It’s not over… yet!

Bobby Byrd & John Cochrane
It’s not over… yet!
When the wind blows, take the kids hunting!

Many of us spend a lot of time on other outdoor activities this time of year. It is hunting season and deer, duck, quail, dove, turkey and other game start taking priority over fishing for many of us. Cold fronts are coming through on a regular basis and the temperatures are falling. This change in season doesn't mean bluewater gamefish have left the area, but the rougher weather becomes a huge factor in your ability to run to deep water off our coast. If you can get out, the fishing can be very good. Plenty of blue marlin and tuna have been caught during November, so the fishing's not overyet. It's a lot more comfortable for the crew, with much milder temperatures than the summer's heat. For many of us it's a great time of year. If the weather is right, go fishing. If the wind is blowing, go hunting. Now that's the kind of choices we like to make! However, as we move into the winter, the chances for running very far off our coast diminish. It's a good time to think about boat and tackle maintenance, repairs, re-rigging, re-powering, new equipment, maybe even selling this boat and getting a bigger or better one.

Some of the things you might want to think of are items like putting fuel stabilizer in your boat's gas tank to prevent it from breaking down and causing engine problems. It's also a good idea to keep your fuel tanks full to prevent condensation from forming on the exposed metal due to the extreme temperature changes. Make sure any aluminum, chrome or stainless on the boat is thoroughly cleaned, polished and waxed to keep it from pitting. Block heaters, glow rods and de-humidifiers can help keep electronics, engines and other compartments on your boat, dry and mildew free. Outboard and inboard engines alike should be started and brought up to operating temperature on a regular basis. Make sure battery switches are off on non-essential systems to prevent your batteries from being drained unnecessarily. A marine-grade battery charger is the best way to extend the life of your batteries and keep them charged and ready to go. If you have a trailerable boat, don't neglect your trailer. Keep your bearings greased and repack them when necessary. Check your lights, license, pads, running boards, winch, etc We see a lot of people just put their stuff up and forget about it until spring. Take the time to service your equipment and it will last longer, cost less and take less time to get ready when it is time to go fishing. It will also benefit you when it comes time to sell it.

Speaking of fishing there are few things to look forward to. Big wahoo congregate on the deeper rocks when the water temperature drops, so keep an eye on the weather and get out there when you can. It's usually only a one day weather window, but the wahoo fishing can be fantastic with 50-plus pound fish the norm. The bigger ones will be pushing the 100 lb. mark. Multiple strikes on these big fish are common and worth making the long run for in winter. When the water cools down and the wind stops blowing, grab some ballyhoo, Islanders, Wahoo Hunters and jet heads, then head for the rocks near the Flower Gardens.

Tired of sitting in a deer blind? After the first of the year, the "Lump" season will be in full swing off the mouth of the Mississippi. Get your boat to Venice, Louisiana for this winter yellowfin tuna bite. Only 17 miles from the jetties, this rock can produce some big tuna pushing 200 lbs. If you don't want to drag your boat to Venice, there are plenty of great charter boats to put you on the fish out of Cypress Cove Marina or Venice Marina. Food, lodging, dockage and other services are available, but it's a good idea to book ahead of time.

Another thing to look for this time of year is a great deal on tackle, especially big game stuff. There's a good chance you can pick up some gear left over from the summer season at a discount from your local tackle shop. Make sure your spouse knows this when Christmas rolls around! Take this time to restock the tackle box and pick up a new lure or two. It's also a good time to get rods re-wrapped and reels cleaned before the summer rush.

If you have any questions or need more information about any of these topics, give us a call at Byrd & Cochrane or come by and see us at Tops-N-Towers and we will be glad to help you. Our Fox Yacht Sales office can also help you find a boat or sell yours. We specialize in sportfishing boats and motor yachts. Come by and get a great deal on your next boat. For more information call our office at 281-291-0656 or check out our website at or