As the owner of the ‘Ms. Lou" — a houseboat in Venice Marina — David Baker has seen more than his share of special catches brought to the docks.
But even Baker had never seen a day like Feb. 5, when he and nine other friends accompanied Florida charter guide Marc Hardesty on Hardesty’s 37-foot Freeman for an epic tuna trip out of Venice.
“We caught 14, and all of them were over 75 pounds, and two were over 100 pounds — a 126 and a 160,” Baker said. “I would imagine every boat caught fish. That was probably the most tuna I’ve seen brought into the marina in the 10 years I’ve been down there.
“And for every fish that was caught, nothing was less than 70 pounds.”
The whole crew was staying on the Ms. Lou, and Baker said they headed out that Sunday morning for the East Lump, about 22 miles from Northeast Pass.
“There were 65 boats out there,” Baker said. “It was game on, just one right after another.”
Baker said they did all their damage hiding hooks in chunks of king mackerel and bonita, and letting them drift.
Needless to say, they all ate well on tuna carpaccio, grilled yellowfin, tuna steaks, sushi and more.
“We caught 33 over three days, but that was the best day,” Baker said, describing the Sunday trip. “None of it went to waste. All of it was either given away or eaten.”