A few of you have sent emails in the last month asking about a lack of fish report or news about the last of the year’s fishing. By the 1st of September, I came to realize that the school and medium bluefin tuna that we have targeted for years were not in the usual abundance east of Chatham. They were up north of P town and on Stellwagon, where the bait was concentrated, and in Cape Cod Bay, but the best we could do here off Chatham was one or two fish per trip, if that. The catching was usually at first light or on the morning slack, so I began to suggest to a few of my fall tuna charters we might be best doing the combo trip, and try for a tuna in the morning, but move onto catching some stripers in the latter half of the trip. One can expect that trend to continue as long as mid water herring trawlers are allowed to over-harvest the bait resource as they have been doing. However, the stripers were in good abundance till they moved out of the area and we did keep my customers on good striped bass fishing right to the end.
As the reservations phone stopped ringing, I began to focus of going for giant tuna, the 300 to 900 pound versions of the bluefin and headed way offshore to Georges Bank. This was one of my best years, and we landed over a dozen of these noble fish to sell in the domestic and Japanese sushi markets. Many of you may think that the Atlantic Bluefin Tuna is “endangered” or “threatened”. You may be happy to know that due to the efforts of private sponsored science, the whole methodology of tuna stock assessment, is under review and as a result we are having better conservation efforts. That said, the European countries have drastically over-harvested their quotas for many years, while the US fishers have been sacrificing and staying under suggested harvest guidelines. Unfortunately, our government continues to discredit the conservative efforts of the past 20 plus years by ONLY US fishermen, and suggests “further cuts for both eastern and western (US) ABT quotas.” For more understanding on the status of Northern Atlantic Bluefin Tuna, see the letter from Rich Ruais, Executive Director of the Atlantic Bluefin Tuna Association to the US ICCAT commissioners, regarding ICCAT Standing Committee on Research and Statistics. http://www.theabta.com/ABTAcommentICCAT.pdf
This year I mounted a custom made camera arm onto the cabin bulkhead of the boat, so that I could video my charters and fishing trips. Many of these videos are posted onto my Facebook page http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=620923609. “Friend” me on Facebook to see videos of hooking and landing Giant tuna, striped bass and school bluefin charter fishing, great white sharks, bowhunting, and more. I am looking into a video feed for the www.sportfishingcapecod.com website as well.
Thanks very much, and good fishing to you,
Bruce & “Marilyn S”