I booked a six hour deep sea fishing trip onboard the Swoop Party Boat for the Memorial Day weekend (2010) and I have to say that I enjoyed it immensely. It’s been a couple of years since I’ve been deep sea fishing, and because I am in the middle of a bad bout of fishing fever I decided to see what my options were for securing passage. My last trip was on a small private charter and after looking at my wallet I decided that I needed to go for something a bit more cost effective. Luckily the Swoop Party Boat was exactly what I had in mind – I didn’t need to round up an entire group of people just to save money.
We headed away from the dock bright and early to a spectacular day despite the weather forecast calling for a 50% chance of rain. The weatherman is wrong 50% of the time anyway so I gambled that, at least for the early portion of the day, that we’d be rain free. Win!
Our first stop was about an hour and a half into the trip. Right away we were hauling up fish. One of my friends that came along landed a nice Gray Trigger Fish. My luck was less than stellar. The guy on the other side of me kept tangling up my line and all I managed to snare was three fish that found their way into the bait well. After a bit of fishing at this location we moved on to the next fishing spot and tried our luck there.
At the next location we picked up a pod of dolphins and thus began my love-hate relationship with the playful mammals. I soon discovered that dolphins will come upon a charter boat and hang around for the easy pickings. An angler will hook a fish and before he can get it to the boat the dolphins will take the fish right off the line. I hooked into two large fish and lost them halfway to the boat to the bandits. Today our boat drew the short straw and although the Captain of the Swoop, Mark Tilden, made a valiant effort to outrun the dolphins, they still made off with half of the day’s haul.
Despite the dolphins, it was still a great trip. The weather was perfect and the experience was exhilarating. One angler even managed to catch a small shark and almost landed it before it wiggled free of the hook about three feet from the rail. I even caught a nice sized red snapper that had to be released because it was out of season. Such is the luck of the draw.
Back at the dock I inherited my friend’s stringer of fish because they had to get to a birthday party. Score! The crew cleaned, fileted and bagged them up for me in short order. They really know their stuff when it comes to fish, I’ll give them that.
I’d recommend Swoop Party Boats for anyone looking to try their hand at deep sea fishing. Captain Tilden put us on some prime fishing spots and his crew, Jeff Locke and Ed Doubleday did an excellent job of assisting everyone on board. Thanks again guys for an awesome trip. I hope to do it again soon!