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We filmed the episode "Ladies Let's Go Fishing" this weekend aboard the Galati demo Viking 50. Wow, what a weekend it was.
First, the show was filmed by Jeff Lawrence from Your Outdoor Show and involved taking 5 Galati customers (ladies only) fishing aboard the new 2013 Viking 50 Convertible. The TV show started with ladies arriving to the boat Friday at 6:00 pm which was docked at Galati’s Orange Beach office at The Wharf. They met each other, and the crew, and were given a tour of the beautiful Viking Yacht. I was captain, and the mates were Capt. Jud Burkett and Capt. Parker Wright. We provided the ladies a 3 bedroom condo at the Wharf so they could get a good night sleep for the early departure.
We arranged a special wine dinner at Tom Wolf's Louisiana Pantry at 7:00 pm for the ladies only - mates and I had more rigging to do to get the boat ready. Tom and his chefs outdid themselves are provided the ladies with a gourmet tasting of his best recipes and plenty of fine wine.
We got underway around 6:00 am, after a few coffees. The game plan was to run to the Spur and cross a reported grass line and color change about 40 miles. We found the color change and yellow brick road in the vicinity of the 131 hole. The line was full of bait, but no bites or knockdowns for several hours. I was starting to get worried as I didn’t want to leave good water to try to find good water. I got a call on the VHF from a boat in the area – Capt. Mickey on Pretty Tuff to see how we were doing. I reported the slow action and he suggested I push north a bit to a line that had good current - about 12 miles north of the Spur. It was welcomed info because we got our first fish there – a 15 lb cow dolphin. Thanks Pretty Tuff! He hit my homemade lure I call the Flashaboo special. It was just what we needed to get the action going for the show. We continued to troll the line which was covered in bait and had plenty of debris to hold larger fish. Mate Parker noticed some chick dolphin under one of the patches so we backed the boat up and threw out some chunks and got a Mahi bite going. Each of the ladies got a fish, with some really awesome acrobatic shows. I was feeling better about the trip hearing all the “hooten and howlerin” going on in the cockpit.
We set up the troll again and worked the line to the west. There were about 7 boats working the area so I decided to push out and go investigate a patch about 1 mile away from the action that looked massive. As soon as we get the lines cleaned and re-positioned, we picked up another Mahi on the Flashaboo. We circle back to do some more chunking. The patch of grass is pretty large and has the lee side smooth and crystal clear. You could see 50’ down and there is an aquarium of bait everywhere. We throw out a handful of chunks toward the grass and pitch 2 livies on spinning reels. I announce that we have 5 more minutes before we need to pick up an head home. That’s when pandemonium breaks out.
A school of chick sized mahi light up and come right up to the boat in full yellow, blue, and green color. But, before they can get the bait, I hear this loud sound of splashing in front of the boat. I turn around and see a school of 50lb – 80lb yellowfin coming to the grass patch on a mission. From the bridge, I can clearly see this totally cool 60lb tuna shoot under the grass patch at full speed just below the surface; he then makes an unbelievably fast U-turn and inhales the bait. The mate is still in free spool when he realizes its FISH ON. Then, just seconds later before we can get settled in for the battle we get a really cool visit from the angel of the deep – a Whale Shark! This massive and majestic creature comes cruising in to see what all the ruckus is about! She swims right under the boat. OMG! I ask myself “what next”? We fish all day, mostly slow fishing, and 5 minutes before we are set to go home, Mother Nature shows us that the Gulf is full of life of all sizes.
Back to business – we now have one of our ladies hooked up with a 60lb Yellowfin on 20lb spinning gear, rod bent complete over and spewing out line. I gently bump the boat away from the grass and hope and pray the line doesn’t break too soon. 10 minutes becomes 20 and before we know it, we’ve been fighting the fish for almost an hour. Each of the ladies takes a turn on rod – none making much progress on regaining line. The fish begins to circle indicating that he has rolled on its side. I’m now thinking we have a tiny chance of actually landing this fish. We begin recovering line and the circles become wider and wider. I can now maneuver the boat in step with the fish keeping the line right of the transom corner. We see color, and then we see the fish. But it’s 5 more minutes of slowly working him closer and closer to the boat. Parker is itching to get the gaff in him but waits patiently until he is in safe range. Got him! Parker sticks him good and brings him into the cockpit. The ladies are all cheering and this one fish made our day!
We end up on top of the 131 hole when the tuna hit.