The trips last weekend were a hoot! The guys I took were from Wisconsin and were really looking forward to experiencing Texas saltwater fishing. They were both a pleasure to have on board and kept me laughing more often than not.
After discussing the different types of fishing available they decided on a multi-species nearshore trips. We started at the jetties freelining live shrimp on the outside rocks to get some continuous action. After a couple hours of bent rods we moved out into the Gulf for some rig action, bounced around to several looking for ling, bottom dropping around the legs and trolling the perimeter for kings. The deeper rigs in state waters produced the best almost non-stop action for Saturday and most of Sunday. We realized the best catches while tied up to the rigs and fishing on the bottom or 2/3 of the way down on suspended fish.
The bottom was covered with upper slot reds and 25% of them going oversize. Occasionally a small snapper or Spanish mack would hit on the way down. Ling would show up to spice up the action with the largest boated being 35", UFO's would show up and get on the bait or eat a smaller fish once hooked and they always made it into the structure without being caught. Kings, jacks, shark and Spanish kept a line busy downcurrent with a freelined ribbon or Spanish sardine whenever it was played out.
Catching on Saturday at the rigs was the best I've ever seen, if there would have been more than two customers on board I would have never been able to keep up with the constant de-hooking, baiting, reviving/decompressing fish and keeping up with new leaders to replace the lost ones. We lost over 50 circles hooks, 12 ribbon fish/live bait steel leaders, about 12lbs of lead and all of the 60-100lb monofilament leader material on board.
Best bait we had were ladyfish (redfish, shark and UFO's,) squid (snapper, ling, and spadefish,) and ribbonfish/Spanish sardines caught a little bit of everything.
They guys retained only partial limits and left with 10 gallon ziploc bags stuffed full. At least 95% of the catch was released in good condition. Saturday we realized over 100 redfish releases and Sunday over 100 snapper releases, all shark and ling were released healthy.
When the trip was over we tallied up the different species and this is what they caught;
Hardhead Catfish (they included everything)
23 species in all, that is a record for me in two days of fishing
These guys were sportsmen and all about "THE FIGHT," actual table quality of the species did not matter, they were looking to get the string stretched. Out of all the differant fish caught their top three favorites were JACK CREVALLE, SPADEFISH and KINGFISH.
There are plenty more where these came from, hope this weather stays good for a couple of more weeks!