This was my day to deck for Donnie on his Sea Pro. His boat has been completely been rebuilt due to structural issues. I have to say it is in beautiful shape and the changes he made during the rebuild are an asset.
Our day gave us flat seas and a beautiful sunrise. As I looked at the beautiful sunrise the thought of "red sky in the morning sailor take warning" crossed my mind. We easily found bait and continued to our targeted rig looking for tuna. There was a lot of action but all we found were skipjacks. We were getting them on poppers and anteater jigs.
We did loose a few on live baits but have no idea what or how big they were. The current was running hard so conditions were tough. As we were attempting to keep the boat straight I hear one of the guys say "I got a big one on". I instantly realized what the big one was. He got the line in the prop big time.
Back to this morning. "Red in the morning sailor take warning". We had to get in the water and take the prop off to get all the line out. Water was warm, clean, and 2 thousand 8 hundred feet deep.
By this time we realized nothing was worth us sticking it out here. The only tuna being caught here were just legal or undersized. As we headed in we stopped at several weed patches looking for mahi. Eventually we found a school of good sized ones and as we drifted away from the weeds the mahi followed us. If they would loose interest in our boat and start moving off I would cast a popper and they would follow it back to our boat. These guys were all good size.
The problem is they did not want to eat. We put out live bait and they would just take it and keep fighting over it until they killed it. Once the bait no longer ran from them they were not interested in it at all. I tossed out chunks and they let it sink out of sight. We had to work for every one we got. This was frustrating because there were some very big ones in the bunch. We hooked up one on our next to the last live bait. It put on an aerial display of epic proportions. I stuck this and it flew off the gaff almost hitting me in the face with it's tail. My second shot hit it near the tail and it came in that way. You can see the head shot between the eye and the gill then the tail shot still bleeding.
From there we headed in. We stopped for amberjack and found it hard getting them interested in our baits. We used up all our live on the mahi. I got one to eat and we had a test of strength between man and beast. This was all the fish he wanted to fight. It was beer time for him after that.
It was late in the day and we headed back in. I made a quick stop in state water but after one fish we realized we would not be back at the dock before 6 so we picked up and ran in with only 1 red snapper.
A few pictures at the dock and then cleaning.
Poster photo! Wish I had it centered a bit better.
Life is Good!
Fishing is not a matter of life or death. It's more important than that.
CAPT HOOP -- OUR FREEDOM