Well, I wanted to share some of the highs and lows during the Tuna mania tourney. Pre trip: It didn’t take long to talk Bret, Jared, and TJ into crewing up on Shanes 42Don Smith (Minnow-soda). Having fished with all these guy’s so much my expectations were high that I had a team with the heart to bring the A game for two nights straight and at least make a good showing. I was stoked to say the least. I had friends fishing at Diana, BV, Nancen, and Gunnison the weekend before the tourney and all reports came back with 1 or 2 fish a boat (Pretty freaking sad) On Tuesday before the tourney Texasoffshore.com showed a small pocket of altimetry starting to form off the shelf and moving to one of my favorite tuna feeders, As the week went on this pocket of water steadily grew and moved even closer to the spot I had in mind, We had internet at surfside Marina on the boat the morning of the tourney and logged in Pulled up the altimetry and confirmed our game plan was good. Departed to a calming sea about 6:00pm and arrived about 1:30am. There were about 8 boats there and the bite was very slow. We fished everything we had, dead flyers, live butterfish, jigs and poppers from OTI that TJ brought along. The boat traffic was keeping the fish down and some boats were doing 12kts right over the fish over and over. We managed to put a few on the boat about 50lbs but about 4:30 am the bite we were after came, Shane was soon to be in the longest fight of his life! This fish was acting foul hooked and he just couldn’t turn his head, The fish came up early on and looked to be hooked in the mouth but who knows it was pretty dark, Two hours in to the fight we seem to have lost some drag and the reel feels a little weird, Shane is pushing line on the spool as he is reeling only to have the fish sound whenever he wanted. 4 1/2 hours later the team decided to put a new set of arms on the fish and Bret took the rains. Thumbing the spool with both hands he slowly gained some line and after about a hour the fish is close, one or two more of the huge death circles and this is going to be over with when POW! Fish turns out of the loop and breaks the double line. Well, quiet fell upon the crew as I pulled the boat on plane and it is now well into the day so out goes the spread and we do some trolling till afternoon witch only produced one knock down by a dorado. Dark falls on us once again and the crew seems to want some redemption from the arse whooping the tuna gave us the night before, Poppers, baits, and jigs are flying but soon the wind dies to nothing and there is no drift, We are standing in diesel smoke and our own 2 day tuna stench. Hours go by with not much to show but some more 50s. Crew starts nodding off with the rod in there hands but still has baits in the water. I think TJ had made 200 cast with poppers for nada, Jared was on about his 30th BFT chucked for the night and the not so good Butterfish we had in the well were down to just a few. I kept the boat on top of the fish all night and it was looking like it was not going to happen. I knew we needed a big bite soon and I picked up a OTI popper and started chucking to some scattered blowups. BOOM! Fish is on and just handing me my @$$ on TJs spinning outfit, Well most that know me understand that I am not a spin guy so I hand of to Jared while TJ gets his gear on to battle this fish. After losing the night before know one wants to button down on the 60lbs test leader so once again we are in a light line/drag standoff. Eventually the fish tires and gives us a gaff shot and it is over. We continue to toss baits into the mourning but the YFTs just got smaller. We had our kicker fish and now it was time to find a Hoo for the slam division, Soon after we get on plane the port motor shuts down and we are now officially SUCKING! I must of looked like someone killed my dog. Looks like a filter and there is no spare so we bleed the injectors and see if we can get her on plane with 1 ½ motors. It worked and we decide to forego the day of fishing and get what we have to the scale. We made it back and our box of fish held up for the win! Hooters girls, open bar, and some tourney bling took off some of the exhaustion and fun was had for sure. One of the reason I am posting this is to give folks a understanding what it takes to play in a real tuna tourney, The other reason is to thank all the folks that it takes to make it happen. Tourny was first class run by the same folks as the Legends and hosted by surfside marina, Their staff did a great job and Daniel was instrumental in getting the boat ready for the long run the GOM had waiting for us. Shane for supplying the best CC boat in the gulf, TJ sponsoring us with all the OTI gear we could ever want, Texasoffshore.com for the sea info that put us on a spot that was holding fish and the best crew a boat driver could ever have. The format of this tuna tourney was perfect and there is no way one lucky troll fish is going to win it. I think this will grow to be one of the biggest tournys in Texas someday and I hope to see ya all there next year.