While we wait for inshore fishing to bounce back, the offshore may provide an alternative. For anglers willing to venture out overnight, there are the 36- and 48-hour tuna safaris to the deep waters of the Gulf of Mexico.
Those trips are offered by the Galveston Party Boat operations and a few private charter boats. Both Williams Party Boats and Galveston Party Boats schedule those trips, which usually run well over 100 miles offshore and most often end up at the floating platforms located in 3,000 to 4,000 feet of water.
The first half of the year is one of the best times to fish those areas, as both yellow fin and black fin tuna are found schooling in the vicinity of the platforms. Lots of other deep-water fish are caught as well. Mako sharks, one of the best tasting of the shark family, along with wahoo, amberjack and the occasional swordfish are parts of the catches brought back.
Unfortunately, a high percentage of the trips are canceled before time due to weather.
The prices for the overnight trips start at $250 per person and go up from there.
Other offshore trips are offered as well. The trips are in the eight- to 12-hour range, and the anglers fish areas up to approximately 75 miles out.
While the pelagic species such as kings, ling and Dorado are rare during the first quarter of the year and red snapper are off limits, there are a variety of reef fish available that offer good action and excellent table fare.
Among them are species of snapper other than red snapper, spade fish, Gulf trout, grouper and many others.