It's a Learning Game - Ensco 8506 - 7/26/13 - Pensacola Fishing Forum

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Old 07-29-2013, 05:16 PM   #1
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Default It's a Learning Game - Ensco 8506 - 7/26/13

Left Destin at daylight and made bait of a million herrings and pointed her South towards the Ensco 8506. We arrived at Ensco after a couple stops along the way around 2 o'clock with two boats working the rigs already.

We first bump trolled some live hardtails off the outriggers with nothing to show for it except for some barracudas bit off the baits. We settled in jigging for bonita up close to the rig to prepare to chunk for the big tuna at night since it seemed to be a slow bite for each of the boats that were working the rig with one of them trolling and the other one fishing live baits.

Around 4 o'clock we saw our first explosion of tuna hitting flying fish about 400 yards off the rig and it was short lived as they went back down deep for the next hour. Around 5-6 o'clock the ocean seemed to come alive with tuna busting out of the water skying on fish left and right. Then there would be a pause for a few minutes and they would emerge again at a different spot, it was quite a sight to behold!

We started chasing the busting fish with me standing at the bow casting a popper and it got slammed once but the lure was tossed out of the water by the fish and did not get the hooks in. The tunas went back down and so I just started making blind cast off the bow and after about 5-10 cast I was just reeling it as fast as I could and then about 20 yards from the boat a 30-50?# class yellow engulfed the bait and the fight was on!

Made quick work of the fish and got him to the gaff for the first yellowfin tuna that the other 3 crew had ever seen and a first for the new boat! It was laughter, hugs, and high fives all around as if we were kids waking up on Christmas morning. My brother let out a live herring after we cleaned up the mess and it got hit by a nice right on the dot 27" baby yellowfin that we quickly put on ice. We started chasing the tuna again and as I casted my popper the bail on the reel shut and the popper went bye-bye. It was the only one we had on board and just completely deflated me. Earlier in the day we had lost our kite clips to some bouncy seas and they popped off the rod I had them rigged to so that was it for the top water action on the boat.

Night settled in and we started jigging up blackfin for a while and then went about 250-300 yards off the rig and free-lined a live herring, 80lb test, 14/0 circle and instantly we got hooked up on a nice 80# class tuna. Worked him to the boat in a good time and then we got a gaff in him but it wasn't pretty and he took off straight down deep and the line snapped. Set back up with another live herring and another 5 minutes the reel was singing with an even bigger fish on board. We fought it for 4 hours with a locked down drag on the 50s and it still wasn't giving up. We got him to the wire and I got him close, then he went head down and I didn't let go of the line and snap he went swimming back just as he came.

Only me and my brother fought each of these fish and we were whipped after losing both of these. We decided we had enough fish in the fish box and pointed her back North and made it back to Destin around 10:30.

We learned quite a bit on our first rig trip with the family and I'm ready to go again whenever the opportunity calls!

Tight Lines!
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Old 07-29-2013, 05:39 PM   #2
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Nice job and you sure bloodied your deck too. Congrats on the Tuna.
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Old 07-29-2013, 06:51 PM   #3
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nice post- good pictures thks for posting
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Old 07-29-2013, 07:16 PM   #4
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The last two YFT were heart breaking to read about! Go gas up, rest up and head for the rigs ASAP!!!
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Old 07-29-2013, 07:28 PM   #5
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Sounds like a great trip regardless. Thanks for sharing with us.

Do you find yourself while on the way home thinking, "I should have done this instead of that and next time I will try to do it this way. I know it will work." Happens to me every time I go to the rigs.
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Old 07-29-2013, 07:51 PM   #6
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Pretty much the only thing that we did wrong was the whole bringing them into the boat. We could hook them and fight them but then the battle of bringing them in the boat was the hardest part. Next time I hope to have more people on board so that I can be on the gaff rather than on the wire and we'll gaff it from the stern rather than at the bow. You learn something new every trip!
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Old 07-29-2013, 07:51 PM   #7
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Still a nice haul...great job
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