Big Day out on the Bank
March 05, 2021 Cole Bay 3 photos & 1 video
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.
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.
Quiet on the troll, busy on the bottom
January 21, 2021
A couple of Ohio natives, Bob and Paul came out with us on a short day charter. For both, it was their first time out on the salt, deep sea fishing. We departed Simpson Bay Lagoon via the 10am bridge and headed out to the drop-off. Once we were in around 300 feet depth we dropped in 4 lines. It was a nice sunny day and we rigged 3 lines with fresh ballyhoo and 1 with an artificial deep swimming lure. We trolled the optimal depths for around an hour or so but there was just not much happening. It wasn't exactly the optimal time of day to be trolling but we gave it a shot. Switching to deep dropping we found a likely spot in around 1,000 feet and setup the electric reels. It didn't take long before we pulled in our first silky of the day. They kept coming in at a regular pace although we did have to continually re-position as the wind was blowing us shallow. On one drop, there was nothing happening for about 20 minutes. so we decided to pick up and move deeper. Just as I said to bring em in, our guest Bob got a nice bite and reeled in a good size, a 2lb Snapper - the biggest catch of the day. All in all, not one of our best hauls but still, not bad either. We ended the day with around 7lbs of fresh red snapper to take back to the dock. Plenty of good fishing. Kept us all busy enough and I hope our guests got the experience they came for. Of course, it would have been nice to get big Wahoo or Dolphin but I guess that's why they call it 'Fishing' and not 'Catching'. Until next time....
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