I have been having a few trips with little results. That's fishing.
When I met Tim at the dock the fog was thick and it was still dark. We sat at Venice Marina and had breakfast waiting for things to clear up. He has a brand new Calcutta 26 with less than 20 hours on it. It was already daylight and it looked like we had a window to get going. I eased out of the marina and turned into Tiger pass. The plan was to go East. I never was not past the shrimp dock when I decided to turn around and go West. I did not want to do the thick fog and boats on the river again. The river is up again after all the rain we had and the floating debris does not show on radar. This trip was to show him a safe way in and out of the marina. Today would be the ultimate test. I let him run his own boat and kept a close watch his electronics. We ran down red pass, out into the gulf, across the mouth of the river, past the domino rigs and to the 93's all on instruments.
The water at the 93's was dirty as heck. I made a troll around the 86 rig but was not feeling anything. What I marked did not even look worth staying there. Instead of going out to the furthest rig in the block I ran to 143. The fog was still heavy but cleared up enough to give us a 2 mile visibility. It was 10:30 and conditions were improving in the air but the water was not. I was not liking my decision I made to go west. Mikee was on the lump with nothing at all and he was heading to Medusa. Will came from 133 and 152. He said conditions were worse there. All 3 of us had not even a sniff all morning. Will went to 93 and I ran to a nearby shrimp boat. The water was clean green below at the dragger and mi screen marked nothing around it. We actually were able to follow the cables all the way to the nets and marked some schools in front of the nets and just behind them but all deep and not worth fishing. Will and I decided to move around the shelf keeping in touch.
I got to a rig in a bit better water. It was still dirty green though. My first pass gets a hit. I was not looking for a barracuda. Made a few more passes trolling a Russelure and a Mirror lure. Blackfin and small yellows like the Mirror lure but the screw in hooks are not good for any fish of size. Russelures are through wired and solid. My second hit the son grabs the rod but after already fighting the barracuda he had no interest in getting another so he hands the rod to dad. This fish burned line and dove deep like a stud tuna. I got Tim on the port side in the middle of the boat and I got on the throttles. I do not know how long we fought this fish. It was jerking its head like a tuna, staying down, and I knew it was big. Once near the surface my eyes lit up bigger than the fish was lit. It was a stud Wahoo. He only had one small gaff. I had to make this shot count. When I stuck it the thing got wild and I just held on tight. A Calcutta has the back that drops down to make the entire deck at water level. I dragged the fish to the back and Tim grabbed the tail. We slid it on to the deck and closed up the back end. It was ours!
He only had a 4 foot fish bag and we had no where near the ice to keep this log cold. We covered it with a large towel and kept cold water on it. There was no way I was going to allow him to cut this trophy to fit in the bag. This fish was 71.5 inches fork and 74 inches overall. It was the fish of a lifetime. I called Will and asked him to come to me. I needed his fish box. We took a lot of pictures. Tyler is 6'5" and the tail is still on the ground. Notice how quickly the color changes as the fish dies.
By the time Will got to me I was able to set up a troll again. I got a massive hit again. We had another big one on but it managed to crush the mirror lure and get away. Although those lures work they are not made for the crushing blows these fish produce.
Through out the rest of the day we fished in better water but only managed to find 2 keeper yellowfin. On the way in we stopped at a state rig he had nailed the red snapper the day before. Conditions were different. The water was as dirty as the river itself. We moved all around the set of rigs but never got a bite. We needed 20 ounces to get down and the bait was still running out. I made a move about 3 miles away. The water was still running fast but a bit cleaner. I marked fish but it was not until the boat was in the right position that we were able to get bites. Due to the current and smaller size circle hooks we had difficulty getting our 6 red snapper. We made it back without any fog. We heard talk on the radio of thick fog setting in fast and Tim was wondering what they were talking about. As soon as we hit the dock the fog was upon us.
Once at the dock reality set in. This fish weighted 104.7, was 71.5 inches fork length and 74 inches overall and had a 31 inch girth. Do not know where it stands on the state record but it has to be up there somewhere. Truly the fish of a lifetime.
Life is Good!
Fishing is not a matter of life or death. It's more important than that.
CAPT HOOP -- OUR FREEDOM