Both of my work buddies had to bail, so I figured I'd go fishing anyway. I knew my buddy Hunter would be out there so I stayed with my plan to go to the Triangles and wreck fish solo. I also brought some ballyhoo in case the water looked 'fishy' (which it did, very pretty). I did not do nearly as well as Hunter and wrecking solo is just TOO much work but I tried hard. No flounder bites for me and only about a dozen Sea Bass. I kept 8 of the ones over 15'...biggest about 3 pounds or so. I fished the Luckenbach, Turcel and Webster. Some time around noon-one o'clock I decided to put out a spread and troll east. The 65/65 Finger is 10 miles east. Ran a 7 line spread (ballyhoo on flats, mini-mamba bars on shorts, ballyhoo on longs and a bird/Jet combo on the long center). Saw some nice flotsam on the way out but no bites. As I crossed over the finger I saw some huge boards and other pieces of wood. A group of bailers attaked the spread. Funny watching them cartwheel around the spreaders. They were small so I cranked a couple in then shook them off...no way was I going to try bailing solo!! Trolled around again and bam, long rigger down...slow down and fight fish, bam, shot gun down. Crank up the first fish, nice false albacore. Shotgun fish comes off. Crank it in to check the bait and more Albys are hitting it but no hook up. Come around and again and get a nice run on the flat line but hook pulls after about 10 seconds of drag peeling. Off in the distance I see splashes so I move out about 1/2 mile and it's a school of porpoises working bait. I'm taking pics as I troll through them and bam, short rigger (spreader) is smoking. 10, 20, 30 seconds, still going. Drag was not real heavy but a nice run. Bam, flat line down and pulling well. Slow the boat, clear one flat line and grab the one with a fish on it. Feels like a nice heavy fish, hook pulls. Grab the other rod that peeled a ton of line and hook pulls. My guess is these were small tuna, or very big Albacore. They pulled much harder then the others I had hooked.
That was my day. I do not for the life of me understand these pulled hooks. I use Southern style tuna hooks which are supposed to supply the best hook set, razor sharp 7/0 to 8/0. Two trips in a row for me, spread is producing bites but the hookup ratio SUX big time.
It was cool to do my first solo trip offshore. It was pretty hard work but running the spread and rigging was not too bad. Replacing lines and baits and all took a little longer but it was pretty cool. Might do it again but not without someone being close by. Hunter was 10 miles away from me and we stayed in radio contact (thx again Hunter).
The water on the Fingers is very nice. I was dreaming of ONE nice pelagic but the Fat Albert was all I could muster. Maybe next time!
Dang Glenn, you da man. Running the boat and the pit solo. I find that challenging with a full crew. Glad you found some. We had a couple of them fat alberts last week that pulled hard thinking we found some YFT. Thanks for the report.
I know, it is a lot of work. Especially breaking down all the wreck $hit, pulling out the offshore rods and rigging up. Luckily, all of my stuff was in order from a prior trip and it was calm. If it had been bumpy at all I would have said no way.
Yeah, no way to know what I hooked up but the pull from the drag and that they were smack in the middle of the porpoises made me lean toward yellowfin but surely could have been some bigger albies. Wish those damn things were good to eat [wink]
Glenn. you are the man. Next time you go by yourself call me i'll film it. We will do a Tred Barta show. Seriously, if your not hooking up try dialing in your drags. Ideal drag is slightly less than 1/3 the line strength. My strike on my 50's is 18-20lb. You can back them off for the dolphin bite.
Thanks guys. OK, I've never been a real hardcore 'check the drag with a scale guy' but will give it a go. On my TLD 25's I run Momoi Diamond 30 which has a higher than advertised breaking strength. Should I still set at 1/3 of the 30 pound rating? My guess is I was close to 10 pounds of drag yesterday but I'll check and see what it says.
Yes, very nice report. I guess you could say I've been solo before. Took the wife a couple times out that way for tuna. Sucked doing that all that worked and being asked a dozen times, 'when are we gonna catch anything?'. She piped down pretty quick after reeling in a couple 50lb tunas on the wwwwb...