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I took a knife to a Gun fight

Old 08-26-2011, 05:11 AM
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Default I took a knife to a Gun fight

I 've been fishing offshore Freeport Texas for thirteen years and change. First three years in a 1985 Make 26 WA then nine years in a 1998 Shamrock 260 open then Feburary I bought a 2007 sailfish 2660. I bought the first boat in Port Aransas, installed a GPS and sounder and headed out in the Gulf with rods and reels that I had bought in a local sporting goods store. My boat before the MAKO was a fresh water Bass Buster that I fished in Oklahoma and hauled in the back of my truck. My insurance guy asked me about my previous boating experience and I told him I had owned several boats over the past ten years, just didn't tell him they were flat bottoms and plastic. I think I have made all the mistakes you can make fishing offshore except sinking. Came close one night at the old Tennaco 391's. My son and I are tied to the platform, it is midnight and we are sleeping. There was a slight wind holding us off the platform and the current going a different direction. I woke up when I heard a loud thump. The only light we had was a six volt that would shine from the wheel to the motors and if you shined it at the water it was sucked under. The wind had stopped and we drifted into the rig, no problem except the self bailing deck had water about five feet in front of the motors. The good news was that the two Yamahas started, we cut loose very quickly made a slow turn away from the platform a 360 degree turn and just about ran back into the rig. The water drained out of the deck and I pulled the hull drain plug and with the boat moving the water was pulled out of the hull. Three hours later we were back at Bridge Harbor.
Anyway, the gunfight. Last sunday i talked to a guy on the dock and he said the Tuna were biting off the shrimp boats in 165 feet of water. I had caught one Tuna, by accident, trolling about eight years back and I wanted to try again. The feller gave me the Lat and Long and said when you get 65 miles off look for shrimp boats. He said if you catych a Bonita, save it and use it for chunking (had no idea what that ment because I had only used Bonita for snapper and sharks). We left the next morning with morning caught chum, piggy pearch and squid. We found the first boat in 225 feet of water. Chummed a little to see what would come up or out from under the shrimp boat, nothing happened. We were fishing with a couple of calctta's 700 and a couple of Shimano 4500B's loaded with 20 lb test (the knife). I dropped a live piggy and at about 40 feet my rod bent double abd line started flying like crazy, after abouy ten minutes we boated a big fat Bonita (for chunking, what ever that is) Caught another Bonita and pulled the hook on a couple of other fish and broke the lines a couple times. One of the guys, who is a little wierd, took a king rig (40lb wire, two no 4 treble hooks and a 1/0 nose hook) put a 2" shad on each of the three hooks, I just shook my head and laughed to my self, we must look like the three stooges. The calcutta with the three shad took off and off and off. Fifteen minutes latter we landed a twenty five pound yellow fin tuna. We had drifted about 300 yards from the shrimp boat (no wind, if we trolled it was confortable, if we were drifting it was like being inside a sauna only hotter). As we turned back to the shrimp boat, there it was, a four by four wooden pallet with an unbelievable amount of blue fish floating under it. I grabbed my rod with the 4" blue and white skirt, one guy grabbed a live piggy and the other wierd on put three shad on the king rig. The piggy caught first, the skirt second and the wierd on had one wrapped up in the king rig. These fish were from 24" and up. The wierd guy got to hot on his second fish, Joe and I caught around six each and I said enough, it was continue and die from heat stroke of troll and live. We trolled for about 15 minutes, cooled down and moved back behind the shrimp boat, We continued with pulled hooks, broken line then the sharks moved in and started cutting us off. The last tuna was another yellowfin (big shark cut him in half twenty feet under the boat) then we headed back in.
I have been on the computer since last Wednesday trying to teach myself what gun I need to take back to a gun fight. Rods, reels, jigs, leaders, line, hooks,chunking ...
If the seas are forgiving, I will be going long on my next trip offshore.
Old 08-26-2011, 07:25 AM
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TLD 25's are a good start spooled with 30 or 40 lb mono. They can handle tuna up to 100 lbs in that shallow of water easily. TLD 30's are a bit of an upgrade with the 2 speed and capacity to fill with 40 or 50 lb mono. Put the reels on a good 6' 20-50 class rod and you will be set for many different species of fish in the northern gulf. For leaders take your pick of flourocarbon in 40 to 80 lb size and tie 6 to 10 feet of it to the end of your mainline with a circle hook at the end of the flouro. Circle hook size depends on bait, but a good chunking circle is the frenzy 7/0 or 8/0. With live bait, the hook size will be determined by the size of the bait. With these rods and reels you should be well equipped to catch almost anything in your area. BTW get a good standup harness, it will help you fight the fish and not the rod.
Maclin
Old 08-26-2011, 11:47 AM
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Those were blackfin you were catching not yellowfin.

Great job, it's a lot of fun when the tuna are on the shrimp boats!
Old 08-29-2011, 09:28 PM
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most of the tuna under the shrimp boats out there are black fin. Check out the blue water board on 2coolfishing, lots of guys hitting the shrimpers right now.
Old 08-31-2011, 10:41 AM
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You guys are proble right, what is the best time of year to troll for yellow fin?
Old 09-01-2011, 04:58 PM
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It is extremely rare to catch yellowfin any closer than 100 miles offshore at any time of year. To target them you will need to run out to the Floaters (closest one to Port A is about 110 miles).

As mentioned above there is lots of info on the bluewater board of 2coolfishing.com
Old 09-03-2011, 10:53 PM
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Some of the best yellowfin hit the docks in Venice off the shrimp boats in 200-250 ft. of water in Oct. Catch up a few bonita and cut them up into small pieces. Put the bow of your boat right off the stern of the shimper and match his speed. Start chunking a few pieces of bonita and then slip one back with a hook in it. If you hook up keep chunking while fighting the fish and they will stay with you after the shrimp boat pulls away. If you don't hook up in the first 10 minutes look for another boat. You may have to hit 2 or 3 before you get on the fish. I'd almost bet if you're catching blacks off the boats you'll stumble into a yeller.

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