11/04/11 Out for a day of Tog fishing with the same crew as yesterday. Warned the guys before we left that the winds are to go to twenty knots and then THIRTY knots sometime today and we need to be back through the inlet before that happens. Set up on a cable pile as the sun was rising. First thirty minutes was fairly slow but then the Tog got out of bed. Bite was hot, no huge fish which was understandable since we were less than six mile from the inlet, but plenty of action and plenty of keepers. As the limit was reached the wind went from 5 – 10 to 20 knots in an instant. The guys didn’t want to tempt fate, and told me to head in. Back in the slip at 10am with a box full of Tog and two happy guys from Ohio with a few extra $$$ in their pocket since today turned out to be a half-day trip instead of a full day. As a side note; By 11 am the wind was cranking 20 -25 out of the northeast, glad we were in the six post hot-spot (aka the slip).
11/03/11 Running east in some very big swells looking to fill the box with Sea Bass for these two guys from Ohio. First three drifts were horrible, no fish. Capt. Monty arrived nearby and had the same result. Moved over to a nearby wreck and finally found some hungry fish. As the day went on, the bite improved greatly. The size however, not so much. Keeper ratio was somewhere around 8 to 1. Not sure why the fish I was marking while drifting didn’t want to bite, prehaps the weather of the last few days and the left-over swell had something to do with it. Back in the slip with twenty five fish in the box and two guys really looking forward to Toggin’ tomorrow.
11/01/11 Finally!!! Sea Bass season has re-opened today as well as our Tautog (aka Tog) catch limit increases to four per man. Today and tomorrows forecast look kinda sporty. However, after that, it looks we’ll get our Thursday through Sunday trips in. Presently, I have the 7th through the 12th available so if you want to put some tasty Sea Bass / Tog fillets in the freezer for the winter, nows the time. If you have a small crew on a tight budget please give me a call. I’ll try and put something together that’s affordable.
10/17/11 the forgotton trip. It’s Sunday afternoon and I’m enjoying the day at a family picnic. My phone shows a voicemail so I decide to check it rather than wait till later. Joel wants to know if things look good for tomorrow’s trip? Slightly freaked-out I check my calendar and realize the trip that I had been thinking is Tuesday is actually Monday, terrible to loose your mind at forty six. Fortunately, the boat is ready to go and I’ve got plenty of crabs at the ready. Start the five hour trip later than normal to allow the overnight and early morning winds to lay-out. Anchor five miles from the beach and start Toggin’. The bite is horrible. I knew it would be tough to get them going with only one rod in the water but this is ridicules. I’m forced to do something I very rarely do, send bait down myself in an attempt to get these fish to “feed”. After two hours, several “repositions” on different areas of the wreck, and a slow pick (like six fish) at best, we decided to make a move. As soon as Joel drops on the new spot, he gets nailed. The next two hours are wide-open fishing. Get to the bottom, lock the spool, and set the hook. Now these Tog weren’t monsters, but all the fourteen to sixteen inch fish you care to catch. Back in the slip with a happy customer and an even happier skipper since Joel didn’t wish to keep any Tog and allowed me to take the limit home for my family, Trevor and Tara will be thrilled!
10/15/11 Forecast calls for wicked winds out of the west. I tell the crew of this five hour Tog trip “I think we’ll be OK if we hang close to the beach, but it’s your call, complete refund if you choose to bag it”. The decision is made, “let’s do it”. Turned the boat southeast at the inlet only to find the winds were more south than west, right on our nose. After a few miles I drop the anchor and send the baits down. One of the four crew members is already down and tells his buddies to “hang some fish for me”. The bite is fair with about half the fish clearing the rail making it in the box. After about two and a half hours and our ill patient getting progressively worse, the guys decide to call it a day. Back in the slip with eight Tog.
10/11/11 Out for a day of Wreckin’ looking for some Sea Bass & Tog. Forecast called for strong afternoon winds but things look fine for us to make the seventeen mile run to the Sea Bass haunts. Bite was good and a couple keepers were making the box every drift. After a few hours with countless throwbacks and somewhere around twenty in the box we decide to run back to shallower water and try for some Tog. The bite started off slow but with-in twenty minutes fish or empty hooks are hanging everywhere. By the time we pulled anchor we had eight Tog in the box and lost or released many more.
10/09/11 Fin Chaser’s Offshore season has ended. Through the fall we will be running Ocean trips on-board the Bertram for Sea Bass, Tog, Flounder and Stripers as well as offering Inlet/Bay trips on-board the 22′ Skiff for Tog, Flounder and Stripers. November looks to very busy, call now and reserve your day.
10/09/11 Long range Wreck Trip with a crew from southeastern PA. Started the day trolling through some weeds we had passed yesterday. The water was sixty six degrees, too cool for good Mahi action. After a little time in the weeds with no bites we turned our attention to Sea Bass. The next several hours produced some of the nicest average size Sea Bass I’ve seen in quite a while. The bite hung on most of the day but the number of keepers fell off around noon. About the same time, two to four pound Bluefish moved in too. Back in the slip with fifty Sea Bass to four pounds and a dozen Blues kept for the smoker.
10/08/11 The long evil fruit strikes again! Headed out to the deep with a crew from PA. Sometime around 5:45, and still pitch black, I feel something bump the hull. Immediately, I pull back the throttles and start checking for damage. When I find nothing, I ease back into the throttles and with-in a few seconds a 2×4 pops out from under the transom. Things seem fine until I push the starboard engine past 2000 rpm. At that point, we get a slight vibration. No worries, we’ll just run the boat a couple knots under normal cruise, three to be exact. We arrive at fifty fathoms and set out the spread. Once we reach three hundred fathoms I see beautiful weed patches formed into a nice troll-able line. Two hours working these weeds and not a single knock-down. Like most of the other boats fishing, we decide to move back inside and look around the thirty fathom line. Just before we reach the thirty line, one engine suddenly looses rpm’s. I pull back the throttles and she idles fine. I ease back into the throttles and things seem OK. Two minutes later the same thing happens. We troll to a nearby wreck and drop for some Sea Bass. The bite is good and we put about a dozen keepers in the boat before we must leave. As I’m running back I notice all of my starboard gauges are reading screwy, and if I run the boat over a certain rpm, the one engine shuts down to idle. Finally, fed-up with this nonsense, I call Dave up on the bridge and start looking for the issue. Turns out to be nothing more than a loose wire on the fuel shut-off switch. Fixed the wire and things are good. Out of the blue, Dave starts laughing. I ask, “whats so funny”? He proceeds to tell me that as the charter was boarding the boat, one of them had a banana in his hand. Dave pointed out the sticker on the boat docked next to me that shows “no bananas on board” and tells the guy he should toss it before something horrible happens. Now I’m not superstitious, but I had more problems today than any trip I can remember and this is only offshore trip I can remember this season which we got skunked. Maybe there’s something to this banana thing.
10/03/11 Offshore trip which we switched to a Premium Wreck Trip due to the high sea’s forecast for the offshore waters. Sea Bass bite was super with a fair number of keepers going in the box. Not dozens per hour, but way better than Saturday’s trip. Ended the day early when the nasty clouds we had been watching off to the west finally made it’s way to us. Back in the slip with just about twenty Sea Bass, one pushing 5 lb., and a super jumbo Porgy.
10/02/11 Cancelled due to high sea’s offshore
10/01/11 This was to be a offshore trip but when the crew heard the offshore waters forecast, they decided to change it up to a wreck trip. Headed out in strong NW winds and by the ten mile mark it was getting very nautical. Spent the morning hammering the Sea Bass with only one problem, the keeper ration was as bad as I have seen all year. I’m not talking about 8 to 1 or even 10 to 1, but more like 20 to 1, horrible. After several hours of releasing 12 and 12.25 inch Sea Bass the guys ask to move back inside and try for some Triggers or perhaps a Tog. Spent the last ninety minutes messing with more small Sea Bass as well as two Tog, one of which made it in the box. Back in the slip with ten Sea Bass, one Tog and a couple snapper Bluefish & jumbo Begalls.
09/30/11 Cancelled due to high sea’s offshore.
09/28/11 Ran to the Baltimore looking for some action. On the ride there I’m informed these guys really don’t want Marlin or Mahi, only Yellowfin. Well our first three fish were the unwanted Marlin so we did our best to get rid of them quickly, even going so far as to purposely break two off that were solidly hooked. Our fourth bite turned out to be a welcomed Yellowfin. Shortly before noon, when it was apparent the tuna were somewhere else, the guys changed their minds about Mahi and gave us the green light. One big problem. Another boat had gone pot to pot all morning, I watched them, and the fish were freaked out and not at all interested in eating. Back in the slip with one lonely Yellowfin in the box and way too much clean ice. Would have loved to put some Mahi in the box first, then worried about finding the tuna’s.
09/26/11 Running to the deep looking for a Marlin or two for our Jr. anglers. Lines weren’t in for five minutes when a White Marlin pops up behind our spreader bar. The next three hours can only be described as a wide open Marlin bite. When we finally decided to leave the marlin and look for something to put in the box, we had released four White Marlin, broke two off in mid-fight and had five or six others that either didn’t find the hook or were just window shopping. Went looking under gear for Mahi and after a few blank sets we found a double ball set that was holding fish. Spend the rest of the day putting some small to mid size Mahi in the box. Great day, four out of the five anglers caught their first Marlin today.
09/25/11 Half day of wreck fishing for some tasty Sea Bass. Bite was good, even great and the keeper ratio wasn’t bad either, maybe 6 to 1. Back in the slip with a dozen Sea Bass and a couple Snapper Blues to send back to Lutherville, MD.
09/24/11 Same plan as yesterday, find the weeds. Started at a weed line I had past yesterday on the ride home. Weed line was well formed, water was kinda greenish but the water temp was my main concern, borderline too cool. After two hours of working this line it became very apparent that it was not holding any fish. Decided to troll east until we find warmer water. After seven mile and only one encounter with a Blackfin Tuna I see something golden in the distance……weeds and deep blue warm water. With-in five minutes we have Mahi in the box. The next few hours was a ball, trolling and light tackle. Heck, we even trolled our secret jigs on spinning rods, catching both Mahi and Bar Jacks.
09/23/11 Out with the monster Wahoo killers of the last two years, 98 & 103 lbs. Ran fifty mile to the south looking for, well, anything. Worked some “hay fields” in the morning that were truly a pain. Managed a couple small Mahi, a small Yellowfin and missed a White Marlin. Also found some of the cutest little baby Blackfin Tuna’s which were released. Sometime around eleven another White Marlin pops up in the spread. After messing around with two of our short baits he hangs himself on the long rigger. Fifteen minutes later he’s at the boat. Next hour or so is dead but our quiet time is rudely interrupted when a Spearfish eats one of the baits the mate was clearing weeds off of. After a ten minute fight, we have the first Spearfish of the season, heck, several seasons, next to the boat.
09/22/11 Out with a family of six from KY. Trip was to be a full day of wreck fishing but at the last minute we decided to try for some “turkeys” before wreckin’. Trolling bite was poor and after a couple miles of dragging baits, we only had one small fish and two other bites that didn’t find the hook. Turned our attention to Sea Bass and the bite was epic. Hit bottom, count to five, and you’ve got a fish hammering your bait. Keeper ratio was somewhere around 8:1. Back in the slip with 23 Sea Bass just waiting for the deep fryer.
09/20/11 Half-day premium wreck trip with a party of two. Sea Bass bite was very good with a fair number of keepers thrown in the box, just right for a couple fish dinners.
09/16/11, 09/17/11 and 09/18/11 cancelled due to high winds and rough seas.
09/15/11 Five hour premium wreck trip with a family of four from PA. Sea Bass bite was fairly good with the keeper ratio around 3:1 for the first few drifts. The bite seemed to improve as the trip wore on but the keeper ratio went the wrong direction. Sent this crew back tom PA with enough tasty fillets for at least two good family fish fry’s.
09/14/11 Out with the MD DNR & NOAA crew from Easton. Gave these guys some option and the one they decided upon held the most risk, look for the weeds and hope they would be “fish-able”. Found em less than a mile from where we had left them the day before. Much to Dave’s dismay, the hay field looked thicker than yesterday. Worked extremely hard trying to thread my way through this mess while Dave tried to keep the baits weed free. By late morning we had six Mahi in the box, pulled the hook on a few more, released a White Marlin and put a Yellowfin in the box too. Found a five gallon bucket floating with some Triggerfish on it and broke out the light tackle so the guys could give it a try. The last two hours of trolling produced only one bite and that Yellowfin missed the hook.
09/13/11 Running to the exact location I fished the day before with a party of two from WV. Arrived where I had left the weeds but none to be seen. Plotted a course in the direction they were moving yesterday but after seven miles still nothing. Decided to pull in the lines and run south in hopes of finding them. Finally after nearly three hours we find them, less than a quarter mile from where we started. Something seems fishy, there’s no way four people looking hard could have missed these weeds. Excited we pull past a huge patch and one of the long riggers gets crushed. Fifteen minutes later we have a twenty five lb. Mahi in the box. As we were fighting the fish I noticed this is the only “patch” or “mat” of weeds around everything else has sheared apart into what is best described as a hay field. Spent the rest of the day deep in the weeds. Not a minute would go by without needing to clear weeds from a bait, should have had a hay baler instead of fishing rods. Trolling in this mess was nearly impossible but somehow we managed to put eight more Mahi in the box.
09/12/11 Headed south looking for some fish to send back to Wisconsin with this party of four. Took a while to find the weeds but once we did….WOW! Some of the best Mahi & Triggerfish action you could ask for. Day started out with a bonus, after a few Mahi in the box, a surprise Yellowfin smashes one of the bait. The rest of the day produced outstanding action, both trolling and light tackle. Super nice size Mahi too, more than a dozen over 15 lb. The Triggers were so thick behind the boat, Dave managed to “free gaff” a couple. Ended the day 60 minutes early when the crew realized they would need to buy extra coolers just to get the fillets back to WI. Back in the slip with one Yellowfin, thirty Mahi and twenty two Triggers.
09/11 11 Out with the crew from Tonelli’s Pizza looking for the weeds. Took a time but we by mid-morning we found em. The next two hours was sheer light tackle chaos, fish, bait, and hooks flying everywhere. By 10:00 we had reached our limit so we spent the next hour just releasing them. The guys decided they wanted to spent the rest of the day looking for a Marlin, cool! About an hour later we have a very respectable White Marlin hooked up on the long rigger. After a epic battle, the fish is boat side for pictures and a release. Ended the day a little early so these guys could get back the Phila. at a decent hour. Back in the slip with forty Mahi and one or two Triggers in the box.
09/10/11 Heading east without a clue with three boyz from Hegins, PA. Most of the OC fleet has been idle the last three days and it’s anyone’s guess where these fish might be. After fifty five mile we hit a decent weed line, not great, but OK. First hour only produces one Mahi but then we get to an area of the line where the weeds are a little thicker. Immediately, we put a couple Mahi in the box as well as dealing with a White Marlin, maybe two, who keeps popping up in the spread. Spent the rest of the day messin’ with Mahi and Triggerfish, both light tackle and trolling. At days end we have our limit of Mahi and a couple tasty Triggers too.
09/07/11 Last minute cancellation.
09/06/11 Cancelled the night before based on the forecast. Turns out we could have easily gone and no rain. I just love NOAA.
09/05/11 Gave the charter several options. They decided to try and find the weeds from the previous day, greatest risk but the greatest reward, if, we can find them. Ran fifty mile and set the spread. After ninety minutes I see something large and golden in the distance, found em! The rest of the day found a steady bite, trolling and light tackle. Fish seemed a little more skiddish than the previous day, but still took our baits. Highlight of the day was while we were fast trolling between two larger patches. A fat White Marlin absolutely destroys one of our flat line baits. Twelve year old Bobby jumps in the chair and ten minutes later Dave grabs the leader making it an official release. Back in the slip with twenty five Mahi in the box and one very happy twelve year old who immediately gets thrown in the water, a tradition after landing your first Marlin.
09/04/11 Took some risk and ran south looking for a weed line based on a rumor I heard yesterday. After fifty-five mile I notice something to our south. Headed that way and found large weed patches holding Mahi. Spent the rest of the day working the larger beds with very good action on Mahi and Triggerfish. Managed a few very nice fish close to twenty lbs. and one near twenty-five all on light tackle. Like a few weeks back, we had two White Marlin try to eat baits hanging from our riggers. Had a third White come in and crash a flat line, fifteen minutes later he’s next to the boat for pics. Back in the slip with thirty-eight Mahi and nearly a dozen tasty Triggers.
09/03/11 Ran a few miles north of where we had fished yesterday in hopes of finding some tuna. Arrived at the numbers to find way too many boats. Heck, it looked like the White Marlin Open. Worked the sixty-nine degree water for the first two hours without a pull. Decided to run back down south where we were two days before. After five miles I notice the water temp is seventy-four so we throw out the spread. Five minutes late we have double headed of turkeys. The charter is having a ball with these fish so we hang around the area. The next few hours produce what must have been twenty or twenty-five turkeys and this crew from PA is having a ball with these hard pulling buggers . With thirty minutes left in the day I find a little patch of super blue, seventy-six degree water. After two passes, we have a White Marlin hooked-up. The fish puts on a spectacular show behind the boat but eventually throws the hook.
09/02/11 With high hopes I point the boat to the same area that produced our fish yesterday. My hopes are dashed after two hours of trolling the same numbers produce only one Mahi for the box. Decided to move a few miles west on a tip for a buddy of mine fifteen mile north. As soon as we hit the forty-five fathom mark three rods go down and these seem like the right thing. As the fish get with-in sight we realize we’ve been hit by turkeys. Swung back through and two rods go down, one turkey and one Yellowfin. Since the charter was absolutely cool with catching these super hard fighting fish, I decided to hang out and try to pull a few more Yellowfin out of the turkeys. The rest of the day must have produced twenty + turkeys, one Mahi, but no more Yellowfin. Back in the slip with two Mahi and one small Yellowfin.
09/01/11 First offshore trip since the big blow. Ran fifty mile east looking for warmer water. Lines in when we hit sixty-eight degrees. Fifteen minutes later we have our first Yellowfin hooked-up. Unfortunately, the fish never made it to the gaff. That nasty habit of pumping the rod claimed another victim. The next two hours produced several bites, both Yellowfin, Skipjack and False Albacore (aka Turkeys). The middle of the day was rather slow but sometime shortly after noon, the fish decided to bite again. Back in the slip with six small Yellowfin in the box.
08/31/11 Eight hour inshore trip found us running nineteen mile in hopes of finding some Mahi. I arrive and notice that the water is sixty-eight degrees, that’s a ten degrees loss since the storm. That kind of temp isn’t very good for holding Mahi. Worked the area for ninety minutes with only two knockdowns. Decided to make a six mile run and try for some Sea Bass. After two drifts I’m starting to freak, even the Sea Bass aren’t hungry. Made a tiny adjustment on our third drift and found a few hungry fish. Spent the rest of the day working small shots of hungry fish and weeding through the “shorts”. Back in the slip with sixteen Sea Bass in the box.
08/29/11 Hurricane Irene update: We’re all here and things are fine. No significant flooding and no wind damage that I could see other than a few small limbs down. Fisherman’s Marina is as good as ever and Fin Chaser suffered no damage at all. The island of OC had power during the entire storm. West OC was with-out power for about nine hours Saturday night through Sunday morning. Thank the Lord the damage was nothing like it could have been and remember those communities who have suffered terrible losses due to this.
08/26/11 through 08/30/11 Cancelled or rescheduled due to hurricane Irene.
08/25/11 Turned around after four mile due to fairly rough conditions and teenagers who had never been on the ocean before.
08/24/11 Ran sixty mile to some deep gear sure that it would be loaded with Mahi. The first two hours produced a few White Marlin, two of which wouldn’t eat and the other two both threw the hook while jumping as well as two small Mahi. I pulled past more gear than I have seen in years but nearly all of it was empty. We did run into one lobster boat hauling their gear but not all of this stuff was theirs. Perhaps the other boats hauled their gear yesterday scattering the fish. By late morning we had only seen five Mahi and managed to put three of them in the box. Sometime around noon we decided to run toward a deep wreck relatively close to our course home. Arrived at the wreck and decided to work some gear scattered around it. The next hour produced a couple more Mahi. With forty-five minutes left in the day we broke out the wreck rods and sent down some Gulp to see if the Sea Bass wanted to play. Lots of bites but the anglers were having a tough time sinking a hook in these fish. Back in the slip with seven Mahi, six smalls and one medium, and a couple Sea bass too.
08/23/11 Five Hour Premium Wreck Trip with three guys from NJ. Thought we were in for epic fishing when our first two drifts produced more keepers than throw backs. Our third drift brought us back to reality, keeper ratio was back to normal for this time of the season, around 10 to 1. Fish chewed steady for the entire trip and as I put Fin Chaser back in her slip, the Jersey boys had a dozen tasty Sea Bass waiting to go home with them.
08/22/11 Cancelled due to rough weather.
08/21/11 Ran out looking for a few bites with two couples from Chambersburg, PA. Morning produced a few Mahi that is until a dive boat pulled up and pushed us off the gear we were working. Made a ten mile move and proceeded to put a few more fish in the box. Suddenly the wind came up strong and the decision was made that we needed to get the mother-to-be back in before things get real nasty. Back in the slip with nine Mahi in the box, the largest pushing the scale to fifteen lbs.
08/20/11 This eight hour trolling charter showed up a little anxious that we may not come home with anything is the box but the proverbial skunk. Ran to 19 mile to some gear that might be holding a Mahi or two. I say might because a buddy of mine worked it the day before and only caught a couple “peanut” Mahi, not even worth keeping. As I was lining up for a pass of the first marker, one rod goes off and a nice Mahi goes in the box. The rest of the day held pretty steady action producing two or three “peanuts”, five smalls and a couple solid mediums. Back in the slip with a dozen Mahi in the box and five very happy anglers, a great catch for a Inshore Trip.
08/19/11 Hero to zero all in less than twenty-four hours. Offered these guys two choices; Hang a little closer to the beach and try for some great tasting Mahi or make the sixty mile run to where a couple Big Eye Tuna we caught the day before. “Big Eye’s, lets go” was their response. Arrived at the Baltimore Canyon along with what seemed like every other charter boat in the mid-Atlantic area. By 11:00 nearly everyone had left and I only heard of one tuna caught, a small Yellowfin by Capt. Todd. Sometime around noon the decision was made to make the 30 mile run back to the gear that I was going to fish for Mahi. Spent the last ninety minutes of the day working the gear and managed to put five Mahi in the box.
08/18/11 Headed thirty-five mile south with a father and his twelve year old daughter looking for some Mahi. The first hour was rather slow but then we finally hook the girls first Mahi which makes it to the box. The next few hours were truly epic fishing. While looking for more Mahi we get jumped by a White Marlin that finds the hook. Fifteen minutes later our Jr. angler lands her first White Marlin. Our next bite is Mr. Toothy (aka Wahoo) who immediately cuts us off. Ten minutes later we have another White hooked up and guess who’s in the chair, yep, her again. With her fish about thirty feet from the boat one of my bridge rods bait that is dangling from the outrigger get slammed. I think the White has tangled with it but Dave insists we have a second fish on. Turns out, Dave was right. A second White Marlin ate a bait that was hanging next to the boat. The girls fish is pulled next to the boat and released and now her dad is battling his first marlin which is boat-side in about five minutes. Dave grabs the leader, which counts as a release, and the fish pulls off. The next two hours only produce one more Mahi so we make a thirteen mile run to some different gear in hopes of putting a few more Mahi in the box. The next few hours produced several quality Mahi to nearly 20 lb. Guess who fought em all, you got it, wonder woman. Nice job Emmy!!
08/17/11 Looking for Mahi with three fly fishermen from WV who desperately wanted to catch a couple Mahi with their hand tied flies. Spent the day running from ball to ball, teasing with jigs and then adding the fly to the mix. Action was spotty, some balls held a few fish, most were bare. Back in the slip with three very happy anglers and fourteen Mahi in the box.
08/16/11 Ran south with a crew of two adults and three Jr. anglers trusting NOAA’s forecast will be correct. Well, after several hours and sixty miles it’s clear, they blew this one. After thirty minutes of fishing, Dave informs me that one of the adults has been seriously sick for nearly an hour and seems to be getting worse. Dave also notes that the Jr. anglers seem fine. After a few hours and several Mahi in the box, the decision is made by the rest of the crew that our ill member needs to get back to solid land.
08/15/11 Back in the Washington looking for a first Blue Marlin for this guy from Colorado. Sixty minutes into the day a big shadow appears under our “shotgun” bait, it’s a Blue Marlin and he’s hungry. Thirty minutes later we have him next to the boat for pictures. The next fish to appear in our spread is a White Marlin and he really wants our spreader bar. Finally he smashes the bar after tracking it for nearly five minutes. We have him hooked long enough to put on a spectacular show for the lady angler but he finally manages to throw the hook. This fish looked super funny leaping out of the water with our rainbow spreader bar hanging all over him. The rest of the day produced Yellowfin, Skipjack, Mahi and Wahoo bites. All came tight except the toothy Wahoo who cut right through our leader.
08/13/11 Ran sixty mile south looking for a Yellowfin or some Mahi. Spent the first hour working the gear in the Washington Canyon with only a few short Mahi bites and a brief encounter with a White Marlin. Moved over to where most of the scarce Yellowfin have been coming from and started working the Pilot Whales. After catching several Skipjacks we have another White in the spread. The fish takes the hook and the lady angler gets in the chair. After about a minute and several jumps the Marlin finally throws the hook. The next hour only sees more Skipjack. Once again, I pull through the Whales and more rods go down with Skippies. While dealing with them one of our floater baits get nailed and this seems like the right thing. Finally we put a small Yellowfin in the box. Pull through the area again and two spreader bars get exploded on. One fish misses, but one comes tight. After ten minutes it very clear, this thing is BIG. Sixty minutes later we catch the first glimpse of the fish, it’s a Big Eye Tuna. About thirty minutes later, Dave’s gaff hits the mark and we put a 235 Lb. Big Eye in the box. Since our only male angler is totally spent and none of the ladies on board want anything to do with another fish like that, we decide to head for the barn.
08/12/11 Any more left? Decided I would pound the gear I’ve been working for the past several trip in hopes of putting some Mahi in the box on this ten hour trip. Worked super hard and looked at gear stretching over twenty mile from set to set. At the days end, we have thirteen Mahi in the box. Mostly smalls but one or two “gaffers” too.
08/10/11 Ran south looking for Mahi to the only gear I know of that still might be holding fish. Tuna action is dismal so I think this plan gives us the best chance at putting meat on the table for this ten hour trip. As Dave is setting out the second rod, the first rod take off , “fish on”! A medium size Mahi goes in the box. The next couple hours provided several small bites and only a couple fish. However, one of those fish was Jimmy’s first Mahi and a beauty at that, tipping the scales at nearly twenty pounds. Ended the day fishing some gear that I had covered three days before. Must have caught em all that day since it only produced one fish today.
08/08/11 & 08/09/11 Two five hour Wreck trips produced surprisingly good Sea Bass action and keeper numbers that shocked this captain. Monday’s crew went home with twenty and today’s crew took home twenty-four, not bad for only a few hours of fishing. Crazy catch of the day, a Pollock and a Cod in mid-August. Those bottom temps must still be rather cool.
08/07/11 Offered the charter a rebook to a later date due to lousy tuna fishing and dwindling Mahi fishing. “We have faith in you” was their response. Glad they do, because I’m not feelin’ too sure of things. Headed south toward some gear that I don’t think had been hit for several days since over the past three days only a small handful of boats have fishing due to the gnarly weather. Conditions we bad enough that after five miles I had to charge my heading for a nicer ride figuring I’ll get the right depth and troll off the remaining distance. With-in one mile of the gear, a White Marlin smacks at our long bait twice but doesn’t even knock it out of the clip. Made two passes, but we don’t see him again. Spent thirty minutes working the gear with no pulls. Decided to stick it out since the fish haven’t started to bite until mid-morning the last two days. Sometime around 9:00 we put our first Mahi in the box. The rest of the day is like a replay of 8/5. Mostly single bites, but plenty of them. Even managed to get them close to the boat once or twice for some light tackle action. At the end of the day this charter of three have twenty Mahi in the box. Some smalls, some mediums and a few very nice fish, one close to twenty pounds.
08/06/11 Ran to the same area as yesterday looking for more Mahi. Bite was rather slow and try as we might, we never can find good numbers or size. Back in the slip with a dozen small Mahi. I think the largest of today’s fish is equal in size to the smallest fish yesterday. Fish……go figure!
08/05/11 Today starts will small craft warnings. I tell the charter I think we can do it and if they think it’s too rough, I’ll turn back and refund their deposit. After 25 miles we throw out the spread. Before the second line even touches the water, we put a nice twelve pound Mahi in the box. The rest of the day held a steady Mahi bite. Not doubles and triples, but a steady pick. Every fifteen to twenty minutes we would get hit. Surprise of the day, a fifteen pound Barracuda. At the days end, we have sixteen Mahi in the box to seventeen pounds and the first Cuda of the year in OC. Love it when the yellow boat fishes and the million dollar monster rigs cancel.
08/04/11 Back to the same spot forty five mile east with two anglers from MI. Morning was super slow with only a few short bites, surely small Mahi. Moved back on the shoal around 10:30 and found good bait. First pass and we have a tuna explode on a bait but missed the hook. Second pass, nothing. Before I can make a third pass a call comes on the radio from the US Navy ordering all boats in the area to leave NOW!! A live fire exercise will begin shortly. Decide to make a 15 mile move back inshore and work some gear. We no longer arrive at the gear and the wind comes up hard out of the north, like going from flat calm to 15 to 20 knots in no time. Worked the gear as long as we could, missing plenty of small Mahi, but putting a couple in the box, one to 15 lbs. Called it a day slightly early since conditions we on the verge of terrible.
08/03/11 Ran forty-five mile east with this family from Baltimore looking for tuna. Lots of bites throughout the morning from what must have been smallish Mahi. Finally, around mid morning we have a Yellowfin on the line. After a brief fight, this twenty-five pound Yellowfin is in the box. The bait scattered and so did the fishing fleet. I headed south toward an area where I had marked lots of bait two days before on my ride in. With-in a quarter mile of that area a small White Marlin pops up in the spread. This little “rat” spent the next five minutes tormenting us but never did take the hook. Had to end the day early to allow the charter to make it back home in time for a family function.
08/02/11 Ran twenty mile south looking for some Triggerfish for this family of three from MD. Arrived at the big shoal and set up directly in from of the buoy. As the baits hit the water a cloud of Bar Jacks rose from the depths. Now I’ve seen Bar Jacks thick before, but never like this. It was impossible to get a bait past these pests to the Triggers. Moved to the shallow part of the shoal then to a shallow wreck but not much at either spot. Decided to run seven mile to a deeper wreck. With three mile to go I see a small spot just about where we’re going. Yep, there sits a boat right where we’re heading. Running low on options, I decide to run north four mile to a piece of bottom I haven’t fish in well over 10 years. Well, it was good then and it’s still good now. Sea Bass bite was great, two at a time and even some keepers.
08/01/11 Offshore Tuna Trip with a husband and wife from the Chicago area. Baits hit the water shortly after 7:00 am. By 7:15 we have a White Marlin going bait to bait, but our tuna hooks aren’t the best for hooking White Marlin. While we’re messin’ with this fish, Dave notices some splashing in the distance. Paddled over to have a look and we get jumped by two nice Yellowfin, both make it in the box. Next encounter starts with a small Blue Marlin who smashes a flat line bait sending it flying back at the transom at 100 mph. As Dave is reaching for that rod, two spreader bars get nailed by Yellowfin, both make it in the box. Our next go-round starts with another White Marlin messing with our long rigger. The fish is briefly hooked but throws the hook in mid-jump. The hook had no longer hit the water and three rods go down with Yellowfin. Twenty minutes later we put fish number seven in the box. By 9:45 we have the charters limit of Yellowfin plus one for Dave and I. The decision is made to call it a day since neither of the anglers had anything left to fight any more fish.
07/31/11 Out for a eight hour Inshore Trolling Trip. Started the day looking at a couple inshore haunts for Yellowfin. Quickly decided we needed to check all the staff markers for Mahi. First few produced one Mahi and two Triggerfish. The next 24 markers didn’t have a thing on them except for one that was holding a single Mahi that thought he was Jeff Gordon. This crazy fish was doing circles around this buoy at break-neck speed. Would not even consider looking at a bait, all he was looking for was the checkered flag.
07/30/11 Out for a ten hour tuna trip with some guys from Trane AC. Hit some marker staff’s on the way out but they only produced one Mahi. Set the Yellowfin spread and before ten minutes passed we have a second Mahi in the box. The next two hours produced one more Mahi, two small Yellowfin and one Skipfack. Bite died around 10:00 so the last two hours of trolling didn’t produce anything. Back in the slip with three Mahi and two Yellowfin in the box.
07/29/11 Maintenance day.
07/28/11 Traveled sixty mile south trying to get Tom some Mahi or perhaps a Marlin. Less than 30 minutes into the day, we have our first Mahi in the box. A little later we have a White Marlin trailing one of our spreader bars. The White suddenly turns off the bar and grabs our mid-rigger bait, but doesn’t get the hook. Twenty minutes later we have another White up and this one finds the hook of the long bait. Fifteen minutes later, we have Tom’s first Marlin at the boat of pictures and release. Now today was as flat calm as you will ever see the ocean. Unfortunately, Tom’s girlfriend is in bad shape, experiencing the dry heaves for nearly two hours. Sometime around late morning Tom asks me to take the three of they back. Back at the marina, Tom gets the traditional “thrown-in-the-water” from his Girlfriend and her sister for catching his first marlin. Who knows, she might have just been getting even with him.
07/27/11 Back to the chunking hole looking for any Yellowfin who is willing to take our less than stellar butterfish, look like they’re years old, but the only ones I could fine after checking with six different bait shops. Within the first hour we have a 25 lb. Yellowfin in the box. Next several hours go by without a pull. Decide to run back inside and bend a rod on some Sea Bass. First drift produces a 22″ Flounder and lots of Sea Bass for our two Jr. anglers. Rest of the time was spent cranking on Sea Bass.
07/26/11 Ran 45 mile east for a day of tuna chunking. Decided to make a few passes with the deep rod before setting up to chunk. First pass we put a small Yellowfin in the box. Next two passes nothing so I throw the hook before all the parking spaces are taken. Set the deep baits and as I’m drifting out my feeder line it takes off, stupid Skipjack. Next two feeder line bites don’t come tight. After about 45 minutes on anchor two in the crew aren’t feeling well so we decided we had better go trolling since they felt better while the boat was moving. Looked everywhere but couldn’t find a thing, no bait, no birds, no debris, and worst of all, no fish. Guess we should have stayed with the original game plan but it seemed a more decent thing to ease their suffering.
07/25/11 Out with some boys from Bayside Painting in White Marsh, MD for a day of tuna fishing. First few hours produced three legal BLT’s and one throwback. Bite seemed to turn off during the late morning so I went searching. Less than a mile into our search, a big Wahoo comes skying out of the water right down on our long bait. The line comes tight but quickly goes slack. That toothy bugger cut us off and took one of my favorite Islander lures. The rest of the day was very uneventful except for a couple Skipjack bites.
07/24/11 Out with a crew of twenty something guys from northern MD for Sea Bass. Bite was great even though most were throw-backs. Managed to put a few in the box, likely enough for a good fish fry. Back in a little early to allow them to get home by early evening.
07/23/11 Looking for Tuna’s with a crew from southern VA. Early bite was non existent so after two hours of fishing in weather that was much more nautical than predicted, I trolled another 5 miles to my second spot. With-in a 1/4 mile of my destination, a nice Mahi comes soaring out of the water right down on our flat-line bait. A few moments later, he’s in the box. Ten minutes later we have a big bite on our long rigger that doesn’t come tight. Continued to work that small area for the next two hours putting one Yellowfin in the box, releasing one that was just under size and missing another. Bite could have been great but with the number of boats nearby, the moment you have a fish, the other boats jump all over you and push the fish back down…..Saturday’s, what more must I say. Now over the course of the last hour, one of our crew members starts going down hill quickly. Thinking that this guy might be having some sort of reaction between his new PB medication and the motion sickness medication he took, his buds ask me to end the day early and get him back to dock.
07/21/11 & 07/22/11 Spent both days weeding through Sea Bass looking for keepers. Bite was good both days with enough sent home for a real nice fish fry. Managed a bonus Mahi on the 21st too.
07/20/11 Out with high hopes for a day of tuna fishing. Spent the morning pounding the area that was so good a three days back. Worked the area hard, marked fish on the sounder, but only one boil. Radio was telling me it was a tough bite all over, everyone was crying. Decided to troll 5 mile to another hot spot. Worked that area for about an hour with not even a sniff. Pulled in the trolled baits and ran to a nearby wreck to spend the last couple hours messin’ with Sea Bass, fair numbers of keepers too. Now not that this made any difference, but sometime around 11:00 am, Dave jokingly asked, “no one has bananas with them, right”? The charter quickly pulls out a small bunch of the “long evil fruit” which are immediately thrown overboard. Now I’m not superstitious, but today was the slowest day of tuna fishing this year.
07/19/11 Exactly why I hate to cancel trips early. As of 4:00 pm yesterday, today’s forecast was ugly, twenty knot winds out of the west turning north during the day at fifteen to twenty knots. Can you say…painful. Called the charter and the decision was made, based on the forecast, to cancel and save these folks the remaining drive as well as the cost of a motel room. By 8:00 pm the forecast had completely changed. West winds 5 to 10 knots turning southwest during the day, super nice. However, the charter wasn’t answering their cell phone and I assume they already returned to Baltimore.
07/18/11 Chasin’ tuna again with this mixed family of four, half from DE and half from CA. Conditions were a little sporty but the Yellowfin didn’t seem to care. Bite was fairly steady all day with a few low’s thrown in. By days end we had caught somewhere around a dozen and were able to put six Yellowfin’s in the box.
07/17/11 Out for a day of Sea Bass / Flounder action with this crew from NY. First couple drifts were super, nice direction and speed, plus, keeper Sea Bass and Flounder. Suddenly the wind picked up and the dirft went from 0.8 knots to nearly 2 knots, way too fast for good Flounder action. Spent the rest of the day messin’ with Sea Bass. By days end, this crew had put a real nice catch together. Back in the slip with 24 Sea Bass, 4 Flounder and 1 Ling Cod.
07/16/11 Arrived at the “secret” Yellowfin spot to find over 100 boats in plain view, darn internet. Worked the area for about 90 minutes with no action when the charter decided we should “burn some fuel” and run to the edge. Arrived at the 100 fathom line around 9:00 am. Lines were out for about twenty minutes when the mid rigger get nailed. Figure it’s a nice tuna but when the fish get close to the boat Dave yells “big Wahoo”. Luck was on our side and the mono held against those nasty teeth and we put a 81 lb. Hoo in the box, largest so far in Ocean City by over 20 lbs. Worked the deep for another three hours and didn’t see or hear of any life so we ran back into the 30 fa. line to finish our day. Spotted a floating wooded crate and turns out it was holding a few nice Mahi. Broke out the spinners and proceeded to put six in the box, one pushing 15 lbs. Big fun on light tackle.
07/15/11 Fishing again. Ran east looking for some Yellowfin with a crew of six from Baltimore. On our way I spot a lifeguard tower chair floating about 20 mile out. Swing past as spot a few Mahi & Triggers. Ten minutes later we have two of each in the box. Continue to run east until we reach the hill. The lines are set, ten minutes later we get jumped by BLT’s. Five fish make it to the boat but only one goes in the box. Pick up and run another 8 mile to the second spot. Action for the next two hours is fairly constant but lots of throwback size Yellowfin’s. The bite died in the late morning and shortly after noon the charter decides to call it a day with three Yellowfin, two Mahi and two Triggers in the box.
07/12/11 & 07/14/11 Cancelled due to rough conditions.
07/11/11 Ran 59 mile to the south looking for the “hot” Yellowfin bite. Worried the entire run that our late start, yes 35 minutes can make a difference, would hurt us. Arrived at the fleet and found that two of my buds already had several fish in the box and was told that the bite shut down at 9:00 am the previous day. Talk about pressure! First few passes and nothing. Then we get hit by a single fish. Our Jr. angler had a epic struggle, but we manage to put a 53 lb. Yellowfin in the box. The next assault saw several rods go down. One fish breaks the spreader bar, one is lost during mid-fight, and one 65 lb. Yellowfin goes into the box. Next time we get jumped is a repeat of the last. Three fish get hooked, rods are handed to the anglers, but two are lost during mid fight. We manage to put a 59 lb. YF in the box. What happened, who knows. “Lines break, hooks pull, it happens” Our last encounter was with the little 26″ Yellowfin’s and both needed to go back. Happened into a few Mahi during one of the fights and put two in the box to keep the three Yellowfin’s company.
07/10/11 Ran 55 miles in search of Yellowfin with this crew from Baltimore. Started working some big pods of bait on the surface and we get hit. Two rods go down but somehow the fish are lost during the fight. Another pass, another hook-up, but this fish pulls off too. A third pass and these fish stay hooked. We can tell they’re not big but when we get them to the boat, thet’re not even legal. Spent the next few hours chasing bait, releasing undersize Yellowfins while looking for legal fish. By 11:00 am we have caught a dozen but were only able to keep two BLT’s (barely legal tuna). Decide to throw a “Hail Mary” at the days end and run back inside on a hunch. Lines are in for less than 15 minutes and we have two nice fat Yellowfins for the box. Worked the area with the limited time remaining but could only manage a small Mahi.
07/09/11 Ran 40 mile east in search of Bluefin or Yellowfin on a day that had a somewhat mixed-up forecast. Within the first fifteen minutes we have two Mahi in the box, one will push the scales to 20 lb and the other 10 lb. Worked that area for another thirty minutes with no other bites. Since the weather was holding, I decided to motor east another five miles to where we had some Yellowfin a couple days ago. I don’t think we were there for much more than a hour when the wind suddenly came up strong out of the northwest. Northwest wind is never good, but throw in the fact that we had a big swell coming from the southeast, I new we were in for some seriously nautical weather. Decided we better get back inshore a bit to where we had started. Worked that area as best we could in the ever worsening conditions until it was just too futile to continue. Headed in early and the guys went back to PA with a little more $$$ in their pockets than they had planned on.
07/08/11 Started this five hour trip looking for some Bluefin. Searched all the normal haunts with-in the twenty mile trip limits but couldn’t find a single fish. Pulled up the trolled baits and threw the anchor over a wreck for some Sea Bass. Bite was ok, even had a few keepers to send home with the charter.
07/07/11 Headed east for some Yellowfin action with these four guys from PA. Ten miles under our belt one crew members is already down. This guy has been offshore three times and struck with the dreaded twelve hour illness every time but with new medication, wanted to try it again. At the twenty mile mark, he’s in bad shape. The rest of the guys decide to hang close and try for some Bluefin. Lines are out for ten minutes and we have a small Mahi in the box. Twenty minutes later one of the baits get slammed and we put a 50 lb. Bluefin in the box. Unfortunately, during the fight, another crew member goes down. Less than 3 hours into the day I’m told to head in. As we’re clearing the lines, one of the short riggers get hit. A few minutes later we release a 30 lb. Bluefin.
07/06/11 A trip to the deep with four anglers from PA looking for tuna. Made a fifteen minute stop on the way out to try for a Bluefin but nothing happened. Ran east for another 45 minutes and set the spread. A few minutes later was get attacked by two tiny Mahi, not even big enough for a sandwich or to take the hook. Big enough though, to destroy our baits. An hour later, one of our riggers get hit. Five minutes later we have a “BLT” (barely legal tuna) Yellowfin in the box. A little later I spot a large orange plastic barrel floating loaded with beautiful, tasty, Triggerfish. We break-out the spinners and spend the next hour or so having a blast putting 25 Triggers, some jumbo size, in the box. Set the trolling spread back out and after another hour we get hit by two nice Yellowfin, both make it in the box. With less than 30 minutes left in the day our short rigger get slammed and another Yellowfin goes in the box. Back in the slip with 25 Triggers and 4 Yellowfin Tuna.
07/05/11 Same deal as yesterday, forget the Sea Bass, go for the Bluefins. Day started off good, small Mahi in the box shortly after line in. Conditions look great and I’m marking fish on the sounder. Hours later, we still have not had a tuna bite. Pulled in lines and ran to a wreck, Sea Bass after all. Can you say……humbling. Nearly promised this family tuna and now we’re pulling in 12″ fish. Really wanted to put this crew on some tuna, but it wasn’t to be. When I told the charter I would cover the difference between the two trips, he would not hear of it. “It’s not your fault the fish didn’t bite” the father said. I was blown away, took real good care of the mate too.
07/04/11 Another eight hour wreck trip converted to a Bluefin trip. Arrived at the hill with high hopes. Shortly after lines were in we have a nice Mahi in the box. Marked the tuna good but they just wouldn’t bite. Sometime around 9:00 someone turned the switch on and we finally have a small Bluefin in the box. Another pass and we get nailed again and this fish has a serious attitude. Peels off 200 yards of line and winds up getting fouled in another boats anchor line, the fish is lost. Another pass and we get whacked again, but before anyone can take the rod, the fish pulls the hook. Bite ended as quick as it started. Tried one other little hill later in the day with no luck.
07/03/11 Turned around after nine miles due to rain, pending storms, and lady anglers on board.
07/02/11 Took a crew of five out for an eight hour Bluefin trip. Ran 90 minutes to where we had our action a few days ago. Arrived to find too many boats and too few fish. After two hours with only three bites and one fish, I decided to make a seven mile move based on a hunch I had. Lines were out for less than ten minutes before we have our first fish on. The next few hours was great, fish about every fifteen minutes. Total by days end was nine Bluefin with a 45 lb. fish in the box and some very happy anglers.
07/01/11 Out with two families from NY for a day of Bluefin action. Limited budgets would only allow us to fish locations closer to OC than we’ve been fishing the last few trips. Looked around for 90 minutes with no action and not hearing of any nearby boats doing anything I offered the charter a chance to convert the eight hour trip to a five hour trip, saving them some $$ and allowing the Jr. anglers, who were getting a little restless, a chance to get back to the sand and surf. With less than five minutes left in the now shortened day we get hit with a single bite. A few minutes later, we have a small Bluefin in the box. Stopped by a wreck on the way home to allow the kids to mess with some Sea Bass for a few minutes.
06/30/11 Today’s plan, as requested by the charter, spend a few hours looking for Bluefin and then check the Sea Bass trap markers for Mahi. John really wants to take one on his fly rod. The first half of the plan went perfectly. Six Bluefin by 9 am and one 40 lb. in the box. Started checking trap markers and after a couple we found a single Mahi holding on one. After teasing him with cut bait, the fly went in and he took it. Unfortunately, the hook only stung the fish and he was lost never to bite again. Checked at least a dozen other markers over several miles but none were holding any Mahi.
06/29/11 Half-day wreck trip with a family of six from IL. Sea Bass bite was surprisingly good and the size wasn’t too bad either. Charter didn’t want their fish so I happily snagged some tasty Sea Bass for Nancy’s kitchen.
06/28/11 Ran to where our “over” came from the day before with this family of three from north Philly. Worked the shoal hard for the first 45 minutes but couldn’t get a bite. Decided to move off the edge and bingo, fish on! After a nice fight, dad has a 45 lb. Bluefin in the box. Less than thirty minutes later our wwb (way way back) goes off and this fish is serious. After an epic struggle, mom puts a 90 lb. Bluefin in the box. Word of storms heading our way and quickly increasing winds was all the charter needed to call it a day, a great day at that! Back in way early with coolers full of fresh Bluefin steaks and sushi headed to PA.
06/27/11 Today starts off flat calm for this crew of three from PA. A few miles out Dave informs me one of the party is pretty sick, I honestly thought he was joking, until I turned around. The decision was made to hang a little closer to the beach and look for Bluefin instead of running to the deep for Yellowfin. First few hours was very uneventful with only a few misses. After my fourth move we finally have a fish that actually finds the hook. Fifteen minutes later we have a 78 lb. “over” Bluefin in the box. Shortly after that we hook a super nice Mahi but the fish throws the hook a few minutes into the fight. With less than 20 minutes left in the day one of the rods goes off, a few minutes later we have a 40 lb. Bluefin in the box.
06/26/11 Ran to the deep with a crew from Chester Co. PA looking for some Yellowfin Tuna. Five minutes into the day we have double header of small Mahi, one makes it in the box. Twenty minutes later a nice Mahi goes in the box. The next few hours are dead, that is, until 7 of the 9 rods go down at once. Chaos and blood everywhere but we manage to put five Yellowfin in the box. Picked-up a little early to allow us to try for a Bluefin for about twenty minutes with no luck.
06/25/11 Another eight hour day looking for Bluefin. First bite took over an hour and the second fish came about 30 minutes after that. Other than a few boils and crashed baits that didn’t come tight, the first three hours was fairly slow. The crew from central PA decided they wanted to hit some wrecks for the remainder of the day. Sea Bass bite was good, but the size, not so much. Weird catch of the day, a 30″ Remora. Back in the slip with one small Bluefin and a few Sea Bass.
06/24/11 Today was to be a twelve hour offshore trip but due to the offshore waters forecast of 20-25 knot winds we decided to switch it up to an eight hour Bluefin trip. The day was a little slower than other recent trips but the bite did pick up during the late morning. At 11:30, as we pulled in the lines, we had one 40 lb Bluefin in the box and had released five others.
06/23/11 Another PA crew talked into spending a tiny bit more green and going for Bluefin instead of Sea Bass. First bite took less than 5 minutes. The rest of the day was fairly steady with a few low periods. At the days end we had one 35 lb. Bluefin in the box and released nine others.
06/22/11 A great crew from western PA wants to lock horns with some Bluefin Tuna, here we go! First bite takes about five minutes, smaller 30 pounder is released. Fifteen minutes later, a 40 pounder is in the box. Had to work a little harder today due to way too many boats over these fish, but by the end of the eight hour excursion, we had released ten Bluefin, ranging in size from 25 to 40 lbs. This crew of “big guys” couldn’t believe just how hard these fish pull.
06/21/11 Out for a full day of Tuna action on a super nice morning. Much to my surprise, a few miles out one of our ladies is already over the side. I offer to turn around and take her back then come back out with the other five, “nope”, she’ll be fine. Lines in at 6:15 am and by 7:30 we had one in the box and released six others. The charter decided to leave the 30-40 lb. fish and go searching for a fish over 47″, aka “over”. Ran 18 mile and worked an area for two hours with no action. Ran back inside to another hole and immediately hooked-up. After two more 35 lb. fish, the group decided we should get our lady angler, who has had a ongoing conversation with Mr. Ralph, back to solid land.
06/20/11 It’s been many years since we’ve had a Bluefin Tuna bite like this, pure nuts! Not huge fish, mind you, but all the 30 to 50 lb. fish you wish to battle. Arrived at the hole with this party of five from western PA and within five minutes, we’ve got the first one on. The next couple hours provided over a dozen battles, perfect for the three teenage boys on-board. Around 11 am we decided to see if any Sharks were around. One minute after the first Shark bait hits the water, we have a 50 lb. Spinner Shark hooked-up. By noon everyone on-board had caught a Shark plus one lucky angler landed a nice 12 lb. Mahi too. The charter called the day early due to the pending rain and as they put it, the “best” day of fishing they could ever expect.
06/19/11 Out with two guys from Philly for a few hours of tuna fishing. The Bluefin bite was good but the conditions were a little choppy and by 10:30 one of the anglers had enough so we headed for the barn.
06/18/11 Convinced this crew of six from Crofton, MD to pony up a little extra $$$ and switch their 8 Hr. Wreck Trip to a Trolling Trip. Arrived at the spot and with-in five minutes, FISH ON! The next five hours produced 23 Bluefin Tuna ranging in size from 25 to 45 lbs., numerous misses too. Back in the slip with Cody’s first Bluefin in the box.
06/17/11 Out for a day of Bluefin action with a father and son from Berks Co., PA. Conditions were extremely nautical and at the five mile mark the offer was given to turn around and a complete refund would be in order. “Nope” we’re in, keep going. Arrived at the first shoal in solid 5 to 7 ft. seas, 30 minutes later, nothing. Moved a few mile off to where we had our fish yesterday, still nothing. Slid a couple more miles out and BANG. The next two hours was nonstop Bluefin, most of which in the 30 lb. class. Did have one “over” next to the boat but the angler didn’t have anything left in the tank and while trying to get out of the harness, the fish was lost. Headed in early since the other angler, dad, had caught 8 and didn’t wish to fight any more. Icing on the cake, pit monkey Dave, got a nice Bluefin for his new meat smoker since the guys from PA didn’t want the fish.
06/16/11 Set up to take this family of four from southern York Co., PA Shark fishing. But instead of contending with all the Shark Tournament boat we decided to look for some Bluefin instead. First few hours produced big boils and explosions but the fish kept missing the hook. Finally, after a few mile run we found a couple Bluefin that had better vision. Back in the slip with a 25 lb. “football” in the box.
06/14/11 & 06/15/11 Two half-day trips found a good Sea Bass bite on day one. Day two found us hanging close to the beach due to high winds looking for a hungry Tog. The only fish that seemed hungry were throw-back Sea Bass and all the Bergalls you care to catch, great for fish taco’s.
06/13/11 Arrived at the wreck with this party of two from MN. As I came off the bridge I thought I smelled diesel fuel. Better to be safe than sorry so I checked the bilge….not good. A quick check of the engines found that the starboard engines injection pump was leaking. Ran back in on one engine and put on my mechanics cap. Turned out to be a fitting that had worked itself loose. After having a wrench custom bent by the local metal shop, everything is tight and working fine.
06/11/11 Ever wished you just kept your mouth shut? Today started by me recommending to this Sea Bass trip they go trolling instead, all but guaranteeing Blues, Turkeys and maybe even a Bluefin. Three hours of dragging baits and not even a knock-down. Ran to the wrecks and finished the day putting a few Sea Bass and one very nice Cod in the box. Felt so bad that I steered these guys from Denver, PA wrong, I picked-up the diesel charge.
06/10/11 Today was to be a 10 Hr. Shark Trip but the decision was made to try for some Bluefin Tuna instead. Decided to fish one of our Bluefin hotspots 40 mile offshore. I shut down a few miles early in order to cover a few hills prior to reaching the shoal. Before we even reached our final destination we had released a small Bluefin and a False Albacore (aka Turkey). Got to the hotspot and the bite was on, Bluefin, Turkeys and Bluefish. After 9 Bluefin as well as a couple Turkeys and some very sore arms, we decided to run back inside and try to catch some shark bait to finish the 10 hr. day sharking. Unfortunately, we never found any more Turkeys until it was too late to try for a shark.
06/09/11 Today’s trip started with the same warning as the previous day and an offer to go trolling for Bluefish and False Albacore aka Turkeys. These guys really had their hearts set on a Sea Bass fish fry so a bassin’ we went. Worked hard all day making seven moves only to put 8 keepers in the box. Quite possibly the slowest day of Sea Bass fishing I have seen in years.
Due to a website hosting issue and a terrible company in CA to do business with (EXM Media) all of the 2011 reports for April, May and early June have been lost. SORRY!!