First of all I'll apologize for the late reports. I have been OTW all day every day for the last three days and I'm just flat tired. I have a little time this evening and I'm off tonight so I'm catching up on emails and reports, so here goes!
A day that will live in infamy, or at least one we all won't forget for a LONG time! I had Ron, Kip and Luke for a tuna charter today. I had planned on a lite tackle trip down off RI but the bite seems to have died so we opt for plan B. We decide to head east. I figured I should have a mate for the trip since setting the spread and running the boat by myself is quite the take w/o autopilot. So Dana was the mate for the day.
Dana and I met the guys in Bourne at zero dark thirty and dragged the 24'er down to Chatham with the new tow rig. It was an easy ride down and the new truck had tons of room for everyone. So far so good. We splash the boat and head out to the normal tuna spot off Chatham. We go lines in and as Dana is putting out line #2 of our 5 rod spread the first rod goes off!
He yells "Fish On!" and then the line he's got in his had goes off. "Double!" The guys are already set up with belts so they get right into the fight. In minutes we have tow fish to the boat. Not a bad start. Within 15 minutes we get another 3 fish and we are all feeling pretty god about the day so far. We have 5 fish from 30-40# in the boat and we've been OTW for 30 minutes. Then I get the word; a SUPER bite is on in another location. It's a bite we "NEED" to get on. It's a long ride, but I'm told there are some bigger fish there and the numbers are outrageous.
I ask the guys to make a choice for me. Do they want to stay here and work this obviously great bite or do they want to take a risk and run for an hour for possible bigger fish and an even BETTER bite. A tough choice, but the response was unanimous "LETS RUN!" With that Dana and I clear the spread, stow the riggers and I set a course for the new location. The big boat did a nice job of eating the sloppy seas and in about 45 minutes we are at the new spot. There is allot of life and we have high hopes that we made the right call.
I deploy the riggers and Dana sets the spread. Just like before rods start going off left and right and it just doesn't stop! We are doubled up to the point we can't get all the rods out half the time. When we can they go off in less than 2-3 minutes. Any line in the water while we fight a fish get s slammed repeatedly until the fish gets the hook. Kip is spent due to a bad back so Ron and Luke are forced to handle the cockpit chaos on their own. Dana and I pass the guys back and forth, over and under and around while they fight the fish. Its nonstop action until we decide to leave them biting at the end of the day.
When it's all over we estimated somewhere around 35-45 fish came to the boat, we lost several and God knows how many fish blasted our spread without finding the hook baits. It was truly fast and furious from start to finish. Ron even asked if there would ever be time for a sandwich break! There really wasn't ever time.
Final tally around 40 fish give or take a few. All the fish were 30-50# and they ate what we fed them. The lure de'jur was the green machine behind a flock of birds. If you wonder why, this is what one tuna puked up for us.
The water temps were in the mid 60's and the water was 150-350' deep. IT was bright and sunny with 2-3' seas.
Bars also did well, but the GM's and birds were easier to handle and out fished the bars hands down.
Overall, it just doesnít get any better than this!
Today I met Dan King and two of his buddies for another day of tuna fishing out east. With yesterday still fresh on my mind I tell the guys it should be a banner day. I have Mike C on today as my mate.
We meet at 0530 and head to the ramp. We launch and find that the wind is up and the water is rougher than yesterday. The trip starts with a hellish surf crossing to get out of Chatham. It's bottom of the drop on a moon tide against a 15-20 SE blow. The waves are stacked and nasty at the mouth. I get us through without any real excitement, but it was a bad place to be even for a short time. We head out to the prior days numbers and find out quickly that the bigger seas are going to keep us in close and make yesterdays long run an unlikely option.
We slog out to the inside numbers and set the spread. Like yesterday the spread gets hit while we are setting it. This time however we get hit several times but the fish just can't seem to find the hooks. 4 swings and no joy within the first half hour. Finally we get tight and the guys work the fish to the boat. After a while dragging around without any real action in water that was 6 degrees colder than the day before I decide to move on. I want to get tot the outside spot, but know itís going to be a LONG bumpy ride. I opt to aim that way and work and area I saw yesterday that had tons of life but that we did not fish. I figure it will put us closer to the outside spot if the win dies a bit and the tide turn lessens the seas.
We arrive at the second location and I find a killer temp break, 13 degrees! There is a wall of fog on the cold side and as we burst through to the warm side we find sun, flat seas, whales, birds and bait! Life is good again!
We go lines in and we get bit quickly! The guys work the fish and we get bit several more times. I hail several friends that are in the area and key them in on the new spot. Itís close to them and itís hot right now. They all pull up and head our way.
The fish are coming on the Green machines but we keep a bar or two in the water and itís a good thing we did. The close bar in the wash gets whacked and this fish burns off allot more line from the 30 VSW than the others had. After a long battle Greg gets the fish of the day to the boat. The guys want one for the table so this one gets the gaff. Mike leaders, I gaff and Greg shows off his prize.
When the tide turns the seas drop a bit and I opt to run to the outside numbers. We get most of the way there but the water has changed and itís cold there as well. With that and word that the inside is giving up fish again we turn and run back in close. WE never do find joy again during the afternoon despite life and bait everywhere. So we take the time to watch the whales perform for us up close and personal.
Final tally 5 1/2 fish out of 7 hooked. One lost his battle with both a 5í blue shark and us. The lure of choice was the Green Machine bird combo, but the big fish came on a bar run close to the transom. The water was 52-65 degrees withmid 60's giving up the fish. Water was 150-350' deep and the seas were mostly sloppy.
Overall a solid day with a nice 75-80# fish to anchor the days catch and provide dinner for the sports.
Decided to do some tuna looking today with Mike C. We ran out of Barnstable in the 24' and looked all over creation. We saw hoards of bluefish everywhere, but no Charlie. The only cool thing we did see was a small fog bank off Race Point. The water was as high as 70.2 in the middle of the bay and it was 51 off the Race. Thatís a temp break! Regardless no tuna from Barney to Plymouth to Fishing Ledge to Race Point and beyond then back to Barney.
On the bright side the new motor ran well and the boat ride was enjoyable.