Port Aransas Dolphin Docks - 60hr La Pesca

Discussion in 'Charter Boat & Party Boat' started by AndrewMarek, Oct 21, 2020.

  1. AndrewMarek

    AndrewMarek Active Member

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    Hi All

    I have been trying to nail down a trip and this is one I am looking at for the December timeframe. I have done a lot of internet research but would like some additional info. I’d like anyone who has been on one of these or otherwise in the know to weigh in.

    What I (think I) know...
    • It’s fairly slow (<15kts?)
    • High off the water
    • DD has a no braid policy (but I think it’s relaxed or eliminated on these trips?)
    • $695 for the trip
    What I’d like some help on...
    • What’s the quality of the fishing?
    • Are there bunks for all?
    • Is there a shower?
    • Live bait well?
    • Do you get to do any bottom fishing? All the pics I see don’t seem to indicate much but maybe they just aren’t in the pics? Particularly interested in this for the length of this trip.
    • How’s the food?
    • How is the capt and crew?
    • Any restrictions (casting, etc)?
    • Is it a good trip/worth it in your opinion?

    Thanks in advance for the replies!!
     
  2. awesum

    awesum Senior Member

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    After watching the La Pesca deckhands sling and abuse the tuna during the unloading process from their last trip I'd be hesitant to fish that boat. I've never seen anything like it before.
     
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  3. moranmd

    moranmd Senior Member

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    I have fished with them before (60- and 80-hour) although on the other boat, so I will just comment on the operation. I have always found the captains and crew excellent and they all know a lot about fishing. Back when I first started offshore fishing they taught be a lot. Normally the meals are good, sometimes excellent. On a 60hr you will do a lot of daytime bottom fishing. Two of my best five trips ever on the water came on their boats.

    Their boats are generally older and slow and a little rough looking. So you won't get as much fishing time as you might on a faster boat like the N.B. But beyond that I never had any complaints.
     
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  4. AndrewMarek

    AndrewMarek Active Member

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    interesting. I actually click on their cameras the other day and was a little late for the unloading but did see them arranging for the picture. They were slow going. It does bring up the whole ‘meat shot’ thing... older I get the less that interests me I guess. Could you opt out without being called some choice words? :) I do get that it is part of their advertisement though...
     
  5. AndrewMarek

    AndrewMarek Active Member

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    Great information! Thank you! I assume by the “other boat” you mean the original Dolphin?
     
  6. moranmd

    moranmd Senior Member

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    Yeah, it was the Dolphin (original I guess). I remember it well the first time (2010) I saw that boat and I was like, wow, are you sure it passed inspection? And then had an amazing trip with a great crew.
     
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  7. TomH

    TomH Active Member

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    I've been on 60 hour trips on both the La Pesca and the Dolphin.

    The La Pesca is as previously mentioned high off the water, I mean way up. I didn't find it to be a huge problem but gaffing a tuna that isn't quite done with the fight can be interesting.

    The bunks on this boat are outstanding! There is also a bunk for each fisherman. I mean you can sleep comfortably (by party boat standards) and they have a border around them so you won't fall out in rough weather. That brings me to my next point.

    She rides really high and she pitches and rolls like you wouldn't believe when it gets rough. Just be prepared for a bumpy ride.

    She is slow... slow... slow... The trips I took would leave early in the morning and we would make a 15 hour run to the floaters. No bottom fishing but as soon as she hits blue water they usually put out a few troll lines. I've caught wahoo like this before. I've seen a small blue caught and released, and I witnessed a huge blue hit, get hooked, and then break off.

    The food was always fantastic when I went out with them. I haven't been in 10 years so I don't know if that is still the case. The captains always put us on fish and the crew were always good, but if you are really used to the crew on the New Buc then you may have to lower your expectations just a bit. Not knocking the DD guys, just saying that the New Buc crew really blew me away.

    Yes, the La Pesca has an actual shower off the bunkroom. The Dolphin claims to have one but its just a hand held that pours water over you while you straddle the crapper.

    As I recall there is a livewell on the La Pesca.

    Overall I loved all of my 60 hour trips with DD. The fishing was always good. Life aboard the La Pesca is definitely more comfortable than it is aboard the Dolphin, but both boats catch fish and yes, I would pay $695 to do it again.

    I can't speak to the braid policy these days. Back when I was going out with them it was enforced.
     
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  8. AndrewMarek

    AndrewMarek Active Member

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    Thanks!
     
  9. AndrewMarek

    AndrewMarek Active Member

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    Thank you for the very detailed reply! If I might impose on you for additional info...

    Was there any bottom fishing the 2nd day?

    No braid on a 60hr would be a deal killer for me.
     
  10. rwc3500

    rwc3500 Active Member

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    Sorry to add to the negative comments around the La Presa, but one of the worse items for me was the heavy diesel smell that filled the bunk area. The bunks are in the hull vs level with the galley, so the smells just lingers in the lower area. My clothes reaked for weeks afterwards.. oh yeah, it's real slow..
     
  11. TomH

    TomH Active Member

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    Completely forgot to mention the smell. Its intense. I think the duffle I took on board back in 2010 still stinks of diesel. Usually by the time you are tired enough to lay in the bunk you don't care about the smell.

    I have only bottom fished on a 60 once. The floaters just weren't producing and the Capt brought us in early to hit some primo snapper spots that were further out than the 12 hour trips usually got to. It was a fantastic night of snapper fishing back when the limit was 4! We also bagged a boat limit of kings with only 12 of us staying up to fish that insane bite. It was a night to remember.

    Normally day 2 is trolling early and then drifting most of the day. Most guys sleep away the day and then get ready for the long night.

    I know the braid thing is concerning, but I will say the vast majority of tuna I have caught in my life have been caught on 50 lb. Ande mono. Never had a problem. I switched to braid mostly because everyone else was doing it.
     
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  12. ducks4rob

    ducks4rob Member

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    The la Pesca is slow. Depending on where you are fishing the ride will be from 13 to 16 hours. On the last 3 trips we only bottom dropped the 1st day on the way out. The focus was AJ's but few were caught. You will troll the whole way out and probably most of the 2nd day. Usually catch several wahoo and a few small tuna. Did catch a white marlin last trip. The fishing is functionally much different than the Bucanneer. You can definitely use braid but the crew isn't a huge fan of 'egg beaters'. That said, a 125 was caught on a Penn 6500. I fish with braid and spinners as do several others. It is less organized then the Bucaneer. The captain and a couple deckhands usually cast off the front. They work hard to figure out what the fish are biting. They hook and hand off a bunch of fish and try and ensure everyone on the boat catches at least 1 yellow. The boat is far less crowded which is a function of time and price. I have fished both and like DD better because of less people but I dont think you can go wrong with either captain. The food is good and is provided. I know the captain and crew pretty well so I am biased, but I have also been on 3 60's in a row with them. It boils down to a difference in styles. If the Buccaneer offered the same trip at similar price, I would probably go more often due to the speed and flexibility of the boat. BTW, in my last 3 trips with DD I have caught 12 yellows.
     
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  13. AndrewMarek

    AndrewMarek Active Member

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    I’ve been in a similar set up before. Not fun!! I - knock on wood - have never been sick offshore but the closest I came was fighting a fish with the boat backing down and sucking in Diesel fumes for a bit...
     
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  14. AndrewMarek

    AndrewMarek Active Member

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    Great info thank you! I fished a lot of mono too and most of the fish I have caught offshore has been using it. But the abilities braid gives in smaller packages is just too much form me to ignore especially as I get older.
     
    Last edited: Oct 23, 2020
  15. AndrewMarek

    AndrewMarek Active Member

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    Outstanding!!! Thank you - I appreciate your recent experience!!

    Hahahahaha. I remember fishing in my younger days and the party boat Capt hated the egg beaters then but when the owners son showed up and started out fishing everyone it made me say I needed one too! Then the braid... I did see a guy using braid hook an AJ on a snapper trip that did a huge circle and cut off about 5 lines. And then once I saw circle hooks confiscated by the capt (late 90s) because they were causing problems for the hands (was odd). Bottom line all situation and common sense dependent. Follow your fish... take care of your self as best you can without messing anyone else up and you’re left alone.

    Thanks again for the perspective!!
     
    Last edited: Oct 23, 2020
  16. moranmd

    moranmd Senior Member

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    I only use braid and they have never said a word to me about it.
     
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  17. jiggingnut

    jiggingnut Junior member

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  18. TomH

    TomH Active Member

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    I'm glad to hear it's no longer an issue with them. I would love to do another long trip with DD but I really want to try the Dolphin Express.