Since I had no internet as we were living at anchor in Tobago, I wasn’t able to keep up with any reports, so here are my notes from my iPad on the bridge from our time fishing in Tobago…
Tobago May 2016 – moved the boat from Trinidad to Charlottesville with Sandy DaBreo and Spencer Sharf on the 8th where Frank Pettisani and Chris Van Grieken met up with us later that night
MONDAY May 9th
blue green 81.5 degree water. Seems green water is starting to move in. Uh oh..
1100 miss sail off left teaser (pink squid chain) lots of flying fish around so switched to the blue and white Ilander chaser bait which got the bite
1115 miss sail right long naked ballyhoo
1150 raise sail on right flat black express w Mack – came up again on left long no bite
350 miss billfish on left long black party hat
430 miss sail right long naked ballyhoo
540 half ass sail teaser bite on the pink chain behind the blue and white Ilander dredge
Most fish were in 50-60 fathoms on the inside pocket a few miles south of the Sisters.
TUESDAY May 10th 2016
Blue Green 82 degree water – tough to see my dredges at all
730 Frank release blue marlin off red black Ilander chasing blue chain teaser. Switched to a naked ballyhoo
900 miss sail on flat line in corner pocket
930 miss blue off of right blue teaser with dark express/mackerel chaser in the turn with a mahi on
940 miss Mahi off left teaser
1010 release 2 blues off flat line bites with Party Skirts
Current outside corner pocket pushing west at 1.5 knots – lots of flyers
1145 caught Mahi and missed blue in the turn off of the outside teaser
WEDNESDAY MAY 11 TOURNAMENT DAY 1
Blue green to green water – conditions looking worse
800 Raise sail left teaser but never committed
908 bill pino sail release off right long naked ballyhoo
950 sail left teaser – noncommittal
1000 blue left teaser – noncommittal
1125 missed blue off right teaser blue squid chain
230 blue right teaser – noncommittal
250 raised sail – noncommittal
A lot less flying fish today compared to the last two days, and extremely frustrating raising so many fish that just weren’t interested today. At least the fish are still here. Raised most of the fish in the corner pocket along the 100 fathom line.
THURSDAY MAY 12 TOURNAMENT DAY 2
1010 missed sail left long upsea bite on the black party hat
Very slow fishing – seems the fish slid up above the Sisters a bit but overall slow everywhere…
FRIDAY MAY 13 LAY DAY
Nada – only put in half a day and did a little searching around to the east and north of the island. Plenty of birds and porpoise but that was it! Caught 3 mahi.
SATURDAY TOURNAMENT DAY 3
720 Chris sail release off of left long blue and white party skirt. Very nice Atlantic Sail, pushing 70 pounds or so.
1115 sail on right teaser no switch
Tough fishing for the tournament. We did manage to catch the heaviest dolphin (been catching a few a day – I don’t make many notes of dolphin in my notes) so I guess that’s something. Bummed on our performance but the fish just really weren’t here. Party Time put it together on a hot morning the last day. I found myself in the wrong zone and by the time we picked up and ran to where the bite was it was over. Hopefully it picks up for us the next three days and we can end on a high note.
SUNDAY MAY 15th
Released 1 sailfish on a purple party hat – right long.
Raised a blue on the mud flap dredge that faded to the teaser but never ate
Caught a few Mahi as well. Fishing is still very slow.
MONDAY MAY 16
Made the run to the DE Bank – pretty much a washing machine ride. Hard 2-3 knot current out of the south with winds out of ESE at 20 knots. Lots of flying fish with water temp at 83.5 degrees
-the birds just seem to be chasing flying fish as there are thousands of them. We picked at some Mahi here and there and lucked out on some blackfin tunas in 30 fathoms. Very slow overall. Water was blue green and no real life other then flying fish. Disappointing…
TUESDAY MAY 17
Given that we have had to deal with green water out front of Charlottesville here we decided to go try a FAD about 10 miles out of Charlottesville. Unfotunately the water wasn’t any better and the FAD wasn’t holding any life. We ran back inside to the Sisters (rock structure on the 50 fathom line) and managed to switch a sailfish onto a ballyhoo with a party hat off of the pink squid chain with a black and red Ilander/ballyhoo chaser.
We ran back into Charlottesville to clear out mid day so we could fish our way down to the bottom of the island at Store Bay. We did manage to raise another sail on the pink squid chain with an all black Ilander Express/mackerel chaser bait but we missed him on the switch. That was it for the day and the trip.
Tough tough fishing but Tobago gave us a taste of her true potential when the conditions are right. Just unfortunate that the fishing shut down and the green water moved in. Awesome experience though with a fun crew and great friends. It was also a lot of fun having Bill Pino (Squidnation) himself fish the tournament with us. Hearing the story of how Squidnation got its start was also pretty awesome. Hopefully we get to fish together again in the future – but with some better action – haha.
Final Billfish Numbers – Blue Marlin 3/6 and raised 4 others – Sailfish 4/11 and raised 7 others – not what we came for. Certainly had some bad luck, but I guess we were due after a fantastic season in Grenada on the Exile. Gotta pay your dues… Just have to strike harder next time around…