Thursday, February 26, 2009

Travels & Fishing - post for pasts trips

Update to my page of the experiences of my worldwide fishing adventures…

1. Kona, Hawaii Fall Nov 2007
2. Offshore Sea Bass Winter January 2008
2. The Great Alaska, Ketchikan Fall 2008
4. Palmas del Mar Christmas 2008

5. Offshore Sea Bass Winter January 2009

Kona, Hawaii Fall Nov 2007

Besides being the most beautiful islands I have ever seen, the waters around Hawaii are world-class fishing grounds for our global sports fishery. It's November 12th, 2007 and I find myself boarding a vintage 42-foot batram on the famous island of Kona. Without a doubt I know there is a full moon and that's probably what kept me up all night. As some of you know. It’s hard for me to really fall asleep the night before a big fishing trip.

I climb onto the boat with along with 4 others and a Capitan. The new and old Penn Internationals gleam back at me from the early risen sun. We are aboard and our half-day trip is under way.

30 and 50 up top, and 4 80's surrounding the chair are rigged quickly by the mate with ballyhoo's and bird teasers. Center and far back we troll the spread. Today's menu: dragging lines for mahi, ahi tuna, and the man in the blue suit a.k.a. Blue marlin!

I’m pretty excited as we start our troll only about as soon as the mate finishes rigging each rod up. Being new to the islands I didn't realize that the waters are 1000 feet deep only 1/2 miles out. Mind you that back in New Jersey it takes 5-6 hours to get out between 50 and 60 miles out and at that point the water on the shelf averages only 300-400 feet deep.

So we start the troll while watching the sun float above the shoreline. Island visible, and in very deep water.

We didn't catch any fish today but I did meet a gentleman, or I should say boat captain and his wife that coincidentally parks his 37 foot topaz in Cape May, NJ. In the same ground I learned to plug and chunk for stripers, bottom fish for tautog, and bucktail for flounder.

Offshore Sea Bass Winter January 2008

An 18 hour trip offshore for giant seabass!

This one liner got me excited for what I was to experience as one. Of my most memorable trips on the water. As I pick up Aki, I realize it's almost 12am and we are on our way to report to the dock at 1am. The total trip will be 18 hours broken down like this: 5 hour commute ride to the fishing grounds, fish like a mad man for 8 hours straight, and then 5 hours back. I'm optimistic in bringing back some great table fare and variety of fish. My tackle is novice and my desire is steady. There is only one small thing that concerns me on this trip and it's the slight chance that some sort of sea sickness may set in. I didn't know my tolerance so I did not take any of those seasickness pills or ginger candy or special bracelets.

So, the fishguys participants that came on this trip are the following: Tan, Aki, Bill, Chris, JohnQ, and his three friends. By 2am we are all boarded on the Atlantic Star and on our way out of Cape May, NJ.

Here is the list of gear I brought:

- St. Croix Premier Muskie Rod (PM76MHF)
- Abu Ambassadeur 7000 Vintage Baitcaster, spooled with 300 yds. Tuff Line XL #80lbs.
- Quantum Rod 7'
- Custom Abu Ambassadeur 5500CD Baitcaster, spooled with 200 yds. Tuff Line XL #80lbs. Sig knot with 8 foot Ande mono leader. Double chicken Gammy 6/0 rig setup.

Offshore Sea Bass Winter January 2009

January 17, 2009, 03:13:29 AM
I'm writing this from my blackberry on the 2nd level flat beds. 4 brave warriors are off to sea in search of monster jumbos.
The bravest of the brave are: All star regime title holder Tan Bui

Mayhem contenders: Aki, Enoch, & rookie standout:Ryan Romo Romanski
It was 11 degrees at the dock and windchill is another minus 10.I can feel it, the bigguns are out there and we are ready.The seas remain calm as we roar out paat the horizon and leave atlantic county and its lit up skyline in our rear.
Flat as a lakePast 2AMI'm the only one sleeping outside the cabin!

More to come when were back at the dock

January 17, 2009, 10:00:00 PM
30 mins from dock. Tan asks: "how was sitting on the couch everyone??"Aki takes a picture of moby dickRomo sits content with knowing this weekend was planned well, 18 hours on a boat and then 2 football games tommorow

...While I wonder what fishguys responds will be after seeing our special bright yellow color catch of the day


January 18, 2009, 12:49:12 AM

They were commiting suicide on Japanese jigs (butterfly type jigs). At first, one guy was so doubtful about what I was doing (agressive jigging) and said "you're snagging fish". But we started slaying seabass on jigs. I even caught double header on jig; one on tail hook and other on stinger hook. Today was kind of day that jig catch more fish than bait. It was fun.
Aki and I limited out on seabass. Many fish in 4-5lb range but no jumbo one.Some of you might know how big this cooler box is.


I somehow forgot to eat my breakfast, and ended up keeping this "good luck" yellow banana in my bag all day.
More photo on Tan's camera.

Palmas del Mar Christmas 2008

Without a doubt a terrific time on the island and in the warm waters of the Caribbean.

Not knowing what to expect this trip will be one of the ones to remember the most. With the holiday season it was so fun to be out there and able to see a warm Christmas. Although my sister got sick for most of the trip she was up and able to hop on a R&R tarpon trip out of San Juan on the acclaimed sport fisher of Capt. Omar Orraca and his first captain David.

The boat was docked at Cangrejos, Carolina about 15 minutes from the airport in San Juan. They had 2 in their fleet for fishing inshore/backbays and a larger batram for the best bill fishing south of Florida. Like the free land PR is, my sister and I enjoyed to the fu

llest the day off we gave to our parents. We stopped at a street food area in an area next to the yatch club. After we arrived I discovered some English speaking gringos and asked where they got their Medallion beer. He directed us to as the person manning the grill/cashier. We swapped cash for 2 bbq skewer kabobs and took 3 beers back to the car.

Meeting one of the most notable boat captains in the entire island was an experience of its own. While checking in at the club’s bar/restaurant/tapas I was introduced to Omar. My experience so far of this man was what I could read from online reports and what the guys online back at bass barn suggest to be a great guy and one of the best tarpon guides to fish these waters. I found out that he has been television shows and has hosted many experienced and famous anglers. My sister and I were glad to meet him and share some good laughs before we hit the water with his first captain. Check out his smile…

Anyhow, the trip started with Jera and I hitting the smaller pathfinder 25’ and fueling at the local docked tank. I learned a word in Spanish while we were pumping. To make fun of each other my captain and the local guys at the pump kept calling each other "becha" and it reminded me of the Japanese slang to describe a person that is a total chatter box…

The Mangroves of San Juan are the prime location for world class Tarpon. The reason they are still in these shallow waters (almost year round) is because the amount of baitfish in the area. Along with the Tarpon are some trophy Snook and Jack Cravelle.

The baitfish of choice are Thread Fin Herring. As we wean through the backbays and street level canals of San Juan I see small anchovies and also some clear (glass?) minnows…

After we get gas we get catch some bait. About 40 or so were needed and after that we head off to what the locals and Omar call the “playground”

One the first run we put out 3 rods and cast one. First 10 minutes we wait and the all of a sudden the line with a Stella 10k goes off. I offer to my sister but she says its all me. I quickly take the rod from David and we are off the skunk!

About 8 minutes later I land my first and PB Snook! What a beauty!
Although we didn’t catch anything else that day we enjoy what was the best Puerto Rican sunset and waters in the calm and relaxing evening on the water. The captain was professional and funny and also accommodating for my sister which is not such a angler yet.

There was something about the water that reminded me of the urban style fishing we have in Philadelphia. A pleasure of a trip to say the least. I know I will be back down, since now I know where the monsters are!