Brian, Will & John each caught a sailfish this morning but then the bite dried up so we went meatfishing and the guys had a good time and good action catchng around 20 gray and queen trigger fish and one nice mutton snapper..... just finished a great meal of snapper in butter and garlic and Ballyhoo's famed fried triggerfish.
My good buddy from college, Mitchell Senk, who now resides with his wife in San Diego fished with me yesterday and we had a great time.... he caught 5 sailfish and we had a great dinner together talking about old times!
Brian, John and William had a good day today, releasing 11 sailfish, including 6 caught around a bunch of birds on fish.... started with a triple header and then each caught a single before the bait ball fell apart.
Paul WInter fished with me in North Carolina and in Mexico and today Becky Hucks, his good friend, ,and his son Scott and daughter Liz spread his ashes where Becky had just caught a sailfish on one of Pauls custom fishing rods.... Eveyone caught a sailfish today, Becky caught a couple and we headed in early after paying our respects to Paul... may he rest in peace.
CRAZY HOW THE OCEAN CONDITIONS CHANGE OVERNIGHT SOMETIMES!
For two weeks we have had plenty of bait over 4 miles and excellent sailfishing..... Winds moderated on Sunday and we got to the grounds and there was no bait anywhere.... lots of boats spread out and no bait...... a few bites in deeper water, but slow fishing... .around noon bait started reappearing, with sails around it but they weren't biting.... Big John & Tony and Barclay and Jean each caught a sailfish but that was it..... Went out yesterday figuring they would be biting with the moon coming and the bait reappearing Sunday afternoon, but the water had turned green and cold and the bait was gone again..... fished south to areas we rairly go and had a bit of action for Neil, Chris, Chad and Steve, from Nebraska, catching 6 sailfish.
Blowing today..... no one fishing .... back at it with the Nebraskans on Wednesday.... got to relocate the fish!!
Tom Palmer, Joe Doody & Kevin Howell, from Maryland and Jose handled rather rough seas, 20-25 knot winds, 7-8 ft, but sails were biting and the guys had action all day, mostly sailfish, including a triple header to start the day, and several double headers as the guys caught 19 sailfish and too many bonitos!
Tom Palmer, Joe Doody & Kevin Howell, from Maryland did a great job catching 14 sailfish today in 5-6 ft seas.... we had a slow morning, but got rolling in the afternoon, and the guys caught a quadruple header along with a bunch of singles.
TWO GREAT DAYS ON THEIR FIRST TRIP TO ISLA MUJERES
On Monday Jon & Jennifer Sage from Charlotte NC, along with Jon, Jay and Allison, from Indiana caught 15 sailfish and today the guys went again and caught 15 more... ending the day with a triple header.
FINALLY A CALM SUNNY DAY..... but that won't last!
Tom Noonan & Mike Egan booked an extra day to get their wives Linda and Heidi out on a calm day and it was sunny as well.. first nice day in a week and it goes down hill quick tomorrow... had a great day as they started the day with a triple header and finished with 12 sailfish by noon and we headed in early for lunch.
Greg & Brian Tate, along with Roy and Dave, all from Florida, on their last day of fishing caught 11 sailfish out of around 20 bites.... critters come off bad today.... balanced out yesterday.... seas were rough in the morning and moderated as the day went on, but the guys hung in there and did a great job in challenging conditions.
I'm sure tomorrow will be a different story, but today was our day Greg & Brian Tate, along with Roy and Dave, all from Florida had action all day long, releasing 18 sailfish out of 21 bites... Joe and Raoul were on the top of there game and we should have had one more, but I ran over one of a triple header of sailfish we had on..... caught two other double headers.... fishing wasn't that good overall but my crew did great.
ISLA MUJERES SAILFISHING HAS NEVER BEEN KNOWN FOR PRETTY WEATHER
With rain and wind forecast, Mike and Tom were game for a challanging day, and it was every bit of that..... 7 ft seas, 20 -25 NE and dreary.... fishing was tough as the frigate birds were not on bait, so we roamed around and picked a few sails here and there, scrapping out a decent day with 13 sailfish out of 20 bites including a triple header.
Tom & Mike, from PA, on their third of 5 days finally had some relatively docile seas and continued good fishing close to home.... started the day strong with a double & triple header, then a slow mid day, but a strong finish with another triple header and home at sunset for some Cactus Juice!
Choppy seas, cold weather, and only one other boat fishing today..... perfect if you ask me.... action all day long.... Tom and Mike from PA, on their second of five days had plenty of action, including three triples and a quad....
I've travelled down to Mexico for the last 15 winters, but this was the most difficult trip ever..... It usually takes us one day to get from Manteo to Southport, NC where the next morning we leave before sunrise and get to southern Georgia or northern Florida..... this year it took us five days to get out of North Carolina. We left Manteo with the sound starting to freeze over and the temperture in the 20's the first day busting thru ice 5 miles all the way to Wanchese where our generator sucked up too much icy slush and shut off as did the generator on my partners boat....barely had any steering as our hydraulic fluid was so cold I could barely turn tne wheel.... so we turned around.... spent the rest of the day putting little space heaters everywhere around the boat ..... even my bilge water and pumps were froze.... thats no good!!
We left again Wednesday, knowing if we didn't get out of there then, with the forecast for snow and freezing temps for seveal days, we would be delayed for a week or more, and again anxiously broke thue thin ice and slush till well past Wanchese where it finally cleared up.... only made it to Morehead City, but there was no sign of ice and more current down there.... tied up there just as the storm started up.... blew 70 that night and rained then snowed.... We spent the next day trying to get the ice and snow off of the frozen boat..... ran the motor for 6 hrs to warm things up....kept all 5 space heaters going including one on the boat heater to keep it from freezing up again.... Joe spent 4 hours getting snow and ice off bow so we could untie her in the morning.... on the F/V Northwestern they have shovels and sledgehammers to de-ice the boats.... we used plastic squeeges and dust pans..... but we got the Obsession in reasonable shape to leave the next day..... it was blowing 25 that day and 16 degrees so we went down the intercoastal to avoid the freezing spray we would make in the ocean..... just needed to get south as everything was gonna freeze up in the next two days.... even ran into more ice on a 5 mile stretch on the intercoastal which is totally rare.... fortunately a 72 ft 150,000 lb Vicking that was following us down the intercoastal got ahead of me for that stretch and busted thru the ice.... we made it to Southport that evening where the water flow from tide had not froze over yet... and at 5 the next morning we hauled ass to Florida....made it to Jacksonville around 7 that evening and thank the lord the temperture was finally above freezing but the water lines on the dock were still frozen. After that everything went pretty well .... we got down to Ft Pierce and warmer weather two days later... left there at midnight on Monday with the rain blowing sideways blowing 20 mph but seas were side to and got better as we got below Palm Beach and from there it was FINALLY PRETTY SAILING.... calm down in the Keys... got to Key West at 2 PM, fueled up and along with two other boats headed to Mexico.... made the trip in 20 hours with calm seas the whole way.... Thank the lord!!
THESE BOATS WERE NOT MADE FOR FREEZING TEMPERTURES AND ICE
Joe & I, along with another boat, left Manteo on Tuesday but got fouled up in the ice…. went back….. tried again yesterday...wanting to get below the ice belt.... busted thru ice from Manteo past Wanchese (5 miles)…. got to Morehead City just before the weather turned awful…. needed to get away from ice back home… more current and tide and salinity here…. no ice…. gale winds today so we spent all day busting snow & ice off this rig…. them boats in Alaska use mallats and shovels to de-ice their rigs….. we used squeegees and dust pans and brushes... don't work as well…. not equipped for this….. still breezy and cold tomorrow, so we are hoping to hug the coast and get to Southport….. maybe moderate winds Saturday and we get to Florida….. Wouldn’t want it to be too easy…... that first margarita is sure gonna taste good!!!!
FINALLY THE OLD GIRL GOES BACK IN THE WATER WITH AN EXPENSIVE FACE LIFT!!
LUKE BACKS HIS SELF MADE TRAILER INTO THE BOAT SHOP FIRST THING YESTERDAY MORNING.
CAPTAIN VERNON GILBERT DID A GREAT JOB OVERSEEING THE PROJECT, BUT WAS GLAD TO GET ME DONE AS HE HAS A LONG LINE OF BOATS WAITING TO GET INTO THE SHOP FOR VARIOUS JOBS.
THINGS NEVER GO TO EASY ON A BOAT, AS WE HAD SEVERAL ISSUES TO ADDRESS BUT FINALLY GOT HER IN THE WATER AROUND MID AFTERNOON AND SHE RAN GREAT RIGHT BACK HOME TO PIRATES COVE. HALLALUYUH!!! NOW WE CAN LOAD UP UP FOR MEXICO..... PLANNING ON LEAVING AROUND NEW YEARS.
MERRY CHRISTMAS TO ALL!!
FINAL COAT ON REPAIRED SIDE OF CABIN AND TOE RAIL WAS DONE ON SATURDAY
HOPEFULLY WE FINISH UP THIS WEEK... NEED TO ROLL NON SKID ON THE DECKS, PUT ROD HOLDERS IN COVERING BOARDS, A COAT OF CLEARCOAT ON TRANSOM, AMONG OTHER THINGS AND HOPEFULLY IN THE WATER ON FRIDAY, THE GOOD LORD WILLING AS THE BOATYARDS CLOSE FOR CHRISTMAS WEEK.....