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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I borrowed one of my customer's reports since it was so much better then I would have written it. These are the words of Bill Bahr.

Thanks to Steve Putney (BigOTex) we were able to book a tuna trip out of Venice, LA with Eddie Burger this past weekend. Joining Steve and me were Bill Bradshaw and Brian Gwyn. Our timing was almost perfect as the big cold front had just pushed through Texas and south Louisiana and the seas Saturday morning were down to 2-3's for the trip out. After making bait (mullet and hard-tails) we headed for the floaters, fishing both the Victory and the Ocean Confidence platforms on day number 1.

When we got to the first floater around 8:00am we had YFT busting the surface. As we positioned ourselves up-current of the floater, Bill Bradshaw was the first to hook up using a drifted hard-tail. Even though Bill had a Penn 50W, backed with 130lb Jerry Brown, the big YFT still managed to pin him to gunwale on its first run, and break off not long afterwards. After a few choice words we kept working live baits and also managed to jig up a few skipjack tuna and undersized YFT. It was the first time I was able to use my Avet LX 6/3 and Hopper rod, expressly purchased for jigging tuna, so I was finally able to justify the $$ expense and was very happy with how that combo worked on both BFT and smaller YFT.

After an hour or so the bite turned off so we moved to floater number 2. Positioned up-current again we marked lots of fish on Eddie's sonar and live baits went in the water. After a short while with no action on the livies we started jigging and soon had enough BFT to start chunking instead. As Eddie diligently worked the chum line the YFT bite came alive. Steve hooked up to a nice YFT on his Penn 50W and the fight was on. For those who don't know Steve personally I can tell you he is a pretty big guy, but this YFT was putting the hurt on him (sorry Steve, but I had my money on the tuna). To his credit Steve reached down deep and finally muscled the first nice YFT on board. Eddie estimated it to be 80+lbs, but to us (and particularly to Steve) it looked more like 100+lbs. After that first fish we had slow but steady action on smaller YFT, punctuated by an occasional BFT and 2-3 decent sized Rainbow Runners. We had several break offs and knew there had to be some decent sized fish down there, and Brian was able to validate this by fighting and landing our 2nd 80+lb YFT after a long and exciting battle, a feat he soon would regret.

The action continued on, slowly but steadily through mid-afternoon, and we almost had our limit in the fish box when number 12 YFT hit our chunk line. Unfortunately it didn't take the bait on one of the Penn 50W's, but rather chose Steve's Shimano Tekota (or what Eddie Burger affectionately referred to as a "Texas trout rod"). This fish was relentless and at times we thought it would shatter the rod or reel, but we worked it slowly (or it worked us pretty hard) and after passing the rod off four times we finally brought it onboard. Another 80+lb. beauty and a great way to end the day. Unfortunately for Brian it was not only the end of the day, but the end of the trip. Fighting two tough 80+ YFTs in one day is definitely not on the doctor's lists of approved activities for someone whose had multiple back surgeries. Instead of fishing on day two, Brian and Steve decided to return to Houston on Sunday and left all their fish to me and Bill Bradshaw.

Down by two, but not defeated Capt. Eddie, Bill Bradshaw and I headed out Sunday morning into a freshning east wind and standing 3-4's on short intervals. The day earlier Eddie had powered his 36' Palmetto easily through the 2-3 chop at 36+ mph and so smoothly that we all slept most of the way out. This morning it was different, with the first half of our 23 mile offshore trip pounding a bit harder than the day before. Eddie got us out to the Elf platform and we were the only boat in sight. We were determined to catch a wall-hanger and started trolling huge mullet down-current of the platform when up popped a marlin. We still don't know if it was the marlin or something else that hit Bradshaw's bait, but hundreds of feet went off his 50W reel before we could blink and Bill knew he was in for a fight. The fish never surfaced but Bill could feel the power through the rod and he knew it was the biggest fish he had ever fought. Minutes later the fish came un-buttoned, but we were all the more determined to score on a trophy. Several hours later and not one fish in the boat our determination gave way to thoughts of the 3-hour boat ride back to the marina and the 8-hour drive back to Houston so we told Eddie to head home. Not being a quitter, Eddie did stop at one of the rigs in shallow water (only 1,000 feet) and let us play around with the local AJ's. After losing three to the rig we finally managed to pull out a couple of keepers and called it a day. All in all it was a great trip and one that will never be forgotten. Hats off to Capt. Eddie for putting us on the fish when everyone else came back empty handed


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859 Posts
That is a great report, very well written!

It is an amazing thing to see a 50W reel getting spooled so quickly like that!

It's something you have to see and hear, especially if the clicker is left on!, to fully comprehend the power.

Did those new sneakers get any blood on them? lol

· Senior Member
1,116 Posts
Didn't sound like he necessarily got spooled--not saying I know for sure, because I wasn't there, but it could have been more like a broken knot--which would be surprising the way Captain Eddie seems to make you back off on your drag. I will always attribute our great success rate landing YFT to his laughing his Cajun ass off at how heavy our drags were set. We had spent a long time getting them maxed out with our Chatillon scales, and Eddie just felt them and immediately backed them off on all reels, without even asking us. And the only one guy who reset his had a couple of pulled hooks.


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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
We didnt get spooled the fish just dumped about 300 yards of line straight down and then shook his head and the 90 pound flouro just popped no abrasion whatsoever. My theory on drags is let the fish do what it wants on its first run as you are not going to stop a good fish on its first run. Once you get the fish under control and doing circles you can add pressure as necesary to pump the fish in. I didnt know that guy had reset his drags but I do know he pulled about 4-5 hooks on fish.

· Senior Member
1,115 Posts
About 6 months ago Tred Barta expressed his opinion (Tred with an opinion??)
in whichever saltwater mag he writes in about drag settings and larger tuna. They were the same as Eddies.

Some empty spools I recall.
Sep, 84 out of Manta Equador Penn 12\0 Dumped. 130 lb mono, Marlin
June, 86 Marathon Fl. Penn 750ss Dumped. 50lb mono, Tarpon.
Oct, 89 out of Wiani Hi. Intl.130 Dumped. 130 lb mono, Marlin.
July, 96 Ixtapa Gua. Dual 50 Dumped. 80 lb mono, Marlin.
Aug, 05 Boom Vang. Tiagra 50 Dumped. 80lb mono, Marlin.
Nov, 07 Youtube. Avet Dumped. Chev Tahoe : ).
These reels were dumped mostly due to line capicity (mono)
not due to drag settings.
The penn 130 was a long rigger bite, then we had another fish
bouncing back and forth on the flat lines, by the time he was
hooked and we slowed on the troll the fish on the long rigger
had us way down on the spoll.
The Tigra was soley my fault. On a friends sport fisher while he was catching a nap. I put the wrong
rod out on troll at sun up on day 2 of a 3 day outing. I had to dodge a
few F bombs for that one.

Pulled hooks from over dragging, all too often.

a hammered down drag for Grouper and AJ's around rigs and rocks
is needed. But having a good fish pull out most of a spool and still
getting it back to the leader is cool. Getting one back to the boat
soon enough not to hold up others fishing is also part of the equation.

sorry, just some of my B.S.

Nice report from Venice.

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20 Posts
Being up here in Oregon in the Winter Time makes me think of the two trips to Venice I have had in the past.....

I finish Grad School this next June and I told the Wife that I want to get back to the Southeast and these reports are not good therapy especially since I bought my 26' Glacier bay last march.

I think about the summer all the time given we can't fish our Pacific here in the Winter.... Kinda sucks but it is what it is.....

I have been reading Ct. Eddies reports since my buddies from Texas turned me on to this site and he has truly got it dialed in.....

I have fished with Scott Avenzino (sp?) with Paradise Outfitter on 2 occasions and he does pretty good as well.

Its not all bad her in the winter with our salmon & steelhead fishing but to see these reports and have nice weather in the Winter, you guys are surely blessed....

Hopefully I will make another trip down there soon..... As in as soon as this Grad Degree thing is done in June and maybe I can find a job down there somewhere.....

Tight Lines all and awesome report.....
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