March 07, 2020 Cole Bay 1 photo & 1 video
Yesterday we took out a party of 7 for some deep sea fishing off the island of Anguilla.Our trip out to the drop-off was a nice flat down-swell run and we had rods water within an hour. We ran a mix of Tuna and Wahoo rigs in our spread. A long shotgun down the middle using a squid/bird teaser and cedar plug. Two wahoo rigs on the inside corners and another squid teaser with a plug on the end on the outside corner. Within about 10 minutes we spotted the water boiling of our bow and a quick starboard detour resulted in our first hit for the day. A nice little tuny of about 4 or 5 pounds. Not great eating but he put up a nice little fight. A short while later the birds showed us another little patch of activity which we made full use of the pull in a small Alby. Continuing to run along the drop-off in about **hidden content** feet of water, we hooked up a couple of more times but lost the fish on the haul in. We swapped out one of the cedar plugs at this point for a bare hook lure. One more tuna hooked and landed about 20 minutes later. Then it went quiet as we headed out into Wahoo territory. We swapped out for some high speed lures and bumped up the knots. Despite the lines going quiet, we did manage to run right alongside some dolphins for a short while. The two youngsters we had on-board were delighted. We ran faster for a while but the wind and swell had picked up and we were just beating up the boat and passengers so we turned around and headed back to more sheltered waters. We rigged back up for tuna and waited. The birds had all disappeared and we were not seeing much activity at all. Everyone was giving up hope a little and starting to concentrate on the deck dancing and adult beverages when of course, our shotgun line went off. With the big teaser on the line, Penn Senator reel and 8 knots of speed, it was a tough fight until we pulled back the boat speed. With two guests on the rod, they managed to haul in our biggest catch of the day. A football sized Big Eye Tuna, maybe 10 to 12 pounds. One other small Tuna hauled in after that we called it a day on the drop-off and headed back to shallow water. The wind and swell had picked up a bit for our trip into the swell back to St Maarten so it was a bit of a wet, bouncy ride back across the Anguilla channel. To give everyone a rest we stopped in at Long Bay where the water is calm, clear and warm for a short swim and snorkel. After our short swim stop we head over to a couple of reef spots for a little bottom fishing. Despite a couple of small reef fish pulled up, the action was a little on slow side unfortunately. The slow ride back over meant we were a little pressed for time so we headed back to Simpson Bay to make the 5 p.m. inbound bridge. Of course, early March is Heineken Sailing Regatta time here on St Maarten. The bridge channel was entirely congested with sailboat traffic. It's always chaos with so many boats needing to get through the bridge in a short amount of time. However, it's also fun. The incoming boats and crew dress up on the inbound run and lots of silly antics ensue. A big crowd also gathers at the yacht club adjacent to the bridge to watch the incoming fleet. We got our guests to pull out the catch and show it off to the onlookers. Plenty of cheering and applause ensued. A fun ending to a good day out on the water.
Other reports from this captain
Other reports from this captain
Triple Wahoo Hookup
May 1, 2021
We headed out today with a husband and wife duo Tim and Sandy on our 5.5.hour charter. The forecast looked good with winds around 6 to 13 knots and the swell forecast at 3 to 5 feet. Skies were partly overcast with the chance for some isolated local showers. Our guests were a little nervous after speaking with some of our prior guests who came out with us a few days ago (Small world, they happened to be staying at the same local resort). The conditions on the previous trip were, shall we say, less than ideal. The previous trip ended early after one member of the party got a little seasick and we had to end the trip prematurely and head for the beach. It happens. It's never pleasant getting seasick but for any of us who hit the water often, we know, it's not a question of IF but WHEN. In any case, our guests on the day had heard the previous trip was uncomfortable and their expectations were a bit on the low side. Kudos to our guests on this trip, they decided to give it a shot. As it turned out, I'm pretty sure they are glad that they did. The sea was much calmer today. Once we got out into the open water, the swell was only 2 to 3 feet. Within 20 minutes we were out on the drop-off with lines in the water. We trolled along the drop-off in the optimal range between **hidden content** feet for around 40 minutes without much luck. We were about to go looking for a nice bottom spot in about 200 feet of water when one of the rods starting singing. Fish on! Our guest Tim took the rod and started cranking, while we slowed the boat and circled to port to keep the fish in blue water. A mighty fight ensued as Tim reeled away for hours (ok, well, actually it was about 10 minutes but it seemed like hours). As we got the fish to the side of the boat, he found a last burst of energy and struggled valiantly but with Tim on the reel and our crewmember Justen ready with the gaf, he didn't stand a chance. Within a few moments, we had a 40lb Wahoo flapping around on the deck. Tim's wife Sandy was ready with her camera to capture the entire action. Even though, being an animal lover, she had her eyes closed the entire time (especially when the billy club came out) she still managed to take some great snapshots, even the gaf shot! With the Wahoo in the icebox, we geared up again and continued on the troll. 5 minutes later another rod went singing and then another for a double hookup. We landed two smaller Wahoo (or Weehoo if you like) at around 10 to 15 pounds each. Another couple of passes along the catch site turned up empty so we switched to deep dropping out in 600 to 1,000 feet. The bite was pretty slow. Despite one good hookup with a triple header, the bite was otherwise pretty slow. On our triple hooker, we lost the bottom two fish on the way up from 1,200 feet. One small silk Snapper was all we ended up with on the deep drop. Tim was more interested in trolling for Mahi-Mahi so we switched back to the troll as we headed the boat back to St Maarten. We found a few weed lines on the way back but the Mahi were apparently, out to lunch. Regardless, we made it back to port in one piece with a nice haul of fresh Wahoo. Crew member Justen carved up a nice portion of the Wahoo for the guests, who took home a nice bag of around 8 to 10 pounds of fresh fish for their dinner (and a few gifts for their favorite staff at their resort).
Son, Dad and Grandpa
March 21, 2021
We had the pleasure of hosting a day out fishing for the boys. 3 generations on one trip is always a pleasure to see. The day started out nice, mostly sunny with only a slight off-shore breeze. 5 miles off St Maarten we were treated to the welcome sight of a pod of dolphins playing in the waves. 3 or 4 miles out from our sweet spot, still out in 2,000 ft, we spied some birds fishing and diverted to take a look. On our first run through the commotion, we hooked an early big eye Tuna for dad. Just a little football size but still good eating. Out at our usual grounds, it wasn't long before we hooked up with our catch of choice, a Wahoo. The young fella took duty on the reel and put up a valiant fight, ably assisted by Justen, our expert fishing guide, to land the fish. A little later we hit the bottom and pulled in a few red snapper to sweeten the pot. Grandpa was starting to feel a little green around the gills so we decided to call the day a little early and head back to port.
Big Day out on the Bank
March 5, 2021
Recently we took out a group of rough and ready military types that are currently stationed on St Maarten. We traveled about 30 miles out on calm seas and barely a cloud in the sky. Within minutes of arriving at our first GPS Marker, one of our lines went screaming. A little equipment trouble with the Penn 80 wide we were using forced us to have to mostly hand line our catch to the boat. It was a struggle all the way and when we finally got it to the boat, it turned out to be a shark - a protected species around these parts. Nothing for it but to cut him loose. Goodbye shark, goodbye $70 lure. Lines back in the water and back on the troll, we followed the drop-off, zig-zagging through our optimal depth range for about another hour. One or two short hits but nothing stuck. Then we hooked up for real. 20 minutes later, a nice 28ish pound Wahoo landed on the deck. After a little more trolling but no hits we decided to switch to bottom fishing. We found a likely spot on the sounder in about 500 ft depth and deployed the electrics. Right from the drop we starting hooking up and the bite kept going at regular intervals. After 90+ minutes we had a nice haul of Grey, Red and Queen Snapper. All in all a modest day but I think the guys were happy. They took home a nice haul of around 20 to 30 pounds of fresh fish.
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