Just an absolute fabulous trip where we caught almost all our tuna during the daytime or early am. This is our eighth charter trip in a row that we have caught a Big Eye. We were able to book a last minute overnight canyon charter with a group from Minerva, Ohio. (Youngstown area). One thing the charter learned today was Yellowfin, no matter what their size, and all Big Eyes pull a thousand times harder than any Walleye on this planet. The group had been scheduled for a 36 hour trip off the Alabama coast fishing the oil platforms but nasty weather wiped out any offshore fishing this weekend down there so they called me and scheduled a trip on the Hooked Up II. I think it is safe to say we will be seeing this group again next September.
Almost all of our tuna, including the Big Eye, was caught chunking. We did very little trolling targeting Big Eye like we have on recent trips. The chunk bite was so good we just decided to forgo trolling for Big Eyes except for a brief time after the sun set and we ended up catching a nice Yellowfin on one of our Big Eye lures before we decided to go back the chunk. The night chunk bite was a pick at best with just a few caught all night until all heck broke open at false daybreak. We had this same type of Yellowfin fishing late Friday afternoon as the tuna were swarming everywhere around the boat and we were hand feeding them. We honestly could have caught 30 or more but something big and bad (Devil Tuna) changed our plans when it decided eat one of our baited chunks intended for a Yellowfin just as the sun was rising this morning. A little more than three hours later we finally got a harpoon in it and we all thought we were about the luckiest anglers anywhere as we had the Big Eye on a TLD 25 with mono line and a 60 or 80 lb. leader. Thank God we had changed our leaders to heavier ones as we had not had any problems getting bites at sun-up on 60 or 80 lb. leaders. This was one of the more memorable accomplishments in all my years of fishing seeing the charter from the mid-west (with a little help from mate Ray) land this fish on very light tackle.
We never could have had such a great trip without the skill and hard work of the crew on the Hooked Up II. Vinnie, Ray and Capt Kobey did one heck of job like they always do and my hats off them for their work.