Day two with Richie from Monroe, NC started off as what could have been a bust – since i couldnt vote early (charters every day), I had to get to the polls before we went out. Well, the lines were long and i didnt get to the slip until close to 7:30am – YIKES. We were supposed to go out on my boat to do some flounderin’ and speckin’ but it was one of those very magical days – dead calm for miles and miles and miles. With as calsm as it was, Richie wanted to king again, like the day before – he pleaded his case to take his own boat (a beautiful 23′ Sea Fox CC – a boat which i was very impressed with). Truth is, I didn’t need much convincing – we put as many menhaden in the livewell as it could handle (approx 15) and went flat-out to the East Side where the water was a toasty 71 degrees.
There were a couple of guides slow trolling over the live-bottom spot – but not having done anything all morning, they left almost as soon as we arrived (10am – YIKES). We put out a spread of live menhaden and within 10 minutes the downrigger line screamed – a nice 15lb king came to the gaff. As I was trying to reset the downrigger line and put the line in the release – something plucked the line out of my hand (NOTE – that’s why you never wrap the line around your finger when setting a downrigger). Richie started to battle with what was a very large fish. As I cleared the port line, a king grabbed it as i pulled it in – I pulled the fish in, gaffed him and put him in the box. Using a TLD20 and a live-bait rod, Richie fought the fish for over 40 minutes before we finally saw what it was – a BLACKFIN TUNA!!! Barely hooked, the fish almost fell off the hook when we pulled it into the boat – that’s a first for me, a TUNA while SLOW TROLLING!!!
After that the bites were constant – the next fish was a 40lb king (tailed, photographed and released), then a large AJ which Richie let me deal with as he was taking a break from the tuna, several more 10-20lb kings and then the behemoth 45 or so pounder which we tailed, photographed and released. We lost many, many fish – including what we think were several tunas, some large kings, AJs – you name it. We saw a sailfish sky, had a large yellowfin sky right in our baits. All the fish were serious tackle busters on TLD 15s and 20s. The downrigger was going nuts all day – while the kings could have cared less what baits they ate (as long as they were big baits) – the tuna, AJs and large mystery fish all hit live menhaden. Had we had more live shad – who knows what me may have caught… We went home with our limit of kings and many, many memories from two days of amazing weather weather and great fishing…
I’m sure Richie is going to remember this day for a very long time…
“give him the heat!”
“AJs pull too much…”
“MY buddy Reef Donkey”