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Capt John 36 Hr May 7/8, 2016

This Saturday/Sunday, 36 hour tuna safari by party boat Capt John was run with Captain Johnny and Captain Jill Williams heading up the show.

Shortly after leaving Galveston’s Pier 19 with 40 fishermen aboard the offshore run began. Cruising out in a south southeasterly direction. The leave was an early one, 5:30 a.m. As opposed to the usual 7:30 time, the object being to get back Sunday before forecast breezy weather was scheduled to arrive offshore.

The first fishing stops of the trip were made in the area of the Clay Pile, about 65 miles off the island. Using an assortment of baits such as Spanish sardines, small pieces of cut squid and an assortment of artificial bait, a multi species catch was taken. Included were vermillion snapper, lane snapper, mangrove snapper, rockhind grouper, triggerfish and “others.”

With the bottom fishing portion of the trip completed the run further offshore for the overnight tuna fishing began.  Seventy more miles and Captain Johnny had them there, at Gunnison Spar Platform. With a bit of a breeze in progress and a 3 to 4 foot swell the first of the numerous overnight down current drifts began with Captain Jill now heading up the effort the blackfin tuna were coming aboard. Diamond jigs, speed jigs, Halco 130’s, flatfall jigs and Spanish sardines fished from 300 to 350 feet down did their jobs. While the tuna bite was good it picked up after midnight to some extent. During that later period numerous blackfin tuna along with 3 yellowfins were hooked and decked. Two of the yellowfins were taken on Halco Max 130’s, a 30 pounder on a sardine pattern, the other a 32 pounder hit a black/purple. The third one, of 40 pounds hit a diamond jig. Two other catches were unusual on these trips, one more so than the other. First the unusual, a really nice bull dolphin came cruising by around 3:00 a.m. and was enticed into biting Mike Gullette’s black/purple Halco Max 130. He got five nice jumps out of it before bringing it into gaffing range and a beautiful 41 pounder was brought aboard. The more unusual catch was taken by a fishermen using a boat rod and fishing a chrome diamond jig at about 300 feet. He had a big, rod bowing hit and a tough fight to match, the fray had the obvious look of a nice size yellowfin tuna. The fisherman must have been a magician of sorts as his big hookup turned out to be a 60 pound amberjack! What a great fish and taken at a surprise location, as is always the case, you never know whats going to be hooked at any stop… What a really nice surprise that a big A.J. was. When the “run to the house” began after sunrise Sunday this total was iced down in the fish boxes:

3 Yellowfin tuna of 30-40#

164 Blackfin tuna to 18#

1 Bull Dolphin 41#

1 Amberjack to 60#

2 Barracuda

328 Vermillion Snapper to 3 1/2#

14 Lane Snapper

2 Mangrove Snapper to 8#

6 Rockhind Grouper

25 Triggerfish

3 Porgy

1 Squirrelfish

1 Kingfish

Justin Williams, Galveston, Guess who on the boat are this 10 year olds Mother and Grandfather. Justin, once again had a proud catch, 20 vermillion snapper, 2 lane snapper, 1 triggerfish, a blackfin tuna and a excellent 8# mangrove snapper.

Minh Nguyen, Dallas, 9 vermillions, 4 blackfin tuna and a 32# yellowfin tuna that hit a sardine pattern Halco Max 130.

Peter Letts, Cedar Creek Lake, 7 blackfin tuna, 20 vermillion snapper, 2 lane snapper, 1 rockhind grouper. Five of his blackfins hit a Shimano flatfall jig in a sardine pattern, the other 2 on a blue/silver Williamson speed jig.

Rita Baumann, Texas City, had 9 blackfin tuna on a 6 or 8oz. chrome diamond jig, 2 triggerfish and 20 vermillion snapper.

Mike Gullette, Galveston, had probably the trips “high catch” with his 41# Bull Dolphin and 32# yellowfin tuna, both taken with a Halco Max 130, hard bodied swim bait in black/purple color. He also had 3 blackfin tuna and 10 vermillion snapper.

The trip was another good one, as is the usual and the early leave made it a better one as the wind really picked up Sunday morning. As was the plan with the early leave and return, the stiff breeze and building gulf was behind them for the return run back to pier 19. Another difference on this trip from the usual was that return run without fishing stops, the extended bottom fishing on the way out was possible due to the early leave. It was all part of the plan to avoid fishing Sunday on the way home in a sort of rough gulf. “Theres more to fishing than catching fish” as the saying, the plan was for safe/comfortable fishing. The plan worked!

One thing that was missing on this trip was me, obligations at home made it so, I do with I’d have been there.

See you on the Capt. John!

Patrick Lemire



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