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Texas Aggie Fisherman
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
With the forecasted flat seas and near 0% chance of rain, my dad and I figured yesterday would be a good day to take the 17' whaler offshore out of San Luis Pass. With a 90 hp engine, 27 gallon fuel capacity and a usual 4 to 6 mpg in the bay, we figured it would be good to stay within 20 miles to adhere to the 1/3 out-1/3 in-1/3 extra rule.

Since there isn't a ton of room in the boat, we didn't bring the usual arsenal of tackle and rods, including a gaff, lol. We did have the chum churn though! The boat only has a 48 quart igloo, so we weren't really planning on keeping much if anything.

We left sea isle and made it out to a rig 20 miles out. The 28 mile run took about 7 gallons of gas, lol. We hit a few rigs and trolled, drifted and tied up. Seas were pretty dang calm all day. Ended up running about 70 total miles overall, trolled some too and only burned 16 gallons of gas for the day!

Some cool things we saw were a HUGE sea turtle, a hammerhead shark pushing 10', lots of dolphins playing around and eating chum and about a 40" kingfish jump 20' out of the water... and that's no exaggeration! It's the highest I've ever seen a fish jump, that's for sure.

Total was 11 kingfish in the boat (kept 2 that we could bend into the cooler) and plenty of breakoffs and 3 sharks. No size to anything, but still a blast and a cheap offshore trip!
 

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I had a 17 whaler with a 90 and used it a lot offshore when the conditions allowed. Good boat but rough when the waves build. It fishes 2 comfortably like you mentioned. 27 gal was normally ok for a 20 mile run however I got caught in the rough stuff one day and needed the extra 5 gallons that I carried.
 

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Good report Brian. Sounds like you planned the trip well and it paid off for you. Don't you just love those calm seas>
 

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Personally I think you're fine if you are cautious and recognize your limitations. I'd recommend trying to stay in cell phone range, buying tow insurance, and maybe an epirb if you're going to do much offshore, but the little Whaler will take rougher seas than most small boats if you helm her right, won't sink, etc. I'd rig some floating throw lines in case you ever capsize and have fun with her. But then I'm prejudiced.
 

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good job! that's what it's all about. You couldn't have had any better weather on a small boat. Pick the right days, & always keep an eye out on the weather.
 

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Texas Aggie Fisherman
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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
We normally take the 21' Seaswirl with 200 Johnson & 83 gallon fuel capacity offshore, but we decided to do the "fuel efficient" trip this time. It was definitely a fun day. On the right day, I would do it again. Gotta love offshore trips that cost $90 total with gas, oil, bait and ice, lol.
 
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