Incredible Louisiana Tuna, Amberjack Fishing

Gerry Bethge finds Louisiana's offshore fishery stronger than ever.

Louisiana Offshore

Louisiana Offshore

Photo gallery by Gerry Bethge / Outdoor Life Idled for months by the Deepwater Horizon disaster, charterboat captains and anglers in the Gulf of Mexico have finally been given the green light by NOAA to once again fish offshore and Outdoor Life was on the scene on Saturday and Sunday for one of the first offshore trips. The game plan was to fish for swords on Saturday evening with good friend captain Devlin Roussel of Reel Peace charters, but after spinning out a prop on the way to the swordfish grounds, we were forced to fish some of the close-in rigs for snapper and amberjack. And it didn't take long for the fish to eat. The first fish in the boat was a nice amberjack expertly reeled in by Jessica Cremer (left).
Louisiana Offshore

Louisiana Offshore

Jessie Milsap (left) was next on the rod and she, too, put the screws to a nice A.J. The bite was on!
Louisiana Offshore

Louisiana Offshore

It was a steady pick of fish through the night when suddenly the blackfin tuna started crashing baits. Our crew put five nice-size blackfins in the box before the sun came up on Sunday morning. Our engine problems slowed us down a bit, but didn't put us out of commission. The game plan for first light was to hunt down some shrimp boats in an attempt to find yellowfins. The tuna shadow shrimp boats and feed on the bycatch. The water was alive with feeding fish.
Louisiana Offshore

Louisiana Offshore

Marc Amos was the first to hook up - with the first bait in the water. It didn't take long to realize that Marc was into a good fish. The first run was a scorcher and Marc held on for dear life.
Louisiana Offshore

Louisiana Offshore

The reel's drag screamed steadily for 1 1/2 hours as Marc battled a huge yellowfin.
Louisiana Offshore

Louisiana Offshore

It was a titanic battle of wills, but Marc finally won out. What a fish!
Louisiana Offshore

Louisiana Offshore

Unless you've fought a yellowfin, you really can't imagine their sheer power. They're built for speed and power.
Louisiana Offshore

Louisiana Offshore

Jessie sizes up a true monster.
Louisiana Offshore

Louisiana Offshore

Time for a date with the fish box.
Louisiana Offshore

Louisiana Offshore

But the day was young and we were a long way from being done. James Hall was next up on the rod and he, too, was into a huge yellowfin. Not bad for a guy's first yellowfin. His battle lasted an hour and 45 minutes.
Louisiana Offshore

Louisiana Offshore

A joyous crew with smiles all around. Two 100-plus pound tuna on the very first offshore trip since the Deepwater Horizon disaster. "The Gulf is back!" Roussel shouted while posing for photos.
Louisiana Offshore

Louisiana Offshore

Amos and Hall with their stud yellowfins. Lots of sushi was about to get iced down.
Louisiana Offshore

Louisiana Offshore

Back at the dock at Cypress Cove Marina in Venice, we put the fish on the scales.
Louisiana Offshore

Louisiana Offshore

Marc's yellowfin yanked the scales to 198 pounds - no doubt a 200-pound fish had we weighed it immediately.
Louisiana Offshore

Louisiana Offshore

Hall's fish went 166!
Louisiana Offshore

Louisiana Offshore

A happy crew and an incredibly successful trip. Great fishing in the Gulf is indeed back.
Louisiana Offshore

Louisiana Offshore

And here is proof indeed. Thanks to our friends at Outdoor Life for the update. For more photos visit www.outdoorlife.com.