YELLOWFIN FEVER (July 25-26)

It hadn't even been a couple of days since we got back from a "month on the other side" when I found myself half awake at 2 AM shaking, cold sweat beading all over my body, and images of fat fish-like shapes with yellow streaks haunting me. That episode repeated itself several times for the ensuing week. I had the bug. So I knew I had to go back to finish some unfinished business off Lucaya. :rotflmao

So I started looking at the weather to find a good window, and pinging a few buddies to put a small crew together. Two weeks after getting back, I find myself heading back. This time, the crew consisted of Travis (isla21) and Chris (cmart104). We met up at my house around 6:30 AM on Wednesday (7/25), loaded up the boat and cleared the Boynton inlet at 7:30 AM.

Since we had never fished together before, I had to ask two questions:
- are both of you comfortable on the gaff or uncomfortable with any duties? All good was the reply.
- you know the deal with the bananas right? You're not allowed to touch them, until I say so. All good again.

With the basics covered, I put the throttles down heading to West End to clear at OBB. The seas made for a very comfortable crossing. We made it in 1 hour and 45 minutes perfect for clearing at 9:15 AM and topping off the gas tank. We left OBB at around 10:15 AM heading down to Freeport. I had made reservations at Sunrise (http://sunriseresortandmarina.com/) with the beautiful Ta'Shar, and I wanted to go to the marina during the daylight to check it out, since I didn't know if the channel was well marked (it is) and I heard it can be a bit skinny at low tide (no problem). Let me take a minute and tell you that Sunrise is an awesome place for what they proclaim it to be. Clean, friendly, helpful... I had inquired about the gas dock (Knowles) across the water to see what time they opened in the morning (8 AM) and that wasn't early enough for me. So Mr. Knowles sent his son over that evening at 8 PM so I can fuel up and be ready to go whenever I wanted the next morning. The security is awesome. I left 8 sets of Internationals in the rod holders overnight. Ms. Bean was super friendly at check-in. And the beautiful Ta'Shar even met us at our slip when we got back from fishing that evening.

Ok so back to fishing... we tied up at Sunrise, checked in, dumped our bags in our rooms, and had a bite to eat. I had brought some cold cuts for sandwiches. It was noon time and hot, and I knew not much would be biting at this time; but we were itching to wet some lines so we untied and left around 1 PM. At least we'd get out there, find where the birds were hanging out, and be in place for the PM bite. Well we found the birds. They were moving fast and very skittish. No fish busting. We managed only two skippies. We must have chased 20 flocks and put over 120 miles on the water. We headed back to Sunrise around 7:45 PM with our tails between our legs.

I knew we were all inexperienced at this fishery. Neither Travis nor Chris had done it before. I had done it only once with a guide a few weeks before and caught one yellowfin. But how hard can it be, and I'm a quick learner :grin

So that evening, we rinsed down the boat, fired up the grill for some angus hot dogs and hot chili. Had a beer or two, puffed on a cigar, and called it a night. We got up the next morning at 6 AM with newfound hope and excitement. We untied and took off around 6:30 AM. 20 miles south, we found the first flock of birds. I'd troll around them, just to figure out if they were moving, if there were fish busting, and whether we should break out the chunk bags... I had set up 9 rods for this trip. Two 30s and two 50s for trolling. I put cedar plugs on the 30s way back. The 50s were rigged with Ballyhood Top Gun yellowfin tuna lures just behind the wash. I also had 2 other 50s and 2 80s to use while chunking and 1 8000-class spinner for the same.

We chased 5 different flocks that morning. The 5th (another 10 miles SE) looked more promising with birds actively working, circling, diving, and staying around. After a blackfin on Chris's cedar plug, the short Top Gun lure on Travis's side gets nailed. I've caught big skippies and blackfins before, but this was a freight train. I called YFT. Travis is tight. Chris and I pull the other 3 lines out. Travis brings it to the boat but he was still deep. Chris was the designated gaff man. I was behind the wheel spinning the boat around for the next 15 minutes until the fish surfaced. Chris sinks the gaff. I jump into the cockpit to help him pull it over the gunwale, and then the screaming, shouting and high fives erupt. POP goes Travis's cherry!



This spot looks good :) the birds are still around although we had moved off them a bit while fighting the first tuna. I put us back close to the birds, and instruct the crew to put away the trolling gear and to start chunking. We also started dumping some live pilchards and soon enough we spot yellowfins around the boat. The spinner gets bent. Then the 50 is screaming. I grab the spinner. Chris takes the 50. We quickly realize that we are hooked up to the same fish as our lines are moving in the same direction. So we begin an olympics-worthy 20-minute session of synchronized pumping and reeling :banana :banana The fish didn't really sound like a tuna would but I figured it may be because we have him smiling down there with a hook at each side of the mouth. Then we see it. A big shark. Put away the gaff Travis and grab the cutters.

We let Sharkie go and he probably went off to lick his wounds somewhere far since we didn't see him again. Another rod is tight in no time, and it was my turn again to whip a big boy. It didn't take me long to subdue him and for Chris to sink the gaff again. :dance

Chris was up next. He hooks up to a BIG boy. 35 minutes later, heat exhaustion sets in so we transfered the rod over to Travis who brings it up to the 150-ft leader but the 60-lb fluoro gave in.

We start chunking again, and I start pulling the line off the 50. With about 20 feet of line out, I noticed a loop in the line so I attempt to take that out, when the line starts pulling fast with my index finger stuck in the loop :nono I screamed like a little girl. I freed my finger out and told Travis to teach that fish a lesson :grin Travis brings it to the boat and Chris again sinks the gaff. I had been icing my finger so I was feeling much better to club the cr@p out of him :cool

BTW - the finger is fine and healing nicely!



It was about 11 AM. We had 3 nice fish in the box and had accomplished what we came to do. We pointed the boat straight to Boynton 93+ miles away and cleared the inlet at about 2 PM. The crew did a great job cleaning the boat while I cleaned (and ate right off the cleaning table) the fish.

The fresh sashimi that night and the next day was awesome. :full



It was a great trip with good friends and beautiful fishing. While the bite was not as hot as it had been the last few weeks or months (not sure if the SW wind had anything to do with it), we got it done. And best of all, the three of us, with not much experience fishing for yellowfin, successfully brought plenty of meat home without the help of any guides.



Enjoy this video of our adventure. I didn't cut too much as I wanted the crew to enjoy the memories. Thanks again Travis and Chris for being a great crew!!!
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Replies

  • LET'S GOLET'S GO Posts: 2,040 Captain
    Paul way to put those BANANAS :banana:banana:banana to good use. You three should inter the olympics in synchronized bananas. Good work nice video.
    GOOD LUCK TO ALL FROM TEAM LET'S GO,
    BONES AND BOOMER. :dog :dog LET'S MAKE EVERY TRIP COUNT

    baf44a4e-6651-4a38-8a03-7b1c3b6bd22b_zpse5ca0565.jpg L.G. LIFE IS GOOD ON THE "LET'S GO!"
  • nick cnick c Posts: 182 Officer
    nice work. we got few on the back as well. We left the school to go deep dropping. Caught 12 yesterday though
  • choppychoppy Posts: 282 Officer
    Great job Paul and crew......sorry I missed that !!!
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
  • isla21isla21 Posts: 2,115 Officer
    Thank you so much again for the trip Paul. I had a blast and learned a lot from you. I'm glad we landed that third fish after what he did to your finger! Thanks for the "cherry popping" on the YFT, this was a trip that I will never forget. Thank you my friend
  • isla21isla21 Posts: 2,115 Officer
    nick c wrote: »
    nice work. we got few on the back as well. We left the school to go deep dropping. Caught 12 yesterday though

    Nice meeting you over there
  • maddoxrjmaddoxrj Posts: 113 Officer
    Thanks for the very nice report. I take and eat bananas on most every trip I go on. I don't do as well as some of you fellas and ladies, but I have had my share of great days and never felt that the bananas were a problem.
  • Cmart104Cmart104 Posts: 226 Officer
    There's the epic report by Paul I was waiting for! Thanks again for the trip! I think you're not giving yourself enough credit. It seemed you understood the techniques needed to put the 3 of us on some nice YFT. It was nice meeting Travis, Nick c, and the Hydrashortz crew.
  • isla21isla21 Posts: 2,115 Officer
    Cmart104 wrote: »
    There's the epic report by Paul I was waiting for! Thanks again for the trip! I think you're not giving yourself enough credit. It seemed you understood the techniques needed to put the 3 of us on some nice YFT. It was nice meeting Travis, Nick c, and the Hydrashortz crew.

    Likewise, have a good trip to Costa Rica! It is going to be tough to follow up a fishing trip like the one we just had.
  • The NickoThe Nicko Posts: 475 Officer
    Sweet trip Paul and crew.. Nice work with the team!! Love the pics!
  • e-moneye-money Posts: 4,257 Officer
    Proud of you guys, way to go Team Checked out.
    Bite is still on, buddies got 12 to 90lbs last eve.
    USCG Freelance Licensed Captain
    20 years experience Offshore & Bahamas ( Sailfish, Dolphin, Wahoo, Swordfish & Bottom Fish.)
    [url]Http://www.e-moneyfishing.com[/url]
    (I teach people how to be more effective AND catch MORE and BIGGER fish on their own boats!)
    emoney991@outlook.com
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
  • JerryBJerryB Posts: 189 Officer
    Great trip and video Paul. I will have to get over there for a YFT try soon. I am also ordering a large amount of bananas:banana to help.
    :applause[SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]:hungry
  • Captain DaveCaptain Dave Posts: 3,372 Captain
    Great job Paul and crew. Hope my friends heading over today can find them this week!
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  • LastMangoLastMango Posts: 4,574 Officer
    Great pics and video............ It's been too long since I fished NWC, probably 5 years... Been going north lately....
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  • jrod2940jrod2940 Posts: 82 Deckhand
    Way to go paul!!!
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  • e-moneye-money Posts: 4,257 Officer
    PS: One suggestion for team to consider. Nix the long bent butts and use shorter straight butts, w harness for when you intend to go stand up. Nice going
    USCG Freelance Licensed Captain
    20 years experience Offshore & Bahamas ( Sailfish, Dolphin, Wahoo, Swordfish & Bottom Fish.)
    [url]Http://www.e-moneyfishing.com[/url]
    (I teach people how to be more effective AND catch MORE and BIGGER fish on their own boats!)
    emoney991@outlook.com
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
  • ShoelessShoeless Posts: 2,064 Captain
    Great work Paul and crew!!!
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
  • VenturesomeVenturesome Posts: 1,743 Officer
    nicely done. glad you found em. told you ta shar was outstanding !!! glad you stayed at sunrise.
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  • FishinNoleFishinNole Posts: 407 Officer
    Nice work. Awesome trip.
  • VindawgVindawg Posts: 801 Officer
    Excellent video and way to get on the Yellowfin!
  • Dominic74Dominic74 Posts: 727 Officer
    Awesome job Paul and crew, soon people will start hiring you for a guide
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
  • BronzeprincessBronzeprincess Posts: 1 Greenhorn
    Happy Sunday Paul, thanks for the bananas etc. I am so pleased you stayed with us at Sunrise Resort and Marina and it was wonderful meeting you and the guys. You are welcome anytime!!! I am happy to hear of your catch and we will post your photos on our website. See you again soon!!!! "It is a sin to waste summer when there is fish to be caught!!!"
    Ta’Shar Cuccurullo
    General Manager
    Sunrise Resort and Marina
    # 208 Kelly Court and Knotts Blvd.
    Freeport, Grand Bahama
    Tel: 1-800-932-4959
    Fax: 1-242-352-6835
    www.sunriseresortandmarna.com
    manager.sunriseresortandmarina@gmail.com
    tasharcuccurullo@yahoo.com

    GPS locator: 26° 29’ 39.05” N – Long. 78° 41’ 35.10” W


    Visit us on TripAdvisor.com

    WINNER of
    CERTIFICATE OF EXCELLENCE
    2012

    Sunrise Resort & Marina
  • GT FishGT Fish Posts: 9,448 Officer
    Good stuff! I was excited for you all when Travis told me he was going with you. Nice work by all..Tuna fishing is a sickness that never leaves you lol..
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  • Capt_GerryCapt_Gerry Posts: 173 Officer
    Congrats Paul and crew. Absolutely bad a$$.
    Changin' Latitudes
  • Cmart104Cmart104 Posts: 226 Officer
    isla21 wrote: »
    Likewise, have a good trip to Costa Rica! It is going to be tough to follow up a fishing trip like the one we just had.

    yea, it will be tough. I will be on a 36 sport fish here, but it won't be captained by Paul! :hail Hopefully this captain can put me on some fish as well.
  • robalorogrobalorog Posts: 495 Officer
    Nice job bringing home the supper. Plenty of fish to go around..
  • bmoodybmoody Posts: 847 Officer
    nick c wrote: »
    nice work. we got few on the back as well. We left the school to go deep dropping. Caught 12 yesterday though

    Does anyone other than Nick leave YFT to go fish for someting else??
    Maybe if I were a good fisherman I wouldn't have to live by the mantra, "Don't leave fish to find fish..."
  • nick cnick c Posts: 182 Officer
    Arms and back are killing me after this season:grin
  • roweryborowerybo Posts: 2,091 Officer
    Awesome trip Paul and video as well.
  • AlwaysforwardAlwaysforward Posts: 1,502 Captain
    Another awesome report :USA
    ALWAYSFORWARD, NEVER STRAIGHT...

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  • oldtimeroldtimer Posts: 476 Officer
    Great report, photos. Thanks for the details.

    They are very helpful for those of us who are still learning this great sport.

    Also appreciate the Sunrise Link. Looks like a very nice, secure place.
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