End of the year trip - Pensacola Fishing Forum

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Old 01-01-2015, 12:14 AM   #1
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Default End of the year trip

I was in Texas heading home and had a call for an inshore trip. Before I got home it turned into an offshore trip. Had to search very hard to find a last minute deck hand. Had a flat tire at 5:00 in the morning 3 miles from the marina. Got there and deck hand and customers were a bit behind. The winds were calm at 5:00 but they were blowing at 17 mph where I was heading. Forecast was for a front to come through in the afternoon but conditions looked like the front was here early. This whole trip was not starting off good. We ran into a bit of fog at the head of passes but not thick. As soon as we hit the gulf it was bouncy. About 6 miles out we were doing 24 mph. Eased my way to my furthest destination. Made one troll around a rig on the way and nothing impressive on the screen so kept going. Almost too rough to troll. Took a one over the bow of the Glacier Bay.

One of my buddies was already at at my chosen rig. He got nothing on the troll but one blackfin on the chunk. We went right to chunking. Marked nothing on the drifts but under these conditions I had no other choices. A third boat shows up and he gets a Jack Crevalle on his first drift. The first boat there leaves. After 6 sharks I gave up on that place. Went to a nearby rig heading in. Trolled it and on the second pass get one on. It fought like a blackfin but turned out to be a Jack.



To be continued. Got called for a trip.

I thought this was going to be my last trip of the year but an early morning call had me stop writing and back on the water again. This is the rest of yesterdays trip.



Got a call from the place I just left and he said the bite may be starting. I took a pounding but headed back out there. I got a small piece of red meat from him and set up a drift. First drift and we have a tuna on. It did not fight like a shark at all. I was soon putting the gaff in a good sized blackfin tuna. We were on the board at last. In this picture you can see how the line rubbed him as he was diving to get away.



I thought things were looking up but it took about an hour before we had another bite. This one was also a blackfin. We were almost out of red meat bait when my deckhand lands a bonito about a foot long. I was able to make 4 small baits out of it. We had 3 blackfin in the box and we had 2 baits left. "One last drift". Win, loose or draw we are done. Time to get out of these rough seas. One of the lines goes off with a rod bending, drag burning run. This looks like a good yellowfin. The woman came on the boat with a bad back but so far today she landed every fish. We gave this to her husband. When it made the second run he tagged out. She jumped on it but her back was done and she had to tag out also. I let the deckhand finish it. He loved the chance to fight a yellowfin.



It was not a monster but just big enough to put smiles on everybody's face. In a win, loose, or draw situation; we won.



Once we get the fish iced down well we get things on the boat ready for the run into state waters. Fortunately I had a good angle on the seas so we had a (fairly) good run back. When I got in state waters the winds and waves were still nasty and we had a tough time hooking up to the rig. Our first bait in the water gets hit right away and we are 3 fish from finishing the day.



By this time I have a second line set up and we drop 2 down at once. Both lines get hit instantly. The first one comes in with a fight an we have another good red snapper but the third fish is fighting a lot harder. It is not unusual for blackfin to be caught here in the winter so that was what I was thinking. When it came to the top I was surprised. Our double was a keeper and a throw back. Although legal size Amberjack does not open till January 1st.



After a photo op it went back. Our third red snapper came on the next drop and our fourth was on at the same time but broke off. 3 drops and almost limited out on red snapper. We fed a few and lost some in the rig. Our last one was being difficult. As soon as we got our limit we were all ready to head in. The winds were still honking and the temp had dropped 15 to 20 degrees or it at least it felt like that.

Ended up a good day. 3 boats went offshore and I had the best catch. Unfortunately Eddie came in with the only wahoo so I did not fair well there but I brought in the only yellowfin of the day and that made up for it. Nice way to finish the season.



Happy New Year to all!

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 01-01-2015, 09:43 AM   #2
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Hoop, great report and the pics are great too. It does look like a cold and wet day.
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Old 01-04-2015, 11:11 AM   #3
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It was a fishing experience with a sea leg challenge.
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Old 01-04-2015, 11:13 AM   #4
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Looked like fun!
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