La Pesca 10/16-10/18

Discussion in 'Offshore Fishing Reports' started by word-doctor, Oct 19, 2009.

  1. word-doctor

    word-doctor Senior Member

    I'm about to start cleaning a whole bunch of fish. The trip was a wash as far as tuna went; a full boat and we only got about a dozen blackfin. Then again, 2/3 of the folks onboard were sick at least some of the time, and some of them rarely left the bunks downstairs.

    The run out was really rough. Ryan decided to head south and hope to avoid some of the front. We saw a lot of lightning on Friday to the north of us, but just avoided that. Not the wind, though: 10-12 ft on the way out, and not much less when we stopped at the rig. I got two of the BF on a 14 wt Williamson. Bite stopped and we then had mechanical issues, so we only got the one drift. Even I--Little Merry Freaking Sunshine--was disappointed at that.

    We ran a looonnnnggg way north most of Saturday, with the possibility of either fishing more or going in, depending on the boat's and passengers' conditions. VERY rough. Tiny intervals and big waves bouncing into each other--wind was almost directly opposite the strong current. Scotty came out of the wheelhouse after one shattering crash to report "That last one was 22 feet." Chris had a helluva time trying to cook the first two days, getting bounced all over the galley.

    Stopped and anchored at a rock in 230' of water Saturday evening. Waves and wind had relented some by then; rollers were at least spaced out a little bit and down under 10'. Current was still pretty strong; had to use 12oz. to drop to the bottom. I hooked up with a really big something on my hotrodded 4/0; fish ran under the boat and tangled up someone on the other side. Scott and Kevin sorted it out nicely, and I went to work on one of the rail hukis. My reel seat cracked, so a fellow angler helped me by bracing the rod/reel and even pulling line up for me. Got a look at a big barred shape about 15' down, then it pulled drag (set at 20#!) and snapped the leader, which had probably gotten beat up on the keel. Bummer; my guess was a really nice grouper.

    Started catching beeliners like crazy, including some really high-grade ones. There were only 3 of us fishing the port side by 1am, some guys at the back, and 1 or 2 on starboard. Didn't catch as many red snaps as sometimes happens, and I can honestly say that there wasn't a stream of floaters; the crew was good about venting and very few came up with the balloon in their throats anyway, for whatever reason. Flipper got fed, no doubt, but not stuffed.

    One guy had a Penn 330, another a 6500 baitrunner, and I had the Spheros 14K. Drop a 2 hook rig with squid to the bottom, wait for bite, set, put rod in rail huki, and reel up fast. We caught a bunch that night. I got one legal lesser AJ, and there were a few Lanes mixed in with the beeliners. Between the three of us I doubt we had fewer than 80. Tim, who was second captain, came out and got the back of the boat set up for kings, so I took a break from dropping to get one.

    Very late, "MAKO!!!!" rang out. One of the guys fishing for kings off the back latched onto a very pi$$ed off shark that started jumping. It ran from the starboard to the port corners; we saw it jump three times on our side, and every baitfish in the area zone ran away from the mayhem; one flyer was so frantic over what was going on 200 yards away that it kami'd right at our feet. The crew worked hard to get the shark, but they were working with a 4/0 boat outfit and a kingfish leader... I think they tied to another outfit but the line finally frayed and snapped above the 2' wire leader. Later that night, passenger Scott got a good shark (I didn't get an ID) boatside and they clipped the leader.

    About 4 or 5am I had a beeliner coming up and it suddenly got really strong. A good king missed it, hit the second hook, and I got it up fast enough that it didn't chew through the mono. Lucky.

    The next morning the wind had died down enough so more folks drifted out. Early on several nice AJs were hooked and two landed. Couple of small grouper, and some small sharks. I was pretty cooked after 10 hours and just watched, as things were really slow anyway... even the beeliners were spotty at best. We saddled up about noon and got in about 530pm.

    I had a great time, although it was because I consciously efforted it, not because we were killing lots of tuna. Chris worked very hard in the kitchen and was lucky not to get burned bad as stuff fell, spilled, or splashed. Gator, Scott and Kevin were great. Gator was banged up working in the engine room Friday night and still managed to be full of it while he worked the deck. As I noted above, a lot of the passengers were sick enough to be put out of action, and some had even less experience offshore than me. I have to note this, though, because it was a highlight of the trip. Paul, who I don't think had ever fished offshore, brought his 11 year-old son Curt, who definitely hadn't. Curt did not complain ONCE. Not one time. He was a quiet and polite little dude, despite extremely long rides, horrible weather, and very marginal fishing. Course, he wasn't puking either. Saturday night he got some beeliners, and had rods handed to him with a king and a shark, respectively. I told his dad he'd ruined him forever, and it would be even worse after a GOOD tuna trip.

    Thanks to the crew, captains, and anglers, especially Jack Tucker for setting up the trip. A lot of us had been on last year's Halloween 60 hour trip, and it was good to see y'all again. It sucked to know that earlier in the week they whipped up good on the tuna and then we got blown out, but so be it.

    I've got two BFT, a couple dozen beeliners (etc.), to clean and bag, plus two kings and a little shark to brine and smoke. After that I'll post pics.

  2. Custom Canvas

    Custom Canvas Member

    Great Report!

    where were you fishing out of??

    Sound like you made the best of a rough time that is always hard to do but sometimes it paysoff big time and you smear the fish when its rough......

    good fishing to you

    cc out

  3. fishinmachine

    fishinmachine Member

    Great report and great attitude, W-D. Ryan, Tim and crew obviously worked hard in crappy conditions to get you some fish. Didn't envy you guys when I drove past the DDs on Friday and saw that the LaPesca had sailed. I was on the 13th-15th trip and knew the front was coming.
    You made the best of a bad situation and came home with some fish.....GREAT JOB! Wouldn't be any fun if it was always easy, would it???