July 26th, 2019
First I want to thank Tony for the trip. The five of us worked our butts off. By the end of the trip we were working like a well oiled machine. That's because we had plenty of practice.
Tony made the call to fish west of West Atlantis. When we first pulled up Thursday evening it didn't look too promising. Right before the sun went down we had two reels go off. One was a rat yellow and the other was a skippy. We got the lines back out and ran right back over the spot where we hooked up. This time 3 reels went off. We were a little bummed when a rat yellow once again came to the boat. However Steve and I had something bigger on. Once we got our belts on we got to work. Let the party begin, we both had on 70-80 pound yellowfin. No time to celebrate, get those lines back out. Just as total darkness settled in we caught two more yellows. One was another rat the other was a 50 pound yellow.
It was time to chunk. With only 5 guys Chris and I were asked to do double duty. The first two hours were spent being entertained by a pod of dolphins that seemed to enjoy the light of the boat. We also netted a few juvenile fish. The one is a tiny mahi and the other may be a filefish. We were relieved of our duty at 12:30. I closed my eyes only to be woken up by Roger telling me it was time for my second shift. I swapped out my contacts and headed to the stern. I looked at the fishfinder. I saw something that looked promising. Sure enough within 5 minutes we were hooked up. Before Roger even closed his eyes he was fighting a 50 pound yellow. That would be it for the rest of the night.
It's now nautical dawn and Capt. Tony already has the spread in place. He fires up the engines and not ten minutes go by before a huge blue marlin is wacking at our bird with a ballyhoo on it. He never comes tight and the next two hours are spent fishless. At 7:30 we catch a nice mahi on a way back ballyhoo. After we quickly get our lines back in the insanity starts. For the next 4 hours we didn't troll for more than 15 minutes without hooking up with yellowfin. There were times we had 5 on at once. Most fish were between 50-80 pounds. Eventually we raised the white flag and surrendered. Well almost. The area is covered with tons of hi-flyers. With Roger and I on the boat Tony would have been tossed overboard if we didn't do some pot hopping. As you can see we had a bunch of double digit mahi. With a 4 hour run home we were spent. However I just couldn't help myself. As we were cleaning up I decided to take one last cast. Wouldn't you know it, the popper gets slammed. I know that I'm out of shape but you need to cut me some slack. I'm beat at this point. LOL. It was the last fish of the trip. You can see my excitement when we landed another 50 pound yellow.
It was time to head home. As we get up on plane off goes an alarm. One of the engines had a tear in the belt. No problem, Tony is prepared. I give him a lot of credit. He was in the engine room that has to be 130 degrees for 45 minutes. He fixed the belt and we think we are good to go. Once again an alarm goes off. It turns out that the pulley on the belt is seized up. Our 4 hour trip home is now going to take us 12 hours. Yikes! About a hour into our 8kt journey home Steve and Roger come up with a possible solution. They both head down into the sweltering engine room and fix the problem. Yahooooo, ETA is just about 4 hours later.
It's nice to fish with guys that can fix things on the fly.
So thanks to Tony, Steve and Roger for getting us home quickly. The crew also thanked Gina for coming down to the boat once we docked in the evening to help break down the tuna.
No doubt this crew will be out fishing together soon.