I went with Chip on his Worldcat Saturday. He keeps his boat here and fishes out of Venice but mostly out of the West. With the Yellowfin bite good at this time we could have gone with the fleet. I was told there were 42 boats on the grounds yesterday. Glad I avoided that boat show. Most of the boats that went there caught Yellowfin tuna. This was to be a teaching trip and putting some meat in the box. I like doing a trip like this instead of trying to fill the boat with tuna and if you do the customer realizes they did not bring enough coolers.
We met at Venice Marina about 6:00. On the way out I set some way points and explained the hazards like sand bars and obstructions so that he could navigate out on his own safely. We started out trolling for Wahoo. They were not around. The Blackfin although not thick were enough to keep us happy for a good while.
We attempted to jig up some Blackfin but all we found were undersized Amberjack. I moved to several rigs and also over some structure and only at one out of the way the Blackfin were thick enough to spend some time there.
Just before noon, with 7 nice Blackfin tuna in the box, we changed methods and moved where we could drop down for maybe a grouper or two. We lost a lot of equipment in the rig fighting heavy fish. The guys have not mastered the steady upward pull that keeps the fish away from the rig. The pull up, reel down, method allows the fish to move a few feet closer to the structure and eventually before you can get it the 200 feet up the fish has made it 30 feet to the side and into something to foul up and get loose. Tying up to the rig makes this type of fishing hard but with 5 people fishing you can not hold the boat out from the rig. Too many lines will get tangled and into the props for sure.
I attempted to locate an underwater structure but with his Raymarine system I was not able to locate it. He wanted to put some red snapper in his boat before we went in so I headed into state waters. We went to a rig about 6 miles out and it was not long before we were putting some very good red snapper in the boat.
One of the guys had a double rig set up and he was ready to go home after one drop.
On the way in LDWF agents stopped us. They asked for our licenses and our recreational landing permit. They checked out Chip's registration. They took a look at our fish (ONLY) because one of the guys mentioned our big croaker. He never looked through our box just a look at the croaker the guy held up. They are out there so keep your permits up to date and your catch legal. Anybody who gets caught with undersize fish or too many deserves to be caught.
We got in just before the tuna fleet came in. We were able to hang the fish and get them cleaned before things got crowded at the dock. Note the large croaker in the middle of the picture.
We had a nice sunset to round out a very nice day with a good group of guys. Waiting for the next time Chip.
Life is Good!
Fishing is not a matter of life or death. It's more important than that.
CAPT HOOP -- OUR FREEDOM