• 2013-01

    Some of the best fishing I've ever experienced, thanks!

  • 2013-02

    been looking for a boat to fish with for years, finally found it

  • 2013-03

    You guys really know your stuff, great fishing

  • 2013-04

    This is a testimonial for a great mahi fishing trip aboard the FinChaser.

  • 2013-05

    Fishing was better than I ever dreamed possible, thanks much

  • 2013-06

    Thanks for all your help, the fishing was incredible

  • 2013-07

    Another great trip, I will be back for tuna

  • 2013-01

  • 2013-02

  • 2013-03

  • 2013-04

  • 2013-05

  • 2013-06

  • 2013-07

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2009 Reports

05/02/09 The 2009 season started with a bachelor party with six great guys mainly from PA. Bachelor party trips are always lots of fun! Unfortunately, the leftover effects from the previous night are normally all too apparent. Add to this the fact that NOAA completely missed the forecast and four of the six guys were already down before we ever left our first wreck. The two remaining anglers (the bachlor and his long time fishing buddy) were having a ball feeding the Tog. After several hours and quarts of green crabs these two finally figured out these sneaky fish. Just about the time they got the hang of hooking these guys the wind shifted hard to the NE and a large heave developed making for truly horrible Toggin’ conditions. Good thing this crew just wanted to have fun and wasn’t worried about filling the freezer.

05/05/09 Rescheduled to later in the month due to rough conditions.

05/08/09 Out Wreckin’ with two guys, one from MD and the other from SC. These guys were long time friends who wanted to try their hand at Toggin. The bite was good even though the conditions were not the best for Toggin, large swells. It took these guys a little time but they finally got the hang of it, especially Ronnie from SC. He was busy spankin the Tog while Keith was enjoying the Sea Bass action which was fairly decent. These guys only wanted enough for a dinner of two and were kind enough to release most of the female Tog, two of which were over 8 lb. Back in the slip with a dozen in the box, GREAT meal or two!

05/10/09 Four person bachelor party from Chestertown, MD out to try their hand at Toggin in very sporty conditions, yep, NOAA was WRONG again! Well these Tog newbies stuck with it and wound up having a great day. The Tog bite was fairly normal, red hot one minute, then no bites for the next. Back and forth all day long. When everything was said and done this crew must have caught close to 40, putting 14 in the box while releasing a couple nice females around 10 lb. One of the four, Mark, may have been a novice to tog fishing, but finished the day as a Tog expert. On the other hand, Ardian, found out it’s tough to Tog fish while trying to hold a cold one. Best of luck to Dave and his soon to be new bride!

05/11/09 Last minute trip with three of the nicest guys you could every ask to spend a day fishing with. All these guys wanted was to have fun and catch a few fish fish. That plan was working just fine, the Tog bite was good and the Sea Bass were showing as well, then it happened. With about three hours left in the day, I pulled anchor to make a five minute move. As I pushed the throttles up, the port engine stalled. Something didn’t seem right and after walking out on the bow, I couldn’t believe what my eyes were looking at. Our anchor had grabbed a old anchor rope that someone had lost, pulled it up, and all that rope tangled around our one prop, stalling my one diesel. After going overboard in 51 degree water with only my bvd’s on, I decided we needed to head back to dock where a diver was standing by to cut the huge wad of rope free. The guys headed back to DC with a few meals of Tog & Sea Bass and a great story as well.

05/12/09 Out for a day of Sea Bassin with three Jersey boys and these guys knew how to catch Sea Bass! The bite was red hot, two at a time on double hook rigs. Last year, these guys would have limited no problem, but with the increased minimum size limit, way too many needed to be released. Spent the last two hours trying for some Tog, but they didn’t seem to want to come out and play. Back in the slip with 35 Sea Bass and 4 Tog in the box.

05/13/09 Sea Bassin with the DC boys. These super nice guys were determined to beat the numbers put up by the Jersey boys yesterday. With two hours left I was worried, way too many throwbacks.Then we struck “black gold” in the form of keeper SB’s, three of which were over 20″. Back in the slip with 68 in the box. These guys must have caught well over 300 fish today.

05/14/09 Rescheduled due to rough conditions.

05/16/09 Toggin with a group of guys who have been trying for two year to get out. The Tog bite was red hot, but this crew was finding out exactly why these fish can drive you crazy. With several hours of feeding the Tog under their belt, they finally got the hang of it, DON’T SET THE HOOK, SLOWLY RAISE THE ROD, best way to hook one of these crafty fish. It took most of the day and a lot of weeding through fish that were ¼ to ½” under size but they finally managed to limit out. Wayne S even managed to take our first tagged Tog of the season as well as the largest of the day at 8 lb.

05/18/09 & 05/19/09 Rescheduled due to rough conditions.

05/22/09 PLAY DAY!! Out for a few hours of wreckin with a true Sea Bass pro, Trevor, my son. Ran about 26 mile to a little patch of bottom that didn’t disappoint. In just a few hours the two of us slammed some of the nicest SB’s of the year, three over 21″ and one measured 23″. Back in the slip shortly after noon with a few tasty meals in the box.

05/25/09 Noaa Forecast: wind & rain 4 to 5 ft.seas. Actual: 2 to 3 ft. seas and dry all day. Started the day off trying for some Tog but after two hours, three wrecks and a slow bite with a disappointing size we headed for deeper water to see if the Sea Bass wanted to play. Good bite with a very nice average size, a few of which were over 19″. Back in the slip with about 27 Sea Bass and one lonely Tog.

05/27/09 Cancelled due to rough conditions.

05/28/09 Wreckin in “pea soup”. 100 yards visibility from the time I left the slip until I passed through the inlet on our way back in. Four guys, two from UT, wanted to try their hand at wreckin. The elder statesmen of the group was a little worried that the dreaded eight hour illness. Well, shortly after I anchored on our first wreck, it hit him. The three younger guys were having a ball catching Sea Bass and Tog, but after a few hours, Shane, couldn’t take anymore. We headed for the barn (thank Heaven for radar) with some good memories and a few Tog sandwiches in the cooler.

05/30/09 Wreckin with “Smitty” and the crew from DC. Ran south to the area that was soooo good last Friday only to find countless 12′s and 12¼’s, can you say “SHORTS”!, Pounded the area all day and managed to put a respectable catch together. Back in the slip with just under sixty Sea Bass. The largest was nailed by Smitty the “Dogfish King”, and measured 22″. Nice job guys!

06/01/09 Arrived at the boat, looked at the flag and thought, “great, NOAA blew it again”. Headed out in very sporty conditions wishing I could run to the deeper water for Sea Bass but due to the wind direction I decided on Plan B. Run 13 mile and hit a Tog wreck that I haven’t fished this year. The bite was great although the size wasn’t. Ended the day messin with a few Sea Bass. Back in the slip with a limit of Tog (the largest over 10 lb.) and a few SB.

06/02/09 Well, some days you win and some days the fish win. Today was the first of the season I would have to say the fish won. Started off Toggin with a great bite that suddenly shut down in late morning. Spent the rest of the day running all over trying to find some decent size Sea Bass but only seemed to find 12 inchers. With twenty minutes left in the day, the party of two threw up the white flag of surrender and called it a day. Back in the slip with a few Tog, two of which were 8 pounders and a few SB.

06/03/09 Out for a day of Toggin with a family of four from Jersey. Before I could make it off the bridge they were hooked-up or lost their bait, this is going to be great! Ten minutes later, the bites stop. Look at the sounder, where’s the wreck? Look at the anchor rope, it’s laying slack in the water and the boats just sitting there, very little surface current and very little wind and there are opposed to each other. Must have reset the anchor 10 times over the next few hours trying to stay over the fairly small Tog wreck, but it’s no use, not today. Worst conditions for anchoring I have seen in several years. Decided to try some mini-drifts over an old, seldom fished, Sea Bass wreck and it worked great. Back at dock with a nice dinner for the vacation condo. Here’s to at least some wind and current, but no too much!

06/06/09 Cancelled due to rough conditions.

06/07/09 Out for a day of Toggin with two couples from PA. One of the girls warned me that she is prone to the dreaded eight hour illness. Well, she did last long enough to catch a fish, but after that, it was all over. Being the trooper that she was, she didn’t want the trip to end for the others, so she found a comfortable spot and dozed the rest of the day. Meanwhile, the other three found fairly good Tog action with a few Sea Bass mixed in. Back in the slip one fish shy of the four person limit of Tog.

06/09/09 Wreckin with a super nice couple from around Harrisburg, PA. Decided to stay a little closer to the beach due to some very severe storms that were popping up around DC and moving our way. I told them “we should catch a lot, but it’s likely none of the Sea Bass will make the new size limit. The storms made it here around 11 am and ripped-up Berlin & Ocean City but never pushed off the beach. Meanwhile the crew was catching fish as fast as they could drop down, a few keepers as well, shows what I know. The last pull of the day I was sure Chad had hooked a white trash bag, seriously, thats what it looked like at 15 feet. Turned out to be the first flattie (Flounder) of the year, a legal one at that! Back in the slip with a couple nice Sea Bass, Tog and a Flounder.

06/12/09 & 06/13/09 Two half-day trip where the folks just wanted action catching fish, they really were not concerned about keeper and with limited time each day we would not have been able to run to the deeper water anyway. The Sea Bass bite was nonstop each of the two days with combined numbers well over 100, many of which were ½ to ¾” under the legal minimum.

06/14/09 First tuna trip of the season with four great guys from Baltimore, one was seven time Pro Bowl Tackle and new Ravens Center Matt Burk, who loves fishing and is pretty darn good at it too. It took about an hour to find the bait but when we did the Bluefin were there. After going two for three on Bluefin, the crew decided they wanted to try for a Mako. Leaving fish to find fish before 10am….you know what I thinking! Started sharkin close to where we had our Bluefins only have have countless knotheads cut right through our slick, one boat ran through it several times. Well, in nearly three hours, we never did see a shark and since this was a short trip we pulled in lines and were back in the slip at 3:00 with Matt’s 50 lb. Bluefin in the box. GO RAVENS!

06/15/09 Wreck trip with two very nice couples here for the Firemen’s Convention. Found very good Sea Bass action on a little piece of bottom 12 mile off the beach. As a bonus, our triggerfish have shown and they had a ball nailing some super nice Triggers. After throwing several in the box, they informed me they really didn’t want to keep any, my mistake, so the rest were released. But those Triggers and SB’s in the box won’t go to waste, the Stauffer’s grill will be only too happy for them, FINE EATS!!.

06/16/09 Headed out for a day of Wreckin in what was to be increasing winds & seas during the mid-afternoon. We decided to try for some Triggers before running to deeper water for the Sea Bass. Well by 9am I would say it was blowing 15 and by 10am it was 15 to 20 knots straight out of the east. With two of the four guys feeling bad and quickly building seas, we decided to stay put and try to scratch out a few keepers. Back in the slip with a handfull of fish in the box and two guys who were very happy to be back on solid land.

06/17/09 & 06/18/09 Cancelled due to rough conditions.

06/19/09 Decided to run 50 mile south with a crew from Lancaster County to try and find the Bluefin. With-in 45 minutes of lines in, a school of small tuna’s poped up right next to the boat. Swung the spread through them and the spreader bar gets nailed, thirty seconds later, the hook pulls. Over the course of the next three hours we put one 45 lb. Bluefin in the box, released one and had two other bites that didn’t come tight. Around 11:00 the guys decided they wanted to try some Sharkin. Set up a few miles to the north and after 45 minutes our float bait gets slammed. Ten minutes later, we release a 100 lb. Dusky. Over the course of the next 90 minutes we watched two huge schools of Bluefin Tuna pushing water, one school less than 100 yards off our bow. Ended the day with a slightly larger Dusky which was released.

06/20/09 Lancaster Christian School Benefit Auction Trip. Took the same family out as last year to find a red hot Sea Bass bite. Although the keeper ratio must be 50 to 1, they still had a fantastic time catching “just under” fish. Decided to head back in a little early due to some very severe storms with were heading our way.

06/21/09 The forcast calls for west winds at 20 knots turning north and increasing to 25 knots in the early afternoon. Decided I would be able to get the crew from Ohio, a father and three teen-age girls some fish before the north wind starts. Well, at 9 am it’s blowing a solid 20 to 25 with a few gusts well over that right out of the north. Seas were 5′ to 6′ with a few larger thrown in just for fun. Was sure this crew was doomed but they sure proved me wrong! Dad and the girls had a ball catching Sea Bass, Triggers and Tog. With sore wrists, they decided to call it a day just before noon so we headed for the barn with a few Triggers and a real nice Sea Bass and Tog in the box. Good eats heading back to OH.

06/22/09 Took five guys from up-state PA out for a day of sharking. Leaving the marina, the mate comes up on the bridge and asks me if I have ever heard of “sparks”. “No”, I replied. Turns out it’s the lastest energy drink that has something like 8 or 9% alchohol by volume…grrreat. Enegry drinks are usually a fast lane toward the dreaded eight hour illness, add some booze to the mix, absolutely deadly! Less than 10 minutes after the chum bucket hit the water, one of the crew decided to add a little of his own chum to the slick. Over the next two hours he continued to power chum while we drifted with only one pull on the mid-depth bait. We pulled in the lines to make a short move but the crew decided they needed to get their buddy back to the dock and decided to call it a day.Tomorrow is another day and a tuna trip for these guys.

06/23/09 Same crew as yesterday out for a day of tuna fishing. Decided to try for some Bluefin but was slightly concerned since none of the fleet had been tuna fishing in three days due to the big blow. After 30 minutes and no bait, slicks or tuna marks on the sounder we decided to run about 23 mile to where a few small yellowfin were being caught. Immediately we hook a nice gaffer Mahi, I’m thinking, “this is going to be good”. But the next few hours only held Skipjacks, undersize Yellowfin, swings and misses and pulled hooks. Would have loved to stay for an extra 30 minutes but these guys needed to get in due to a several hour drive to up-state PA.

06/24/09 Sea Bassin! Ran 18 mile with a crew of four, two adults and two boys. Had a ball catching Sea Bass, a few of which were real nice size for this time of the year. Due to being on vacation and no way of keeping them or cooking them these guys released everything they caught. At the days end, the mate thinks we could have kept perhaps a dozen and a half of the 100+ which were caught. Not bad since we only had two lines in the water for much of the day.

06/25/09 Headed out for a tuna trip with a family from Ohio who were on a fairly tight schedule and budget. Since the only bite is way deep and they didn’t want the 12 hr. trip I told them I would run 40 mile and troll to the deep where the Yellowfin are being caught. We would only have about one hour there until we needed to troll back in so we wouldn’t burn as much fuel. That’s the only way I could run the trip for the reduced price and still be back at the dock by 3 pm. As soon as we hit 60 fathoms we started getting hit by Skipjack Tuna’s, small but fun! These folks had a ball fighting these little guys but all too soon it was time to start trolling back, leaving the bite behind. With-in 10 minutes of making the “LTH” (last turn home) both flat lines get crushed, these ain’t no skipjacks. The one hook never comes tight and the other line goes slack as well. Before we know it our spreader bar get slammed, game on! 15 minutes later we have a nice 35 lb. Yellowfin in the box. About the line that went slack, the 130 lb. swivel broke in half. Personally, I would have spent the extra $125.00 and gone for the twelve hour day.

06/26/09 Today was to be a bachelor party tuna trip but due to one of the guys backing out at the last minute, the remaining four just didn’t have the funds to cover the offshore trip. They decided to spend the day messin with the Sea Bass. About two miles short of our fishing area I ran into birds diving and bait everywhere. I asked the guys if they wanted to put out four rods with lures and see what’s here, sure, they replied. The next hour or two was spent catching small Taylor Blues. These blues are small but not bad eating, unlike the big nasty Chopper Bluefish. When the bait finally went deep the bite stopped so wreckin we went. Spent the rest of the day yanking on Sea Bass, a few well over the minimum size limit. Also got a 17½” Flounder, stupid new 18″ minimum Yell. Suprise of the day was a nice 7 lb. Tog.

06/27/09 Took a family of four out for a day of shark fishing. The kids just want to catch a shark, size really doesn’t matter. Set up on a shoal and less that 30 minutes later we get our first pull, but the fish drops the bait. The next encounter is about 20 minutes later. This time its a 25 lb. Dusky which is the perfect size for the 10 year old angler. With a little help from dad, the fish is next to the boat and released. Thirty minutes later we have another Dusky on, similar in size to the first. This fish is fought and released as well. Our third shark took the bait while reeling the line in for a check. Unfortunately, this fish pulled off before the sleepy angler could get to the rod. Finished the day with a couple of Sea Bass.

06/28/09 Ran 60 mile south looking to give my guys their best shot at a Yellowfin. The Yellowfin were around in decent numbers through the week but have really slacked off over the last two days. About 45 minutes into the day the mate is running out one of the baits after clearing some trash from it when a BigEye Tuna comes crashing down on. The drag screams for about fifteen seconds then the line goes slack. Me thinks he only had the lune and not the bally/hook. Made a quick turn right back through the same area and the long rigger get nailed. Fifteen minutes later and much to our surprise we have a 120 lb. Mako ready for the Winchester. BANG, game over! Made yet another swing through the area and the long goes off again. Turns out to be a 20 lb. Mahi. Spent the rest of the day trying to find a Yellowfin, but never did. Finished the day with a second Mahi that came to the boat much like a propeller, thanks to being hooked in the eye.

06/29/09 Yellowfin trip to the deep with a party from Jersey. Trolled around for the first 45 minutes without a pull. Then I hear the mate asking one of the people “you really have bananas with you” The guys immediately tossed them overboard. Mind you, that wasn’t my call, but the rest of the group. 30 minutes later we get a triple, one legal two unders. The next three hours was crazy with doubles, triples and quads. One flurry saw six rod go down. Even though most of these Yellowfin were an inch or two under the legal limit we did get some nicer fish as well as the footballs. Back in the slip with one tired crew and five Yellowfin (50, 46, 38, and two 20 pounders) in the box.

07/01/09 First Flounder Trip of the year with three anglers from PA who had a little too much fun the night before. With-in the first three drifts we had three nice flatties in the box. Then it seem the previous night came back to haunt two of the three guys. Spent much of the remaining day with only one or two of the three fishing. The guys rallied in the last hour and we managed to put one more keeper in the box. I HATE this new minimum size limit! We had several Flounder which would have been legal last year, 17½”, that needed to be released. Back in the slip with four Flounder to 23″ and two Sea Bass in the box. Honestly folks, charter fishing isn’t cheap and we want you to enjoy your day on board. Please, save the partying till after the trip.

07/03/09 Out for a day of offshore trolling in what was to be decent conditions. About 25 mile off the beach the wind feels rather brisk. We arrive at the grounds, 58 mile offshore, it’s crankin, solid 15 to 20 knots straight out of the northwest. Worked that area for three hours but my baits spent more time in the air than in the water, can you say ROUGH! Decided to troll back inside toward two big lumps just north of the Washington Canyon. On our way, we managed to put a nice 17 lb. Mahi in the box. Arrived at the lumps with very little time left in the fishing day due to what will be a long ride home, right into the wind & seas. However, we were there long enough to put three more nice gaffers (Mahi) in the box. Lets hope tomorrows forecast is a little more accurate!

07/04/09 NOT AGAIN! Pointed the boat south for a 58 mile run to the Washington Canyon but after 40 mile of looking back at ever increasing waves, I decided we better shut down and fish the area where we had caught the Mahi’s the day before. Worked the area for three hours but couldn’t find the same water temps I had yesterday. Could only managed one Mahi until I decided to run 20 mile north and look for some Mahi in reported “thick” weeds. Arrived at the numbers, not a weed to be found. Fifteen minutes later a nice Bluefin crashes our short rigger bait. Two minutes into the battle the angler is having a tough time keeping the rod butt in the belt and while trying to get the rod locked back in place he stops reeling for a split second, but long enough for the Bluefin to come un-buttoned. Finally found our weeds, unfortunately, they turned out to be reeds, not Sargasso weed. Reeds never seem hold fish! Should have know better than to “radio fish”. Finished the day with a fairly crappy ride home and a couple very disappointed guys from York, PA.

07/06/09 These weathermen must be smokin crack!!! Called my group last night and told them that due to the offshore waters forecast (20 to 30 knots winds) the tuna trip was off, they decided to go bottom fishing instead. I said sure, but we’ll probably need to stay with-in 10 miles of the beach due to the wind and waves. Arrived at our first wreck 11 mile off, nearly flat calm. Decided to run out to the Flounder Grounds 7 mile farther, still nearly flat seas. Drifted for flatties and must have caught 15 or 20 but only two made this ridiculous new minimum size. Want to see Capt. Dan mad,,, make me release several 17½” & 17¾” flatties.

07/07/09 Headed south to try for some Yellowfin but after hearing of the hot Bluefin bite on the radio I changed my plans and my course. Well after two hours of trolling and hearing the other captains complain about the lack of bait and bites I couldn’t take it anymore so I picked up my spread and headed toward the deep. With five mile to go I made a quick stop on a large piece of floating plastic. Pulled two nice Mahi off of it but they were the only two home. Ran the rest of the way to the tip of the Washington and spent the rest of the day working the top edge of the canyon as well as the loster balls. Missed a few more Mahi but did manage to stick one more. With less than an hour to go in the day a White Marlin shows up in our spread. He smashes one bait then heads for the flat lines. The mate drops the bait back to him, he picks it up and starts to run but the fish never comes tight. That was the last bite of the day.

07/08/09 Ran north to where a few, very few, Bluefin were caught the previous day. Decided on my run out that I was going to work the area all day regardless if I’m the only boat still there. Day started slow with only a few reports of some fish being caught 15 mile to our north. Sometime around 11:00 a big Bluefin blows our long bait out of the water, it rolled right off his nose. Another thirty minutes and no pulls so I call for a big change in our spread. Thirty minutes later our wb (way-back) take off, finally, fish on! Anout fifteen minutes later and every ounce of energy Kevin had, his first Bluefin, a 45 pounder, is in the box. Took a quick look around and of the ten or twelve boats that were working the area in the morning, only two of us remain. A little later we found a HUGE floating timber and decided to break out the spinners. Put a few tasty Triggerfish and a couple of Mahi in the box as well.

07/09/09 Four hour bottom trip with a father and son duo. Found outstanding action on Sea Bass and Triggers. Back in the slip with a few SB’s to 18″ and a few tasty Triggers too.

07/10/09 thru 07/12/09 Ocean City Tuna “Torturement” Tournament. Day one broke with 20 knot winds out for the northeast, great day to “lay”. Day two found us on the Bluefin grounds with a few other boats. By 11:00 we had both our Bluefins. Even though the larger fish was not a money fish the crew couldn’t pass up some fresh Bluefin steaks. Decided to run out to the deep for the last two hours and try for some yellowfin which have been rather scarce the last week. Unfortunately we didn’t find the Yellowfins. Back in the slip with a 40 & 75 lb. Bluefin and a nice Mahi. Day three, same location but way more boats. Released a 55 incher (85 lb.) since we were looking for the big one. Worked had the rest of the day but only found “unders”. Back in the slip with a 41 incher in the box.

07/13/09 Back on the Bluefin lump with WAY too many boats. Four bites by 10 am but none came tight. Then it appeared, the long evil fruitSurprised. Yep, someone brought a banana on board. Quickly tossed it overboard and continued trolling. Just before noon the wwb takes off. Thirty minutes later Anthony has his first Bluefin, a nice fat 80 pounder. Pull in lines and ran back inside looking for a “under or some Mahi. Ten minutes after we put the lines back out both long riggers go off, two nice Mahi make it to the box. Worked hard for the last hour but just couldn’t find another bite.

07/14/09 Headed out for a bottom fishing trip with a group of five from PA. Ten miles off the beach and I’m already mumbling nasty things under my breath about the NOAA Forecast. Arrived at the Flounder grounds only to find the 15 to 20 knot winds were not going to allow us to drift for the flatties. Spent the rest of the day pounding on the Sea Bass, even mamaged to scratched out a few keepers for the box. Finally, around 1:00 pm the winds started to lay out, just in time to call it a day.

07/15/09 Sea Bassin’ in summer, usually good numbers, but little size. These guys didn’t care, they just wanted to have fun and reel on some fish. Found a great bite all day with a suprising number, for this time of the year, of keepers. Nice weather, great crew and cooperative fish, doesn’t get any better! Back in the slip with seventeen nice Sea Bass.

07/16/09 Cancelled due to rough conditions

07/17/09 Out chasin’ the Bluefin with two great guys from Jersey. With-in thirty minutes of line in we had one very nice mahi in the box and two others which missed the hook. The next several hours were depressing, no bait, no tuna marks on the sounder and everyone on the radio complaining about the slow fishing. Decided to run back inside and look for the “unders”. Took a little time but we finally located them. Back in the slip with a very nice Mahi and one 40 lb. Bluefin.

07/18/09 Headed out to the “Pig Pen” with three guys from northern MD in hopes of finding a stud Bluefin. However, after about 25 mile of increasing wind and seas I thought the smarter thing to do would be hand a little tighter to the beach and look for a slightly smaller Bluefin since conditions were very sporty and getting sportier by the minute. After arriving at the lump that has been holding the “unders” I came to the conclusion that most of the fleet had the same thoughts. I was expecting 6 or 8 boats, instead, I counted 27 with more arriving every few minutes. Way too many boats on this little lump. I told the charter that until they thinned out I would be surprised if we get bit. Sometime around 11:30 , and only two fish caught that I knew of, the boats slowly started to move off. By 12:30 there were only seven of us left and then someone turned on the switch. During the next hour and a half we put a 45 pounder in the box and had a few other bites that didn’t come tight. Around 2:00 the boats that had moved off must have heard and as quickly as they departed they came back in, STUPID RADIOS!! The bite immediately shut down. Decided to finish the day yanking on some Sea Bass.

07/19/09 Out for a day of Bluefin fishing with a group of anglers who have done very well on past trips. Perhaps the late start, PLEASE DON’T ARRIVE LATE, should have been a sign of things to come. With 10 mile yet to go, a friend of mine who had overnighted at the Bluefin grounds calls me on the radio and simply tells me “here now”! I add another 100 rpm to the diesels, which I never do but wanted to get there before all the other boats pile on top of these fish and shut them right down. By the time we arrived he had caught his over and released another. A second boat right next to him was still working on their fish. Problem was, everyone had seen what was going on and started working the area super tight. Threw the spread out and within a few minutes our short rigger get crashed but the fish misses the hook. That was the last bite I heard of from that area at that time. Hung in until the fleet started to clear and sometime around 11:00 our mid-rigger gets crashed and is screaming out line. Got the angler in the chair and everything seemed fine until the fish decided to stop running. This caught the angler by surprise and he didn’t have enough time to recover and the fish shook the hook. That was our last encounter of the day. Remember folks, please arrive on time and when we say “reel” crank like it’s the last fish of the day, because it just might be.

07/20/09 Bluefinnin’ with four good guys from Morgantown, WV. It was apparent after 30 mile that our friends at NOAA completely missed yet another forecast, blowing 15 to 20 straight out of the northeast. Set the spread out and within fifteen minutes we have about a 10 lb. Mahi in the box. Thirty minutes after that our wwb takes off, good fish. After a 45 minute battle which required some form of help from all of the anglers, we have a 125 lb. Bluefin in the box. Since we are only permitted to harvest one Bluefin over 47″ we decided to put out a Mahi spread and work the area for two hours before heading a little inshore to try and find our “under” a Bluefin under 47″. After an hour without any Mahi encounters I point the boat west and troll toward the inshore lumps. When I think it’s safe to put the “under” spread out, different baits and lighter rods, we do. Five minutes after doing this we capture a small Mahi. Two minutes after that, one of our long riggers gets crashed and the reel is smokin’, BIG FISH! Ninety minutes later and still on the same angler the fish is right behind the boat. As the mate tries to get the fish to the hand gaff he still has enough spunk to make a hard left and cut us off on the trim tab. Not a big deal since we were able to see the fish and he was going to be released anyway. It still would have been nice to put a tape on him but I would venture a guess that he was in the very high 60′s in length and well over 160 lbs. Spent the last ninety minutes looking for our “under” but never found one.

07/21/09 Cancelled due to rough conditions

07/23/09 Out for a trolling trip with four newbies to bluewater fishing. Arrived at the Bluefin grounds a tad late, quickly set out the spread and got with it. After about an hour I get a call from a buddy of mine telling me to look off the deepwater edge of the shoal, immediately our wwb takes off. The fish doesn’t impress me with his initial run, but then he hits the afterburners, WOW! Forty-five minutes later and with the fish about 50 feet from the boat, the tuna shakes his head and throws the hook. Our angler did a great job but was nearly too exhausted to crank the reel hard at the end in order to keep the line super tight. Thirty minutes after that heartbreak we put a nice 20 lb. Mahi in the box. The next few hours saw only a few very small Mahi’s attacking our baits. The bait disappeared and the tunas did as well. With about one hour left in the day I decided to make a little run and try a different hole for the last forty-five minutes. As soon as the baits go in our long rigger get hit, another nice Mahi in the box. Two more Mahi bites round out our day but neither found the hook.

07/24/09 Wreckin’ with a party of four from MI in somewhat lumpy seas. Good Triggerfish & Sea Bass bite that remained strong until early afternoon. Seems that just when the sea started to calm down so did the bite. Back in the slip with nine Triggers, two of which were truly monster size Triggerfish.

07/25/09 Out for a day of Tuna fishing with a group of anglers from Lancaster, PA. High hopes as we arrived at the grounds and after putting a nice Mahi in the box less that 30 minutes after lines in, they were psyched! Then some inattentive captain in a outboard, cuts right through our spread taking out three of our lines. That little stunt killed about one hour of prime morning trolling and cost me well over $200.00. After re-rigging and a heart to heart with the outboard captain we were fishing again. Less than 15 minutes later we have another nice Mahi in the box. At that point I get a call from a friend telling me of a hot bite. I normally don’t “radio fish” but this guy is a super tuna fisherman and doesn’t play games. His only request, DON’T bring any other boats with we. I slowly troll his direction (5 mile north). Onthe way we put a third real nice Mahi in the box. With my buddy in sight we pass a large floating plastic drum loaded with super size Triggerfish. The guys ask “are they good to eat?” “Fantastic” I replied. We spent the next several hours with light tackle filling the box with one of the best tasting fish in the sea. The guys were having so much fun nailing these Triggers it was tough to get them to leave. With about an hour left in the day we put the tuna spread back out but it was all for nothing. Back in the slip with 3 Mahi and 45 Triggerfish.

07/26/09 & 07/27/09 Cancelled due to rough conditions.

07/28/09 Out for a day of wreck fishing with a party of six from the Phila. PA area. Decided to stop inside on our Triggerfish hole and give them a try before seeing if the water clarity and current would allow for some Flounder drifting or deeper water Sea Bassin. Unfortunately, before we ever put a line in the water our junior member of the crew (teenager) was already on his knees enjoying his breakfast (not really) for a second time. When I asked what form of motion sickness medication he tried, I was told “none”. I must confess that it really makes me wonder why people completely disregard the information I send out prior to all trips that basically says “Dramamine, Bonine or the Patch, I don’t care but please take something! After two and a half hours of fairly constant reverse digestion and hearing him tell his mother that “I just want to go in” I made the call that we needed to get him back to solid land. Dad wasn’t very happy with me for not taking them out farther for Flounder or for ending the day early. And to be quite honest I wasn’t real happy with him for not taking my advice about Dramamine and shorting my mate. I just can’t stand to see kids go through what this boys was feeling. A little motion sickness and discomfort is one thing but this was way beyond that.

07/29/09 Headed out for a day of Flounder fishing with a group from western PA in building winds and seas. By the time we arrived at the Flounder grounds it was flat out ROUGH! Wasn’t sure if we’d be able to drift slow enough for the flatties but the combo of 12 oz. of lead and holding the boat back with the engines seemed to be working. The guys had a great time catching flatties and an occasional Sea Bass or Sea Robin. I’m sure this group caught well over 25 Flounder ranging in size from 16″ to 23″. Back in the slip with seven Flounder and a few Sea Bass in the box. Much to my surprise no one experienced the dreaded eight hour illness. But then again, all but one took the pills.

07/30/09 Day started with a 3:15 am phone call to my Offshore Charter telling them about the forecast and what I was seeing standing at the inlet as we spoke. The forecast was for pain until mid-day! Gave them an inexpensive option, give the flatties a try. Since that trip doesn’t leave until 7:00 am, it will give the ocean a chance to lay down. Arrived at the Flounder grounds and found much nice conditions than we had expected. The bite was steady all day and the mate tells me he’s sure the guys from Annapolis, MD must have caught some where in the low twenty number of flatties ranging in size from 15″ to 23″. Spent the last hour smackin’ the Sea Bass. Even managed a couple keepers. Back in the slip with 8 Flounder and a couple Sea Bass.

07/31/09 & 08/01/09 Cancelled due to rough conditions

08/03/09 through 08/07/09 White Marlin Open Tournament. Our strategy, simple, try and find the last remaining Bluefin off of Ocean City and only fish for big fish, no unders or Yellowfin. Might sound easy but the only Bluefin I have heard of being caught over the last few days have been 75 mile to the north, out of our range. Worked our Bluefin lumps hard on Monday & Tuesday looking for the “big bite” but never had a Bluefin pull, only a barely legal Yellowfin as well as being attacked by a few small Mahi’s. After talking with a few fellow captains who did the same thing both where we were and to the north without any success, we needed to come up with a different plan for our last day of fishing. Thursday morning found the leader board with only one Wahoo weighed in so we decided to go looking for Mr. Hoo. Since nearly the entire fleet (300 boats) have been fishing straight off OC or to the north and only found one Wahoo, we decided to run south and work the lumpy bottom as well as the tip of the Washington Canyon. Lines in at 8:30 and ten mile to troll off before we reach the tip. Arrived at the tip determined to give the lobster gear one hour to produce. Our baits got crashed a few time but by smallish mahi’s, we were only looking for larger fish. Before leaving I asked the crew if I could spend ten minutes trying something “sure” they replied. Pulled to one set of marker balls and threw a jig, nothing. Moved to a second set, the one I really wanted to take a closer look at and bang, fish on. While the guys were messin’ with the couple of gaffer Mahi’s that were hanging under the ball, I was watching the edges for any bulls. Then I spot him, a nice bull Mahi cruising around the outside perimeter. After two or three casts he finally takes the bait. Nearly thirty minutes later, he’s hooked on a small spinning reel, we have a nice 23 lb. Mahi in the box and we are thinking of the daily Mahi division payout. At the weigh-in we are in first place for the daily Mahi money, nearly $13,000.00. But about an hour later we are knocked out by a 27 pounder who took the entire $13,000.00 daily payout.

08/05/09 WMO Lay-Day. Out for a day of bottom fishing but between the wind & current we couldn’t hold bottom while drifting for flatties, even with 16 oz. of lead. Guy said they were cool with Sea Bass even if we don’t get any keepers. Set up on some good bottom and the bite was on. After a few hours of constant action we called it a day, even managed to put 9 legals in the box.

08/08/09 Out with the guys from Tonelli’s Pizza Shop, best pie in NE Philadelphia. Decided to run to the deep and work the gear that were holding a fair number of Mahi’s on Thursday. Must have worked over thirty sets of gear and only found one small Mahi. With a few hours of fishing time left I gave the guys the option to run back inside and pull on Sea Bass, just as long as they will take the bait, cut ballyhoo. Spent the last of the day yanking on some SB’s, even managed to put a couple keepers in the box. WE NEED A BIG BLOW OUT OF THE EAST, this constant southwest or west wind is just killing out offshore bite!!!!

08/09/09 Changed an 12 hour Offshore Trip to a 4 hour Inshore Bottom Trip due to a nasty afternoon forecast. Found a good Sea Bass bite not far from the inlet, but 90% were “unders”. Surprise of the morning were the number of Flounder we were catching while on anchor, one hit the tape at 21″. Big surprise of the morning was a legal Tog, shortly after telling the crew “the Tog are done till fall”, shows what I know.

08/10/09 Out with a three generation crew of super nice guys from Chestertown MD who were celebrating Shane’s graduation and enlistment into the Army. The day started with a long run to the deep, 5000 feet to be exact. Worked the area for about two hours but were only able to raise one White Marlin who crashed our long rigger and never came tight. Ran back inside a few miles and worked my way south. Shortly after noon our flat line gets crushed and twenty minutes later Shane has his Yellowfin. Moved in to some lobster gear looking for some Mahi. First three sets, nothing. The fourth set we pulled by was holding just a couple, but one or two nicer ones. Spent the last hour with light tackle trying to get the shy fish to eat. A few did and Shane got a nice Bull Mahi to add to his Yellowfin. Back in the slip with one Yellowfin and three Mahi’s in the box. Shane caught the only Yellowfin I heard of today, good job soldier!

08/11/09 Took the boyz from Hegins PA out for a day of offshore fishing. Ran to the area that was so productive the day before and found a hot Mahi bite, both on the troll and with light tackle. The action was steady all day, bet we never went 15 minutes without a bite of some form. Many of these Mahi’s were a very nice class of fish, not small bailers. Two were over 20 lbs. and several were in the high teens. Great fun on light tackle!!!!Laughing Blackened Mahi, yummy!!

08/12/09 Last minute cancellation.

08/13/09 Out for a day of Flounder fishing with a family from Middletown, PA. Arrived at the site and set up for our first drift only to find some of the younger crew were having a very tough time getting their “sea legs”. Made a few drifts with only two or three anglers fishing before mom started feeling bad. Decided to turn this full day trip into a half day. Pulled in lines at 10:30 and headed to the barn with a few (7) Sea Bass and one Flounder in the box. I think we caught and released 6 or 7 flatties that were anywhere from 16 to 17½ inches.

08/14/09 Headed out for a day of Offshore Trolling with a crew from MD. About thirty mile into the trip I smelled something that I hadn’t smelled since high school. Quickly turned around and couldn’t believe what was in my cockpit, the fighting chair to be exact. This is a fishing boat not Woodstock. I immediately ordered it off the boat and turned the boat back to OC. A very, very, very expensive boat ride for this crew. It may have only been one guy but his poor judgement ruined everyone’s, including the Captain’s, day.

08/15/09 Out for a day of bottom fishing with a party of four from MD. Spent the first few hours making drifts for Flounder with decent success. The bite was good but the anglers were having a hard time keeping the fish hooked-up, a few of which were serious flatties judging by the bend in the rod. Made one drift for Sea Bass and all the rods went down at once. I asked which they would rather fish for, Flounder. So we went right back and continued drifting, sometimes landing, sometimes missing the fish. Back in the slip with two flatties, several Sea Bass and one Cod.

08/16/09 Ran to the deep for a day of Offshore fishing with a crew from Frederick, MD. Arrived at the Washington Canyon to have a look at the lobster gear. It was apparent that the gear was either recently pulled or hit hard the day before. We only managed to pull one Mahi, also lost one at the boat, out of all the balls we looked under. Talked with two other boats from our marina who hadn’t seen anything while they were there. Decided to run 14 mile to the north. Worked a little area for the remainder of the day but was only able to find two more Mahi and one Shark bite that didn’t come tight. Back in the slip with three lonely Mahi. I was really bummed on the ride in until I started talking with a few other good charter boats, many of which didn’t have a pull all day long, including the two from our marina who spent the entire day in the Washington. I guess three in the box is better than none,,,,,,but not by much.

08/17/09 Ran out to the Flounder Grounds with a group of expert Flounder guys. The first two drifts, everything was great and I was psyched, two keepers and a few just under, these guys knew the game. Then, just as if someone threw a switch, the drift went from North to South @ 1 knot, nearly perfect, to East to West @ 2/10 to 3/10 knot, simply horrible for Flounder fishing. Spent the next few hours bumping the boat in and out of gear just to cover some bottom but it was apparent we needed to change our plans. Ran a little north and set up on some Sea Bass to see what we would get. Much to our surprise the bite was awesome and the throw back to keeper ratio wasn’t bad either.

08/18/09 Bottom fishing with a family from Annapolis, MD. Same plan as yesterday except we weren’t going to strictly target flatties. Nice bite all day long with couple keeper Flounder as well as several that were literally ¼” too short, stupid new regs!!! Sea Bass bite was good but they weren’t quite as thick as the day before and the throw back to keeper ratio wasn’t quite as good either. The big surprise of the day was when Norma pulled in a beautiful 8 lb. Tog to add to the catch. Back in the slip with a Tog, two Flounder and a dozen Sea Bass, one that measured 18″.

08/19/09 Out for a day of Bottom fishing with a family from southern MN. Before we could get very far off the beach two of the group were already feeling a little ill so we decided to hang close to the beach and do our best. Fishing was hit or miss all day, fair numbers, but smaller size. Found a nice little shot of flatties, many of which were 16½ to 17″. Did manage one Flounder @ 19″. Ended the day one hour early due to severe thunderstorms moving our way.

08/20/09 This trip actually started two days before with a phone call to the crew. I pushed them to reschedule to a later date or change the trip to something other than offshore fishing since the Tuna, Mahi and Wahoo bite has been very slow. I told these guys it is very possible we may not even get a pull. They decided to roll the dice and make the run. After a long ride in fairly sporty conditions we arrived in the deep. Within 90 minutes of lines in we have four Mahi in the box, one around 15 lbs., and had two more throw the hook. Continued to work the area until increasing wind & seas forced us to move to the west. Arrived at the 35 fathom line and nearly immediately hook a White Marlin. Unfortunately as the angler was trying to get into the chair he forgot to continue reeling and the Marlin pulled off. Finished the day with a nice Skipjack Tuna before needing to pull in lines a little early due to the long ride home in steep seas.

08/21/09 Half-day of bottom fishing with a father & son from Ontario in building wind & seas. Hung close to the beach looking for Croaker, but wasn’t able to find any decent size schools. After talking to four other boats trying to do the same thing with not much success I decided to throw the hook and see if the Triggerfish want to play. The bite was good but faded fast, I guess the school moved to a diffferent area of the cable mound. Back in the slip with four Triggers, one 16″ Croaker and a 18½” Flounder.

08/22/09 Cancelled due to Hurricane Bill. Turned out to be only a long period swell with not much wind, very fishable day.

08/23/09 Rescheduled to a later date

08/24/09 Half day bottom fishing trip with a few kids & dads from Jersey. Great Sea Bass bite but the choppy seas hit one of the fathers hard and forced us back in a little early.

08/25/09 Ran 55 mile out to the edge looking for some Mahi. Worked loads of gear during the first two hours with no luck. Decided to stick with it even after the other boats ran off. Finally found some nice Mahi’s on some northern gear and managed to put ten in the box, some with light tackle and some trolling. Catch of the day was the largest beach ball I have ever seen floating with names and phone numbers all over it. Called one of the numbers at the dock and found out the ball blown away from the girl in the Outer Banks of NC the week before, weird.

08/26/09 Pulled out of the slip with a father and three kids, two sons ages 32 and 14 and a little girl age 9. The little girl seemed slightly scared as we passed the inlet and I was worried how she would feel 35 mile offshore. Things didn’t get any better during the run but each time the offer was made to turn around I was told to continue steaming toward the fishing grounds. Arrived at the 30 fathom lumps and immediately had action from a mixed bag of False Albacore, Spanish Mackerel and Bluefish. Unfortunately, the father and eldest son fell victim to the dreaded eight hour illness after a short period of time. Pills were taken but only slightly prior to boarding, unlike the evening before as we recommend. Fished for another 25 minutes with constant doubles, triples and quads but things were not any better for our lady angler. Finally she had ENOUGH and shouted in a very loud voice “TAKE ME HOME”!!. This trip has me seriously considering a new policy, no children under the age of twelve beyond 20 miles of the inlet,,,???.

08/27/09 Offered this crew of four who were looking to run offshore for”meat” two options. 1) Run to the deep and try for some Mahi understanding the risk if the gear was recently fished hard or hauled. 2) Stay a little closer to the beach where the action has been great but the food value of what we would be catching not real great. They decided they wanted action,,, and man did they get it. Steady stream of doubles, triples and quads the entire time. At times we only had two anglers on deck and all six rods holding fish. Sometime around 11:30 two of the guys had enough. One hour later the remaining two were out of steam as well. I’m guessing that in the 5 hours we were fishing this crew must have caught at least 60 fish including Spanish Mackerel, False Albacore, Atlantic Bonita and Bluefish and probably had another 20 or so come unglued during the fight.

08/28/09 This trip was to be a full day, but due to the forecast, the decision was made to cut it to a half-day and fish close to where were we had the day before giving this family from Newark, DE the most bang for their buck. Somewhere at the 7 mile mark my mate starts screaming that we have a medical emergency on-board. I pull back the throttles, hit the auto pilot and jump off the bridge. Looking in the cabin I see the father laying on the floor seemingly out cold, there’s also a small trickle of blood coming out his mouth. His wife informs me that he occasionally suffers seizures and is having one. We immediately turned the boat toward the dock and continued to monitor his condition. By the time we arrived back in the slip he was alert and cognitive and able to walk off the boat with only limited assistance.

08/29/09 Cancelled due to rough conditions

08/30/09 Out for a half-day of Inshore Trolling with a family of four from NY. Ten minutes after lines in we have a double. That kind of action for Spanish Mackerel, Taylor Bluefish and False Albacore continued for the entire trip with doubles and tripples more common than single hook-ups.

08/31/09 Rescheduled to a later date due to rough conditions.

09/03/09 thru 09/05/09 Rescheduled to a later date due to rough conditions.

09/06/09 Out for a day of tuna fishing with a family from Pasadena, MD. Yellowfin action was great with Skipjacks and False Albacore (AKA Turkeys) mixed in with the YFT. By 1:00 the crew was spent and decided to call it a day with 11 Yellowfin and 4 Skipjacks in the box. We did have a close encounter of the toothy kind when a 200+ lb. Hammerhead Shark ate one of our tuna’s. A few minutes later and within a couple feet of the barrel of my waiting Winchester he simply let go of the head, which was the only thing he hadn’t devoured yet. We did have another encounter later in the day when one of the crew brought in a Yellowfin, completely cut in half, nasty sharks!!!

09/07/09 and 09/08/09 Cancelled due to rough conditions

09/12/09 Hit the Inlet asking myself, which way should I go? This normally isn’t a problem but since no boats have fished out of OC since last Sunday, it was anyone’s guess where the fish were. Decided to run back to the same spot that provided great action last Sunday. Fifteen minutes after lines in my question was answered, the fish are still here, well at least the False Albacore (aka turkeys) were. Spent the next several hours wearing out the crew pulling on turkeys all the time telling myself there has got to be some Yellowfin in with these fish somewhere. Well after what must have been 40 and no Yellowfin I decided to make a three mile run to some weeds, The first large patch we hit was holding a school of nice Mahi. Problem was, as soon as the baits hit the water, Triggerfish would run out and grab them before they were able to sink to where the Mahi’s were swimming. The crew was seeming to have fun with the Triggers any way so why not, they are just as good on the fork and pull extremely hard for their size.

09/13/09 Fly fishing on Fin Chaser. Never done this before but the angler from Lancaster, PA really wants to take one of our offshore species on a fly. Headed to the weed-line/patches we had left the day before hoping they were still together. We arrived at the spot and our hopes were dashed, the currents and winds had sheared the weed-lines apart. Set out three hooked teasers and pointed to where all the “Turkey’s” were the day before. After a few minutes it was very apparent, the fish had either moved elsewhere or just were not feeding. Worked the area hard looking everywhere and finally around noon we get covered-up with Turkey’s. After releasing all four, one on a 8 weight fly rod which took 30 minutes. I swung back through the same area, bang, single fish on and I’m psyched, we finally found em, WRONG. That was our last bite of the day.

09/14/09 Ran 45 mile to the north to try and find the fish. With-in 30 minutes of lines in we have a small Mahi in the box. Our next bite(s) were five Turkeys, all at once and a Wahoo which threw the hook.. About an hour later we put another 10 lb. Mahi in the box. The next two hour were unproductive so I decided to move back to where we had started and see if the scattered weeds of the morning had formed into any lines yet since the seas and winds were laying down. Yep, we now had a weed-line to work. That call seemed to be the right one. Over the next 90 minutes we put one more Mahi in the box, missed a few more Mahi and went one for two on Yellowfin.

09/18/09 Ran south with five guys from Maryland DNR. Found a surprisingly good Marlin bite in fairly cool water. Even though we were looking for Tuna & Mahi, the guys were all too happy to pull on these super size White Marlin. Well, all except the first guy who had to fight a monster White on 30 lb. tackle. Did manage to put a five Mahi, two over 15 lb., in the box as well. When the dust setteled we had released three Whites and had four more that didn’t find the hook.

09/19/09 Turned around after one mile due to extremely rough conditions.

09/20/09 After today’s trip, I may rename the boat “Rubber Hooks”. I can’t say I ever remember having this number of bites that just didn’t come tight or that the hooks pulled. A few were tiny Mahi’s and that’s understandable but some were huge explosions, screaming drags and then nothing. Maybe we should put a few drops of super glue on the baits tomorrow.

09/21/09 Out for some offshore action with three guys from Harrisburg, PA. In the first hour we were ravaged by tiny Mahi several times as well as catching a couple False Albacore, aka Turkeys or Fat Alberts. Shortly after that the long rigger gets nailed, now we have a White Marlin on. That fight lasted for about five minutes and several spectacular jumps which were the anglers downfall. While looking at the leaping White he slowed-up on the reel and the White threw the hook. Our next encounter was a nice 40 lb. Wahoo which made it to the box. The next few hours were fairly slow with just the occasional Fat Albert release. Finished the day bailing a few small Mahi under a large patch of weeds.

09/22/09 Out with two guys from Liverpool, PA for a day of Tuna/Wahoo/Mahi fishing. First few bites of the day were Fat Albert’s which didn’t come tight. Ran away from that area fast heading toward where we had our Wahoo/ White Marlin action from the day before. Worked the area for about one hour before our first bite, a 25 lb. Yellowfin is in the box. Thirty minutes later we released a 150 lb. Blue Marlin. The next three hours was wide-open fishing. At one point we have five Yellowfins on at once landing four of them, not bad for only having two people to crank on fish. Our next series of bites are Wahoo, four go in the box, a fat 65 pounder, two 50 pounders and a 30 pounder. Ended the day a little early to allow for the time needed at the fish cleaning station. Back in the slip with a Blue Marlin release, five Yellowfin and four Wahoo. Near as I can figure these two guys are heading to PA with about $1700.00 in steaks and loins at todays market prices.

09/23/09 Hit the inlet and pointed toward the lower portion of the area that was so productive the previous day. Upon arriving I noticed the water wasn’t the same temp, three degrees cooler. Worked that spot for about an hour which was enough time to get attacked by Turkeys and tiny Mahi’s. We also had a White Marlin hooked-up for a few minutes but the fish charged the boat and threw the hook. After talking to a bud of mine who can get satellite temperature pictures on-board his boat he found the water we were looking for, ten mile to our south. Picked-up lines and made the thirty minute run. Less than 10 minutes later we have a Wahoo on and he’s a jumbo. Twenty minutes later, Wahoo in the box. The mate thinks it may be a MD record, 111 lbs., I think the fish is around 100. The next three hours was reminiscent of the day before, wide open fishing. Some made it to the box, others didn’t come tight, some lost during the fight and one nasty tooth fish (Wahoo), cut us off after eating my spreader bar. Sometime around noon-thirty the bite just shut off. Back in the slip with three Wahoo, one weighing in at 98 lbs., a few Mahi and one Yellowfin.

09/24/09 Half-day bottom trip with one of Annapolis’s finest and his wife. Found good action on Sea Bass, Triggerfish, Taylor Bluefish and Bar Jacks. Only kept a few since the officer isn’t real big on eating fish although I told him these tasty filets my change his mind.

09/25/09 & 09/26/09 Cancelled due to rough conditions.

10/02/09 First trip in nearly a week due to a big blow all week. Rolled the dice and decided to run deep and south looking for some meat. Within 30 minutes of lines-in we have our first fish on, a nice 45 lb. Wahoo makes it in the box. Twenty minutes later we hook a White Marlin and after a good fight with many spectacular jumps the fish is released next to the boat. Fifteen minutes later a Wahoo explodes on our flat line which doesn’t have wire and immediately cut us off. I no longer put the boat in gear and we have another White hooked-up. Unfortunately the angler couldn’t quite keep up with this fish and he throws the hook during a jump. Our next action was some very small Mahi on spinning tackle under a large weed mat. Shortly after leaving the weeds another White shows up in the spread but only wants to mess with our baits instead of eating them. Sometime around noon it seemed like someone turned the switch off and we spent the last two hours pulling baits without a bite. Seemed up and down the line, every boat I talked to, didn’t do much in the afternoon. Back in the slip with a Wahoo, a couple small Mahi and a White release.

10/03/09 Out with two couples for a day of Sea Bass fishing in what was to be choppy but improving conditions, man were they WRONG! Somewhere around 13 mile off the beach it turned into a whole different world and when we reached the fishing grounds, 17 mile off, it was horrible. Fortunately, the bite was on with both Sea Bass and Taylor Bluefish. After about three hours and dozens upon dozens of fish we decided to head for the barn since the conditions hadn’t improved at all, in fact, it may have gotten worse. Back in the slip with a dozen or so Sea Bass and a couple Bluefish as well as two ladies who weren’t feeling the greatest.

10/04/09 First “NO-SHOW” of the season. Thank heaven for deposits.

10/08/09 Trip cancelled due to surprise Sea Bass fishing closure.

10/09/09 Turned around after two miles due to rougher than expected conditions.

10/11/09 I guess the party (successful offshore trips) was bound to end at some point and today was that day. Took five great guys from DC out to the Baltimore Canyon for a day of offshore trolling. Worked hard and looked all over including under several sets of lobster gear but couldn’t find any fish. Finally, around noon our long rigger takes off. Ten minutes later we have a Yellowfin in the box. Continued to work that area hard but never had another pull.

10/16/09 Cancelled due to rough weather.

10/23/09 This trip was originally to be a 12 Hour Offshore Trolling Trip but after looking at the satellite water temperature pictures and seeing extremely COLD water temps in the canyons, I suggested this crew save some money and going Wreck Fishing instead. Conditions were beautiful and the bite was steady most of the day with the exception of the last hour. I was kept busy unhooking, Triggerfish, Tog and some very nice Sea Bass. Thick, tasty Sea Bass that thanks to NOAA Fisheries and their BAD SCIENCE, must be release until next spring. The Tog bite was slower than I thought it would be but the Triggers were an unexpected surprise. Back in the slip with 3 Tog and 11 Triggerfish in the box. Could have sunk the boat with Sea Bass, if we were only allowed to keep them.

  • 2013-01

    Some of the best fishing I've ever experienced, thanks!

  • 2013-02

    been looking for a boat to fish with for years, finally found it

  • 2013-03

    You guys really know your stuff, great fishing

  • 2013-04

    This is a testimonial for a great mahi fishing trip aboard the FinChaser.

  • 2013-05

    Fishing was better than I ever dreamed possible, thanks much

  • 2013-06

    Thanks for all your help, the fishing was incredible

  • 2013-07

    Another great trip, I will be back for tuna

2009 Reports

05/02/09 The 2009 season started with a bachelor party with six great guys mainly from PA. Bachelor party trips are always lots of fun! Unfortunately, the leftover effects from the previous night are normally all too apparent. Add to this the fact that NOAA completely missed the forecast and four of the six guys were already down before we ever left our first wreck. The two remaining anglers (the bachlor and his long time fishing buddy) were having a ball feeding the Tog. After several hours and quarts of green crabs these two finally figured out these sneaky fish. Just about the time they got the hang of hooking these guys the wind shifted hard to the NE and a large heave developed making for truly horrible Toggin’ conditions. Good thing this crew just wanted to have fun and wasn’t worried about filling the freezer.

05/05/09 Rescheduled to later in the month due to rough conditions.

05/08/09 Out Wreckin’ with two guys, one from MD and the other from SC. These guys were long time friends who wanted to try their hand at Toggin. The bite was good even though the conditions were not the best for Toggin, large swells. It took these guys a little time but they finally got the hang of it, especially Ronnie from SC. He was busy spankin the Tog while Keith was enjoying the Sea Bass action which was fairly decent. These guys only wanted enough for a dinner of two and were kind enough to release most of the female Tog, two of which were over 8 lb. Back in the slip with a dozen in the box, GREAT meal or two!

05/10/09 Four person bachelor party from Chestertown, MD out to try their hand at Toggin in very sporty conditions, yep, NOAA was WRONG again! Well these Tog newbies stuck with it and wound up having a great day. The Tog bite was fairly normal, red hot one minute, then no bites for the next. Back and forth all day long. When everything was said and done this crew must have caught close to 40, putting 14 in the box while releasing a couple nice females around 10 lb. One of the four, Mark, may have been a novice to tog fishing, but finished the day as a Tog expert. On the other hand, Ardian, found out it’s tough to Tog fish while trying to hold a cold one. Best of luck to Dave and his soon to be new bride!

05/11/09 Last minute trip with three of the nicest guys you could every ask to spend a day fishing with. All these guys wanted was to have fun and catch a few fish fish. That plan was working just fine, the Tog bite was good and the Sea Bass were showing as well, then it happened. With about three hours left in the day, I pulled anchor to make a five minute move. As I pushed the throttles up, the port engine stalled. Something didn’t seem right and after walking out on the bow, I couldn’t believe what my eyes were looking at. Our anchor had grabbed a old anchor rope that someone had lost, pulled it up, and all that rope tangled around our one prop, stalling my one diesel. After going overboard in 51 degree water with only my bvd’s on, I decided we needed to head back to dock where a diver was standing by to cut the huge wad of rope free. The guys headed back to DC with a few meals of Tog & Sea Bass and a great story as well.

05/12/09 Out for a day of Sea Bassin with three Jersey boys and these guys knew how to catch Sea Bass! The bite was red hot, two at a time on double hook rigs. Last year, these guys would have limited no problem, but with the increased minimum size limit, way too many needed to be released. Spent the last two hours trying for some Tog, but they didn’t seem to want to come out and play. Back in the slip with 35 Sea Bass and 4 Tog in the box.

05/13/09 Sea Bassin with the DC boys. These super nice guys were determined to beat the numbers put up by the Jersey boys yesterday. With two hours left I was worried, way too many throwbacks.Then we struck “black gold” in the form of keeper SB’s, three of which were over 20″. Back in the slip with 68 in the box. These guys must have caught well over 300 fish today.

05/14/09 Rescheduled due to rough conditions.

05/16/09 Toggin with a group of guys who have been trying for two year to get out. The Tog bite was red hot, but this crew was finding out exactly why these fish can drive you crazy. With several hours of feeding the Tog under their belt, they finally got the hang of it, DON’T SET THE HOOK, SLOWLY RAISE THE ROD, best way to hook one of these crafty fish. It took most of the day and a lot of weeding through fish that were ¼ to ½” under size but they finally managed to limit out. Wayne S even managed to take our first tagged Tog of the season as well as the largest of the day at 8 lb.

05/18/09 & 05/19/09 Rescheduled due to rough conditions.

05/22/09 PLAY DAY!! Out for a few hours of wreckin with a true Sea Bass pro, Trevor, my son. Ran about 26 mile to a little patch of bottom that didn’t disappoint. In just a few hours the two of us slammed some of the nicest SB’s of the year, three over 21″ and one measured 23″. Back in the slip shortly after noon with a few tasty meals in the box.

05/25/09 Noaa Forecast: wind & rain 4 to 5 ft.seas. Actual: 2 to 3 ft. seas and dry all day. Started the day off trying for some Tog but after two hours, three wrecks and a slow bite with a disappointing size we headed for deeper water to see if the Sea Bass wanted to play. Good bite with a very nice average size, a few of which were over 19″. Back in the slip with about 27 Sea Bass and one lonely Tog.

05/27/09 Cancelled due to rough conditions.

05/28/09 Wreckin in “pea soup”. 100 yards visibility from the time I left the slip until I passed through the inlet on our way back in. Four guys, two from UT, wanted to try their hand at wreckin. The elder statesmen of the group was a little worried that the dreaded eight hour illness. Well, shortly after I anchored on our first wreck, it hit him. The three younger guys were having a ball catching Sea Bass and Tog, but after a few hours, Shane, couldn’t take anymore. We headed for the barn (thank Heaven for radar) with some good memories and a few Tog sandwiches in the cooler.

05/30/09 Wreckin with “Smitty” and the crew from DC. Ran south to the area that was soooo good last Friday only to find countless 12′s and 12¼’s, can you say “SHORTS”!, Pounded the area all day and managed to put a respectable catch together. Back in the slip with just under sixty Sea Bass. The largest was nailed by Smitty the “Dogfish King”, and measured 22″. Nice job guys!

06/01/09 Arrived at the boat, looked at the flag and thought, “great, NOAA blew it again”. Headed out in very sporty conditions wishing I could run to the deeper water for Sea Bass but due to the wind direction I decided on Plan B. Run 13 mile and hit a Tog wreck that I haven’t fished this year. The bite was great although the size wasn’t. Ended the day messin with a few Sea Bass. Back in the slip with a limit of Tog (the largest over 10 lb.) and a few SB.

06/02/09 Well, some days you win and some days the fish win. Today was the first of the season I would have to say the fish won. Started off Toggin with a great bite that suddenly shut down in late morning. Spent the rest of the day running all over trying to find some decent size Sea Bass but only seemed to find 12 inchers. With twenty minutes left in the day, the party of two threw up the white flag of surrender and called it a day. Back in the slip with a few Tog, two of which were 8 pounders and a few SB.

06/03/09 Out for a day of Toggin with a family of four from Jersey. Before I could make it off the bridge they were hooked-up or lost their bait, this is going to be great! Ten minutes later, the bites stop. Look at the sounder, where’s the wreck? Look at the anchor rope, it’s laying slack in the water and the boats just sitting there, very little surface current and very little wind and there are opposed to each other. Must have reset the anchor 10 times over the next few hours trying to stay over the fairly small Tog wreck, but it’s no use, not today. Worst conditions for anchoring I have seen in several years. Decided to try some mini-drifts over an old, seldom fished, Sea Bass wreck and it worked great. Back at dock with a nice dinner for the vacation condo. Here’s to at least some wind and current, but no too much!

06/06/09 Cancelled due to rough conditions.

06/07/09 Out for a day of Toggin with two couples from PA. One of the girls warned me that she is prone to the dreaded eight hour illness. Well, she did last long enough to catch a fish, but after that, it was all over. Being the trooper that she was, she didn’t want the trip to end for the others, so she found a comfortable spot and dozed the rest of the day. Meanwhile, the other three found fairly good Tog action with a few Sea Bass mixed in. Back in the slip one fish shy of the four person limit of Tog.

06/09/09 Wreckin with a super nice couple from around Harrisburg, PA. Decided to stay a little closer to the beach due to some very severe storms that were popping up around DC and moving our way. I told them “we should catch a lot, but it’s likely none of the Sea Bass will make the new size limit. The storms made it here around 11 am and ripped-up Berlin & Ocean City but never pushed off the beach. Meanwhile the crew was catching fish as fast as they could drop down, a few keepers as well, shows what I know. The last pull of the day I was sure Chad had hooked a white trash bag, seriously, thats what it looked like at 15 feet. Turned out to be the first flattie (Flounder) of the year, a legal one at that! Back in the slip with a couple nice Sea Bass, Tog and a Flounder.

06/12/09 & 06/13/09 Two half-day trip where the folks just wanted action catching fish, they really were not concerned about keeper and with limited time each day we would not have been able to run to the deeper water anyway. The Sea Bass bite was nonstop each of the two days with combined numbers well over 100, many of which were ½ to ¾” under the legal minimum.

06/14/09 First tuna trip of the season with four great guys from Baltimore, one was seven time Pro Bowl Tackle and new Ravens Center Matt Burk, who loves fishing and is pretty darn good at it too. It took about an hour to find the bait but when we did the Bluefin were there. After going two for three on Bluefin, the crew decided they wanted to try for a Mako. Leaving fish to find fish before 10am….you know what I thinking! Started sharkin close to where we had our Bluefins only have have countless knotheads cut right through our slick, one boat ran through it several times. Well, in nearly three hours, we never did see a shark and since this was a short trip we pulled in lines and were back in the slip at 3:00 with Matt’s 50 lb. Bluefin in the box. GO RAVENS!

06/15/09 Wreck trip with two very nice couples here for the Firemen’s Convention. Found very good Sea Bass action on a little piece of bottom 12 mile off the beach. As a bonus, our triggerfish have shown and they had a ball nailing some super nice Triggers. After throwing several in the box, they informed me they really didn’t want to keep any, my mistake, so the rest were released. But those Triggers and SB’s in the box won’t go to waste, the Stauffer’s grill will be only too happy for them, FINE EATS!!.

06/16/09 Headed out for a day of Wreckin in what was to be increasing winds & seas during the mid-afternoon. We decided to try for some Triggers before running to deeper water for the Sea Bass. Well by 9am I would say it was blowing 15 and by 10am it was 15 to 20 knots straight out of the east. With two of the four guys feeling bad and quickly building seas, we decided to stay put and try to scratch out a few keepers. Back in the slip with a handfull of fish in the box and two guys who were very happy to be back on solid land.

06/17/09 & 06/18/09 Cancelled due to rough conditions.

06/19/09 Decided to run 50 mile south with a crew from Lancaster County to try and find the Bluefin. With-in 45 minutes of lines in, a school of small tuna’s poped up right next to the boat. Swung the spread through them and the spreader bar gets nailed, thirty seconds later, the hook pulls. Over the course of the next three hours we put one 45 lb. Bluefin in the box, released one and had two other bites that didn’t come tight. Around 11:00 the guys decided they wanted to try some Sharkin. Set up a few miles to the north and after 45 minutes our float bait gets slammed. Ten minutes later, we release a 100 lb. Dusky. Over the course of the next 90 minutes we watched two huge schools of Bluefin Tuna pushing water, one school less than 100 yards off our bow. Ended the day with a slightly larger Dusky which was released.

06/20/09 Lancaster Christian School Benefit Auction Trip. Took the same family out as last year to find a red hot Sea Bass bite. Although the keeper ratio must be 50 to 1, they still had a fantastic time catching “just under” fish. Decided to head back in a little early due to some very severe storms with were heading our way.

06/21/09 The forcast calls for west winds at 20 knots turning north and increasing to 25 knots in the early afternoon. Decided I would be able to get the crew from Ohio, a father and three teen-age girls some fish before the north wind starts. Well, at 9 am it’s blowing a solid 20 to 25 with a few gusts well over that right out of the north. Seas were 5′ to 6′ with a few larger thrown in just for fun. Was sure this crew was doomed but they sure proved me wrong! Dad and the girls had a ball catching Sea Bass, Triggers and Tog. With sore wrists, they decided to call it a day just before noon so we headed for the barn with a few Triggers and a real nice Sea Bass and Tog in the box. Good eats heading back to OH.

06/22/09 Took five guys from up-state PA out for a day of sharking. Leaving the marina, the mate comes up on the bridge and asks me if I have ever heard of “sparks”. “No”, I replied. Turns out it’s the lastest energy drink that has something like 8 or 9% alchohol by volume…grrreat. Enegry drinks are usually a fast lane toward the dreaded eight hour illness, add some booze to the mix, absolutely deadly! Less than 10 minutes after the chum bucket hit the water, one of the crew decided to add a little of his own chum to the slick. Over the next two hours he continued to power chum while we drifted with only one pull on the mid-depth bait. We pulled in the lines to make a short move but the crew decided they needed to get their buddy back to the dock and decided to call it a day.Tomorrow is another day and a tuna trip for these guys.

06/23/09 Same crew as yesterday out for a day of tuna fishing. Decided to try for some Bluefin but was slightly concerned since none of the fleet had been tuna fishing in three days due to the big blow. After 30 minutes and no bait, slicks or tuna marks on the sounder we decided to run about 23 mile to where a few small yellowfin were being caught. Immediately we hook a nice gaffer Mahi, I’m thinking, “this is going to be good”. But the next few hours only held Skipjacks, undersize Yellowfin, swings and misses and pulled hooks. Would have loved to stay for an extra 30 minutes but these guys needed to get in due to a several hour drive to up-state PA.

06/24/09 Sea Bassin! Ran 18 mile with a crew of four, two adults and two boys. Had a ball catching Sea Bass, a few of which were real nice size for this time of the year. Due to being on vacation and no way of keeping them or cooking them these guys released everything they caught. At the days end, the mate thinks we could have kept perhaps a dozen and a half of the 100+ which were caught. Not bad since we only had two lines in the water for much of the day.

06/25/09 Headed out for a tuna trip with a family from Ohio who were on a fairly tight schedule and budget. Since the only bite is way deep and they didn’t want the 12 hr. trip I told them I would run 40 mile and troll to the deep where the Yellowfin are being caught. We would only have about one hour there until we needed to troll back in so we wouldn’t burn as much fuel. That’s the only way I could run the trip for the reduced price and still be back at the dock by 3 pm. As soon as we hit 60 fathoms we started getting hit by Skipjack Tuna’s, small but fun! These folks had a ball fighting these little guys but all too soon it was time to start trolling back, leaving the bite behind. With-in 10 minutes of making the “LTH” (last turn home) both flat lines get crushed, these ain’t no skipjacks. The one hook never comes tight and the other line goes slack as well. Before we know it our spreader bar get slammed, game on! 15 minutes later we have a nice 35 lb. Yellowfin in the box. About the line that went slack, the 130 lb. swivel broke in half. Personally, I would have spent the extra $125.00 and gone for the twelve hour day.

06/26/09 Today was to be a bachelor party tuna trip but due to one of the guys backing out at the last minute, the remaining four just didn’t have the funds to cover the offshore trip. They decided to spend the day messin with the Sea Bass. About two miles short of our fishing area I ran into birds diving and bait everywhere. I asked the guys if they wanted to put out four rods with lures and see what’s here, sure, they replied. The next hour or two was spent catching small Taylor Blues. These blues are small but not bad eating, unlike the big nasty Chopper Bluefish. When the bait finally went deep the bite stopped so wreckin we went. Spent the rest of the day yanking on Sea Bass, a few well over the minimum size limit. Also got a 17½” Flounder, stupid new 18″ minimum Yell. Suprise of the day was a nice 7 lb. Tog.

06/27/09 Took a family of four out for a day of shark fishing. The kids just want to catch a shark, size really doesn’t matter. Set up on a shoal and less that 30 minutes later we get our first pull, but the fish drops the bait. The next encounter is about 20 minutes later. This time its a 25 lb. Dusky which is the perfect size for the 10 year old angler. With a little help from dad, the fish is next to the boat and released. Thirty minutes later we have another Dusky on, similar in size to the first. This fish is fought and released as well. Our third shark took the bait while reeling the line in for a check. Unfortunately, this fish pulled off before the sleepy angler could get to the rod. Finished the day with a couple of Sea Bass.

06/28/09 Ran 60 mile south looking to give my guys their best shot at a Yellowfin. The Yellowfin were around in decent numbers through the week but have really slacked off over the last two days. About 45 minutes into the day the mate is running out one of the baits after clearing some trash from it when a BigEye Tuna comes crashing down on. The drag screams for about fifteen seconds then the line goes slack. Me thinks he only had the lune and not the bally/hook. Made a quick turn right back through the same area and the long rigger get nailed. Fifteen minutes later and much to our surprise we have a 120 lb. Mako ready for the Winchester. BANG, game over! Made yet another swing through the area and the long goes off again. Turns out to be a 20 lb. Mahi. Spent the rest of the day trying to find a Yellowfin, but never did. Finished the day with a second Mahi that came to the boat much like a propeller, thanks to being hooked in the eye.

06/29/09 Yellowfin trip to the deep with a party from Jersey. Trolled around for the first 45 minutes without a pull. Then I hear the mate asking one of the people “you really have bananas with you” The guys immediately tossed them overboard. Mind you, that wasn’t my call, but the rest of the group. 30 minutes later we get a triple, one legal two unders. The next three hours was crazy with doubles, triples and quads. One flurry saw six rod go down. Even though most of these Yellowfin were an inch or two under the legal limit we did get some nicer fish as well as the footballs. Back in the slip with one tired crew and five Yellowfin (50, 46, 38, and two 20 pounders) in the box.

07/01/09 First Flounder Trip of the year with three anglers from PA who had a little too much fun the night before. With-in the first three drifts we had three nice flatties in the box. Then it seem the previous night came back to haunt two of the three guys. Spent much of the remaining day with only one or two of the three fishing. The guys rallied in the last hour and we managed to put one more keeper in the box. I HATE this new minimum size limit! We had several Flounder which would have been legal last year, 17½”, that needed to be released. Back in the slip with four Flounder to 23″ and two Sea Bass in the box. Honestly folks, charter fishing isn’t cheap and we want you to enjoy your day on board. Please, save the partying till after the trip.

07/03/09 Out for a day of offshore trolling in what was to be decent conditions. About 25 mile off the beach the wind feels rather brisk. We arrive at the grounds, 58 mile offshore, it’s crankin, solid 15 to 20 knots straight out of the northwest. Worked that area for three hours but my baits spent more time in the air than in the water, can you say ROUGH! Decided to troll back inside toward two big lumps just north of the Washington Canyon. On our way, we managed to put a nice 17 lb. Mahi in the box. Arrived at the lumps with very little time left in the fishing day due to what will be a long ride home, right into the wind & seas. However, we were there long enough to put three more nice gaffers (Mahi) in the box. Lets hope tomorrows forecast is a little more accurate!

07/04/09 NOT AGAIN! Pointed the boat south for a 58 mile run to the Washington Canyon but after 40 mile of looking back at ever increasing waves, I decided we better shut down and fish the area where we had caught the Mahi’s the day before. Worked the area for three hours but couldn’t find the same water temps I had yesterday. Could only managed one Mahi until I decided to run 20 mile north and look for some Mahi in reported “thick” weeds. Arrived at the numbers, not a weed to be found. Fifteen minutes later a nice Bluefin crashes our short rigger bait. Two minutes into the battle the angler is having a tough time keeping the rod butt in the belt and while trying to get the rod locked back in place he stops reeling for a split second, but long enough for the Bluefin to come un-buttoned. Finally found our weeds, unfortunately, they turned out to be reeds, not Sargasso weed. Reeds never seem hold fish! Should have know better than to “radio fish”. Finished the day with a fairly crappy ride home and a couple very disappointed guys from York, PA.

07/06/09 These weathermen must be smokin crack!!! Called my group last night and told them that due to the offshore waters forecast (20 to 30 knots winds) the tuna trip was off, they decided to go bottom fishing instead. I said sure, but we’ll probably need to stay with-in 10 miles of the beach due to the wind and waves. Arrived at our first wreck 11 mile off, nearly flat calm. Decided to run out to the Flounder Grounds 7 mile farther, still nearly flat seas. Drifted for flatties and must have caught 15 or 20 but only two made this ridiculous new minimum size. Want to see Capt. Dan mad,,, make me release several 17½” & 17¾” flatties.

07/07/09 Headed south to try for some Yellowfin but after hearing of the hot Bluefin bite on the radio I changed my plans and my course. Well after two hours of trolling and hearing the other captains complain about the lack of bait and bites I couldn’t take it anymore so I picked up my spread and headed toward the deep. With five mile to go I made a quick stop on a large piece of floating plastic. Pulled two nice Mahi off of it but they were the only two home. Ran the rest of the way to the tip of the Washington and spent the rest of the day working the top edge of the canyon as well as the loster balls. Missed a few more Mahi but did manage to stick one more. With less than an hour to go in the day a White Marlin shows up in our spread. He smashes one bait then heads for the flat lines. The mate drops the bait back to him, he picks it up and starts to run but the fish never comes tight. That was the last bite of the day.

07/08/09 Ran north to where a few, very few, Bluefin were caught the previous day. Decided on my run out that I was going to work the area all day regardless if I’m the only boat still there. Day started slow with only a few reports of some fish being caught 15 mile to our north. Sometime around 11:00 a big Bluefin blows our long bait out of the water, it rolled right off his nose. Another thirty minutes and no pulls so I call for a big change in our spread. Thirty minutes later our wb (way-back) take off, finally, fish on! Anout fifteen minutes later and every ounce of energy Kevin had, his first Bluefin, a 45 pounder, is in the box. Took a quick look around and of the ten or twelve boats that were working the area in the morning, only two of us remain. A little later we found a HUGE floating timber and decided to break out the spinners. Put a few tasty Triggerfish and a couple of Mahi in the box as well.

07/09/09 Four hour bottom trip with a father and son duo. Found outstanding action on Sea Bass and Triggers. Back in the slip with a few SB’s to 18″ and a few tasty Triggers too.

07/10/09 thru 07/12/09 Ocean City Tuna “Torturement” Tournament. Day one broke with 20 knot winds out for the northeast, great day to “lay”. Day two found us on the Bluefin grounds with a few other boats. By 11:00 we had both our Bluefins. Even though the larger fish was not a money fish the crew couldn’t pass up some fresh Bluefin steaks. Decided to run out to the deep for the last two hours and try for some yellowfin which have been rather scarce the last week. Unfortunately we didn’t find the Yellowfins. Back in the slip with a 40 & 75 lb. Bluefin and a nice Mahi. Day three, same location but way more boats. Released a 55 incher (85 lb.) since we were looking for the big one. Worked had the rest of the day but only found “unders”. Back in the slip with a 41 incher in the box.

07/13/09 Back on the Bluefin lump with WAY too many boats. Four bites by 10 am but none came tight. Then it appeared, the long evil fruitSurprised. Yep, someone brought a banana on board. Quickly tossed it overboard and continued trolling. Just before noon the wwb takes off. Thirty minutes later Anthony has his first Bluefin, a nice fat 80 pounder. Pull in lines and ran back inside looking for a “under or some Mahi. Ten minutes after we put the lines back out both long riggers go off, two nice Mahi make it to the box. Worked hard for the last hour but just couldn’t find another bite.

07/14/09 Headed out for a bottom fishing trip with a group of five from PA. Ten miles off the beach and I’m already mumbling nasty things under my breath about the NOAA Forecast. Arrived at the Flounder grounds only to find the 15 to 20 knot winds were not going to allow us to drift for the flatties. Spent the rest of the day pounding on the Sea Bass, even mamaged to scratched out a few keepers for the box. Finally, around 1:00 pm the winds started to lay out, just in time to call it a day.

07/15/09 Sea Bassin’ in summer, usually good numbers, but little size. These guys didn’t care, they just wanted to have fun and reel on some fish. Found a great bite all day with a suprising number, for this time of the year, of keepers. Nice weather, great crew and cooperative fish, doesn’t get any better! Back in the slip with seventeen nice Sea Bass.

07/16/09 Cancelled due to rough conditions

07/17/09 Out chasin’ the Bluefin with two great guys from Jersey. With-in thirty minutes of line in we had one very nice mahi in the box and two others which missed the hook. The next several hours were depressing, no bait, no tuna marks on the sounder and everyone on the radio complaining about the slow fishing. Decided to run back inside and look for the “unders”. Took a little time but we finally located them. Back in the slip with a very nice Mahi and one 40 lb. Bluefin.

07/18/09 Headed out to the “Pig Pen” with three guys from northern MD in hopes of finding a stud Bluefin. However, after about 25 mile of increasing wind and seas I thought the smarter thing to do would be hand a little tighter to the beach and look for a slightly smaller Bluefin since conditions were very sporty and getting sportier by the minute. After arriving at the lump that has been holding the “unders” I came to the conclusion that most of the fleet had the same thoughts. I was expecting 6 or 8 boats, instead, I counted 27 with more arriving every few minutes. Way too many boats on this little lump. I told the charter that until they thinned out I would be surprised if we get bit. Sometime around 11:30 , and only two fish caught that I knew of, the boats slowly started to move off. By 12:30 there were only seven of us left and then someone turned on the switch. During the next hour and a half we put a 45 pounder in the box and had a few other bites that didn’t come tight. Around 2:00 the boats that had moved off must have heard and as quickly as they departed they came back in, STUPID RADIOS!! The bite immediately shut down. Decided to finish the day yanking on some Sea Bass.

07/19/09 Out for a day of Bluefin fishing with a group of anglers who have done very well on past trips. Perhaps the late start, PLEASE DON’T ARRIVE LATE, should have been a sign of things to come. With 10 mile yet to go, a friend of mine who had overnighted at the Bluefin grounds calls me on the radio and simply tells me “here now”! I add another 100 rpm to the diesels, which I never do but wanted to get there before all the other boats pile on top of these fish and shut them right down. By the time we arrived he had caught his over and released another. A second boat right next to him was still working on their fish. Problem was, everyone had seen what was going on and started working the area super tight. Threw the spread out and within a few minutes our short rigger get crashed but the fish misses the hook. That was the last bite I heard of from that area at that time. Hung in until the fleet started to clear and sometime around 11:00 our mid-rigger gets crashed and is screaming out line. Got the angler in the chair and everything seemed fine until the fish decided to stop running. This caught the angler by surprise and he didn’t have enough time to recover and the fish shook the hook. That was our last encounter of the day. Remember folks, please arrive on time and when we say “reel” crank like it’s the last fish of the day, because it just might be.

07/20/09 Bluefinnin’ with four good guys from Morgantown, WV. It was apparent after 30 mile that our friends at NOAA completely missed yet another forecast, blowing 15 to 20 straight out of the northeast. Set the spread out and within fifteen minutes we have about a 10 lb. Mahi in the box. Thirty minutes after that our wwb takes off, good fish. After a 45 minute battle which required some form of help from all of the anglers, we have a 125 lb. Bluefin in the box. Since we are only permitted to harvest one Bluefin over 47″ we decided to put out a Mahi spread and work the area for two hours before heading a little inshore to try and find our “under” a Bluefin under 47″. After an hour without any Mahi encounters I point the boat west and troll toward the inshore lumps. When I think it’s safe to put the “under” spread out, different baits and lighter rods, we do. Five minutes after doing this we capture a small Mahi. Two minutes after that, one of our long riggers gets crashed and the reel is smokin’, BIG FISH! Ninety minutes later and still on the same angler the fish is right behind the boat. As the mate tries to get the fish to the hand gaff he still has enough spunk to make a hard left and cut us off on the trim tab. Not a big deal since we were able to see the fish and he was going to be released anyway. It still would have been nice to put a tape on him but I would venture a guess that he was in the very high 60′s in length and well over 160 lbs. Spent the last ninety minutes looking for our “under” but never found one.

07/21/09 Cancelled due to rough conditions

07/23/09 Out for a trolling trip with four newbies to bluewater fishing. Arrived at the Bluefin grounds a tad late, quickly set out the spread and got with it. After about an hour I get a call from a buddy of mine telling me to look off the deepwater edge of the shoal, immediately our wwb takes off. The fish doesn’t impress me with his initial run, but then he hits the afterburners, WOW! Forty-five minutes later and with the fish about 50 feet from the boat, the tuna shakes his head and throws the hook. Our angler did a great job but was nearly too exhausted to crank the reel hard at the end in order to keep the line super tight. Thirty minutes after that heartbreak we put a nice 20 lb. Mahi in the box. The next few hours saw only a few very small Mahi’s attacking our baits. The bait disappeared and the tunas did as well. With about one hour left in the day I decided to make a little run and try a different hole for the last forty-five minutes. As soon as the baits go in our long rigger get hit, another nice Mahi in the box. Two more Mahi bites round out our day but neither found the hook.

07/24/09 Wreckin’ with a party of four from MI in somewhat lumpy seas. Good Triggerfish & Sea Bass bite that remained strong until early afternoon. Seems that just when the sea started to calm down so did the bite. Back in the slip with nine Triggers, two of which were truly monster size Triggerfish.

07/25/09 Out for a day of Tuna fishing with a group of anglers from Lancaster, PA. High hopes as we arrived at the grounds and after putting a nice Mahi in the box less that 30 minutes after lines in, they were psyched! Then some inattentive captain in a outboard, cuts right through our spread taking out three of our lines. That little stunt killed about one hour of prime morning trolling and cost me well over $200.00. After re-rigging and a heart to heart with the outboard captain we were fishing again. Less than 15 minutes later we have another nice Mahi in the box. At that point I get a call from a friend telling me of a hot bite. I normally don’t “radio fish” but this guy is a super tuna fisherman and doesn’t play games. His only request, DON’T bring any other boats with we. I slowly troll his direction (5 mile north). Onthe way we put a third real nice Mahi in the box. With my buddy in sight we pass a large floating plastic drum loaded with super size Triggerfish. The guys ask “are they good to eat?” “Fantastic” I replied. We spent the next several hours with light tackle filling the box with one of the best tasting fish in the sea. The guys were having so much fun nailing these Triggers it was tough to get them to leave. With about an hour left in the day we put the tuna spread back out but it was all for nothing. Back in the slip with 3 Mahi and 45 Triggerfish.

07/26/09 & 07/27/09 Cancelled due to rough conditions.

07/28/09 Out for a day of wreck fishing with a party of six from the Phila. PA area. Decided to stop inside on our Triggerfish hole and give them a try before seeing if the water clarity and current would allow for some Flounder drifting or deeper water Sea Bassin. Unfortunately, before we ever put a line in the water our junior member of the crew (teenager) was already on his knees enjoying his breakfast (not really) for a second time. When I asked what form of motion sickness medication he tried, I was told “none”. I must confess that it really makes me wonder why people completely disregard the information I send out prior to all trips that basically says “Dramamine, Bonine or the Patch, I don’t care but please take something! After two and a half hours of fairly constant reverse digestion and hearing him tell his mother that “I just want to go in” I made the call that we needed to get him back to solid land. Dad wasn’t very happy with me for not taking them out farther for Flounder or for ending the day early. And to be quite honest I wasn’t real happy with him for not taking my advice about Dramamine and shorting my mate. I just can’t stand to see kids go through what this boys was feeling. A little motion sickness and discomfort is one thing but this was way beyond that.

07/29/09 Headed out for a day of Flounder fishing with a group from western PA in building winds and seas. By the time we arrived at the Flounder grounds it was flat out ROUGH! Wasn’t sure if we’d be able to drift slow enough for the flatties but the combo of 12 oz. of lead and holding the boat back with the engines seemed to be working. The guys had a great time catching flatties and an occasional Sea Bass or Sea Robin. I’m sure this group caught well over 25 Flounder ranging in size from 16″ to 23″. Back in the slip with seven Flounder and a few Sea Bass in the box. Much to my surprise no one experienced the dreaded eight hour illness. But then again, all but one took the pills.

07/30/09 Day started with a 3:15 am phone call to my Offshore Charter telling them about the forecast and what I was seeing standing at the inlet as we spoke. The forecast was for pain until mid-day! Gave them an inexpensive option, give the flatties a try. Since that trip doesn’t leave until 7:00 am, it will give the ocean a chance to lay down. Arrived at the Flounder grounds and found much nice conditions than we had expected. The bite was steady all day and the mate tells me he’s sure the guys from Annapolis, MD must have caught some where in the low twenty number of flatties ranging in size from 15″ to 23″. Spent the last hour smackin’ the Sea Bass. Even managed a couple keepers. Back in the slip with 8 Flounder and a couple Sea Bass.

07/31/09 & 08/01/09 Cancelled due to rough conditions

08/03/09 through 08/07/09 White Marlin Open Tournament. Our strategy, simple, try and find the last remaining Bluefin off of Ocean City and only fish for big fish, no unders or Yellowfin. Might sound easy but the only Bluefin I have heard of being caught over the last few days have been 75 mile to the north, out of our range. Worked our Bluefin lumps hard on Monday & Tuesday looking for the “big bite” but never had a Bluefin pull, only a barely legal Yellowfin as well as being attacked by a few small Mahi’s. After talking with a few fellow captains who did the same thing both where we were and to the north without any success, we needed to come up with a different plan for our last day of fishing. Thursday morning found the leader board with only one Wahoo weighed in so we decided to go looking for Mr. Hoo. Since nearly the entire fleet (300 boats) have been fishing straight off OC or to the north and only found one Wahoo, we decided to run south and work the lumpy bottom as well as the tip of the Washington Canyon. Lines in at 8:30 and ten mile to troll off before we reach the tip. Arrived at the tip determined to give the lobster gear one hour to produce. Our baits got crashed a few time but by smallish mahi’s, we were only looking for larger fish. Before leaving I asked the crew if I could spend ten minutes trying something “sure” they replied. Pulled to one set of marker balls and threw a jig, nothing. Moved to a second set, the one I really wanted to take a closer look at and bang, fish on. While the guys were messin’ with the couple of gaffer Mahi’s that were hanging under the ball, I was watching the edges for any bulls. Then I spot him, a nice bull Mahi cruising around the outside perimeter. After two or three casts he finally takes the bait. Nearly thirty minutes later, he’s hooked on a small spinning reel, we have a nice 23 lb. Mahi in the box and we are thinking of the daily Mahi division payout. At the weigh-in we are in first place for the daily Mahi money, nearly $13,000.00. But about an hour later we are knocked out by a 27 pounder who took the entire $13,000.00 daily payout.

08/05/09 WMO Lay-Day. Out for a day of bottom fishing but between the wind & current we couldn’t hold bottom while drifting for flatties, even with 16 oz. of lead. Guy said they were cool with Sea Bass even if we don’t get any keepers. Set up on some good bottom and the bite was on. After a few hours of constant action we called it a day, even managed to put 9 legals in the box.

08/08/09 Out with the guys from Tonelli’s Pizza Shop, best pie in NE Philadelphia. Decided to run to the deep and work the gear that were holding a fair number of Mahi’s on Thursday. Must have worked over thirty sets of gear and only found one small Mahi. With a few hours of fishing time left I gave the guys the option to run back inside and pull on Sea Bass, just as long as they will take the bait, cut ballyhoo. Spent the last of the day yanking on some SB’s, even managed to put a couple keepers in the box. WE NEED A BIG BLOW OUT OF THE EAST, this constant southwest or west wind is just killing out offshore bite!!!!

08/09/09 Changed an 12 hour Offshore Trip to a 4 hour Inshore Bottom Trip due to a nasty afternoon forecast. Found a good Sea Bass bite not far from the inlet, but 90% were “unders”. Surprise of the morning were the number of Flounder we were catching while on anchor, one hit the tape at 21″. Big surprise of the morning was a legal Tog, shortly after telling the crew “the Tog are done till fall”, shows what I know.

08/10/09 Out with a three generation crew of super nice guys from Chestertown MD who were celebrating Shane’s graduation and enlistment into the Army. The day started with a long run to the deep, 5000 feet to be exact. Worked the area for about two hours but were only able to raise one White Marlin who crashed our long rigger and never came tight. Ran back inside a few miles and worked my way south. Shortly after noon our flat line gets crushed and twenty minutes later Shane has his Yellowfin. Moved in to some lobster gear looking for some Mahi. First three sets, nothing. The fourth set we pulled by was holding just a couple, but one or two nicer ones. Spent the last hour with light tackle trying to get the shy fish to eat. A few did and Shane got a nice Bull Mahi to add to his Yellowfin. Back in the slip with one Yellowfin and three Mahi’s in the box. Shane caught the only Yellowfin I heard of today, good job soldier!

08/11/09 Took the boyz from Hegins PA out for a day of offshore fishing. Ran to the area that was so productive the day before and found a hot Mahi bite, both on the troll and with light tackle. The action was steady all day, bet we never went 15 minutes without a bite of some form. Many of these Mahi’s were a very nice class of fish, not small bailers. Two were over 20 lbs. and several were in the high teens. Great fun on light tackle!!!!Laughing Blackened Mahi, yummy!!

08/12/09 Last minute cancellation.

08/13/09 Out for a day of Flounder fishing with a family from Middletown, PA. Arrived at the site and set up for our first drift only to find some of the younger crew were having a very tough time getting their “sea legs”. Made a few drifts with only two or three anglers fishing before mom started feeling bad. Decided to turn this full day trip into a half day. Pulled in lines at 10:30 and headed to the barn with a few (7) Sea Bass and one Flounder in the box. I think we caught and released 6 or 7 flatties that were anywhere from 16 to 17½ inches.

08/14/09 Headed out for a day of Offshore Trolling with a crew from MD. About thirty mile into the trip I smelled something that I hadn’t smelled since high school. Quickly turned around and couldn’t believe what was in my cockpit, the fighting chair to be exact. This is a fishing boat not Woodstock. I immediately ordered it off the boat and turned the boat back to OC. A very, very, very expensive boat ride for this crew. It may have only been one guy but his poor judgement ruined everyone’s, including the Captain’s, day.

08/15/09 Out for a day of bottom fishing with a party of four from MD. Spent the first few hours making drifts for Flounder with decent success. The bite was good but the anglers were having a hard time keeping the fish hooked-up, a few of which were serious flatties judging by the bend in the rod. Made one drift for Sea Bass and all the rods went down at once. I asked which they would rather fish for, Flounder. So we went right back and continued drifting, sometimes landing, sometimes missing the fish. Back in the slip with two flatties, several Sea Bass and one Cod.

08/16/09 Ran to the deep for a day of Offshore fishing with a crew from Frederick, MD. Arrived at the Washington Canyon to have a look at the lobster gear. It was apparent that the gear was either recently pulled or hit hard the day before. We only managed to pull one Mahi, also lost one at the boat, out of all the balls we looked under. Talked with two other boats from our marina who hadn’t seen anything while they were there. Decided to run 14 mile to the north. Worked a little area for the remainder of the day but was only able to find two more Mahi and one Shark bite that didn’t come tight. Back in the slip with three lonely Mahi. I was really bummed on the ride in until I started talking with a few other good charter boats, many of which didn’t have a pull all day long, including the two from our marina who spent the entire day in the Washington. I guess three in the box is better than none,,,,,,but not by much.

08/17/09 Ran out to the Flounder Grounds with a group of expert Flounder guys. The first two drifts, everything was great and I was psyched, two keepers and a few just under, these guys knew the game. Then, just as if someone threw a switch, the drift went from North to South @ 1 knot, nearly perfect, to East to West @ 2/10 to 3/10 knot, simply horrible for Flounder fishing. Spent the next few hours bumping the boat in and out of gear just to cover some bottom but it was apparent we needed to change our plans. Ran a little north and set up on some Sea Bass to see what we would get. Much to our surprise the bite was awesome and the throw back to keeper ratio wasn’t bad either.

08/18/09 Bottom fishing with a family from Annapolis, MD. Same plan as yesterday except we weren’t going to strictly target flatties. Nice bite all day long with couple keeper Flounder as well as several that were literally ¼” too short, stupid new regs!!! Sea Bass bite was good but they weren’t quite as thick as the day before and the throw back to keeper ratio wasn’t quite as good either. The big surprise of the day was when Norma pulled in a beautiful 8 lb. Tog to add to the catch. Back in the slip with a Tog, two Flounder and a dozen Sea Bass, one that measured 18″.

08/19/09 Out for a day of Bottom fishing with a family from southern MN. Before we could get very far off the beach two of the group were already feeling a little ill so we decided to hang close to the beach and do our best. Fishing was hit or miss all day, fair numbers, but smaller size. Found a nice little shot of flatties, many of which were 16½ to 17″. Did manage one Flounder @ 19″. Ended the day one hour early due to severe thunderstorms moving our way.

08/20/09 This trip actually started two days before with a phone call to the crew. I pushed them to reschedule to a later date or change the trip to something other than offshore fishing since the Tuna, Mahi and Wahoo bite has been very slow. I told these guys it is very possible we may not even get a pull. They decided to roll the dice and make the run. After a long ride in fairly sporty conditions we arrived in the deep. Within 90 minutes of lines in we have four Mahi in the box, one around 15 lbs., and had two more throw the hook. Continued to work the area until increasing wind & seas forced us to move to the west. Arrived at the 35 fathom line and nearly immediately hook a White Marlin. Unfortunately as the angler was trying to get into the chair he forgot to continue reeling and the Marlin pulled off. Finished the day with a nice Skipjack Tuna before needing to pull in lines a little early due to the long ride home in steep seas.

08/21/09 Half-day of bottom fishing with a father & son from Ontario in building wind & seas. Hung close to the beach looking for Croaker, but wasn’t able to find any decent size schools. After talking to four other boats trying to do the same thing with not much success I decided to throw the hook and see if the Triggerfish want to play. The bite was good but faded fast, I guess the school moved to a diffferent area of the cable mound. Back in the slip with four Triggers, one 16″ Croaker and a 18½” Flounder.

08/22/09 Cancelled due to Hurricane Bill. Turned out to be only a long period swell with not much wind, very fishable day.

08/23/09 Rescheduled to a later date

08/24/09 Half day bottom fishing trip with a few kids & dads from Jersey. Great Sea Bass bite but the choppy seas hit one of the fathers hard and forced us back in a little early.

08/25/09 Ran 55 mile out to the edge looking for some Mahi. Worked loads of gear during the first two hours with no luck. Decided to stick with it even after the other boats ran off. Finally found some nice Mahi’s on some northern gear and managed to put ten in the box, some with light tackle and some trolling. Catch of the day was the largest beach ball I have ever seen floating with names and phone numbers all over it. Called one of the numbers at the dock and found out the ball blown away from the girl in the Outer Banks of NC the week before, weird.

08/26/09 Pulled out of the slip with a father and three kids, two sons ages 32 and 14 and a little girl age 9. The little girl seemed slightly scared as we passed the inlet and I was worried how she would feel 35 mile offshore. Things didn’t get any better during the run but each time the offer was made to turn around I was told to continue steaming toward the fishing grounds. Arrived at the 30 fathom lumps and immediately had action from a mixed bag of False Albacore, Spanish Mackerel and Bluefish. Unfortunately, the father and eldest son fell victim to the dreaded eight hour illness after a short period of time. Pills were taken but only slightly prior to boarding, unlike the evening before as we recommend. Fished for another 25 minutes with constant doubles, triples and quads but things were not any better for our lady angler. Finally she had ENOUGH and shouted in a very loud voice “TAKE ME HOME”!!. This trip has me seriously considering a new policy, no children under the age of twelve beyond 20 miles of the inlet,,,???.

08/27/09 Offered this crew of four who were looking to run offshore for”meat” two options. 1) Run to the deep and try for some Mahi understanding the risk if the gear was recently fished hard or hauled. 2) Stay a little closer to the beach where the action has been great but the food value of what we would be catching not real great. They decided they wanted action,,, and man did they get it. Steady stream of doubles, triples and quads the entire time. At times we only had two anglers on deck and all six rods holding fish. Sometime around 11:30 two of the guys had enough. One hour later the remaining two were out of steam as well. I’m guessing that in the 5 hours we were fishing this crew must have caught at least 60 fish including Spanish Mackerel, False Albacore, Atlantic Bonita and Bluefish and probably had another 20 or so come unglued during the fight.

08/28/09 This trip was to be a full day, but due to the forecast, the decision was made to cut it to a half-day and fish close to where were we had the day before giving this family from Newark, DE the most bang for their buck. Somewhere at the 7 mile mark my mate starts screaming that we have a medical emergency on-board. I pull back the throttles, hit the auto pilot and jump off the bridge. Looking in the cabin I see the father laying on the floor seemingly out cold, there’s also a small trickle of blood coming out his mouth. His wife informs me that he occasionally suffers seizures and is having one. We immediately turned the boat toward the dock and continued to monitor his condition. By the time we arrived back in the slip he was alert and cognitive and able to walk off the boat with only limited assistance.

08/29/09 Cancelled due to rough conditions

08/30/09 Out for a half-day of Inshore Trolling with a family of four from NY. Ten minutes after lines in we have a double. That kind of action for Spanish Mackerel, Taylor Bluefish and False Albacore continued for the entire trip with doubles and tripples more common than single hook-ups.

08/31/09 Rescheduled to a later date due to rough conditions.

09/03/09 thru 09/05/09 Rescheduled to a later date due to rough conditions.

09/06/09 Out for a day of tuna fishing with a family from Pasadena, MD. Yellowfin action was great with Skipjacks and False Albacore (AKA Turkeys) mixed in with the YFT. By 1:00 the crew was spent and decided to call it a day with 11 Yellowfin and 4 Skipjacks in the box. We did have a close encounter of the toothy kind when a 200+ lb. Hammerhead Shark ate one of our tuna’s. A few minutes later and within a couple feet of the barrel of my waiting Winchester he simply let go of the head, which was the only thing he hadn’t devoured yet. We did have another encounter later in the day when one of the crew brought in a Yellowfin, completely cut in half, nasty sharks!!!

09/07/09 and 09/08/09 Cancelled due to rough conditions

09/12/09 Hit the Inlet asking myself, which way should I go? This normally isn’t a problem but since no boats have fished out of OC since last Sunday, it was anyone’s guess where the fish were. Decided to run back to the same spot that provided great action last Sunday. Fifteen minutes after lines in my question was answered, the fish are still here, well at least the False Albacore (aka turkeys) were. Spent the next several hours wearing out the crew pulling on turkeys all the time telling myself there has got to be some Yellowfin in with these fish somewhere. Well after what must have been 40 and no Yellowfin I decided to make a three mile run to some weeds, The first large patch we hit was holding a school of nice Mahi. Problem was, as soon as the baits hit the water, Triggerfish would run out and grab them before they were able to sink to where the Mahi’s were swimming. The crew was seeming to have fun with the Triggers any way so why not, they are just as good on the fork and pull extremely hard for their size.

09/13/09 Fly fishing on Fin Chaser. Never done this before but the angler from Lancaster, PA really wants to take one of our offshore species on a fly. Headed to the weed-line/patches we had left the day before hoping they were still together. We arrived at the spot and our hopes were dashed, the currents and winds had sheared the weed-lines apart. Set out three hooked teasers and pointed to where all the “Turkey’s” were the day before. After a few minutes it was very apparent, the fish had either moved elsewhere or just were not feeding. Worked the area hard looking everywhere and finally around noon we get covered-up with Turkey’s. After releasing all four, one on a 8 weight fly rod which took 30 minutes. I swung back through the same area, bang, single fish on and I’m psyched, we finally found em, WRONG. That was our last bite of the day.

09/14/09 Ran 45 mile to the north to try and find the fish. With-in 30 minutes of lines in we have a small Mahi in the box. Our next bite(s) were five Turkeys, all at once and a Wahoo which threw the hook.. About an hour later we put another 10 lb. Mahi in the box. The next two hour were unproductive so I decided to move back to where we had started and see if the scattered weeds of the morning had formed into any lines yet since the seas and winds were laying down. Yep, we now had a weed-line to work. That call seemed to be the right one. Over the next 90 minutes we put one more Mahi in the box, missed a few more Mahi and went one for two on Yellowfin.

09/18/09 Ran south with five guys from Maryland DNR. Found a surprisingly good Marlin bite in fairly cool water. Even though we were looking for Tuna & Mahi, the guys were all too happy to pull on these super size White Marlin. Well, all except the first guy who had to fight a monster White on 30 lb. tackle. Did manage to put a five Mahi, two over 15 lb., in the box as well. When the dust setteled we had released three Whites and had four more that didn’t find the hook.

09/19/09 Turned around after one mile due to extremely rough conditions.

09/20/09 After today’s trip, I may rename the boat “Rubber Hooks”. I can’t say I ever remember having this number of bites that just didn’t come tight or that the hooks pulled. A few were tiny Mahi’s and that’s understandable but some were huge explosions, screaming drags and then nothing. Maybe we should put a few drops of super glue on the baits tomorrow.

09/21/09 Out for some offshore action with three guys from Harrisburg, PA. In the first hour we were ravaged by tiny Mahi several times as well as catching a couple False Albacore, aka Turkeys or Fat Alberts. Shortly after that the long rigger gets nailed, now we have a White Marlin on. That fight lasted for about five minutes and several spectacular jumps which were the anglers downfall. While looking at the leaping White he slowed-up on the reel and the White threw the hook. Our next encounter was a nice 40 lb. Wahoo which made it to the box. The next few hours were fairly slow with just the occasional Fat Albert release. Finished the day bailing a few small Mahi under a large patch of weeds.

09/22/09 Out with two guys from Liverpool, PA for a day of Tuna/Wahoo/Mahi fishing. First few bites of the day were Fat Albert’s which didn’t come tight. Ran away from that area fast heading toward where we had our Wahoo/ White Marlin action from the day before. Worked the area for about one hour before our first bite, a 25 lb. Yellowfin is in the box. Thirty minutes later we released a 150 lb. Blue Marlin. The next three hours was wide-open fishing. At one point we have five Yellowfins on at once landing four of them, not bad for only having two people to crank on fish. Our next series of bites are Wahoo, four go in the box, a fat 65 pounder, two 50 pounders and a 30 pounder. Ended the day a little early to allow for the time needed at the fish cleaning station. Back in the slip with a Blue Marlin release, five Yellowfin and four Wahoo. Near as I can figure these two guys are heading to PA with about $1700.00 in steaks and loins at todays market prices.

09/23/09 Hit the inlet and pointed toward the lower portion of the area that was so productive the previous day. Upon arriving I noticed the water wasn’t the same temp, three degrees cooler. Worked that spot for about an hour which was enough time to get attacked by Turkeys and tiny Mahi’s. We also had a White Marlin hooked-up for a few minutes but the fish charged the boat and threw the hook. After talking to a bud of mine who can get satellite temperature pictures on-board his boat he found the water we were looking for, ten mile to our south. Picked-up lines and made the thirty minute run. Less than 10 minutes later we have a Wahoo on and he’s a jumbo. Twenty minutes later, Wahoo in the box. The mate thinks it may be a MD record, 111 lbs., I think the fish is around 100. The next three hours was reminiscent of the day before, wide open fishing. Some made it to the box, others didn’t come tight, some lost during the fight and one nasty tooth fish (Wahoo), cut us off after eating my spreader bar. Sometime around noon-thirty the bite just shut off. Back in the slip with three Wahoo, one weighing in at 98 lbs., a few Mahi and one Yellowfin.

09/24/09 Half-day bottom trip with one of Annapolis’s finest and his wife. Found good action on Sea Bass, Triggerfish, Taylor Bluefish and Bar Jacks. Only kept a few since the officer isn’t real big on eating fish although I told him these tasty filets my change his mind.

09/25/09 & 09/26/09 Cancelled due to rough conditions.

10/02/09 First trip in nearly a week due to a big blow all week. Rolled the dice and decided to run deep and south looking for some meat. Within 30 minutes of lines-in we have our first fish on, a nice 45 lb. Wahoo makes it in the box. Twenty minutes later we hook a White Marlin and after a good fight with many spectacular jumps the fish is released next to the boat. Fifteen minutes later a Wahoo explodes on our flat line which doesn’t have wire and immediately cut us off. I no longer put the boat in gear and we have another White hooked-up. Unfortunately the angler couldn’t quite keep up with this fish and he throws the hook during a jump. Our next action was some very small Mahi on spinning tackle under a large weed mat. Shortly after leaving the weeds another White shows up in the spread but only wants to mess with our baits instead of eating them. Sometime around noon it seemed like someone turned the switch off and we spent the last two hours pulling baits without a bite. Seemed up and down the line, every boat I talked to, didn’t do much in the afternoon. Back in the slip with a Wahoo, a couple small Mahi and a White release.

10/03/09 Out with two couples for a day of Sea Bass fishing in what was to be choppy but improving conditions, man were they WRONG! Somewhere around 13 mile off the beach it turned into a whole different world and when we reached the fishing grounds, 17 mile off, it was horrible. Fortunately, the bite was on with both Sea Bass and Taylor Bluefish. After about three hours and dozens upon dozens of fish we decided to head for the barn since the conditions hadn’t improved at all, in fact, it may have gotten worse. Back in the slip with a dozen or so Sea Bass and a couple Bluefish as well as two ladies who weren’t feeling the greatest.

10/04/09 First “NO-SHOW” of the season. Thank heaven for deposits.

10/08/09 Trip cancelled due to surprise Sea Bass fishing closure.

10/09/09 Turned around after two miles due to rougher than expected conditions.

10/11/09 I guess the party (successful offshore trips) was bound to end at some point and today was that day. Took five great guys from DC out to the Baltimore Canyon for a day of offshore trolling. Worked hard and looked all over including under several sets of lobster gear but couldn’t find any fish. Finally, around noon our long rigger takes off. Ten minutes later we have a Yellowfin in the box. Continued to work that area hard but never had another pull.

10/16/09 Cancelled due to rough weather.

10/23/09 This trip was originally to be a 12 Hour Offshore Trolling Trip but after looking at the satellite water temperature pictures and seeing extremely COLD water temps in the canyons, I suggested this crew save some money and going Wreck Fishing instead. Conditions were beautiful and the bite was steady most of the day with the exception of the last hour. I was kept busy unhooking, Triggerfish, Tog and some very nice Sea Bass. Thick, tasty Sea Bass that thanks to NOAA Fisheries and their BAD SCIENCE, must be release until next spring. The Tog bite was slower than I thought it would be but the Triggers were an unexpected surprise. Back in the slip with 3 Tog and 11 Triggerfish in the box. Could have sunk the boat with Sea Bass, if we were only allowed to keep them.