Captain John asked me to run with him on a 2 day trip. I slept in until 5:00 in the morning. We were scheduled to leave around noon. A bit late departure but I was once again rolling on the cougar for the first time in about 2 years. This was the last day of federal red snapper season which presented a little problem. After midnight we could not have any red snapper on board in federal waters. In our quest for other fish we caught a lot of good red snapper and we kept 4 of them for our dinner.
We managed several amberjack which is also closed. One went around 65 pounds. In our deep dropping efforts to find a grouper we had the pleasure of getting one long tail sea bass. These are beautiful fish and taste even better. Wish we could have gotten a few more of these.
After a few misses we finally hooked up on our targeted fish. We were not using electric reels so this was a good workout. After this stand up fight between man and beast the guy was almost too worn out to even lift this slab of meat and the fish was still trying to go back swimming.
After making room in the ice we twisted this 68 pound of muscle in the box. We actually lost 2 more while deep dropping for other fish.
When at sea we often are blessed with beautiful sun rises and sunsets. This evening was one of those blessed ones.
We settled in for some blackfin tuna action. Our problem was there were others that wanted blackfin. No it was not the sharks. we dealt with them at all our other rigs we stopped. This time we had a very large pod of bottle nosed dolphin hanging around for a few hours. A shark will chop off a chunk or maybe even cut it in half but these guys actually destroy the entire tuna.
There was not any surface action but the jigs were producing several blackfin. We were able to get most of them past the attacking pod of marauders.
By the time dawn broke the pod of marauding dolphin had moved on. It was at this time we started having some surface action. We had some yellowfin hitting Russelure poppers but all we could get were undersized ones. There were other poppers being thrown but all the yellows we got on the surface came on the Russelures. What ever the other guys were throwing or how they were retrieving them were all producing short strikes without any hook ups. We never got any keepers and chunking for several hours produced nothing.
The water was beautiful and as we moved to another location I noticed a solid but not very big patch of grass. I had John turn the boat and go investigate it. It was not long before we were putting mahi in the boat. We moved from patch to patch picking out a few here and there. I had a school following the boat but we only got a few worthy of our dinner table. I let a bunch of smaller ones go. Once we had a few dozen of these sought after fish under ice we cleaned up the bloody boat and moved on.
On the way in we attempted get in some deep dropping for maybe another Warsaw. The amberjack and red snapper were getting to the bait faster. In between we found some lesser amberjack for the box. We also had many sharks giving us a hard time. We could not see killing so many quality fish so we gave up that part of our adventure.
We hit state waters and had trouble finding clean water. The current was running so fast we had to use 16 ounce weights just to get down to the fish. Needless to say the fishing was tough. We went from south pass around to southwest pass and still the same conditions. We hit the dock just before dark with a very good amount of quality fish to clean. I only hung up about a quarter of the catch. I could have filled up about 3 more boards like this. It was a good 2 day fishing adventure. Felt good to get in a good hard core fishing experience again. Besides all the fish we released we kept the following. The 68 pound Warsaw grouper, Mahi-Mahi, Long tail sea bass, Blackfin tuna, red snapper, white trout, lesser amberjack, vermillion snapper, and maybe some others I missed.
It was late when we got in and well after 10:00 at night before I left the boat. Felt good to get in a good hard core fishing experience again. After over 40 hours without sleeping or even resting it felt good to see my driveway again.
Life is Good!
Fishing is not a matter of life or death. It's more important than that.
CAPT HOOP -- OUR FREEDOM