The Big E Trip Report on June 13 -15

Discussion in 'Offshore Fishing Reports' started by ksong, Jun 16, 2008.

  1. ksong

    ksong SPONSOR

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    This report is designed for those who are new to overnight fishing on the Big E.
    The 140 ft Big E is operating in Freeport, TX and provide 52 hours and 76 hours tuna/bottom fishing. I've tried to get on the boat since the fist operation, but all my trips were cancelled due to weather until this trip.

    how to get to the boat
    I took Continetal from Newark airport, NJ on Thursday night. The new regulations are in efect. They charged $25 for second check-in bag, but I heard other airlines are worse. The rod case length limitation is also shortened from 7'.
    When arriving at Bush International airport, I took a big shuttle bus for rental car operations to go to rental car center for all rental car operations. The rental car center is very impressive. All major rental car operations are there and most of them operate 24 hours.
    The distance to Bush International airport to the Big E dock is about 77 lbs and it took about 1 1/2 hours without traffic.
    You can get groceries at Kroger at the intersection of Rt 288 and 2nd West St. But there are many restaurants and lodgings on Rt 322 in Lake Jackson about 7 - 10 miles before Freeport.

    the Big E
    Here are some pictures of the Big E. There are many seas in three compartments in the cabin. Also there is a huge upper deck with lots of seatings. Even we had 40 guys the boat was never crowded except for popping in bow and stern areas. There are four microwave and you can use them anytime without any waiting. There are two shower facilities and it was very nice to take a hot shower after fishing.
    The bunks under the cabin is not like on the long range boats out of San Diego, but they are luxurious by East Coast party boat standard as they are roomy and comfortable with cusion. Air contition were running all the time in the Cabin and in bunks room.

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  2. ksong

    ksong SPONSOR

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    The boat left at 11:00 am on 06-13 as scheduled.
    It took some time from the dock to the inlet and all you can see is commercial boats and facilities related to oil industries.

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  3. ksong

    ksong SPONSOR

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    After running about two hours we started to make baits.

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    The boat has a huge live tank like you see on long range boats out of San Diego.
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    After another two hours run we stopped at a rig for bottom fishing.
    We caught varieties of fish like amberjack, grouper, red snapper, etc.

    you can not avoid AJ on the rigs. :)
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    The highlight of the first day bottom fishing has to be a huge 234 lbs warsaw group which was caught only 10 ft away from me.
    I was playing with poppers that time. :( They provide bottom fishing rigs with heavy leader lines and huge circle hooks.
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  4. ksong

    ksong SPONSOR

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    After bottom fishing at rigs until dark, we headed to Voombang rig for night tuna fishing. It was pretty late when we arrive at the rig and I had my first tuna on Shibuki on the third cast. I had anther nice tuna on the same lure within 20 minutes, but for some reason yft bites died donw since though there were no lack of blackfin which were eager to hit poppers. Each drift last about 3 hours and we had three drift all night. We had about 14- 18 yft.

    my first yft on a popper
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    Rich's first ever tuna on poppers
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    my second tuna on popper
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    Bret's first yft on a popper. He got another yft on the same popper later on.
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  5. ksong

    ksong SPONSOR

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    The run 50 miles inshore for bottom fishing on rigs next day morning.
    It seems they don't mind burning fuel to find fish for us.
    Af popping all night, I wake up in the afternoon and I joined fishing.
    I used 500 g jig first as they said it was 500 ft deep. But I changed to 8 oz hammered diamond jigs after I realized there was little current. After Bret and Rich saw me catch a couple of grouper on 8 oz hammered diamond jigs and they swithed to the hammered diamond jigs. Several guys switched to light diamond jigs after they saw our success with hammered diamond jigs. :) I know many guys will use hammmered diamond jigs for bottom fishing on the boat in future trips as it happened on many other bottom fishing boats.

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    hammered diamond jigs did it again. :)
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    Can anyone identify this grouper ?
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  6. ksong

    ksong SPONSOR

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    We left to Voomban rig early and there are still daylight when we got there. There was no tuna activities until it got dark. I had first yft on the boat on a popper and it looked very promising when tuna were jumping around the boat chasing flyfish.

    my third and last yft on the trip.
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    banana curse stiked me again !!
    On the second day, I saw a drink with banana in it which I did not notice when I bought. I drank it reluctantly. When I caught my third yft, I thought of no banana curse this time, but I was wrong.
    When tuna bites compelely died down, Capt deciced to to Nancen rig by 2:00 am. Big yft were there. Everybody seemed to hook up with poppers, but mysterious things happened to me. I had a nice yft, but line got broken and lost my favorite Shibuki. The second Shibuki were lost when my line got cut even without any [email protected]( It is no fun to retie twice while hot bites were going on. Second yft tuna got away while I tried to reposition myself. I switched to small Heru Skipjack 60 after I saw they prefer small poppers though Rich and Bret had nice yft on big lures and big yft took the lure. I knew immediately this is a tuna at least in 100 lbs range. However the hook pulled just under the boat after fighting for a while. :x
    I had three yft while the boat had 18 yft, but I couldn't get single tuna while boat landed about 25 yft in hot 2 - 3 hour fishing. It has to be banana curse.:)

    Bret's nice yft on a popper. It was his third yft on poppers.
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    Rich's tuna on a popper. He had a nice yft on the same popper later on.
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    The 154 lbs tuna caught on bait by a mate
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    banana curse
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  7. ksong

    ksong SPONSOR

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    The boat returned to the dock by 1:00 pm on Sunday.
    Everyone on the boat behave very nicely. I didn't see single problem causing regular fisherman on the boat. I met four regulars who fished together on the boat a lot and they were all kind and very helpful.
    Actually it was me who caused problem to them. :) They complained to me they have to spend lots of money again to buy stuffs after they saw me my stuffs. :)
    It was fun trip with many nice guys on the boat. I highly recommend the boat to anyone who want to catch tuna on poppers and enjoy bottom fishing.

    unloading fish to be distributed to customers.
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    Rich's nice yft which was caught OTI's Comodor
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    154 lbs yft
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    fish cleaning
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  8. rtran

    rtran Senior Member

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    I am very impressed with the way they run their operation. At one time the bit so hot that deck hands where running around with gaffs in their hands. Tuna where everywhere on the deck flapping around. Me, kil and bret had a very wide load when at the dock getting our fish.

    I jigged and popped most of the trip. Most fish where caught on poppers, it's an awesome sight to see. Many jigged blackfin.

    On two of the rigs I hooked up with 2 big fish maybe grouper. I fought and try to get them out the rig 2 times and got same scenario. Crank fish out of rig, fish go into rig, cranked fish out of rig, line break. It happened 2 times and I fought both fish for at least 15 minutes each. You know fish big if you can barely crank him in in low gear. I had TJ's 665w and OTI rod bent double with 30lb drag.

    Kil and I managed to loose some shibukis due to line breaking but we still do not know why. Bret killed em on the voldar sub surface at fairly close distance. That lure is tuna killer.

    I used primarly OTI rods on the trip because I was scared I would not be able to maneuver easily with the shorter rods. The saragosa reel is a monster, handles drag very nice and is now proven to be able to land 100 lb fish. =)

    In the end I ended up with a fish count of many jigged/popped blackfin, jigged grouper and 3 yft.
     
  9. BretABaker

    BretABaker Guest

    actually i was using the tailwalk gunz, 120g sinking. but yeah it's not destroyed from all the bites. :)

    the blackfin were thick as usual, though not as bad as on other trips.

    the trip was fun....it was great to use the diamond jigs for grouper. had we wanted to, i think we couldve caught 10 a piece in a few hours.

    live flying fish worked well as far as bait, as usual. topwaters were the most productive however.
     
  10. rtran

    rtran Senior Member

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    Bret, I think that AJ at the dock was Kil's now that we look back, ha ha
    all good
     
  11. DeepBlueGulf

    DeepBlueGulf Senior Member

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    Awesome report Kil!!

    You all did great, and now you know why the Big E trips are so popular. I will try to get your shibuki's back on the July 4th trip.


    Tom - DBG
     
  12. fishingduck

    fishingduck Member

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    Great report. This report would help a lot for those wanting to fish the big E.

    FD.
     
  13. Snagged

    Snagged Senior Member

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    You guys did great, except for those bleeping banana's!
     
  14. fishologist

    fishologist Member

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    we are leaving to go out on the big e on thrus. i made up some leaders to pull out those big groupers from the rigs they are called the tequila shot they are at NEW_STUFF i got tired of loosing those fish around rigs.

    anyway we cant wiat to get out there
     
  15. hatidua

    hatidua Senior Member

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    Great report Kil! Looks like a fun trip was had by all.

    So, even banana juice is bad??!!
     
  16. rtran

    rtran Senior Member

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    Great report Kil! Looks like a fun trip was had by all.

    So, even banana juice is bad??!!

    I think juice is okay. =)
     
  17. JerseyBrian

    JerseyBrian Senior Member

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    The saragosa reel is a monster, handles drag very nice and is now proven to be able to land 100 lb fish. =).
    Niiiiice :cool: Great job guys. All of you. Looks like a trip of a lifetime! But only you can live it again and again on more Big E trips :p Again, well done.
     
  18. LEXPRO

    LEXPRO Senior Member

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    great report, thanks
     
  19. rtran

    rtran Senior Member

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    Awesome report Kil!!

    You all did great, and now you know why the Big E trips are so popular. I will try to get your shibuki's back on the July 4th trip.


    Tom - DBG

    For the price you pay, you get every bit of it. From the bunks to the head.

    Niiiiice :cool: Great job guys. All of you. Looks like a trip of a lifetime! But only you can live it again and again on more Big E trips :p Again, well done.

    We will be planning to go on future trips for sure.
     
  20. etan

    etan Senior Member

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    What kind of bait was used for the grouper and big tuna?