We had an overnight trip on the Boss Lady and had a great group of guys with us for the trip. Everyone was stoked to get out there and have some fun in the deep. It was fairly windy and choppy, but fishable. We got out to the East Notch of the WIlmington Canyon in 75 degree green water with plenty of pilot whales around. We were hooked into a bigeye at 5:30. It ate a green machine spreader bar on the short shotgun. After taking a few turns on the rod, Scott was on the fish to finish it off. Everyone put good pressure on the fish and we saw color once, then it dove again. Two and a half hours into the fight, the fish was playing its game of give and take and the main line parted. Major disappointment!
With that, the sun had already set so we setup on the chunk. We were targeting tuna, swords, and makos, really anything that wanted to eat. We wound up making a move once to start another drift up through the tip of the canyon, but we had no marks, no bait, and it was a long night with no action. We got up on the troll around 5:45 am and trolled until with no action except from a small dolphin. The winds were hard out of the NE and it was time to pack it up and run back to Townsend’s Inlet.
I ran the Trade In today and we were on a search and destroy mission. With the extremely tough fishing the past two weeks, we knew we were going to have to work hard to find our fish. We planned on starting out int he deep, but choppy seas made us stop well short of our desired destination and were were trolling in the dark at Lemkes starting at 4:45. Once we had grey light we could see the slicks and birds were there, and we ended up getting a double header on decent sized gaffer dolphin. We pounded the area hard until 11 am without a bite, and two other boats in the area weren’t getting bit either. The seas calmed down a bit, so we decided to sprint to the deep.
We made it out to the deep of the Spencer Canyon by 12:30 and it didn’t take long to get our first white marlin. Mo brought that one to the boat beautifully and we got the hook out and released the white. We ended up having a blue marlin try and eat our dredge and then fade and picked up another white while we were there. At 4:30 we packed it in so we could make it home by dark. The water temperature went up as we hit 500 fathoms and the pretty blue water was at 900 fathoms with water temp at 77.5. We had a lot of scattered weed, a small weed line, flying fish everywhere, and were marking bait here and there. I was surprised we didn’t get more bites, but we just didn’t have much time to work the area. All in all, fun day, but a long one for sure.
I mated on the Boss Lady on Wednesday and we started off running towards the Lindy. We were greeted with very ugly green water that was 73.5 degrees. We paddled out to the 500 line and up to the Carteret. The water was a little nicer in 500 fathoms but not great. From the 100 line of the Carteret we walked back down to the Lindy. We managed to pick up a pair of dolphin. The day was coming to a close so we decided to run inside to Lemke’s Canyon where there have been rumors of a tuna bite. We had an hour to work it and had lots of slicks, chick birds, and were marking some sand eels on the bottom. All of the sudden the left long rigger pops out of the clip. It was a black/purple sea witch with a wire tracer and it was screaming so I was thinking wahoo, but the fish dug in deep during the fight so we knew it was a tuna, and we saved the day by getting lucky inside and boated a nice 60# yellowfin tuna.
Today we ran out on the Boss Lady to an inshore area that has had a pretty exceptional tuna bite. We made our way out at 18 knots in the short period swell that was in our face, but made it just by sunrise. We had lines in and were trolling in 75 degree fairly blended blue water. Bill worked the area hard all day, and we had some tuna marks and sand eels, but no bites. At the end of the day we decided to try to jig up the tunas but no luck there either. We did manage to see a free jumping blue marlin which was unusual for being so far inshore, but there are no fences out there. All in all, very frustrating day without a single knock down. The weather was fairly nice all day other than the 15 knot West wind that came up middle of the day.
So today I ran the ‘Fin Addict’ and my plan was to aim between the Spencer and Wilmington, but we had a stiff chop directly in our face, so I had to change the angle to the SW Corner of the Wilmington. After plenty of salt spray, and little scare int eh engine room with the oil cap popping off and discharging a little oil, we made it out to the Wilmington and started fishing in the beautiful 75 degree blue water. Seemed like we lucked out when we were 1/2 in the first 30 minutes and a friend of mine caught a blue marlin right next to me. After another hour after our second bite we had a medium sized wahoo come after my chaser bait on the teaser. It kept coming back even when Spencer had a plug in his face it wouldn’t switch off. Bummer. The rest of the day was spent pounding around in the chop trying to find something to work, but no luck. Tough day, and it sounded like a tough one for most as well.
So I can’t tell if I fished two days (Sunday and Monday) or if I had an extreme case of deja vu…. I captained the 54′ Ocean Yacht ‘Fin Addict’ on Sunday and with the lack of reports and absolutely no satellite shots the past few days, we kept it simple and headed for the Wilmington Canyon. The Pilot whales were all over the center of the canyon, but I wasn’t getting any marks on the sounder and nobody had much action. I worked the whole east wall, pushed out to 500 fathoms and worked back into the west wall with nothing to show for it. We decided to take a break and deep drop for some tilefish and we wound up catching 8 decent golden tilefish then got back on the troll. I was pushing back inside where we found a small school of dolphin and put 5 of those in the box, then we picked up and headed for home. On the way in, right on the Indian Arrow Wreck on the 30 fathom line we saw hundreds of chick birds picking, hundreds of dolphins everywhere and about 20-30 finback whales. We had to stop and see what we could find. We only had 20 minutes and I marked wads of bait and sand eels but no fish.
Monday I mated on the ‘Boss Lady’ and we basically did everything I did Sunday but in reverse order. We checked out the Indian Arrow first thing and worked it for about 2 hours and we had nothing. We found a ball on the way out and picked 4 mahi off of it, then worked the canyon all day without a single bite. We ended the day deep dropping for tilefish and caught a few of those, and that was about it…
So we ran right out to the Lindy where the Bigeye bite has been pretty consistent. I was on the Trade In and we were ready to do battle. We were trolling by 5 am and the whales where scattered unlike the past two mornings. There were 5 boats working the canyon hard and fishing was slowwwww. We had one round if skipjack bites and that was it. A friend on mine ended up getting covered up with bigeyes at 10:30 am and was in 3 for a couple hours. They ended up boating 1/3. None of us could get a bite all day. Around 1:30 pm we finally got an amazing bite from a huge blue marlin. It was every bit of 600+ and it ended up pulling off. Such a disappointment. I want that one back!!! The water was down a degree but the whales did get tight in the middle of the canyon around the time my friend hooked up. Not sure if they just didn’t come up or what, curious to see what happens in the next few days.
Had another trip to the canyon with Bill May on the Boss Lady. We went right back where we were yesterday and it was game on with bigeyes, but not for us. We pounded it out hard in the whales all morning and finally got our bigeye bite on an 8 ounce blue/white Joe Shute on the shotgun. This fish peeled line even after we cleared everything and got into reverse. After 15 minutes the main line parted for no apparent reason. All that tension doesn’t take much for the line to pop if something touches it, and with a the whales and bait in the water I am assuming something hit it. Anyway we got back on the troll and got 4 nice yellowfin just inside the canyon wall. It was nice to see some 40 pound class yellowfin for once. The yellowfins were loving the green machine daisy chains in tight and they tuna’s bellies were full of 6″ squid. Headed out on Trade In right now. Report coming soon.
I mated on the Boss Lady again today and we made an early start for the canyon. The ride was pretty wet this morning with a close chop at 5 feet. We had lines in around 6:30 am in 76 degree blue-green water with whales everywhere. It didn’t take long for a bigeye to crash out 3 oz blue/white Joe Shute. Game on. We had two TLD 50s break on us during the fight, and I had to strip a reel as fast as I could, cut the line with the fish on it, and tie it to the new rod and reel setup. After all of thay and the guys battling it out for an hour and a half, we sunk the gaff into the estimated 170 pound bigeye and it was all smiles!
We got back on the troll and managed to catch a few smaller but legal sized yellowfin tuna and that was the day. Fun trip and plenty of meat in the box.
The day I went to the trunk on the boss Lady we ended up with nothing except two wahoo bite offs in the Tea Cup area. We went out on Saturday to the Hot Dog and chunked up an estimated 80 pound yellowfin, a 75 pound bluefin tuna, and a 10 pound dolphin. Slim pickins but we got a couple. The yellowfin was awesome! Nice to see one that size. We are headed to the canyon again tomorrow on the Boss Lady which I will be mating again.