3/7 A Blue is a Blue

We got out to Klein Curacao at first light hoping to get into some yellowfin tuna action. It was definitely choppy as could be today but we managed. The overcast conditions seemed to have things start a little later as we slowly picked away at a bite here and a bite there eventually boxing 3 smaller yellowfin tuna all on our way back bait Fish Downsea Tuna Flare with medium ballyhoo.

I worked the area for a while around the island but it was pretty quiet and conditions were rough. With that we trolled Downsea and finally the left flat Fish Downsea Chugger with a large ballyhoo pops out of the clip. As Chris finished the feed and locked up the drag we had a little marlin hooked up jumping behind the boat. Matt put in work for the release on his first billfish ever which is by far the smallest and cutest blue marlin I had ever seen. Haha. We gave it another hour after that but no more takers.

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3/4 Morning Report

We went out this morning to try and get in on a little tuna and billfish action, and the fish cooperated. With a steady 15-20 know ESE wind we had a bumpy head sea to get to the location, but once we were there, the sun was starting to get close to the horizon and the tunas were biting! We went 4/5 on yellowfin tuna catching all of them on Fish Downsea Tuna Flares rigged over medium ballyhoo as well as 2 blackfin tunas we caught ton cedar plug chains. The tuna action slowed down a lot by 9am so we switched over to dredge fishing for billfish.

It didn’t take long before a double header of sailfish jumped on us. We managed to get a hook into one and got a clean release. About a half hour later we got jumped again by 3 sailfish and got bites out of two, hooking one which we released as well. After that we called it a day and ran in. Solid Fun fishing!

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CaptainsVlog 08

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CaptainsVlog 07

BROKEN RODS, BIG TUNAS, and SAILFISHING Action in Grenada. CaptainsVlog 07 kicks off 2021 with some great Grenada Sailfishing and Tuna Fishing Action. COVID-19 is still hindering travels so I have been fishing a little on my boat and a little on Rum Knuckles just to stay on the water and keep the boats right. Check out the Action here.

Represent Fish Downsea Charters with some awesome FDC Gear at https://www.fishdownseacharters.com/gear

Below are some of the main things I used in this video. Some product links are affiliate links which means if you buy something I may receive a small commission…

Cameras Used: 

-GoPro HERO 7 Black – https://amzn.to/32x1R6w

-GoPro MAX – https://amzn.to/3fLxgr7

Camera Mounts:

-Jaws Flex Clamp Gooseneck Mount – https://amzn.to/3psMwxV

-GoPro Head Strap and Quick Clip – https://amzn.to/36twyLa

-GoPro Extension Pole – https://amzn.to/3phCdMS

Tackle Used:

-Shimano Tiagra 50W 2 Speed – https://amzn.to/38BeEsC

-Shimano Tyrnos 30 2 Speed – https://amzn.to/2HLPQD3

-Fish Downsea Flying Fish – https://www.fishdownsea.com/flyingfish​ 

-Fish Downsea 2.0 Complete Dredge w/ Dredge Flares – http://bit.ly/3ofZptQ

-Fish Downsea Party Skirts – http://bit.ly/38t92jw

-Squid Chain Teaser – https://amzn.to/2KPZtCg​ 

-Owner 6/0 SSW Circle Hooks (for sailfish) – https://amzn.to/38vL5Zn

-Sea Striker 70# Fast Snaps – https://amzn.to/391j2ja

-Dredge Fish Weight – https://amzn.to/3pIsyy8

-Ilander Flasher Lures – https://amzn.to/3kmAzWF

-Ilander Express – https://amzn.to/3n3cMMN

-Ilander Sea Star Flasher Black Plum – https://amzn.to/3pRvtoe

-Mustad 7691DT 9/0 Hooks (for tuna) – https://amzn.to/2JPeIdJ

Other Used:

-Weston Pro 2300 Vacuum Sealer – https://amzn.to/2KRFu61

-Overboard 30 Liter Hi Vis Backpack – https://amzn.to/3rKDyfu

-Eartec Headsets (communication) – https://amzn.to/3ng7AWq

-Reliable Fish Bags – https://amzn.to/3rUH7AQ 

-Aftco Maxforce Harness and Drop Belt – https://amzn.to/391IAwA

-Aftco Gaffs – https://amzn.to/3pvrnTI

-Aftco Fingerless Fishing Gloves – https://amzn.to/3kqDTjo

-Costa Del Mar Sunglasses

And So much More… If you have any questions as to what else we are using, please feel free to contact me or message me here!

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2/22 Quick Trip Report

We slipped out for an afternoon trip on Picante in hopes of getting some billfish action and hopefully some yellowfin bites closer to dark. We started the day fishing around Klein Curacao and raised a small blue fairly early that didn’t eat. Not the way we wanted to start the day. We kept working the area and then a 250# Blue Marlin some in hot on the right flat line Fish Downsea Chugger rigged on a flying fish. The Blue inhaled it and game on for Donny’s first blue. We chased the fish hard downsea for about 20-25 minutes before we finally got the release on 30# tackle. Fun fish. We pounded it out the last hour of daylight that was left hoping the yellowfins would show up but they played hooky.

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2/13 Snuck in a Blue One

I fished on the Job Site again for the New Moon we had, and we fished West Point here in Curacao. The conditions were extremely windy with winds 30 knots out of the East making it tough to fish where we wanted. We got into a good jigging bite on the blackfin tuna right before sunrise and had plenty of fun with that. Then we got on the troll and had a few wahoo bite offs and did get one in the box! Then here comes the blue marlin on the left teaser, then switched to the right teaser, and finally I got the switch on the Fish Downsea big Chugger with a ballyhoo! I handed the rod off to Harrie for his first blue release! Woohooo! We gave it a little longer but called it good at noon and headed for home.

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My 3 Favorite Locations to Fish

I have a video on this topic on YouTube in an effort to start answering questions people have for me.

I have actually had some extra time on my hands due to Covid still holding up my charter schedule abroad, so I took the time to make a little video and also write this Blog about my 3 favorite locations to fish. What prompted this was I get asked this question all of the time! Very loaded question, and every place I have ever fished has something extremely special about it, but I narrowed it down to the following three locations…

1.Grenada

Grenada is somewhere I started fishing back in 2013 and continued to do so Winter after winter for a few weeks and then as time went on it started to turn into a few months extending into the Spring. Grenada is a safe and friendly island, and its so easy to get into and out of because most of the places to stay are within 20 minutes of the airport as well as the marinas. 

Grenada has a year round fishery, but the peak billfishing and wahoo season tend to be in the Winter months. Sailfish are abundant and blue and white marlin mix in to help round out the Grand Slam. Some days the big Yellowfin Tunas are thick and you can get yourself one of these fish of a lifetime that have the big beautiful long Alison Sickle Fins. If all else fails, go target wahoo on the edge of the drop offs. It truly is an incredible fishery all within 2-20 miles of the island!

Grenada is a naturally beautiful and lush island with a rainforest in the center of the island. There truly is so much to do on the island as well as many great places to go out and get a nice dinner or a drink. My personal favorite spots are:

Island Fever: (http://www.islandfevergrenada.com) A laid back open air atmosphere ate the Le Phare Bleu Resort & Marina. Plenty to choose from on the menu and the bartenders poor well!

Aquarium: (https://aquariumgrenada.com) Set on magazine Beach with an incredible view of the island, the Aquarium can be both casual and fine dining. Great food and drink menu, and try to hit the Sunday BBQ.

La Plywood: (https://www.facebook.com/Laplywood/) Inexpensive small bar right on BBC Beach with a cool ambiance, amazing view, and great fish tacos! As the name suggests, its pretty much all made out of plywood.

2.Bahamas

The Bahamas has a special place in my heart, and to be honest, I have only ever truly experienced the Out Islands of the Bahamas. I absolutely love it out there! Its remote, rustic, and the fishing is incredible, especially when you time it right. I spent 8 years in a row with Captain Joe Trainor fishing the Southern Bahamas and wow did I learn a lot there. The action is fast and furious, and that area has a lot of options so being ready to numerous types of scenarios was the key to success fishing in the Bahamas.

I spent most of my time in Hawk’s Nest Marina (https://hawks-nest.com) located in Cat Island. The staff there is so amazing, nice, and helpful. The restaurant on site is great when you want to have a meal off of the boat. And as for the fishing, WOW. It’s probably the best place to billfish in the Bahamas. April and May you can have the opportunity to catch a Grand Slam any day, and the mahi run thick and they are large!

San Salvador (https://ridingrock.com)in the Winter months is an incredible wahoo fishery, and you can get some monsters there. I was lucky enough to get 2 there over 100 pounds. Its also a great location for Blue Marlin Fishing around June.

Where I really enjoy roaming around is south of Long Island. Flying Fish Marina (http://www.flyingfishmarina.com) is a great spot to call base if you want to do live aboard style trips anchoring out and fishing in Crooked Island, The Acklins, Hog Sty Reef, and of course the infamous Diana Bank. Great mixed back fishing in all pdf these areas.

3.New Jersey

Yes, New Jersey. I tell people this a lot and they say, “What!?!? New Jersey, really?”. Although our runs usually are kind of long to the fishing grounds, New Jersey truly has world class offshore fishing. The tuna fishing gets to be absolutely incredible with a mix of yellowfins, bluefins, and bigeyes. The white marlin fishing some season is insane with multiple double digit days a real possibility, and we do get our shots at blue marlin throughout the season, some big ones too! There are also plenty of big money tournaments throughout the summer to test your skills and cash in on some winnings. Don’t forget about some fun fishing for sharks, especially Makos, and Swordfishing, especially daytime swordfishing is phenomenal in the Fall months.

Aside from the offshore scene, New Jersey also has a great inshore fishery. Black Drum in the DE Bay in the Spring is excellent! Flounder fishing all summer long, and then the Striped Bass fishing is hands down lights out action during the Fall Migration. We also have great Black Sea Bass and Tog Fishing on the wrecks as well.

Oh, the Jersey Shore… Along with great fishing, New Jersey has some great beaches all along the coastline and plenty of fun towns that host them. There are so many great restaurants and bars all along the Jersey Shores, and some towns even have some amazing boardwalks for the true summer feel. Some are just promenades to walk along and look at the water with a couple shops, and others are huge amusement park style boardwalks. Whatever you are looking for, you can be sure to find it in New Jersey.

When it comes to traveling, especially traveling and fishing, there a few things I just cannot be without. All of these things serve important purposes and come in handy in many situations. Here are the 5 things I cannot be without:

1.Satellite Communication. Being able to communicate, especially for the “just in case of the worst scenario”, is so important, and can save your life. Satellite communication has become inexpensive and easy to obtain, so there is no excuse for not having it. I personally have and use the Garmin InReach Mini (https://amzn.to/3hLNv8U), and it’s MapShare feature that sends a link of a map with your position that constantly updates is great for friends and family to check at anytime and see your progress. Another option is the Iridium Go (https://amzn.to/353c8ZC).

2.Overboard 30 Liter Hi Vis Backpack (https://amzn.to/3rKDyfu). This backpack is waterproof and can pack a lot of items. I use mine all of the time everywhere I go and it also seconds well as a ditch bag for emergencies.

3.GoPro MAX (https://amzn.to/3fLxgr7). I can’t be without a camera, and the GoPro MAX triples as a 360 camera, and regular video camera, and a still frame camera and can handle the elements!

4.Yeti Hopper Backpack (https://amzn.to/3aSIWGQ). This thing is rugged, durable, and well insulated. It is great to have for those beach excursions to pack your drinks and lunch in and also great for if you want to fly home with fish.

5.Great Sunglasses. I always wear Costa Del Mar Sunglasses (www.CostaDelMar.com) because their lenses are unbeatable. Having a great pair of sunglasses to protect your eyes and help you see everything clearly is so important.

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2/6 blues and tunas

We set out to leave on the 40’ Custom “Job Site” early am to try and get into the tunas on jigs. After a few miles the crew smelled fuel and Chris went down to inspect and the port engine was spitting fuel out near an elbow to the secondary fuel filter. After further inspection we found the o ring broke. So we had to come back in and wait for stores to open to get another o ring.

After the repair we set out for Klein Curacao and it didn’t take long to get our first bite from a yellowfin tuna on the left long fish Downsea mini Chugger on a medium ballyhoo. Unfortunately towards the end of the fight we pulled the hook. The rest of the afternoon was slowwww. Not a bite or any signs of life.

We stuck it out and finally we had a pair of marks on the sounder at 80’ that looked like the right marks! Less then a minute later we had a blue marlin all over the right teaser Fish Downsea Flying Fish Chain. Chris pitched the 12# test outfit to the 150# blue and got a bite but it dropped him. As he was reeling it in the right long goes off and San Cochoooo. Chris still reeling in his bait the left long gets a bite form a blue and immediately Chris got bit again by his blue. Missed em both. Ouch.

With that everyone was awake again but bummed! We grabbed a small yellowfin tuna after that melee! As the sun started to set we adjusted to a tuna spread and wham. Double header yellowfins. We boated one and lost one. Then we looped around and got another crack at them. 2 bites and hooked one and we got that in right at dark and headed home.

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Job Site – Curacao 1/30-31

I just arrived to Curacao and my friend Chris who helped my with the boat retrofit had finally got the chance to finish his 40′ Custom Boat he has been building. He has been fishing quite a bit the past few months here in Curacao and getting pretty dialed in! With that we went out Saturday late in the day and fishing around the northern side of Klein Curacao. It didn’t take long before a blue marlin came up on the right long. We got the bite and had him on but pulled the hook. As the sun set we got covered up in blacken tuna and put 4 in the box quickly. We switched over to jigging and caught 3 more before the bite ended and anchored for the night at Klein Curacao.

We woke up at 4am the next morning and tried jigging tunas, but it seemed the 2 day old Full Moon had the night bite kind of finicky. As grey light came we started to mark tunas but could not get a bite on jigs so we started to troll and as I was letting out the first line, WHAM! A yellowfin inhaled the bait. We went on to pick at 2 more quality yellowfins and then switched over to billfihing. It wasn’t long before a nice 400# blue piled on the right teaser Fish Downsea Flying Fish chain with a blue and white Express chaser. Unfortunately the LP went dead and we couldn’t get the fish off of the teaser, but fortunately a smaller blue was with her and we hooked that one up on the left short ballyhoo/fish Downsea big chugger combo. Chris went on to fight that one and we got the release after about 20 minutes.

We got back on the troll and the left long Fish Downsea chugger/ballyhoo went off. It seemed like a tuna bite but the fish was swimming upset and fast like a blue. We chased the fish for awhile on the 30# gear. After chasing for awhile the blue finally showed herself and put on some awesome jumps showing she was around 400 pounds. We were able to get the release while she was on top. We trolled a bit more but no more bites and called it a great trip at that!

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Grenada to Curacao

We successfully and safely made the crossing from Grenada to Curacao where we will be for the month of February and March. Everything went smoothly and we had a beautiful full moon night to travel on with following seas, the wind at our back, and also the current with us, so we made great timing. We managed to hook a big tuna off of Grenada when we left but unfortunately lost it. Otherwise we were traveling at 12 knots or so the whole way and never got any other bites even thought we had 4 lines out trying the whole time. I’m looking forward to getting some fishing in while I’m here, and Curacao is open to tourism only requiring a negative PCR test within 72 hours of your flight time.

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