Today we had a six hour party boat walk-on trip. The weather was a little over cast this morning with a good breeze out of the north, along with a 2-3 ft. swell out of the south southeast. We left at our usual time of departure at 8:00 a.m. and went out to the area we fish around 20 miles on the natural bottom or rocks of coral. On our way we noticed that there was a lot of the sargasso grass on the beach and in the water. Some of it made up real nice grass lines which hold bait and then draws in other fish like dolphin, Wahoo, tuna, king mackerel and other top water fish. Wouldn’t you know it didn’t take long and there were reports from other fishermen that they had caught some black fin tuna on the weed lines while trolling out to their fishing holes. We didn’t seem to get a line out to troll, but we did get a drift line out when we stopped to fish. The mingo’s and white snapper were biting real well. After fishing a couple of places and moving around we got a big bite on the drift line and a big fish on a two hook rig at the same time. Not knowing what either fish were till the one on the two hook rig popped up did we know we had two black fin tuna on at once. I guess you could say the fellow with the two hook rig applied too much pressure and lost that one but we did manage to get the other one in the boat. As Murphy’s Law would have it the same fellow who lost the first one, hooked a second one before they got the one on the spinning rod in and he lost the second fish he hooked as well. It was pretty exiting the for several minutes to say the very least, one person going around the boat with a spinning rod and another in the back hooking up and losing them faster than you could tell what was going on. Nevertheless, we are grateful to get the one we did. Now I can’t wait till tomorrow, we’ll be ready.
12 Hour Charter Fishing Trip with FrittatasMay 29, 2011 in Action Charter Service, Alabama, Amberjack, Deep Sea Fishing, Fish, Fishing Report, Mingo, Orange Beach, Saltwater Fishing
It’s Saturday and we got one of our favorite customers on board for a 12 hour trip of deep water offshore fun. The best part about this trip is that all off the people on the boat are in some way involved with the restaurant business. My friend Marco makes this thing called a “Frittata”. It is delicious! It’s is like a giant omelet with sausage, mushrooms, cheese, potatoes and I don’t know what all else all mixed in a scrambled egg deep dish pan. Awesome!
I know what’s for lunch when they come. As usual, we went out Saturday and started with catching our Mingo’s, Triggers and stuff and moved offshore for some Amberjacks. As we went out farther the current got pretty strong on a few holes we stopped on and I heard some of the other captain’s complaining about how hard it was to hold up on the spot. I started to fear the worst for fishing in the deeper water we were headed for, however I noticed a huge tide line on the horizon a mile or so out in front of me and figured I was going to stop just beyond the line.
To my surprise we passed over the line about 500 yards and rounded up on the hole and I darn near ran slam off of the hole thinking it was like it was on the last hole. Thank goodness it was dead still. Cool! What a relief, I won’t have to fight the current or massive tangles in the deep water. After checking the spot we stopped on and catching some big Mingo’s and several huge Triggerfish we went on out for some Amberjacks.
I wish I could say they just jumped in the boat but that isn’t what happened. We had to work for them. Maybe that current wasn’t moving on top but something had them spooked a little. We caught a few here and there and ended up hitting one really good hole by luck in the end. I know you’re thinking, “He was saving that one till last” but I wasn’t. I’d rather be lucky than good on a day like that. All’s well that ends well. We had a great trip when it was over; I just had to work a little harder.
Tuna Fishing Overnight TripMay 13, 2011 in Action Charter Service, Fish, Fishing Report, Gulf Shores, Orange Beach, Tuna
Well they say a picture is worth a thousand words and if that’s the case then this one speaks volumes. We left out on Saturday morning with a live well full of pin fish, Cigar minnows, Croakers, Hard tails and some menhaden. Our first stop was as usual for some other kinds of offshore bait like small White snapper and Small Vermillion snapper. After getting the live well so full that you can’t see into it but about 6” we went on out to try some deep water bottom fishing. From this point on it seemed that we were on a mission that could do no wrong. When we stopped on our first hole the 4 pound Mingo’s (vermillion) Snappers were on fire. Everyone was catching 1 or 2 on each drop using a small piece of squid on a two hook rig. However, the best thing was that for every 5 or 6 Mingo’s we were getting a nice 6-8 pound Scamp on a live pinfish or croaker. Unbelievable, could it get any better than this? We did this on every hole we stopped on all the way out to my secret Amberjack hole. As we approached the AJ hole my guys rigged up quickly for the battle that was fixing to happen. They cleared the deck of the two hook rigs on the Electric reels and got out the heavy lined 6/0 reels. Once we pulled up into position and I gave the command, it only took 45 minutes to get our two day bag limit of the 35 to 60 pound Amberjacks. We never missed a beat. As everyone were high fiving each other I headed on out around 4:00 p.m. to the offshore deepwater oilrigs for some tuna fishing action.
We arrived with anticipation and excitement of what was to happen next. It certainly didn’t disappoint. As soon as the lines were in the water we were on. A small Black Fin Tuna and then another, and then another and another. After a few laps around the rig we saw what we came for, the Big Yellow Fin Tuna busting the water on top just out from the rig a little and heading right to us. As the tension built up we crossed over the school of fish and all eyes were on the lines. “Fish On, right rigger!” then “Fish on Left rigger!” OH Yea! They were biting! We fished into the night, jigging next to the rigs as the seas built to 6-8 feet. We got up the next morning around 3:30 a.m. and started it all over again. Before it was over we had 4 Yellow Fin Tuna, 25 Black Fin Tuna, over 40 head of Scamp, around 180 head of Jumbo Mingo’s and 24 Amberjacks Totaling a little over 2,000 lbs. Wow!
Overnight Tuna TripApril 13, 2010 in Action Charter Service, Alabama, Fishing Report, Gulf Shores, Orange Beach, Orange Beach
Hey guys, just as I expected we had a great trip. The weather was supposed to be fair on Saturday and then get better on Sunday and it did, but I think it could have been a little better on Saturday, it was a little too bumpy and rolling. The waves were only 1-3 feet but we had to ride out “in the trough.” Sunday was as good as it gets; slick calm, no wind, no current and the fish were biting.
Saturday we started off catching some White Snappers, Triggers, Mingo’s and some Real Nice Amberjacks. Some were in the 60-70 pound range. We did troll out and back but the water is still so cold that we didn’t get a bite. After catching some AJ’s we went on out to the deep water rigs starting with the Petronius. We arrived about an hour before dark and put the Ballyhoo out on the slow trollers and pulled around the rig. Right off jump street, we got a double hook up. Two Black Fin Tuna. I told my deck hand Eric to pull the lines in and let us try some jigging if they were going to bite this good. He already had the poles out and rigged up so we pulled up to the rig and started jigging. We caught a few kind of hit and miss and decided to go on out to the next rig offshore, (the Marlin) and try it for some Yellow Fin Tuna before it got too late. After high Speed trolling out there it was dark when we arrived so we tried jigging even though I didn’t see any fish on the fathometer. No luck, they just weren’t there. So, we hauled butt down to the next rig (Ram Powell) to see if they were there. The report I got from another captain just the week before was that this was the only place they did any good. So with high hopes we pulled up to the rig and made a pass around it to see what we could see on the fathometer. Nothing! Not a single dot on the meter. No bait on top or fish below. At this point I made an executive decision and decided to go all the way back up to the first rig we left, the Petronius, where they were biting. We used this time to enjoy the Extra Large Filet Mignon that our customers from Birmingham, AL brought with them along with all the fixin’s from there restaurant. It didn’t last long, as a matter of fact if one of my deck hands hadn’t brought me a few small pieces I wouldn’t have gotten any, it went so fast. After we returned back up to the first rig, we jigged some more and caught several more Black Fin Tuna. However, everyone was spent by then, especially after that good meal. So we pulled out from the rig, dropped a squid over for a sword fish and caught forty winks. We woke up around 5:00 a.m. and returned back to the rig after having some coffee where we resumed jigging and ended up catching several more fish. By now the weather was absolutely beautiful. We fished our way back to the dock that evening and celebrated what a great trip we had.
Now the Cobia are running and we are tying on our ling lures. We have Cost Guard Inspection on Monday and right after that, I’M GONE! Check with me next week to get the whole story on the Cobia Run!
Cool Spring ChangesMarch 16, 2010 in Action Charter Service, Alabama, Fishing Report, Gulf of Mexico
Once again it’s time to dust off the tackle box, clean up our rod and reels, check the line on the spools and take inventory of hooks, swivels, leader material and sinkers. Before you know it summer will be here with all of the wonder of this year’s season. We are getting ready for our 2010 fishing season and planning on all the stuff we have to get done for our annual coast guard inspections and making sure that every thing else is ready to go.
Just in the middle of working on this we got a phone call to run a trip with 45 people from the Navy ROTC for a 4 hour trip. Needless to say, we were glad to go out for our first trip of the season even though it was a bit cool. The temperature was in the mid 50’s in the morning but warmed right up to a 67 or 68 during the day. With the wind blowing out of the northwest around 15 to 20 knots the clear sky’s and warm sunshine was a welcome sight. We left the dock around 11:30 and returned around 3:45, your average 4 hour trip. We traveled for around 45 minutes before we came to our first fishing spot. We used our basic two hook rig with a #4 circle hook. These are small wire hooks with a real sharp point that virtually do all of the work for you. They will catch anything from a pin fish, Mingo snapper, White Snapper, Triggerfish to a Red fish or a Bonito. Some of the inshore guides use them for Sheephead, Flounder, Pompano and Trout.
On our trip we caught White Snapper, Trigger fish, Mingo (Vermillion) Snapper, Red Fish, Red Snapper (we had to throw them back, closed season till June 1). We had a great trip and the people really had a great time. Lots of these guys had never been deep sea fishing ever before. That’s what the beauty of the 4 hour trip is, a chance for those who have never done this to get out and experience what it’s like to be out in the Gulf of Mexico and let the deck hands teach them how to use the equipment and catch fish. It’s all about enjoying your time fishing together with friends and making good memories you can tell your kids about for years to come.
Fish, Weather and Anglers’ Excitement Are Warming UpMay 12, 2008 in Action Charter Service, Alabama, Fishing Report, Gulf of Mexico, Salt Water Series Tournament, World Championship Red Snapper Tournament
Fishing out of Orange Beach Alabama is building to an all time great high.
Red Snapper are more abundant than ever before and there has been a few 90 plus pound Wahoo brought to the weigh in scales for the Salt Water Series Tournament. We have seen some big Amberjack being caught in the 35-45 pound range as well as some 50-75 pound Yellow Fin Tuna. The Black Fin Tuna are biting well also.
On our last few offshore trips we have been bringing in some Scamp in the 15-18 pound range as well as some 4.5lb Vermilion Snapper (Mingo). Trigger Fish are making a good show along with big White Snapper in the 3.5lb range.
The Inshore action is doing well with the Cobia showing up, some weighed in at 90.3 lb, 86.5 and more. Spanish, King mackerel and Red Fish are biting along the beach. There are plenty of Cigar Minnows starting to bunch up in schools on the bottom.
So far we’ve seen an improvement in every species and it looks like we’ll see even more in the future. The weather is warming up every day and is expected to reach as high as 90 degrees today. We are all looking forward to the opening of Federal Waters for Red Snapper on June 1st. The season will be open until August 5th. There will be the “World Championship Red Snapper Tournament” going on the entire season for Red Snapper. Check out our web page and the photo gallery for pictures of some “Big” Red Snapper and Call or E-mail us for a chance to win $25,000.00 in the Tournament.
An Awesome Day Aboard the Charter Boat C.A.T.April 21, 2008 in Gulf of Mexico
It was early in the morning with a light fog hanging over the water and a cool nip in the air. You could see the horizon starting to get a little brighter to the east. The marina was quiet except for the sound of the wheels of a fish cart rolling down the dock as my deck hand pushed it full of bags of ice towards the boat for our trip that day. He had been there extra early that morning anticipating an exiting day of fishing and couldn’t wait to get ready to go. As I walked up to the boat I noticed he already had all the fishing poles out, rigged and ready. “Good morning Captain!” I said yes it is. He knew that we would probably have a day of fishing to remember today because just as I do, he checks the weather and hears all of the latest fishing reports and knows that the fish are biting good and we have the perfect forecast for the next several days.
I was looking forward to the trip as well because I knew that some of my good customers from Chattanooga Tennessee would be there. They are a group of guys from their local Baptist Church and even though they live in Tennessee, they are very experienced fishermen in the Gulf of Mexico. That meant I could expect them to be as excited as we were. As I got on the boat and opened the wheel house door to put my stuff down, I heard the chatter of voices coming from around the corner of the building in the parking lot. Sure enough, it was them and they were an hour early. Seems they couldn’t wait to get down to the boat either. As they filed on down to the boat we said our good mornings and loaded up, laughing and talking about who is going to get the “Big One” today. The day was off to a great start.
We left the marina around Six o’clock and headed out the pass at Orange Beach, Alabama. I told them we would stop and get some live bait out about twenty miles and then continue offshore to start our day of bottom fishing. We already knew there were some Amberjack and Grouper biting out about 35- 40 miles so we had to have some good bait. Usually we have some that we catch at the marina, but this time of the year the “Pinfish” are still a little scarce, so we use what ever we can get off shore.
As we cleared the pass my deckhand put out the high speed trolling lines. We usually run about 16 knots and troll with heavy trolling weights (16-48 oz) in front of a heavy lure (24-36oz) and we use wire line on the reels. All of this gets the lure down deep enough to still have it presented good to the fish even at 16 knots. After all, Orange Beach, Alabama, is home of the “World Record Wahoo”. We catch a lot of Wahoo trolling in and out to our fishing holes as well as King Mackerel, Dolphin and some times even a Blue Marlin. You never know.
After stopping and catching some small White Snapper, Mingo’s (Vermillion), and some Sand Perch, we were off again to head out to the deep water. Typically, the fish are in deeper water earlier in the season because the water temperature is still around the mid 60’s. When the temperature comes up to 70 something, they will migrate into the shallower waters. Knowing this I had a plan. Head on out to the deep water first and work my way back in.
Later we would even go try to get our Red Snappers in Florida waters, as it has not yet opened in the Federal waters. After arriving to our first destination it was clear the day was going to go well when we dropped our lines in 180 feet of water and every one got bites rite away. The Big Mingo’s and Big White Snapper were on fire. We caught around 50 to 75 pounds off the first hole and people were beaming excitement. We headed over to the next hole as every one regrouped and got something to drink, baited there hooks and waited for me to stop the boat. It didn’t take long for them to get back into the groove after waiting for a year to come fishing again.
On our next stop, I noticed what appeared to be the familiar markings of Amberjack on the fish finder. I told my deckhand to put down some of the live bait that we had caught that morning and see if they would bite. He dropped the bait down anticipating an immediate strike, but it didn’t come so he handed off the rod to a “new comer” and continued to take off fish from the others. About ten minutes went by when all of a sudden we heard this yelling “Help me!” We all looked over to see this new guy who had never been out in the Gulf of Mexico before trying to get to his knees as the fish is trying to pull him overboard. That’s when I knew that we were truly blessed for the day. After a fifteen minute struggle with the fish, I looked back and saw my deck hand reach over the stern with gaff and make one clean swipe and pull in over the railing an Amberjack around 35lbs. Every one cheered and high fived and patted him on the back. This was his biggest fish he had ever caught. He set the rod down and slumped down to his knees with exhaustion. That was surely a memory that he will have for the rest of his life.
As we continued to fish we caught several more Amberjack and a few Gag Groupers as well as some Scamp. We fished several holes in the area doing well on all of them and then decided to put the trolling lines back in the water and head back into Florida waters to see of we could catch some Red Snappers. Although trolling didn’t pay off that day for us, I heard that there were some others who did catch a Wahoo and a few Kings.
We arrived in Florida waters and noticed that there were many boats on all of the public reefs as well as a few private and after careful consideration I decided to see if one of my “Personal Private Reefs” had some fish on it. As I expected it was loaded with nice fish.
It didn’t take long and we caught our limit (2 per person) and were on our way home. What a day! Every where we went that day it seemed like we had a little “Divine Intervention”? We did have the preacher on board. As we headed back to the marina I could hear every one talking about what a good time they had and were already talking about booking another trip.
The whole day proved to be a complete success. When we pulled back into the marina there were friends and loved ones waiting on the dock for us to arrive. We rounded the corner of the dock and they began to wave and shout with excitement. As I backed into my slip I thought to myself how lucky I am to have had such a great day with friends and family out on the water all day. I think the picture says a thousand words.