Author: Fish Can't Hide
2017 MGBC Fishing Report
Good weather, good friends and some of the sickest boats in the Gulf of Mexico. Add A $325k bounty to break the Mississippi state record for swordfish and your guaranteed a huge field. Top anglers from across the country teamed up to see if they have what it takes to win it all.
"It didn't take long and one of the 50's went off, the Bullbuster braid was leaving the reel at a blistering rate!"
We left out of Venice marina a day early to make the 85 mile run to the Golden Nugget, Biloxi Mississippi. Tournament day we started with a 150 mile run to waters off the coast of Louisiana for big yellowfin tuna. Stopping a couple times to catch bait on the rip and hopefully some big Mahi. Didn't work out as planned, the bait was too big and the Mahi were to small. So we continued to run south to the rig we were going to start at.
Once we came off top we put a little trolling spread out and started looking around. It didn't take long and one of the 50s went off. The Bullbuster braid was leaving the reel at blistering rate and we figured we had a decent wahoo hooked up. A couple minutes later we had the fish on ice 46lb wahoo. Didn't figure it would make any money but it was a start.
"We moved over a half a mile to a nice little nipple and dropped one down right on top of a good fish... the rod loads up hard!"
We really didn't see what we were looking for at this rig so we headed west to a cluster of rigs we would make our home for the night. It was now prime time about an hour before nightfall and there were plenty of fish around. The bite was good but we never got any big fish to eat. We hooked up one white Marlin but he ended up chaffing threw the light leader. Always cool to see them do their thing though.
Just before sun up we started our run over to the swordfish spot. We made a couple of drops without any love, so we moved a little shallower and got our first bite of the morning. After a 30 minute fight on a Talica 50 we had the fish boat side. It was bigger than the current Mississippi state record but I knew it wasn't even close to a winner.
We only ended up getting one more bite all day and pulled the hook less than 2 minutes in. After making another little run we decided to head back to where we had got the fish on the previous day. First drop and were tight, fish was pulling drag at 1,200 feet and I'm Pretty sure it was a good one. Although, we will never know, once again the hook pulled free. Knowing we had a 4hr run back to weigh in we could feel our time running out.
"Mike Bradford was on the reel and in for a battle... not to mention we were under gunned time wise"
After trying a couple different things, we moved over a half mile to a nice little nipple and dropped one down right on top of a good fish, 30 seconds from the time we were down the rod loads up hard! We knew we had a good one hooked up.
Mike Bradford was on the reel and in for a battle, not to mention we were under the gunned time wise. After a serious tug o war with a fish that never made any kind run we finally got to the wind on and got the weight off. Then the fish decides it's time to make a run and head back down about 400 feet.
Mike did work and got us back in the leader at least 5 or 6 times. We had seen the fish and knew he was a decent fish. Finally the fish gives it up and gives us a shot with the gaff and the battle was over.
We put the fish on ice and started the run back to MS. While waiting for our turn on the scale, we pull up next to my buddies on Pay Dirt and start comparing our catches. It didn't take long to realize they had a real shot at winning the whole thing and our only hope was that our wahoo would hold up for some prize money.
Well only one of those happened F/V Pay Dirt weighs a 242 to take the lead and it stayed that way. Congrats Ryan Kelley, Nick Stanzick, Brad Benners and the rest of the crew. Nice work winning $376k!
Our wahoo did not hold up, think it ended up 7th and our swordfish was 9th. We had a couple cocktails hung out with some old friends and made some new ones. It was an awesome tournament, we had a great weekend and will see you next year.
Capt Jeff Schneider
Check out this footage put together posted by "Jimmy Busby" showing the monster boats coming out of the tourney!
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