POC on the Phatcat August 2005

Discussion in 'Offshore Fishing Reports' started by txseadog, May 16, 2006.

  1. txseadog

    txseadog Moderator

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    Broke the Freeport jetties about 11:00 and head south to the 25 mile rigs for bait but nothing was there but small snapper. The next stop was Salvador Ridge for a few drops but it was hot as Hades and nothing on the biting on bottom. Hit a loosely formed week lines for a few pieces of bait and a couple of chickens that Mcgolfer won't let me box -- something about a 10# rule on the Phatcat :). Off to Sunrise, the bottom was dead but I got a couple bites on a butterfly jig -- broke off my home-made assist hook on the first and lost the jig to something with teeth on the second. Fished through the chubs and put a few bar jacks in the bait well before making the run to Nansen.

    Made a few laps pulling baits around the rig and buoy w/o any activity and then headed to Boomvang. The blue & white ilander on the left long gets smacked on the first pass by the can and we make Brian take the honors sans belt & harness. After a few minutes I take pity on him and get him in my harness. The fight was weird burning line then dead weight, then another run and more dead weight. After another 5 minutes or so the 1/2 of the 25# blackfin explained the reason. We never saw the shark(s) but the bite marks looked like those of a mako to me. Lines back out for 2 more large blackfin and an Oklahoma wahoo (barracuda) before dark.

    The night tuna bite was a little slow but we managed catch 8 or 10 small to medium sized blackfin on diamond jigs and 1 medium one on a chunk before tying up to a work boat at the can at 12:00 for a few hours of sleep. I wish I would have dropped the couple of rigged squid we had for swordies down but sleep overpowered our thoughts. We were expecting the work boat to move around 5:00 so Mcgolfer got up at 4:15 and started jigging. After his third fish in about 5 minutes I got up and joined him for a wide open bite on 10-15# bkft and yft that lasted for until we had to unhook from the workboat when they had to move about 5:30 or so. We boxed 3 or 4 of the YFT that were hooked deep before switching to single hook jigs.

    We started trolling again about day break and on the first pass around the rig all three of us see a wahoo skyrocket about 10' out of the air as a 50W goes off. Brian had never caught a wahoo so we give him the honors and he boats the 24# fish. We convince Mcgolfer to take the next fish which happen to be another OK wahoo. Make a few more laps around Boomvang and then head back to Nansen for another couple of laps before pulling the baits out about 9:00 for the ride north to Falcon.
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    After tying up to Falcon, Rick breaks out the Krystal, Brian drops a bar jack down on an AJ winch and I make a few more pieces of bait. Rick boats a 15# snapper on the electric and Brian loses a bar jack or 2 before I catch a nice 2# blue runner. The runner didn’t last long when Brian dropped it to 40 meters – exact depth control is a nice feature of a Tiagra Digitana. After a couple minutes of tug of war and a bunch of grunts, I sink the gaff into a Brain’s first AJ of 45#. While snapping a few photos I notice that the fish is wearing some jewelry donated by someone during a previous encounter before packing it it into the now full 320 SSI.
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    It’s my turn on the AJ rig now so a drop another runner down to 40 meters, then to 50 and get slammed. It not the normal AJ battle I’m accustomed to and at deep color Rick says that’s one skinny AJ and then gets a better look and says “holy crap” that a big cuda. It was huge, we didn’t bring it on board but it was probably 5’+ long and 40#+. Rick said it was largest cuda that he’d seen caught on the Phatcat. That made me feel better about the fish but it wasn’t what I was looking for so I send big chub down. First stop 40 meters, then 50, then 60 and stop at 70. I know I’m dangerously close to the rig so I throw the drag to full when the bait gets nervous and get slammed again. We fight over a few yards of line then tragedy strikes when the gimbal pops out of my plate and I lose about 10 more yards which was about 1 yard to much and I get cut off. Ahh, the one that got away but I’m convinced it was at least a 70#+ fish. We start the run for POC about 1:00 and hit the fuel dock about 3:00. Finally tally was a 15# snapper, 24# wahoo, 45# AJ, 3 or 4 12-15# yft and about 20 bfkt. We released about a dozen small Yft and at least that many bfkt.