Big E June 5th & 6th Trip

Discussion in 'Offshore Fishing Reports' started by STx Fisherman, Jun 7, 2009.

  1. STx Fisherman

    STx Fisherman Senior Member

    Well...this story is going to be difficult to tell because we only had two yellowfin tuna landed yet we had an outstanding trip. There were very few flying fish around and blackfin were scarce but we managed to pull up quite a load of fish. I'll try to tell as much of the story as I can and hope others on the trip will help me fill it out.

    We left the docks around 6:15 a.m. and headed out into choppy two foot quartering seas. We were headed for some bait and rig fishing on our way out to Gunnison. Bait was hard to come by but we did bump into a couple of pretty nice sized ling. One of those ling bumped my jig a couple of times but I never got the hook set. John threw out a piece of squid and the fight was on. Another fisherman, (someone help me here), managed to hook into the other ling as well and each fish weighed around fifty pounds. Great start!

    We only managed to get around 20 baits in the tank and shifted into fishing for bottom fish as we traveled from rig to rig. Various red snapper, a few AJs, a couple of nice warsaw grouper and a blackfin tuna were caught as we fished the rigs. I managed to jig up a scamp grouper that weighed around 25 pounds. That fish made my day. We fished until close to dark before finishing our voyage to Gunnison.

    One of the entertaining highlights of the daytime fishing was produced by a fellow by the name of Scooter and his portable bow and arrow. Whenever a barracuda would come to the surface he would pull out his archery set, mentally calculate the light deflection and SWOOSH....he nailed them! He would use the attached line to reel in his catch. I have never seen that in person and I must say that it was very entertaining. I am looking into getting a similar setup for ling, triple tail, etc.

    We arrived at Gunnison around 10:30 pm and started the drift with some people jigging and others throwing poppers. The jigging was incredibly slow...blackfin were just not hitting. Flying fish were also very scarce and it looked like we were in for some tough fishing. As the night moved on we were able to coax up some blackfin tuna and start working on putting fish in the box. Although we didn't catch that many blackfin, the ones that we were able to catch were VERY big. My guess is that the average weight of all of the blackfin was well over 25 lbs. Many of us caught blackfin in the thirty pound range. We caught quite a few blackfin on poppers...and they exploded on the poppers just as if they were yellowfin. I caught one blackfin on a popper that I mistook for a yellowfin because after setting the hook, the blackfin peeled line off of my Stella 20K and headed deep. That fish ran as if he were late to peeled as much line as any yellowfin that I have ever caught. I need to weigh that fish....he was probably well over thirty pounds.
    I was amazed at the aggressiveness of the blackfin on the poppers...I guess that they were yellowfin wanna-be blackfins.

    A couple of interesting twists on the night fishing was provided by Capt Mark, et al. Late in the morning the number of us fishing was relatively small so they decided to try looking for some swordfish. They set some nice squid baits down on some heavy mono, (400 lb line I think), with stick lights at different depths. I was very surprised at what I saw between tosses of the popper...I turned around and saw this beautiful 30 pound dorado flapping around on the floor. They were able to catch that dorado on one of the shallower baits. The deep bait had some action too. The deep bait was cut off and about 18" to 24" of the mono leader was sanded down by an apparent billfish....most likely a swordfish. The effort at boating a swordfish was not completely successful, but it did yield the nice dorado and it seems that we came close to seeing a swordie.

    I was totally spent by daybreak and decided to catch some rest while others trolled some baits around and fished around the Gunnison platform.
    As I rested I heard that the remaining fishermen found a group of rainbow runners at the rig and they were able to take advantage of the situation by boating quite a few very nice sized fish. I was told that around twenty or more rainbow runners were caught altogether.

    We then fished more rigs on the way in before heading to Stetson rock. One of the rigs produced some red snapper in the 20 lb. range. Nice sows!
    Stetson rock produced quite a few kingfish...not much else.

    All in all we ended up with:

    2 - Yellowfin tuna
    Many Blackfin tuna, (didn't get the totals...but probably 30 to 40)
    2- Warsaw grouper
    1- Scamp grouper
    3-4 Amberjacks
    Many Red snapper with quite a few sows, (I believe we caught our limit)
    1 - Dorado
    2 - Ling (maybe three)
    20+ - Rainbow runners
    A few Kingfish
    A couple of sharks

    Jen from Sea Center Texas out of Houston was on the trip, (a very delightful young lady), and was able to tank a few specimens to take back to their 52,000 gallon aquarium. She was also able to take size measurements and pictures of a small Ridley Sea Turtle that we scooped up for her research.
    I plan on framing one of her pictures with the measurements to hang on the was very cool.

    Not many yellowfin or blackfin....but....the trip was outstanding. You couldn't ask for a better group of people to fish with....all were very nice and fun to fish with. I still think that The Big E is one of Texas' best fishing platforms and their Captains and crew still rock.

    Thanks to everyone on the provided me with another life long memory event. What a trip!
  2. Grescobia

    Grescobia Senior Member

    Richard, glad you had an entertaining trip. I agree with you on your Big E statement.I and bellyup are looking to sail on the Big E on the 26.Hope the trip goes.

  3. ToneyC

    ToneyC Senior Member

    I caught one blackfin on a popper that I mistook for a yellowfin because after setting the hook, the blackfin peeled line off of my Stella 20K and headed deep. That fish ran as if he were late to work....

    Ha ha, nice quote. It sounds like the yellows didn't hit you guys either. We had a similar experience with the blackfins on the Tomeny trip. They were big!

    Glad you guys got to haul some meat. Nice report!
  4. Kneal

    Kneal Junior member


    It was great to meet you and some of the other guys. This was my first Big E trip and it was a blast. I learned alot on this trip and enjoyed the Popping lesson you put on those blackfin. Everytime I turned to your side you were hooked up. We were fishing chunks and it was slow and about 3am finally had to get some down time. Came back about a hour to dawn and you were still hamering them.
  5. BretABaker

    BretABaker Guest

    i believe it was a full moon last night, though im quite surprised you didnt get more yellowfin. how was the jig bite?

    good trip on the runners though i havent been on a trip with that many rainbow runners.

    any pictures?
  6. SpecialK

    SpecialK Super Moderator

    Thanks for the report! Glad you were able to make it out on the water.
    I have not heard a great head boat report on YFT in some time now...
    I wonder ifthe fish are hiding out farther than the floaters...?
  7. BretABaker

    BretABaker Guest

    there are tuna out there........most places in the us/world arent so lucky to have floaters than have bait and fish around them. dropoffs/mounds/temp breaks etc would be places to look for the schools in addition to floaters
  8. STx Fisherman

    STx Fisherman Senior Member

    I think its just a little early in the year. Once the flying fish start showing up, the yellowfin will have a reason to come up. At this point in time...the flying fish just aren't thick around the floaters yet.

    I just had a picture taken with the scamp. I'll post it up a little later. It weighed 20.9 lbs. Hopefully someone took more pics.

    I also weighed the biggest blackfin that I caught. It weighed 26.8 lbs. (I thought it was over 30 lbs.)
  9. Bellyups

    Bellyups Senior Member

    That's a nice blackfin Richard! Glad you had a great time!
  10. STx Fisherman

    STx Fisherman Senior Member

    Here's a pic of the scamp....

    Attached Files:

  11. Bellyups

    Bellyups Senior Member

    Here's a pic of the scamp....

    You're holding a nice grouper too.:)
  12. STx Fisherman

    STx Fisherman Senior Member

    lol....well...I've never been called a scamp before. That's probably an improvement....<grin>.
  13. Formula4Fish

    Formula4Fish Senior Member

    Here's a pic of the scamp....

    Nice Scamp Richard,

    I'd say that fish made the trip worthwhile :)

    Thanks for a great report.

  14. STx Fisherman

    STx Fisherman Senior Member

    i believe it was a full moon last night, though im quite surprised you didnt get more yellowfin. how was the jig bite?

    I jigged the entire time during the daylight hours. I don't know how many fish that I caught...but it was a lot. I threw back many undersized AJ's, red snapper and a couple of kingfish. The scamp that I caught was on a jig...well I should say the scamp that I snagged. I caught the scamp between the eyes on the high part of his forehead.

    I also lost a bunch of hard pullers....probably nice keeper sized AJs that just fell off of the jig hook towards the end of the fight, (near color). I think I need to relax off of the drag a bit...I've always been one to try horsing them in. I had a blast jigging and hooked up on a very high percentage of my drops.

    Jigging for me was a good news/bad news kind of thing.
    The bad news...I lost about 15 - 20 jigs on this trip.
    The good news....I caught quite a few fish AND my gear bag weighed a lot less on the way back home.
  15. BretABaker

    BretABaker Guest

    i meant tuna jig bite - but congrats on the bottom jigging, snapper love jigs :). what were you using?
  16. STx Fisherman

    STx Fisherman Senior Member

    The jig bite for blackfin was very slow...they just wouldn't hit jigs.
    I used the 7oz and 9oz Williamson Benthos jigs the whole time.
  17. rtran

    rtran Senior Member

    how many people went on this trip?
    looks like you had a blast!
  18. STx Fisherman

    STx Fisherman Senior Member

    There were 20 people signed up....but I was told that there were actually 28 people fishing. Not too sure about the total....but it was definitely roomy.
  19. rtran

    rtran Senior Member

    I bet! Who was capt and deckhands?
  20. DeepBlueGulf

    DeepBlueGulf Senior Member

    Wow, that sounds like a great trip, it's gotta be alot more fun than sitting at the keyboard and criticizing good people who have put us on some epic fishing trips!!

    Glad you got out and caught some fish!

    Tom - DBG