Fishing was great on saturday. We got to the docks at about 5:30 and for some reason his running lights would not turn on so we waited until dawn cracked to leave. The guy is new to the offshore fishing world so he was upset I woke him up so early at first but he soon was thanking me when he saw the line of fighting bayfishermen at the ramps at 6am. Anyhow the run out was smooth 2-3's past the jetties. water was kingfish green out about 1.5 miles then cleared to blue green then to bluewater at about 6 miles off the beach. We ran N to 10 fathom wreck and limited on fat snappers non less than 22" within an hour and a half. I started keeping them in the livewell, since we were unable to find live bait, that way we could cull out the smaller ones, which were 20". while there I hooked into something very large on the 9/0 that I have learned to like fishing with on bottom(im a big guy so it isnt that heavy). I hooked into it about halfway down and it took my drag (22lbs) fast and hard straight down. I tried for while and handed it off to someone with a belt on. We were unable to hoist it out and it broke us off on structure. I decided to try and troll something up between 10 FW and 15 fathom rocks and only had one short strick on a ribbon fish. Also had and island ballyhood w/ hoo on it and another islander out with no luck. From there I took the party further out to the rig NE of there NPR-291? something like that. Have also heard it called Arco rig. It was bustling with fish. We could not catch anything on any bait but cut mullet that I happend to get from a friend the day before and ballyhoo plain on a hook and ribbonfish on flat line. We caught 2 ling on flatline one keeper at 40" and a very large AJ. The AJ is a sob story though. The guy that got to reel it in was experienced(somewhat) and got it in easily on the 7500ss to my suprise. That is when the fun began. The other two on the boat are florescent green, not just green. I was up front with my line all the way to the bottom when I saw the happenings out back. The AJ came to the side of the boat and it was bigger than any I have ever caught. The dude missgaffed and ****** it off. The hook pulled from his lip and he ended up tail wrapped with the ribbonfish leader. I pulled in my line quickly, ran to the back and ripped the gloves and gaff from the guys hands (politely I might add) and came to the side of the boat. We got the AJ back to the side of the boat and about a foot out of gaff range before he took his final run and tossed the hook. BUMMER. We also caught a smaller AJ that was hooked on mullet and undersized. It was alright though, that is what happens sometimes and we already had a cooler and livewell packed with large snapper and a ling and some other random spades and triggers. Anyone going out of Mansfield needs to hit this rig up soon. We could see in the water maybe 15' below 5 huge AJs and about 15 smaller ones as well as a couple of mahi holding on the rig and wallowing in our chum but not taking anything after the last AJ lost. From there we decided to head in. All day we only saw one other boat called Wild Cat which was a beautiful procat, anyone here own it? It had an anchor winch on it so in my book it was fully rigged up. The seas picked up a bit coming in and slowed us down to about 20 kts going up hill in 2-4 chop with white caps on all of them due to a hefty wind in the afternoon that is down there this time of year every day. I think it is kind of funny becaust the boat owner is so new he wants me to drive any time it is not slick and he says he will pull it, gas it up and be ready to go when ever and all I have to do is show up and fish it for him. Works for me, lets my boat rest peacfully for another weekend.
Sounds like a nice haul. My buddies went out on Sunday the 6th and caught 2 blackfin, a wahoo, and a nice mahi just inside of the Canyon on the troll. The seas were 5 feet and sporty. They missed the nice 2-3's on Saturday. I'll be fishing the 12th in the Big-Game club out of SPI.
It sounds like you and I are nearly alone fishing this far south. Does anyone else fish around SPI/Mansfield that posts on this board?
We were down at PM the week before you went. I think "sporty" is a little bit tame for what we encountered. Had some genuine 8-9's when we were coming in. We did okay on Saturday with a few kings and ling but Sunday was a total blowout with big-time seas.
I love that place and plan to go as often as possible but it is a long run from Houston.
Where do you work in Harlingen? I lived in Harlingen for 3 years about 5-6 years ago and worked at Valley Baptist. Met my wife down there. I only fish out of SPI 1-2 times a year and mansfield 2-3 times a year now, offshore of course, is there any other? What kind of boat do you fish with and what marina/ramps do you use?
I'm a teacher/coach at Harlingen South H.S. I fish off of several boats. I do the Big-Game club on the Per-Lin, a 28 Bertram. I fish often with Captain Murphy. They run 2 head boats out of SPI. They are docked at the Sea Ranch. So is the Per-Lin. I also fish with my buddy Eric on his 23' Sea Ox CC out of Port Isabel. I used to have a 25' Reinel, but it went soft in the transom and we trailered her to either donate, sell cheap, or fix someday. If someone wanted a project at a low price with a trailer, here it is.
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