We departed at around 6pm bound for Pulley Ridge to catch deep water grouper and snapper.  …Out of all the trips that we do during the year, these Pulley Ridge trips are without a doubt my favorite.  The fish catching possibilities are wide open – you just never know what you are going to run across or over that might be the mother load or that awesome fish of a lifetime...  We steamed all night long and at sunrise the anxious anglers put out some trolling lures.  In no time we had a couple of nice mahi mahi on board.  We arrived at our first destination around 9am – the depth was 800 ft. The target: barrel fish, tile fish & snowy grouper.  Almost instantly some of the rods were bent over with fish on.  We also quickly realized that the loop current that we’ve been dealing all year with was going to make our trip difficult.  After a few tackle adjustments (heavier weights) we fished that 700-850 ft. depth for the entire day.  The current got stronger and stronger as the day progressed.  On almost every drop, we picked a few nice grouper and some small to medium sized grey tiles but the barrel fish were not cooperating.  At couple hours before sundown we started trolling offshore to the sword grounds.  Within 15 minutes I heard the screaming of “fish on” then, “another fish on”!  This time, by the way the line was peeling off the reels, they were not mahi mahi.  After a pretty quick battle 14 yr. old Jordan Vehr landed a nice wahoo and Rob Baron landed a wahoo that was almost 6 ft. long.  We continued trolling and we found a floating log that we picked a few more mahi mahi off of.  About 1 hour later I hear screaming from the deck, as I turned and looked back, I saw a marlin flying through the air about 200 ft. behind the Gulfstar.  Rob Baron was on again.  He quickly landed the white marlin and took some photos of his first marlin then released it unharmed to fight another day.   Once we got to the area we were heading to, we found a half degree break and scattered piles of bait.  This looked promising for sword fishing tonight.  6 hours later, our egos were bruised because the only thing we had to talk about sword fishing were 2 missed bites.  We had no tuna, mahi mahi or not even a shark come and visit us all night!  Captain Jerry and I discussed our strategy for the rest of the trip and we reluctantly decided that we were going to try to get out of the current by fishing shallower depths.  We started up the engines and steamed 6 hours to an area in 475 ft. of water.  …We were bummed out because if we had better conditions we would have whacked them offshore as almost every spot showed piles of fish on the fish finder… We felt as if we were settling for second best.  After a few drops we realized that we weren’t getting second best as our customers reeled up good sized yellow-edge, snowy grouper, scamp grouper, gag grouper and a mess of other fish.  The fishing was actually quite excellent all day long with good quality fish coming aboard.  (Mother nature gives when she wants to give and takes when she wants to take – there’s nothing we can do about it!)  At days end I asked the anglers if the wanted to try sword fishing again or maybe go look for some snapper in shallower water.  Everybody said snapper fishing because sword fishing was too painful last night!  After a couple hour ride, we anchored up on a snapper spot and caught 2 snapper?!  Ouch!  Next move – 2 more!  Next move – a few more!  Next move – 2 more!  Next move –  Captain Jerry & I opened up the cabinet containing a white flag and we waved it over the rail.  I guess we just weren’t catching any fish at night on this trip!
Although not our best 3 day trip, we fished through difficult conditions and made it a good trip.  Our anglers on deck did not let having to use 5 lbs. of lead deter them from having a good time and producing fish.  In fear of sounding like a broken record (for those of you that are old enough to know what a record is) I hope the current goes and bothers some other fishermen before our next Pulley Ridge trip, which is August 15th which we still have a couple spots available.   

Emily made an incredible video of this trip!  Check it out