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Poc aboard the phat Cat (Long)

1878 Views 6 Replies 6 Participants Last post by  WilliamH
Got a call from Mcgolfer to fill a spot for Brandon Pope, who had to work, for a trip to the floaters and on to the POC gathering.. I jumped at the opportunity. Rick and Txseadog picked me up Wed. around 7pm. We headed to Freeport to get ready to leave Thursday morning. Drshark met us at the Krogers for food.. . We then picked up the Phat Cat and headed to Oyster creek to load what seemed 10,000 lbs of tackle, 21rods ice, etc... We cleared the Freeport Jetties around noon headed for Nancen. The seas were nice and we set Auto to drive and headed out at 32mph. We never saw a decent weedline the entire trip. Made it to Nancen around 4:30 and put out the Modulures and ballyhoo spread to try and pick up some wahoo. I was first up and picked up a small one on the WTF back (180meters back) reeled for what seemed 10 mins before Txseadog slowed from 10kts to 6 to allow me to drag this fish in . We picked up 3 more and they kept getting bigger. Txseadog got his first wahoo that went about 25lbs.. Ok, we had wahoo in the box, we trolled a bit more and Rick was up. The Ilander on the Digitana 50 went off and Rick grabs the rod and gets strapped in as line was screaming off of the reel. He bumps the drag past strike and nearly gets pulled in ..(good grab seadog). Line is still peeling off of the reel and Rick is yelling that he’s about to get spooled. Then I see a nice blue marlin jumping and greyhounding. Well, not sure exactly what happened but the line went slack ….. DANG but man that was a sight to see. We reload the ballyhoo on the ilander and keep on trolling. We make another pass around Nancen and on the upcurrent side we see another marlin chasing little skipjack tuna and boy did he put on a show. He came nearly completely out of the water several times before heading down. I think we had one other fish on the troll and it was a barracuda. It was getting dark so up goes the trolling gear and clear the deck for Jigging. We pull up near Nancen and Kevin( who had Mal de mer) was leaning over the rail chumming, and as I was about to drop my jig, this LIT up blue marlin swims by and under the boat and makes another pass to check us out and heads off. Of course we didn’t have a pitch bait or anything other than a jig to throw at him. The Jigging starts off with a bang as we catch small skippies and bft at will. Kevin(seadog) catches our only yft on a jig and we released it. the current was ripping out there and it was darn near impossible to do any chunk fishing. So we made the decision to run to the hilltops and try our luck at some Swordfish drops. We get there and begin rigging up.. get the green light out.. rig up the squid, and a large hardtail and send them down. Well the only thing we saw all night were 4-6 dolphins(flipper) that were taking advantage of all of the flying fish that were mesmerized by the green light.. It was cool to watch but not much action on the fishing front.. After 4-5 hrs of soaking baits, we make the call to reel up and head to 42019 weather buoy. We arrive at dawn and drag some baits around to no avail. Saw some shrimpers trawling and trolled by them with only a bonita to show. Found another shrimper and Seadog catches a nice blackfin.. but that was it. Made a beer trade for some camarones(shrimp) and decided to start heading to POC. We stop at the first rig we see on the way and tie up and pick up a 4 man limit of snaps in a fairly short time. WE head in and fuel up at froggies and head to Milne house. WE are all sleep deprived and get the boat and rods and ourselves cleaned up before heading to the spot for dinner. Had some great conversations at dinner and then headed to the house to clean fish then get some rest. Sat morning we leave the dock around 6:15 with Jammer along as buddyboat.. our mission was trolling for billfish.. We get to falcon and make several passes to no avail. Jammer headed to the breaks. Pull lines in an decide to make a few drops for AJ.. We lost 5 and finally get one to the boat. A nice one about 50 lbs. All the while watching another boat on the east corner jig up some nice grouper in short order. Enough of that.. we point the boat towards dutra and troll for several more hours with nothing except seeing a small 40ishlb sail freejumping right in front of us. We made some passes and nothing. Jeff Freeman hailed us on the vhf and said it was slow for them too. Only one dorado and some bottom fish. Did I mention that it was hot??? I think we all drank at least a gallon or two of water and about the same in Gatorade each day and we would sweat it out faster than we could put it in.
Head inshore and stop at some other rigs and pick up a couple of barely legal snapper, called it a day and headed in . Came in and cleaned the boat and gear and got cleaned up for Dinner. Ed and Kim put on a big spread, Probably enough for another 20 people. But the food, drinks and company were great. After running Jammer and Thomas Steele out the room with my snoring on the first night, I opted to sleep on the couch so they could get some rest.
Sunday morning, We loaded up our gear and headed back to Freeport. Hit some reefs and rigs and caught nothing but throw back snaps and sharks. (maybe one keeper snap… barely)

The seas, weather and company were great all weekend. We ran between 500-600 miles and burned $1200 in fuel. Rick, thanks again for the invite. Despite the subpar tuna fishing, it was a great trip.. Got to see marlin going wild, a sailfish freejumping, and the skies full of stars at night. Looking forward to next year! Sorry the post was so long but we did a lot of stuff and I probably left plenty out. Like having to add 2-3 gallons of oil to one of the engines, I only took a couple of pics of seadogs wahoo. Drshark took some.. hopefully he will post them when he gets back.


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Looks like a great trip,

also a great job on the writing....
Sounds like a exhausting extended weekend. I know the feeling of a rather slow weekend of fishing. I can also relate to the fuel expense. I'm embarrassed to tell how much I have spent this year and it's not over yet. The amount we spend per pound of fish in the box is ridiculous. I had a friend last year who spent 15 grand for a quail lease and he only killed the only 3 birds he saw. I would have to quess about 40 bucks a pound for fish fillets is parr.
Sounds like you guys had a hoot!!! Thanks for the report and pics.
Excellent report Bret! Wish I could have been there!

The digitana almost spooled??!!! Makes me have a new respect for billfish, especially Marlin!

Glad you guys covered a lot of water safely!

Sounds like the Phatcat was in top working condition.
Glad you guys covered a lot of water safely!

Sounds like the Phatcat was in top working condition.

Actually Tom, when we picked up the phat cat, the mechanic told Rick that he needed a new powerhead on the port engine. We had to add at least 3 gallons of motor oil to that engine.. everything else was fine.. just kind of kept us on our toes... also that same engine lost the tilt trim.. but the phat cat performed great..
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