The Dog Days of Winter

  • Got out last week and hit the rigs in search of Wahoo and Tuna.  This was the first time I have ever had a dog along for an overnighter, but it turns out he is an avid angler.

That is Milo, he is Frenchy’s pup, and he was full on fishing the entire trip. Every time he heard a reel clicker he was on it. In this video he shows his technique for subduing uncooperative tuna!

I especially like the way he takes a bite and spits it out on the deck 🙂 Reminded me of Mike Tyson and Evander Holyfield.

We did not tear ’em up, but we found some fish and turned a bit of success into a new recipe we dubbed Atún del Mediterráneo.  It was good!

The tuna is just seared in a bit of olive oil with a dash of salt, pepper and cardamon.  Served over brown rice with a cold sauce of fresh diced tomatoes, lemon, olive oil, salt, parsley, green onions, capers, and olives. On the side, big juicy grapes and fresh steamed broccoli.  Yum!

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Weather looked good last week and when Frenchy proposed we head for the rigs, I jumped at the chance.  It’s not often you get a forecast like this in February.

The crew was me, Frenchy, Allen, Manfred, Chris and, of course, Milo.

We headed to the fixed platforms on the shelf looking for wahoo.  We had one nice strike on the large Yo Zuri, but all we had to show for it was some missing paint and a nice impression of some very sharp wahoo teeth.

We bounced south by Marlin and Ram Powell checking there for Tuna and Wahoo, but no love.  Water was ugly and had river weeds floating in it.  67 degrees.  We moved south to Horn and picked up a decent blackfin bite, but no yellowfin activity and the water was cold and green.  We moved south to Ensco DS 8505 and the water there was a balmy 74 and we picked up several smaller yellowfin in short order.

Manfred is a lean mean jiggin’ machine.  Like the Energizer Bunny he just keeps on going.  I don’t know how he does it, but he supplied us with a bunch of blackfin that we converted into chunk bait trying to trade up to yellowfin.  He also jigged up at least one yellowfin, maybe more. Chris took first shift at the chunk duty.

While we were finding some fish, the size was not what we were hoping for.  Our friend Nick was in another boat working Nakika and some of the other ships and rigs in the area and they were having the same challenge.

We tried Q5000, a rig I had never seen before.  Milo was on duty inspecting operations.

We had lots of fun and it was great to have a chance to do an overnighter this time of year, but with fuel low we decided to head for the hill.

Hope you enjoyed the report.  Until next time, Catch ’em Up!

3 thoughts on “The Dog Days of Winter”

  1. Just came across your blog and this post peaked my interest. I actually work on a rig near Thunderhorse and Q5000. We recently(after 3 years of pleading and begging) got approval to start fishing from the rig. In the last three weeks we have picked up on some tendencies of the YFT with them hitting topwater bait(artificial squids and flying fish) in the evening and hitting chunking hard in the morning. Mostly 30-40 lbers in the evening and 60-80 lbers in the morning. BUT we have some massive YFT that are definitely leader shy, but have major problems with the cuda taking bait and hooks before it gets to about 20-30 feet down.

    I work noon-midnight but have woken up at 5 am to take advantage of the big boys in the morning. Presently, 150 lb mono leader with a 9/0 or 10/0 circle hook has been great for the younger tunas but the big boys def know. Would you recommend trying 60-80 lb fluoro and a 7/0 hook for the bigger boys?

    Offshore fishing is new to me, I’m from Charleston, SC and stick with inshore or trout fishing in NC. Just want one of those big boys.

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