With Captain Johnny and Jill Williams heading up the show the party boat Capt. John left pier 19 with 22 anglers aboard. This Sunday/Monday overnighter was another of those tuna safaris that Williams Party Boats have been running since 1990.
After passing between the Galveston jetties the offshore run thru a almost flat calm gulf. The first fishing stop of the trip was over structure about 118 nautical miles to the S/S/E of the island. This deep water stop at 550′ was anticipated to produce a bite that included queen snapper and barrel fish, a deep and delicious pair. The conditions of a calm gulf,virtually no current and a short angler number made this deep water drift fishing possible. Wind, current and more lines in the water and it couldn’t be done. The squid and sardine baits fished at or very near the bottom did produce a few of the “anticipated” along with caught and released amberjack and red snapper. The heaviest amberjack was a really nice 60 pounder caught by Capt. Jill. It hit a piece of octopus she used for bait.
After leaving the deep drift spot the offshore run continued, heading for the Gunnison Spar Platform and the overnight tuna fishing. Gunnison is located about 135 naughtical miles to the S/S/E of the island in 3150 feet of water. The numerous down current drifts during the overnight had blackfin and yellowfin tuna hitting an assortment of artificials that included chrome diamond jigs, Shimono butterfly jigs, and Williamson speed jigs. Freelined or Carolina rigged Spanish sardines accounted for too. For this trip the vast majority of the tuna bite was deep at something in the 400 foot range. Barracuda were also at the platform, some were caught , some just mauled tuna.
At the leave Monday, shortly after sunrise, the inshore run for more deep water bottom fishing began. This stop was in 530 feet of calm gulf water a couple miles offshore of Sunday’s deep spot. A barrel fish and a pair of queen snapper were added along with Almaco jack , a scamp grouper a yellowedge grouper and a couple of vermillion snapper. The amberjack and red snapper were again caught, vented and released as their seasons are closed at this time. Almaco Jack, yellowedge and scamp grouper were caught.
Next on the menu was an inshore run of about 25 miles. This stop was supposed to have a vermillion snapper population that was ready to bite. Well, they were there and marked on the bottom machine but seemingly didn’t know about it being a “bite time.” While a few were caught the time ran out before the bite really turned on, so it was off to the house with this catch iced down in the multiple fish boxes.
2 Yellowfin Tuna to 50#
132 Blackfin to 18#
6 Queen snapper to 10#
3 Barrel fish to 30#
10 Almaco Jack
1 Scamp Grouper
1 Yellowedge Grouper
23 Vermillion snapper
Gino Asuncion, Galveston, had a blackfin tuna on diamond jigs and Carolina rigged Spanish sardines.
Mike Gullette, Galveston, with vermillion snappers and a pair of blackfin tuna.
Peter Letts, Cedar Creek Lake, his catch included 22 blackfin tuna ( 9 involved in loosing cuda fights) 5 vermillion snapper and one of the beautiful and delicious queen snapper.
The unique portion of this trip was the deep water drops targeting queen snapper and barrel fish, done because conditions mentioned made it possible. If you want to participate in the future using your own tackle remember that braid main line is virtually a must since the stretch of mono makes it like fishing with a rubber band. At 500 feet plus braids non stretch is a must for bite detection and fish control. Bottom weights of 2 to 5 pounds are necessary to keep your line straight down, helping to avoid tangles with other lines. The activity of the situation is that the needed conditions are seldom present and few trips are likely to involve this deep water bottom fishing.
Since 1946, Williams Party Boats has run many different types of deep sea fishing trips with anglers of all ages. With over 60 years in the fishing business, Capt. Johnny is a genuine fishing expert and a true gentleman with a professional and courteous crew behind him. Captain Jillian Williams is a fourth generation party boat operator and currently the only female party boat operator in the gulf.