CTF in Empire-3 Wahoo - Pensacola Fishing Forum

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Old 02-24-2015, 06:48 PM   #1
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Default CTF in Empire-3 Wahoo

Yesterday was the only window for us to get out. We were at the dock waiting for them to open. After fuel and ice we headed out under very foggy conditions. A short way up tiger pass to the river my radar goes out. I have been having trouble with it and the new HDX one is sitting in my shed. This was my last trip before I get a new top and radar put on all at once. Did not have the time to change things out. I got behind another boat and was able to keep up with it to the river but he soon disappeared. Another boat came down and I slipped in behind him for a bit then I was on my own again. By this time to say I was tense was an understatement. I made it to the head of passes and to the edge of Pass A Loutre when Jordan comes by. I slipped behind him but there is no way I was going to keep up with a Freeman even though he was going slower than normal in the fog. I got on the radio and asked him to drop back a bit so I could follow him. We ran the rest of the way to the gulf at 28 to 30 mph. There was still very thick fog in the gulf but I was able to run on my GPS from there. About 3 to 4 miles out the conditions cleared up a bit to where I could relax the pucker factor a bit.



A wahoo has been nothing but a shadow for Chris. He fishes a lot but up north and they never use wire because a wahoo is never targeted. The main catch up there is Tuna and Mahi. He has hooked several of them but never was able to put one in the boat. This has been going on for 27 years. It was my job to put him on a wahoo today.

I get to my first stop and put out three lines. Other boats had already been there so the wahoo were already boat shy. Nothing on our first rig. The second rig yielded nothing on the first couple of passes but we suddenly get a hit on the long one. Chris jumps for the rod and the fish comes unbuttoned. The look on his face was one of utter defeat. Before he could even process that thought the short rod goes off and he jumps and the expression goes back to fish on fighting mode. The fight is on. My mind was praying for this hog not to rip off the hook. The fish put up a good fight. Once we had color and saw the size of this 50 pounder all of us were watching it make last hope desperation dives and runs to get free. It soon found my gaff and the fight was over. My original Russelure with the slightly rusty hooks did the job again.




Chris was like a kid jumping, yelling "27 years, 27 years" He was hugging the fish and rolling around on the deck with it. That fish had no idea how loved it was.



We got the lines in and continued but could find no others. At another rig we get a hit and Jay gets on the line. It put up a good fight. Unfortunately it was a Jack Crevalle. This prompted me to decide to head to a spot looking for some tuna.

Once there the guys were getting some blackfin and an occasional yellowfin. We set up and started chunking. It was going slow but we kept at it and was rewarded with a drag burning noise that is always music to my ears. I knew from the beginning this was a good fish. Booty was on the rod and before he could get hurt by the power of the fish I had him belted and harnessed up. It was not long into the fight that I also put the reel in low gear. After 2 good dives the fish came to the top and started running high as a lot of the bigger fish do. With the head shake there was no doubt we had a decent tuna on the line and not a shark. Once near the boat this fish was not ready to give up. We could see the sickle fins on this fat 100 pound class fish circling the boat 30 to 40 feet below. When it got just out of gaff range it decides make a larger circle and ran in back of the boat and right between the motors. Booty could not hold the rod low enough because he was still strapped in. I put the reel almost in free spool and got Booty unhooked so I could take over the rod. I yelled out orders and the guys (I don't know who) did as requested very efficiently. Turn off the motors, lift the port motor. By the time I had the rod around the back my deckhand Jay was in back between the motors to guide the line around the motors and we were back into the fight. It was soon after that we stuck this 93 pound pig and Booty had his first ever yellowfin tuna.



He did the entire fish all by himself. The memories were etched in his mind at that point. I gave him the High Five and he had proof of his trophy from now on. We washed it last night and he asked my to sign it this morning.



We had the only day this week the weather was calm enough to get out and with the temps were in the high 70's. These white boys from the frozen tundra could not take the heat. Chris did not have a tee shirt but had to take his long sleeve shirt off.



I was no longer marking any tuna so we went back to the wahoo rigs. They had been left alone so they may be hungry again. We got there and they were. On our first pass we get a double hookup. As we are fighting them there is a crew boat backing in across our lines to service the rig. I got on the radio and ask him to hold back which he did but it was to no avail because they both came unbuttoned. We continued our trolling and got another double that also did not get the hooks set. Our last was a single miss and ending 1 for 6 is not good but we had a lot of action. Before we left that rig I marked well on one corner. I had them drop down a pair of Anteater jigs. It was almost an instant double hookup. As we got into the fight I realized we did not have amberjack.



The over fished, almost extinct, red snapper. They went back.



I was afraid of getting stuck in the evening fog so I decided to head in. The guys got settled in and we headed to the barn.



Only 2 in the box but a lot of action and both fish were very respectable size fish.



Back at the house we relaxed and talked about the entire weeks adventures. BTW the white boy did keep his bikini top on while fishing. The true meaning of "Man Boobs"



What a wonderful week this has been.

Life is Good!
Fishing is not a matter of life or death. It's more important than that.

CAPT HOOP -- OUR FREEDOM
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Old 02-25-2015, 12:34 AM   #2
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Excellent report captain, as usual.
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Old 02-25-2015, 12:15 PM   #3
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Great report and nice pix.
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