Originally Posted by Zebra Mussel
Geez, awesome catch, esp. for a party boat.
Care to share any tricks with a newbie? I posted a similar question over at
Perhaps I should consider going out of Galveston instead of Freeport. What's the hotel situation like nearby?
Thanks for the report & pics.
The Texsun II / Capt. John is a first class operation and I would recommend them to anyone. They are also family oriented and I haven't had any problems when I take my kids on the boat. They love it. The Capt. makes an announcement before the boat leaves that goes something like this: " If you came out today to get drunk then please get off of the boat, go back to the office and ask for a refund. There are several bars in the Galveston area that would be glad to accomodate you. "
They do sell beer on the boat but ask that people keep it in moderation, which I really like as the last thing I want to do is spend a day with a bunch of drunk fisherman.
Tips for Partyboat fishing.
Golden Rule: Listen to the captain. If your fishing in 130 ft. of water and he says the fish are suspended off of the bottom and are really thick at 70 ft. then you need to fish at 70 ft. If he says that they are on the bottom then fish on the bottom.
Buy a couple of boxes of cigar minnows or sardines and some snapper slappers. The 3 oz model is my favorite. I caught 3 limits of snapper Sunday on a 3 oz Pink/Chartruse snapper slapper that was sardine tipped.
If the snapper fishing slows down start kingfishing. Ask one of the deckhands to set you up with a kingfish leader if you don't have your own tackle like I do. When the snapper action heats back up then switch back to snapper fishing. The key to catching fish on a party boat is to work your butt off while you are fishing. Try to make your time as productive as possible. Don't stop and eat lunch while the snapper bite is red hot. Wait and eat on the way back home. You'll be glad that you did.
If you have never used a large trolling reel (Penn 4/0 or Shimano TLD) spend a few minutes (before you get to the first spot) to get accustomed to the reel. Also, check your drag tension with your hand before you put it to the test while fishing.
Do you have your own tackle (rods & reels)? If not the Capt. John has good tackle to handle anything that you would get into. They have Shimano TLD 25's mounted on custom rods.
Be nice and treat the deck hands like you would want to be treated. Don't yell at them and tell them that you need to have a fish gaffed this instant while you can see that they are busy trying to gaff another fish and deal with a tangle. Just be patient. Don't get me wrong, you need to let them know what you need, just do it in a courtious mannor. I have seen people be real jerks to them and guess what? They will treat you just like you treat them. Also, don't ask to have a 5 lb. snapper gaffed ;-) Just pull him up.
I have been going out for a while with the Texsun II and I never tip the deckhands less than $20.00 when they pass the bucket. They all know me by name now and I never have to ask for anything. They are also some really great guys if you spend a little time and get to know them.
Be ready to take advantage of an opportunity. If a school of chicken dolphin show up have a lightweight rig ready to cast at them. Ask the Capt. how far out he plans to go that day and what you may encounter. If he says that he's going to hit a rig in deep water and that they get AJ's out there all the time then you better have your drag set tight and be ready for them.
Another thing. If you see a big ling hit the deck stay out of the way and let the deckhands do their job. I see guys stop fishing and for some reason think that their presence is required when a big fish hits the deck. They will walk over and try to get right in the middle of all the action that is going on. They only get in the way. A ling can do some real dammage so stay out of their way. Look at the 6 or 7 fins on their back and you will know what I'm talking about.
If a guy fishing next to you hooks a good fish, reel up and give him some room. He'll appreciate it and do the same for you when it's your turn.
Bring a small bucket (not 5 gallon) to put your cigar minnows in. If you leave them in the box that they come in they will get stepped on and will be mush by 1:30 in the afternoon.
Tons in Galveston. Go to http://www.galveston.com
for a list.
Good luck. Be sure and post some pics of your trip here when you get back.