Yankee Capts. Navy Protection at Pulley Ridge???
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  1. #1
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    Yankee Capts. Navy Protection at Pulley Ridge???

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    Now don't get your panties all bunched up, it's not what it seems in the title. But our Pulley Ridge trip this week, did have a naval connection. More on that later.
    This winter was brutal on scheduled Pulley Ridge trips and left me with an unused, shiny, new electric reel. Capt. Greg threw one last hope on the calendar, by announcing a PR trip for March 23 and I was IN! On final approach to departure day, the weather was looking great, but lack of angler interest on the sign up sheet, threatened to spoil the show. At the last moment, relief finally came when Greg gave the word to get to the dock, Pulley Ridge was about to get bombed by three pound leads!
    What a deal! Greg overlooked the light load of paying customers in favor of keeping us happy and set sail with only 15 fishermen. And before long, after a bit of a bumpy ride out, we were there. I actually slept some this time, dreaming some weird stuff about roller coasters for some reason...
    OK, so my memories of the very first PR trip only included three or four electric reels and a sore arm, after hand cranking for three days. On my next trip last Feb, there were no electrics. This trip featured All electrics, except Bill, my next door neighbor on the pulpit, who was to be the lone hand cranker on the boat. I actually had a two speed all geared up and planned to spend time turning a handle, but something in the look on Bill's face, midway through the day, after cranking a very long time, only to see his untouched bait, told me to keep pushing the "easy" button. I had chosen to buy two, sealed unit batteries, not knowing if one would last all day. I got 28 amp hour units, about a third the size and weight of a car battery. At the end of day one, my first battery was still going strong and a three hour re-charge topped it off. For about $110 it seems to be a good investment.
    The bite was slow, by Pulley ridge standards, but what the heck, we almost wound up sitting at home watching hockey. My first catch was a weird looking toad fish of some kind. Things improved when a yellow eye, scamp grouper double hit the surface. Not long after, my biggest catch, a 20 pound snowy, tested the pulling power of my new Tanacom 1000. Sharks were an issue, several were milling about and lightening our load, mostly by inhaling a fish and hook, but leaving the rest of my rig intact. This happened too often and I was glad they didn't appear at every drift.
    Meanwhile, Bill was stopped dead in the water, reel handle wouldn't turn, until Greg asked if he was in low gear. Yes, that little button on the side of the reel sure does make it easier to pull the fish in! Bill was once again reeling, Capt. Greg to the rescue. Everyone was catching something and there were big smiles, especially Casper after he caught his first Queen snapper.
    I had set a few goals for the trip, mainly about the night bite, which hadn't been much of a producer for me on my past trips. I felt well rested, thanks to my new electric friend and ready to drift. Lack of results suggested nap time, so I took a big drink of water, my alarm clock, and slept a while. The frustrated pounding of a black fin tuna, whacking the deck a few feet above me, told me it was time to get up. They were all over us! Casper gave me thirty seconds of instruction on the speed jig, and I was off to the races. My first was a biggie, well over fifteen pounds. Next was a ten pounder, followed by another tuna that wouldn't budge. It just sat there hovering, wiggling up a storm, with me unable to move it. A bewildered Casper and his girlfriend, Sam must have been wondering if I was weak, or having an equipment malfunction. I looked over and said, "It's a big one". It was. A twenty pounder joined us on deck and I gave drifting for muttons a try. My flying fish bait, frozen from my last trip, got nibbled down by yet another tuna and appetizers for our farewell fish fry were no longer a question. Tuna is on the menu!
    The nighttime drift bite was slow, except for An, at the stern, who was pulling in muttons and groupers. I asked how he was doing it and he said he was using a normal mutton rig, goggle eye bait, short leader and playing out line with the drift, waiting for the bite. I tried and was rewarded with a mutton, a big red grouper and a scamp, just before we moved back for deep water drifting. An said later that he caught five muttons and several groupers.
    The wind picked up a bit and we drifted faster than yesterday, but the bite was slow. Things were improving and fish were appearing with frequency, including a few big tiles. By mid afternoon, fish were in full munch mode, when the navy showed up. A small, two engine propeller plane buzzed us at tree top height, the two pilots clearly visible in front of us as they flew from stern to bow. They turned and re-buzzed us, sped off and buzzed again. Capt Greg shrugged and got busy on the radio, while we continued fishing. Moments later, he announced, "That was THE Man. The navy is going to do missile testing in the area and have suggested that we leave." We left.
    After a long ride, to get to an area we could anchor, slow fishing results ended that game and Capt Greg header east. Anchoring in 210 feet of water, Greg announced a two word statement, "Sea Monsters!" And there were sea monsters, barracudas, sharks, jacks. All hungry and alive. I was fishing the pulpit and had a good fish nearly to the surface. Matt gaffed a large almaco jack and started lifting it, just as a monster barracuda leapt completely out of the water, neatly slicing the rear half of my catch off in mid air. I squealed like a little girl, wet my drawers a bit, I think, and watched as Matt shook the still gasping fish head off the gaff. The biggest cuda of the six or seven in view, grabbed the three pound fish head and gulped it down.

    At the fish toss, there were several full coolers. I had twelve different species and here we go: black fin tuna, snowy and yellow edge grouper, scamp grouper, red grouper, a rosy, yellow eye snapper, a mutton snapper, black fin snapper, vermillion snapper, blue line tile fish and my first ever giant, long fin bass. They are bagged and ready for our last and final fish fry at the campground.

    Thanks Greg for once again going the extra mile and feeding our fishing addiction!

    Thanks for reading.

    Cameron.

  2. #2
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    Great report. Looking forward to our charter to that area in July

  3. #3
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    Great write up! I can't wait till my Rankin trip on 7/24!

  4. #4
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    Cameron covered most of the details. Another productive trip by the Yankee Capts and crew. The sharks were pretty selective. Seems they would only attack when I was bringing a nice fish up. Lost 4-5 very nice fish to them. Still managed a decent catch, the highlight of which was a nice Golden Tile, my first one. Thanks again to the crew for doing the heavy lifting during loading and unloading and Greg for his knife skills. Can't wait until the next trip.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Xaf View Post
    Cameron covered most of the details. Another productive trip by the Yankee Capts and crew. The sharks were pretty selective. Seems they would only attack when I was bringing a nice fish up. Lost 4-5 very nice fish to them. Still managed a decent catch, the highlight of which was a nice Golden Tile, my first one. Thanks again to the crew for doing the heavy lifting during loading and unloading and Greg for his knife skills. Can't wait until the next trip.
    I lost two big ones and some smalls. Glad they didn't target the whole rig, just the fish!

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    Cameron, the variety is definitely complete. Gtile, queens, Blackfin , Longtail, Cuda ....
    Safe trip home. It still not spring yet anytime soon. Don't recall sharks being an issue in the middle of summer in PR.

  7. #7
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    There was a barrel fish in the mix as well. Sharks know the dinner bell when they hear it. Learning how to recognize the engine sound? Or maybe the noise from electric reels? I have two more trips then back to snow...
    Quote Originally Posted by globalwavetracker View Post
    Cameron, the variety is definitely complete. Gtile, queens, Blackfin , Longtail, Cuda ....
    Safe trip home. It still not spring yet anytime soon. Don't recall sharks being an issue in the middle of summer in PR.

  8. #8
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    To add to the variety I caught this critter in about 1000' of water. Supposedly it is in the chimera/ratfish/rabbitfish family. It was about 12" long and caught in about 1000'. The actual body was sort of "boxy."

    5e3394cb-92ef-43f3-84aa-eb7a6d107737.jpg

  9. #9
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    It looks alien to me! Maybe a navy underwater drone???
    Quote Originally Posted by Xaf View Post
    To add to the variety I caught this critter in about 1000' of water. Supposedly it is in the chimera/ratfish/rabbitfish family. It was about 12" long and caught in about 1000'. The actual body was sort of "boxy."

    5e3394cb-92ef-43f3-84aa-eb7a6d107737.jpg

  10. #10
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    I have seen that before. It a tadpole!

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