Caught Aboard the:
"Other Side" Dolphin for Ray, Gerald, Barrett, Ron, & Dale
Today my crew was Ray, Gerald, Barrett, Ron, & Dale for a day of Chasing tuna on the other side. I should have known that finding birds and tuna was going to be difficult when we arrived a Sebastian Inlet State park and were greeted with westerly winds blowing at 15 knots and gusting to 18 knots. Ray and the rest of the crew decided to push on since Gerald and Barrett had to catch a plane back to Alabama the next day. Needless to say the ride across was bumpy and wet and on the other side we suffered through white capping 3' to 4' seas with an occasional 5 footer thrown in. Sargasso weed was scattered everywhere and although we did find a school of Yellowfin Tuna, fishing them was impossible due to the scattered weed. We just couldn't keep the baits clean enough to get them to the fish. We ended up bringing one skipjack home.
About noon, with the conditions deteriorating even more and 78 nm out of Sebastian, I made the call to return to the weed line we had found earlier in the day at 63 nm out and as it turned out it was the right thing to do. We trolled the weed line the remainder of the day and ended up going through 4 dozen ballyhoo and iced a total of 9 gaffers with our largest being 27# pictured below. Gerald lost a much larger fish near the boat when the hooks pulled. We trolled until 5 PM and fortunately for us the wind laid down after 3 PM and we were able to return across the stream at 32 knots and on a reasonably calm sea. On the trailer at 7 PM and cleaned our catch at Sebastian.
I'll post more pictures as soon as Ray forwards them to me. I wasn't able to take many pictures on the water since I was working the cockpit pretty hard all afternoon keeping baits clean of weeds and re-rigging ballyhoo.
Everyone had a great time in spite of the conditions. NOTE TO SELF: Don't go to tuna town when the wind is blowing too hard!!!
Final tally for the day:
Gerald and Barrett with a 27# Cow Dolphin