I got a call from Spence Wise earlier last week asking if I had a desire to do a Port Canaveral Otherside trip and help him dial his new radar in on some tuna birds. No way I’m missing it, especially with the forecast of 1-2′ seas at 8 seconds.
We left the ramp at port on time just before 4:00 AM on Sunday and headed due east on Lake Atlantic for our Port Canaveral Otherside run. The plan was to be roughly 60 miles out at sunrise to troll for marlin on the way across the stream, then run out and start looking for birds sometime around 9-10 after they had their morning coffee and got flying. Lines went in at 6:30 and we had our first knockdown at 6:34, a schoolie dolphin in the box. It was so calm we picked up a rip with the radar at 1.5 miles. About an hour later we have our second fish on, a gaffer dolphin that found its way to the fish box within a few minutes.
We bring the lines in and start running looking for bird packs while we head further East while we joke about not bringing the water ski’s. As we are going the radar has no problem picking up a single bird at 3 miles. After a while we start finding packs that are working what looks like Blackfin busting but are unable to get a hookup with them. We did manage to get our second gaffer dolphin before too long. After hitting however many bird packs we hit (lost count) we are getting close to bingo fuel and start heading back West.
Around 70 miles from Port we pick up a line of birds working on the radar and run over to see whats got their attention and quickly see a nice weed line. We put lines out and very quickly have a fish on. As we are bringing in the fish the school shows up. I haven’t seen a school of dolphin this big in years. There was probably 100+ fish circling the boat. We only had 2 spinning rods- that weren’t rigged for schoolies and a fly rod. We chunk up some ballyhoo and try and make do. Erik quickly catches two on the flyrod and offers it to us to try. I caught my first two fish on fly and let Dave play with them. It was awesome watching the craziness that these fish are in frenzy mode.
Something big splashing behind the boat gets our attention and we decide to drag lines over the area to see if its big enough to be feeding on these schoolies but unfortunately don’t ever find out what it was. We troll the weed line a while longer and pick up some more schoolies. Watching these fish greyhound 3-4 at a time across the weed line and crush baits is something I’ll never get tired of- even if they are only schoolies.
We decided to call it a day just after 3:30 and make the 2 hour ride home.
Water Temp was 81-82 where we were fishing, seas were flat enough to water ski until we got back to the west side of the stream.
A perfect day for a Port Canaveral Otherside trip- Minus the lack of Tuna on the boat
If you are thinking about doing a Port Canaveral Otherside trip in your boat- Please Please(!!!!) check all of your safety equipment and be sure your fuel tanks are fully topped off and you have sufficient range to make the 100+ mile trip across the gulf stream. The weather we had for this trip was not typical and can change at any point. I recommend a buddy boat go with you if at all possible. Please be safe out there.
Don’t forget to switch the video to 1080P HD!!