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Jan 23rd, 2013
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Its nearly time for Pelican 's 2019 Flower Gardens Wahoo trip #13003806
12/23/18 09:50 PM
12/23/18 09:50 PM
Joined: Nov 2013
Posts: 60
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dolphinslayer1 Offline OP
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The "New Pelican's" 2019 wahoo heavy Fower Garden 60 [ISH] hour trip is now less than 2 months away. It is time for you to get your name on the list, or sign up that fisherman in your life, for Christmas, to show them how loved they are.

The trip is scheduled to depart at 4pm, February 17, 2019, from Deep Sea Headquarters in Port Aransas, TX but, to give you the best shot at an epic trip with great weather, we have shut down any other scheduling for the Pelican that entire week. That being said, this trip could leave at 4pm on the 16th, 17th, 18th, 19th, or 20th, and will return around 8am 3 days later. Because of this, once you sign up and commit with a deposit, to secure your spot, there will be no refunds if a last minute shift in that timeframe is needed for the trip to sail and you can not accommodate the shift. Please, make sure yhat you are flexible enough in your schedule before committing. It's not fair to the other hopeful anglers (and crew, because we love these trips) if a trip gets cancelled because people back out.

Anyway, this is a very limited load trip, sailing with a minimum of 8ppl, and maxes out at 15. The price is $1000 per angler, and you get to bring a cooler (that is shorter than 18") with your own food and drinks. We have a coffeepot, microwave, and gas grill for everyones community use.

This trip will be extremelly troll heavy during both days at the Flower Garden area that we are fishing. Along with spending alot of time trolling for wahoo, probably with alot of large blackfin tuna as bycatch (not to mention numerous cuda and kingfish no one wants to mention) we will also be attempting to bait and jig up wahoo and tuna while we are stopped to clear troll fish, and we all like to put in quite a bit of effort catching all the various deepwater grouper and bottomfish that are always available fishing around the Gardens. Unfortunately, the government decided to modify our winter amberjack season last year, so they wont be available, however we'll probably catch and release more than our share of them, as they are highly overpopulated, and getting thicker, everywhere. During the middle night, between days, we will anchor up, and you can either rest up for the next day, or catch your limit of very large vermillian snapper, almaco jacks, and possibly even some more grouper. All in all , its a very fun trip, with lots of opportunities to catch some true trophies!

We didnt get out for our February wahoo trip in 2018 because of an entire 2 weeks of terrible weather, but this picture is from our 2017 trip during the same month and moon. On that trip, we had close to 70 wahoo bites on one of the days, and, while there was a heavy learning curve for everyone, we wound up bringing home 21 for 15ppl, not to mention all the great bycatch we had.

As stated before, the trip is $1000pp, and we only need 8 to go. Right now there are 3 signed up, 3 more signing up in the next week or so, so really, we only need 2 or 3 more people to go! If you are interested in coming along for this great experience, call Deep Sea Headquarters at 361-749-5597 to book your spot. You can also contact me directly, through private message, or email (captjameswheeler@yahoo.com) and I'll be happy to answer any questions, and walk you through the booking process.

Re: Its nearly time for Pelican 's 2019 Flower Gardens Wahoo trip [Re: dolphinslayer1] #13004195
12/24/18 01:34 PM
12/24/18 01:34 PM
Joined: Jun 2010
Posts: 1,217
El Rancho Jones
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tunatamer Offline
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El Rancho Jones
Let me check my lottery tickets. Stand by. cheers

I hope it fills for you.


"still" awesum
Re: Its nearly time for Pelican 's 2019 Flower Gardens Wahoo trip [Re: dolphinslayer1] #13005373
12/25/18 09:44 PM
12/25/18 09:44 PM
Joined: Sep 2005
Posts: 22,691
Lewisville
Uncle Zeek Online content
Perry Mason
Uncle Zeek  Online Content
Perry Mason

Joined: Sep 2005
Posts: 22,691
Lewisville
Do you guys do any deep dropping on these trips (tilefish, etc)?


"Decency is not news; it is buried in the obituaries --but it is a force stronger than crime" ~ Robert A. Heinlein, 1952

zac@artimlegal.com
972-436-8974 office
972-746-0758 mobile

Re: Its nearly time for Pelican 's 2019 Flower Gardens Wahoo trip [Re: dolphinslayer1] #13008302
12/28/18 09:48 PM
12/28/18 09:48 PM
Joined: Nov 2013
Posts: 60
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dolphinslayer1 Offline OP
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dolphinslayer1  Offline OP
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We do a little of everything and are willing to try anything, time and conditions, just dictate what we wind up doing. But if theres a day that the wahoo arent turned, the conditions are right, and most are wanting to and equipped for it, theres some great deep drop spots only a few miles away.

Re: Its nearly time for Pelican 's 2019 Flower Gardens Wahoo trip [Re: dolphinslayer1] #13010175
12/30/18 04:27 AM
12/30/18 04:27 AM
Joined: Jan 2002
Posts: 27,114
DFW , Texas , USA
Bazztex Offline
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Bazztex  Offline
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Joined: Jan 2002
Posts: 27,114
DFW , Texas , USA
Sounds good

Re: Its nearly time for Pelican 's 2019 Flower Gardens Wahoo trip [Re: Bazztex] #13012000
12/31/18 05:32 PM
12/31/18 05:32 PM
Joined: Jun 2010
Posts: 1,217
El Rancho Jones
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tunatamer Offline
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El Rancho Jones
Originally Posted by Bazztex
Sounds good



You thinking about it Charlie?


"still" awesum
Re: Its nearly time for Pelican 's 2019 Flower Gardens Wahoo trip [Re: tunatamer] #13027500
01/13/19 04:04 AM
01/13/19 04:04 AM
Joined: Jan 2002
Posts: 27,114
DFW , Texas , USA
Bazztex Offline
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Bazztex  Offline
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Joined: Jan 2002
Posts: 27,114
DFW , Texas , USA
Originally Posted by tunatamer
Originally Posted by Bazztex
Sounds good



You thinking about it Charlie?



Yes Bobby

Re: Its nearly time for Pelican 's 2019 Flower Gardens Wahoo trip [Re: Bazztex] #13073751
02/25/19 01:32 AM
02/25/19 01:32 AM
Joined: Jun 2010
Posts: 1,217
El Rancho Jones
T
tunatamer Offline
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Posts: 1,217
El Rancho Jones
Originally Posted by Bazztex
Yes Bobby


You shoulda gone Charlie .... 38 Hoos


[Linked Image]


"still" awesum
Re: Its nearly time for Pelican 's 2019 Flower Gardens Wahoo trip [Re: dolphinslayer1] #13074093
02/25/19 02:21 PM
02/25/19 02:21 PM
Joined: Sep 2005
Posts: 22,691
Lewisville
Uncle Zeek Online content
Perry Mason
Uncle Zeek  Online Content
Perry Mason

Joined: Sep 2005
Posts: 22,691
Lewisville
Those are some funny-lookin wahoo up close to the cameraman!


"Decency is not news; it is buried in the obituaries --but it is a force stronger than crime" ~ Robert A. Heinlein, 1952

zac@artimlegal.com
972-436-8974 office
972-746-0758 mobile

Re: Its nearly time for Pelican 's 2019 Flower Gardens Wahoo trip [Re: dolphinslayer1] #13091861
03/14/19 04:47 AM
03/14/19 04:47 AM
Joined: Nov 2013
Posts: 60
D
dolphinslayer1 Offline OP
Outdoorsman
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Posts: 60
So I'm finally getting around to following up on my reports. And I remembered I needed to get this one up here. Thank goodness Bobby took care of the picture for me, as usual, since I'm almost computer illiterate. Bobby usually helps me with this.

Anyways as we drew closer to the date of the trip oh, there were many times and we didn't even think it was going to get off the ground. Up until several days before the first possible go day, of our planned departure dates, we were still several people shy of our minimum, and then at the last minute we had enough people to go. Then the weather I had been watching ferociously for a week constantly begin to modulate and change. To make a very long story short we went from trying to leave an extra day early, on the Saturday, they're trying to leave at noon on Tuesday and catching an angle inshore got to finally having everybody ready to go to leave at noon on Wednesday. Got all nine men loaded up and ready to go and then 1 engine decided not to fire off after two weeks of standingby, starting perfectly, trying to go fishing everyday for a week. Without getting into too many details, took us 3 hours to get the proper starter and the proper batteries to change everything out to be able to go. PS if you ever run a boat and buy a spare starter make sure it turns in the correct direction before putting it in your spares box. This is the second time in my life I've come across a starter that turns backwards; luckily this time it only took me an hour and a half to figure it out.

At 3 p.m. we finally got everything up and run and got the safety speech going and got the heck away from the dock, 9 men onboard , ready for a nice slow comfortable trip through the night, to be at the grounds, fishing first thing in the morning. Everything was going nice and smooth and we're taking our time with some much nicer sea than expected, after how hard it had blown for the previous five days, I know the first but I wanted to start rolling Thursday morning plugged in current ETA of about 5:45 a.m, about a half hour before sunrise. Where the longer slow ride out there barbecue pit yeah he's profusely and it was a pretty good party atmosphere on the back deck of the boat with all the clients enjoying some adult beverages. But about 10 p.m. shortly after most of them were in bed oh, we found some of those residual waves that we were not expecting. From 10 p.m. till daylight I had to slow it down quite a bit more with steady, very steep 6s, at about the most terrible angle I could help for for that ride, especially in the dark. Of course there is also quite a few eights and bigger thrown in, for a little variety. And about every two miles we would go through a little, nasty rain Squall that would shut down all visibility and make it even more fun for me.

At first light, we still had about 30 miles to go going to have to get to where I wanted to begin trolling , I'm starting to make some choices about trying somewhere else first yada yada yada FirstLight yada yada yada, when the boat told me that it decided to put water in places that it didn't belong. Anyway, an hour or two later I had the busted pipe change everything up and running again and we're back on the road having missed the morning bite. We got the 4 high lures out gum and crossed every good bit of structure that we could on the way to the gardens from from there. And we got there I give him a good long drag all the way across my favorite points of interest, without a bite. Between that and the fact that it was already close to 11 a.m., I figured I wouldn't have any success with Wahoo until the evening bite got my but had to get the regular trolling spread into the water for at least a little while before we switch gears to start grouper fishing instead. Five minutes after we had spread out, we had our first Wahoo in the boat. Nothing crazy but a nice 30 ish pounder. I'm 5 minutes after I get an alert that again we had a triple header and caught all three. From that point of the day until dark, we pretty much couldn't go more than 20 minutes without a bite, the large majority of them being wahoo. On day one, of course as usual, there was a large learning curve on the majority of the Anglers part about keeping the line tight enough not to lose wahoo. But by 3 p.m. they had a dozen in the boat and everyone who caught one oh, and at the end of the day we wound up with 18 for probably 40 to 50 Wahoo bite. Didn't catch much other stuff that day couple Kings 3 or 4 Barracuda and a couple Blackfinn. Not too many people got to interested in fishing the slide or dropping grouper baits down when they weren't up for the troll so we didn't have any random stuff or extra fish caught that day.

At dark, I moved to a rock that look really good, that I had been wanting to try to beeliner fish. Only four or five where up and fishing when I came to check it out, and only one of them was trying with little pieces of squid..... I spent a little bit of time going over the boat and all the stuff that may or may not have gotten shook loose, during the trip, the night before, and when I was through running my maintenance checks, he had only caught 2 bliners. So I moved to another Rock 2 miles away, that I've done real good on several times before. About midnight when I got set up there I went downstairs, and so only two people fishing, but I dropped one piece of squid to the bottom and instantly caught a B liner, so decided to go take a, much needed, nap until the fishing died off, or something changed with me needing to move. The guys woke me up at 5:15, like I'd asked them to do, at the latest. When I asked whether we had a limit of beeliners or not, hey told me only one person was fishing he went to bed after catching about 17 and no one else came back out so they try to get a Mako most the night. LOL at least everyone was rested up for day 2.

Anchor up at 5:30 , and lures in at the East Gardens right as we barely could smell daylight coming up on the horizon. As we came by the buoy we had a triple header, for 2 weehoo and a black fin, and picked up a nice triple coming around the corner to hit it again. We had a lot more action, all in a much tighter spot on day 2 , In One Direction on one Edge, every time we came through there , for quite a while we'd have multiple hookups, and circling back around to hit it again, we would typically get a shot at a single but larger hoo. Other than about an hour in the middle of the day , when I went to look at a different corner, since we had made three laps , on the school, without a bite, we pretty much had fish on every 10 to 15 minutes until 4 p.m. While, once again, not too many people were trying side tactics when they weren't up for the troll, one guy did manage a nice yellow mouth grouper. Another guy managed to get a jig bit off by wahoo. Every single stop, when I was not required to be in the melee of multiple hookups, I did my best to get to the bell and cast a bomb or an iron as many times as I could. I got bit by Wahoo four times and screwed it up every single time. It is extremely difficult, even for me do you remember the counterintuitive logic but you need to keep your Rod pointed at your fishing reel through the bite until they take off the other direction. I know it can be successful when it can be done and we can catch a lot more fish than just on the troll if everyone jumps in.

At 4 p.m. we had our final Wahoo bite, that we know of, and it concluded and an absolutely epic fashion Ghana even if we weren't too successful dealing with it. By the time I made it downstairs, after the fish on alarm, 6 Anglers were already fighting wahoo as I was running through the aisle two more rods got bit from the riggers, for a total of 8 fish on out of 9 rods trolling. These all were very nice fish as well, as we landed two of our biggest fish on the stop. Unfortunately for many many various reasons we lost the other six yeah, but you could see about 40 Wahoo, all over 50 lbs, cruising around the boat just looking at us during the fight. As people lost their fish I was just screaming at him to cast something, anything whatever you can do try to hook one , and even though some of them finally listen to me for the first time of the entire trip, it was humorous to see some of the things that shows the cast. Regardless we got our trip highliner is 76 pounder and another one well over 60 on that stop, and lost several others that were very large as well. For some reason I can't figure out, that was the last Wahoo but we had of the trip we continued trolling until around 6 p.m. for several more Blackfin but didn't get any more Screamers. Anyway that day we will end up going 20 wahoo for probably in the neighborhood of 30 to 40 wahoo bites. It was a little harder to tell for sure, as there were a lot more black fin bites and hook ups, that second day , but definitely felt like the majority of the anglers improved their game some.

Anyway , trip total was 38 wahoo landed, with 3whoo, the majority being 30-40#, and 8 from 55-76#. We lost around 10 to big bullsharks seeing the carnage up close and personal, on several, probably 40-50 were lost due to the #1 offender in wahoo fishing, a solit second or longer of slack line or lack of cranking, and probably 30ish to tangles, crosses, insta breaks, and other issues, that sometimes happen, but, I feel, on deck, I should've been able to knock that number down a bit more, of course every year i move a bit slower and rustler, so some things come and go. However, a 40% return while straight up wahoo fishing, is typically considered high average, so , i am proud of my crew, and anglers.the funniest/most frustrating losses were at endgame on four or five very large wahoo, probably each going somewhere between 85 and 100 lb. Each time , after a long grueling fight, when we would finally get solid color, one or another crew member, including myself, made the mistake of saying something like , " Solid color! Dang, look how big that one is! IT'S HUGE"! So it's one of the tired angler would stop railing for just a Split Second going to look over the side and see what he had gotten into, with just enough time to see that fish roll on his Slackline and spit the hook and swim away. As a reminder, and it is hard, when y'all are out fishing, unless there's a reason that the angler needs to see their fish , like with circling tuna, at the stern corner of a boat, try your very best not to say anything to them about color or or especially special size/species remarks, until you're sure that you've got your final shot ready on that fish. A lot of the deep drop swordfisherman wind up having the same problem, after an angler has just reeled in a fish from 1200 feet deep, and wants to take a look at first color, for a split second, giving them just enough time to let slack, and lose the fish.

Because everyone's going to ask, those two days there was not too many specific patterns that we're working that much better than others. Proper rigging, presentation, and proper placement behind the boat typically resulted in the bite pretty soon. However I had 4 Nomad DTX Minnows when I started the trip, one purple mackerel in the 165 size, and three 200s: black pink Mackerel, a pink mackerel, and a hot pink mackrel... I had bought a couple at Roy's before the trip but it lost them before this trip, and ordered every color I couldn't find locally, however the people I ordered from only had these three in stock. To say the least this is 1 hot lure, that you cannot keep in the water very long if there are wahoo around! The only downside I found with them, on a head boat, is it that can only hold up to three or four Wahoo each. But more of this has to do with the way most large fish get landed on the deck after being gaffed. Anyway, each of these lures wood wind up having a hole or crack in the plastic somewhere, after a few fish, and then they would fill up with water, and never swim again. But before that, though, they were getting bit so very well, that i actually sat up at the helm, while trolling, with a torch and a large shark hook, trying to get the hook hot enough to weld the plastic back together. PS I was not successful. Personally if I was out fishing on my own, and could catch two or three Wahoo on a $30 lure. However when purchasing lures, myself, for other people to use well fishing on my trips, I am personally looking for a little bit more sturdy lures. Rumor has it in December they're going to come out with a DTX 220 or 250, it has a metal body, and is a foam-filled. It's supposed to cost about twice as much maybe more, but if it gets bit like these do, and can hold up through a dozen or more fish, then I think the price increase is fair. I'm very interested to see what else is coming. Nomad has come out with some very impressive products, that appeared to catch just as many if not more fish than just fishermen. I'm in contact with their American representative, and hoping to help them with the research and development to make a stronger product.

Other than those Nomads, day one showed more success on bibbed diving lures like X raps and Yozuri deep divers, than on ballyhoo near the surface, by probably 3 to 1. There were no bites on day one on Marauders or Bonitas, or on anything high-speed that we tried in the morning. On Day 2 there a lot more bites on the surface lures , with my purple /black and orange/ black Islander Ballyhoo combos hooking a lot of the bigger fish. Finally got a few fish to bite big black and pink Bonita's and black and orange Marauders as well oh, but never really had any luck with black on black or black on purple. Once you started running out of Islanders do the various losses that occur, we started rigging up Bombs and Catchy's and all sorts of different medium pointy flat or cup faced lures I have on board that I've collected over the years, and had moderate success both with and without ballyhoo. But I'm going to continue with my current opinion that cowbells are just about a waste of money, at least on this boat for some reason. But it's hard to say what really works the best when they're out thick and hungry and willing to bite just about anything. At some point, with rigged up all of our old diving lures, including the ones that have never worked for us for one reason or another, and one of the hot lures on day 2 for a while, why not being a terrible color X rap that I always hated I never had any luck with, green and red.

Anyway, after a long ride back home through the night fighting tide current this that and the other, we arrived home around 8 or 9 in the morning and wound up hanging 38 wahoo, 27 Blackfin, about 25 beeliners, 6 Barracuda, 3 sand tiles, 2 kingfish, one yellow mouth grouper, and 1 little Dorado. All 9 Anglers were very happy and tired. I think only two of them had ever caught a wahoo before oh, and almost everybody got to tug on 8 to 12 of them. I'm not sure who got the most, but I think the highliner landed seven, and the lo-liner landed 2.

At the current time, throughout the year , the opportunity to do this type of trip is currently my favorite, and there's a lot of unknowns, a lot of learning, and a lot of opportunity to try things that I've never gotten to try before. I truly do wish there was a larger window to run these trips oh, that it wasn't such a nightmare trying to get the right weather to get offshore for 3 days this time of year oh, and that it didn't have to be so expensive so all my friends could come more regularly and I might get to do it more than once a year. By no means I consider myself even close to being the best Wahoo fisherman, or any other kind of fisherman for that matter, but every one of these trips gets us opportunity to do something that is so neat and unique , and is just another example of what an awesome fishery, that we have here, locally, that almost nobody knows about.

Anyway, I'm going to try to get some dates set up a little bit sooner for next year, and once again try to do two or three of these between late January and early March. I'm also probably going to throw in some 36 hour trips, in that same time period, to try to offer a more affordable easier to get out trip . Of course the one thing that scares me about doing one day only there oh, is it we accidentally pick a day that they will not open their mouth, is sometimes they just decide not to bite. Most of you know how to get ahold of me, on these forums, or on Facebook. But I can also be reached at captjameswheeler@yahoo.com if you make sure to include something about offshore fishing in the subject bar. Or you can call Deep Sea headquarters at 361-749-5597, and leave a message for me, to call you back, and I'll get with you personally to help find the best options. Just make sure to ask for James.

I've got a few other pictures and a small video I'm going to try to figure out how to post, but most likely I won't be able to get them up unless Bobby puts them on for me.

Capt. James Wheeler So I'm finally getting around to following up on my reports. And I remembered I needed to get this one up here. I actually have quite a few pictures, this time, which is strange, for me, I will try to post them but no promises, since I'm almost computer illiterate, and getting more so every day.



Anyway, as we drew closer to the date of the trip , there were many times that we didn't even think it was going to get off the ground. Up until several days, before the first possible go day, of our planned departure dates, we were still several people shy of our minimum, and then at the last minute we had enough people to go. Then, the weather I had been watching ferociously for a week constantly begin to modulate and change. To make a very long story short we went from trying to leave an extra day early, on the Saturday, to trying to leave at noon on Tuesday and catching an angle inshore, then  after one more terrible night of wind, with myself and some of the out of state clients staying on board, avoid, yet another hotel fee, we got to finally having everybody ready to go to leave at noon on Wednesday  (our last possible go) All nine men loaded up and were more than ready to go, whenn 1 engine decided not to fire off after two weeks of standingby, starting perfectly, trying to go fishing everyday for a week. Without getting into too many details, took us 3 hours to get the proper starter and the proper batteries to change everything out to be able to go. PS if you ever run a boat and buy a spare starter make sure it turns in the correct direction before putting it in your spares box. This is the second time in my life I've come across a starter that turns backwards; luckily this time it only took me an hour and a half to figure it out. At 3 p.m. we finally got everything up and run and got the safety speech going and got the heck away from the dock, 9 men onboard , ready for a nice slow comfortable trip through the night, to be at the grounds, fishing first thing in the morning. 


Everything was going nice and smooth and we're taking our time with some much nicer sea than expected, after how hard it had blown for the previous five days, I know the first but I wanted to start rolling Thursday morning plugged in current ETA of about 5:45 a.m, about a half hour before sunrise. Where the longer slow ride out there barbecue pit yeah he's profusely and it was a pretty good party atmosphere on the back deck of the boat with all the clients enjoying some adult beverages. But about 10 p.m. shortly after most of them were in bed oh, we found some of those residual waves that we were expecting earlier. From 10 p.m. till daylight I had to slow it down quite a bit more, with steady, very steep 6s, at about the most terrible angle I could hope for, for that ride, especially in the dark. Of course there were also quite a few eights and bigger thrown in, for a little variety. And about every two miles we would go through a little, nasty rain Squall that would shut down all visibility and make it even more fun for me. At first light, we still had about 30 miles to go to get to where I wanted to begin trolling , I'm starting to entertain some choices about trying somewhere else first, yada yada yada, FirstLight, yada yada yada, when the boat told me that it decided to put water in places that it didn't belong. Anyway, an hour or two later I had the busted pipe change everything up and running again and we're back on the road having missed the morning bite. We got the 4 high speed lures out, all pretty and crossed every good bit of structure that we could, on the way to the gardens, from from there. And, once we got there, I gave them a good long drag, all the way across my favorite points of interest, without a bite.


 Between that and the fact that it was already close to 11 a.m., I figured I wouldn't have any success with Wahoo until the evening bite got my but had to get the regular trolling spread into the water for at least a little while before we switched gears, to start grouper fishing instead. Five minutes after we had the slow spread out, we had our first Wahoo in the boat. Nothing crazy but a nice 30 ish pounder.  5 minutes after that,we are bit again; we had a triple header and caught all three. From that point of the day until dark, we pretty much couldn't go more than 20 minutes without a bite, the large majority of them being wahoo. On day one, of course, as usual, there was a large learning curve on the majority of the Anglers' part about keeping the line tight enough, not to lose wahoo. But by 3 p.m. they had a dozen in the boat and everyone who caught one, and at the end of the day we wound up with 18 for probably 40 to 50 Wahoo bites. Didn't catch much other stuff that day couple Kings 3 or 4 Barracuda and a couple Blackfin. Not too many people got to interested in fishing the slide or dropping grouper baits down when they weren't up for the troll so we didn't have any random stuff or extra fish caught that day.


 At dark, I moved to a rock that look really good, that I had been wanting to try to beeliner fish. Only four or five people were up and fishing, when I came to check it out, and only one of them was trying with little pieces of squid..... I spent a little bit of time going over the boat and all the stuff that may or may not have gotten shook loose, during the trip, the night before, and when I was through running my maintenance checks, he had only caught 2 bliners. So I moved to another Rock 2 miles away, that I've done real good on, several times before. It was About midnight, when I got set up there. I went downstairs, and had only two people fishing, but I dropped one piece of squid to the bottom and instantly caught a B liner, so decided to go take a, much needed, nap until the fishing died off, or something changed, with me needing to move. The guys woke me up at 5:15, like I'd asked them to do, at the latest. When I asked whether we had a limit of beeliners or not, they told me only one person was fishing by 1am,anda he went to bed after catching about 15 or so good ones, and no one remembered to wake up, catch their bliners, or even come back out so the other captain tryed, to get a Mako or Warsaw most the night, greatly improving his sandbar shark skills. LOL at least everyone , crew included , was rested up for day 2.


 Anchor up at 5:30 , and lures in at the East Gardens right as we barely could smell daylight coming up on the horizon. As we came by the buoy, we had a triple header, for 2 weehoo and a black fin, and picked up a nice triple, coming around the corner to hit it again. We had a lot more action, all in a much tighter spot on day 2 , In One Direction, on one Edge, every time we came through there , for quite a while we'd have multiple hookups, and circling back around to hit it again, we would typically get a shot at a single but larger hoo. Other than about an hour in the middle of the day , when I went to look at a different corner, since we had made three laps , on the school, without a bite, we pretty much had fish on every 10 to 15 minutes until 4 p.m. While, once again, not too many people were trying side tactics when they weren't up for the troll, one angler did manage a nice yellow mouth grouper. Another client managed to get a jig bit off by wahoo. Every single stop, when I was not required to be in the melee of multiple hookups, I did my best to get to the bow, and cast a bomb or an iron, as many times as I could. I got bit by Wahoo four times, and screwed it up every single time. It is extremely difficult, even for me, to remember the counterintuitive logic , that you need to keep your Rod pointed at your fish, and reel through the bite, until they take off the other direction. I know it can be successful when it can be done , and we can catch a lot more fish than just on the troll if everyone jumps in. 


At 4 p.m. we had our final Wahoo bite, that we know of, and it concluded and an absolutely epic fashion, even if we weren't too successful dealing with it. By the time I made it downstairs, after the fish on alarm was Banged, 6 Anglers were already fighting wahoo; as I was running through the aisle, two more rods got bit from the riggers, for a total of 8 fish on out of 9 rods trolling. These all were very nice fish as well, as we landed two of our biggest fish on the stop. Unfortunately, for many , many various reasons, we lost the other six yeah, but you could see about 40 Wahoo, all over 50 lbs, cruising around the boat, just glaring at us during the fight. As people lost their fish, I was just screaming at them, to cast something, anything whatever you can do try to hook one , and even though some of them finally listened to that advice, for the first time of the entire trip, it was humorous to see some of the things that some chose to cast. Regardless, we got our trip highliner , a 76 pounder and another one well over 60 on that stop, and lost several others that were very large as well. For some reason, I can't figure out, that was the last Wahoo that we had of the trip, but, we continued trolling until around 6 p.m. for several more Blackfin, but didn't get any more Screamers. Anyway, that day we ended up going 20 wahoo, for probably in the neighborhood of 30 to 40 wahoo bites. It was a little harder to tell for sure, as there were a lot more black fin bites and hook ups, that second day , but definitely felt like the majority of the anglers improved their game some. Anyway , trip total was 38 wahoo landed, with 3 weehoo, the majority being 30-40#, and 8 from 55-76#. We lost around 10 to big bullsharks, seeing the carnage up close and personal, on several, probably 40-50 were lost due to the #1 offender in wahoo fishing, a split second, or longer, of slack line, or lack of cranking, and probably 30ish to tangles, crosses, insta breaks, and other issues, that sometimes happen, but, I feel, on deck, I should've been able to knock that number down a bit more. Of course, every year i move a bit slower and rustier, so some things come and go. However, a 40% return while straight up wahoo fishing, is typically considered high average, so , i am proud of my crew, and anglers.

The funniest/most frustrating losses, were at endgame on four or five very large wahoo, probably each going somewhere between 85 and 100 lb. Each time , after a long grueling fight, when we would finally get solid color, one or another crew member, including myself, made the mistake of saying something like , " Solid color! Dang, look how big that one is! IT'S HUGE"! ... Each time, the tired angler would stop reeling, for just a Split Second, going to look over the side, to see what he had gotten into, with just enough time to see that fish roll, on his Slackline, spit the hook, and swim away. As a reminder, and it is hard, when y'all are out fishing, unless there's a reason that the angler needs to see their fish , like with circling tuna, at the stern corner of a boat, try your very best not to say anything to them about color or or especially special size/species remarks, until you're sure that you've got your final shot ready on that fish. A lot of the deep drop swordfisherman wind up having the same problem, after an angler has just reeled in a fish from 1200 feet deep, and wants to take a look at first color, for a split second, giving them just enough time to let slack, and lose the fish. 


Because everyone's going to ask, those two days there was not too many specific patterns that we're working that much better than others. Proper rigging, presentation, and proper placement behind the boat typically resulted in the bite pretty soon. However I had 4 Nomad DTX Minnows when I started the trip, one purple mackerel in the 165 size, and three 200s: black pink Mackerel, a pink mackerel, and a hot pink mackrel... I had bought a couple at Roy's before the trip but it lost them before this trip, and ordered every color I couldn't find locally, however the people I ordered from only had these three in stock. To say the least this is 1 hot lure, that you cannot keep in the water very long if there are wahoo around! The only downside I found with them, on a head boat, is it that can only hold up to three or four Wahoo each. But more of this has to do with the way most large fish get landed on the deck after being gaffed. Anyway, each of these lures wood wind up having a hole or crack in the plastic somewhere, after a few fish, and then they would fill up with water, and never swim again. But before that, though, they were getting bit so very well, that i actually sat up at the helm, while trolling, with a torch and a large shark hook, trying to get the hook hot enough to weld the plastic back together. PS I was not successful. Personally if I was out fishing on my own, and could catch two or three Wahoo on a $30 lure. However when purchasing lures, myself, for other people to use well fishing on my trips, I am personally looking for a little bit more sturdy lures. Rumor has it in December they're going to come out with a DTX 220 or 250, it has a metal body, and is a foam-filled. It's supposed to cost about twice as much maybe more, but if it gets bit like these do, and can hold up through a dozen or more fish, then I think the price increase is fair. I'm very interested to see what else is coming. Nomad has come out with some very impressive products, that appeared to catch just as many if not more fish than just fishermen. I'm in contact with their American representative, and hoping to help them with the research and development to make a stronger product. 


Other than those Nomads, day one showed more success on bibbed diving lures like X raps and Yozuri deep divers, than on ballyhoo near the surface, by probably 3 to 1. There were no bites on day one on Marauders or Bonitas, or on anything high-speed that we tried in the morning. On Day 2 there a lot more bites on the surface lures , with my purple /black and orange/ black Islander Ballyhoo combos hooking a lot of the bigger fish. Finally got a few fish to bite big black and pink Bonita's and black and orange Marauders as well oh, but never really had any luck with black on black or black on purple. Once we started running out of Islanders, do the various losses that occur, we started rigging up Bombs and Catchy's and all sorts of different medium pointy, flat, or cup faced lures, I have on board, that I've collected over the years, and had moderate success both with and without ballyhoo. But I'm going to continue with my current opinion that cowbells are just about a waste of money, at least on this boat for some reason. However, it's hard to say what really works the best, when they're out thick and hungry and willing to bite just about anything. At some point, I rigged up all of our old diving lures, including the ones that have never worked for us for one reason or another, and one of the hot lures on day 2 for a while, wound up being a terrible color X rap, that I always hated I never had any luck with, green and red.


 Anyway, after a long ride back home through the night fighting tide current this that and the other, we arrived home around 8 or 9 in the morning and wound up hanging 38 wahoo, 27 Blackfin, about 25 beeliners, 6 Barracuda, 3 sand tiles, 2 kingfish, one yellow mouth grouper, and 1 little Dorado. All 9 Anglers were very happy and tired. I think only two of them had ever caught a wahoo before, and almost everybody got to tug on 8 to 12 of them. I'm not sure who got the most, but I think the highliner landed seven, and the lo-liner landed 2. At the current time, throughout the year , the opportunity to do this type of trip is currently my favorite: there's a lot of unknowns, a lot of learning, and a lot of opportunity to try things that I've never gotten to try before. I truly do wish there was a larger window to run these trips oh, that it wasn't such a nightmare trying to get the right weather to get offshore for 3 days this time of year oh, and that it didn't have to be so expensive so all my friends could come more regularly and I might get to do it more than once a year. By no means do I consider myself, even close, to being the best Wahoo fisherman, or any other kind of fisherman for that matter, but every one of these trips gives us opportunity to do something that is so neat and unique , and is just another example of what an awesome fishery, that we have here, locally, that almost nobody knows about. 


Anyway, I'm going to try to get some dates set up a little bit sooner for next year, and once again try to do two or three of these between late January and early March. I'm also probably going to throw in some 36 hour trips, in that same time period, to try to offer a more affordable easier to get out trip . Of course the one thing that scares me about doing one day only there oh, is it we accidentally pick a day that they will not open their mouth, as sometimes they just decide not to bite. 


Most of you know how to get ahold of me, on these forums, or on Facebook. But I can also be reached at captjameswheeler@yahoo.com if you make sure to include something about offshore fishing in the subject bar. Or you can call Deep Sea Headquarters at 361-749-5597, and leave a message for me, to call you back, and I'll get with you personally to help find the best options. Just make sure to ask for James. I've got a few other pictures and a small video I'm going to try to figure out how to post, but most likely I won't be able to get them to load. 



Capt. James Wheeler 


Last edited by dolphinslayer1; 03/14/19 06:37 AM.
Re: Its nearly time for Pelican 's 2019 Flower Gardens Wahoo trip [Re: dolphinslayer1] #13091869
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Re: Its nearly time for Pelican 's 2019 Flower Gardens Wahoo trip [Re: dolphinslayer1] #13091871
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Re: Its nearly time for Pelican 's 2019 Flower Gardens Wahoo trip [Re: dolphinslayer1] #13091875
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Re: Its nearly time for Pelican 's 2019 Flower Gardens Wahoo trip [Re: dolphinslayer1] #13091878
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Re: Its nearly time for Pelican 's 2019 Flower Gardens Wahoo trip [Re: dolphinslayer1] #13091880
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