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2016 Reports

10/30/16 Back to back fishable days….WOW!!!  Headed back to the area that was so good to us yesterday with a trio of construction workers doing work in DC. These guys were lucky enough to experience some of the best sea bass fishing (bite & size) I’ve seen in quite a while. And while those nasty bluefish made it challenging at times the size of some of the bass made it all worth while. These guys also managed to grab two of the largest triggerfish I’ve ever seen. Back in the slip with a limit of sea bass and two triggers.

10/29/16 The weather has finally provided us with a 8 hour window when its not blowing 20+ so off we go in search of sea bass.  After a 25 mile run our lines hit the water but only about half of the guys are fishing. The other half had a little too much fun the night before and aren’t doing so well in the choppy seas. The bite was outstanding most of the day with fish going in the box on a regular basis. With plenty of fish ready for the cleaner we head in a little early to beat the increasing wind & seas. Back in the slip with 38 sea bass, two flounder and one triggerfish.

10/27/16 Out to play with the sea bass with a crew from a local college looking for some samples to take back to the lab. The bite was very good with all size classes of fish giving a respectable showing.

10/20/16 Out with FedEx Tom and his boys for a day of meat fishing. After a big run in flat calm conditions the spread is set and the hunt begins. Pulled past two sets of gear with  no takers but that all changed when we passed #3. The rest of the day provided good action on small/mid size mahi both on light tackle and trolling gear. The big shock of the day happened around noon when a HUGE white marlin crashes our long rigger and and makes a blistering run. This bugger was a giant (95+ lbs) and had a REAL bad attitude. The fish finally tired out allowing Brian to finish the final 20 feet. Back in the slip with 38 mahi in the box.

10/16/16 Pointed the boat east today with a crew of twenty-something Penn State alumni looking to fill the cooler with the other white meat…..TILEFISH!! After a learning curve of a couple drifts they figured out the program and fish started hitting the box in fairly good numbers. Even though we were in an area known for blueline tilefish we actually encountered a couple goldens today, the largest of which was Deanna’s 35 lb. dandy as well as Alex’s respectable 22 lb. Shortly before 1:00 we hit the magic number and head for the barn. FYI a couple boats fishing to our south found good numbers of YF today in case anyone out there is still interested in giving it a go this year yet.

10/15/16 Ran south with six other boats today on the hunt for yellowfin. On board was a family of five who have a vacation home up island near Fenwick. The boats spread out trusting that someone will find the fish. Sometime around 9:30 Todd captures a pair of yf so I point the boat in his direction. By the time we arrive the other boats are already there but no more encounters. As I make the first pass our long rigger gets nailed and we put a 32″ yf in the box. The six of us continue to work the area but the fish seem to have vanished. Shortly before noon I’m asked to troll in the direction of home since dad isn’t feeling so great. Seems this is something he battles while ocean fishing and a medical condition prevents him from taking Meclizine. 15 minutes after leaving the fleet we hit cold / green water and my hopes fade of seeing any more tuna’s. Listening to the radio on the ride home seems those crazy tuna started to bite again around 1:00.

Sea Bass Reopening Weekend Open Boat Trips October 22 & 23. Cost is $125 per person. Call or text 443-397-0315 for more information or to reserve your spot. Reservations required.

10/03/16 Out with a great bunch of guys looking for the “meat”. Pointed the Bertram toward some deep gear that I thought might be holding some of those super pretty fish. Our first pass told us all we needed to know, every rod get nailed. Dave pulled in the trolling gear and hands out the spinners to this experienced crew. The next few hour are hours are a blur of flying mahi, bait and blood. Sometime around 10:00 we hit the magic number (60) and the guys decide they have more than enough meat and tell me to head for the slip.

10/02/16 First trip after the big blow. I decide to run to the 30 fathom line and have a look see. First hour is rather slow only producing a pair of turkey bites. Move over to a big hill and immediately five rods go down with turkeys. Spent the next 90 minutes in constant battle with the mother load of turkeys. We decide to make a 6 mile move after Capt. Todd tells me he’s captured a couple mahi just offshore of us. Arrive at the area and start looking. We get jumped by a trio of gaffers and all three mahi make it in the box. About an hour later I see a big old timber floating and before we even get to it we’re covered up with mahi. TD grabs the light tackle rods and we spend the next hour slamming the mahi. Back in the slip early with 38 mahi and 30 fat alberts.

09/28/16 Ran east today in some pretty sporty conditions with a crew of doctors from VA. Arrived at large hill and threw out the spread. First bite takes about 30 minutes and turns out to be a false albacore (aka turkey). The next bite takes about 60 minutes after arriving at yet another large offshore hill. We spend the next two hours in constant battle with some super size turkeys. The guys arms need a brake so we troll west looking for something else. Somewhere around 30 mile from the inlet we get a bite out of no where. Sure that we have  another turkey on the line I’m shocked when Dave make a run for the gaff and pulls a small yellowfin in the boat. Put the boat back in gear and a couple hundred yards later the spreader bar gets slammed and it another yellowfin. Unfortunately the fish makes a crazy move close to the boat and the hook pulls. Continued working that area as long as possible and add one more yellowfin (out of two bites) to the box.

09/25/16 & 09/26/16 Two days of sea bass research with a crew of college grad students. Shame the season is closed until mid October since the bite was outstanding.

09/21/16 & 09/23/16 Two similar days with very similar outcomes. The winds and seas cause both crews to decide to hold tight at the 40 mile mark. The turkey action is crazy, so crazy, we trim the spread to only three lines. As a bonus both days produce one yellowfin and one mahi for the guys too. Sent both groups back to PA with plenty of fish for the smokers.

09/20/16 Ran east today with a trio from PA. Two of the guys fished with me seven years ago, one has never been out before. The seas are extremely mixed up and after about 90 minutes of running the two veterans aren’t doing to well. Turns out the one fellow’s doctor called in a prescription for over-the-counter Dramamine instead of the patch which was to be ordered so the guy bailed at the pharmacy and didn’t get anything. Spent the next few hours with a constant stream of turkeys as well as a nice 15 lb. mahi. I make a run to the sea bass grounds to see if there are anymore keepers around. Both vets are starting to get their sea legs and are feeling better so we’re able to send down three rods instead of one. The bite is outstanding and even though we only had short time to fish the guys are able to add 17 keeper sea bass to the box while releasing dozens of unders.

09/19/16 Out with a crew of local pastors from the greater Salisbury area. At the 30 mile mark things are getting kinda sporty and the guys decide they’d like to hang in the 20 to 30 mile range so I pull her back and Dave put out the spread. Our first bite takes about 30 minutes and after a good fight we put a 35 lb. wahoo in the box. We continue to work the area for the next couple hours getting jumped by false albacore here and there. With three hours left in the day we make an 8 mile run to the sea bass grounds. After needing to release about the first 30 fish we suddenly find some keepers. While we’re pounding the sea bass a mahi swims up and falls victim to our jig. Back in the slip early with 1 wahoo, 1 mahi and 24 sea bass in the box.

09/18/16 Spent today with a crew of guys from southeastern PA looking for some meat. Decided to run to some deep gear in hopes of finding a couple mahi and this set of gear didn’t disappoint us. We spend most of the morning going ball to ball with both trolling tackle as well as light tackle. By the time we reach the end of the string we have around 15 in the box with the largest being a beautiful 25 lb. bull. The next two hours are dead so I make a 12 mile run to a hill that I’m hoping might just have a wahoo hiding there. Well instead of finding a wahoo we find the mother load of turkeys. Ended the day with the guys having a ball doing battle with these hard charging tunas.

09/17/16 Out with a super nice couple for a day of offshore action. Things began quickly as our flat line takes off before TD can finish setting the entire spread. We have no idea what we’ve hooked when suddenly a white marlin starts jumping behind the boat. Our lady angler takes the rod as I get the boat turned. The crazed fish make a blistering run then turns and charges the boat and throws the hook. Our next happens about two minutes later when a white smacks at a bait and then swims off. Other than a few small mystery bites that was our morning. I troll north looking for some warmer water when out of the blue we get hit by a pair of mahi and one makes it in the box. I spend the next 90 minutes working a small area that for some unknown reason is holding some fish. Ended the day about an hour early with 10 mahi in the box.

09/14/16 Today’s offshore trolling trip began with a one requests; no marlin, mahi, albacore or tilefish. The NJ pair only wants yellowfin regardless of how few are being caught by the fleet.  I decide to head back to where we had a yellowfin a couple trips ago. Set out a tuna spread and started covering ground all the time listening to the boats 20 miles south crushing the marlin. We encountered three marlin today and were fast enough to get the baits away from two of them but one is quicker and hangs himself. I stay clear of all lobster gear but even so we get jumped by the mahi’s once. Never found any yellowfin only a couple skipjack.

09/13/16 Headed toward the marlin bite with a crew of six guys from PA. After about 30 miles the guys decide to give up their marlin dreams and try for some false albacore since one of the crew is horribly sick. Apparently there were too many tropical drinks the night before. Stayed in the 35 mile zone and crushed the turkeys as well as finding two small mahi.

09/14/16 Today’s offshore trolling trip began with a one requests; no marlin, mahi, albacore or tilefish. The NJ pair only wants yellowfin regardless of how few are being caught by the fleet.  I decide to head back to where we had a yellowfin a couple trips ago. Set out a tuna spread and started covering ground all the time listening to the boats 20 miles south crushing the marlin. We encountered three marlin today and were fast enough to get the baits away from two of them but one is quicker and hangs himself. I stay clear of all lobster gear but even so we get jumped by the mahi’s once. Never found any yellowfin only a couple skipjack.

09/13/16 Headed toward the marlin bite with a crew of six guys from PA. After about 30 miles the guys decide to give up their marlin dreams and try for some false albacore since one of the crew is horribly sick. Apparently there were too many tropical drinks the night before. Stayed in the 35 mile zone and crushed the turkeys as well as finding two small mahi.

09/10/16 Headed to the Poormans today in a fading forecast with Tony and his mom looking to find him a marlin for his birthday. The first two hours were uneventful and only hearing of two fish caught around me I decide to troll north and slightly shallower where a buddy of mine has had a few encounters. With a mile and a half to go a white marlin pops up behind our short rigger but just will not take it. Finally, after what seemed like forever, the white takes the bait as Trevor feeds it to him. After a 15 minute hard struggle we have Tony’s 1st marlin at the boat for pics. As I get the boat back in position TD resets the spread. About 5 minutes later another white is chasing my long rigger, not a circle hook rig. I try and keep the bait away from the fish as TD drops back a circle hook rig. the marlin turns on it and TD feeds him. Now it Jen’s turn on the rod and she does a great job as the fish puts on a aerial display behind the boat. After 15 minutes we have Jen’s 1st marlin at the boat for pics. I spin the boat around and as TD is setting out the second bait a white comes in out of no where and grabs it. Now its Ashleigh’s turn and 10 minutes later we have her fish at the boat for pics. By now its about 10:45 and conditions are going down hill fast the folks decide to call it a day.

09/09/16 Out with the crew from Baytown Painting for a day of tilefish action. Somewhere around the 9 mile mark Dave pops up on the bridge and tells me the guys would REALLY like to look for flounder and sea bass instead so I make a hard turn and point the boat northeast. The morning bite was ok but around 9 am the drift absolutely die and so did our bites. Fortunately the drift picked up again during the last hour allowing the guys to add a few ore fish to the box. Sent the guys home with 8 flounder and about 18 sea bass and a couple bluefish.

09/08/16 Finally fishing again after the big storm. Ran east today with a crew of 4 from the Philly area. Started on some gear figuring I’d be the only boat there……WRONG! Boats to the north, boats to the south. We were only able to cover 3 balls before bumping into other boats doing the same thing. Since the remaining gear has already been hit we decide to throw out a marlin spread and start looking. As I push east we run across a thin trash/weed line. After following the line for about an hour a white pops up on our flat line. After an impressive display we have Jim’s marlin at the boat for pics. Our next encounter comes about an hour later A pair of lobster balls allow us to add a couple more mahi to the box before ending the day by breaking off a crazed marlin after about 5 minutes.

09/01/16 Out with Jim Tom and the boyz for a day of mahi fishing maybe some fly rod action too. Spent the morning working some crab gear with light tackle as well as a fly rod Conner brought. Action was good but the size was a little off from previous trips. By 11:00 we’ve got 43 mahi in the box and decide to throw out a marlin spread and cross our fingers. 30 minutes go by and a white pops up behind our short rigger and hangs himself. After a 10 minute battle we have James first marlin next to the boat for pics. With 15 minutes left in the day we get jumped by two whites and a spear fish at the same time. Before I can even turn around to look back chaos has broken out with lines tangled and fish going everywhere. Mate Dave has one tight but can’t get to the other rods in time and we only manage to land one of the three.

08/31/16 Cancelled so the guys didn’t risk a 6 hour drive on a VERY  marginal canyon forecast.

08/30/16 Today starts with a team meeting to discuss the forecast as well as all the options available. The guys make a cautious decision and choose to hang closer to the beach than they originally planned on. After a 50 minute boat ride we arrive at the “turkey” hill and Dave throws out the spread. The action is super fast on these hard pulling little tunas. After a couple passes our long bait takes off and we add a super nice mahi to the box. After about two hours of non stop action and kinda sore arms we make the call to push off a couple miles in hopes of picking up another mahi or two. Beyond my wildest expectations over the next 2½ hours we add six more mahi to the box. There were days this season I would have been thrilled for this catch 60 miles offshore let alone only being 25 miles off the beach, WOW!!

08/29/16 A day of black sea bass research with a couple local college folks.

08/28/16 Forced to give up our canyon hopes today due to a fairly nasty offshore waters forecast. The guys opt to bend a rod on some false albacore for a few hours instead. After a 50 minute boat ride TD sets the spread. Our first bite takes less than 10 minutes and turns out to be a beautiful 24 lb. mahi. The next few hours sees non stop action on false albacore, even taking a couple on a fly rod the one guy brought along.

08/26/16 Ran to just south of the Baltimore looking for some gear that I found about 10 days ago. Much to my dismay the gear must not have been producing and was removed. Trolled north to the canyon to find a couple other boats working that stuff so we broke out the deep drop gear and the guys set about filling the box with tilefish. The last time we did this it was one of the most perfect drifts I can remember, today, one of the worst. We struggled through the CRAZY current and managed to put 24 in the box before it was time to roll.

08/25/16 Set out in search of mahi with a pair of anglers from Lancaster PA looking to hook the big one on a fly rod. First couple stops didn’t provide any action but we finally found some fish after about 90 minutes of looking. First couple were kinda on the small side but then we found some studs that pushed Charles’s 10 wt. to its limits and snapped Brian’s spinning rod right above the grip. After a couple hours of blistering runs and long battles the pair decided to call it a day.

08/24/16 Out with DNR Ron and his guys for a day of filling the freezers. Looked at a couple red crab gear buoys but only found a few small mahi and one white marlin that missed the hook. Turned out attention to those oh so tasty tilefish. The bite was outstanding with doubles on a regular basis. Ended the day about an hour early with 46 tiles and a couple small mahi in the box.

08/23/16 Offshore deep drop trip scrapped due to rough seas so we spent a couple hours a few miles off the beach with a father and son from NY bending a rod on our super hard fighting false albacore.

08/22/13 Rescheduled to early October due to rough seas.

08/21/16 Ran to the Baltimore looking to find some mahi and then add some tilefish to the box. Pulled past more lobster gear than I can remember without seeing any mahi. Didn’t help that the lobster boat was hauling their gear right next to us or the fact that the water unbelievably dirty. Turned our attention to tilefish and we weren’t disappointed. With less than five fish to our limit the folks called it a day.

08/20/16 On the hunt for tuna with a crew from PA. Decided to run to the chunking hole that was so good to us two days ago. Less than twenty minutes after setting the anchor we have our first fish on the line, a blt yellowfin. Two minutes later our second fish is tight, a turkey. Sure that we’re gonna crush em, I’m running to the bow with my rod. By now a couple of my buds, very good chunkers, have anchored next to us sure they’d be next to get a bite. Two hours pass and nothing, not on our boat or any of the other boats setting in plain view. Decide to run to some bass pot markers in hopes of finding a mahi or two. Troll past about a dozen markers without a pull when finally a get a decent bite on the last marker and put a average mahi in the box. With terrible fishing and horrible radio reports and still reasonably close to the inlet I offer the guys a shorter day which they quickly jump on. End the day by bending the rods on a couple turkeys.

08/19/16 Made a big run to the deep with the girls for the 2016 Poor Girls Open looking for marlin. First encounter comes mid morning when a white marlin pops up behind the mid rigger. Dave quickly feeds the bait then hands off the reels to our lucky lady. After a great fight we have the fish next to the boat for the release. Our next encounter has a small white tracking our baits but will not take any before he fades away. Thirty minutes later, out of no where, a white suddenly grabs our teaser, yanks on it for a couple seconds then swims away never to show again. Ended the day by puling several mahi off a floating bucket we trolled past.

08/18/16 Decided to roll the dice and run to the chunking hole looking to find a couple legal yellowfin. First drift produced two fish, one 28″ keeper and one throw back. Next two drifts, nothing. Decided to anchor which made all the difference. The next two hours produced 9 more keeper yellowfin as well as several skipjack and turkeys. By 11:00 this crew of three from the greater Harrisburg, PA area were kinda tuckered out and made the call to head back.

08/17/16 Ran back south with a crew of three who tell me they’ll be happy if they can just catch a couple mahi. Found a couple balls I missed yesterday and luckily they were holding some fish. After covering all the gear for a second time we move over to the tilefish ground and the guys have a ball catching tiles and a couple sea bass. The guys opted to end the day early and beat the pending wind.

08/15/16 Out with a crew of UWV Mountaineers for a day of Mahi & Tilefish action. Worked the southern gear in the morning and scratched together a decent catch of mahi mostly on light tackle. With the gear all covered we throw out a trolling spread on the way to the tilefish grounds. After about 10 minutes a sailfish pops up behind our long rigger and takes the bait. While Derick is doing battle another sail is dogging our short rigger on the other side. He seem interested but will not commit so we focus on getting the hooked fish to the boat. After some pictures of the sail the fish is released to fight another day. Ended the day by adding a nice shot of tilefish to the box.

08/11/16 & 08/12/13 Forced to hang fairly close to the beach both days due to strong offshore winds. The false albacore bite (aka: Turkeys) was red hot and both crews found out just how hard these small tuna can pull. Bonus fish on the 11th was a nice 16 lb. mahi.

08/10/16 Ran south with a crew of guys from Lancaster PA. Idea was to hammer the tilefish in the Washington canyon. With about ½ a mile left to go I decide to swing by a couple lobster balls with baits that Dave threw out in a hurry. With all the fishing pressure of the last few days (White Marlin Open) I’m fairly sure this gear will not produce. Well, the second ball proves me wrong as a couple rigger baits get nailed and we put the fish couple fish in the box. Decide to go ball-to-ball with light tackle and see if we can get lucky. By 10:00 we have 20+ mahi in the box most of which are 12 lbs. and up. We turn our attention to deep dropping but the bite is less than stellar and only add about a dozen fish over the next hour. Threw out a trolling spread for about an hour before the guys decide to end the day early allowing extra time for the 3+ hour drive back to PA.

08/09/16 Pushed east with three generations of a family from western PA on board, the Sr. most angler 85 years young. With flat calm conditions I set out toward an area just north of where we fished yesterday. Set out the trolling spread and started looking around when I noticed some red crab gear and decided to have a look. The next three hours provide outstanding mahi action mostly on light tackle. Even grandpa got in on the action landing a nice 15 lb. gaffer. Shortly after noon, with a nice shot of quality mahi’s in the box, I get the word this family has plenty of fish and would like to get grandma and grandpa back to the  beach.

08/08/16 Headed for some gear that I thought might holding some fish with a family from southern PA. The next two hours are absolutely outstanding. It seemed every other set was holding a couple big fish pushing our light tackle to its limits. By 9:00 the family tells me they’ve got more than enough fish and we can head back in. TD throws out a quick marlin spread and we decide to give it 30 minutes before rolling home. About 10 minutes later a white marlin pops up behind the long rigger. I throw the boat in to a slow turn as Trevor hooks the fish. After a great fight and several spectacular jumps we have Wes’s first marlin at the boat for pictures.

08/07/16 Set out for the deep on a very sporty forecast with a crew of young professionals looking for a good time. Pushed through some big seas toward the north end of a string of lobster gears we left yesterday that was holding some fish. Finished the day with a couple hours of trolling but no takers. Despite the wind and waves the guys had a great catch of some super nice mahi all on light tackle. Highlight of the day was one of the guys first mahi, a 25 lb. stud.

08/05/16 Out for a day of deep drop action with a crew of four from PA. With two miles left to go I notice a lobster buoy and swing by for a look. TD pitches a jig and immediately up from the deep comes a nice mahi. A couple of pieces of cut bait later we’ve got two more very respectable fish in the box. With this kind of action I decide to check a second set of gear and am pleasantly surprised with couple more quality mahi. The next two hours are absolutely incredible, some of the best big mahi fishing I’ve seen in years. By 10:15 we have nearly 30 in the box, seven of which are over 20 lbs and one is pushing 30. With more than enough fish to fill their freezer the guy tell me to head for the barn.

08/03/16 & 08/04/16 Back to back days of research with a Dr of marine biology and a couple of his grad students. Wednesday was spent retrieving and re-deploying acoustical listening buoys in absolutely hateful conditions. Thursday found us doing a little more buoy work followed by some great sea bass action. Bonus of the day was Teddy’s first mahi.

08/02/16 Decided to try the deep drop trip again today with a father and son crew from Baltimore. Unlike yesterday the ride was doable in slightly sporty conditions. It took a couple drifts for the guys to get the hang of hooking these fish but after they did the numbers added up quickly. By 11 am they had put their limit, plus my limit, which they caught, in the box. Set out a trolling spread for about 90 minutes but no takers. Back in the slip with 24 tilefish and 15 jumbo sea bass in the box.

08/01/16 The day that NOAA ruined…don’t think the bananas help either. Plugged in the numbers to one of our deep drop holes and set off with a crew of five. At the 30 mile mark we’re down to 15 knots in 4-5 foot seas right on our nose, forecast was only calling for 2 to 3. Decided there would be no way to drop in these conditions so we come up with a different plan. I run to a wreck 5 miles away but it only yields a couple keepers. With no butterfish but some squids we try a couple drifts for yellowfin but no takers and don’t see any other boats hooked-up. We pick up lines and run to a sea bass area and am pleasantly surprised with the keeper to throw-back ratio. Back in the slip with a very respectable number of tasty sea bass.

07/30/16 Out with the boys from Wenger Feeds for a day of deep drop action on blueline tiles and jumbo sea bass. The bite was awesome with some of the nicest sea bass you could ask for. Sometime around noon we hit our limit of tilefsh. Since there’s really no way of releasing these fish the guys to the ethical thing and call it a day. Back in the slip with 42 tiles, 25ish sea bass and 2 mahi in the box.

07/29/16 With much trepidation I head toward the chunking hill with Tigger and his crew just looking for a couple bites. Decided to stay away from the fleet and drift over a little hill that’s been very good to us this year. Twenty minutes into the first drift Dave’s bait takes off and we have our first yellowfin on. Five minutes into the fight my rod on the bow goes off and we’ve got two on. The fish get together and the first fish pulls the hook but five minutes later we have the second fish in the box. The next couple hours provide several other bites most of which we capitalize on and by early afternoon we have four yellowfin in the box. A much better catch than I’d expected.

07/26/16 Out with FedEx Tom and his boys for some tuna chunking. Arrived at the hill to to find about two dozen boats looking for tuna too. First bite takes about 20 minutes and darn if that fish doesn’t grab the only rod with 30 lb. leader which gives up as soon as Dave pushes up the drag. next bite takes a long run before the drag goes up and drops the bait before the line comes tight. Next bite is text book and after a 10 minute battle we have a nice yellowfin in the box. Sometime around 8 the current completely stops running and everything is sinking straight down then going toward the bow. Hung tough until 11 am but not seeing any fish caught for 3 hours I offer the guys a shorter day which they quickly grabbed.

07/24/16 Back to tuna chunking after a couple days of other targets on the radar. First bite takes about ten minutes but the fish finds the anchor rope of the boat behind us and breaks off. The next three bites either pull off or break the 30 lb. leader. I tell TD that I can’t ever remember loosing this many fish to gear failure. Shorty thereafter I hear the guys talking about the long evil fruit. Yep, they’re on board….for now. Step up to 40 lb. leader and the fish don’t mind at all. The next two hours are great going 6 out of 7 on nice yellowfins. Back in the slip early with 6 yf in the box and a very happy and tired charter.

07/23/16 Spent the morning with Miles and his buds crushing the spanish mackerel and bluefish before turning our focus to the flat ones. Flounder action was kind slow with only four keepers adder to the box full of spanish.  Afternoon trip found me back at the bluefish hill providing this family of four constant action.

07/22/16 Last minute cancellation

07/21/16 Out with the same guys as yesterday. Started off chunking in the fleet of about 25 other boats. After 70 minutes the guys tell me they’d like to go flounder fishing. Not seeing any bent rods in the fleet I’m more than obliging and we head to the flounder grounds. Spent the next four hours hitting several hot spot with nothing. I’m starting to doubt the decision to give up on tuna early until I call a buddy of mine who is still throwing chunks in the fleet. He tells me he’s only seen two boats hooked up all day. Ended the day a little early without a pull. Some days the fish just don’t bite…today was all of them. Got a call from a buddy of mine who I consider to be one of the best tuna fisherman I know. Buck tells me they trolled/chunked for 13 hours today without a bite.

07/20/16 Out with a crew from western PA for a day of tuna fishing. Started the day off dodging thunderstorms while doing a little trolling. Got a call from a buddy who was chunking and already had a bite so off we went. First drift only produced one deep rod bite that really only swiped the bait. The next drift finds me on the bow when the line is pulled from my hand and this crazy fish is going 100 mph straight towards an anchor line. My only chance of stopping this over bluefin is to crank up the drag and hope the 30 lb. leader holds…..it doesn’t. The next couple drifts produce nothing and by now the oppressive heat and humidity are taking a toll on two of our older anglers so the decision is made to head in and extend tomorrows trip. Later I found out the yellowfin bite turned on around 12:30  and lasted for about two hours.

07/19/16 Rescheduled to October due to strong overnight and morning winds.

07/17/16 & 07/18/16 Rarely have I tried harder to change the minds of a charter than I did with this crew who was set on doing a 24 hour overnight trip. Based on the night bite, or shall I say lack there of, I suggested the guys just do a regular 12 hour trip and save their money. The guys were set on overnight so we pulled out of the slip at 10 am and headed toward the tuna grounds. On the ride out I’m listening to the radio and it sounds like the bite is off the charts good so I give Fin Chaser another 100 rpm looking to get there before the bite shuts down. Arrive to see boats hooked up everywhere and as I’m letting out the first bait it gets yanked out of my hand as the reels starts to scream. A few seconds later the 40 lb. leader gives up while trying to slow down the beast. A few minutes later another rod takes off and we put a yellowfin in the box. The next drift finds us doing battle with a nasty bluefin the just happened to grab our rod that had 30 lb. leader. After a 45 minute battle we put the 72 lb. over in the box. Shortly after that the bite shuts off and all the boats leave except me and a buddy of mine who is also doing a 24 hour trip. Todd runs off to a different hill around 6 pm but I decide to hang tight looking for another bluefin. Sometime around 8 Todd calls me and tells me he’s had a couple bites so we head his way. The next two hours provides one bite that we can’t slow down until we’re nearly spooled and go to full drag which pops the leader and a 60 lb. baby tiger shark. At 4 am I talk to Todd and we both can’t believe neither of us even had a pull over night. Finished the trip trolling and added a bluefin to the box before heading back to the slip for some much needed sleep.

07/16/16 Out with Ryan’s crew for a day of tuna fishing. Overall the bite was slow and many very good boats were still looking for their first bite by noon time. We were very fortunate and manage a couple bite both chunking and trolling and scratched together a catch of three bluefin by days end.

07/15/16 Another day of tuna fishing with this crew from MD. Bite was fairly slow with many boats leaving before noon. We hung tough and managed a couple bites but certainly not what I’d expected.

07/14/16 Pushed east today with Jim Anderson and his crew. Set the trolling spread at a little area that was good to a buddy of mine yesterday. After 30 minutes the long rigger takes off. As I hand the rod down to Dave the line goes slack. Inspection of the leader points to our first wahoo encounter of the season, the wahoo won this round. Another hour passes and nothing. All morning the radio is extremely quiet but then I hear two boats talking about a hot chunking bite about 12 miles away. Dave clears the spread and the diesels see 2400 rpm. With only a tiny amount of butterfish on board I put out a call for some and thanks to Capt. Johnny and Capt. Luke they hook us up with what they have left over for the morning slaughter. We start drifting baits and for the first 20 minutes I’m thinking we missed it but then the fish find our chunks. The next couple hours are great, all except for the stupid light leader. By the end of the day we have 8 yellowfin in the box and at least 5 others that should have been.

07/13/16 I’m starting to feel like Bill Murray in the movie Groundhog Day. The same thing everyday. Mornings are slow but between 9 and 10 the fish start to chew. We also seem to be on a one yellowfin per day quota as well as a mahi or two. Back in the slip a little early with 4 bluefins, one yellowfin and a mahi.

07/12/16 Another day of outstanding bluefin action with a mostly local crew of guys. The morning bite was nonexistent but sometime around 10 these hard pulling buggers got hungry.  Action was fairly steady on a mix of unders, overs, yellowfin and mahi. We did seem to have one black cat on board. Everytime Ayrik touched the rod something bad seemed to happen the worst of which was a 20 minute exhausting battle that ended less than 50 feet from the boat when the hook pulled.

07/11/12 Back out to the bluefin hole with a crew of anglers VA. Our first bite takes about an hour and we put a nice mahi in the box. Second bite is another gaffer mahi. The next couple hours provide fairly steady action on bluefin and one more mahi. The cherry on top of the sunday is when our 10 year old Jr. angler James cranks in a 35 lb yellowfin all by himself  letting Mr Lee (our pet name for our rod holder) hold the rod for him while he cranked the reel in low gear. Back in the slip early with 3 mahi, 3 bluefin to 73 lbs. and a yellowfin.

07/10/16 Today was to be a 10 hour shark trip but after telling the guys about yesterdays tuna trip they quickly changed their minds so we set out on a 10 hour tuna trip. On the ride out I was listening to the other boats who have already been fishing for a while and it sound terrible slow. Now I’m thinking what did I do and what if these crazy fish don’t bite today. I set up a few miles away from the chunkers and set the trolling spread. The next few hours provide steady action and while it seems the bite is slow everywhere else the fish on this little hill seemed willing to play with the Fin Chaser crew. Back in early with all the fish this crew wanted to harvest 3 bluefins, 1 yellowfin and a mahi.

07/09/16 Spent today with a crew of super nice folks from PA. Set the trolling spread and with-in ten minutes we have our first under bluefin in the box. After 90 minutes with out another bite we pull in the spread and look for a place to drift in the 80+ other boats. The next couple hours are off the charts good chunking. I don’t think any drift took more than 10 minutes after the baits were set until we had a screaming drag. With our limit (4) of bluefin plus a bonus yellowfin in the box the call is made to head to the barn.

07/08/16 Out with a couple of my favorite guys for a day of tuna action. After a short ride we start setting the spread. As I’m locking the drag down on the one bridge rod the other one gets slammed. The fish peels drag for a couple seconds and as I’m lifting the rod out of the holder I feel something give and the like goes slack. Reeled in all that line to find the crimp broke. Trolled around for another hour with no takers so we decide to go to the dark side (chunking). The next couple hours are great, the only downside,  all the fish are overs. Bite slowed a little around noon and shortly after that the guys called it a day with our biggest bluefin of the year in the box a 54″ 86 pound fatty.

07/07/16 Another day of bluefin action with a crew from PA. Started trolling around all the overnight boats at first light. Not seeing any bent rods I started working an edge toward the north when our wwb (way way back) takes off. Fifteen minutes later we put a 51″ bluefin in the box. About 45 minutes later we get another bite and add a “under” bluefin to the box. Two hours later and no pulls we decide to turn to the dark side and go chunking. First drift produces nothing but the next several are good adding one yellowfin to the box and two more “overs” get released to fight another day.

07/05/16 Today was to be a 18 hour trip but early morning winds and a nasty offshore forecast caused a big change of plans. We threw the lines at 8 am and ran north toward the flounder grounds for a half day of flounder action followed by some nearshore trolling for a bluefin. The flounder bite was red hot but way too many fish (over 25) that measured 15½ to 15¾. The bluefin side of the trip was basically non productive with only one big blow-up on the spreader bar that didn’t come tight and a crazy spinner shark that decided to eat a tuna bait. Back in the slip with 11 flounder in the box.

07/04/16 Ran 35 miles north with crew of five from WV looking for some bluefin. Worked a big hill all morning with several other boats all looking for a bite but not many finding one. With memories of the July 1st trip fresh in my mind I make an 8 mile run south to a little edge desperately needing a bite. Fifteen minutes later we put a 30 lb. yellowfin in the box. A little while later our spreader bar get crushed and we add a 40 lb. bluefin to the box. With 20 minutes left in the day my way back gets slammed and and after dealing with a totally crazed bluefin we add this 55-60 lb. fish to the box.

07/03/16 Our for a day of flounder fishing with a family of five. The bite was good but the learing curve to snag these flounder was a tough hill to climb for these folks. Back in the slip with a couple flatties and a few sea bass too.

07/01/16 Oh how this hurts! Headed east today with a crew of four from PA looking for some bluefin. Arrived at the first spot at 5:30 am and counted 42 boats already there. Set the spread and started looking for some marks on my sounder. After two hours of nothing and only seeing one other boat doing battle I decided to make a 7 mile move. Worked that area with about 25 other boats for the next several hours without a pull. Sometime around noon we had a glimmer of hope when I looked over and noticed outboard boat tight to a fish. He was immediately surrounded by hungry boats but after thirty minutes of pounding the area our hope, and many others, faded away. Not being able to take the misery any longer I offered the guys a 10 hour deal which they accepted and we headed for the barn with perfectly clean ice.

06/29/16 Left super early today with Steve Kauffman and his crew from Honeybook, PA for our first 18 hour trip of the season. Arrived at the bluefin grounds and set the spread in the dark. First bite takes less than five minutes and we put our first under in the box. Next pass adds another under to the box. 45 minutes later the long rigger take off and these guys find out just how hard these overs can pull. After a good fight we add him to the box. By now the area is covered with boats and the fish I’ve been marking at 50′ are now tight to the bottom. After releasing a 42′ Ocean I decide to troll to a different area about 3 miles away. As soon as we arrive our bar gets crushed and we put our final bluefin in the box. With our limit of bluefin I make a 35 mile run to the deep. The first hour produces one 40 lb. yellowfin, two throw back yellowfins and one gaffer mahi. The next couple hours are slow with only two throw back yellowfin and two more three more mahi. Sometime around 3:30 the boats left and the fish got real active. The next hour and a half is great. Every pass multiple rods go down. Sometimes they’re all throw backs and sometimes a 40-50 pounder too. By 5:00 we’ve released at least 15 and added four more YF to the box. Back in the slip two hours early allowing these guys extra time for fish cleaning and the 3 hour drive home. Fill in anglers pictured out of respect for our Amish friends.

06/28/16 Another day of bluefin action with a family of four. The weather was dreary but the fishing was good and these guys found out just how hard these bluefin can pull. By days in we’ve caught 5 “overs”, 2 “unders” and a nice gaffer mahi.

06/27/16 Out with a crew of young bucks looking for our first bluefin of the year. Morning was dead so I decided to make a 9 mile move to a different hill. After about 45 minutes our flat line get crushed and this angry fish dumps over half a spool in a heart beat. 15 minutes later TD sinks the gaff in a 70 lb. “over” bluefin. Worked that area for the next hour but only had two big explosions and both missed the hook. Made another 5 mile run to yet another bluefin hideout. The next couple hours are very good but all four fish are too big 49″+ and we need fish under 47″.

06/26/16 Congrats to Steve D! First no show, and hopefully only, of the season.

FYI  I just had two dates open up in July the 27th and 28th if anyone is looking.

06/23/16 thru 06/25/16 Cancelled due to offshore forecast that was correct two of the three days. Friday, however, was very nice, but the charter for that day was convinced it was going to be rough and I didn’t feel like arguing about it.

06/22/16 Another change of plans forced by big seas found us doing a 5 hour nearshore shark trip with a mother and son team. The action was outstanding on atlantic sharp nose & spinner sharks. Even with a slightly early return I’m sure we released at least 20 and put two of the tasty sharp nose sharks in the box for an appointment with a BBQ grill.

06/21/16 A change of plans forced by heavy seas found use playing hide and seek with some nasty morning storms before turning our full attention to some nearshore trolling. The bite was scattered but we did manage to get everyone in on the mixed action with big chopper bluefish and some turkeys.

06/20/16 Another big run, even farther than yesterday. Thing started off good with a fat yellowfin in the box less than 15 minutes after the first bait hit the water. Now these fish have been have been shutting down every morning at some point and today that point seemed to be right after we landed that first fish. Trolled around the rest of the morning like everyone else counting the minutes until the afternoon bite turns on which happened to be around 1:00 today. Made a turn on some skipjacks and six lines go down but all but one turned out to be undersized yellowfin, the other fish was a mahi which was added to our lonely yellowfin in the box. A couple minutes later and my bridge rod takes off 1000 mph then goes slack, our first wahoo bite off of the season. Our final bite had a big yellowfin explode on a cedar plug the mate was jigging. Unfortunately, the angler couldn’t keep the line tight and with too much slack the fish shook the hook.

06/19/16 Made a big run past the Baltimore looking for a temperature break that might be holding some tuna. The morning was slow with only two skipjack bites prior to finding the 4 degree break. Thirty minutes later seven out of eight rods go down with studly yellowfins. After a cluster of epic proportions we somehow manage to get all seven in the box. Thank Heaven for that bite, the rest of the day, nada.

06/17/16 This offshore shark trip was trimmed back to a five hour coastal trip due to strong northeast winds and big seas. Set up five miles from the inlet and let the chum do its thing in building conditions. First bite took about 45 minutes. After that we had fairly steady action on sharpnose sharks. By the end of the trip we had released seven and had a couple other bites that didn’t come tight.

06/16/16 A super early leave today in hopes of beating the afternoon wind and t-storms. Headed east with a crew from PA looking for a limit of tilefish. The bite was outstanding yielding a mix of blueline and goldens. In a little over two hours the guys hit the limit of 35 so we decided to add a couple rosefish to the box before heading back in. Offered some tuna fishing but Randy decided against that since he tweaked his back earlier in the week.

06/15/16 Headed toward the washington today with a crew of four, no three, since one guy jumped ship at the last minute. Spent most of the day playing with blueline tiles and jumbo sea bass. Threw out a trolling spread for about an hour and managed to box three skipjacks and one 40 lb. yellowfin.

06/14/16 Ran south today with world famous chef Nader Gebrin of Huntington Long Island and two of his best friends Geno & Tony. In our sights for today were golden tilefish and nothing else. Arrived at the spot to find horrible conditions. Man did NOAA blow this forecast! Drifting at nearly 2.5 knots required the guys to use 4 lbs of lead and even then we had a terrible time keeping the baits on the bottom. Conditions never improved but we managed to pick away at the fish and by the  days end we had 14 in the box. The heart brake of the day was when a shark ate Nader’s huge golden only feet away from the boat.

06/11/16 Today’s 8 hour combo trip got off to a lousy start when the guys hit a table that some idiot threw in the middle of the street in OC doing enough damage that a tow truck was needed. Arrived at the “turkey woods” a little late but that really didn’t matter. The action was constant on these jumbo size false albacore, aka: turkeys or fat alberts. After two hours of constant cranking, plus a late night at Secrets Bar, had one angler down for the count and one fading quickly. Made a seven mile run to the sea bass grounds and spent the remaining time pounding on mostly throwback size sea bass as well as a couple flounder with our one remaining angler. Back in the slip with around a dozen sea bass and two flounder.

06/06/16 thru 06/10/16 A week of sea bass research and tagging with a couple different crews from local colleges. Afternoon nearshore shark trip on 06/09/16 produced good action on 3 to 4 ft. sharks.

06/05/16 Made a big run south with a pair of anglers from PA in hopes of finding some tuna. As the second line is run up the rigger the first line take off and 5 minutes later we have our first yellowfin in the box. Our next encounter only takes a few minutes when a a couple rods go down and two more fish make the box. Next bite is a single and that fish makes the cut too. About an hour later we get a double of smaller fish, both must be released. Move into some warmer water and immediately get whacked by some nice mahi. Spent the last two hours picking way at those very tasty beautiful fish. By days end Ryan & Emily have 4 yellowfin and 11 mahi in the box.

06/04/16 Headed east with the bozy from Hegins, PA looking to fill the box with some tasty tilefish. Morning bite was slow by tilefish standards but the fish turned on by late morning and by the day ended we had our limit, plus a couple, of a mixed bag of golden & blueline tiles and one small snowy grouper. Back in the slip with a happy crew especially the guy with the 18 lb. blueline.

06/03/16 Out with a pair of TX anglers for a day of tuna & tilefish action. After a nearly sixty mile run the baits hit the water. Fifteen minutes later three rods go down and Trent get to battle his first tuna. Two of the three yellowfin make the box. About thirty after that we get a double bite and one fish makes the cut. The next two hours is slow with only one bite that didn’t come tight. Turned our attention to some deep dropping and the guys were rewarded with some blueline tiles and sea bass. The pair called the day early due to a super late night thanks to a airport delay.

05/29/16 Ran north for a day of tilefish action with Nasir and his friends. The morning bite was steady but the line tangles were epic. The drift increased and the bite slowed during the late morning. After trying a couple different honey holes I finally found a good shot of nicer fish. Ended the day with singles and doubles of above average bluelines. Back in the slip with 41 tiles (1 under our limit), a couple Rosefish and one Swallowtail Bass.

05/28/16 First tuna trip of the season found me running 75 miles south with a crew of three from the Philly area. Thirty minutes after lines in four rods go down with blt (barely legal tuna) Yellowfins, one makes the box. An hour later and nothing else I decide to run a couple miles to where Capt. Jeremy has had steady action all morning. About 40 minutes later two rods go down, one fish makes the box and. A couple more passes and nothing so I push a little north and WHAM, six rod go down and theses are better size fish. What follows is twenty minutes of chaos. Lines crossed, everyone fishing a tuna including Dave and I and one fish running free since everyone on board already had a rod. We somehow manage to land four of them and the exhausted crew tell me they’ve had enough so at 11:15 we’re done. One of my long rigger baits didn’t get touched during this melee but as I start to reel it in a big eye explodes on the bait and proceeds to dump half a spool of line. The exhausted anglers only last a few minutes on the rod before its turned over to Dave and I. With less than 100 feet to go the leader gives up. Back in the slip with two blt’s and four 35-40 pounders.

05/20/16 Out with a great group of guys looking for some sea bass and tilefish. First stop, which has been great over the past years, was terrible. Made a 16 mile move to a little wreck and immediately starting pounding some of the nicest sea bass you could ask for these days. After a couple hours the bite slowed so we moved a couple miles looking for the final 23 fish to reach our magic number. Fished hard around all the fish traps some joker had littered all over this wreck but did manage to reach our limit. Back in the slip with 75 sea bass, 10 smallish tilefish, one tog and one lingcod.

05/14/16 Four guys from Coatesville, PA decide to give our tog fishing a go. The bite was outstanding and the average size was a little better than average with several fish pushing the 5 lb mark and three over 8. These guys hit their limit by 9:30 and after they added a couple extra to the box for the captains family they decided to head back and enjoy the rest of the day nosing around Ocean City.

05/13/16 Same crew as yesterday, less one. Same target species as yesterday too. Bite started off much slower than yesterday but did manage to pick up around mid-morning. Many more “shorts” than yesterday but we managed to snag a keeper her and there. Ended the trip two hours early allowing the guys to throw up some house wrap before the afternoon storms fire up. In the slip with 13 in the box.

05/12/16 Out with a crew from Baltimore for a day of tog fishing. The bite was red hot during the morning and these tog newbies managed to load the cooler with some very respectable fish. The bite slowed sometime around 11 and completely shut down by just after noon. Back in the 4 post hot spot (aka:slip) with 19 in the box the largest going 8.5 lbs.

05/06/16 & 05/07/16 Braved some pretty sporty conditions with a crew of biologists for more black sea bass research. The action was very good, despite the conditions. Actually it was so good they ran out of bait (I was not permitted to provide any bait) ¾ of the way through the second day.

05/01/16 & 05/03/16 Rescheduled to later date due to wind & rain.

04/30/16 Spent a few hours this morning at the south jetty with a crew from WV who weren’t gonna let 20 knot winds and 5-6′ seas spoil their day. Tog fishing in those rocks can be tough on a calm day not to mention these conditions but the guys held their own and even managed to put a couple keepers in the box.

04/23/16 Our season began today with a preseason black sea bass study trip with a crew of marine biologists from nearby states. The bite was very good with most fish being released after data was recorded. Some of the fish were headed back to the labs for more testing. The crew also caught big numbers of the largest cunner I’ve ever seen as well as a 23″ cod which they took for the dinner table.

2016 Reports

10/30/16 Back to back fishable days….WOW!!!  Headed back to the area that was so good to us yesterday with a trio of construction workers doing work in DC. These guys were lucky enough to experience some of the best sea bass fishing (bite & size) I’ve seen in quite a while. And while those nasty bluefish made it challenging at times the size of some of the bass made it all worth while. These guys also managed to grab two of the largest triggerfish I’ve ever seen. Back in the slip with a limit of sea bass and two triggers.

10/29/16 The weather has finally provided us with a 8 hour window when its not blowing 20+ so off we go in search of sea bass.  After a 25 mile run our lines hit the water but only about half of the guys are fishing. The other half had a little too much fun the night before and aren’t doing so well in the choppy seas. The bite was outstanding most of the day with fish going in the box on a regular basis. With plenty of fish ready for the cleaner we head in a little early to beat the increasing wind & seas. Back in the slip with 38 sea bass, two flounder and one triggerfish.

10/27/16 Out to play with the sea bass with a crew from a local college looking for some samples to take back to the lab. The bite was very good with all size classes of fish giving a respectable showing.

10/20/16 Out with FedEx Tom and his boys for a day of meat fishing. After a big run in flat calm conditions the spread is set and the hunt begins. Pulled past two sets of gear with  no takers but that all changed when we passed #3. The rest of the day provided good action on small/mid size mahi both on light tackle and trolling gear. The big shock of the day happened around noon when a HUGE white marlin crashes our long rigger and and makes a blistering run. This bugger was a giant (95+ lbs) and had a REAL bad attitude. The fish finally tired out allowing Brian to finish the final 20 feet. Back in the slip with 38 mahi in the box.

10/16/16 Pointed the boat east today with a crew of twenty-something Penn State alumni looking to fill the cooler with the other white meat…..TILEFISH!! After a learning curve of a couple drifts they figured out the program and fish started hitting the box in fairly good numbers. Even though we were in an area known for blueline tilefish we actually encountered a couple goldens today, the largest of which was Deanna’s 35 lb. dandy as well as Alex’s respectable 22 lb. Shortly before 1:00 we hit the magic number and head for the barn. FYI a couple boats fishing to our south found good numbers of YF today in case anyone out there is still interested in giving it a go this year yet.

10/15/16 Ran south with six other boats today on the hunt for yellowfin. On board was a family of five who have a vacation home up island near Fenwick. The boats spread out trusting that someone will find the fish. Sometime around 9:30 Todd captures a pair of yf so I point the boat in his direction. By the time we arrive the other boats are already there but no more encounters. As I make the first pass our long rigger gets nailed and we put a 32″ yf in the box. The six of us continue to work the area but the fish seem to have vanished. Shortly before noon I’m asked to troll in the direction of home since dad isn’t feeling so great. Seems this is something he battles while ocean fishing and a medical condition prevents him from taking Meclizine. 15 minutes after leaving the fleet we hit cold / green water and my hopes fade of seeing any more tuna’s. Listening to the radio on the ride home seems those crazy tuna started to bite again around 1:00.

Sea Bass Reopening Weekend Open Boat Trips October 22 & 23. Cost is $125 per person. Call or text 443-397-0315 for more information or to reserve your spot. Reservations required.

10/03/16 Out with a great bunch of guys looking for the “meat”. Pointed the Bertram toward some deep gear that I thought might be holding some of those super pretty fish. Our first pass told us all we needed to know, every rod get nailed. Dave pulled in the trolling gear and hands out the spinners to this experienced crew. The next few hour are hours are a blur of flying mahi, bait and blood. Sometime around 10:00 we hit the magic number (60) and the guys decide they have more than enough meat and tell me to head for the slip.

10/02/16 First trip after the big blow. I decide to run to the 30 fathom line and have a look see. First hour is rather slow only producing a pair of turkey bites. Move over to a big hill and immediately five rods go down with turkeys. Spent the next 90 minutes in constant battle with the mother load of turkeys. We decide to make a 6 mile move after Capt. Todd tells me he’s captured a couple mahi just offshore of us. Arrive at the area and start looking. We get jumped by a trio of gaffers and all three mahi make it in the box. About an hour later I see a big old timber floating and before we even get to it we’re covered up with mahi. TD grabs the light tackle rods and we spend the next hour slamming the mahi. Back in the slip early with 38 mahi and 30 fat alberts.

09/28/16 Ran east today in some pretty sporty conditions with a crew of doctors from VA. Arrived at large hill and threw out the spread. First bite takes about 30 minutes and turns out to be a false albacore (aka turkey). The next bite takes about 60 minutes after arriving at yet another large offshore hill. We spend the next two hours in constant battle with some super size turkeys. The guys arms need a brake so we troll west looking for something else. Somewhere around 30 mile from the inlet we get a bite out of no where. Sure that we have  another turkey on the line I’m shocked when Dave make a run for the gaff and pulls a small yellowfin in the boat. Put the boat back in gear and a couple hundred yards later the spreader bar gets slammed and it another yellowfin. Unfortunately the fish makes a crazy move close to the boat and the hook pulls. Continued working that area as long as possible and add one more yellowfin (out of two bites) to the box.

09/25/16 & 09/26/16 Two days of sea bass research with a crew of college grad students. Shame the season is closed until mid October since the bite was outstanding.

09/21/16 & 09/23/16 Two similar days with very similar outcomes. The winds and seas cause both crews to decide to hold tight at the 40 mile mark. The turkey action is crazy, so crazy, we trim the spread to only three lines. As a bonus both days produce one yellowfin and one mahi for the guys too. Sent both groups back to PA with plenty of fish for the smokers.

09/20/16 Ran east today with a trio from PA. Two of the guys fished with me seven years ago, one has never been out before. The seas are extremely mixed up and after about 90 minutes of running the two veterans aren’t doing to well. Turns out the one fellow’s doctor called in a prescription for over-the-counter Dramamine instead of the patch which was to be ordered so the guy bailed at the pharmacy and didn’t get anything. Spent the next few hours with a constant stream of turkeys as well as a nice 15 lb. mahi. I make a run to the sea bass grounds to see if there are anymore keepers around. Both vets are starting to get their sea legs and are feeling better so we’re able to send down three rods instead of one. The bite is outstanding and even though we only had short time to fish the guys are able to add 17 keeper sea bass to the box while releasing dozens of unders.

09/19/16 Out with a crew of local pastors from the greater Salisbury area. At the 30 mile mark things are getting kinda sporty and the guys decide they’d like to hang in the 20 to 30 mile range so I pull her back and Dave put out the spread. Our first bite takes about 30 minutes and after a good fight we put a 35 lb. wahoo in the box. We continue to work the area for the next couple hours getting jumped by false albacore here and there. With three hours left in the day we make an 8 mile run to the sea bass grounds. After needing to release about the first 30 fish we suddenly find some keepers. While we’re pounding the sea bass a mahi swims up and falls victim to our jig. Back in the slip early with 1 wahoo, 1 mahi and 24 sea bass in the box.

09/18/16 Spent today with a crew of guys from southeastern PA looking for some meat. Decided to run to some deep gear in hopes of finding a couple mahi and this set of gear didn’t disappoint us. We spend most of the morning going ball to ball with both trolling tackle as well as light tackle. By the time we reach the end of the string we have around 15 in the box with the largest being a beautiful 25 lb. bull. The next two hours are dead so I make a 12 mile run to a hill that I’m hoping might just have a wahoo hiding there. Well instead of finding a wahoo we find the mother load of turkeys. Ended the day with the guys having a ball doing battle with these hard charging tunas.

09/17/16 Out with a super nice couple for a day of offshore action. Things began quickly as our flat line takes off before TD can finish setting the entire spread. We have no idea what we’ve hooked when suddenly a white marlin starts jumping behind the boat. Our lady angler takes the rod as I get the boat turned. The crazed fish make a blistering run then turns and charges the boat and throws the hook. Our next happens about two minutes later when a white smacks at a bait and then swims off. Other than a few small mystery bites that was our morning. I troll north looking for some warmer water when out of the blue we get hit by a pair of mahi and one makes it in the box. I spend the next 90 minutes working a small area that for some unknown reason is holding some fish. Ended the day about an hour early with 10 mahi in the box.

09/14/16 Today’s offshore trolling trip began with a one requests; no marlin, mahi, albacore or tilefish. The NJ pair only wants yellowfin regardless of how few are being caught by the fleet.  I decide to head back to where we had a yellowfin a couple trips ago. Set out a tuna spread and started covering ground all the time listening to the boats 20 miles south crushing the marlin. We encountered three marlin today and were fast enough to get the baits away from two of them but one is quicker and hangs himself. I stay clear of all lobster gear but even so we get jumped by the mahi’s once. Never found any yellowfin only a couple skipjack.

09/13/16 Headed toward the marlin bite with a crew of six guys from PA. After about 30 miles the guys decide to give up their marlin dreams and try for some false albacore since one of the crew is horribly sick. Apparently there were too many tropical drinks the night before. Stayed in the 35 mile zone and crushed the turkeys as well as finding two small mahi.

09/14/16 Today’s offshore trolling trip began with a one requests; no marlin, mahi, albacore or tilefish. The NJ pair only wants yellowfin regardless of how few are being caught by the fleet.  I decide to head back to where we had a yellowfin a couple trips ago. Set out a tuna spread and started covering ground all the time listening to the boats 20 miles south crushing the marlin. We encountered three marlin today and were fast enough to get the baits away from two of them but one is quicker and hangs himself. I stay clear of all lobster gear but even so we get jumped by the mahi’s once. Never found any yellowfin only a couple skipjack.

09/13/16 Headed toward the marlin bite with a crew of six guys from PA. After about 30 miles the guys decide to give up their marlin dreams and try for some false albacore since one of the crew is horribly sick. Apparently there were too many tropical drinks the night before. Stayed in the 35 mile zone and crushed the turkeys as well as finding two small mahi.

09/10/16 Headed to the Poormans today in a fading forecast with Tony and his mom looking to find him a marlin for his birthday. The first two hours were uneventful and only hearing of two fish caught around me I decide to troll north and slightly shallower where a buddy of mine has had a few encounters. With a mile and a half to go a white marlin pops up behind our short rigger but just will not take it. Finally, after what seemed like forever, the white takes the bait as Trevor feeds it to him. After a 15 minute hard struggle we have Tony’s 1st marlin at the boat for pics. As I get the boat back in position TD resets the spread. About 5 minutes later another white is chasing my long rigger, not a circle hook rig. I try and keep the bait away from the fish as TD drops back a circle hook rig. the marlin turns on it and TD feeds him. Now it Jen’s turn on the rod and she does a great job as the fish puts on a aerial display behind the boat. After 15 minutes we have Jen’s 1st marlin at the boat for pics. I spin the boat around and as TD is setting out the second bait a white comes in out of no where and grabs it. Now its Ashleigh’s turn and 10 minutes later we have her fish at the boat for pics. By now its about 10:45 and conditions are going down hill fast the folks decide to call it a day.

09/09/16 Out with the crew from Baytown Painting for a day of tilefish action. Somewhere around the 9 mile mark Dave pops up on the bridge and tells me the guys would REALLY like to look for flounder and sea bass instead so I make a hard turn and point the boat northeast. The morning bite was ok but around 9 am the drift absolutely die and so did our bites. Fortunately the drift picked up again during the last hour allowing the guys to add a few ore fish to the box. Sent the guys home with 8 flounder and about 18 sea bass and a couple bluefish.

09/08/16 Finally fishing again after the big storm. Ran east today with a crew of 4 from the Philly area. Started on some gear figuring I’d be the only boat there……WRONG! Boats to the north, boats to the south. We were only able to cover 3 balls before bumping into other boats doing the same thing. Since the remaining gear has already been hit we decide to throw out a marlin spread and start looking. As I push east we run across a thin trash/weed line. After following the line for about an hour a white pops up on our flat line. After an impressive display we have Jim’s marlin at the boat for pics. Our next encounter comes about an hour later A pair of lobster balls allow us to add a couple more mahi to the box before ending the day by breaking off a crazed marlin after about 5 minutes.

09/01/16 Out with Jim Tom and the boyz for a day of mahi fishing maybe some fly rod action too. Spent the morning working some crab gear with light tackle as well as a fly rod Conner brought. Action was good but the size was a little off from previous trips. By 11:00 we’ve got 43 mahi in the box and decide to throw out a marlin spread and cross our fingers. 30 minutes go by and a white pops up behind our short rigger and hangs himself. After a 10 minute battle we have James first marlin next to the boat for pics. With 15 minutes left in the day we get jumped by two whites and a spear fish at the same time. Before I can even turn around to look back chaos has broken out with lines tangled and fish going everywhere. Mate Dave has one tight but can’t get to the other rods in time and we only manage to land one of the three.

08/31/16 Cancelled so the guys didn’t risk a 6 hour drive on a VERY  marginal canyon forecast.

08/30/16 Today starts with a team meeting to discuss the forecast as well as all the options available. The guys make a cautious decision and choose to hang closer to the beach than they originally planned on. After a 50 minute boat ride we arrive at the “turkey” hill and Dave throws out the spread. The action is super fast on these hard pulling little tunas. After a couple passes our long bait takes off and we add a super nice mahi to the box. After about two hours of non stop action and kinda sore arms we make the call to push off a couple miles in hopes of picking up another mahi or two. Beyond my wildest expectations over the next 2½ hours we add six more mahi to the box. There were days this season I would have been thrilled for this catch 60 miles offshore let alone only being 25 miles off the beach, WOW!!

08/29/16 A day of black sea bass research with a couple local college folks.

08/28/16 Forced to give up our canyon hopes today due to a fairly nasty offshore waters forecast. The guys opt to bend a rod on some false albacore for a few hours instead. After a 50 minute boat ride TD sets the spread. Our first bite takes less than 10 minutes and turns out to be a beautiful 24 lb. mahi. The next few hours sees non stop action on false albacore, even taking a couple on a fly rod the one guy brought along.

08/26/16 Ran to just south of the Baltimore looking for some gear that I found about 10 days ago. Much to my dismay the gear must not have been producing and was removed. Trolled north to the canyon to find a couple other boats working that stuff so we broke out the deep drop gear and the guys set about filling the box with tilefish. The last time we did this it was one of the most perfect drifts I can remember, today, one of the worst. We struggled through the CRAZY current and managed to put 24 in the box before it was time to roll.

08/25/16 Set out in search of mahi with a pair of anglers from Lancaster PA looking to hook the big one on a fly rod. First couple stops didn’t provide any action but we finally found some fish after about 90 minutes of looking. First couple were kinda on the small side but then we found some studs that pushed Charles’s 10 wt. to its limits and snapped Brian’s spinning rod right above the grip. After a couple hours of blistering runs and long battles the pair decided to call it a day.

08/24/16 Out with DNR Ron and his guys for a day of filling the freezers. Looked at a couple red crab gear buoys but only found a few small mahi and one white marlin that missed the hook. Turned out attention to those oh so tasty tilefish. The bite was outstanding with doubles on a regular basis. Ended the day about an hour early with 46 tiles and a couple small mahi in the box.

08/23/16 Offshore deep drop trip scrapped due to rough seas so we spent a couple hours a few miles off the beach with a father and son from NY bending a rod on our super hard fighting false albacore.

08/22/13 Rescheduled to early October due to rough seas.

08/21/16 Ran to the Baltimore looking to find some mahi and then add some tilefish to the box. Pulled past more lobster gear than I can remember without seeing any mahi. Didn’t help that the lobster boat was hauling their gear right next to us or the fact that the water unbelievably dirty. Turned our attention to tilefish and we weren’t disappointed. With less than five fish to our limit the folks called it a day.

08/20/16 On the hunt for tuna with a crew from PA. Decided to run to the chunking hole that was so good to us two days ago. Less than twenty minutes after setting the anchor we have our first fish on the line, a blt yellowfin. Two minutes later our second fish is tight, a turkey. Sure that we’re gonna crush em, I’m running to the bow with my rod. By now a couple of my buds, very good chunkers, have anchored next to us sure they’d be next to get a bite. Two hours pass and nothing, not on our boat or any of the other boats setting in plain view. Decide to run to some bass pot markers in hopes of finding a mahi or two. Troll past about a dozen markers without a pull when finally a get a decent bite on the last marker and put a average mahi in the box. With terrible fishing and horrible radio reports and still reasonably close to the inlet I offer the guys a shorter day which they quickly jump on. End the day by bending the rods on a couple turkeys.

08/19/16 Made a big run to the deep with the girls for the 2016 Poor Girls Open looking for marlin. First encounter comes mid morning when a white marlin pops up behind the mid rigger. Dave quickly feeds the bait then hands off the reels to our lucky lady. After a great fight we have the fish next to the boat for the release. Our next encounter has a small white tracking our baits but will not take any before he fades away. Thirty minutes later, out of no where, a white suddenly grabs our teaser, yanks on it for a couple seconds then swims away never to show again. Ended the day by puling several mahi off a floating bucket we trolled past.

08/18/16 Decided to roll the dice and run to the chunking hole looking to find a couple legal yellowfin. First drift produced two fish, one 28″ keeper and one throw back. Next two drifts, nothing. Decided to anchor which made all the difference. The next two hours produced 9 more keeper yellowfin as well as several skipjack and turkeys. By 11:00 this crew of three from the greater Harrisburg, PA area were kinda tuckered out and made the call to head back.

08/17/16 Ran back south with a crew of three who tell me they’ll be happy if they can just catch a couple mahi. Found a couple balls I missed yesterday and luckily they were holding some fish. After covering all the gear for a second time we move over to the tilefish ground and the guys have a ball catching tiles and a couple sea bass. The guys opted to end the day early and beat the pending wind.

08/15/16 Out with a crew of UWV Mountaineers for a day of Mahi & Tilefish action. Worked the southern gear in the morning and scratched together a decent catch of mahi mostly on light tackle. With the gear all covered we throw out a trolling spread on the way to the tilefish grounds. After about 10 minutes a sailfish pops up behind our long rigger and takes the bait. While Derick is doing battle another sail is dogging our short rigger on the other side. He seem interested but will not commit so we focus on getting the hooked fish to the boat. After some pictures of the sail the fish is released to fight another day. Ended the day by adding a nice shot of tilefish to the box.

08/11/16 & 08/12/13 Forced to hang fairly close to the beach both days due to strong offshore winds. The false albacore bite (aka: Turkeys) was red hot and both crews found out just how hard these small tuna can pull. Bonus fish on the 11th was a nice 16 lb. mahi.

08/10/16 Ran south with a crew of guys from Lancaster PA. Idea was to hammer the tilefish in the Washington canyon. With about ½ a mile left to go I decide to swing by a couple lobster balls with baits that Dave threw out in a hurry. With all the fishing pressure of the last few days (White Marlin Open) I’m fairly sure this gear will not produce. Well, the second ball proves me wrong as a couple rigger baits get nailed and we put the fish couple fish in the box. Decide to go ball-to-ball with light tackle and see if we can get lucky. By 10:00 we have 20+ mahi in the box most of which are 12 lbs. and up. We turn our attention to deep dropping but the bite is less than stellar and only add about a dozen fish over the next hour. Threw out a trolling spread for about an hour before the guys decide to end the day early allowing extra time for the 3+ hour drive back to PA.

08/09/16 Pushed east with three generations of a family from western PA on board, the Sr. most angler 85 years young. With flat calm conditions I set out toward an area just north of where we fished yesterday. Set out the trolling spread and started looking around when I noticed some red crab gear and decided to have a look. The next three hours provide outstanding mahi action mostly on light tackle. Even grandpa got in on the action landing a nice 15 lb. gaffer. Shortly after noon, with a nice shot of quality mahi’s in the box, I get the word this family has plenty of fish and would like to get grandma and grandpa back to the  beach.

08/08/16 Headed for some gear that I thought might holding some fish with a family from southern PA. The next two hours are absolutely outstanding. It seemed every other set was holding a couple big fish pushing our light tackle to its limits. By 9:00 the family tells me they’ve got more than enough fish and we can head back in. TD throws out a quick marlin spread and we decide to give it 30 minutes before rolling home. About 10 minutes later a white marlin pops up behind the long rigger. I throw the boat in to a slow turn as Trevor hooks the fish. After a great fight and several spectacular jumps we have Wes’s first marlin at the boat for pictures.

08/07/16 Set out for the deep on a very sporty forecast with a crew of young professionals looking for a good time. Pushed through some big seas toward the north end of a string of lobster gears we left yesterday that was holding some fish. Finished the day with a couple hours of trolling but no takers. Despite the wind and waves the guys had a great catch of some super nice mahi all on light tackle. Highlight of the day was one of the guys first mahi, a 25 lb. stud.

08/05/16 Out for a day of deep drop action with a crew of four from PA. With two miles left to go I notice a lobster buoy and swing by for a look. TD pitches a jig and immediately up from the deep comes a nice mahi. A couple of pieces of cut bait later we’ve got two more very respectable fish in the box. With this kind of action I decide to check a second set of gear and am pleasantly surprised with couple more quality mahi. The next two hours are absolutely incredible, some of the best big mahi fishing I’ve seen in years. By 10:15 we have nearly 30 in the box, seven of which are over 20 lbs and one is pushing 30. With more than enough fish to fill their freezer the guy tell me to head for the barn.

08/03/16 & 08/04/16 Back to back days of research with a Dr of marine biology and a couple of his grad students. Wednesday was spent retrieving and re-deploying acoustical listening buoys in absolutely hateful conditions. Thursday found us doing a little more buoy work followed by some great sea bass action. Bonus of the day was Teddy’s first mahi.

08/02/16 Decided to try the deep drop trip again today with a father and son crew from Baltimore. Unlike yesterday the ride was doable in slightly sporty conditions. It took a couple drifts for the guys to get the hang of hooking these fish but after they did the numbers added up quickly. By 11 am they had put their limit, plus my limit, which they caught, in the box. Set out a trolling spread for about 90 minutes but no takers. Back in the slip with 24 tilefish and 15 jumbo sea bass in the box.

08/01/16 The day that NOAA ruined…don’t think the bananas help either. Plugged in the numbers to one of our deep drop holes and set off with a crew of five. At the 30 mile mark we’re down to 15 knots in 4-5 foot seas right on our nose, forecast was only calling for 2 to 3. Decided there would be no way to drop in these conditions so we come up with a different plan. I run to a wreck 5 miles away but it only yields a couple keepers. With no butterfish but some squids we try a couple drifts for yellowfin but no takers and don’t see any other boats hooked-up. We pick up lines and run to a sea bass area and am pleasantly surprised with the keeper to throw-back ratio. Back in the slip with a very respectable number of tasty sea bass.

07/30/16 Out with the boys from Wenger Feeds for a day of deep drop action on blueline tiles and jumbo sea bass. The bite was awesome with some of the nicest sea bass you could ask for. Sometime around noon we hit our limit of tilefsh. Since there’s really no way of releasing these fish the guys to the ethical thing and call it a day. Back in the slip with 42 tiles, 25ish sea bass and 2 mahi in the box.

07/29/16 With much trepidation I head toward the chunking hill with Tigger and his crew just looking for a couple bites. Decided to stay away from the fleet and drift over a little hill that’s been very good to us this year. Twenty minutes into the first drift Dave’s bait takes off and we have our first yellowfin on. Five minutes into the fight my rod on the bow goes off and we’ve got two on. The fish get together and the first fish pulls the hook but five minutes later we have the second fish in the box. The next couple hours provide several other bites most of which we capitalize on and by early afternoon we have four yellowfin in the box. A much better catch than I’d expected.

07/26/16 Out with FedEx Tom and his boys for some tuna chunking. Arrived at the hill to to find about two dozen boats looking for tuna too. First bite takes about 20 minutes and darn if that fish doesn’t grab the only rod with 30 lb. leader which gives up as soon as Dave pushes up the drag. next bite takes a long run before the drag goes up and drops the bait before the line comes tight. Next bite is text book and after a 10 minute battle we have a nice yellowfin in the box. Sometime around 8 the current completely stops running and everything is sinking straight down then going toward the bow. Hung tough until 11 am but not seeing any fish caught for 3 hours I offer the guys a shorter day which they quickly grabbed.

07/24/16 Back to tuna chunking after a couple days of other targets on the radar. First bite takes about ten minutes but the fish finds the anchor rope of the boat behind us and breaks off. The next three bites either pull off or break the 30 lb. leader. I tell TD that I can’t ever remember loosing this many fish to gear failure. Shorty thereafter I hear the guys talking about the long evil fruit. Yep, they’re on board….for now. Step up to 40 lb. leader and the fish don’t mind at all. The next two hours are great going 6 out of 7 on nice yellowfins. Back in the slip early with 6 yf in the box and a very happy and tired charter.

07/23/16 Spent the morning with Miles and his buds crushing the spanish mackerel and bluefish before turning our focus to the flat ones. Flounder action was kind slow with only four keepers adder to the box full of spanish.  Afternoon trip found me back at the bluefish hill providing this family of four constant action.

07/22/16 Last minute cancellation

07/21/16 Out with the same guys as yesterday. Started off chunking in the fleet of about 25 other boats. After 70 minutes the guys tell me they’d like to go flounder fishing. Not seeing any bent rods in the fleet I’m more than obliging and we head to the flounder grounds. Spent the next four hours hitting several hot spot with nothing. I’m starting to doubt the decision to give up on tuna early until I call a buddy of mine who is still throwing chunks in the fleet. He tells me he’s only seen two boats hooked up all day. Ended the day a little early without a pull. Some days the fish just don’t bite…today was all of them. Got a call from a buddy of mine who I consider to be one of the best tuna fisherman I know. Buck tells me they trolled/chunked for 13 hours today without a bite.

07/20/16 Out with a crew from western PA for a day of tuna fishing. Started the day off dodging thunderstorms while doing a little trolling. Got a call from a buddy who was chunking and already had a bite so off we went. First drift only produced one deep rod bite that really only swiped the bait. The next drift finds me on the bow when the line is pulled from my hand and this crazy fish is going 100 mph straight towards an anchor line. My only chance of stopping this over bluefin is to crank up the drag and hope the 30 lb. leader holds…..it doesn’t. The next couple drifts produce nothing and by now the oppressive heat and humidity are taking a toll on two of our older anglers so the decision is made to head in and extend tomorrows trip. Later I found out the yellowfin bite turned on around 12:30  and lasted for about two hours.

07/19/16 Rescheduled to October due to strong overnight and morning winds.

07/17/16 & 07/18/16 Rarely have I tried harder to change the minds of a charter than I did with this crew who was set on doing a 24 hour overnight trip. Based on the night bite, or shall I say lack there of, I suggested the guys just do a regular 12 hour trip and save their money. The guys were set on overnight so we pulled out of the slip at 10 am and headed toward the tuna grounds. On the ride out I’m listening to the radio and it sounds like the bite is off the charts good so I give Fin Chaser another 100 rpm looking to get there before the bite shuts down. Arrive to see boats hooked up everywhere and as I’m letting out the first bait it gets yanked out of my hand as the reels starts to scream. A few seconds later the 40 lb. leader gives up while trying to slow down the beast. A few minutes later another rod takes off and we put a yellowfin in the box. The next drift finds us doing battle with a nasty bluefin the just happened to grab our rod that had 30 lb. leader. After a 45 minute battle we put the 72 lb. over in the box. Shortly after that the bite shuts off and all the boats leave except me and a buddy of mine who is also doing a 24 hour trip. Todd runs off to a different hill around 6 pm but I decide to hang tight looking for another bluefin. Sometime around 8 Todd calls me and tells me he’s had a couple bites so we head his way. The next two hours provides one bite that we can’t slow down until we’re nearly spooled and go to full drag which pops the leader and a 60 lb. baby tiger shark. At 4 am I talk to Todd and we both can’t believe neither of us even had a pull over night. Finished the trip trolling and added a bluefin to the box before heading back to the slip for some much needed sleep.

07/16/16 Out with Ryan’s crew for a day of tuna fishing. Overall the bite was slow and many very good boats were still looking for their first bite by noon time. We were very fortunate and manage a couple bite both chunking and trolling and scratched together a catch of three bluefin by days end.

07/15/16 Another day of tuna fishing with this crew from MD. Bite was fairly slow with many boats leaving before noon. We hung tough and managed a couple bites but certainly not what I’d expected.

07/14/16 Pushed east today with Jim Anderson and his crew. Set the trolling spread at a little area that was good to a buddy of mine yesterday. After 30 minutes the long rigger takes off. As I hand the rod down to Dave the line goes slack. Inspection of the leader points to our first wahoo encounter of the season, the wahoo won this round. Another hour passes and nothing. All morning the radio is extremely quiet but then I hear two boats talking about a hot chunking bite about 12 miles away. Dave clears the spread and the diesels see 2400 rpm. With only a tiny amount of butterfish on board I put out a call for some and thanks to Capt. Johnny and Capt. Luke they hook us up with what they have left over for the morning slaughter. We start drifting baits and for the first 20 minutes I’m thinking we missed it but then the fish find our chunks. The next couple hours are great, all except for the stupid light leader. By the end of the day we have 8 yellowfin in the box and at least 5 others that should have been.

07/13/16 I’m starting to feel like Bill Murray in the movie Groundhog Day. The same thing everyday. Mornings are slow but between 9 and 10 the fish start to chew. We also seem to be on a one yellowfin per day quota as well as a mahi or two. Back in the slip a little early with 4 bluefins, one yellowfin and a mahi.

07/12/16 Another day of outstanding bluefin action with a mostly local crew of guys. The morning bite was nonexistent but sometime around 10 these hard pulling buggers got hungry.  Action was fairly steady on a mix of unders, overs, yellowfin and mahi. We did seem to have one black cat on board. Everytime Ayrik touched the rod something bad seemed to happen the worst of which was a 20 minute exhausting battle that ended less than 50 feet from the boat when the hook pulled.

07/11/12 Back out to the bluefin hole with a crew of anglers VA. Our first bite takes about an hour and we put a nice mahi in the box. Second bite is another gaffer mahi. The next couple hours provide fairly steady action on bluefin and one more mahi. The cherry on top of the sunday is when our 10 year old Jr. angler James cranks in a 35 lb yellowfin all by himself  letting Mr Lee (our pet name for our rod holder) hold the rod for him while he cranked the reel in low gear. Back in the slip early with 3 mahi, 3 bluefin to 73 lbs. and a yellowfin.

07/10/16 Today was to be a 10 hour shark trip but after telling the guys about yesterdays tuna trip they quickly changed their minds so we set out on a 10 hour tuna trip. On the ride out I was listening to the other boats who have already been fishing for a while and it sound terrible slow. Now I’m thinking what did I do and what if these crazy fish don’t bite today. I set up a few miles away from the chunkers and set the trolling spread. The next few hours provide steady action and while it seems the bite is slow everywhere else the fish on this little hill seemed willing to play with the Fin Chaser crew. Back in early with all the fish this crew wanted to harvest 3 bluefins, 1 yellowfin and a mahi.

07/09/16 Spent today with a crew of super nice folks from PA. Set the trolling spread and with-in ten minutes we have our first under bluefin in the box. After 90 minutes with out another bite we pull in the spread and look for a place to drift in the 80+ other boats. The next couple hours are off the charts good chunking. I don’t think any drift took more than 10 minutes after the baits were set until we had a screaming drag. With our limit (4) of bluefin plus a bonus yellowfin in the box the call is made to head to the barn.

07/08/16 Out with a couple of my favorite guys for a day of tuna action. After a short ride we start setting the spread. As I’m locking the drag down on the one bridge rod the other one gets slammed. The fish peels drag for a couple seconds and as I’m lifting the rod out of the holder I feel something give and the like goes slack. Reeled in all that line to find the crimp broke. Trolled around for another hour with no takers so we decide to go to the dark side (chunking). The next couple hours are great, the only downside,  all the fish are overs. Bite slowed a little around noon and shortly after that the guys called it a day with our biggest bluefin of the year in the box a 54″ 86 pound fatty.

07/07/16 Another day of bluefin action with a crew from PA. Started trolling around all the overnight boats at first light. Not seeing any bent rods I started working an edge toward the north when our wwb (way way back) takes off. Fifteen minutes later we put a 51″ bluefin in the box. About 45 minutes later we get another bite and add a “under” bluefin to the box. Two hours later and no pulls we decide to turn to the dark side and go chunking. First drift produces nothing but the next several are good adding one yellowfin to the box and two more “overs” get released to fight another day.

07/05/16 Today was to be a 18 hour trip but early morning winds and a nasty offshore forecast caused a big change of plans. We threw the lines at 8 am and ran north toward the flounder grounds for a half day of flounder action followed by some nearshore trolling for a bluefin. The flounder bite was red hot but way too many fish (over 25) that measured 15½ to 15¾. The bluefin side of the trip was basically non productive with only one big blow-up on the spreader bar that didn’t come tight and a crazy spinner shark that decided to eat a tuna bait. Back in the slip with 11 flounder in the box.

07/04/16 Ran 35 miles north with crew of five from WV looking for some bluefin. Worked a big hill all morning with several other boats all looking for a bite but not many finding one. With memories of the July 1st trip fresh in my mind I make an 8 mile run south to a little edge desperately needing a bite. Fifteen minutes later we put a 30 lb. yellowfin in the box. A little while later our spreader bar get crushed and we add a 40 lb. bluefin to the box. With 20 minutes left in the day my way back gets slammed and and after dealing with a totally crazed bluefin we add this 55-60 lb. fish to the box.

07/03/16 Our for a day of flounder fishing with a family of five. The bite was good but the learing curve to snag these flounder was a tough hill to climb for these folks. Back in the slip with a couple flatties and a few sea bass too.

07/01/16 Oh how this hurts! Headed east today with a crew of four from PA looking for some bluefin. Arrived at the first spot at 5:30 am and counted 42 boats already there. Set the spread and started looking for some marks on my sounder. After two hours of nothing and only seeing one other boat doing battle I decided to make a 7 mile move. Worked that area with about 25 other boats for the next several hours without a pull. Sometime around noon we had a glimmer of hope when I looked over and noticed outboard boat tight to a fish. He was immediately surrounded by hungry boats but after thirty minutes of pounding the area our hope, and many others, faded away. Not being able to take the misery any longer I offered the guys a 10 hour deal which they accepted and we headed for the barn with perfectly clean ice.

06/29/16 Left super early today with Steve Kauffman and his crew from Honeybook, PA for our first 18 hour trip of the season. Arrived at the bluefin grounds and set the spread in the dark. First bite takes less than five minutes and we put our first under in the box. Next pass adds another under to the box. 45 minutes later the long rigger take off and these guys find out just how hard these overs can pull. After a good fight we add him to the box. By now the area is covered with boats and the fish I’ve been marking at 50′ are now tight to the bottom. After releasing a 42′ Ocean I decide to troll to a different area about 3 miles away. As soon as we arrive our bar gets crushed and we put our final bluefin in the box. With our limit of bluefin I make a 35 mile run to the deep. The first hour produces one 40 lb. yellowfin, two throw back yellowfins and one gaffer mahi. The next couple hours are slow with only two throw back yellowfin and two more three more mahi. Sometime around 3:30 the boats left and the fish got real active. The next hour and a half is great. Every pass multiple rods go down. Sometimes they’re all throw backs and sometimes a 40-50 pounder too. By 5:00 we’ve released at least 15 and added four more YF to the box. Back in the slip two hours early allowing these guys extra time for fish cleaning and the 3 hour drive home. Fill in anglers pictured out of respect for our Amish friends.

06/28/16 Another day of bluefin action with a family of four. The weather was dreary but the fishing was good and these guys found out just how hard these bluefin can pull. By days in we’ve caught 5 “overs”, 2 “unders” and a nice gaffer mahi.

06/27/16 Out with a crew of young bucks looking for our first bluefin of the year. Morning was dead so I decided to make a 9 mile move to a different hill. After about 45 minutes our flat line get crushed and this angry fish dumps over half a spool in a heart beat. 15 minutes later TD sinks the gaff in a 70 lb. “over” bluefin. Worked that area for the next hour but only had two big explosions and both missed the hook. Made another 5 mile run to yet another bluefin hideout. The next couple hours are very good but all four fish are too big 49″+ and we need fish under 47″.

06/26/16 Congrats to Steve D! First no show, and hopefully only, of the season.

FYI  I just had two dates open up in July the 27th and 28th if anyone is looking.

06/23/16 thru 06/25/16 Cancelled due to offshore forecast that was correct two of the three days. Friday, however, was very nice, but the charter for that day was convinced it was going to be rough and I didn’t feel like arguing about it.

06/22/16 Another change of plans forced by big seas found us doing a 5 hour nearshore shark trip with a mother and son team. The action was outstanding on atlantic sharp nose & spinner sharks. Even with a slightly early return I’m sure we released at least 20 and put two of the tasty sharp nose sharks in the box for an appointment with a BBQ grill.

06/21/16 A change of plans forced by heavy seas found use playing hide and seek with some nasty morning storms before turning our full attention to some nearshore trolling. The bite was scattered but we did manage to get everyone in on the mixed action with big chopper bluefish and some turkeys.

06/20/16 Another big run, even farther than yesterday. Thing started off good with a fat yellowfin in the box less than 15 minutes after the first bait hit the water. Now these fish have been have been shutting down every morning at some point and today that point seemed to be right after we landed that first fish. Trolled around the rest of the morning like everyone else counting the minutes until the afternoon bite turns on which happened to be around 1:00 today. Made a turn on some skipjacks and six lines go down but all but one turned out to be undersized yellowfin, the other fish was a mahi which was added to our lonely yellowfin in the box. A couple minutes later and my bridge rod takes off 1000 mph then goes slack, our first wahoo bite off of the season. Our final bite had a big yellowfin explode on a cedar plug the mate was jigging. Unfortunately, the angler couldn’t keep the line tight and with too much slack the fish shook the hook.

06/19/16 Made a big run past the Baltimore looking for a temperature break that might be holding some tuna. The morning was slow with only two skipjack bites prior to finding the 4 degree break. Thirty minutes later seven out of eight rods go down with studly yellowfins. After a cluster of epic proportions we somehow manage to get all seven in the box. Thank Heaven for that bite, the rest of the day, nada.

06/17/16 This offshore shark trip was trimmed back to a five hour coastal trip due to strong northeast winds and big seas. Set up five miles from the inlet and let the chum do its thing in building conditions. First bite took about 45 minutes. After that we had fairly steady action on sharpnose sharks. By the end of the trip we had released seven and had a couple other bites that didn’t come tight.

06/16/16 A super early leave today in hopes of beating the afternoon wind and t-storms. Headed east with a crew from PA looking for a limit of tilefish. The bite was outstanding yielding a mix of blueline and goldens. In a little over two hours the guys hit the limit of 35 so we decided to add a couple rosefish to the box before heading back in. Offered some tuna fishing but Randy decided against that since he tweaked his back earlier in the week.

06/15/16 Headed toward the washington today with a crew of four, no three, since one guy jumped ship at the last minute. Spent most of the day playing with blueline tiles and jumbo sea bass. Threw out a trolling spread for about an hour and managed to box three skipjacks and one 40 lb. yellowfin.

06/14/16 Ran south today with world famous chef Nader Gebrin of Huntington Long Island and two of his best friends Geno & Tony. In our sights for today were golden tilefish and nothing else. Arrived at the spot to find horrible conditions. Man did NOAA blow this forecast! Drifting at nearly 2.5 knots required the guys to use 4 lbs of lead and even then we had a terrible time keeping the baits on the bottom. Conditions never improved but we managed to pick away at the fish and by the  days end we had 14 in the box. The heart brake of the day was when a shark ate Nader’s huge golden only feet away from the boat.

06/11/16 Today’s 8 hour combo trip got off to a lousy start when the guys hit a table that some idiot threw in the middle of the street in OC doing enough damage that a tow truck was needed. Arrived at the “turkey woods” a little late but that really didn’t matter. The action was constant on these jumbo size false albacore, aka: turkeys or fat alberts. After two hours of constant cranking, plus a late night at Secrets Bar, had one angler down for the count and one fading quickly. Made a seven mile run to the sea bass grounds and spent the remaining time pounding on mostly throwback size sea bass as well as a couple flounder with our one remaining angler. Back in the slip with around a dozen sea bass and two flounder.

06/06/16 thru 06/10/16 A week of sea bass research and tagging with a couple different crews from local colleges. Afternoon nearshore shark trip on 06/09/16 produced good action on 3 to 4 ft. sharks.

06/05/16 Made a big run south with a pair of anglers from PA in hopes of finding some tuna. As the second line is run up the rigger the first line take off and 5 minutes later we have our first yellowfin in the box. Our next encounter only takes a few minutes when a a couple rods go down and two more fish make the box. Next bite is a single and that fish makes the cut too. About an hour later we get a double of smaller fish, both must be released. Move into some warmer water and immediately get whacked by some nice mahi. Spent the last two hours picking way at those very tasty beautiful fish. By days end Ryan & Emily have 4 yellowfin and 11 mahi in the box.

06/04/16 Headed east with the bozy from Hegins, PA looking to fill the box with some tasty tilefish. Morning bite was slow by tilefish standards but the fish turned on by late morning and by the day ended we had our limit, plus a couple, of a mixed bag of golden & blueline tiles and one small snowy grouper. Back in the slip with a happy crew especially the guy with the 18 lb. blueline.

06/03/16 Out with a pair of TX anglers for a day of tuna & tilefish action. After a nearly sixty mile run the baits hit the water. Fifteen minutes later three rods go down and Trent get to battle his first tuna. Two of the three yellowfin make the box. About thirty after that we get a double bite and one fish makes the cut. The next two hours is slow with only one bite that didn’t come tight. Turned our attention to some deep dropping and the guys were rewarded with some blueline tiles and sea bass. The pair called the day early due to a super late night thanks to a airport delay.

05/29/16 Ran north for a day of tilefish action with Nasir and his friends. The morning bite was steady but the line tangles were epic. The drift increased and the bite slowed during the late morning. After trying a couple different honey holes I finally found a good shot of nicer fish. Ended the day with singles and doubles of above average bluelines. Back in the slip with 41 tiles (1 under our limit), a couple Rosefish and one Swallowtail Bass.

05/28/16 First tuna trip of the season found me running 75 miles south with a crew of three from the Philly area. Thirty minutes after lines in four rods go down with blt (barely legal tuna) Yellowfins, one makes the box. An hour later and nothing else I decide to run a couple miles to where Capt. Jeremy has had steady action all morning. About 40 minutes later two rods go down, one fish makes the box and. A couple more passes and nothing so I push a little north and WHAM, six rod go down and theses are better size fish. What follows is twenty minutes of chaos. Lines crossed, everyone fishing a tuna including Dave and I and one fish running free since everyone on board already had a rod. We somehow manage to land four of them and the exhausted crew tell me they’ve had enough so at 11:15 we’re done. One of my long rigger baits didn’t get touched during this melee but as I start to reel it in a big eye explodes on the bait and proceeds to dump half a spool of line. The exhausted anglers only last a few minutes on the rod before its turned over to Dave and I. With less than 100 feet to go the leader gives up. Back in the slip with two blt’s and four 35-40 pounders.

05/20/16 Out with a great group of guys looking for some sea bass and tilefish. First stop, which has been great over the past years, was terrible. Made a 16 mile move to a little wreck and immediately starting pounding some of the nicest sea bass you could ask for these days. After a couple hours the bite slowed so we moved a couple miles looking for the final 23 fish to reach our magic number. Fished hard around all the fish traps some joker had littered all over this wreck but did manage to reach our limit. Back in the slip with 75 sea bass, 10 smallish tilefish, one tog and one lingcod.

05/14/16 Four guys from Coatesville, PA decide to give our tog fishing a go. The bite was outstanding and the average size was a little better than average with several fish pushing the 5 lb mark and three over 8. These guys hit their limit by 9:30 and after they added a couple extra to the box for the captains family they decided to head back and enjoy the rest of the day nosing around Ocean City.

05/13/16 Same crew as yesterday, less one. Same target species as yesterday too. Bite started off much slower than yesterday but did manage to pick up around mid-morning. Many more “shorts” than yesterday but we managed to snag a keeper her and there. Ended the trip two hours early allowing the guys to throw up some house wrap before the afternoon storms fire up. In the slip with 13 in the box.

05/12/16 Out with a crew from Baltimore for a day of tog fishing. The bite was red hot during the morning and these tog newbies managed to load the cooler with some very respectable fish. The bite slowed sometime around 11 and completely shut down by just after noon. Back in the 4 post hot spot (aka:slip) with 19 in the box the largest going 8.5 lbs.

05/06/16 & 05/07/16 Braved some pretty sporty conditions with a crew of biologists for more black sea bass research. The action was very good, despite the conditions. Actually it was so good they ran out of bait (I was not permitted to provide any bait) ¾ of the way through the second day.

05/01/16 & 05/03/16 Rescheduled to later date due to wind & rain.

04/30/16 Spent a few hours this morning at the south jetty with a crew from WV who weren’t gonna let 20 knot winds and 5-6′ seas spoil their day. Tog fishing in those rocks can be tough on a calm day not to mention these conditions but the guys held their own and even managed to put a couple keepers in the box.

04/23/16 Our season began today with a preseason black sea bass study trip with a crew of marine biologists from nearby states. The bite was very good with most fish being released after data was recorded. Some of the fish were headed back to the labs for more testing. The crew also caught big numbers of the largest cunner I’ve ever seen as well as a 23″ cod which they took for the dinner table.