Fishing Reports From – February 27 – March 6
At the end of February came something, which most people in Venice, La have never experienced before. The docks were loaded with multiple fish breaking the 130-pound mark all the way up to 215. On these days it seemed like you could do nothing wrong. Between Captain woody and myself we were able to land 10 Yellowfin tuna over 120 pounds up to 152. Another 9 fish between 100-120 pounds and 10 more Yellowfin less than 100 pounds. This is just what we stopped at because we did not have anymore room in the fish box to fit fish. Lets just say it was a pretty amazing 4 days.
The next few days after this incredible run Mother Nature decided it should give the fish a break after what had just went down. The next day we were able to get out was on Saturday March 5. What a different day it was. With all the pictures from the following week and flat calms seas, everyone decided they should be out there. Well the fish decided they wanted to go on a vacation to. It was by far the most boats I ever aw on the east lump, I stopped counting at 97 boats that day. That was just the boats off the starboard side of my boat I still hadn’t counted the boat’s off my port side. With so many boats, it made fishing real difficult but we still were able to pick up amberjack, along with some Almaco jack’s, and some big blackfin tuna. We fished till the sun went down that day trying to get a yellowfin bite but it did not happen. When we left there were still over 40 boats on the hill. We had Sunday off so a couple of us decided we wanted to go grouper fishing which is always excellent in the winter. We would grouper fish in the morning and then try a little tuna fishing late in the afternoon hoping it would be better then the day before. So we loaded up the electric reels and some boxes of squid and off we went the next morning. The first spot produced some amberjack, porgy, and yellow edge grouper. Once that spot slowed down and we were tired of catching the endangered red snapper, we moved on to the next spot where we caught tilefish, more porgy, and some grouper. We bounced around to one more spot and we were able to get into the grouper real good picking up 10 along with amberjack and porgies until the taxman showed his face.
One of my buddies was bringing up an amberjack from down deep and something decided he wanted to get a quick meal. He followed it all the way up to the surface allowing us to see it was a mako shark. We then took the mako rig down pitched him a bait, which he ate right away, but the problem was when he ate it from down deep we swam up to the boat and got the end of the mako leader in his mouth which is braid. Well that didn’t last long he cut right through it was soon as I came tight. That was just some bad luck, but he wasn’t done yet. He decided that he was going to eat both deep drop weight off each rod and then the bait off my hooker electric reel rod. The hooker electric reel then fought the fish a while but the three way swivel crimp were just not able to hold up to that fish. We lost him and never saw him again. We decided to make another make shift leader incase he came back up again with some piano wire and 18/0 circle hooks but we did not see him.
After we had the encounter with the mako shark the grouper decided they did not want to bite. We tried 3 more spots without any love so we decided to switch gears because we had another fish for us to take home. We talked to my buddies that were fishing the lump and they said nothing was going on. We decided to make our way over there anyways and see if we could have any luck. The first three drifts resulted in two amberjack and a couple of blackfin tuna. The next drift we decided to drift a little further onto the top of the hill since nothing was really going on as far as yellowfin tuna goes. Once we got to the top one of my buddies was on the back of the boat and told us come see this giant shark back here. As soon as he said that I new what it was I grabbed the mako leader that we had made earlier and tied it onto a rod. When I looked up and saw her, it looked like something out of a movie, she was so big. I then pitched the bait into the water and she ate it right away. Since it was a circle hook I came tight on him pretty quick and the fight began. The fish never jumped in for first 45 minutes we fought her, she just swam at 6 mph on the side of the boat making short run and then running on the surface. I don’t think she ever new what was going on. I kept putting more heat on the fish as we were fighting it, knowing that if I didn’t we would never land a fish of this size. I started to gain ground on her working her up from the bottom. We had the flying gaff, harpoon, and shotgun out waiting to take this fish home but she had a different plan in mind. I was able to get the fish up to about 15-20ft below the boat, with the water was dirty so we could not see her. She stayed at that depth for a while until the hooks decided they did not want to hold for us. If was definitely a heart breaker and everyone on the boat was bummed out. A fish of this size you do not get to encounter too often. Well we started to put everything away and make another tuna drift before heading to the house. As we were going to reset my same buddy that saw it the first time started yelling saying it was on the surface. So we then drove back up to it trying to get it to eat the bait over and over until we finally got a hook back in her. This is when she decided to come alive jumping 10ft off the bow of the boat along with 4 more other jumps until she pulled the hook again. It was just not our day to land a mako.
Hopefully in the future we will be able to encounter another a fish of that magnitude. Even though we lost that fish, we still had a great time and made some memories that we will never forget with great friends. All in all it was a great day on the water, we were still able to put together a nice box of white meat that cooks up great in the kitchen. We ended the day with amberjack, almaco jacks, 12 deep-water grouper and 15 porgy. With the weather we have had this week it has kept our boats at eh dock. Hopefully we will be able to get out next week and chase some fish. The fishing should be excellent following these storms. Our wintertime pattern will begin to switch from fishing the lump to starting to fish our shelf and floating rigs. We still have a couple dates open but they are filling up fast. Keep checking our facebook page out, we will be putting up a grouper sandwich recipe made by chef Craig. It is one to die for. Call us to book a trip of a lifetime at (504)228-0083 or (504)982-8862. You can also look us up on the web at www.homeruncharters.com