Overnight Trip On The Sea Trek June 23-25
I took my first trip on the Sea Trek last Tuesday and it was a pretty good one. I'll share a few fishing stories in this post but I'd like to describe the boat and the way it operates first. Capt. Eric and the mates - Collum and Robbie - were awesome for starters. This is a trip where your bring most of your own stuff. Food and drinks are not available for purchase on the boat. Bring your own and that includes beer if you like to have a cold one now and then while you're out there. You don't pay for bait (squid and threadfins), hooks or leader material but if you need sinkers they are available for purchase at $1 for 4 oz. egg sinkers and $2 for 8 oz. ones. I think you can rent a rod if you don't have a suitable one but I brought my own and forgot to ask about rod rentals. The boat has a live well and you can buy live pinfish for about $1 apiece. I would recommend 20 or 30 pinfish but I doubt you'll use that many. The boat takes a maximum of 16 - 18 passengers and is 65 feet long by 19 feet wide. There are berths down below but they're crammed in there really tightly. You can also sleep in the salon. There are two long padded seats in the sitting area and 4 people can sleep on these seats. I napped on them and they were fine for that. This is about a 44 hour trip and there's about a 9 hour run to the fishing grounds and back and that's a good time to sleep. Now it's time for the fishing report/stories. The weather on the way out was flat calm but it was also brutally hot. On my first or second drop I was cut off by a cuda or king above my top shot. I re rigged and then it was fish on!! The fish took my bait, dropped it and came back and took it again and the fight was on. I couldn't really feel any vibration from the fish's tail that might give me an idea if ti was snapper, jack, bonita or tuna. It felt like a grouper but this "grouper" made a long run away from the boat instead of toward the bottom. Uh Oh!! I was pretty sure I had a shark on and it turned out to be about a 7 foot long hammerhead. It wound up taking about 200 yards of line in a couple of runs and after 15 - 20 minutes of battle it finally broke off. The fight combined with that got me pretty dehydrated and my back was hurting too. I took a break and went back at it. A short time later we got into a red snapper bite. This was the real thing. It was on fire!! The capt. said it was one of the best ones he'd ever seen and I can remember only one like that and it was while commercial fishing back in the early 80s. Actually, it my not have been as good as this one. I caught a couple of snapper on bait and then pulled out my slow pitch jigging outfit. I'm thinking I made 7 or 8 drops of the jig before I didn't hook a fish! I even let the jig free fall the last 30 or 40 feet of my drop a couple of times and my jig still got hit! I put a third red snapper in the box and decided to wait and see if I could get one 10 lbs. or larger but all of my snapper were about 5 or 6 lbs. so I only took home 3 red snapper that were in the 5 - 8 lb. class. I also caught a beeliner on my jig (a 300g JW 141 jig) that was the same size or smaller than the jig!! I also caught a small cuda and a scamp grouper on the jig that was about 12 or 14 inches long. We moved to another spot and got into a good bite of yellowtail. A lot of the fish in this spot were at least two pounders, at least 20 inches to the fork of the tail. I was worn out from the shark and the red snappers so I didn't fish much at this spot and only caught a few fish. The rest of the trip was just a fish here and there with the exception of some smaller legal sized yellowtail. A few nice muttons in the 10 - 15 lb. class, several nice porgies, a few mangrove snapper in the 2 - 5 lb. class, a couple of nice blackfin tuna, a few decent grouper and a couple of kings rounded out the catch. This is a good trip for the price - $450 plus your food and drink and a 20% tip for the mates. The mates are worth every penny of the money they make, believe me on that. I'll probably go out with them again but I don't know when . My next trip is in a couple of weeks on the Yankee Capts. and when this trip is over I'll write up a comparison of the Gulfstar, Sea Trek and the Yankee Capts. Thanks very much for reading this post. I hope you liked it. BTW, if you like catching yellowtail this is a good trip for that. Bring a rod you can cast for mutton and grouper fishing and whole small squid and/or ballyhoo for bait for those. The boat also has a long handled shrimp net or two that you can use to catch live flying fish or squid. I could've caught several flying fish like that but I never got the net and instead kept fishing. That was my mistake. I fished live bait or jigs about 70 or 80% of the time trying to catch larger fish. If I would've down sized my hooks and gone with a strip of squid for bait earlier I would've caught more yellowtail for sure. I'll remember that the next time I go on this boat.