Long over due report, wahoo, tuna, mahi, grouper and cobia
************The fishing show we shot GAFF LIFE will air this Tuesday January 29th at 3pm and again Feb. 2nd 7am on NBC SPORTS***********
Hey everybody been a while since I have put up a report been super busy but with all this wind I have nothing to do so I decided to give you guys a update.
Around the end of September I get a call from a buddy of mine that is a camera guy for a new fishing show that will be on NBC Sports in January 2013 called Gaff Life. He calls me and said they were going to shoot a show in North Carolina but there was some bad weather so it got canceled and would I be able to put a offshore trip together for the show? So of course I said hell yeah, called my boss who owns the Flying Fish Fleet and I tell him what we want to do and we quickly put a trip together. Two days later at 3:00am we are loading the 43ft Hatteras "Big Catch" with 4 camera guys, the host, one of our good clients, myself and the captain for a 36 hour trip.
As the sun breaks over the horzion we are greeted with a steady 15+kt wind and some thunderstorms in our path, so we did some creative driving and got out to some decent water to start trolling. We are running a simple 5 spread with lures, ballyhoo and some skirted lures, with in 30 min we start getting bites, mahi, bonita, and cudas are just eating everything we put out. After about a dozen scholie sized mahi we pull the smaller lures in and switch them out for larger ones to target something bigger. Few hours go by and all of the sudden a big sailfish crushes the left flat runs for about 30ft, thrashes his bill and the hook pops out.........darn. By this time we are about it 220ft of water and we see a nice show on the bottom finder so we pull the trolling lines in and drop down to the bottom to see what is down there. Ended up finding some red grouper and Red porgy (delicious by the way) so we put about a dozen of each in the cooler and put the trolling lines back in and off we went. About an hour before the sun goes down the right flat starts screeming and we are finaly greeted with a nice wahoo.
As we were trolling we ran over a nice 6ft ledge in 260Ft of water so the captain decided that would be a good place to anchor up for the night, we were planning to run out to the steps for some swordfish but the weather was not on our side, we had steady 4-6ft seas and thunderstorms in the distance and we had been getting rained on through out the day too. So we set the anchor (twice because of the nasty conditions) and settle in for a long night, I start switching out the trolling rods for bottom fishing gear and preping the baits. By this time its about midnight and everyone is starting to relax and get some sleep, except for me....... I mean its not every day that you get to night fish on a 6ft ledge 75 miles offshore in the gulf. So im fishing while everyone else is sleeping and im pulling in monster red snapper one after another they all had to be over 20lbs, vented and released the snapper and now im starting to get tired so I tell myself one more drop. On the same hook I put on a whole boston mackeral and a giant swordfish squid and send it down to the bottom.... with in 2 seconds I feel something big grab it and take off! After a brutal fight a 40lb gag comes in the boat, all the commotion wakes everyone up and then they all want to start fishing too. One of the camera guys grabs my rod, puts a bait on and gets hit on the way down, everyone thinks its going to be a small shark but ends up being a 28lb black fin. After that tuna a big thunderstorm moved in over us and shut the fishing down so we all grabed some sleep while we could.
The next morning thunderstorms still around us we decide to start heading back in for the spear fishing segment of the show, we get to a spot in about 90ft of water and divers go down and end up with 6 more nice gags and a 45Lb cobia. After that we headed in to clean the fish and get some real sleep for a change. A few days later we shot the inshore portion of the show since I run the flying fish fleets inshore boat. We mainly targeted snook and we also made a little detour to catch some gags that I knew were still holding in Sarasota Bay. We used the shows inshore 22ft Bonefish boat as the fishing boat and my charter boat the 24 pathfinder as the camera boat. Had a great time in the bay, landed about 8 snook over 30 inches and 3 gags that went home for dinner.
Here are some photos from the adventure, also a short video of the wahoo being caught.