The weather was right so we decided to pull together a crew and head to the rigs in search of tuna. We put out the word but could not scratch together a four man crew so it was just me, Allen and Stephen. We figured if the US Women’s Gymnastics Team could pick their own name (“The Final Five”) we could, too. So we dub this crew, Team Triple Threat.
We consulted FishTrac and Roffers and it was clear that blue water was far away so we settled in for a long run. When we did find rigs in blue water there just did not seem to be a lot of activity, so we kept moving. We ended up way southwest with Tuna busting the surface in nasty green water. We chunked, we live baited, we trolled, but the bite was slow and completely died overnight despite the full moon. We only had one decent bite and the fish came unhooked before we got it to the boat. We were in good company with several other boats seeming to have much the same experience.
We tried some other rigs and found another in green water with a decent bite going on. Saw a couple of other boats hooking up on live baits, but our live bait had not held up. Lots of dead ones and just a few left to try. Bridled up the biggest hard tail in the live well and boom, we were on. Let him eat it and take line for perhaps 30-45 seconds and then brought the line tight. Fought the fish for a couple minutes and then it came unbuttoned. When we reeled the line back in we found the hard tail was still on the hook and you could see it had been bitten and held on to, but never swallowed. I guess next time I need to let the fish eat it even longer.
We were out of live bait and strangely the fish were completely ignoring our nice fresh chunk. We had caught some blackfin, skippies, and small yellowfin, but it was just not our day for Tuna. A bit frustrated we decided to start back toward home in hopes of finding a good rip to fish on the way.
On the way out we had run across a debris line from the Mississippi in lovely river water.
We had worked some schools of tuna nearby picking up some blackfin, skippies, bonita etc… but nothing exciting enough to hold our attention. There was a huge shark lurking among them and it was tempting to try to hook it up, but it was not a Mako and the idea of fighting it for a couple hours was not something we wanted to embrace.
Checking the debris line we found it was loaded up with triple tail. That is when Team Triple Threat let its colors shine. Using highly unconventional tactics we set about selecting a few of these fish for the ice box. Allen struck first putting a nice one in the box.
This was a nice specimen that was literally hand fed the jig.
I jumped in and found a second volunteer.
But Stephen did not feel we were being adequately selective so he went moose hunting and dipped this one out of the fish tank.
I am astounded that triple tail are not extinct. I do believe they are the most docile, least spooky, most incredibly willing to die species on the planet.
On the way home we found a bit of a rip and light weed line and pulled some small tuna off it, but never found what we were looking for. What amazes me about this trip is that despite a really long run and failure to catch the target species, we just had a great time. Those triple tail were a blast, the weather was great, company superb and it was just awesome to be on the water. Beats work any day!
One last shot of Team Triple Threat back at the dock.
The payoff was pan fried triple tail dinner.
Straight forward preparation. Dipped in flour, salt and pepper and seared in a cast iron skillet with olive oil and butter. A great salad and tomatoes caprese for accompaniment along with your beverage of choice.
Next time, we will get those tuna! Until then, catch em up.