Yes the rumors you have been hearing are true. There is (or was) a giant bluefin bite going on to the east of Chatham. The fish that were being caught were all over 600 pounds and on average were over 700 pounds each. I caught the biggest fish of my life last Wednesday, a giant bluefin weighing 1082 pounds, and measuring 122 inches long. That is 10 feet ! It is truly amazing that a fish that large swims in our waters !
It started with some of the groundfish gillnetters noticing some large bluefin were feeding on the entrails and “scaler” cod that were thrown in the water as they did their work. A scaler cod is one that is so messed up, that it isn’t saleable, so it is thrown back. Soon there were feeding frenzies of huge fish 10 feet off the sterns of some of these boats that were actually soaking crewmen with the slashes and spray of seawater as they were feeding. As these fishermen remarked to each other on the phenomenon on the radio, the word eventually got out.
On Saturday, my friend Kurt, a lobsterman, and hunting partner, called me on the cell and filled me in. I pretty reluctantly (it is hunting season after all) went down to the pier and got the boat ready to go try on Sunday. I figured why not, since Sunday was a no-hunting day and I might as well try. The fat, round 675-pound fish that we caught on that Sunday returned one of the highest prices of any of the 70 odd fish that were landed that week ! Being that my crew “JD” had to go to school on Monday, I did not fish. Because of the weather report, I didn’t fish Tuesday either. That was a BIG MISTAKE ! The boats that did fish on those days, all had multiple fish hookups. But Wednesday, I did get out and we had the “grander” and Thursday we had two nice fish too, one around 700 and the other at 800 pounds. I managed to do as well or better than many out there last week. At one point there was a fleet of 60 or more boats there. There were boats from Green Harbor, NY, NJ, Maine and Boston as well as the usual fleet from Chatham and Harwich. Some had an idea of what was working and others had no clue. One guy was set up150 feet away from me, with his engine running and the music loudly playing, as his life jacketed teen son was halfheartedly chumming on the back deck. After 10 minutes of that I told my crew to reel in so we could move. Less than 15 minutes later we were set up safely away from the “gang” and were fishing again. Then we hooked up to the first one of two nice bluefin that day. Sometimes finesse is best. Yesterday, the boats had no hookups. Perhaps the “November Surprise” is over.
I am thrilled with the bonus the fish gods have sent our way and I am thankful that I was able to share in it. I have put the boat away in the slip at the marina in East Orleans for the time being and tomorrow I am headed to Kansas for a date with a big whitetail. I haven’t been to Jake’s in 3 years, so I am looking forward to it. If you can wait till I get back to update the website, I will post a picture of the 1000 pound beast on the home page. If you are interested in trying a charter for a fish of this caliber, get your crew together and start talking about budgeting a trip for mid October to November of next year. Once you have organized your group and have a commitment, we need to talk about tides and wind cancellations or rescheduling etc. When you are ready, shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org or call at 508-255-0911 and we will reserve you a date with a giant.
Thanks and Good Fishing to you all,
Bruce & the “Marilyn S”