A Fabulous Summer
Report Date: October 1, 2013
I remember when I was the guy who could not figure out why other captains failed to post fishing reports frequently. Now I am that lazy, maybe too busy, maybe not committed, whatever excuse captain that fails to stay current with his reports.
All that behind us, let me tell you about a fabulous summer. I guess we could start with big red snapper that appeared on our local artificial reefs this summer. They had to be in state waters to harvest them. That is within 3 miles of shore. We caught a few in federal waters and released them. We caught a few under the 20 inch minimum length and released them. But we caught a bunch from 14 to 21 pounds in state waters and thrilled several customers.
Then there were the Bimini trips. We went with 3 young kids on one trip. We armed them with light spinning outfits loaded the Penn Battle 4000s with 30 pound Berkley Invisabraid and turned the kids lose to fish the wrecks on the Bahamas Bank. They caught assorted jacks, snappers, barracudas, sharks and a pile of other species to spread smiles across their faces and good fish dinners on their plates.
We went to Bimini armed with fly rods and light tackle and caught assorted snappers and jacks on flies and assorted baits till everyone’s arms were dead. This trip everybody caught a bonefish or two and deep dropping with the Hooker Electric produced loads of queen snappers, green snappers and some assorted oddities.
One more Bimini trip. This was the Dusky Fleet Outing. We fished with the Browns, Mike and Sherry and loaded the boat with mangrove, lane and yellowtail snappers, loads of assorted jacks, a nice African pompano and half a big kingfish. Then a few deep drops to score some queen snappers.
The Labasci family wanted to catch a cobia and a good sized grouper. Dad, Baron struck out on the cobia, but everybody caught loads of snappers, jacks, small black groupers, sharks, cudas and a ton of others. With the live well full of yellowtails and big grunts we ran 32 miles back to the dropoff to try for that big grouper. It took 10 minutes for 13 year old Andrew to hook up. 30 minutes latter Billy , my super mate, lifted a 70 pound black grouper over the rail. It was party time in Bimini!!!
The last couple of days added a lot of snappers, a 100 pound amberjack and a blowfish out of 1200 feet of water.
It is the day after Bimini and R.J. Boyle has joined us for a cubera snapper hunt. It is game on as we catch 6 or 7 fish to 40 pounds in a few hours.
The next night we caught 10 up to 55 pounds before we ran out of bait.
The next night the party was over. Billy and his son caught 1 and a half out of 15 bites, as the sharks gobbled every fish on the way up. We made another trip in September, but it was all sharks till we gave up and went home.
August 24th I headed out on a busman’s holiday with sister Sue and her son, Keith. We flew to Oregon to fish a couple of days with Guide Charlie Foster. Our goal was to try to catch a sturgeon.
Day 1 started at the boat ramp at 6 AM. We ran about 2 miles up the Columbia River, where Charlie anchored the boat in 50 feet of water. Surrounded with mountains and 60 degree air, what a treat in late August, we proceeded to catch 45 or 50 sturgeon from 6 to 20 pounds over the next 6 hours. A great guide and a great day of catching new fish.
We drove around Mount Hood the next day and then back to fishing on day 3. We now targeted big sturgeon. Charlie was on the game again. Keith caught 2 sturgeon over 400 pounds, we caught 4 sturgeon over 200 pounds, 7 from 60 to 160 pounds and Keith added 4 more sturgeon about 20 pounds each. What a great fishing adventure.
The Oregon Coast
After a couple of days soaking up the sights of the Oregon Pacific coast we were headed home to some Florida fishing again.
In early September we caught some mahi, a couple of grouper, bonitos and jacks. With the Labascis and a couple other evening trips we caught quite a few snook and a couple of tarpon.
Pharoh and his snook
We had a couple out trying to learn how to catch more on their own boat. Early on we caught a sailfish and a big amberjack. Then it was slow for hours. With time running out we settled down for a standard live bait drift. We had a surface bite. As we fought this big fish the bottom rod went off. As we chased the surface fish a 12 pound black grouper came spinning to the surface on the bottom rod. I stopped so they could boat the grouper and then ran down the bottom fish which turned out to be a 34 pound wahoo. What a finish to the day.
A Big Red Snapper is a Treat
We also caught some trout in September. These and a suprising 6 blackfin tuna on surface plugs late in the evening treated some anglers from Germany with some good action. They added an African pompano, jacks, snook and a red snapper to their catch over a couple of days.
Our next guest were from Sweden and south Florida. All they targeted for 4 days was swordfish. Days 1 and 2 were total blanks, then day 3 was a blow out. That night 12 tournament boats released 2 small swordfish. The next day was much calmer and we headed out before 8 AM. We had our first bite at 1:45 PM. We boated this 120 pound swordfish after Pasi hand fought it from 1400 feet over an hours time. The next bite came quick, but never came tight. Then we hooked up again. Martin was on the rod and the fish was definitely on the line. After over an hour the bait came up without a fish. Marin is on again. This is his second 1400 foot hand to hand battle with a swordfish. As the fish nears the surface it heads east. We are watching for the jump. The line heads deep again and Martin winds up his sinker, but no fish.
The sun goes down and the tournament boats join us on the fishing grounds. 14 boats are awaiting a swordfish bite. Martin is looking at us with longing eyes as this is his last chance for a swordfish this year. I tell him not to worry, as the fish will bite when the moon rises at 8:45 PM.
It is 8:45 and here comes the moon. 1 boat hooks up, another boat hooks up, a third boat hooks up. One boat releases a swordfish, then a boat reports wrong species, probably a shark. Our long float rod screams, Martin scrambles and we are hooked up.
The 3rd tournament hook up becomes a small swordfish release. Our hook up is nothing small. I am resolved to think shark in the back of my mind.
After 1 hour and 45 minutes Martin releases a 200 pound swordfish and our trip is a super success.
Sunday we catch a few bottom fish, snappers and grouper on a half day.
Monday we are after swordfish again. It is a slow day, with only one bite. But it is a great bites as Vito catches a 300 swordfish.
This past weekend we caught several skipjack tuna, a few assorted jacks and some big fat vermillion snapper. We are looking forward to the next north wind to bring down some big game fish.
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