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Rich came in from Tampa area with his boat. He was to be here Friday but we pushed it up one day due to the weather. It was a good move because the seas were beautiful. After the day before I knew I was not going to the west. We iced up the boat and he thought we took on too much ice. Lack of ice would be a problem later in the day. I headed south looking for wahoo along the shelf rigs. On our third rig we did not troll up anything but I marked something good so we jigged down. We landed our first of the day blackfin tuna.



We had another on and it threw the hook. The action was not enough to keep me there so we continued on. As we were running I noticed some open water yellowfin busting. Unfortunately they were moving and we could not get anything from there. As we continued on to our destination they came up again in front of us but went down before we got there and nothing on the screen. They were chasing bait fast. This was a good sign. We had action in the area.

On our first drift in our designated area we hooked up. We now had 2 blackfin in the box. We made another drift and lost one. Our action was not fast. Some of the other boats were doing a bit better. I told the guys I was going to cut up one of our blacks for bait and they all said No at the same time. I did it anyway and on the first red meat drift we double up. Instant salvation. Nice when things go my way.

A few more drifts with some more blacks then we get a drag burner. I know this one is a good fish. It dove way down and then it strung us out and came up to the top as some bigger tuna do.



After this picture he made another run to the deep. He was not done yet but he was tired and I soon got a gaff in it.



Jimmy hit it with the other gaff and wanted to bring it around to the tuna door but we just hauled it over the side.



This was our first of the day and with the 3 blackfin it became evident there was not enough ice on the boat. The large front fish box had ice but the 2 in the back had none so if we needed more room we could not move some of the blackfin to the smaller boxes in the back.



We still had some more fishing to do and it did not hamper us yet. We kept drifting and were now getting the action we were wanting. Another black and then we had to pick up our lines and chase this guy. With only an occasional big fish I do not like to have another line or smaller fish cross the line and break off the good one. Just puts the odds more in my favor.

Unfortunately we did not have a camera on when this happened.------ As I gaffed this fish I hit it in the gut but a bit further back than desired and deep in the water. The fish instantly started twisting and diving. I lost my footing and was pulled over the side. I locked my legs in kind of a sitting position against the gunnel but was being dragged into the water. I yelled to them to grab my feet and it seemed like forever before the grabbed my feet. It was like one of those (Where should I put my beer so my hands are free) moments. My arms and hair got wet and the gaff slipped out of my grip. That was a first for me and hopefully my last. Would have made one heck of a video.

Once back in the boat I took over the throttles as the guy was fighting this very mad fish all over again. I was able to maneuver the boat to pick up the gaff when it came up to the surface. The way I converted this old gaff it will float up and stick up almost 2 feet above the surface. One of the guys was able to easily grab it from the bow of the Contender. We then reintroduced the tuna to the same gaff. You can see the poor gut gaff shot.



We got a few more blacks and had a full box. No ice to move things around. Had to make room as it was. If we got one more yellowfin like these we would have had to waste some blackfin tuna. NOT GOOD--but a good problem to have.




It was time to head to the barn with a box full of fish.



Best yellow was 92 and the other was low 80's. Dock was busy today.

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

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