Tuna Popping Carnage at Gunnison

Discussion in 'Offshore Fishing Reports' started by Bret, Jun 24, 2008.

  1. Bret

    Bret Senior Member

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    Got the invite to head deep to Gunnison for a meat haul aboard the SlapShot with Frank, Wacker, Tj, and Jared. The plan was to head to the Flower Gardens for some bottom dropping and on to Gunnison for yellowfin.. We had 135 gals in the bladder and 300 in the tank, 850lbs of ice and all of our tackle.. We departed Freeport at 7am on Sunday and were greeted with a decent seas, but not as flat as forecast. Tried making bait at several spots from 60-80 miles out, good ones were hard to find. The water was green and ugly out to 130 miles offshore.. We had to dodge a few big thunderstorms about 90 miles out. We did get some drops in and Frank caught nice grouper. The decision was made to head on out to Gunnison , Arrived around 3pm and trolled around and had nothing but cudas around the rig. We headed a bit farther out and found an awesome rip about 5 miles away.. We trolled a bit with nothing to show and finally had a decent dorado hit.. Tj freelines a hardtail while I am bringing in the do do.. We get the fish in the boat and as we are taking pics, I hear a commotion and not 15 yds off the boat there is a small sail tail walking right towards the boat.. Luckily Wacker got a couple of pics of it.. Back to the troll and nothing but a blackfin.. The wind picked up and blew out the weed line.. So we headed back to Gunnison to get ready for a night of tuna fishing. Everyone had their OTI poppers rigged and ready.. As the sun set, we begin casting poppers and jigging up a few blackfin.. The Poppers were the hit of the night.. The topwater bite was insane. We caught lots of blackfin and had our limit of Yellowfin by 1am. Every single yellowfin was caught on popper. Never had to set up on the chunk. The coolest part of the popping was the “lazy mans popping” . We would troll-pop the poppers when we would reposition the boat for another drift.. and we always got hooked up. The tuna weren’t huge but we ended up with 15 between 25-70lbs. After the limit was attained, we cleaned up and headed back in about 60 miles to the continental shelf to tie up to a rig for some bottom action and some rest.. Wacker and Frank go to sleep while Jared, Tj and I rig up and see whats down deep. Jared is using my kaikon/seeker combo and gets SLAMMED.. He fought this fish for about 15 minutes.. we were thinking huge grouper and when he finally gets it up.. He caught a Double.. one approx 50lb Amberjack with about a 25-30lb almaco jack.. We release several more amberjacks and hack out our limit of red snapper. Wacker caught a couple of nice groupers. So by 7am we are critically low on ice, so no more fishing.. We clean up and ready for the ride home. Cleared the jetties around 10 am, and had the boat and fish cleaned by 1 and made the long drive back to Dallas.
    Thanks to Frank for the opportunity to go long!!
     

    Attached Files:

  2. DeepBlueGulf

    DeepBlueGulf Senior Member

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    Great report Bret! Pictures of the sail are awesome!


    Tom - DBG
     

  3. BretABaker

    BretABaker Guest

    nice pics fellas....did anyone bother with sub-surface lures?
     
  4. mikew

    mikew SPONSOR

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    Great report! Glad ya'll got em. Thanks for sharing.
     
  5. jaredchasteen

    jaredchasteen Senior Member

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    Well the tuna slaughter is over and i am sore today. i think Bret preety well summed it up. The topwater bite at gunnison was off the chain seeing them blow up 10 yards from the boat was very cool. Thanks to TJ for letting me use his gear. The 7.5 and 8.5 oti rods were awesome. i was lifting the fish with ease and getting three turns of the stella every time. Longest tuna fisght time was like 10 mins. Thanks to jim for driving and staying awake.

    Thanks to Frank most of all without him the trip wouldnt have happened. Congrats on the grouper also.

    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]
     
  6. rtran

    rtran Senior Member

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    nice! looks like a great time
     
  7. Bellyups

    Bellyups Senior Member

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    Great trip guys!!!!!!
     
  8. MrBill

    MrBill Senior Member

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    Sounds like a nice trip. Glad to see someone found a weather window to go deep. I've fished seven times this spring/summer with four footers being the smallest seas I've witnessed. I've never seen blue water or even a clear green as the seas have limited my distance from port. Inshore fishing is not my cup of tea, but it's better than nothing.

    Nice variety of fish you'll caught on your trip. You should be eating well for a couple of months. Catching those tuna on poppers is a blast. It's also very arm friendly bringing them in verses a chunk. That trolling with poppers is fun. I really don't consider it cheating. It's just trolling. A hookup is a hookup. I've found that if you troll a popper/pencil bait off the outriggers with about 3 strong rubber bands, you can get some great popping action. The whole key is adjusting your speed to the sea conditions so the popper doesn't get airborne for long distances. Holding the rod in your hands while trolling those popping baits is also a blast.

    The old ice problem during these hot summer months is a never ending battle. Running low on ice has caused many successful fishing trips over the years to come to a halt. There isn't really much you can do about it as storage of ice takes up so much room in a CC. It's hard enough finding room for tackle and beer.

    You guys must be very tired. That's a hard trip including driving from Big D to the coast and back. Lack of sleep combined with lots of sunshine and heat can take a toll on anybody. It gets worse with age.

    Congrats on your trip.
     
  9. BretABaker

    BretABaker Guest

    tuna hate that damn treble in their mouth so they'll come in quicker than on a chunk.
     
  10. rtran

    rtran Senior Member

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    tuna hate that damn treble in their mouth so they'll come in quicker than on a chunk.

    They will hate the next time I am on the boat because I will have alot more different kinds of lures with more trebles for them to chew on!:D
     
  11. kidflex

    kidflex Senior Member

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    very nice! that amberjack is a pig. great pics and thanks for sharing.
     
  12. Snagged

    Snagged Senior Member

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    Congratulations guys.
     
  13. Pope

    Pope Senior Member

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    That was a great trip. Trolling the poppers is killer! I am sorry you guys didn't get the sail, but that was good thinking on TJs part. Good job everyone.
     
  14. Fishhead56

    Fishhead56 Senior Member

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    38 or so quality fish in the boxes!!!

    Drive back to DFW after an off shore over nighter!!!
    Hard Core for sure.
    Heck thats why I moved from Houston to
    Galveston.

    Please don't tell me you went back to work also.

    Any way good job!!

    K2
     
  15. bulllred

    bulllred Senior Member

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    Great report! Thanks.
     
  16. Bret

    Bret Senior Member

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    Please don't tell me you went back to work also
    K2

    Jared had to work this morning.. and I went in at 1pm.. after vaccum sealing all of my fish.. it was pretty brutal.. all I can say is thank God that TXDOT puts those grooves on both shoulders of the interstate.. When you hear that noise.... you know its time to wake someone else up to drive, or pull over and sleep.
     
  17. rtran

    rtran Senior Member

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    Jared had to work this morning.. and I went in at 1pm.. after vaccum sealing all of my fish.. it was pretty brutal.. all I can say is thank God that TXDOT puts those grooves on both shoulders of the interstate.. When you hear that noise.... you know its time to wake someone else up to drive, or pull over and sleep.

    LOL
     
  18. Ratherbfishing

    Ratherbfishing Member

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    Bad ass report. Glad you guys took advantage of the sea. Sweet trip!
     
  19. Eastern Tackle

    Eastern Tackle Senior Member

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    Nice report. Good to see the pics of the sail. So often stuff like that happens and I'm not ready with the camera.

    Pretty work.
     
  20. MrBill

    MrBill Senior Member

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    Sounds like a nice trip. Glad to see someone found a weather window to go deep. I've fished seven times this spring/summer with four footers being the smallest seas I've witnessed. .

    My luck continues tomorrow. I'm going on a charter with one of the best Capt's in PA. Typical, seas around 5' forcasted. Probably won't get to go deep once again. If you want to know when not to go fishing, just schedule a trip with me. I bring the wind with me every stinking trip. It's been that way the last five years.:mad:
     
  21. Minnow

    Minnow Administrator

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    MrBill, BIG E is big enough to handle 5ft sea.
    Please joint us on July 3-6 trip.