Our first trip off shore of the year had us leaving on some very good intel. Its been good, but the timing would not give us chance to get out there. The weather was great as we, Mark, Anthony, Erwin Jr, Capt Diane and myself headed east. Once there, we found about 75 boats working the area. We hooked up right away, but I really do not like being restricted in how and where we fish. WE toook out the chart and decied to make a move. That was the ticket as we were all by ourselves, and ended up going 6 for 8 keeping our over and under and releasing the rest. Erwin had a very good fish on a jig and lost him 20′ from the boat after a lengthy battle. We were treated to whales and Porpoises and great weather. I think this is going to be avery good bite heading into the end of the summer. The Lady Di is as comfortable as it gets. It makes the trip so very easy. Check out the pics on my site. WE all had pleny of fresh tuna steak. Cant wait to get out ther again in the near future.
Much calmer, but not calm as we headed to the grounds. The forecast was for the day to get better as the hours pass. Well, for what ever reason, we had the best fluking of the season. Did Dick’s guys get these fish going? WE had 4 over 6lbs one one drift, and on the next drift, Bob had a 8lber!!! WE were thrwoing back 3lbers. Frankie, fishing in Eddie’s spot did very good with his best fluke at over 6lbs. Zempe picked up the slack and was hot in the front, boxing a limit of fish over 5lbs, as did Bob. A great fluke day. To say plenty of white meat would be a understatement.
Dick and his crew arrived very early. As soon as we got the boat ready we departed. Missing this year was Dan, Dick’s good buddy who passed away last year shortly after fishing with us. We wanted these guys to have a great trip and also to make this trip special. I was excited of the bite we have been having and could not wait to have them get to the grounds. A bigger then expected swell made the trip a little longer then normal. Once there, Dick’s first keeper was a nice thick 4lber. IT was picky, but the fish were there, and when I got the men on the right drift, they got the bites. Conditions were not easy as they needed more weight to get the feel. Plenty of short fish were mixed in and the keepers starting to fill the hotel. Rich in the bow, was hot, even after he stopped and had a few peanut butter crackers. Once he got them down, he started looking for “Ralph”. He did offer me a cracker, but after I saw what they did to him, I reluctantly declined. Bobby fishing next to him, was getting the hits, but having hard time getting the fish to the boat and Mark, cracked me up watching him trying to switch hands, over, under, reel, not to reel on almost every bite. Al fishing mid ship, fished it hard, his determination was very evident. I was determined to get him a fish. Babs, he held his own and Dick was steady in the back. This type of fishing is all about feel. We were deeper then they are used to and using much more weight. Still in all, they did a great job, nearly filling the hotel. A stop on a tiny piece on the way in put a few more in the box, and leaving a few for tomorrow. THese men did not sleep since yesterday morning, and with Rich, still looking for “Ralph” I decided to call it day and give it another shot in the morning. We did have a beer or 3 at Off the Hook and we we left Mark said” some ofa couldof seen youu umm yea hahahaha mumble mumble mumble” HE needed some sleep! On Thursday, we had to wait as mother nature really threw us a curve ball. The men were game, and we left in very sporty conditions. Once on the grounds, it was not easy for the guys as they needed even more weight to hold. I got Mark a reel that he requested and he boxed the first keeper. This is going to be good. THe condionts never improved. The men toughed through it, never ever complained and did catch, although it was not even close to yesterdays catch. Babs was fishing behind me and Dick in Eddie’s corner when a wave slppaed the side of the boat, with half of it being blown into the boat by the stiff breeze. Babs had water dripping off his safari hat, down his shoulders, could not have gotten more wet if he jumped inl, when Dick said “Babs? did you see that wave?” We cracked up, see it? he swam in it. The guys fished hard until the end, not exaclty what I had hoped for. They are taking home some very nice white meat, had some good laughs. A special trip this year for alot of reasons… Thanks guys — we had a great time……..
Eddie and is crew were there and waiting as I pulled into the marina. A beautiful sunrise greeted us as we headed east. No one works it as hard as Eddie does and it did take to long before he started bending the rod. Jeff and Ricky along with 2 rookies Ray and Brian completed the crew. Fishing was not drop and reel, but it was good, very good. They boxed up by noon and with 30 fish in the hotel, we headed back to the barn. Jeff and Ricky did well and the rookies found out what hard work means in this style of fishing. No giants, but quality. Lots of white meat to go around, donated a few bucktails, but this is how the game is played. Eddie plays it hard………
We left them chewing yesterday and I was confident borderline cocky that we will catch them today. The ocean had the begining of the SE swell that has hurts us for a few weeks. I dont think it will effect the bite, but until we get lines in the water, you never know. My first drift had just a few bites, but I really did not do a good job on getting the guys on the right line. Making a adjustment it was game on for the next few hours. We boxed up 35 beautiful fluke and released another 15 keepers. Every on on board had a fish over 5lbs with Rick getting the big fish with his 7.4lber. I lost count on how many keepers Eddie had, Matt and Zempe were steady in the bow and Anthony boxed a good one as well. I got a few and Jr got into some fish when we had time to fish. Bites came quick and in bunches. Good thing we have 2 nets on the boat. Finally after all year of tough fishing, they landed on some very good fishing. My blue cooler was full of the white meat as we had a very good time cutting all the fish. The photo does not show them all because once again, the dock temp is to hot to spread the fish out. I am confident that this is only the start of a very good end of July and August bite. A highlight of the trip was when Erwin JR was netting a fluke a small dusky shoark came speeding in after the shark and ended up in the net as he was lefting the fluke out of the water. Talk about going crazy in the net, he was able to get the shark out of the net before it ruined it, and he saved the fluke which made the hotel, the room with the view. Today started out very sad for me as it was my fathers birthday which I share too, he would have really enjoyed what I would have told him about the fishing today.
With the best conditions of the year, we ae trying get get a few good fish instead of boxing up the hotel. Terry, who had fished with us for years, is looking for one good fish. Im alway looking for one good fish, however today is special. Coming off the win this past weekend, one would think this would be easy. Not true!!! So I headed off to the best area that I would fish in looking for a big fluke. Terry fished hard, real hard in hopes of hooking that elusive doormat. Fish to 5lbs found a reservation in the fluke hotel, however the “mat” never gave us a chance as we made it back to the dock with the hotel loaded to capacity. Except for the lack of big fish, the weather certainely made up for that, and Terry got a great day on the water in the middle of July. He is always a pleasure to have on my boat, I only wish that we could have traded 4– 2lb fish with one 8lber!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Thanks for your effort Terry…….
Beautiful conditions, and Im off to a new spot. Rolling the dice, I wanted Bob to get in on the white meat. Fishing my local spots are picky and the chances of catching a boxful is slim, I think. So we rolled the dice and off we went. They were not dissapointed as they got their 6 man limit with fish to over 5lbs. Not fast and furious by any means, but decent and the guys fish hard throughout the day, with Ron (no more yum), getting the most keepers, and Bob taking the pool fish. Plenty of white meat to go around and just a great day in every way. Too hot to spread all the fish on the dock, so they held a few, no need to soften up the meat…….
Having not been on any decent (big) fish this year, I had no real plan as to where to take the guys. A sleepness night found me having 3 coffees on the way to the boat. When I arrived, my crew were waiting and off we went. My first drift put 4 nice fish in the hotel and I had thought I found the right spot. Thats when it died and it was very tough to find a keeper, let alone a “big fish”. Once the fog cleared we were invaded by the boats and all the spots got worked over hard. My guys just kept working and working, finally late in the day, I made the right stop as Erwin jr got bit and his rod showed all the signs of a good fish. He immediatley said, “dad get the net” . During the fight , with every head shake, we all were just hoping that this fish stayed on, near the boat she took a dive and pulled about 20 feet of drag, we all held our breath. In the clear water, we finally got a glimpse and it was a very nice fish. Once we had her in the net, it certainley was not the biggest fish for us, but a very respectaful fluke that will get us on the board. This time, the fish had some thickness and I felt pretty good that she was 9 plus. Back at the scale, it weighed in at 9.4lbs. Good enough for first, but we still had Sunday. Sunday found us once again bouncing all over, and once again a huge fleet on all the “known” spots. Erwin did it once again hooking a good fish that was just under his fish from yesterday, 8.5lbs. And later that afternoon, Matt set up on a good fish, but just not big enough to beat our fish from yesterday, as his fish was 8.5 lbs too. We kept the radio off all day, we wanted to beat our fish as did everyone else. I did not want to know until it was over. We did not go to the scale and about 4:50 pm heard that we were still in the lead. Thats when we turned on the radio. At 5pm it was over and it was official, 9.4 lb won . Finally we won this tournament. A very well run event. now its time to go back to work……
Did a few trips with Matt Logan and crew, and Eddie and the “A” Team, and Zempe and the “A” Team. The SE swell kinda forced my hand as to where I could fish and Matt and crew did very good in the ditch with fish to 3 1/2lbs in tough drifting condtions. Eddie’s trip found slow but steady fishing with fish to 6 lbs and finally on Friday the swell dropped out and the water cleaned up enough to find the best fishing of the year so far. Nothing big, however they did drop a good fish and took home some real good quality.
Matt booked the trip in hopes of finding a hotel full of fluke. After a lot of work by the guys and hitting numerous spots they ended up with 15 nice keepers to Paul T Cop landing the biggest fluke of the year so far at 8 1/4 lbs. Zemps trip on Friday found 20 fluke after covering far to many miles and having them work way to hard, not to be boxed up.