If you ask Ryan Dicharry and Hunter Charvet about making overnight offshore fishing excursions, you don’t need them to say one word.
All you have to do is see the boats they used to make the trip. All you have to do is watch them open the fish boxes below the decks of their high-powered 30-plus-foot boats to know the answer.
Dicharry filled two boats in his Reel Addiction charter operation with 12 fishermen out of Fourchon. Charvet was the spokesman for the Team Predator crew from the New Orleans area. Predator calls Venice its home port.
Both headed out last Thursday afternoon. Their targets were the ultra-deepwater platforms 80 or more miles from the Central Coast take-off sites.
Yes, it takes time to get there, but the afternoon trip is run during the heat of the day and fishing is saved for the much cooler nighttime temperatures.
True, there are times when Mother Nature is as rough on fishermen at night as during the coast’s thunderstorm-riddled afternoons, but not last week.
Offshore conditions were much kinder to these guys than the folks trying to work the nearer-to-shore platforms in 60-120 foot depths.
From the looks of the fish hitting the dock at Sand Dollar Marina when the weighstation opened for the 15th annual Swollfest Fishing Rodeo, Mama Nature was kind, very kind.
By the time the sun’s first light brightened the Gulf of Mexico, Dicharry’s crew had a limit of 36 yellowfin tuna and Cory Talbot’s 29.06-pound blackfin tuna (Swollfest’s third-place entry).
Those first rays of sunlight were blocked on Grand Isle by an hours-long violent thunderstorm, a line that produced the snaky tail of a waterspout visible from Port Fourchon.
“We decided to head in and hit some of the rigs on the way to look for (red) snapper and other fish,” Dicharry said.
The stops produced limits of the red beauties, James Vincent’s No. 3 near-36-pound cobia and Lee Grafton’s hefty No. 2, 83.9-pound Warsaw grouper.
“We couldn’t put another fish in the box,” Dicharry said through a broad grin.
Neither could the Predator guys. Their trip produced two 95-pound plus yellowfins. — “We were surprised to see tuna that size out there right now,” Charvet said — the top dorado (bull dolphin) and the rodeo’s top three red snapper, a haul that gave them the team title.
“We beat the weather, or at least most of it,” Charvet said. “It was a rough ride in, but the trip was more than worth it.”
Now that Toledo Bend is filled after more than year of, at times, being more than 10 feet below pool stage, leave it to the touring pro bass anglers to find the just-right pattern to catch largemouths on the giant reservoir.
Brent Chapman won the Bassmaster Elite tournament with an 83-pound, 9-ounce total (and a berth in February’s Bassmaster Classic) by employing a little-used summertime tactic on The Bend.
The Kansas angler hefted 23-11 to the scales on the final day and said he used a five-inch, 11/4-ounce flutter spoon with a silver finish in 25-30 feet of water at the grassy edges of hills and humps.
Gonzales’ Greg Hackney climbed the ladder to finish fourth using jigs near grassy drop-offs, too.