With Captains Johnny and Jill Williams heading up the show, the party boat Capt. John left pier 19 with 30 Anglers aboard. This 36hr Tuna Safari is one of those overnighters out of Galveston that Williams Party Boats started in 1990 with the Texsun II. Thats 26 years of “overnight success!” The first fishing stop Saturday afternoon was over natural bottom structure in 180 feet of water about 85 miles to the S/S/East of the Island. What was down there trying to eat the assorted natural and artificial baits presented? The small, cut pieces of squid had vermilion snapper being interested, Spanish Sardines, and speed jigs fooled a handful of Scamp Grouper. Next on the agenda was a deep water stop about 40 miles farther out. The targeted species in the 530 Ft deep water were Queen Snapper and Barrel fish, obviously didn’t get the memo as none were caught. The effort was worth it because you never know since some of those two species were taken there a couple of trips. AT the leave it was off to the Tuna grounds!
The “Tuna grounds” for the trip was the area of, and down current from, the Gunnison Spar platform. This masterpiece of engineering is anchored in 3,150 feet of water about 135 nautical miles to the S/S/East of the Island. One of the problems during the multiple overnight down current drifts was the Barracuda population which for some reason up in relation to past trips. The Black fin Tuna and Yellowfin Tuna were there and hitting various artifacts and Carolina rigged Spanish Sardines that Gino Asuncion fished at about 300 feet. That pair of 65 and 70 pounders made his trip but a surprise came his way too. That surprise, using the same type baits and depth fished as for his Yellowfin was a 14.9 pound big scale pomfret. This prize will be submitted for the new Texas record for the species, the present record is 11 pounds. The pomfret is a deep dweller that comes up in the water column at night, for instance to a round 300 feet as in Gino’s record catch. Another of the heaviest Yellowfin Tuna was a 65 pounder caught deep by Mike Gullette using a Halco max 130 casting lure. A point to remember, Tuna do hit baits and lures witha wire leader as Mikes nice 65 pounder did. He wired his Halco up after loosing one on a mono leader to a Barracuda cut-off. During the overnight 85 Blackfin and 5 Yellowfin Tuna were caught, the Yellowfin escaped the Barracuda bite somehow.
The Blackfin were not so fortunate, it was estimated that two were mauled at boatside for each clean Gaffing and decking. This translates into the 250 or so area that the Blackfin catch could of been… Fishing! Three of the Cuda were caught and kept which evened up the score, right.
After the leave at Gunnison shortly after sunrise Sunday the inshore run began, heading for more bottom fishing. The area fished was the same general section of the Gulf as on Saturday afternoon, 85 miles S/S/East of the Island. Fishing the entire 180 ft water column over it’s natural bottom had more Vermilion Snapper and Scamp Grouper along with a pair of Creolefish and a few Porgy. The Hi-Light of the trips bottom fishing game from this area when Robert Baker hooked and landed a Red Grouper of an estimated 11 pounds. If submitted it will be the new Texas Saltwater record for the species, the current record is 6.3 pounds. As time ran out the trips final move, back to Galveston’s Pier 19, was started with the total catch iced down in the Capt. John multiple fish boxes:
85 Blackfin Tuna to 19#
5 Yellowfin Tuna to 70#
235 Vermilion Snapper to 3#
8 Scamp Grouper
3 Whitebone Porgy
1 Red Grouper(estimated 11#)
1 Big Scale Pomfret of 149#
Justin Williams, Galveston, with a Scamp Grouper and a double Vermilion Snapper limit of 20.
Gino Asuncion, Galveston, had a pair of Yellowfin Tuna going 67 & 70 pounds each and the 14.9 pound Big Scale Pomfret that should be the new state record for the species.
Mike Gullette, Galveston, with a Scamp Grouper and a 65 pound Yellowfin Tuna taken on a Halco Max 130 hardbody swim bait.
Rita Bauman and Cindy Lucia, both Texas City, teamed up for 30 Vermilion Snapper and 12 Blackfin Tuna.
Justin Doby, Bacliff, had 10 Blackfin Tuna, 6 Vermilion Snapper, a Scamp Grouper, and a released Amberjack.
Robert Wayne Baker, Sulfur, OK, had the other potential Texas state record catch of the trio an estimated 11 pound Red Grouper to go along with his Vermilion and Blackfin catch.
The total of this overnight trip was it being a really good one, two potential Texas state Saltwater records along with the usual multi-species catch that was topped by those nice size Yellowfin Tuna. The next Capt. John overnighter is scheduled for November 19-20th with more to follow. Check the websites for dates and your opportunity to be a part of the future excitement.
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.