Capt. John 12 Hour Offshore Saturday June 11, 2016
This 12 hour offshore fishing trip by the party boat Capt. John had a group of 41 from the Baylor Lettermen’s Club along with 17 other anglers aboard today. The Baylor group was headed up by Walter Abercrombie and Paul Kluge. Dr. Les Benson was the group sponsor and fellow fisherman. I was fortunate to have been invited by Paul to join them on their annual Capt. John excursion today.
Our leave from Galveston Island, with a total of 58 anglers aboard was made with high hopes of another day of exceptional red snapper fishing. After passing between the Galveston Jetties Captain Johnny Williams pointed the Capt. John’s twin hulls in a south southeasterly direction thru the calm gulf. After a run of just over 50 miles we were at our first stop, over natural bottom structure in 80′ of blue water. Were the red snapper there? You bet they were, Captain Williams had put us where they get their mail. Their “mail” today was the sardine or squid baits along with bait tipped, snapper slapper lures in 3 and 5 oz sizes, assorted color combinations added to the mix. As is many times the case, hits on the various bait/lure combinations came while on the sink, from the mid-depths to or near the bottom. When I say hits I mean aggressive hits, not only were the snapper hungry they packed some size. During our almost two hours in the area the days boat limit of 116 was caught to 20 pounds. In fact about 95 percent of the red snapper were in the 11 to 15 pound range plus three of the 16 to 20! They were the primary target species and Captain Williams certainly put us all on them.
During that first stop another exciting target made its appearance, a sub surface swimming ling of 40 to 45 pounds. The ling made several slow speed passes by the stern area during the last half hour there. Twice it mouthed a 3 oz squid tipped, pink/chartreuse snapper slapper that i’d presented to it and quickly spit it. On another pass it hit a 15″ plastic eel, missed the hook and spit it. After the “eel spit” it hit a pair of freelined Spanish sardines that fellow angler Steve Bamburg flipped out in front of it. The ling made about a twenty foot run with the sardines in its mouth, surely it was hooked up….not the case. The ling had somehow missed the hook or was simply lightly hooked and it pulled loose. Who knows, the bottom line is this was that lings lucky day. Ling have a habit of those lucky days, the frustration they generate just adds to the excitement of a hook up. Its also why ling are one of my absolute favorites to target and catch.
After leaving the 80 foot bottom spot a inshore run to a production platform was made. That run of around twenty five miles had us there. The calm gulf waters were now a half clear green and the Atlantic spadefish were there along with sharpnose shark and bluefish. Our stay of about and hour and a half ended when time ran out and the last run of the day to our last stop Galveston’s Pier 19 began.
Iced down in the multiple fish boxes was this total catch:
116 Red snapper to 20# ( An estimated 95% going 11 to 15# plus 3 of 16 to 20)
62 Atlantic spadefish
2 Atlantic sharpnose shark
Walter, Paul and Dr. Les each had red snapper limits to 14 pound range. The rest of the Baylor Lettermen’s Club folks did that well and a few even better. What a really nice group to meet, visit, and fish with. The club has been having this June trip with Williams party boats for years but this is the first one I’ve made with them. Thanks for the invite Paul and I certainly look forward to the 2017 version which will again be a winner.
Justin Williams, Captain Johnny’s 10 year old grandson, red snapper limit to 11# and 17 Atlantic spadefish
Steve Bamburg, red snapper limit to 13#
Jim Marigliano, Dallas, red snapper limit to 13# on Carolina rigged Spanish sardines
Patrick Lemire,Texas City, red snapper limit to 14# on a black/purple, sardine tipped 3 oz snapper slapper
See you on the Capt. John!