By Captain Kevin Deerman
It’s definitely a different world we are living in now compared to a few short months ago. Covid-19 has dramatically changed life as we all know it for now and possibly for years to come. The low demand of fuel around the world has sent oil prices to unprecedented lows. This makes for additional hardships on many Texas companies as well.
That being said, we are all still maintaining a positive outlook on what our tournament season may look like this year. As of now, all of our Gulf tournaments are still on schedule, though they may have to make a few changes as far as registration, dinners and awards ceremonies depending on restrictions on large groups at that time.
On a much brighter side, there has been a lot more fishing activity in our area of the Gulf this time of year because of the Coronavirus. The fishing has been off the charts. The bluefin tuna have showed up here in big numbers but this year they were met by a few of the crews that were marlin fishing while “social distancing” offshore.
On April 8th, Capt. John Cochrane and crew on the La Belle got the ball rolling with a 599-pound bluefin that they hooked as they were putting their first live bait in the rigger clip. Later that night, Capt. Robert Nichols and crew on Rock Mama showed up to weigh yet a second bluefin at the same weigh station at Pelican Rest Marina. Rock Mama’s owner/angler Daniel Miers soon realized he and his crew had just set the new Texas state record when their fish went a whopping 820-pounds.
The following day, Capt. Raleigh Morrison and crew on the Walk West weighed a 649-pound bluefin at Fisherman’s Wharf in Port Aransas while Capt. Troy Day and his crew on Decarb weighed in a 633 in Freeport, Texas. The Decarb’s 14-year-old angler, Sam Moore Jr., did an awesome job and the crew was able to boat the fish after a 55-minute fight.
With all of this meat hitting the scales, it was little surprise when a little over a week later it was announced that the 1.8 metric ton quota had been met and bluefin tuna angling category of Gulf of Mexico Trophy Fishery (for incidental trophy bluefin) would close on April 16th. Incidental bluefin hookups could still be fought, tagged and released, but bluefin could not be specifically targeted and anglers were asked to practice “careful catch and release.”
The bluefin continued to show up over the next couple of weeks with the Sigsbee Deep and Susie Q each releasing one, and the Smooth Move releasing a double header. In addition, most of the boats fishing also released blue marlin. All told, more than 20 blue marlin were reported during the same period.
We are hoping that the blue marlin bite continues, and we all get through this mess as soon as possible. Good luck to everyone this season and stay safe.
– That’s the report from Texas!
Do you have any comments or questions for us? We’d love to hear from you.