The Resilient Gulf

Glenn Hughes, publisher of Sportfishing, Marlin and Saltwater Sportsman, and BP officials sample still awesome Gulf Coast fishing for tuna, kings, amberjack and sheepshead.

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A morning dark and dreary but a group ready and cheery as (from left) Glenn Hughes, David Cresson, Geir Robinson, Jeff Angers and Joe Wein wait for Capt. Rimmer Covington's 39-foot SeaVee (www.mgfishing.com) to pull away from the dock.Doug Olander
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Robinson strikes first blood on a trolled Ilander-and-ballyhoo combo, as the mate on this trip, Capt. Scott Sullivan, waits with gaff at the ready.Doug Olander
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Next up: Bonnier's Glenn Hughes.Doug Olander
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Another nice blackfin comes in, the heavy gray skies not dampening the bite or our spirits in the least.Doug Olander
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Fly guy finds fun fishing - Casting flies he tied himself, Robinson found smaller species of tuna - like this little tunny in the chunk line - great fun on the long stick.Doug Olander
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End game after a long, nasty battle for Joe Wein is simply a good look at a big shark. We saw plenty of these fellows around (and hooked a couple others) during the course of the day.Doug Olander
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Blackfin were also eager to strike deep-diving plugs, as Jeff Angers proved with this catch. A GoPro2 provided the unique angle for the shot.Doug Olander
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During one of two quick jig stops, Robinson put it to a hefty amberjack, then slugged it out for 15 minutes or so.Doug Olander
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The moment of truth: Tensions run high as David Cresson wears down the day's true trophy-size yellowfin. With the fish finally tiring and near the boat, Sullivan (left) and Rimmer Covington wait with gaffs ready.Doug Olander
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Victors and vanquished. After a battle of at least an hour, arm-weary but triumphant Cresson savors the moment with Sullivan and Covington.Doug Olander
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Covington guesses the big fella's weight at 177. The scale later put it at 176. Not bad for a guess - nor for Cresson's first yellowfin over 20 or so pounds.Doug Olander
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Day 2, 10:30 a.m. We finally headed out into the marsh in two skiffs, a good three hours later than we'd hoped thanks to a drizzle and thick fog that had set in during the early hours of morning.Doug Olander
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I check to see that my GoPro is working and it is, taking this shot which indicates the wind, rain and chill.Doug Olander
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But no matter! We fish! We catch! It's all good! Once again, it's as true for inshore as for offshore waters: The phenomenal productivity of the area means not catching fish is rare. Here, Angers admires a redfish that grabbed my Z-Man PaddlerZ soft plastic.Doug Olander
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The same lure produced a surprise catch: a nice-sized sheepshead.Doug Olander
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How sweet it is, as Cresson checks out Robinson's very first redfish on fly. Meanwhile, Hughes tussles with another.Doug Olander