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I borrowed one of my customer's reports since it was so much better then I would have written it. These are the words of Bill Bahr.

Thanks to Steve Putney (BigOTex) we were able to book a tuna trip out of Venice, LA with Eddie Burger this past weekend. Joining Steve and me were Bill Bradshaw and Brian Gwyn. Our timing was almost perfect as the big cold front had just pushed through Texas and south Louisiana and the seas Saturday morning were down to 2-3?s for the trip out. After making bait (mullet and hard-tails) we headed for the floaters, fishing both the Victory and the Ocean Confidence platforms on day number 1.

When we got to the first floater around 8:00am we had YFT busting the surface. As we positioned ourselves up-current of the floater, Bill Bradshaw was the first to hook up using a drifted hard-tail. Even though Bill had a Penn 50W, backed with 130lb Jerry Brown, the big YFT still managed to pin him to gunwale on its first run, and break off not long afterwards. After a few choice words we kept working live baits and also managed to jig up a few skipjack tuna and undersized YFT. It was the first time I was able to use my Avet LX 6/3 and Hopper rod, expressly purchased for jigging tuna, so I was finally able to justify the $$ expense and was very happy with how that combo worked on both BFT and smaller YFT.

After an hour or so the bite turned off so we moved to floater number 2. Positioned up-current again we marked lots of fish on Eddie?s sonar and live baits went in the water. After a short while with no action on the livies we started jigging and soon had enough BFT to start chunking instead. As Eddie diligently worked the chum line the YFT bite came alive. Steve hooked up to a nice YFT on his Penn 50W and the fight was on. For those who don't know Steve personally I can tell you he is a pretty big guy, but this YFT was putting the hurt on him (sorry Steve, but I had my money on the tuna). To his credit Steve reached down deep and finally muscled the first nice YFT on board. Eddie estimated it to be 80+lbs, but to us (and particularly to Steve) it looked more like 100+lbs. After that first fish we had slow but steady action on smaller YFT, punctuated by an occasional BFT and 2-3 decent sized Rainbow Runners. We had several break offs and knew there had to be some decent sized fish down there, and Brian was able to validate this by fighting and landing our 2nd 80+lb YFT after a long and exciting battle, a feat he soon would regret.

The action continued on, slowly but steadily through mid-afternoon, and we almost had our limit in the fish box when number 12 YFT hit our chunk line. Unfortunately it didn?t take the bait on one of the Penn 50W?s, but rather chose Steve?s Shimano Tekota (or what Eddie Burger affectionately referred to as a ?Texas trout rod?). This fish was relentless and at times we thought it would shatter the rod or reel, but we worked it slowly (or it worked us pretty hard) and after passing the rod off four times we finally brought it onboard. Another 80+lb. beauty and a great way to end the day. Unfortunately for Brian it was not only the end of the day, but the end of the trip. Fighting two tough 80+ YFTs in one day is definitely not on the doctor?s lists of approved activities for someone whose had multiple back surgeries. Instead of fishing on day two, Brian and Steve decided to return to Houston on Sunday and left all their fish to me and Bill Bradshaw.


Down by two, but not defeated Capt. Eddie, Bill Bradshaw and I headed out Sunday morning into a freshning east wind and standing 3-4's on short intervals. The day earlier Eddie had powered his 36' Palmetto easily through the 2-3 chop at 36+ mph and so smoothly that we all slept most of the way out. This morning it was different, with the first half of our 23 mile offshore trip pounding a bit harder than the day before. Eddie got us out to the Elf platform and we were the only boat in sight. We were determined to catch a wall-hanger and started trolling huge mullet down-current of the platform when up popped a marlin. We still don't know if it was the marlin or something else that hit Bradshaw's bait, but hundreds of feet went off his 50W reel before we could blink and Bill knew he was in for a fight. The fish never surfaced but Bill could feel the power through the rod and he knew it was the biggest fish he had ever fought. Minutes later the fish came un-buttoned, but we were all the more determined to score on a trophy. Several hours later and not one fish in the boat our determination gave way to thoughts of the 3-hour boat ride back to the marina and the 8-hour drive back to Houston so we told Eddie to head home. Not being a quitter, Eddie did stop at one of the rigs in shallow water (only 1,000 feet) and let us play around with the local AJ's. After losing three to the rig we finally managed to pull out a couple of keepers and called it a day. All in all it was a great trip and one that will never be forgotten. Hats off to Capt. Eddie for putting us on the fish when everyone else came back empty handed



 

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Good report. It looks like that "Texas trout rod" handled it like a champ. I love my Tekota's and would not hesitate to use it on some Tuna action. Of course I haven't ever felt the pull of a big Yellowfin either......
 
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