This was a two part weekend. Some of our passengers joined Capt. Rich for some hog hunting early in the day and then made the trip back to Tarpon to hop on the boat by Midnight to do some fishing for Hogfish. Captain Rich made the last minute decision to throw in a “one tag per person” Gag permit. Capt Joy
The Hunt went fantastic with plenty of action and 100% opportunity. Nick Ellis was after a giant! He had told me that he has wanted one for a long time. On Friday afternoon when Capt George and I got settled in at the hunting cabin we decided to do a little pre-hunting scouting. We saw the big Boar with 4 in cutters and instantly I knew Nick was going to have his chance at his big boar. The scouting was probably a bad idea because we saw so many hogs that I could not sleep on Friday night. After morning coffee and donuts and a little “here is the plan” talk the hunt got under way. It wasn’t long before we heard the first gunshot then another. The hogs were active this morning and so were the hunters, after an couple of hours the first hogs were brought back to camp. They were some real good sized hogs but not the monster boar Nick was after. Nick, Lovett and Andy were still out there looking for the right one. Then over the radio we hear chatter- it sounds like Nick got an arrow in the big boar but the boar did not drop- he apparently laughed and ran off. After an hour or so Nick was face to face with a now very angry boar. As Nick got into shooting position the boar started charging him. The boar did not charge the two guides but turned to Nick- this boar new it was the man with the bow he was after. Well….. Nick maintained his coolness… steadied up and waited for him to be almost face to face before letting the arrow go. The two guides were thinking “this is gonna get ugly” we are gonna need an ambulance if he misses. Well I am glad to report that NO ambulance was needed and Nick got a 288 lb. Boar… When Nick got back to camp he was so excited he could hardly talk, after a little while he started reflecting and I think he started to realize just how close to getting hurt he had gotten…What a beast and the hog was nice too.
Scott Cutshall got another big boar this one was around 170lbs. Scott got him with a .308 single shot rifle. This was Scotts first hog and he made it look easy. Lovett was hunting with a shotgun for a good part of the morning but he just couldn’t get a clean shot to take so he came back to camp got something to drink and see what everybody else was doing. After a little while he got out the Savage .270 and loaded it up. He went back out and after a while in the hot afternoon sun we heard just one shot. Then the radio woke up and we heard BLACK HOG DOWN!! one shot 75 yards perfect placement…. This was his first time ever shooting this rifle. Awesome… Andy Schiller was still out there with his shotgun and he was not coming in for a break. He stayed until he had the opportunity to take one… Well…. his patience paid off because he got a real nice sow with his shot gun. What a day… we had a ton of fun and I cant wait to do it again. Now back to the fishing…. Capt Rich
Passengers were thrilled. “The Gag permit was a nice surprise” commented on gentleman. Fishing was spotty through out the day according to Capt. Jerry
The tide was still very strong and the Gumbo or “algae” was sporadic in different areas. The depths were around 45 feet of water. The Hogfish catch was pretty good. Many undersize Hogs were caught along with some very nice keepers. A total of 15 were brought in. Joann had her “Mini spinney reel” with her and it broke in half with a monster hog hit.
A total of 10 beautiful Gags were also part of the final total along with a boat load of Grunts and some nice Mangrove Snapper.
Everyone fishing with us had a great day. The bunch that were hog hunting earlier in the day were thrilled to go home with both pork AND fish!
Faces were a bit sunburned and weary but best of all, satisfied. “We had a fabulous time” and “the most accommodating boat we have ever fished on”
“Can not believe the meals we were served” Good stuff, good trip!!!! Captain Joy
The Hog fishing was not as red hot as we were hoping for but the fisherman did get a good bunch of fish. This was the first trip for us where we had Hogfish on the top of the hit list and even though we did not catch them to Gulfstar standards we will be back to do it again. As always when we try to expand our knowledge base and our ability there is a learning curve. We experienced the same learning curve when we started fishing pully ridge as there was no passenger boat fishing there with customers to copy. The same thing goes for when we started deep drop motor fishing in 1000 ft for big snowy grouper and so on…. That is part of the adventure, try new things and keep it exciting… Lets call it the “Gulfstar adventure” Captain Rich