i drove down to oyster creek on thursday the 11th and got a decent nights sleep. i got up a 6am and starting getting every thing ready for our trip offshore. i loaded the boat and then went to bucee's for ice and bait. crew arrived and we loaded there things and proceeded offshore. hit the jetties at 10am and off to deep waters. first stop was for bait and we were successful. lots of nice size blue runners and no one managed to get to badly hooked by the sabiki rigs.
next stop was to put some meat in the boat. we pulled up to the rig and dropped 2 live baits down and got thomas steele hooked up to a nice amberjack. after a short fight we throw a 45lb amberjack into the box. back to the rig and drop baits. have a double hookup and pull the hooks in one and the other breaks us off in the rig. back to the rig and with 2 more baits and this time we get john aka johnboat hooked up and he gets his fish in the boat. after about 5 more breakoffs we finally get captain chip meyers aka jammer hooked up and his fish in the boat. that was enough amberjacks for us so we departed to the floaters for some tuna action hopefully.
we arrived at boom vang a little after 4pm and put out a trolling spread of 4 baits. we pulled baits with no action in the area. by the way there is no bouy at boom vang any more. i guess the law suit filed by the sportfisher that sank had something to do with that. left boom vang and headed toward nansen pulling baits. on the way over we had one ufo hit an islander rigged with a ballyhoo but no hook up.
as we are approaching nansen i see some bait being hit on the surface by small tuna's. we pull through the area and all we manage to hook up are small yellowfin tuna's that we release. we continue trolling and head over to the drill ship and as we pass the drill ship we hook up a nice little wahoo and into the box he goes. we head back over to nansen to set up for our night time fishing.
we set up for our drift and all of us were fishing jigs and catching fish. blackfin tuna were coming over the gunnels and then a small yellowfin about 18lbs comes onboard. i catch a decent size yellowfin and the fish box is starting to fill up and we start rearranging the cooler to make the fish fit into the box. everyone is catching tuna and then john wants to try and get one on a topwater. john is getting several blow ups on his top water bait bait but cant seem to stay hooked up. well after about an hour throwing his big popper and not staying hooked up he realizes what the problem is. for those of you that don't know this i am going to give you a pro pointers on top water plug fishing. when you purchase your yozuri poppers you need to remove the hook protecters before you cast them out to help with your hook up ratio. we all had a good laugh over this. needless to say the next cast john got his top water yellowfin tuna and made his night. well the box was full so we had to bring out another cooler and cut the tail off the get john's fish on ice.
we left them biting and ran back in 40 miles to tie to a rig and sleep and fish till morning. all that was caught was sharks there so at daybreak we headed inshore about 15 miles to try and add a little color to the box. i tried to put them on fish at several spots and was becoming frustated at not being able to find the fish. i let jammer try a few more spots and we finally hit a number that was holding some nice red snappers. nothing huge but several fish that went over 10 lbs and some 4 and 5lb fish. as we are catching our snappers we see a very large shadow in the water near the boat. as it gets closer it is identified as a large shark. then thomas says the magic word "mako". he also says that he want to try and catch this fish.
i start throwing chum overboard to keep the shark in the area and jammer helps thomas rig his 50 wide shimano that has the 200lb spectre on it for shark fishing. a big chunk of blackfin tuna is attached as the bait and over it goes. thomas is trying to put his harness on and before he can even get suited up for battle this mako is on. we help get thomas straped in to the fish and the fight is on. after about 20 minutes the fish is near the boat and we see it for a short period before it takes off and does a jump that no one sees except for the hole in the water where it landed. most mako usually do a lot of jumping but this one only made 2 jumps. thomas is doing great at maintaning pressure on the fish and getting it near the boat several more times and we now realize that we are attached to a very large mako shark. this fish is very easily over 9ft long and very healthy. as we are getting the fish closer to the boat the discussion takes place as to who and what was going to happen if this fish was to be landed. thomas wants this fish for dinner. either jammer or myself is going to try and tail wrap it and then we would drag it tail first to kill it and then tie it off to the gunnels and then proceed home at about 10 knots with the fish tied to the side of the boat.
thomas is getting tired but still handling the fish very well and i am spinning the boat around trying to keep thomas in a good position to fight his shark of a lifetime. the shark makes a run up to the surface off the stern of the boat and comes completely out of the water and spins in the process of this jump. as the shark hits the water the 200lb power pro spectre breaks and this magnifcient creature is free to fight again after 1 hour and 8 minutes. what an offshore memory that creature gave each of us. i was really grateful that we didn't kill that creature and even more grateful that it didn't jump into the boat to seek its revenge for us planting a hook in its jaw.
we secured everything and made our way back to port with a fish story that will last us a lifetime. filled up with gas at intercostal marine 707dollars. ouch!!! talked with the owner of the scalded dawg at intercastal marine and then to saltgrass in oyster creek. spent the next 3 hours cleaning the boat and things up. thanks again to my crew this trip for another great adventure and to texas for the use of your great resource and your wonderful people....rick
there is no limit on tackle