Got the call from Gaing(Seadrifer) about a possibility of a weather window May 21 - 23rd. I've been waiting a long time to ride and fish out of a freeman... but this was something a bit more special. She was rigged with a pair of 557 Seven Marines! A few calls where made to the wife and work and we are set to make the trip! The game plan was to head out for a Thursday-Friday overnighter for Tuna and Grouper then use Saturday as a daytime deep drop for Swords. The word excitement doesn't even begin to describe...
Wednesday at about 3pm Gaing and I get on our way from Dallas to NO. We pull into the south NO area about 1am Thursday morning. I get to meet 2 more crew members, Nick and Limo. A round of Crown and cokes go around and we hit the sacks to get a few hours of shut eye. Alarms go off at 5am and we quickly got on our way to Venice. As the boat is prep'd at the storage, the last 2 crew members Captain JD(doughboy361) that flew in from Orange county and Spicy showed up. Bout a 2 mile haul and we are at the Venice Marina. We rack up a nice bill after dumping about 400 gallons of fuel.
Making a run East for the Grouper grounds, and I couldn't help but smile at the sound of the superchargers sucking in air into the Seven's. They really are something that needs to be experienced to believe. About 5miles out, we spot a storm directly in our path. Boat comes to a stop and a quick view of the weather radars and we decide make a run straight thru. On goes the rain gear and the Freeman eats up the storm in quick order. Off to the Grouper grounds! We set up the LP1200's and off they go in about 500 ft of water. We get bit almost immediately. Up comes a nice pair of Porgys and that was going to be the story for next few drops until JD drops a Nagamasa jig and comes up with a nice Scamp. We make a few more drops and more Porgys and Scamps come on board. We where met with some nice AJ's as well.
At about 3pm JD and Gaing decides to make a approx. 120nm run out to the Green Canyon Block for the floaters. We pull up on Brutus and see flyers scattering all about and big Blackies and YFT's clearing the water. An array of Carpenter poppers fly off the front deck as we pull in and jigs get dropped off the rear. A few 20-30ish # Blackfins comes off the jig in short order. Poppers are meet with a pair of 40ish YFT's. JD thows a Carpenter Gamma and it seems he throws it directly in to a open mouth of a YFT. A quick 5 min fight and a 105# comes boat side. 2 gaffs go in her and up she comes... as soon as the head hits the deck she flops and one ST66 meets the toe of Spicy.... HOLLY $HIT!!! 2 guys jump on the YFT to keep the head from shaking. Limo with quick and steady hands and a pair of Duel split ring pliers work to separate Spicy from the YFT. Some hard work on the ST66 with a pair of VS cutters and hook is pulled thru. Nerves are shook off and a few more YFT's meet the coffin.
Off to Tarantula and again, as we pull up we see tuna busting the surface. My 3rd cast out and my BD200 with Stella 14k a big fish takes my GT Technic popper and makes a dive for the deep. I couldn't do anything but hang as she made her run.... about 4 mins of line coming off my reel, line goes slack! Damn it!!!! Spicy hooks up with a large YFT on the chuck and does the dance around the boat twice... as we just get color Limo hooks up and fish burns line quick! A few cranks and she darts across Spicys line and cuts straight thru the fluorocarbon leader. Up comes a 20# Wahoo. Then Limo jumps to the front casting platform. He throws a Carpenter Kattobi bout 50 yrds out and works it towards the freeman... 20 ft from the boat and it's slammed by something big. 30min fight on a BD200 and a 162# comes on board. Weight confirmed at the Marina scales.
We tire out and bunker down for the rest of the night in preparation of the AM bit. 5 am rolls around and we continue the search. Nothing materializes we drop the deep divers and drag them around for a bit, skunked. We make a run back to the marina. About Noon, the weather man strikes again and we're meet with 4-6's in a cross current battle. We fight thru it for what seems like an eternity. Pull up to a state waters and hung up on 4 Snaps to top off the species count. The brutal seas made for less then favorable conditions so we called the trip.
Saturday seas seemed less then desirable and with cooler space limited, we cancelled the Saturday sword trip. Total count:
Kudos to the great crew and new friends! Definitely a great time that will leave me with everlasting memories