AUGUST 24 2017 Finally a Great Day Off-Shore!!
Taking advantage of the great weather, my son, Kurt, Dave, myself met in the wee hours of the morning at my buddy Kevin’s house. We were taking his 35′ deep in hopes of catching a few of the YFTs that are around. Loading up with all kinds of bai, we headed east. As always- expectations are very high. Conditions are perfect, the only negative was the water color, clean green, not blue. Life was not as abundant as we had hoped. Radio reports were not encouraging. we started out on the drift, chunking. It took about 10 minutes before we had life in the slick. Huge false Abies showed first, and they were hungry. It was a mad dog bite all morning before that slowed. A nice Mahi-Mahi was also boated and the life continued to build even if the bite on these fish slowed. We all kept saying its only a matter of time. Mid-day we put the troll spread out to look around. It didn’t produce any fish, but it did provide some great recon for later. Middle of the afternoon it finally came together. We seen another boat hook up on a popper after a incredible strike. The Albies were in our slick but this time the Skippies were here too!! Next thing we knew the YFT were eating the chunks right next to the boat!! Kurt hooked the first one, a nice 35lber which broke the ice. Then the screen lit up. My son had a wolf pack of jumbos smash his popper numerous times without any of the real ones coming tight. So did Dave, Kevin who was throwing a jig came tight on every cast while Kurt landed 2 more on bait. Talk about excitement!!! The action was incredible. Finally the right fish ate a live bait and Kurt grabbed the rod. After a very lengthy battle the hooked pulled 10’before I could stick the gaff into a YFT between 70-80lbs!! Another few good bites and a few more pulled hooks before I was finally able to get on a rod. I grabbed the dead stick baited with live bait set at 40′ that was right next to my chunking station. Luckily, it was not set on strike as the guys informed me that it had only 30lb leader. It was time for the “Old Guy” to teach the young pups how to fight a tuna fish!! Swatting away Kevins numerous attempts to tighten my drag, I warned them to stay away!! It didn’t take long before this tuna was doing the circles as I quickly had him under the boat. Thats when Erwin jr and Kevin did their best Ray Charles/Stevie Wonder impersonation with the gaffs!!!That really woke up this fish and it started all over again. Once again I had the tuna stretched out fighting for his life. It was not to long before Erwin jr got another chance and stuck the big hook right in the 12 ring!! Finally we had a decent size YFT on Kevin’s deck. Not huge but between 65-70 lbs, a great addition to the 3 that are all ready on ice. No time to celebrate as we still have plenty of life around and under this boat. We fished until after 7 pm hooking a few more jumbos but never finishing the deal. Just a tremendous day off shore!! A great ride home into a beautiful sunset. By time we finished up cleaning the boat, cutting the fish we all were pretty well spent!! No one was complaining to be sure. This was a trip to remember for many reasons!!