Trip to Ram & Marlin on the Lickity Split - January 5, 2017© Photos Posted by Mark Miller © Hi-Res Source
This was a last minute trip out with Nick Morgan on his 31 foot Cape Horn with twin 300 E-Tecs. We ran out thru the cutoff rig area, MP265, one of the cans, and then on out to Ram Powell (VK-956A) in 3,234 feet of water. The fish bite was very poor. Very little bait or birds, no activity on the surface. We marked fish down around 200 feet which may have been Yellowfin, but they weren't feeding and then the Sharks began showing up tearing up our tackle. We left Ram and ran over to Marlin. On the way we spotted a Sperm Whale just slightly south of our course line. As we got close, I put the telephoto lens on my camera and started to get pictures just as the Whale sounded. We drifted looking and thinking he was gone and then Nick exclaimed, "I see him on the sounder! Sixty feet below the boat!". Just then we heard him puff and there he was just 20-30 feet off our starboard stern. Just sitting there checking us out. It was Epic. I took some quick video and then scrambled to get my mask, snorkel, fins, and Go-Pro. No time for a wet suit, but the water did not feel very cold. Not sure if it was my excitement or just that the temp was warm that far out. Anyway, I went in and tried to go slow as to not spook him thinking the others were right behind me. He went very slowly down and away and I followed somewhat slowly thinking he was gonna turn around and come back because he was rolling on his side and upside down checking me out. Unfortunately, he just kept easing away and we never saw him again. I could have swam quickly to him and felt his side near the dorsal and on to the tail but the massive tail was quite intimitating as he began to move away and I did not want to spook him or get injured so I refrained. In hind sight, I should have made the move but then I would have blamed myself for him leaving us. Anyway, it was quite an Epic experience that I will cherish forever. We then moved on to the Marlin Platform (VK-915) in 3,254 feet of water. We trolled a little while around it with only a Barracuda taking the bait. We then called the platform and got permission to make a dive for some spearfishing and video. Nick dropped me off with Scuba while Don and Jessica went freediving. I passed up on a medium sized scamp and took out a nice Mangrove Snapper. Don boated a Mangrove and a Parrot Fish while Jessica poked a Mangrove only to break off leaving her with a scale for a souvenir. Nick and Kirk trolled around the rig while we did our thing but didn't get any action. We left there and hit the Spirit Platform (VK-780A) in 722 feet of water on track for home. We expected to shoot some hefty Amberjack since the season just opened but all we saw were Almaco Jacks. Nick, Jessica, and I all got one. Jessica had problems clearing her ears and never got below 20 feet but after Nick and I shot our fish, the others came up to the shallows and gave her an opportunity she took advantage of. With our short winter days, time was up but we had a marvelous winter trip that felt almost like Summer. We hit the window perfect as the winds were over 20 knots the day before and the day after. We had flat calm seas and sunshine all day long which always makes for a great time on the water. The clouds started moving in as we approached landfall which is why I didn't get any sunset photos. I hope you enjoy the Gallery below.