This fishing report is dedicated to my friend who about 3 year ago shouted out to me as I entered Tampa Fishing Outfitter… “Aaahhh you are Hop Sing” You did well last week on the Gulfstar”. His name was Captain David Riemont. He was the first person whom I knew outside office in Tampa area.

About 3 year ago on the new moon was my first trip with Gulfstar. Weather was ok, I was just learning how to fish for mango snapper. I did fine. Well, now 3 years later, I thi…nk it was beginners luck.

This trip was the trip to be compared for other future trips and it will make an OK trip great trip.

Lets start with the weather. “Rubin, why you look worried?” “I am worried about the weather.”

“No worry. Forecast is 10-15knot wind and 1-2 foot wave. It ok we are in 85-foot boat”

Well, it would be ok if the forecast was right. Actually it was 15-20 knots and 2-3 foot wave. Extra1 foot made it so much worse. Several people threw up even in the galley. Ugh … tough because that was the place we ate our meals.

Then number of fishermen. Monday before the trip there were only 5, then as we were approaching Friday, it grew to 9 then 15. Well, 15 fishermen was not bad. Then, for some reasons, it grew to 22. Too crowded. Even one of the mate did not get a place to rest. He had to use my bunk to sleep.

Then number of crew. Only Ryan and James were on duty. Well, James also was the second captain and he needed to be captain when Mitch needed to sleep. Ryan was definitely over worked.

I still managed to have fun. What did they say? A bad fishing day is much better than a good day at the office.

My highlight of trip was discussion with others just before or after meals. Here are some that I remember:

Somehow the discussion about divorce came up. “My ex wife was happy that I bought a high quality rods.” Why was that? She tried to break my rods and could not do it. If she broke them, I definitely kill her. Ugh…. Tough break up.

“I think my divorce was unique. I asked my ex wifes attorney…. How come I cannot pay my ex wife for sex but I can pay her for nothing?…That is no fair even in USA. I did not get an answer from the attorney.”

You need to charter a boat for yellow fin in October from Venice LA. Why? Oct is the month of shrimp season. Yellow fin came in very close to shore. Use bigger bait then black fin tuna will not be able to get it. Ugh… I will very happy to get a black fin tuna. Yellow fin in a 12-hour charter ? That is the next one in my bucket list.

Oh… rubin you want to troll for Mahi? Look for a lure called Zuker, brown and white. Use 6-foot leader and no.1 planer. That is the recipe for mahi.

Mutton snapper? Very finicky. Use 30-foot leader, let it go. Let it sniffs, chews it , etc. don’t set the hook, it will spit out and you will be frustrated. Once, it took it , it will swallow deep in the stomach that you need to use a new leader.

Blue fish is a very fishy fish. Need to bleed it right away. Then it will taste much better.

Then final commotion as we were approaching dock. It was about noon on Sunday. I woke up from my nap. Could not find my camera. And everybody was in the galley. “I lost my camera. Anybody saw one?” Nobody saw it. Where was last time you saw it. Before I took a nap. Check my pail. Check my tackle box. Check my bunk. Check my suitcase once, twice and third time … puff magic. It just showed up there. OK great. As I about to cool down….. I could not find my car keys. OOOhhhhh. This is definitely a bad trip. How am I going to go home? Irma is in CA. Everybody got puzzled….what the hell was going on with Rubin?Then, I checked my suitcase again…. Once.. nothing. Twice nothing. And third time. It suddenly popped up. I did not know why it dissappeared and showed up. I guess I was too stressed from fishing.

Fishing was tough from beginning till about 2am Sunday morning when things started to pick up. My two big ones were a Red snapper and a Mangrove Snapper. They were 11.5 pound each. A bunch of small Mangos, Porgies, and Vermillion snapper.
Ugh… almost forget. Early on Saturday I hooked on to something big. It took me a while to bring it up. You should listen to crew… Is this Rubin who pulled the fish or his wife or maybe his sister?.. He is pulling like an old lady… etc. It was about 35-40 lbs amber jack. Took some pictures then released it. Amberjack season is closed
Well, after this trip, future trips will be better than this one. Right?