7/7 Elbow / Nipple report - Pensacola Fishing Forum

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Old 07-09-2012, 11:31 AM   #1
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Default 7/7 Elbow / Nipple report

The No Problem fished the Outboard Classic on Saturday - it was a well run event and a lot of fun. We didn't place in any category, but I won't let that stand in the way of sharing our report.

We left out of P'cola pass before first light with our normal crew plus a blue water newbie who was a very good sport about the early departure time. We ran out in agreeable seas and put in a high speed wahoo spread in about 180 feet of water hoping for an early morning bite from a wahoo in over the ledge. We picked up a little rip pretty soon after getting the lines out, and immediately one of the reels starts to scream. So far, so good! We get the other lines cleared and are looking forward to a nice wahoo to start the day. Unfortunately, it wasn't a wahoo, but a nice king in the 35 -40 lb range. Happy to have a fish in the boat, but kingfish weren't a category in the tourney, so we pressed on south towards the Elbow.

Water at the Elbow was a mixed bag, some nasty green, some pretty blue, and a lot of in between. Scattered grass was everywhere and a royal pain. We did find a nice, well-formed weedline around the elbow and worked it hard for a couple of hours. It was lifeless except for some big oceanic hardtails. We left the line and saw something that looked for all the world like a submarine periscope - a pole sticking straight up out of the water about four feet and not moving at all with the waves. We went to investigate and it was a huge palm trunk floating straight up and down in the water. It went WAY down. There wasn't anything on it, but I mention because it would sure enough ruin your evening if you hit that thing at night.

We trolled up the 100 fathom line towards the nipple, and had several short strikes on ballyhoo. Since it was a tournament, we were fishing with circle hooks and never got a hookup, even after dropping back. Probably smallish mahi or blackfin from the looks of the bites. We also caught about a three foot shark on a skirted ballyhoo - not sure what it was, very brown in color.

Towards the nipple, we hit a patch of really nice water with little grass. We decided to put out a spread of five naked ballyhoo and work the area. About 30 minutes later, mayhem. A school of yellowfin blitzed our spread and all five lines went off in a flurry of huge splashes. It was a vicious bite, and awesome to behold. Two were short stirkes, but three were peeling drag. Pretty soon one somehow bit / cut the leader (we were fishing light), and the other pulled or spit the hook. We had one solid hookup, of course on the lightest rig in the spread (TLD 25). Took about 15 minutes to bring to gaff. Ended up going 48.5 lbs, slightly off the pace (biggest tuna I saw on the board was about 55, but we left when there were still a few boats left to weigh). It was our first open water tuna bite, and while we would have loved to have gotten a few more to the boat, we had a decent (and delicious) fish in the box and weren't complaining. If we had been fishing our normal bally j-hook rigs I feel confident we would have had done better.

We joined the crowd at the nipple working the weedline there, with no luck. Didn't sound like anyone else was doing much there either. Headed in at about 5:00.

Overall, we had a great time even though the fishing was pretty slow. Will definitely fish the Outboard Classic again, it is a good time and nice not to be competing with the big dogs.
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Old 07-09-2012, 11:39 AM   #2
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Sounds like a fun day!
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Old 07-09-2012, 12:49 PM   #3
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Great report, open water tuna bite seems to be pretty good lately
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Old 07-09-2012, 12:58 PM   #4
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Glad you were able to fish the event. I have always loved the Outboard Classic as well as the MBGFC Limited event. It was tough fishing for everyone on the east side and you did well by scoring the YF.

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Old 07-09-2012, 04:04 PM   #5
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Thanks Robert. Definitely cool having our spread swarmed like that. Chaos on deck for sure. None of our contingency plans covered all five baits getting hit at the same time!

Saw your report from the International, and I guess we will take some solace in the fact that nobody was exactly lighting it up at the Elbow or Nipple. Fortunately, the seas were nice, the company was good, and the beer was nice and cold.
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