Yes, September and October are the months in which your chances of hooking into a large tuna are greatly improved. It seems that the tuna sense the photoperiodism (changing of the amount of light in the day) much the same as the animals on land do. The bear and squirrels eat more and put away food for the winter ahead. Deer start rutting behavior. The tuna start eating more readily and for longer periods in the day to put on the fat reserves for migrating long distances. These fat reserves are why the bluefin tuna are so highly prized by the Japanese for sushi. There are many criteria for grading sushi quality besides the fat content of the flesh, but it is one of the more important qualities the buyers look for.
These fish feed on sand eels, bluefish, squid and herring primarily, but will also eat silver hake or whiting, cod and other groundfish. We target the bluefin with many methods depending upon the time of the year. The smaller and occasional medium to large medium fish can be readily caught by trolling squid rigs on the surface. Yes the daisy chain also works, but in the 60's daisy chains were all we used. We also used heavy brown wire for a leader too ! Now we are a little more cautious in our bait presentation methods, hiding the hooks and using flourocarbon leaders etc. The larger bluefin seems to be pretty hip to the squid rigs for the most part, although they do occasionally get caught this way. They are more frequently caught by drifting baits under a chum line or by using a live rigged bluefish. The smaller fish are found in a wider area than the giants as well and can be caught without travelling great distances.
If you think you want to try some fishing for the Bluefin tuna, try to decide what size you want to catch as well as the amount of dough you want to lay out for the experience. A 7 hour trolling trip will cost you $800 and we will stay relatively close to Chatham, say to the Crab Ledge area. A slightly longer 10 hour trolling trip to the Regal Sword wreck area will set you back $1000. Then there are the trips to the BB bouy area where most of the giant tuna are caught in October. These trips are using either live bait with bluefish or drifting with chum and will set you back $1500 for the day and we will fish from 4 AM till you cant take any more or 12 hours or so. ( Bring a big lunch !! )
The weather in October can be rapidly changing and your trip could easily be postponed, rescheduled or cancelled altogether due to the conditions and forecast. The BB bouy is some 37 miles from Chatham and the sea conditions out there are much like a washing machine. It may be 5 or 10 miles of wind inshore, but out there it is 15 most all the time and the sea state will reflect that. You may get wet and cold, so dress accordingly and bring a change of clothes. If your mind is right and you prepare yourself, you may come home with a 500 to 800 pound giant tuna at the end of the day.
Call me at 508 255-0911 to book a tuna charter.
Thank very much,
Bruce & "Marilyn S"