Saturday, June 29, 2013

minisails and tuna

We took it easy going out this morning, heading into a short chop left over from last night’s storm, but once we got where we were going and put the lines out it, things laid right out into the typical Pacific ground swell.   We found a current line and it wasn’t long before we saw a sail, then another that everyone on the boat took a turn trying to hook, I guess the boys were out of practice.    A few minutes later we ran across another pair, after missing mine the first time, then dropping back and another miss, I finally came tight and so did James from the bridge. 
Cool thing about this double header was the size of the fish, these were the smallest sails that I’ve seen caught on a hook and line in the Pacific.   No wonder the boys had such a hard time getting them to stick.   A couple of years ago in February, about 80 miles offshore of Los Suenos, we caught some that were a few inches long with a dip net under the lights.   No doubt in my mind that these were spawned at about the same time of year, now probably 5 or 6 months old.   Nonetheless, it was a double header sailfish.    A little while later, we caught a bon a fide Pacific sail in the 90-100 pound class, so they’re not all small this time of year.
A blip popped up on the radar about 8 miles away so we started trolling that direction to get a clearer image.  About halfway there, James was sure that it was a huge flock of birds, hopefully over dolphins and tuna.   He knows that one of my favorite things to do is stand on the bow of the Dragin Fly and cast poppers at busting tunas.   Hopes were high as we approached hundreds of boobey-birds, much like a gannet, and a handful of high circling frigits. 
All the ingredients were there, but there were no tunas mixed in with these spotted dolphins.   We made a couple of loops and everything scattered and so did our hopes.   James wasn’t fazed, he saw another blip on the radar about 4 miles out, but after 20 minutes of trolling their direction we just couldn’t keep up.   James suggested we pick up the spread and run.   On the way there, the guys converted over a couple of the rods to cedar plugs and got out the flying fish for the 50’s, a trick that Capt. Brian Harrington on the Run Off taught us.   Not much cooler than seeing a big tuna crash a fake flying fish dangling from the end of the outriggers.
I made my way to the bow with my favorite popper, actually a lure called a Ranger that skips across the surface when cranked REALLY fast.    Ask Capt. Greg Voliva what it will do to a school of old drum.  Pretty much the same reaction with tuna, except they often hit it in the air, which was the case with my first cast.  
There was a bit of breeze that had puffed up and we were trolling down sea with the dolphins, trying to catch up with the tunas.   With the Ranger and 65  pound braid, you can throw this plug a  LONG ways.  When it finally falls out of orbit and splashes down it bounces about 3 feet in the air.   I must have thrown it right on top of him.  After initial impact, the Ranger got a good bounce followed by a solid 100 pounder that gulped it down and fairly immediately showed me the bottom of that 12000 Shimano spinning reel.  I busted him off pretty quickly and was glad that I did.   
These were spinner dolphins and ahead of the pod of 100 plus black spinners were the tunas that were “airing out” and throwing a lot of whitewater.    It seems that if you were right on them, you got a bite or three, but they were moving really, really fast.   The would pop up here, then there,  kind of like playing Whack A Mole. 
Just as I was  regretting breaking off that big fish I was losing hope that we would get another bite.  I was almost at the end of my retrieve, my plug was racing back to the spread for maybe another cast.  I was getting tired.  The airborne 60 pounder chasing my lure woke everyone up.  At the same time that I came tight, both rods with the cedar plugs bowed right over…….we pulled off all 3 of them.
The next pass I finally got a little redemption.  I didn’t see the fish, but I saw a pretty good hole in the water where my plug used to be.   I didn’t think much of this one until we got up and down and it just would not give up.  He gave me ALL that I wanted.  I thought that it was maybe a 30 pounder, but it turned out to be in the 50 pound range.   With some meat in the box, we went back for more, hooking a total of 8 between 50 and over triple digits.  The second and last one we landed was about 60 pounds, just couldn’t keep those big ones on the line. 

Thursday, June 27, 2013

.......doesn't look like a big one, but it counts. 

Tarpon and Cobes at the Cape

I just got word from Capt. Chris Kimrey who caught two cobia yesterday, including a 68 pounder, that a large school of tarpon passed by Cape Lookout today.......

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Pamlico Sound Cobia report

I thought you might get a kick out of this, saw two cobia off Cedar Island on Saturday, hooked them both, got one out of two on trout rod. Never seen one before in the sound.
Gary  "Tie One On"

Cobia in Pamlico Sound, I love it and you guys will love the new Down East t-shirt that we're working on.   

Also keep an eye out for our new newsletter with updates, fishing reports, forecasts, details on some of our upcoming trips and guide profile. 

Monday, June 24, 2013

fishing is great, weather sucks

Pamlico Sound Mixed Bag has really fired off with excellent reports continuing to come in from Capt. Greg and Capt. Ray.   Pups, pups, pups, more pups, few flounder a few trout and a few big drum in the mix.

Also, the first Neuse River Tarpon was caught this weekend by Henry Frazer, yes they are here already.   Congrats Henry, that's a big deal catching the first one of the year.

In the ocean, amberjacks and groupers have moved in close with a few cobia still trickling by........but the weather has been sporty with plenty of showers with gusts and bolts to dodge.

Friday, June 21, 2013

Nice Surprise

I hate bottom fishing for cobia......but sometimes you do what you've got to do.....No bites for me on the bottom of the tide, so I went looking around and guess what I found?   It was nice to see the first one, better to see the next pack of 'em and even better to run into another keeper.   Ended up with a couple over 30 pounds and one more that didn't make the supper club.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Capt. Mitch Blake river report

Been catching flounder on the Pam and Pungo.  Crushing Stripers and Perch on the Lower Roanoke

 50 fish half days on these guys......

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Capt. Chris Kimrey Nearshore mixed Bag

Little of everything, all good eating. 

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

cobia report

They're still here, the guys bait fishing did really good this morning, everyone caught at least 1 or 2 fish.....except me, we just caught one, and we did NOT catch it bait fishing.   A nice 'un, 47 pounds after she was bled out in the cooler.

I was playing with bait balls.   Not having seen many cobia on the surface since the storm, I did not stick around when the reports started coming in on the radio from Capt. Joe Shute and company landing cobia while anchored up and bait fishing in both inlets.   I grabbed a net full of bait and charged off to my favorite spot, (Capt. Ray's hole).   One other boat was there when I pulled up and he was gaffing a fish. Not far from there, we saw a 50 pounder on a leatherback but didn't get a shot.   Things were looking good.

I got the anchor set, lines out and one of my guys was up in the tower taking in the sights.   I'm glad he was.   When he commented on the 3 sharks swimming by the boat.....he was actually describing a pack of 3 cobia.  I scrambled up the tower.   Everything went perfect.   All my guys knew that I was screaming with enthusiasm and not at them.
Crank the engine!   Crank in those rods!   Throw off the buoy!  Crank, crank, crank, HOLD ON.   I fired her up and spun her around in the direction that the fish were cruising.

Amazingly, we got no lines tangled or in the prop, the fish popped up right in front of us and I fired off  the black bucktail that Capt. Charles Brown gave me last year.  God Bless him.   The biggest of the 3 sailed on that bucktail.

I do enough bait fishing during the summer, can't stand to do it for cobia. Even when I try to bait fish......

Speaking of fishing this summer, my last available tarpon dates are:  July 30, Aug. 1, 3, 10, 11, 13  and for drum, I am open only Sept. 5, 8, 12, 21, 24, 25, 28, 29

The other guides that I recommend for tarpon fishing have openings July 12-19, 24, 29, 30 and Aug.  2, 3, 4, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 16, 17, 20, 21, 24, 28, 29, 30.

I would strongly recommend making your drum fishing reservations as soon as possible. 

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Proof is with the pictures

"Here's those pics from last Sat. It was really good, we only fished a couple of hours but caught close to 30 fish all mixed in size."----Capt. Greg Voliva

pretty work Greg, nice 2 hours of fishing. 

 Bonafide Trophy Old Drum if I've ever seen one........

Monday, June 10, 2013

Good news

Capt. Chris Kimrey was the cobia fleet hero today.   Rough conditions on the beach, but he managed to find the bait tucked up in a creek.   He shared his wealth of live bait and as a result, there were at least 5 keeper cobia on 3 different boats.    Chris caught 2 of them. Several others were caught on bucktails straggling along with hooked fish or rays.

sounds like things are going to bounce back nicely for the end of the week.

 here are some pics from before the blow:

You can stick your nose up at amberjacks, if you want but they are great fish.   Aggressive bites, easy to chum, great bait and switch, fly, explosive topwater bites and yes, they are good to long as you aren't the one cleaning them

I've snubbed them plenty in the past, "Yeah.......we caught some jacks".   But after yesterday when I rode all over the ocean looking for them, I'll give them a little more credit the next time that I have 100 big dumb fish around the boat that I can hand feed.     won't be long until they're gathered up again, give it a few days.

Social Media, Dumb phones, Text, Raul and Gabby

Social media sucks.   I don't do it.  No facebook, twitter, linked in, whatever.   Don't do it.   Yeah, we've got a facebook page, but Anna updates it from my posts here.  I have never looked at it and I probably never will.   I have no idea who likes me....and less of an idea of who dislikes me.  

I refuse to get one of those dumb phones...I'm not going to submit to whatever spell those phones put on people.....causing them to ignore the world around them or the people with whom they are having lunch.
A bunch of zombies walking around staring into that voo-doo device, poking and swatting at it with their pointer finger, it's just plain stupid.   Put the damn thing in your pocket and look around before you walk off the end of the dock.  And on the boat?   REally?   Might as well bring a frigging television to watch fishing shows.   Had a guy bring a newspaper tarpon fishing one time, with tarpon rolling all around the boat, he was reading a frigging paper.  I carried him back to the dock.

   I don't give a damn how much more productive I would be if I were able to immediately answer someone's   question or give them a fishing report.  They can send me an e mail or look at this blog.   Anyone who doesn't have the patience to wait a day for me to call 'em back isn't someone that I would probably want to spend a day on the water with anyway.   Who wants a fishing guide that is waiting around to answer the phone instead of being out on the water fishing?   And for that matter, who wants a fishing guide who is on the water but on the phone all day?

Heck, I don't even read texts.  It annoys the heck out of me when the phone makes that little beep saying that I've got one.  Don't send me one, I ain't gonna read it or I'll reply several days later with my calloused, swollen, cut fingers trying to bang out " I domt do txt, cal me"

The only benefit to those smart phones is the live radar, that has been very helpful avoiding thunderstorms.   I mention something about the clouds and approaching storms and I've got a regular Skip Waters on the boat with his little gadget......"hey, lemme see that......naw, we're alright"     I hear that I can get the same thing with one of those fancy global positioning devices that tells you where you're at........I'll have to look into that.

Social Media, the only reason that I can see any use to it, other than telling people what you had for dinner and when you are going to the bathroom...... is to try and reach a lot of people and give them some news.

Since this blog is read by a lot of my friends, I felt like this would be the best way to tell you about Gabby.   If you've been to Costa Rica with us, you've probably met my friend Raul, whose link to his coffee business is on this page.   If you've met Raul, then you've most likely met Raul's girlfriend, Gabby.   She is like family to Anna and myself. She has also started chemo this past week for Hodgkin's Lymphoma.   Keep Gabby in your thoughts and prayers.  I'll be going down in a couple weeks and taking down a care package.

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Ladies Tourney and my fishing today

Congrats to Capt. Pete Zook running the Fightn Lady, he won the ladies tourney today with a blue marlin release.  I bet he was using one of Joey's lures.

They're fishing for money tomorrow, I imagine there will be a lot of Laceration Lures swimming behind the Bill Collector and the Energizer, and of course the Run Off.   Those are some of the ones that I'd put my money on.

My fishing?   The best thing that I caught today was bait.    Very slow for me in all the places that we had been getting some pulledge......give it a day to settle down and I'll be back out there on Tuesday.

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Old Drum Already

Capt. Greg took advantage of this wind and confirmed the reports that I had been hearing all winter long.   There have been enough big drum around to provide consistent fishing in the Neuse River/Pamlico Sound for the last 12 months.   That's right, things never got cold enough to force them out of the Sound and a select few fishermen have been catching them all winter/spring.

In about 3 hours of fishing today, Capt. Greg caught 2 giants, a couple of big ones and 20+ keeper sized slot fish.

Been a crazy year huh?

Big Rock Report

Well boss the fishing is really good out their today we catch 3 blue marlin 2 sailfish 4 yellowfin tuna and one nice mahi mahi 

Oh no, that's Costa Rica.   Big Rock is just getting under way

Friday, June 7, 2013

wish I had my surfboard

I believe that I could surf these rollers coming ashore at the Oriental water front on the Neuse River

Thursday, June 6, 2013

I need a fishing report Dude

"I need a fishing report  Dude ........ Baton down the hatches for Friday and probably the weekend too ........."  ----Wayne

Ok, Ok, here's the cobia report: 

 I've gotten what I needed, but I've worked for them, been very lucky and it ain't been red hot.  2-5 cobia/day with one day 7 and one day 8 keepers.   Recently half of them are too little, very few of them have required the big gaff. 

The bait fishing guys have been doing about the same with a few bigger fish. 

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Argentina Report

We just had a group that got back from Argentina, this is what they had to say and some pics:

Still have room for a couple of folks to join the groups that I am hosting next month.


Just writing to send a big thank you your direction. The trip was fantastic. I must admit, my true passion in life is bird hunting, and with everything you hear about the hunting in Argentina, my expectations for a good hunt were very high. After the first hunt I realized that all of the talk was true. 

Like one of the other hunters in camp mentioned, the quality of hunting there is impossible to over emphasize. You really can't over sell it. I had heard from other hunters that had duck hunted in Argentina that all the hunting was done over corn piles and the ducks poor in from all angles all day. However, I was pleasantly surprised that this was not the case with Pampa Adventures. I figured we would have bird boys that carried the stools and decoys to the corn pile and gave us shells when we needed more. But that simply was not the case.

 The men we were paired with were not bird boys at all. They were guides, they were duck hunters, and they knew what they were doing. They had scouted, found where the birds were feeding and resting, and put us in positions to kill decoying birds. The birds responded well to their calling, and the guides knew how to build the blinds and set decoys in a way that made the hunting both productive and enjoyable. As a duck hunter, it warmed my soul to see men share my passion for waterfowling even on the other side of the globe. 
I truly felt privileged to have had the chance to hunt with them. 

The dove shooting in Cordoba was equally as impressive. Like my brother said, "It's like going to the arcade with unlimited tokens." It was like nothing I have ever experienced. The TV shows I have seen simply did not do it justice. It is something that must be experienced to comprehend. Jorge, Nacho, and all the staff made each of us feel at home the entire stay. It was very nice to sit and discuss politics, hunting, and life with Jorge, Nacho and their family. They are both great men and their dedication to their business shines through.

 The food was absolutely incredible. We're all big guys and can put away some food. We were all impressed by the quality and quantity of the food and wine provided. Attached is a picture of me with about a 1lb T-bone that we were served for lunch one day. Not only was it huge, it was also cooked and seasoned to perfection. You have to know what you are doing to cook a steak that big to medium rare. 

I could ramble on and on about how great every aspect of the trip was, but I don't have the time. I will say that I had no complaints what-so-ever. 

Thanks again for setting up this incredible trip for us,


Sunday, June 2, 2013

Proud Lady

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Farewell Tour

 I think this is going to end it up for me but who knows. Caught 65 fish and rod got em good too. Water was 72 degrees want be long now. Its like a ghost town not another boat in sight.----Justin Haddock