get my own), pillow and a warm blanket . Sleep on the way there or on the way back . Fish your arms off when you are at the rigs.
     
  11. Dakim

    Dakim New Member

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    Hello! New to Tuna Fishing, you mentioned fishing for live bait, how would you do that and also, how would you keep them alive on the GPB? Bucket and aerator?
     
  12. TomH

    TomH Active Member

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    I fished for pinfish there at the docks because others were doing it, I'm not sure if that is encouraged or not. Put them in an aerated bucket and load them into the livewell on board when you get on the boat.
     
  13. scubaarchery

    scubaarchery Senior Member

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    It’s ok to do that. I do that in the morning before I get in the boat! Scamp candy!
     
  14. Dakim

    Dakim New Member

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    Is there just one livewell on the boat? So everyones just contribute to it and its good to take from?
     
  15. lepidus23

    lepidus23 Member

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    There is a double sided live well that has fish inside if they are brought to the boat or caught on the boat. I’ve never been on one of the long range trips but have made dozens of 12 hour trips on this boat. Normally we catch bait the day before or the morning of and keep them in a floating hotel near the boat. Day of we transfer them into the live well. Usually (50-60) bait fish for a day trip. I will say once the fish are in the live well it’s an honor type system for access but ultimately there are few checks and balances. If you contribute to the bait fish that’s great if not then you should stay away from the live well. I’ll be out there in two weeks with friends and we will definitely try to fill it up the day before!
     
  16. oldtrackster

    oldtrackster Senior Member

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    I have never seen fish cleaners at a party boat dock in Texas that were anything except half ass. It’s convenient and a cornered market so their business will stay steady. Back in my tuna days I had a system of borrowing large coolers from dad and brothers and just brought them back whole and did it myself. This is a great write up, thank you.
     
    GOMFisherman likes this.
  17. Dakim

    Dakim New Member

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    Thank you Lepidus23! Very informative
     
  18. TomH

    TomH Active Member

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    Yes, that's pretty much how it works. If you contribute you can use it.
     
  19. gotmuddy

    gotmuddy Member

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    Great post, Thanks. Someone who was good at filleting fish could make serious bank I think
     
  20. TomH

    TomH Active Member

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    Maybe that is what I should do to recover the cost of the trip! I probably couldn't make it as a professional in a Japanese fish market but I'm certainly more competent than anyone I've paid to clean fish for me.
     
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