Venice wintertime tuna report

Posted on by mike

I am finaly getting warm after getting back from several days down in Venice. The lump has yet to kick off this year. So our fishing is based on wahoo fishing. But with all of the crowds of people doing the same thing it makes for some crowded fishing. And our customers wanting tuna we have been running to the Green Canyon for tuna. Of course it is not an every trip type of thing as the weather has to be perfect to make it that far. But on the trips that you can make it the fishing is still summertime fishing. And on the days when you can’t then the wahoo amberjack and grouper have to fill the void. Now for the recap of last week.

  I started off with the Adams group in from Tampa for some tuna fishing. I was having drinks with another captain at the marina and we were trying to figure out what to do the following days we decided to go to Green Canyon. A call was made to Robert to increase the speed my 20 MPH to get here for the 4AM departure. To my relief no fog in the morning and best of all no wind. We quickly loaded up for a four hour run through the dark to the canyon. It felt just like summer with the water being a very nice 77 deg. Flying fish were everywhere along with a few open water schools of tuna. At first the bait was a little slow until we figured out how deep they were then the cudas figured out that we figured out how deep the bait was they were taking more than their fair share. So I made move to another rig a couple miles away and caught all the bait we needed in pretty quick order. The baits didn’t last long once they were in the water and the first fish of the day was on. Robert started it out and Mike B. finished it up. [img]http://www.forumpictureprocessor.com/pictureprocessor/images/100_0237_10.jpg[/img]

          The fishing went on like this until we hit our boat limit of two yellowfin per person. [

We ended up the day on a double with Robert and Mike L. getting the fish in with no assistance. The best bite of the day was when a group of tuna came up close to the boat and I threw a Yo-Zuri sashimi slider at them and a 100 plus yellowfin found the lure. Mike B just happened to be the closet to the rod so he got to fight it[img]http://www.forumpictureprocessor.com/pictureprocessor/images/100_0241_15.jpg[/img]

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                       . We hoped to another rig just to check it out on the way home. I wish I would of started there the fish were larger and the dolphin were pretty thick as well. We put one dolphin in the boat since no one on the boat had ever caught one before. It was a great day with six yellows in the boat from 80 to a little over a 100 and a bounus dolphin.[img]http://www.forumpictureprocessor.com/pictureprocessor/images/100_0266_6.jpg[/img]

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           We went 6 for 9 on tuna not a great average but still pretty good with the better fish at the

           last spot and nobody wanting to reel in another tuna we headed for the house.

  The next day was with the same group and with the icechests full we decided to do a half day of deep dropping for grouper. We caught a couple of snowy in 30-40lb class along with some of the biggest breaded bratoulas I have caught this year.[img]http://www.forumpictureprocessor.com/pictureprocessor/images/100_0288_4.jpg[/img]

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                     We called it a day and came back to the dock with two grouper and six bratoulas oh and a rosey for a little color.[img]http://www.forumpictureprocessor.com/pictureprocessor/images/100_0298_4.jpg[/img]

         

  The following day Saturday proved to be my toughest day of the year. I had the Justin Smith group in for some wahoo fishing. I just couldn’t find them to save my life. I drug ballyhoo on the downrigger over every knocked down rig that I knew of only to come up empty handed on the wahoo. In the process we managed to find every oversized jack crevelle the gulf has. We switched gears and since the wahoo didn’t want to play at least we had something to pull drag I think we caught a couple dozen of them. We ended the day with some Spanish mackeral and a couple of almaco jacks. Not the kind of catch we were hoping for but we tried hard.

  I had the Bright group the following day and the call was for tuna. The conditions didn’t allow us the make the Green Canyon run since the west side of the river was to rough to make the run. We went out east and found only small blackfins and yellowfins at the first spot. We did managed one 30lb yellowfin on a livebait. Then the bite died with that one fish so we were back on the hunt. We covered a lot of ground and at the last spot I live chummed up a nice tuna only to have it’s tail wear through the leader after about thirty minutes into the fight. At least we had our target species in the box. We ended another tough day with one yellowfin and four blackfin. We were using butterfly jigs for a big portion of the trip and that’s what the blackfins wanted.

  The final day of my week was with the Roberts group in from all over. We decided to make the canyon run only to hit a brick wall about 65 miles offshore. We made a turn to head back north to another rig to give it a shot as it was pretty much the only option we had. The bait was tough and it was only in one spot. And that was where the rig was spray painting. We managed to get six baits real quick before we got painted. By this time it was getting pretty rough and just to make it a little more fun it started to rain. We quickly doubled up on 35lb yellowfin and the that was it for us on livebait. We broke out the jigs and lost one tuna into the rig and caught one blackfin for the box. We fished the rest of the day without a bite. We ended the day with only two yellowfin and a blackfin. The fishing wasn’t typical Venice this time of the year but you have to take what is dealt to you.

       

          Capt. Mike

Posted in Fishing Reports

Winter wahoo fishing is heating up

Posted on by mike

No matter how long you fish there are always going to be days that you just have to shake your head in wonder. I had one of those days on Tuesday everything I thought would work didn’t and everything I thought wouldn’t work did. The late season billfish bite didn’t pan out as the bait left the rig and was replaced by sharks. The first bite on a live mullet rigged on 100lb fluro turned out to be a fairly good sized shark. That had the ability to change species five or six times in the fight. The water just had enough green tint to make a positive ID tough. With a good amount of tuna marking on the sounder I dropped a seven seas hooker jig down just to see what was home. It didn’t make it very deep and I missed the fish. So a couple of jig rods went down and up came a yellowfin and a nice blackfin
A few more drifts through the area the fish were showing at and nothing. My next plan of attcak was to target the wahoo. On the way to where I was going to start wahoo fishing I had a premanition or how ever you spell it. I made a turn to go to a totaly new area. The goal was for tuna and wahoo wasn’t exactly what my crew had came for. Upon arrival the smaller yellows and blacks were doing thier thing on the surface with a few bigger busts from larger fish. So out go the mullet only to find more large sharks. This time they were extra large hammerheads. With our live mullet only attracting sharks we broke back out the jigging gear. And went to putting a hurting on the blackfin and yellowfin. We shut it down after a reasonable amount of tuna in th box. The call was made to see if we could find some AJ’s on jigging gear. A naked jig didn’t work but a ghetto jig did with a strip of tuna hanging off of it worked like a charm. My jigs went fishless while the strip jig combo got hammered and quick limit of slightly above average jacks went into the box. The final susprise of the day was a tuna that was in the wrong place hanging out with the AJ’s after 45 mintues on a Accurate 20 spinning reel with 65lb braid everyone was thinking huge AJ but it just didn’t fight like one. So up pops a 90lb yellowfin in some very green and pretty shallow water. We ended the day with 5 yellows to 90 and 6 blacks along with a limit of nice AJ’s. The next three days the weather was susposed to be horrible but the weather man was wrong. In a way that they are never wrong the weather was a little foggy but very calm. The first day I tried the lump with no love at all except for sharks and more sharks than a few more sharks for good measure. The saving grace was dinner was caught in the form of some triggerfish and b-liner snapper. The next day I loaded the wahoo lures to go in search of them with the lack of tuna on the lump. The first rig we hit on the first pass was perfect three knockdowns. Out of that we only managed one wahoo in the 50lb range one broken lure on the strike and one cut off. From there it went not so good. We would get bites on just about every other rig only to lose the fish every time. If it wasn’t a wahoo the hooks stuck like supperglue to them. It was a pretty demorilizing day to only have one wahoo for all the bites we had. The next day started out slow on the wahoo troll again. But it quickly heated up for us with a double and both of them made it to the boat. Then a thrid was hooked reeling in another bait during the double. We were not doing anything different that we didn’t do yesterday except land the fish. The highlight of the day was a wahoo that was later weighed in at 92lbs. back at Crypress Cove. We ended the day doing some AJ jigging it was fun watching thier faces when a big AJ would eat thier jig. We ended the day with a ethical 9 wahoo to 92lbs and a blackfin. he last trip from this series was of course another wahoo trip but the area that they have been holding in well the word got out and there was more boats out there than the boat show. We doubled up on blackfin on the first pass by a spot that was a gift from hurricane katrina. After that it was three boats on every rig so we went jack fishing. Sometimes you just have to make it happen no matter the target species is. We ended the day with our limit of nice jacks and two blackfin. The stories the guys got from the jacks was worth it. It is pretty cool to watch one guy with the rod and two others holdig onto the guy with the rod. There are no pictures since I left my camera at the house. Hopefully everyone will send them to me. Until next time catch’em up.
Capt. Mike

Posted in Fishing Reports

November 10-11th report

Posted on by mike

I was part of a two day two boat trip with Billy Wells (Wild Bill Charters). I did get the jump on them and I am putting the report from both trips up before they get a chance to do so. I don’t have any pictures from their trip as I am still waiting on them to be sent to me. The first day I had Tony, Chuck, Bill, and Jeff onboard for a day of tuna fishing. The. weather was just about on the verge of not being worth the run to the chosen area but the Freeman made the 3-5 beam sea very manageable. Mullet was hard to come by for me that day but hardtails were very easy. The fishing started out pretty slow but the dolphin started to come in one by one and we put four nice ones on the ice. The tuna were all marking deep but the marks were rising up shallower. At first there were a couple of bust here and there. Then we got Jeff on his very first yellowfin of which he did a great job on and got to enjoy eating the still beating heart. After a quick cleanup we got back into position and immediately hooked our second fish which Tony beat quick. After that things slowed down and I made the call to head to another rig to look for some easier fish. I should of stayed as Billy got onto some good ones. Of course the next rig was barren and we fished it for awhile with nothing to show for it. We headed to the house with two 70lb yellows and four dolphin. The following day we switched out some crew members and the guys that wanted to go and catch some grouper jumped on my boat. I would like to take credit for the results of this VERY ROUGH day but I can’t. The Kristal 651 did all the work for us along with some volunteer mullet. The trip actually started out slow with the first four bites we had come unhooked on the way up. But after that we shook off the bad mojo and put the smack down on 9 snowy grouper from 15-30lbs and a bouns Warsaw in the 80lb range plus a limit of real nice amberjacks. I put a cap of ten  grouper on the deepwater grouper trips since they take longer to repopulate a rig. We hit our 10 fish limit with ease. And the satisfying thing is we left them snapping hopefully to be left alone until I need them. My crew on this trip are all bottom fishermen from Florida and they said they have never had a grouper trip like this one before. When I get the pictures from both trips I will attach them to this post. It is awesome to live in the Sportsman Paradise.

Capt. Mike

Posted in Fishing Reports

Alex G and the guys from Miami

Posted on by mike

On Wednesday November 6th marked the day our adventure would begin. The crew consisted of Karl (Flagman), Rob (Pescado), Alexis (LegalLimitII) and Alex G. We left to Venice Louisiana for what would be a fishing trip of lifetime. There were moments when we were sure that it wouldn’t be but when we had almost given up hope things turned around for us in a major way.Our Cabin:


Here’s how the day went: Since we were supposed to meet Captain Mike of Relentless Sportfishing Charters at 6:00AM we agreed to get up at 4:45 AM. After having breakfast and getting everything we would be taking with us to the boat ready, we jumped in the car. When I start the car and look over at the clock I see that it’s not 5:45AM, as we’re expecting it to be, but 4:45AM. Everyone forgot to set their clock back for the time difference between Florida and Louisiana so we go back in and sleep another hour until it’s time to go.

We were very pleased when we arrived at the boat. The 33’ Freeman was in spotless condition with excellent tackle and the captain and mate were ready to go!

It was a beautiful day around 70 degrees with the sun shinning brightly. The weather would remain like that for the rest of the day and the seas were 2 feet or less. Catching bait on the way out was not difficult so at this point we’re convinced were going to tear the yellowfin up. Shortly afterwards is when we started to realize that things were not going to be as easy as we thought.

When we pulled up to the first rig, 70 miles offshore, we immediately start to mark big fish at the 200ft rage. We setup a slow troll consisting of live bait (Runners) which results in a small dolphin. We continue to slow troll the area while casting out a popper on a spinning rod to small blackfin tuna busting on the surface. We only managed to get one black and decided to try another nearby rig.

The second rig was also holding fish but they where not coming up to the surface. Since trolling wasn’t working the captain decided to change the approach and we start drifting baits in the 200-300 foot range in order to bring the baits down to them. Bingo, we get a bite. We fight the fish for a few minutes but managed to lose the first 4 solid hits we get. 0 for 4 on the yellow fins and now we are starting to worry. This brings us to approximately 4:00PM with no yellow fin on the boat.

Now we have to make the decision of continuing another 20 miles and trying another rig or heading back home and giving it another try on Friday. With the way things were going it was a very tough question but after the captain advised us that the weather may be a little too sporty to go out on Friday the consensus decision was to continue on. We were all determined not to return to Florida without catching our yellowfin and we were not going to take a chance on the following day. Our decision turned out to be the right one because we would not have been able to go out Friday because of the weather as the captain had advised us might happen and we eventually started to catch fish.

We arrive at the last spot of the day and it immediately looks promising. We hook a large dolphin shortly after starting our troll but wouldn’t you guess it, it pulls the hook and add another lost fish to the list. After we give up on the trolling we start setting up our drifts in the same manner which produced the bites at the other rigs. After several drifts without a bite we start to see more and more yellowfin crashing in the area.

These were not small fish. They all looked over 100#s and our hearts where racing in anticipation of hooking one of these monsters.

Finally, Rob breaks the ice and lands the first yellowfin in the 20#s. range. At this point we’re all thrilled to have the first one in the boat when things really start to heat up.

Just as the sun is about to set Alexis gets a bite. It’s a big fish but we’ve gotten awfully close to the rig and the fish is digging down. At the same time a group of 30#s dolphin who had been swimming around the boat each time we approached the rig decided to also start to bite. We lost the tuna but landed three of the dolphin.

At this point we’re convinced our luck had changed and we were correct. Next thing we see is the small yellowfin caught earlier pulled out of the ice and getting filleted. Sweet sashimi time, so I thought, it turned into chunks and they started going overboard. A concerned look on my face was immediately relieved when yellowfin after yellowfin got hooked on the chunks. We hooked and landed every fish after that. We kept the bigger fish weighing in at 145#s, 135#s, 80#s and 75#s.

To say we ended on a high note is an understatement. If you’ve never caught a tuna over 100#s make sure you’re in pretty decent shape before making the trip. These fish will absolutely kill you. We all have sore muscles we never even knew existed.

Fresh tuna at the marina:

Special thanks to Captain Mike Ellis, from relentless sport fishing, for going the extra mile and putting us on fish. It’s nice to fish with a Captain that has as much passion and hurts as much as you do when a fish is lost. His boat was very impressive and comfortable. The fuel efficient vessel was very appreciated especially at the end of the day when you’re settling fuel cost. He never gave up on us when things just weren’t going our way and the results were spectacular. If you would like to charter Captain Mike his contact information can be found on his website: http://www.relentlesssportfishing.net. Highly recommended!!

Posted in Fishing Reports