Another awesome week, great weather fishing and company; covered all the species as well..I made my first appearence to Venice last Tuesday taking over from Scott L who blasted the tuna on an overnight trip Sunday Monday..Hd alot of frineds this week..started off by fishing with Justin Roper, Wade the wireman, Magee, Dante, Preston and Chris Landry on the 20th..Justin has had this crew together since we started wacking the wahoo all the way back in January..this after cancelling 3 wahoo trips by mid march; so it was decided to hold off until peak marlin season..Tuesday the 20th was selected as a good weekday provided weather wouldnt dictate selection of yet another date..but as it has been for weeks..it was flat calm..as it were we really started this one off right..we didnt have baits out for 5 minutes..Justin putting three of his Makiara baits out close to the boat with two of my standbys off the long rigger and center rigger as a compromise..the first blue marlin was in the baits shortly after the launch being set up by Junstins “Teasers with Hooks.. It first came up behind the brutus and very intent on getting stuck and unstuck 3 times before a ballyhoo was positioned perfectly in front of its nose and into its waiting mouth by an “on the spot” Chris Landry..after a short fight and a quick leader job by Justin we were ready for our next fish..a 225 pound blue released at 7:25am..no good pictures from the tower and no headshot as the fish pulled off on the leader..Justin is one of those dudes who refuses to let go..anyway there is some exciting video that will be able to yield a boatside shot..baits werent out 5 minutes before a huge bull dolphin took the short Brutus bait again..our best meat fish of the day I might add and at an easy 40 pounds (considered a nuisance by this crew)…and still no one wanted to mess with the 20 pound cow in tow and if it were a regular charter that fish too would have been on ice..gaffed the bull and set the baits out again..not twenty minutes passed before we had a white marlin knock on a ballyhoo bait and get stuck..this fish put on a show with 6 or 7 aeriels close in before running off a good bit of line..it actually fought harder than the blue and was leadered and billed in 10 miutes for a good string pictures..probably the best white I have seen this summer..80 pounds I would guess..its now 830am and we have the confidence that we are going to really put a hurt on the fish – what lucky fool wouldnt…we would add three more bulls and a wahoo before noon then missing the three afternoon meatfish bites – jumping a bull dolphin and failing to stick two wahoo that skyed on the lures….looked to be nice wahoo’s as well..spent the remainder of the day trying to make personal history with 3 billfish in a day let alone the Gulf slam..fished late and quit at 530pm no sailfish spearfish or other billfish bites since early on..what a memory though..
Wednesday I was again the only boat out and with an all star crew..Lance Hidalgo, Lane Foil, Rob, Mike and Vincent to complete the Team DVM these guys like wekdays too and fish around work I love it….Plan called for bluewater trolling and we knew right where to start..baits went out after a 90 minute run from the marina and the fish came in steady…Lane has a system to make the fish bite that involves several lucky hats and the lighting of ceremonial cigars and other rituals..and they are have a 75% success rate I might add..anyway..the first bite was a bull dolphin as Lane switched hats..we missed the cow but no one seem to care..made a try out in open water for the next half hour bringing our biggest strike of the day (upon lighting 2 swisher sweets) fish made an awesome run straight out but never jumped..ripped 200 yardsof line against 17 pounds of drag..then it made a run down and then came to the boat slowly..the guesses went from marlin to tuna to world class wahoo but when half eaten yellowfin tuna popped up we went into “catch the shark mode” – I ran for a shark leader, Mike hacked a slab of mangled tuna and Leon dangled the twitching carcass behind the boat..the shadow appeared on cue but we didnt pitch..instead passing on the 500-600 pound hammerhead circling below..the little jerk took half a 100 pound yellowfin and even clipped the sickle fins..anyay this crew is no stranger to shark attacks as they were the ones who set the new mako record of 700 plus with Capt Kevin Beach a few months ago.. steady fish from there on out but no billfish bites..we would add 2 more dolphin and 2 wahoo to complete the box..these fish coming of the opening of species specific brands of beer..guess they will have to settle for a table slam..wahoo, dolphin and tuna..and some fine on the water sushimi..
Thursday would be about the same with Hunter Caballero covering Sonny’s trip I had my god pal Andrew Lemmon his dad his excellency the Judge and pal Bill and dad Don Arata..more of the same..lots of action batting the order twice on 5 bull dolphin and 3 wahoo..Hunter had 7 bull dolphin and 4 yellowfins for the Breland party they were south by southwest slinging live bait in the aquarium while we plugged the rip with the old reliable meatfish spread..
Friday’s 24 hr flyfishing trip would highlight the week for me..not that ctaching 2 billfish in an hour is a minor footnote, bt I actualy got to catch a 23 pound dolphin on fly tackle and watch some seriously talented dudes doublehaul and roll cast to some fine fish..Lance left out on a bottom fishing trip with the Bergeron gang from Fourchon earlier in the day finding amberjacks and red and mangrove snappers thought we might cacth him on the radio but we never did..anyway..I left out mid day with Tom Gilmore, Larry Bucciarelli and the two Joe’s for this years all fly fishing trip..Plan was to nail some big dolphin and yellowfin..this same crew landed 4 yellows last year to the week, but the dolphin eluded us that trip..Tom’s book on tuna fishing with fly tackle is due out this summer..Its alot of fun when you get to do something different and teasing a hot fish to the transom isnt always easy let alone landing it with light line..For the dolphin wahoo and billfish we pulled 2 teasers (with hooks of course) these off the corner positions while two guys stayed in the ready position in the cockpit with 14 and 16 wt rods..its alot of waiting but the reward is great when it all comes togother with the bait and switch and teamwork..really was a frustrating start..we got chased off the original float plan by a nasty squall line which would hunt us for the rest of the daylight hours before blowing out..then we got on a crowded rip and quickly gave up for a rig hopping adventure..too bad they hadnt come 1 or 2 days earlier when we had it to ourselves on a non tournament day..stop 3 would give us our first opportuity but I turned my head to round the Cognac rig and a wahoo came out of nowhere hooking itself on the meat bait teaser..we did get a shot at two other small wahoo that followed the fish in; but we couldnt get a strike out of either having to settle for seeing them flare off at the transom.. fortuntely for the fly guys..this would be the last and only bungle and the only fish of the trip caught on commie tackle..we would go 3 for 5 on bull dolphin over the course of the aftrnoon and 1 for 2 on triple tail..we found a huge stump loaded with trips betwen stops and Larry made a bullseye cast and got a take from the largest fish in the pod a 10 pounder easy..fought him for a few minutes before he broke himself off..think he bit through the bite tippet..we did get a smaller fish in the boat..would be the same story on the largest dolphin of the day later that afternoon..mishaps come from time to time when line starts shooting through the guides; no mater how good you are; loops seem to wrap around reel handles, feet whatever..if you survive the first run half of the time you get a catch..thats flyfishing..still one of the dolphin would have beat the existing state record..which at 29.15 pounds has surprisingly stood for years..now for the highlight of the trip..just before sundown the guys took a break and I got to sling a few during a tuna drift..I hooked a small hardtail and released it boatside when a school of dolphin showed.. no bait and switch needed this fish was hot and I got the biggest of the bunch to take right at the transom..everything went well witht he fight the fish stupidly stayed onthe surface making many jumps and an easy gaffshot in 5 minutes..It was a blast..got 12 or so jumps on film to boot….the evening tuna program would go great as well..the guys went 4 for 7 on yellowfins between 8pm and 1am with the fish landed ranging in size from 30 to 45 pounds..we also caught 3 blackfin..it was an awesome trip and a great night..alot of would be records but these guys dont enter anything unless its a world record..they have landed bluefins as large as 80 pounds before..I left town Saturday so I dont have all the pics and fish talkes from the weekend..I know Lance burned up the tuna out west and had a 100 pound wahoo today..those reports and pictures wil have to wait until next weeks installment..sorry to be so long winded..just trying to keep it reel yall..enjoy the pictures!
PARADISE OUTFITTERS is ready to makeit happen for you..1-888-FISHWUS toll free – 985-845-8006 local..See you out there..