I was attending to some pre-season adjustments on the outrigger lines and setting drags on the Marilyn S the other day, when I heard a whistle. I looked up and a good friend, and fellow fisherman called over to me, saying “I got some numbers for you” I grabbed a pen and paper and came over to where they were unloading their catch. As I jotted down the coordinates, he told me of the tuna fish they had seen and of the other reports from spotter planes and other fisherman.
Saturday, June 1st, was my first bluefin charter of the year, and at 4 am we left the dock at the Chatham Municipal Fish Pier to head to the numbers I had written down. He had seen a large pod of bluefin in the 80” size class, pushing on the surface there that day and had heard reports that spotter planes had seen other numerous fish in the area. I planned on looking for fish, bait and birds etc., on the way, as with no other boats fishing it is hard to have a plan of action. Once outside the harbor I shifted my fish finder into “hunter/gatherer” mode and started out. To my dismay, I found we were in 48 degree water ! That is damned frigid, so I continued, hoping for a temperature break somewhere along the way. I saw NO bait, NO whales and NO birds ! Eventually I found a break, but it wasn’t as much as I was hoping for. It went from 48 to 50.5, so I continued on to the numbers. Once there, with no changes in life or conditions, I now was contemplating heading all the way back up towards Wellfleet to try the warmer water finger that is close to the beach there, when I got a call on the radio. A day scallop boat alerted me to some whales and birds about 6 miles away, so we “hooked it up” and ran to where they were. Sure enough, we had whales bubble feeding, birds and clouds of bait on the screen of the fish finder. Optimum conditions, except for the 51 degree cold water.
The first bite, was an hour and a half into the fishing on the black splash bar. That fish broke the 10/0 stainless forged hook on the bite. We re-rigged the stinger and set back out and then a fish grabbed the green and brown bar, but not the squid with the hook in it ! Strike two ! Two hours later, as hope was dwindling, the green and orange mackerel bar, was hit and we were onto a decent sized bluefin. About a half hour later we harpooned a 72” fish and slid him into the tuna door for the celebration and pictures (on Facebook). His belly was full of large sand eels, and the bait clouds I had seen in the area where we were fishing is a great sign of things to come.
The bluefin tuna are back in Cape Cod waters and these fish are 200 pounds or better this year. If you are up for the move up from striped bass to bluefin tuna, give us a call @ 508 237-0399 or an email @ email@example.com, and we shall reserve a day for you and your group.
Thanks and Good Fishing to you,
Bruce & “Marilyn S”