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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Results of 36 hour Tuna Trip aboard La Pesca - - 12-17-21

Meh.

There is likely a reason why Dolphin Docks and Williams Party Boats have a lot of open spots not yet booked on their tuna trips - - on the other hand, The New Buccaneer get's fully booked out on-line for a whole season within 2 or 3 hours time. I would have gone on the New Bucc if they had slots open, but they are booked solid. The only way I got on that boat twice last spring was through the cancellation list.

You can always pretty much tell how an operation deals with the public when they insist on your signature on some document that spells out all the terms that you cannot get your money back - - New Bucc does not behave like this.

This trip on La Pesca started out unfavorable for me because they called from Dolphin Docks to change the dates at the last minute. I booked with my son, but they backed it up a day to leave Friday morn the 17th, my son has a 9 to 5 job, so he could not go, that was a real bummer. The boat claims to hold 28 ?, but because of change of dates at last minute, only about 19 showed to fish.
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The image shows the results - - only 17 large YF tuna, 2 small YF, 5 blackfin tuna (Do what ? Only 5 BF tuna ?). Yes, only 5 were remaining after cutting up another 5 or so for chunk bait trying for YF tuna. The crew actually was so low on chunk bait they had to break out a bag of 5 or so FROZEN BF tuna, once they are frozen the meat gets mushy, will not stay on the hook - - and a big fat Zero for beeliners because La Pesca does not stop at ~30 miles or so out to do some bottom fishing, the New Bucc does, and we loaded up on tasty snapper fish everytime we have stopped to fish there.

Instead La Pesca boat trolls like 4 lines for an hour or a little more, just before the rig and still daylight. Once a fish is on they give it to one of us fishermen, a LOT Less fish meat overall, than would be caught by stopping to let EVERYONE all at once, load up on bee-liners at a ~30 mile spot.

I started out jigging once we got to the rig, but after 20 minutes of that with no bites I gave up and moved to topwater lures. I have been on various party boats, this was my 4th attempt, I have never seen a night when the BF tuna were not being pulled up jigging by the multiple dozens - - even 200 or more. I tried casting Halco 130's, Flying fishes, but never got much of a bite on topwater lures. Then I went to drifting chunk bait which is where I caught 2 YF, but only landed the smaller one (100 Lb. test mono broke off when rubbed against side of boat, the huge YF was so close to the surface we could see him).

I noticed the Captain and one other obviously experienced guy had some good luck with topwater lures casted out.

Of those 17 big YF, at least 2 or 3 guys caught multiple YF, so it was not like almost everyone got a YF, some went home with NO FISH at all.

Bait brought by the crew for chumming ? - - very slim in my opinion, I only saw 2 "pizza boxes" of frozen sardines (again - - mushy bait).

La Pesca is a SLOW boat compared to The New Bucc, they said it would be 11 hours to reach our deepwater rig.
The Captain and the crew were nice guys, they were just hamstrung by a very old, slow boat, and DD management gave them little to work with in terms of chum.
We drifted by the rig multiple times, but all the folks jigging gave up after a while as I saw nothing biting on the jigs, hence very few BF tuna in the image.
I would say 50% of the large YF tuna were lost, a lot due to line scrapping on the boat hull, just when you could actually see through the water it was a big YF (brought up really close to the boat).
ScatCat was out at the same rig that night, our rig was not Perdido, I don't recall the rig name.

DD has a rule you cannot even bring your own drinking water on the boats which is pretty lame. DD charges you for bottled water. So pay up, or die of thirst May-tees.
In the dorm room below with sleeping bunks there was always a smell of diesel, water started leaking in and all my backpacks of gear got soaked on bottoms, they were stowed underneath the bunks.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I have caught much more on two New Bucc trips - - - when you add up the beeliners, the multiple BF tuna, and the 1 or 2 YF tunas.
The haul of beeliners and BF tuna from The New Bucc almost guarantees everyone get's fish to bring home, the YF's are the prize, the icing on the cake.
Maybe it was just not a good night, full moons are not the best for fishing, but the conditions on this ole boat were certainly under par compared to "The Bucc" and ScatCat.

The La Pesca was built in the 60's - - - inside it kinda reminded me of an offshore trip I got hog tied into on a big boat in Cabo San Lucas - - the boat was like taped together with duct tape everywhere.
 

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The La Pesca was built in the 60's - - - inside it kinda reminded me of an offshore trip I got hog tied into on a big boat in Cabo San Lucas - - the boat was like taped together with duct tape everywhere.
The New Bucc and Scat Cat were built in 1974, so not so new either.
 

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If the trip would have been a success then you would have written a different report. Some trips are rough and some are awesome, it’s a gamble every time you go out there, there are no magic formulas for filling up a boat. I can tell you are quite new at this sir.
I’ve been on the scat cat 56 hour trip with a hardcore 360 tuna crew and only managed 1 ( one ) yellowfin for the entire boat. Yes, I said ONE.
Once the boat leaves, the captain decides how to fish and where ( and I believe that goes for all the boats). The boat is what it is but make no mistake sir, many big fish died on her decks and it is my belief that the crew and captain killed more wahoo on that boat than any other boat in Port A. they are very experienced and saw them many times fishing close to us on our tuna trips ( maybe the crew has changed but the older crew were masters of trolling baits ).
 

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Well said. It's easy to get discouraged and lose sight of the reality that a rough day on the water is still a good day. Spending time with old friends and making new friends while doing something we all enjoy together is worthwhile in and of itself. Not every trip is the epic meat haul we all dream of, but maybe the next one is.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
If the trip would have been a success then you would have written a different report. Some trips are rough and some are awesome, it’s a gamble every time you go out there, there are no magic formulas for filling up a boat. I can tell you are quite new at this sir.
I’ve been on the scat cat 56 hour trip with a hardcore 360 tuna crew and only managed 1 ( one ) yellowfin for the entire boat. Yes, I said ONE.
Once the boat leaves, the captain decides how to fish and where ( and I believe that goes for all the boats). The boat is what it is but make no mistake sir, many big fish died on her decks and it is my belief that the crew and captain killed more wahoo on that boat than any other boat in Port A. they are very experienced and saw them many times fishing close to us on our tuna trips ( maybe the crew has changed but the older crew were masters of trolling baits ).
I don't call 4 trips out: "quite new at this", but thanks for sharing anyway. BTW, do you work for DD's ? I already had much of my thoughts written down after studying the boat, before we even started fishing. Again, I repeat: the crew and the captain were great. I am sticking to my guns on this report, the buying public needs to know how these operations work. Oh, and BTW, another little tidbit: The web page for DD's says NO BRAID. So before I signed up I asked the ladies that answered the phone about that, not once, but in 2 different phone calls, each time the lady answering says you only need a leader of mono or floro. So I bought a spot on the boat. Then, just before the trip I inquired again: this time a lady changed course and said " Oh no, you must have at least 50 yds. of mono or floro as a topshot.
So I completely respooled my spinning reel. Finally, when I got on site that morning I asked the captain in front of the entire group about braid, he said: He didn't care about that, use what you want".
He also said the ladies in the front office don't know squat, talk to me next time.
 

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This just sounds like you were expecting every head boat to act like the new buccaneer mate.

scat cat, pesca, dolphin express all do not do bottom fishing, their aim is for bigger fish, they want the most tuna as possible. They definitely put fish in the boat.

I was on the new bucc this weekend 12/17, it was suppose to be a 56 hour but there was a big front coming in Saturday. if your original book date was 12/18 than your trip would have been canceled instead of them reworking their schedule a day early to get the boat to go.

Sounds more like you just need to temper your expectations, if it was a hot bite your story would probably be a bit different.

Also our 30 hour the same night with new buc landed only about 20 yft with 38 anglers, so it was just an off night all around.
 

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I don't call 4 trips out: "quite new at this", but thanks for sharing anyway. BTW, do you work for DD's ? I already had much of my thoughts written down after studying the boat, before we even started fishing. Again, I repeat: the crew and the captain were great. I am sticking to my guns on this report, the buying public needs to know how these operations work. Oh, and BTW, another little tidbit: The web page for DD's says NO BRAID. So before I signed up I asked the ladies that answered the phone about that, not once, but in 2 different phone calls, each time the lady answering says you only need a leader of mono or floro. So I bought a spot on the boat. Then, just before the trip I inquired again: this time a lady changed course and said " Oh no, you must have at least 50 yds. of mono or floro as a topshot.
So I completely respooled my spinning reel. Finally, when I got on site that morning I asked the captain in front of the entire group about braid, he said: He didn't care about that, use what you want".
He also said the ladies in the front office don't know squat, talk to me next time.
i do not work for the boat but I’ve been doing this long enough to know experience when I see it and the captain and crew of that boat have been around for a while and they do put people on fish ( if you still remember your math and do it properly you will see that you actually did better than the New Buccaneer in terms of yellowfin). As per your own admission there were many break leaders and unfortunately it’s part of the game but that also played a big part in the numbers. No captain wants you to break off or loose fish at color, it hurts them as much as it does you , they want filled limits of big, fat fish, happy customers and big tips. They want you to catch big fish so they can post it and get more business and more tips.
Not interested in their policies, I know how to read between the lines and I’m smart enough to know that nobody will come and count how many yards of line each customer leader is.
All charter captains know how to read you the first five minutes ( you just don’t land that job overnight) you fish and if he sees that you know what you are doing and are safe around others ( and a little politeness goes a long way), will let you fish with your desired length of leader
 

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Your catch of 19 YFT is not bad for a boat with 19 anglers. New Bucc went out at the same time with more anglers on board and caught the same number of YFT and only 15 BFT. That’s just how tuna fishing goes. Sometimes they just can’t be found or do not want to have anything to do with whatever anybody throws at them. And there are times when they’ll readily take whatever you throw at them all night long.

As for bottom fishing, LaPesca does not do it during its tuna trip because it’s a slower boat and will not make it to the tuna ground in time if she stops and bottom fish on the way out. Even on her multiple nights tuna trips, she doesn’t bottom fish for the same reason. Instead she spends the daytime trolling in deep water because she doesn’t have the speed to travel back into shallow water to bottom fish and make it back to tuna grounds in time for the following night’s tuna fishing. What she lacks in bottom fishing, she makes up for in trolling. That boat kills wahoo.

As for the diesel fumes in the cabin area, yes that’s sickening. Some people are more sensitive to it than others. I’m one of the sensitive ones. This boat has full size bunks, but the fumes make me oozy when I wake up.

As for the crew, I can’t say anything bad. The young captain who is now at the helm of LaPesca is awesome…people friendly and way better than the older one that he replaced.

For my 12hr trips, this and the Dolphin Express are still my favorite. They allow braid on their day trips. Both captains are people friendly with great crews.

For tuna fishing, I’ll stick with the New Bucc; better price, better and faster boat which gives you more time fishing, better handling of your YFT, better food from the galley, allows you to bring your own food and drink, do not go out in questionable weather condition, and with great captain and crew.

My Bottom Line: each boat has pros and cons. I take them into consideration when planning a trip.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 · (Edited)
"As for bottom fishing, LaPesca does not do it during its tuna trip because it’s a slower boat and will not make it to the tuna ground in time if she stops and bottom fish on the way out. Even on her multiple nights tuna trips, she doesn’t bottom fish for the same reason. Instead she spends the daytime trolling in deep water because she doesn’t have the speed to travel back into shallow water to bottom fish and make it back to tuna grounds in time for the following night’s tuna fishing. What she lacks in bottom fishing, she makes up for in trolling. That boat kills wahoo".

Totally agree with most of what you said, however, the people that answer the phone at DD's are real short on info, and they certainly did not/do not volunteer the info above (copy yours) - - - had they told me this in advance, or posted it on their website where I could read it - - I would have avoided a trip with them. I always had great experiences with New Bucc. As a matter of fact, I DID inquire with the front office at DD's about the speed of La Pesca before I bought, and the lady kinda paused, then I was told that boat had "new engines" and was "faster", but no speed was actually ever ventured in mph or knots, so I was left hangin on that point. So just like the braid issue, I would have to say their outfit is kinda short on, or confused on initial information and not really into full disclosure of info that might hurt ticket sales - - "you pays your money and you takes your chances". For me, the results on amount of fish landed with trolling 4 lines cannot compare with "everyone gets 2 sets of hooks in the water for bottom fishing at first stop out".

While "wiseguy" above is not interested in policies, I am, as is most of the buying public - - and their ARE people reading this report who hopefully will now have this information in advance so they can make an informed decision on whether or not they want to go with a particular operation, just too bad IMHO I had to be the sacrificial lamb to discover and report on it.

As I said before, and I repeat: There is likely a reason why Dolphin Docks and Williams Party Boats have a lot of open spots not yet booked on their tuna trips - - on the other hand, The New Buccaneer get's fully booked out on-line for a whole season within 2 or 3 hours time.
 

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Those of us that have fished Port A for a long time know all the things you are pointing out, and that's why many of us choose to not use DD.
I particularly have problems in the way they treat the fish on arrival at the dock. What the New Bucc does with their catch as they come thru the harbor isn't appealing to me either, but I don't fish the Galveston boats.
I'm sorry you had to experience it that way, but it is what it is. I remember my level of experience after 4 tuna trips was still not that great. didn't really start catching YFT consistently until my 3rd or 4th season, 3 trips a year.
Just my opinion but comparing an operation like the New Buccaneer to the La Pesca is like comparing apples to doorknobs, boat-wise.
Try the Scat Cat next time. Regardless of what's been said above, Scat Cat is very good at bottom fishing, as proven on my last tuna trip 11/08, ck the reports.
Best of luck with whoever your next choice is
-B
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Lite,

I should have asked your opinion in advance, my bad.

"apples to doorknobs" - - - got a good laugh outa that one . . . . I did Scat Cat with my son 7 years ago and everyone limited out (56 hour), it was an amazing experience.

Oh, forgot to mention earlier, I assisted the deckhands more than once opening the lid of the giant fish box where they stored fish caught and La Pesca had no ice in that box I could see, where as on the NB I have seen ton's of ice in their box(es). I totally agree with you that hanging up all the tuna on NB is not wise, allowing the fish to warm up. All fish caught on Pesca arrived at air temperature, cold front was not felt until arrival back at port.
 
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