Chandeleur Islands Surf Fishing trip 08' - 2CoolFishing
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Old 07-06-2008, 04:24 PM   #1
Jolly Roger
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Chandeleur Islands Surf Fishing trip 08'

Myself, and 11 other brave souls planned and booked a trip to the Chandeleur Islands about a year ago for the specific purpose of surf fishing the Islands. One of our target species was going to be sharks. From what we can tell no one in recent times has went to the isalnd for the soul purpose to surf fish. For the brave souls that took part in this adventure, we were fishing our Virgin Seas.

This is my accounts of the adventure.

Day one

We got to the Docks just in time for a Squall to blow in. The Mother ship had been struck by lightining the day beofre we were set out to leave. The captain and deck hands were working on the Eltc problems as the weather was blowing in. After gettting the boat ready to go, we had a chance to look at radar. Was decided to leave from dock at 12am to let the storms die down. The ride out was rough, even in a 60'+ boat. Most everyone tried to sleep the way out, but like myself were up and down most of the night as the waves would build. We made it to our home for the next three days a little before daylight. The captain and deckhands got the Skiffs unloaded and at Daylight we were ready to go. After a quick lesson from the captain about the skiffs and the general layout of the islands. We loaded and headed towards the islands.

Myself and Buckeye were the first away from the mother ship. I pointed the skiff toward a cut I could see through the Island. We made landfall within a 100 yards of the surf and unloaded the gear. The islands were a dark sand color, almost like a black beach you would find near a volcano. There was a good deal of grass in the surf, from a strong west wind that was blowing water into the surf from the cuts throug the islands. As we were getting rods ready, bait was being busted all in front of us. Bait was all in front of us being killed. We quickly started to catch Blue Fish on Spoons. The blue fish were thick in the surf, killing most any bait fish that was unlucky enough to swim in front of them.

The first chunk of blue fish I cast out lasted a whole five minutes before I got a screaming run. I set the hook in time to see the blaktip come out of the watr in front of us.


Jolly Roger with the first of many, many blacktips of the trip


The blacktips were in thick. So thick that you could see them when you walked out to cast. After the cast it was only taking a few minutes for the baits to get nailed. The Islands were living up to there Rep as being shark infested, but we had no ideal just how infested there were yet. The morning went by fast as we landed fish after fish.

HWK with a Bull shark


Jolly Roger with an average Blacktip of the trip,



We got into the blacktips and a few bull sharks thick that first morning. Landing over tweleve sharks in a couple of hours our first day on the islands. Around noon a Cold Front that was moving south hit us. We hunkered down, and withstood 60+mph winds on islands that the tallest thing was knee high. The winds and storm took about two hours to blow over before we could get back to fishing. During this time, Buckeye landed a few sharks on long rods that were riding out the storm. It is not often that in July, we get slammed by a cold front. All of us were freezin on the beach as we started to get back to fishin.

The winds had blown the surf flat, and blown out a large tide. We had to move our rodholders to the sandbar that just a few hours before we were catching sharks on. As we moved and set back up. We could make out a washout in the second sandbar. It had a good current ripping through it and we cast a few baits into it in hopes that a few sharks were in the shallow water of the second gut. Not long after the baits hit the bottom, I got a good screamer. It dumped a good deal of line from me, and took me a long ways down the beach. As I finally got it close enough to see what I had, the large second dorsal was ery clear. My first lemon shark of any size was being drug up on the sand. I had hung it in the pec fin, and it had put up a massive fight.

Jolly Roger with my first lemon shark, but not my last




After the high fives, HWK hooks up and lands his first lemon shark. Back to back lemon sharks. Sweeeet The first day we landed 20+ sharks, ranging up to 6'. For the first day this was great.

It was getting late, and the tide was sucking out fast. Our skiffs were on dry land already, and we did not know how long it was going to take us to get out. So we packed most gear up and left it on the island overnight. But we were in for another type of adventure as we started to drag the skiffs to dry land. This would turn out to be a major mistake on our part, as we under estimated how far the tide had went down on the back side of the island were we could not see. It was a major undertaking to get the skiff to the channel in the cut we were in. But once we got to the mouth of the cut. We were meet with dry land between us and the mothership. The 60+ mph winds had blown most of the water out, and there was no way for us to reach the mother ship. After backbreaking dragging of the skiffs for what seemed like miles. We reached enough water to run them in as the sun was going down. This was a lesson larned the hard way.


Report for second day coing in a few minutes. If anyone wants to add some more pics of the first day that would be great. I did not get as many pics as I should have.
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Old 07-06-2008, 04:26 PM   #2
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Second Day

One the second day we had a game plan. It was simple, get an early start, catch as many blue fish as possible. Then catch as many sharks as we could. Our plan went off perfect. We were on the beach as the sun came up chunking spoons at hungry blue fish. We lined the surf casting into monster schools of piranha like blue fish. Between the four of us in our camp we landed 20 bleu gfish in a few minutes. As soon as the fish casted bait of cut blue fish hit the water. The reels started to scream. Myslef and HWK were casting baits as Buckeye was running larger baits. The casted baits were on FIRE. It was only taking seconds for the baits to get hit, many tims the bait was getting hit when you were walking back to the beach.

As far as surf fishing goes, this was the best I had every seen. Non-stop as fast as you can catch them, balls to the wall surf fishing. We only thought 20 blue fish was going to be plenty of bait. The captain and Deckhand decided to walk down the beach as we were in this feeding frenzy of blacktips and bull sharks. We never stopped catching sharks the whole time they where there talking to us. It was unreal the speed and amount of shakrs that was in the surf in front of us. Most all sharks were 4-5.5' in lenght. No monsters, but not babys either. We had many doubles and a few triples. During tis time I took very few pics, so I hope HWK can take up some of my slack with a few good pics of the action.

Jolly Roger and HWK with a double.



This action went on until noon. Around then the bite died, bu we were still catching a few here and there. About the time we got to sit down and releax for a few minutes. My casted rod goes off again. The fish is dumping a lot of line, and violent head shakes. I could tel that this fish had sme weight to it, and it was not wearing down as fast as the blacktips. It took me to the backing several times, and drug me a good ways down the beach to the north. After a great battle I get my largest fish of th trip to the beach.

Jolly Roger with a large Lemon shark



Without a doudt, this was one of my best surf fishing days ever. I did not keep count of how many I landed, nor could I keep count of how many our camp landed. But it was a lot of sharks, and all of good size. The morning bite was unreal, and something that every surf fishermen should experence. Non-stop action until your arms are falling off.

Third day report coming up in a ew minutes.
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Old 07-06-2008, 04:26 PM   #3
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Third and final day

The third dat our game plan was the same as the day before. Catch Blue fish, then catch sharks. The blue fish were still there but the sharks were in fewer numbers. By this time we wanted to catch a monster shark. Buckeye landed a 30lb cownose and we quickly made bait of it. We still had a few blacktips around, but for the most part my back was gave out from pushing the skiff, and all the catching the days before. Buckeye was our camps best chance for a monster shark as he is set up better for the big boys. One of the days before he had a run that without question was a large shark as it was dumping massive amounts of line from a 12/0. But as luck would have it, the hook came loose. Buckeye caught a few good size bull sharks, and some backtips the last day. But did not connect with a big one.

Buckeye with one of his many mid-range sharks he landed ove the three days.


At some point on the last day one of my rods goes off. Willbo was first to the rod so I told him to land it. We did not know that it would be an hour, tail rope and two people later before we would see what was on the other end of the line. It made for a great fight, and a good way to end the trip on. HWK has the pics of this on but I will give you a shot of Willbo getting dumped on my Accurate Jigmaster.



Random pics of the trip






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Old 07-06-2008, 04:44 PM   #4
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Re-cap

With question from me, this was a great trip. The shear number of sharks was hard to beleive. Our four man camp caught 50+ sharks in three days of fishing. With most of them at or around 5' in lenght.

The sharks in that area are highly more agressive, and seem to fight much harder. They will take a lot of bites at you when you are taking the hooks out, and will hit most anything you are reeling in. I had many a blue fish took from me, I was also leadering a 50lb+ stingray when a shark came up took a chunk out of him with the leader in my hand. They live in such competive waters that it shows when they hit, and when they are on the beach. The Islands are covered up with sharks. I wish Buckeye or someone else could have landed a few monster sharks, but we did get many of good size.

I want to make the trip again next year. I will take a closer look at the tides, becuase they played such a key role in our fising. I also now have a better ideal as to what we need for the trip, and what to bring along. I will look into dates and such in the next few months and figure out when will be the best time to go. If you are interested in the trip, the people that made this first trip will have first dips, then we will fill the rest if the spots.

For anyone interested in a trip to the Chandeleur Islands. I would HIGHLY recomend Captain Troy of Chandeleur Charters. Our stay and experence was perfect. Food was great, and the guys knew there stuff. They were very easy to get along with, and even with a bunch of Teaxa Boys going shark fishing. They took it in stride.

Here is the contact info for Chandeleur Charters

http://chandeleurcharters.com/
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Old 07-06-2008, 06:49 PM   #5
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WOW awesome trip there JR....

You guys seemed to have a blast.> The islands are a very special place and i always look forward to going back...

The majority of the sharks that ive hooked there were big bulls that just proceed to take big trout from me.. Scary amount of sharks even over in the grass flats.

Congrats on a Great Trip...
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Old 07-06-2008, 08:19 PM   #6
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Congrats on a great trip! How deep was the water where you set the baits? Did you yak any out deep?
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Old 07-07-2008, 06:54 AM   #7
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Awesome report as always. Very cool!
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Old 07-07-2008, 12:20 PM   #8
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nice report .
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Old 07-07-2008, 01:24 PM   #9
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We were there on the Southern Way and fished the 27th through the 29th. There were plenty of aggressive sharks inside the islands as well. We lost quite a few trout to some pretty aggressive Bulls that seemed to like our little skiff. A young man on the boat drifting near us stopped dangling his feet in the water after he say a 5' + Bull inhale a trout we were trying to flip in the boat. Pretty cool and a little scary all at the same time.
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Old 07-07-2008, 03:36 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CAPSIZED
Congrats on a great trip! How deep was the water where you set the baits? Did you yak any out deep?
We were casting into 6-9' of water at a blowout from a cut through one of the islands.

We also ran some 20lb+ baits out 200-800 yards.
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