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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all,

First time user, long time reader. Let me start by thanking everyone here that contributes their time, energy and effort to the AWESOME information posted concerning overnight trips. It is truly helpful. That said I have several trips booked this year starting in September and was wondering who else may be going on the Capt. John this fall? I have only been on an overnight tuna trip once back in the 90s out of San Diego but have gone on several offshore day trips here in the GoM over the years and recently. My go to fishing is kayak fishing down in Surfside/Freeport with the exception of freshwater kayak fishing each year during the white bass spawn and a rare weather permitting kayak trip offshore down around Port A or Corpus. But blue water is where it's at in my book! I don't want to bore anyone with the details of my gear list but am certainly open to suggestions so I can verify if what I have is correct. I will say that all of the gear I have pulled together was done so based on the incredible info that everyone has posted here.

My booked dates are September 15-16, October 27-28, November 26-27 and December 10-11. If anyone will be along on those trips I'd love to meet you, especially on the September trip as it will be my first overnighter in GoM and I'll be doing it solo (I'm sure there are plenty of people here that finally get fed up waiting for their fishing buddies to commit and just go at it alone). So obviously any suggestions or thoughts you have for a first timer would be fantastic. I know I have no hope of learning everything I need to know on that September trip or even all four trips. I am just hoping not to embarrass myself completely whilst making a bunch of folks mad and to gain enough knowledge to learn how to improve each trip, what I need that I don't have, what I have that I don't need but probably most important know what to do so when my son comes with me in November and December he has two really great trips and maybe even one will be epic!

Thanks in advance everyone.

Cheers,
Brandon
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Right on Illy. You may well miss the noob disaster show in September starring me. Perhaps in October you won't just shake your head & walk away. Could be you just roll your eyes & say 'let me help this fool out'. 馃榿

In any case I look forward to fishing with you!
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks for the info DaleR. I'm not 100% certain but I think I've read everything scubaarchery has posted & watched all his videos on YouTube as far as his tuna trips are concerned and most everything I've done to prep has been based on his input. I am kinda curious though as to why I see so many more videos & posting from fisherman on the NB vs CJ? To be totally honest, for me after having read & watched everything I could it boiled down to 30 hours vs 36 hours for the same money. Boats & crews seem evenly matched & equally rated from what I could tell. Also another reason was I just could not get into the NB system to see trips & make reservations no matter what computer I used. I keep reading that the NB does longer trips but I can't get to the scheduling page to book. Is this just me or do others have this problem?
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks DaleR, that's great info. I vaguely remember now the differences of NB being more tuna & CJ a lot of bottom. I'm good with either, AJ & grouper are on my list to catch. Black fin would be great & yellow fin just icing on the cake.

I was thinking about taking live bait but perhaps on my first trip I should pass that? I feel like I'll have a LOT going on just working on jigging, dead bait, halcos, poppers, etc. But then I'm fearful I won't have live bait & that'll be all that's working. That's how my luck goes.

I do very much remember the galley comparisons people have posted. Sounds like a fully working grill on NB vs microwave grub on CJ. But I'm not picky, decades working as a chef has taught me to appreciate everything!
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Hey matawest, my CJ November & December trips are both on the weekend. My Sept & Oct trips are both Thursday - Friday.

Here is the link to Williams Party Boats calendar for the CJ & Texsun II although I think only CJ does the overnight trips. I'm waiting to see what the 2023 calendar looks like. However based on lots of info I feel like I wouldn't be thorough if I didn't book something on the NB.

 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Illy I'm GREAT at following instructions, it's figuring things out on my own I struggle with. So I'll not let good information & hands on instructions go to waste I can assure you!

Now whether or not I have the skill set to execute those instructions properly is a different story...
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Well palomareknot it looks like we'll both be on the boat Thanksgiving weekend! Thanks for the insight. I think I could continue to research, debate, gear, regear, guess, second guess & lose all my hair trying to be the best prepared I can be & still miss the mark by a mile. Like they say there's no substitute for experience but I'm sure will appreciate everyone's help when the bait hits the water.

Probably passing out 20s to the crew as soon as I step foot onboard would hurt me either. 馃榿
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
I agree. TONS of awesome info from NB, especially from scubaarchery & Capt Matt seems to chime in each time a question is directed his way which is great. I definitely want to book a trip with those guys but I think I'll have to call the office as I can't get into the scheduling & booking part of the site.

Has anyone done the 56 hour trip on NB & has anyone done a longer trip than 36 hour with CJ? Or does anyone know if CJ offers a multi day trip? Sounds like Dolphin Docks in Port A gets a lot of talk for multi day trips in Texas but I haven't heard of many other outfits that do. Granted I'm very new here so I probably just haven't explored enough.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Ha! Where were you before I bought 10 halcos & changed the hooks out last week?

Speaking of halcos though, do most folks attach those from the split ring on the halco to a solid ring on the leader, or are snap swivels used at the end of the leader? Or tie leader directly to the halco split ring?

And does anyone rig them with wire leader material in case of toothy fish hits or that's not a concern? Same question for jigs. The consensus seems to be the wire leader kills the natural action of the baits and losing lures is just part of it but...?

And I'm almost entirely certain if you just happened to have a few rigged halcos with you on our November trip they would be purchased by me. Or ahead of time if you have a site? I like to support local businesses.
 

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Discussion Starter · #26 ·
Hi scubaarchery, thanks for the input. I feel like I have poured through your videos and posts to get set up best I can. I feel pretty solid on my gear but I am still uncertain of the intricacies of how to rig stuff properly. Do you have a video on this or a post that gives an explanation? (I'm sure you do, I just haven't found it.) For example:

1. I've read and seen people say never tie to the split ring, always to the solid ring which palomarknot mentioned a few posts up. I have also seen people say the exact opposite but those folks say it is easier to change jigs that way as you attach the split ring with assist hook(s) to a barrel swivel or solid ring on your leader line then just swap out jig for jig while using the same split ring and hook. Same with Halcos, obviously without the jig hook. I mean, I can see the advantage of that but I always was fearful of the split ring failing. I can only compare it to inshore fishing where I tie my line directly to the jig head for throwing soft plastic swimbaits. When I need to change a lure I just pull the swimbait off of the jig head and replace with another and never have to retie the jig head unless I break off. But perhaps with the tuna/bottom fishing it's just understood that you need to retie each time you change jigs/lures?

2. Speaking of leaders, I have roughly 7-10 foot flouro leaders tied to braid, some with double uni knots and some with Alberto knots. Is this the right way to go about that? In addition, again like palomarknot mentioned, I don't really care for snap swivels but do they serve a purpose for bottom fishing dead or live bait? I made about a dozen double hook knocker rigs with a barrel swivel attached to the end for dead bait and I have a few AJ rigs for dead or live. Should I be tying my leader directly to the barrel swivel or use a snap swivel? I only have inshore experience here to draw upon again but when we 'chill fish' and toss dead shrimp on the bottom we will use flounder rigs (single hook, 1/8oz egg weight) attached to a snap swivel coming off the line so if we break the rig we just quick change at the snap.

3. I have bought a few packages of the Spro Prime Snaps you have recommended. From what I can see online in videos and such it seem you can tie it directly to your leader line for quick change outs of jigs/lures. Is this accurate? Seems like such a simple solution which is what always gets me into trouble. I feel like if this is true then I can totally disregard the second question.

4. If you don't mind my asking and in the spirit of full disclosure what are the dates you have booked on NB in October and November? I still can't get into GPB booking page (is anyone else having issues with this) no matter what computer/phone I use. If you didn't mind a shadow on one of those trips I would call their office and see if they have availability. I mean, hey, what could be better than a tuna trip in October or November? Well, two tuna trips of course!

I would love to come by and talk fishing with you and learn learn learn but I live in the Woodlands about 40 miles from downtown Houston. I am sure there are tons of things I missed here and probably a good chance I am focusing on some of the wrong thing(s) so any info/advice/suggestions you want to pass on will be well appreciated. I mean, I can watch 'GOM tuna trip tackle box' and 'top 8 tuna lures for gulf of mexico galveston party boat' several more times and probably still miss something vital.
 

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Discussion Starter · #27 ·
Whoa! That is a solid fish! I would be thrilled to catch even one like that on the first couple of trips out but I am being realistic and accepting that that is unlikely to happen. Plan for the best but expect the worst right? Then I won't be disappointed. Plus, if it was a choice of me catching that fish or it staying out there for my son to catch that is a no brainer. I LOVE fishing but watching him reel something in is way sweeter. Especially now that he is starting to understand and get it. Well, with inshore and freshwater anyway. Now I'm throwing him to the wolves in deep water so he has to adjust! But he loves when we go offshore. He caught all kinds of stuff a few weeks back when we went out and we've been trying for the last two weeks to get back out there but weather caused both to be cancelled. We have another all day trip scheduled for September 3rd and I really hope the weather holds so I can test out some of this new gear and know how to use it properly before my first overnight trip on September with CJ.

I've read that the yellows were better in the colder months which lead to me booking in November and December. CJ hasn't posted the schedule for 2023 yet but do you have any experience fishing with them in January or February? I would be interested in going on a trip in those months as they are colder so I feel like there would be even better tuna opportunities? Or maybe January and February would be prime time for a longer trip, like 60ish hours? I have not seen anything on CJ site showing a trip longer than 36 but I've read lots of posts that NB does a 56.
 

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Discussion Starter · #29 ·
^Thanks! I plan on leaning heavily on the deckhands but I'm always concerned about being a bother to other fishermen. Here I can be 'that guy' and the worst that will happen will be no one talks to me anymore. Being 'that guy' on the boat may result in me becoming chum! 馃槅
 

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Discussion Starter · #31 ·
Overthinking does get the best of me at times. I just hate going somewhere under prepared. I'd rather take to much then whittle it down after the experience gained as opposed to show up with not enough. This forum is causing me to send some Amazon executive's kid through college. In the last hour I've added 5 more things to my cart. But no complaints from me! Hell, to be honest, learning, researching and shopping new gear is a great deal of the fun for me. Thank goodness this is coming out of my account and the missus isn't seeing the receipts...
 

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Discussion Starter · #43 ·
Ok thanks for all that info guys. Sounds like one size doesn't fit all on rigging which I suspected all along. But now I have an idea of how to rig for which activity & what hardware to use.

Does anybody make a few wire leaders for free lining bait when toothy fish are around? I've read a lot of posts where people said kings & wahoo were thick at night when fishing for YFT & would cut through the fluoro leaders but not to rig wire leaders to halcos because it kills the action. At that point do people just go to jigging or swap to wire leaders & target the kings & such?

Maybe the biggest thing I'm running into currently is how much gear to take? I've read where people take anywhere from a half dozen each halcos & jigs up to 20 each. I've got everything neatly packed into a bag that holds 3700 series tackle trays and I'm over a dozen each on jigs/lures but that bag is getting real damn heavy.
 

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Discussion Starter · #46 ·
Yes most likely cuda. I'm way past the point of information overload & having trouble keeping it all straight. I should probably grab a beer. 馃榿

Ok I'm gonna roll heavy on the first trip then. And i live by that 'better to have it & not need it than need it & not have it' theory which has worked out so far.

And just to be sure, I don't want to run wire leader to a halco right? Kills the action, tuna can see it, etc.? Stick with fluoro leader yes?
 
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