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Old 08-19-2012, 06:49 PM   #1
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Default Marlin, Ram Powell, Petronius

Tough two days.

Headed out from OB at 10am Friday. After dodging a storm, ended up at the Marlin at about 3pm. Baits in 30 mins and had unidentified billfish (looked like decent blue) knock down left outrigger, center rigger, and left short, but didn't commit and dropping back didn't talk him into eating. No luck, so headed to Ram Powell for sunset.

No luck pulling baits, so started jigging, and then chunking to no avail. Saw one boat catch small YFT about 8pm, but no more. After chasing what turned out to be hundreds of bottle-nose dolphins, and no tuna, headed back to Marlin. Nothing but sharks, barracudas (up to 50lbs), and some impressive hardtails, headed to double yellow mama to try for AJs.

Sharks everywhere. About 2am, headed back to Petronius--same thing......Sharks. Headed in to catch a nap before sunrise.

Pulled baits at Marlin for a couple of hours, without even one knock down. Stopped at 252 on way in a caught several good AJs.

All in all, very slow. Water was clean, but no real blue water.
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Old 08-19-2012, 07:34 PM   #2
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We were out there as well. Only caught one small blackfin. It was a tough trip.
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Old 08-20-2012, 12:57 PM   #3
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Ouch, we were at the Marlin last weekend and crushed the fish. Better luck next time.
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Old 08-20-2012, 01:27 PM   #4
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The rigs can be that way sometimes and it's always changing. Were you able to mark fish on your sounder around the rig?

Thanks for posting your report.

Robert
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Old 08-20-2012, 04:57 PM   #5
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Robert. it was very slow out there. We fished Saturday and Sunday. We fished Horn Mountain, Jim Day, Nautilus, and back to Horn Mountain on Saturday. We tuna fished Horn Mountain and Ram Powell Saturday night, jigging and chunking, and set out swordfish baits from midnight to just before daylight. And we fished Marlin and Beer Can Sunday morning. We caught zero meatfish. Not a single yellowfin, wahoo, or dolphin. Didn't see one, didn't get a bite from one. We had maybe a basket of blackfins, and all but one of them were little footballs. We got lucky, very lucky, and went 2/2 on blues, each about 200#s. One was at Jim Day Saturday afternoon, and one at Horn Mountain before dark Saturday. But it wasn't because the conditions were right, or things looked fishy. We were just in the right place at the right time, and managed not to break the line.

The only rig we saw any fish on top, or marked any down deep, was Horn Mountain Saturday morning. There were five or six boats there that morning, and I think one boat caught one small yellowfin. That was it. It was so slow that by 9 a.m. everyone else had left. We fished south that day to Jim Day and Nautilus, and saw even less. We caught one blackfin trolling open water between rigs. Brian didn't want to push further SW to Blind Faith or Thunderhorse, and I think it was a good call in hindsight. Two boats came back up the hill from the Hub that afternoon. Between them, I think they fished every rig that direction. One of them hadn't caught a thing, the other one had gotten one little spurt of tuna when a storm rolled through and caught a few yellowfins. They didn't say which rig, only that it was 150 miles out. We moved back up to Horn Mountain that afternoon hoping for a bite at dark, but there wasn't one. When we came back, we weren't marking fish like in the morning and I didn't see a single fish roll or jump that afternoon.

We didn't get six real bites all weekend. We trolled, chunked, jigged, and livebaited. I don't know where the fish where, but they weren't where we wer at. Water in the ghetto was dirty and pretty lifeless. Dirty water was pushing south at 1.5 knots. We couldn't even catch a blackfin at Ram, Beer Can, or Marlin. There were several of the big Resmondos fishing the Beer Can, Marlin, and Ram Powell Saturday afternoon and that night. They weren't doing anything, and it sounded like most were planning to jack fish on Sunday. I think top boat on Sunday morning was one of the Resmondos kitefishing at the Marlin rig. They had three bites on the kite, and landed all three bites. One was a blackfin, one was a bonito, and one was a seagull. I'm pretty sure he had the best morning.

I never saw true blue water. Water in the ghetto was dirty and moving south fast. Water 30 miles south of there around Nautilus was cleaner, but not good in my opinion. A little scattered grass, a good many flying fish, but nothing to fish really. The boats that came back from Thunderhorse, Independence Hub, and Devils Tower said even down there the water was patchy. Patches of blue mixed with patches of green, but nothing defined. It definitely sounded like a tough weekend for just about everyone.

Last edited by SnapperSlapper; 08-20-2012 at 05:05 PM.
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Old 08-20-2012, 05:04 PM   #6
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Man, thanks for the detailed report. Sorry it's been hard, it's been reports like these and the shark reports that have kept me away from the rigs this summer. From the Nipple to the Spur has been the place to be here lately I guess! You never know unless you go try, that's half the fun.
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Old 08-20-2012, 05:14 PM   #7
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Snap:
thanks for the details, if I had known you were out there I would not have had to ask! Makes you wonder if the fish had lockjaw or actually left? More than likely major lockjaw or lack of current. More and more I seem to notice that lack of current keeps the fish off the rigs, the more current the more fish seem to relate to the rigs.?? Who knows, it's fishing! Lets hope things improve before Labor Day because I would rather not have to run all the way to the Green Canyon!!

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Old 08-20-2012, 06:11 PM   #8
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I think that there probably were some fish around some of the rigs, but I don't think there were many if any around the ghetto. I think that dirty water pushing south so fast moved a lot of them. I think that the fish we saw at Horn Mountain that morning were straglers.

Several years ago, we were fishing out there when the Pensacola International was going on, though we weren't fishing it. We spent most of our time at the Nautilus, which was in blue water when we got there. It was the only rig we found in pretty water, and the only place we managed to catch a fish. Rigs to the north and west (Horn Mountain, Ram Powell, Nakika) were all in dirty river water and we had struck out there. We caught a few tuna that trip, though it was slow (that was the year a 50 something pound tuna won the international, and it came from the Nautilus). Anyway, we were fishing the Nautilus in pretty blue water when the line of dirty river water came barrelling through on Saturday afternoon at about 1 knot, pushing to the SE. We caught a fish in the mud at the rig right after the dirty water moved through. But once the water had pushed through and the muddy water settled in, fishing at the rig died. We went and found the edge of that muddy water in open water and found the tuna there. We caught a fish or two trolling back and forth down the line, as it slowly pushed us SE. At dark, we moved back up to the rig, and it was dead as a hammer. Nothing was going on. The fish we had been marking on the machine earlier were gone, and nothing was happening on the surface. I think in that case, there were fish at Nautilus, but when that muddy water got there, it pushed the fish along with it. And I bet when they got out in open water without anything to concentrate them (like the bait around an oil rig), I bet they scattered pretty good. I think that happens a lot.

We've had ample time trolling dead water to discuss different theories. Mine is that when the nasty water hits the rigs, a lot of times it pushes the fish along with it, and once in open water they scatter out. Sure there might be a few stragglers that hang around, but I think a lot of times the majority of fish move with the water. I think defined edges are best. I know many of our best tuna trips have been on a rig right near a major, defined water change. I think patchy, blended water scatters the fish. And when the fish aren't on top, or they don't want to come up and eat a lure, and there is nothing defined to fish like a rip, it is awfully hard to find the fish. I know with tuna, it isn't just about water color, as we've spent many an afternoon fishing a rig in water so blue it hurts your eyes and not seen one sign of tuna. And we've caught them in muddy water at times. But almost always, even when we do catch them in muddy water, it is when there is only a shallow layer of dirty water on top, or it is very near the edge of clean water.

Another year, we were fishing the Labor Day tournament, and we fished primarily Na Kika, Blind Faith, Discoverer Enterprise, and Thunderhorse. Tuna fishing was slow. We didn't see many, though we were in pretty blue water. We caught a few 50-60# fish at Na Kika, and we broke a yellowfin off at Thunderhorse that would have won some money. But, I think we only had six or seven bites that trip (the small tuna at Na Kika, the big tuna at dark at Thunderhorse, and a white marlin in open water between rigs.) In fact, the only bite we got at Thunderhorse was that big tuna. However, that same weekend, the Roffs showed a little eddy of blue water hooking up through the double nipple, and quite a few boats fished there. And they murdered big yellowfins. That was the year something like 35 tuna over 130#s were weighed in, with most of them coming from that area. I think those fish were following the water. The best two tuna trips I've ever had where when we found a little eddy of water around a rig. One trip the roffs showed a little eddy of blue water hooking up by Horn Mountain, with the leading edge right at Ram Powell. We caught six tuna in the span of a couple of hours at Ram Powell, two over 130#s, and ran out of box space. So, we fished down to Horn Mountain, where things were very slow, then ran back home. The other was at Horn Mountain, where we caught a 180# tuna on a rip a mile from the rig during the day, and then moved back to the rig at dark and caught yellowfins until everyone was tired of catching them. We then sat and watched them blow up around the boat all night waiting for daylight. Both times, there was a swirling eddy of blue water, and an oil rig right at the leading edge of it. And it concentrated the fish like crazy.

Tuna fish move around. I think the rigs just concentrate them more, and cause them to hang around areas longer than they normally would. They catch a lot of tuna over on the east coast where there are no rigs, so it's not like you have to have oil rigs to catch tuna. It just makes them easier to find sometimes. But, I don't believe the theory that the fish are always at the rigs.

I bet as slow as it was from Independence Hub to Petronius, there were some fish somewhere to the East/Southeast to be found this weekend. I'm guessing that somewhere in the vicinity of the double nipple it was on. But, with no decent satellite imagery in a week, who knows.

As to the current, I definitely think it plays a role. I don't know what you've seen, but I've noticed that when the fish are at the rigs, the direction of the current definitely plays a role on which side or corner of the rig they seem to prefer. No current seems to shut things down (I think this is the case in open water too, as no current usually means miles and miles of scattered grass with no defined rips or weedlines). The fish seem to position themselves on the upcurrent side or corner of the rig in a lot of cases. I've seen too many trips when the fish are all hanging out on the same corner of the each rig in an area. Fish the Beer Can, and find them on the NW side for instance. Move to the Marlin, and you find them on the same side of the rig. There are so many variables, and they are always changing, so it is impossible to nail down. But I do think current plays a role in moving/concentrating bait, and in how agressive the fish are.

So, to answer your question, I don't know. If I did, I could write a book on it, get rich, and retire. But I don't. But I do have my theories, and they all revolve around water color, water temp, bait, current and structure.
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Old 08-20-2012, 07:05 PM   #9
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Richard,
Very, very well written and excellent insight. As I read your post I found myself agreeing with everything you said. Thanks for taking the time to post. I used to keep yours and Sam M. report from your infamous Ram Powell trip in a folder as inspiration! I need to add this thread to that folder!

Robert
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Old 08-20-2012, 07:08 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SnapperSlapper View Post
I think that there probably were some fish around some of the rigs, but I don't think there were many if any around the ghetto. I think that dirty water pushing south so fast moved a lot of them. I think that the fish we saw at Horn Mountain that morning were straglers.

Several years ago, we were fishing out there when the Pensacola International was going on, though we weren't fishing it. We spent most of our time at the Nautilus, which was in blue water when we got there. It was the only rig we found in pretty water, and the only place we managed to catch a fish. Rigs to the north and west (Horn Mountain, Ram Powell, Nakika) were all in dirty river water and we had struck out there. We caught a few tuna that trip, though it was slow (that was the year a 50 something pound tuna won the international, and it came from the Nautilus). Anyway, we were fishing the Nautilus in pretty blue water when the line of dirty river water came barrelling through on Saturday afternoon at about 1 knot, pushing to the SE. We caught a fish in the mud at the rig right after the dirty water moved through. But once the water had pushed through and the muddy water settled in, fishing at the rig died. We went and found the edge of that muddy water in open water and found the tuna there. We caught a fish or two trolling back and forth down the line, as it slowly pushed us SE. At dark, we moved back up to the rig, and it was dead as a hammer. Nothing was going on. The fish we had been marking on the machine earlier were gone, and nothing was happening on the surface. I think in that case, there were fish at Nautilus, but when that muddy water got there, it pushed the fish along with it. And I bet when they got out in open water without anything to concentrate them (like the bait around an oil rig), I bet they scattered pretty good. I think that happens a lot.

We've had ample time trolling dead water to discuss different theories. Mine is that when the nasty water hits the rigs, a lot of times it pushes the fish along with it, and once in open water they scatter out. Sure there might be a few stragglers that hang around, but I think a lot of times the majority of fish move with the water. I think defined edges are best. I know many of our best tuna trips have been on a rig right near a major, defined water change. I think patchy, blended water scatters the fish. And when the fish aren't on top, or they don't want to come up and eat a lure, and there is nothing defined to fish like a rip, it is awfully hard to find the fish. I know with tuna, it isn't just about water color, as we've spent many an afternoon fishing a rig in water so blue it hurts your eyes and not seen one sign of tuna. And we've caught them in muddy water at times. But almost always, even when we do catch them in muddy water, it is when there is only a shallow layer of dirty water on top, or it is very near the edge of clean water.

Another year, we were fishing the Labor Day tournament, and we fished primarily Na Kika, Blind Faith, Discoverer Enterprise, and Thunderhorse. Tuna fishing was slow. We didn't see many, though we were in pretty blue water. We caught a few 50-60# fish at Na Kika, and we broke a yellowfin off at Thunderhorse that would have won some money. But, I think we only had six or seven bites that trip (the small tuna at Na Kika, the big tuna at dark at Thunderhorse, and a white marlin in open water between rigs.) In fact, the only bite we got at Thunderhorse was that big tuna. However, that same weekend, the Roffs showed a little eddy of blue water hooking up through the double nipple, and quite a few boats fished there. And they murdered big yellowfins. That was the year something like 35 tuna over 130#s were weighed in, with most of them coming from that area. I think those fish were following the water. The best two tuna trips I've ever had where when we found a little eddy of water around a rig. One trip the roffs showed a little eddy of blue water hooking up by Horn Mountain, with the leading edge right at Ram Powell. We caught six tuna in the span of a couple of hours at Ram Powell, two over 130#s, and ran out of box space. So, we fished down to Horn Mountain, where things were very slow, then ran back home. The other was at Horn Mountain, where we caught a 180# tuna on a rip a mile from the rig during the day, and then moved back to the rig at dark and caught yellowfins until everyone was tired of catching them. We then sat and watched them blow up around the boat all night waiting for daylight. Both times, there was a swirling eddy of blue water, and an oil rig right at the leading edge of it. And it concentrated the fish like crazy.

Tuna fish move around. I think the rigs just concentrate them more, and cause them to hang around areas longer than they normally would. They catch a lot of tuna over on the east coast where there are no rigs, so it's not like you have to have oil rigs to catch tuna. It just makes them easier to find sometimes. But, I don't believe the theory that the fish are always at the rigs.

I bet as slow as it was from Independence Hub to Petronius, there were some fish somewhere to the East/Southeast to be found this weekend. I'm guessing that somewhere in the vicinity of the double nipple it was on. But, with no decent satellite imagery in a week, who knows.

As to the current, I definitely think it plays a role. I don't know what you've seen, but I've noticed that when the fish are at the rigs, the direction of the current definitely plays a role on which side or corner of the rig they seem to prefer. No current seems to shut things down (I think this is the case in open water too, as no current usually means miles and miles of scattered grass with no defined rips or weedlines). The fish seem to position themselves on the upcurrent side or corner of the rig in a lot of cases. I've seen too many trips when the fish are all hanging out on the same corner of the each rig in an area. Fish the Beer Can, and find them on the NW side for instance. Move to the Marlin, and you find them on the same side of the rig. There are so many variables, and they are always changing, so it is impossible to nail down. But I do think current plays a role in moving/concentrating bait, and in how agressive the fish are.

So, to answer your question, I don't know. If I did, I could write a book on it, get rich, and retire. But I don't. But I do have my theories, and they all revolve around water color, water temp, bait, current and structure.
Those sound like some pretty good experienced theories though!
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