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Fishing Report: December Oil Rigs
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Fishing Report: December Oil Rigs

The crew shook off the long run and immediately went to work like ants that just had their home stepped on. It is a little bit of organized chaos getting the boat organized and clearing the deck to put the spread out. Our choice spread for mid-day trolling around oil rigs and drillships is a five-rod spread. The two outriggers and the shotgun rod have a small ballyhoo with a mylar duster on a 6-7-foot leader of 80lb fluorocarbon and we run two big ruckus-raising lures off the flat lines. The first order of business is making a few laps around the rig with the spread in to figure out exactly where the fish are holding, what depth they are holding at, and if we need to pull the spread back in to try a different technique to catch them.

The crew rushed to get all lines in as one of the fish was ripping line off the reel at a pace that gets burned into your memory and lives there rent free. The boat was turned, and the fish began their usual dive straight down to start the pinwheel of death, a classic yellowfin maneuver. when the smaller fish was getting closer to the boat, we could tell that they had become tangled with each other while doing their normal spins. Before we truly had a shot to get them apart, the smaller of the two made a deep run and ended up breaking off due to chafe against the other tight line. The focus was now put on getting the bigger of the two in the boat and after 10 more minutes we had deep color with sickles that went back as far as the tail. 

The appomattox was doing a mega burn off of natural gas and it was like daylight again that kept us nice and toasty while we went to town chunking with the blackfin that Blake had jigged up earlier in the night. immediately i had a bite that ripped the line out of my hands and simultaneously jolted me awake at 12:00am. we had a knot malfunction on this hook up, but we proceeded to start hooking and landing quality 60-90# class yellowfin at a pace of 1 every 45 minutes until about 3:00 am when my body was screaming for a nap. The crew all caught two hours of shut eye and woke up at 5:00am to get back on the grind and finish off the rest of our fish boxes.

We went to a new area of the rig where there were already 4 boats all with live baits out waiting for a big tuna or marlin bite and started chunking. immediately we had a bite, but it was a smaller yellowfin and after quick work we slid him into a nice cold bath next to his big sister. The move was made back to where the bigger ones were biting the night before and we hooked three more quality fish just after the sun peeked its head over the horizon. It was all smiles on the boat as we started moving fish and ice around and packing off the last of the room that we had left to keep the meat nice and cold.

As we were organizing the boat for the adventure back home, the crew put out a few big lures to pull around the rig. I cracked open an iced cold miller lite to celebrate and glanced over my shoulder to see a small bill whacking at one of the flat lines. The fish was about as non-committal as the nation’s favorite 5-star quarterback. I took a sip of my beer, glanced a big smile at the crew, and they all glared back “see what happens when you trust your gut and the good lord?”



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