SonTwo, 2 buddies and I fished an open 12 hour trip on the Bluefin out of Freeport, TX on the 23rd. Target was run & gun shrimpboats.
Short report Captains Mikey & Josh were concerned due to not fishing Wednesday and not having a fresh game plan.
We buzzed out about 3 & change hours and fished for kings to start. Not what I wanted but figured SonTwo would enjoy catching some kings. Bite was slow, so boat moved on.
Hit a number of shrimpboats in 145' & deeper water and found the boats a bit deeper loaded with tuna, under/over legal ling, some freaking PITA sharks and a bunch of bonito. Chumming was key to keeping the fish with the boat, as soon as chumming stopped the fish generally left. Couple drifts did have the fish stay with the boat just deep. As soon as a bait hit the water the fish rose and buzzed the bait.
Considering the mixed levels of fishermen and women the boat did good. Totals were roughly 33 Blackfin tuna, 7 Ling.... maybe 3-4 more (didn't look too close), and 5-6 kings, as well as bunch of sharks & boneheads not kept.
Trip had to deal with avoiding boneheads if possible as the bonito were there big time as usual, those that figured out to pull the bait from a bonehead stopped spending so much time fighting them and spent more time fishing & catching tuna.
Our group of 4 ended up with 10 Blackies; 3 for me, 2 for sonTwo, 3 for Tino, 2 for JE and 2 keeper ling, both by the buddies. SonTwo and I had 1/2" & 1/4" short Ling that were released. I/we(SonTwo) lost 5-6 Blackies due to various reasons; tangles, folks not moving quick enough, etc. We also caught too many boneheads
Wildest thing was I lost the mono topshot on the rig I was using on a nice Blackie. Only had the braid backing. Retied and dropped another bait. A VLS, (very large shark) gulped the bait and headed off. The braid had wrapped around the bottom of the reel and got caught under the screw on the clamp. The VLS was burning braid off fast and the braid cut a grove in the graphite frame about 1/4" and then went under the screw and then into water. Line didn't break & I was expecting that. Had the deckhand cut the line before the line cut deeper or it broke. That was interesting to say the least.
Was extremely glad SonTwo caught some tuna, we've missed out of Port Aransas the last few years so we jumped on this trip and am glad he experienced R&G shrimpboating.Couple P's & C'sPro's
Bluefin is a fast boat and they ran it that way. Not cruising boat to boat, they got up and moved.
Captains/Crew were competent and knowledgeable.
Bled the tuna before icing, never seen a Port Aransas party boat do that on blackies, meat looks close to YFT because of that.
Iced the tuna fast after bleeding, also good.
bluefin worked hard for the group, mostly regulars and at least 4 bluefin first timersCon's
Bluefin did the safety/welcome talk, collected money,pre-trip stuff starting at 6 am when everyone was there at 5:30, spent 15 minutes at the dock after 6 am.
Boat got back at 5:30 pm, so close to an hour of time could have been fishing.
No cover at all at the docks, bit tough when back at 6 pm. Not a situation the Blueefin crew can fix themselves, but it is something to consider.
Overall, I'd rate this Bluefin trip at a 93% and would definitely go with them again. They busted their asses to put folks on fish and knew what they were doing and that's 90% of the game right there.The fact there are Blackfins to be caught 8 days after shrimp season opens is of interest here.
Only took one picture back at the dock of sonTwo with his biggest blackie.. "Dad, tuna fight harder than kings."