Rigs trip - Pensacola Fishing Forum

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Old 04-22-2012, 09:51 AM   #1
Kim
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Join Date: Aug 2008
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Default Rigs trip

Ok, We finally made it offshore for the first big fishing trip of the year! Our intention was to head out on Thursday and troll out to the Nipple, Elbow and Spur where we would spend the night trying for a Sword Fish. Thursday morning we fueled up and headed towards the East Pass. We got past the no wake zone, pushed the throttles forward and in short order got an engine alarm on the port engine. Shut it down checked everything out and it seemed ok. Started it back up watched the temperature go back down to normal. Eased the throttles up again and the temperature climbed, so we headed back to the dock keeping the engine temp at 180 by running slower. Pulled the seawater pump and the impeller was missing two blades, replaced impeller and reinstalled the pump and off we went again, same thing temp climbed up so it was back to the dock. I had just cleaned the bottom including the strainers so I knew that was all clean, just replaced the impeller so I knew that was good to go, the temperature would go back to 160 at idle so I knew the thermostat was good, checked the intake hose and it didn't have any cracks etc where it could suck in air so what to do now? Back into the water and removed the intake scoops and shined a light up into the thruhull fitting. About four inches up just at the 90 bend was a couple big oysters growing. at idle and low speed they let enough water pass to keep the engine temperature normal but at higher speeds it water starved the pump. Knocked them loose and we were good to go again.

We left again on Friday morning and headed out to Petronis since we had decided to try for some Tuna. With the tank full we had to go there and come back at no more than 13 knots in order to have enough fuel and not worry about it. Coach caught a nice Mahi on the way out and Mike caught a decent Spanish along with a few Bobos. We arrived at Petronis around 5 PM and saw two ships just West of the rig. One was some kind of tender and the other was a pretty good sized ship with something hooked to the stern of it with a lot of tow lines and a bunch of floats going back about a half mile or more. I really wanted to troll along their tow but I didn't because it wasn't a smart thing to do because I didn't know what it was. Any way we trolled around the rig for a bit with no joy, marked tons of fish at about 500 feet and I managed to hook up on a jig and it was a big one doing circles. I'm thinking a real nice Yellow Fin. so I tightened the drag on the 20 K and proceeded to put the max pressure. Next thing I know that last turn of the handle was wrong! I look at the tip of the rod and the ceramic had popped out of the rod tip! I got a pair of gloves on and decided to pull the beast up by hand. That didn't work out too well, ended up pulling the hook in a few minutes. It turns out that human arms just don't have the flex of a jigging rod not to mention that the shoulders will be sore tow days later.

John JR and Mike threw poppers for a while as we waited for dark to see if and when the fish would bust the surface or at least get closer to it. A huge Hardtail was all that was caught. Just after dark we saw the Yellow fin busting on the surface on the other side of the rig and we eased over that way. As far as the Yellow Fin are concerned we had our hats handed to us by the fish and the sharks but mostly by the sharks. The only Yellow Fin that made it into the boat was just a head. Fun was had by all. Sharks on jigs and poppers just blew everyone away! We wanted to run to Ram Powell but without a fuel reserve I just wouldn't go the extra 19 miles or so. We just had to deal with the sharks. I think the biggest one we saw was about 8 feet or so. Three to five footers were caught on jigs and poppers, talk about having to make a decision on how bad you wanted that jig or popper back. Anyway the bite was on and off all night and we continued to have good fishing. The Black Fin were in the 15 - 20 pound range and judging by our one Yellow Fin head they were in the 40 pound range. We ended up with 18 whole Black Fin which pretty much filled a 320 quart cooler with a layer of ice under and over them.

It's really amazing how fast a pack of sharks can eat a fish on the line. I was standing gaff in hand, brain sending signal to the arm to swing the gaff and the sharks had eaten the tuna and bit off the lure before i could swing the iron. We got to watch that a lot. Everyone that brought jigs and poppers is going to have to do some serious restocking before the next fishing trip. The Yellow Fin seemed to prefer the Williams popper in white with red flames and the Black fin would hit anything you threw out there. The Yozuri poppers worked great, the Yozuri stick baits were ok, They hit most jigs we dropped with few exception. A glow in the dark jighead adn a glow in the dark octopus lure didn't get touched but everything else did. Next time we'll take a bunch of cheap diamond jigs and the small Williamsons.

We could see the Lightning way off to the East starting around 3 AM and by 7 Am it was time to head for the barn. When we left the rig the seas were pretty much flat and over the next three hours they built up to a pretty steady 3-4 feet which we were headed straight into. We were still West of the 131 Hole when we decided to head to Pensacola and go home on the ICW just in case the seas built higher not to mention that all that lightning out there was making me nervous. So we eased into Pensacola and I believe that the center of that storm stayed right on top of us all the way home. The rain pretty much made the radar useless so it was chart plotter and extra eyes for navigation. All in all it was a great trip and we all had fun and enjoyed the traditional steak and potato dinner first night out.

I'm hoping that Johnathan or Mike has some pics they can post I only took three with my phone and they are posted.

Last edited by Kim; 06-15-2015 at 05:45 PM.
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