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YC 8-19-18 Dudley’s Reunion Charter

Part one

The banter over this trip began months ago. For over 10 years, a group of fishing forum buddies from all over Florida has grown into a few tight friendships and some new acquaintances with one man in common, Dudley “The Hurricane” AKA Snaphappy. Together, we’ve fished all over Florida and a couple of us enjoy a trip to Venice now and then to fish with Todd, the legendary Captain Same Outfit. Though Todd has no use for the internet or any other modern conveniences, he and David AKA Killula AKA The Great Wall were catalysts for getting many in the crew to fish together for the first time. The other major catalyst was none other than Greg and the Yankee Capts....

I’m the guy that lives closest to the boat, just a few miles to be exact, but I used to live in the north Tampa Bay area and met a handful of guys on the old FS forum back around 2005  that I keep in contact with today. I haven’t seen Jay AKA Jayzilla, Rich AKA Long Island and Tommy,  AKA Knot Tommy in years, so they headed down a day early to hang out. They’re fantastic gag grouper fishermen. After a long evening of catching up and bbq, we retired, only to be wakened by violent snoring, the noise of which would surely have pets and small children running for protection.

At 8ish, Rich woke us with bacon and eggs. He’s a fantastic chef, so I happily turned my modest kitchen over to his care. I live here, so the game plan was their’s. Sightseeing? Lunch on the water? Nah. “Let’s get bait!” Fresh bait was not to be found by our fellow anglers (Dudley/Timmy, David/Todd, and Allen) that were anxiously on their was down the east coast. After a quick snack with Greg, we ran around and caught  a handful of pins.  I cleaned out my bait freezer to get us a good start with frozens. By the way, bait is provided by the boat, but we are psycho. We loaded the trucks , showered, and took the 10 minute ride to the dock.

Dudley put together an awesome group of guys. There were only three of the 15 that I hadn’t met before. After getting sweaty again loading our gear, Dudley gave a speech about expectations and a few tips as we prepared for the steam to Pulley Ridge. Though we wanted to deep drop, Greg let us know that the conditions for that were not good. Off we went directly to the “top.” 


  • One Named Fishin'One Named Fishin' Posts: 59 Deckhand

    Part two

    We left a little early, and expected to start fishing by five am. No trolling this time. Sunset City arrived later than expected, about 6. Alex AKA Alex G and I gave jigs a shot without results. Muttons bit right away, mostly on bait, but a few on Jake’s jig, then slowed. There were quite a few sand tiles caught too. Though the drift was perfect, we made a move to greener pastures by 9. 

    Nick AKA Heavy Hitters and Allen scored a couple of nice scamps on the second drift. David and Alex each got a big fire truck and I got a couple decent muttons, a BFT, bonito and Almaco, breaking in a rod I started building 10 years ago and finally finished on Friday . It was a slow pick for everyone. Allen got a nice kingfish that he “graciously” gave to everybody else for bait. We ate some of Chad’s amazing cheeseburgers and moved at about two. It was HOT, but there was a decent breeze.

    Another slow pick at the next stop, but Allen got his first African pompano. Darrel brought in a beautiful scamp and a big porgy. Nick and David put in their time and got some grouper. We moved agin to Sunset City. Chads dinner consisted of a salad with fresh melon, dragon fruit on arugula, glazed pork chops, homemade mashed potato and fresh green beans. It was awesome!

    The bite kicked off shortly after dark. I caught a dog snapper, just under 20#. Jake  got a whopper of a scamp. Todd finally came out of hibernation and, using my other mutton rod, woke the fish up too. Since he drove 17 hours, we were happy that he was catching. He’s a hoot. Dudley, who steadily picked away, lost two big mystery fish. He also broke in his new slow pitch rod. I managed a decent tuna, but they really weren’t schooled up. It was a steady slow pick through the morning. 

    Sunrise was a little busier. Tommy got his first black grouper. Rich got his first mutton. I put an African pompano in the ice via jig. Rich got in a groove and loaded up with a scamp, red grouper and a few mutton. Randy and Bob picked away.  Timmy plugged along  silently, taking his quota. Dudley got a nice scamp on his ultra light slow pitch contraption. Nick and David were steady.  We moved at 12:30, as Chad prepared buffalo chicken wraps. 

    The final drop was a slow pick too, but at least three guys (Dudley, David and Nick) caught more fish than they had tags. Put in your time, pay attention and you’ll catch fish. Tommy, Nick and Allen each snapped up a mahi. I ended up with 10 species of the 17 (approx) that were caught.  How I ended up with no red grouper is still a mystery.  Maybe not enough time at the rail. I took on the roll of photographer, so I’m going with that as my excuse. 

    As Chad prepared the last supper, I started cleaning up and showered for another nap. How’s this for chow on a headboat....Kung Pau fried dumpling, NY strips stuffed with Maine lobster, white truffle risotto coconut bok choy?Everyone got the meal plan. I think we had 10 zillion rods, but because we all got the meal plan, and brought a common drink cooler, we only needed a couple hundred thousand coolers LOL. 

    Dudley prepared everyone for proper tipping, so the mates (Mike, Garrett and Jeff) had a great trip too. All the guys were experienced and kept the boat very clean. We ended up with 18 totes of quality fish. Though it seemed slow, rail time and experience made a huge difference as always. I probably missed someone or something, but I’m ready to do it again!

  • One Named Fishin'One Named Fishin' Posts: 59 Deckhand
    I forgot to congratulate Tommy and Allen on their pool winning fish. Dem Tampa Bay gag boys tho...
  • Reel TealReel Teal Posts: 3,963 Captain
    Awesome trip fellas. Only 2 more weeks until I get back on. Great report
  • RareRare Posts: 248 Deckhand
    Nice report!

    Did a grouper's (red) regurgitate that lionfish? That's nice to see if so....
  • InstaGatorInstaGator Posts: 248 Deckhand
    Awesome trip. Thanks for posting
  • XafXaf Posts: 1,132 Officer
    Great report, sounded like a fun trip. 
    I must have missed my invite somewhere.  :) I still have have a couple T-shirts somewhere from the trips back in 2005-2007. Probably can't fit into them though.
  • Reel TealReel Teal Posts: 3,963 Captain
    Also, nice to see the Capt with a rod in his hand!!
  • globalwavetrackerglobalwavetracker Posts: 241 Deckhand
    Congrats, nice party.
  • JonsredfishinJonsredfishin Posts: 3,116 Captain
    Reel Teal said:
    Also, nice to see the Capt with a rod in his hand!!
    Ah, too easy
    One president put a man on the moon.
    Another president put a man in the Lady's bathroom.
  • One Named Fishin'One Named Fishin' Posts: 59 Deckhand
    Rare- Yes, a grouper puked the lion fish.

    Bob- You’re definitely one of the original FS crew! We’ll get Dudley on that invite for next time. Thanks for the gizmos!
  • Yeaaa_ChrisYeaaa_Chris Posts: 564 Officer
    Awesome! That dog snapper is a stud and abunch of quality scamps! 

    Thanks for posting up
  • Plastered2850Plastered2850 Posts: 1,842 Captain
    Great report and pics.
  • Yankee CaptsYankee Capts Posts: 1,003 Officer
    Reel Teal said:
    Also, nice to see the Capt with a rod in his hand!!

    I haven't fished since 2011. Ask around.

  • NorthernNorthern Posts: 903 Officer
    Awesome report!  It's hard to beat a fishin trip with a bunch of old friends.

    That rail picture fooled me too Capt Greg.
  • XafXaf Posts: 1,132 Officer
    "I haven't fished since 2011. Ask around.

    Somebody must be pretty good with Photoshop!  Picture's of you with a rod in your hand keep popping up from time to time.   B)
  • GreatWallGreatWall Posts: 6 Greenhorn
    Man, what a fun trip. Greg put us on the fish from start to finish. No real magic wide open bites but we had a few sporadic moments here and there. I totally forgot how exhausting fishing the Yankee Capts can be, and that was by far the best trip I've ever had on that boat. 3 coolers full, I had to use one of Todd's.

    You gotta get used to Greg tho. Wake up in the morning and Greg is like "Hey Dave."
    What's up Greg?
    "Get the F off my boat."
  • Yankee CaptsYankee Capts Posts: 1,003 Officer
    GreatWall said:
    You gotta get used to Greg tho. Wake up in the morning and Greg is like "Hey Dave."
    What's up Greg?
    "Get the F off my boat."
    Was that before or after I asked about your twins? I must have been sleep walking? LOL?

    Great seeing you as always! I’m on the next Venice trip!

  • jakedgejakedge Posts: 1,303 Officer
    Thanks for the terrific pics and write up Joe. The only constant among all the Yankee Capts trips I've done is the fact that I never take enough pictures.  Yours look great and are much appreciated. 
    More thanks to Dudley for setting this whole adventure up. A really fun group and a whole lot of talent at the rail. 
    Although it's already been said you can't overstate the extreme quality of service by the mates who are among the best. And of course Chef Chad blew us away with his cuisine. You guys all rock! 
    The entire trip can be summed up by paraphrasing Dave's morning exchange with Greg:
    "You all caught dinner. Now get the F off my boat!" 

  • SnaphappySnaphappy Posts: 1,427 Officer
    What an awesome time. Still trying to wipe the smile off my face!  Fishing on the Yankee Capts is always a treat but I don’t have the words to accurately describe how enjoyable fishing the Yankee Capts with only your best friends and fishing buddies is.  
    Greg and crew knocked it out of the park.  The effort of  deckhands Mike and Garrett   was incredible.   Big thanks to Chef Chad for the incredible menu he put together for us and the top notch service he provided.  
    Can’t wait to do it again! 
  • Kokosing LoverKokosing Lover Posts: 1,183 Officer
    Reel Teal said:
    Also, nice to see the Capt with a rod in his hand!!

    I haven't fished since 2011. Ask around.

    You're playing this one wrong Cap'n; next time say "As a top tier, full service provider of world class angling experiences, we hold nothing back when it comes to elevating our angler's enjoyment of their once in a lifetime trip.  You may even find the Captain lending a hand by bringing rods and tackle directly to the angler, thus maximizing their fishing time and providing the top notch service that none can match".

    Hell, I should be writing copy for your next brochure.

    I was wondering if Jay, Rich and Tommy were still alive.  Is it just me, or does Jay look a lot like Mr. Miyagi now?
  • Reel4ReelReel4Reel Posts: 439 Deckhand
    Sweet trip.  That dog is a BOSS
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