Capt John 10 Hour Offshore Friday July 22, 2016
With the red snapper fishery in federal water being closed until at least next June the party boat Capt. John left pier 19 to target just about everything else out there.
The first stop for the 50 of us anglers was a production platform about 20 miles to the south of the island. Captain Johnny Williams was looking primarily for shark, Atlantic spadefish and possibly ling or kingfish. The water was a clear green with just a one foot swell. The sharks were there, bonnetheads of four foot or so, and biting for a while. Red snapper were there too and were released alive to fight again next year, the spadefish were there too but not biting. Those fishing on the bow did have a shot at a pair of ling which were estimated at around 45 and 30 pounds each but their approach was brief and then they were gone. My fishing on the stern was actually a “ling watch” situation, at this stop, where the boat was then off to the platform at the bow the ling didn’t appear.
Our half hour or so at the first platform had fishing on the slow side, at least the catching was, so it was off to the next platform. This second platform had bonnethead shark biting primarily. It also had at least one ling on. At this platform we were at anchor, putting the platform off the stern where my “ling watch”continued. Armed with a tandem rigged pair of “almost alive” soft plastic eels of each I was ready, again. The wait was worth it as a 30 plus pounder approached the stern. The tandem eels got a look and turn down, twenty seconds or so later a second turn down….you never know with a ling. My feeling is always that someone is going to be hooked up, the ling disappeared for about 30 seconds, came back and blazed in like a kingfish for about twenty feet to inhale my eels presentation. After a bit of a tug-a-war it was gaffed and decked, not a monster but a nice 33 pounder. I gave it to the Scotsman fishing to my immediate left, Gary Glancy, another of the really nice folks you meet and fish with on the Capt. John.
Our third platform stop had more bonnethead shark and released red snapper as it was at the first two. After the bite slowed we were off again, this time in an easterly direction.
Two surface platforms were fished in this area where a few more shark, a stingray, a kingfish and an assortment of other bottom species were caught.
The days catch species totals were:
50 Bonnethead shark (boat limit, few more released)
1 Ling- 33#
1 Spanish Macherel
3 Black drum
1 Sand trout
1 Stingray 125#estimated
Gary Glancy, The Woodlands, had bonnethead shark being retained and others released along with red snapper, a bull redfish, also released and a bonus ling.
Patrick Lemire, Texas City, I had red snapper to around 10 pound, which were released, the trips only kingfish and ling. The ling and king ended up in a Scottish sort of location.
The days hi-light for me obviously was the hunt and capture of that ling. Another was meeting and fishing with Gary Glancy, who at first I jokingly as him if he was from Brooklyn due to his accent. You meet and fish with nice folks on every Capt. John trip. At least thats been my experience since I started fishing with Williams Party Boats over 54 years ago. Make your reservations on the Capt. John and you will not only have a fishing experience you won’t soon forget you will also find friends you didn’t know were aboard, you simply hadn’t met them yet.
See you on the Capt. John!