Contact Capeshores Charters
Capeshores fishing charter photo gallery
Capeshores Video Gallery
About the fish & the fishing grounds
Capeshores Charters boat & the captain
Capeshores Links
Capeshores Rates & Reservations
Email the captain
How to find Capeshores charters
Capeshores charters Mailing List
Sportfishing on Cape Cod with Capeshores charters

Find Capeshores Charters on Facebook

Read our Reviews on TripAdvisor Contact Capeshores Charters

Capeshores Charters Fishing Reports

Catch Your Own Wicked Tuna !

Thursday February 28, 2013 2:03 PM
July 2021
 · Bluefin Tuna

June 2021
 · 2021 Bluefin Tuna Bag Limits

May 2021
 · Bluefin Tuna 2021
 · CDC lifting Covid Restrictions

April 2021
 · Tide extremes IN EACH MONTH
 · Charter Rate changes for 2021
 · April 2021 report

January 2021
 · Jan/Feb 2021 Fish Report

October 2020
 · October Bluefin Activity

August 2020
 · Current open dates for Bluefin Tuna fishing
 · Bluefin Fishing is off the Charts !

July 2020
 · FOG ! and TUNA

June 2020
 · Stripers have shown up !

May 2020
 · Open for Fishing Charters !!!!
 · May Corona Report

March 2020
 · Regulation Changes ???

January 2020
 · Capeshores Charters 2020 - tides list

December 2019
 · Merry Christmas & Happy Holidays

October 2019
 · Herring Protection Comments Needed Now !
 · October is Tuna Time

August 2019
 · August Report

July 2019
 · Stripers or Bluefin ???

June 2019
 · July Fishing
 · June Fishing Report - Capeshores Charters

May 2019
 · May Fishing Report

April 2019
 · 2019 Capeshores Charters Fishing

March 2019
 · Mid March fish report

January 2019
 · 2019 Tides
 · Thank You !

November 2018
 · Prepaid Fishing discounted for Christmas !

October 2018
 · October Bluefin

August 2018
 · Late August Tuna & Bass
 · Early August Bluefin & Stripers

July 2018
 · Bass & Tuna report

May 2018
 · Lots of Fish Around !
 · Wicked Tuna = Fake News !

April 2018
 · Herring

March 2018
 · Spring Returns
 · Multi day fishing w lodging

February 2018
 · 2018 TIDES
 · February Fish report
 · Feb report

December 2017
 · Thank you & Merry Christmas !

September 2017
 · A Cancelation Provides New Open Dates
 · September Bluefin Tuna

August 2017
 · August Fishing on Cape Cod
 · Reservations or Reluctant Disappointment ?

July 2017
 · Bluefin Tuna Fishing NOW !
 · Capeshores Charters Blackened Fish Recipe

June 2017
 · 6/26/17 Tuna Arrive
 · Mid June Report

May 2017
 · The 2017 Season Begins
 · Strpers & Bluefin May Report
 · May 2, Fish report

March 2017
 · Ides of March - Tides & Reviews

February 2017
 · Herring Committee Meeting Update
 · Important Meeting HERRING COMMITTEE 2/7/2017

January 2017
 · 2017 Tides

December 2016
 · Thank YOU !
 · Holiday Gift of a Charter ?

September 2016
 · Happy Labor Day !

August 2016
 · Mid August Fishing Report

July 2016
 · ORCA !

May 2016
 · Squid Bars Make Noise
 · Cape Cod Fishing

March 2016
 · Reserving In Advance Is Wise
 · Choosing a Fishing Charter

February 2016
 · 2016 Tides

December 2015
 · December 13 Report

September 2015
 · September 1 Bass & Tuna Report

August 2015
 · August 4 Report

July 2015
 · July 18 Chatham Fishing Report
 · Squid Bars Make Noise

June 2015
 · June bluefin & Striped Bass
 · June Bluefin & Striped Bass

May 2015
 · May 2015 - first report

April 2015
 · Aquatic Awakenings

March 2015
 · 2015 Tide Predictions

January 2015
 · St. Valentine's day Promotion
 · January Blizzard Report

December 2014
 · Good News for Bluefin Tuna Stocks
 · Gift a Discounted Fishing Trip ?
 · Bluefin Tuna news

September 2014
 · September Fishing on Cape Cod

August 2014
 · August Bluefin Tuna Action
 · Monomoy Bass - Chatham Bluefin

July 2014
 · Mid July Chatham Fishing
 · Boyhood Initiations

June 2014
 · June Bluefin & Striped Bass

May 2014
 · 2014 Bluefin Tuna Report

April 2014
 · Chatham Bluefin Tuna
 · Bucket List Bluefin

March 2014
 · Hearty Fish Chowder recipe
 · Bluefin Tuna Charters

February 2014
 · A New "Wicked Tuna" season ?
 · February Bass Meeting

January 2014
 · 2014 Tide Predictions
 · January Fishing Blues
 · Do You Want to Save Bluefin Tuna Quota ??

December 2013
 · Merry Christmas & Thank YOU !
 · Christmas Gift Certificate Sale

August 2013
 · September Bluefin - "I'M TIGHT!"
 · Mid August

July 2013
 · Red Hot !!!
 · July 4th Fishing @ Chatham

June 2013
 · June Bluefin & Striped Bass
 · Bluefin Tuna at Chatham

May 2013
 · Blackened Striped Bass Recipe
 · Macks, Squid, Bass & Tuna
 · Cape Cod Stripers & Tuna

April 2013
 · Cape Cod's "Engine's of Life"

March 2013
 · Make A Better Charter - Follow Up
 · How Do I Make a Better Charter ?

February 2013
 · Catch Your Own Wicked Tuna !
 · Choosing a Charter

January 2013
 · 2013 Best Tide Extremes

December 2012
 · POSITIVE Results form the Latest Bluefin Stock Reports !
 · Merry Christmas, everybody !!
 · Christmas Fishing Gift Certificates - 10% off

October 2012
 · October Tuna

September 2012
 · Best Tuna Bite of the Year !

August 2012
 · 8/30 Bass & Tuna Report
 · Chatham Bluefin & Stripers
 · Open dates

July 2012
 · July End Fish Report @ Chatham
 · Squid for Stripers @ Bearse's

June 2012
 · Topwater Stripers @ Bearses Shoals !
 · Chatham Bluefin Tuna
 · First Bluefin of the Season
 · BluefinTuna @ Chatham

May 2012
 · Striped Bass are Everywhere !
 · Early May Cape Cod Fishing Report

April 2012
 · Wickedly Awesome Tuna !
 · 2012 Charter Rate Change

March 2012
 · 2012 Striper & Bluefin Tides
 ·  email to MA committee re bass bill proposals.
 · Striped Bass in Massachusetts

December 2011
 · Merry Christmas !

October 2011
 · October IS Bluefin Tuna Time !

September 2011
 · Sept. & Oct. = BLUEFIN TUNA !

August 2011
 · Chatham Striped Bass & Tuna Report

July 2011
 · Chatham Bass with the TUNA !
 · Exploding with Striped Bass

June 2011
 · How To Take Your Kid Fishing for $5 !!!
 · Chatham Bluefin Tuna
 · Chatham Bluefin Tuna for DAD ?

May 2011
 · NMFS says Bluefin Tuna NOT endangered !
 · Cape Cod Stripers & Tuna

April 2011
 · ABTA letter explaining latest NMFS proposal to ABFT regs
 · Cape Cod Fishing

March 2011

January 2011
 · Recreational license, tuna & bass news
 · Endangered Bluefin Tuna ?

December 2010
 · Give Summer Fishing Fun for Christmas !
 · Best Giant Tuna Fishing ever !

September 2010
 · September Tuna & Bass

August 2010
 · Chatham MA Striped Bass
 · Striped Bass BITE !

July 2010
 · Bass Limits - 2 hours
 · Striped Bass off Chatham
 · Bass Fishing in the Rips
 · Bass, Blues & Tuna on top
 · July 4 TH Doldrums

June 2010
 · Lots of Bass !
 · Cape Cod Fishing
 · Chatham Bass with the TUNA !
 · Bluefin Tuna Abundance !
 · Opening Day Bluefin Tuna Landed !

May 2010
 · Memorial Day Bass & Tuna
 · Cape Cod Striped Bass
 · Tides for Bass & Tuna

March 2010
 · Locust Trees Catch Tuna ? - Part II
 · Locust Trees Catch Tuna ? - Part I
 · Massachusetts Striper Fishing Bill

February 2010
 · Striper & Tuna Tides

January 2010
 · Striped Bass in Massachusetts

December 2009
 · Christmas Eve
 · Give Fishing for Christmas !
 · SAVE your Tuna Fishery !
 ·  Bluefin Tuna CITES Listing?

October 2009
 · October Tuna

September 2009
 · Bluefin Tuna and Striped Bass
 · School’s open, and the Tuna are Biting !!

August 2009
 · Hurricane Bill
 · August's Fishing Dog Days
 · "IT'S ON" !!!! ( The tuna bite that is )
 · Tuna Bite Improving !

July 2009
 · Stripers, Mackerel and Bluefin Tuna !
 · Cape Cod Striped Bass & Tuna Report
 · Boyhood Initiations
 · Bearse's Rip Producing Bass

June 2009
 · It Stopped RAINING !
 · Bluefin Tuna 2009
 · Cape Cod Fishing Report

May 2009
 · Atlantic Bluefin Tuna

April 2009
 · GREAT News on HERRING !

March 2009
 · March Striped Bass Blitz ??
 · Bluefin Tuna Action Needed (send email)

February 2009
 · 2009 BEST TIDES

January 2009
 · Monster Tuna Dream

December 2008
 · 2008 THANK YOU !

November 2008
 · Gamefish Status - Another View

October 2008
 · Biggest Bass of the Year !!!
 · September & October Striper Conservation
 · Giant TUNA Support !
 · Its Time to Catch a GIANT !

September 2008
 · Bass Fishing Great - Tuna Just OK
 · Striped Bass & Bluefin Tuna on Cape Cod

August 2008
 · Bluefin Tuna & Bass Still on the "Bite"
 · Tuna Busting Among Bubble Feeding Whales !!
 · The Bass Are Back @ Bearse's

July 2008
 · Bass slow, but Tuna picking up !
 · Bearse's Rip works for me !

June 2008
 · Record Striped bass numbers caught !!!
 · Fishing Politics -
 · Cape Cod Fishing report

May 2008
 · Sign on to Support Sustainable Herring Management

February 2008
 · 2008 Best Fishing Tides
 · NMFS Adjusts Daily Recreational Bluefin Limit
 · Cape Cod House Rentals for 2008

January 2008
 · River Herring FMP Public Comments
 · New T Shirt Winners
 · 2007 Bass & Bluefin in Review

December 2007
 · Huge Christmas Bass !!!!

October 2007
 · Sea Herring Management Needs YOUR Help
 · Flat Calm Weather in October !!!

September 2007
 · Chatham and Cape Cod MA Fishing Report
 · Chatham MA Bluefin Tuna and Striped Bass Report
 · Chatham MA Bass and Bluefin Report

August 2007
 · Tuna trips in the AM and Bass in the afternoon !!
 · Double Digit Tuna on a Morning Bass Charter !!!
 · Bluefin Tuna at the Regal Sword
 · Tuna Fishing Better Than Bass Fishing

July 2007
 · I Got "Bearse's Bass Thumb" !
 · Bustin Bass @ Bearse's

June 2007
 · Squid & Bass, Nice Bluefin on Rigs
 · Striped Bass at Monomoy !
 · Bluefin Tuna Report
 · action alert : Need your support for herring management
 · East of Chatham Fishing

May 2007
 · Memorial Day Cape Cod Fishing Report
 · Cape Cod Striped Bass Report
 · Cape Cod Fishing

April 2007
 · Cape Cod Fishing Report
 · - Bluefin Tuna Fishing Report -
 · Sportfishing Cape Cod Site Updates & Housekeeping

March 2007
 · I think its over now – You can come back outside !!
 · Article ; Boyhood Initiations – The making of a fisherman.

February 2007
 · Tides for Bluefin tuna and Striped Bass

January 2007
 · MISS JILLIAN for Sale !

October 2006
 · Herring Managment Needs YOUR Input !!
 · October Winds to Bring in BIG fish ?
 · Bass and Tuna Report

September 2006
 · Tuna and Bass in September
 · Its Tuna Time !!

August 2006
 · The Best Fishing is Now Ahead of Us !
 · August Heat Brings Warm Waters

July 2006
 · Broken Down at Bearse's
 · Bass Busting Right Out of the Water !

June 2006
 · Tuna showed - Bass still great !
 · Rip Fishing is Great !
 · Chatham Harbor Bar is Sanding In
 · Fathers Day Weekend !
 · June of 2006 - Bluefin Tuna report

May 2006
 · Cape Cod Fishing Report
 · May Showers Cape Cod Fishing Report

April 2006
 · Latest "T" shirt winner

March 2006
 · Spring Eels

February 2006
 · 2004 Striped Bass Stock Assessment
 · February Doldrums and Hunting Report

January 2006
 · Cape Cod Fishing - January Report

December 2005
 · Merry Christmas, Happy New Year and Thank you !!!

October 2005
 · Flat Calm and Lots of Nice Big Stripers !

September 2005
 · Upcoming Storm Ophelia
 · Big Bass Every Drift ! - Fuel Surcharge ??

August 2005
 · HOT and COLD fishing off Chatham

July 2005
 · Cape Cod Charter Fishing Report at Chatham
 · Cape Cod Fishing
 · Free Fishing Trips !!

June 2005
 · Chatham Fishing Improved Considerably !!
 · Chatham Fishing Report
 · June - Warming Cape Cod water temperatures !

May 2005
 · Pleasant Bay, Orleans Fishing
 · Cape Cod Fishing Report
 · How to tell if you are a Native Cape Codder
 · Cape Cod Fishing and Conservation
 · Orleans MA fishing report

April 2005
 · Cape Cod Fishing Report
 · New T shirt winners
 · Striped Bass Commercial Regulation Changes
 · Striped Bass Fishing Pictures

March 2005
 · Commercial Bass Regulations
 · Seems Like Another Cold Spring
 · Boyhood Initiations

February 2005
 · How's the Cabin Fever ????
 · Andrew Troetti of Norwalk CT wins a T shirt
 · Go Patriots !
 · Steve Iacovelli wins a shirt

January 2005
 · Fishing Charter Survey Winner
 · January 2005 - A brand new year and fishing season !!

December 2004
 · Christmas Wish

September 2004
 · Labor Day !!

August 2004
 · Bearse's Rip is still RED Hot !!
 · Mid August is Bass & Tuna Time !!
 · Capeshores Charters on NESN
 · Fog, Fish and Happy Customers !
 · August Charter Availability

July 2004
 · Northeast Breezes Finally Clear out the FOG !!!
 · Jon's comments
 · Kathy catches 44 inch Bass on 10 POUND TEST Tackle !!
 · Bearse's Shoals Producing Nice fishing

June 2004
 · Finally - Some GOOD Fishing !
 · Monomoy !
 · No Big Fish !!!!
 · Pleasant Bay on Saturday 6-5
 · “Millions of fish swimming around me, DUDE” !!!!!!

May 2004
 · Wow, They Are Already Gone !
 · Lets See if Anyone Really Reads These Things ?
 · Lots of Fish Moving In Now !
 · It's All About The BAIT !

April 2004
 · Schoolies in May !!!
 · Changes to MA Scup Regulations
 · Waiting for the Sun..........
 · Proposed MA Commercial Striper Regulation Changes
 · Cod Slow !! Schoolies ( holdbacks ? ) Rumored
 · Feedback Form problem
 · Fishing with Wayne
 · Nightcrawlers in April

March 2004
 · March Doldrums

February 2004
 · Washington DC Fishing Report
 · Capeshores Charters latest T shirt winner

January 2004
 · Bad News !! - 2004 Charter Rate Change !!
 · Herring, Bycatch & Observer Coverages
 · Latest "T" Shirt Winners !
 · Cold - With little cod activity

December 2003
 · Merry Christmas & Happy Holidays !!!
 · The Fall Activities

October 2003
 · October Bluefin Thrills

September 2003
 · Cool Crisp Days of September
 · Hurricane Isabel - links to data
 · Stripers Are Being Caught On Every Drift in the Rips of Monomoy
 · Giant Bluefin Tuna Report
 · Steve's Comments
 · After Labor Day

August 2003
 · Customer comments
 · The Sky is Falling !!
 · Finally, Some Bass are Showing in the Rips !

July 2003
 · 5 Days of Southwest wind !!
 · Paul's Comments
 · Finally ! - Some Consistent & Decent Fish !!
 · Not the Greatest Start to a Season !!!
 · Not the Greatest Start to a Season !!!

May 2003
 · A Late Spring ??
 · BIG Pods of Fish Moving up the Beaches !!
 · The Rips of Monomoy - Part 2
 · The Rips Of Monomoy - Article by Bruce Peters ( Part 1)
 · They're Back !!

April 2003
 · Fishing Instinctively by Capt. Bruce Peters
 · Nothing to Report
 · Cod Moving into the shallows

March 2003
 · Article: Boyhood Initiations by Capt. Bruce Peters
 · Article : Beat Dogfish with Rubber !!
 · Fishing Instinctively by Capt. Bruce Peters

February 2003
 · Chris is Thinking Ahead !!
 · 15 th Survey Respondent Winner !
 · February Updates

January 2003
 · January 2003

November 2002
 · November Bluefin Follow Up

October 2002
 · Every Giant Tuna Fights Differently !
 · October Bluefin Tuna and Bass

September 2002
 · Dan's Comments
 · Paul's Comments
 · Bass Charters 9-22 Weekend
 · Giant Bluefin Tuna - Now or Never !

August 2002
 · Brian's Comments
 · George's comment
 · Good Fish are Far to Find !
 · Dick, Howie & John

July 2002
 · Raffle winner gets 25 and 27 pounders !!!
 · Looking for More !
 · Squid at Bears'es - Bluefin @ Crab ledge
 · Bass Breaking outside the Chatham Inlet

June 2002
 · Bearse's, Monomoy east, & High Bank
 · Monomoy Tip Rips Producing Nice Bass
 · Strong Island - Home to BIG Bass !
 · ASK and YOU shall receive !
 · Pleasant Bay - Use Live Herring !

May 2002
 · Early Spring Means Early Good Fishing
 · Big Bass Eating Herring ! !

April 2002
 · LATE APRIL - Windy and cool
 · Taxes Paid - Now Get the Boat Ready !!!!

February 2002

January 2002

December 2001
 · Decembrrrrrrrrrrrrr Cod !!!
 · November Cod Fishing Has Slowed

November 2001
 · Bass, Blues & now COD !!
 · Giant Tuna

September 2001
 · I Lost a BIG One !
 · Big Bearse's Bass are Back ! !
 · September Swells
 · Labor Day Bass, Cod & Tuna

August 2001
 · Tuna fishing slow - Bass red Hot !!
 · Mid August

July 2001
 · Sunday crowds on the water
 · Why I am a Charter Captain
 · Bicknell Charter caught 47 fish !!
 · Todd's Comments ........
 · Barneys comments ........
 · Barney's birthday 42 incher
 · Consistent Bigger Fish Showing

June 2001
 · Bears'es Rip Produces First Big Fish
 · East of Chatham
 · June Tax day
 · Bluefins close to the beach
 · Breaking fish in PB Tuesday eve.

May 2001
 · Pleasant Bay
 · Another Published Fishing Story
 · May 20 - 51- 53 degrees
 · Beaches, Nantucket sound, CC Bay all have fish !
 · They are finally back !!

April 2001
 · Mayday - still slow ! My published Rips Story !
 · April Anticipation

March 2001
 · March 13 Fishing Report
 · Show Trip Raffle Winner

February 2001

January 2001
 · Customer's Comments
 · January Affirmations

December 2000
 · Some 2000 Customers comments

November 2000
 · November Report

October 2000
 · October report

September 2000
 · September Fishing at its Best !
 · Fall Fishing Begins !
 · Dave's trip and comments - Thanks Dave !

August 2000
 · Capeshores Charters on TV Tuesday Night !
 · It was "THE BALLS" !!!
 · An Over 40 Fish Trip !!
 · Two really nice fish !!
 · "Blackened" Bluefish and Stripers Recipe
 · This is Why I Love What I do !
 · Noreaster in August ? ? ?
 · Latest fishing - T shirt winners
 · I LOVE what I'm doing ! !

July 2000
 · BIG FISH ! Really Big !
 · Weather Kicked Up - Fish Still Here !
 · Non-stop Catching and Releasing
 · Big Fish for Young and Old ! !
 · Small Tides = Finicky Fish
 · More-further-and Bigger ! fish !
 · Bassing red hot - Cod lukewarm

June 2000
 · A "Boomer" of a Day
 · Engine in - New winner - Bigger fish

May 2000
 · Almost a Keeper !!
 · Reports are confirmed !!
 · May 1,

March 2000
 · No Fish Yet

On a relatively calm day in November of 2008, 27 miles out to sea, I thrust my harpoon dart into a Giant Bluefin that I had been fighting for the last 3 hrs. That fish was 122” long, and weighed 1082 pounds, and is the biggest bluefin tuna I have caught to date. The following day, my boat, the “Marilyn S”, landed two more giants, each weighing over 800 pounds. Then the winds blew for about a week and by the time we got back out to fish again, the fish were gone.

The following year, I fought a fish for 3 hours before losing it. Another boat broke one off after an 8 hour battle! I had seen my fish a couple times on the surface during the fight, and it was even bigger than the 1082 bluefin from the previous year. This monster stayed 60-80 feet under the boat for the entire last hour of the fight, I never moved him more than 10 feet before he would take it back out again. Back and forth we see sawed until my lack of patience took hold and I tightened the drag one more notch. POW ! He was gone.......

Fish this size and age have experienced boats and been hooked before. They are smart, and you have to be lucky, calm, premeditated and measured in your thought processes to get one. If you get too exited, impatient or panicky, your results will be like mine above. Your best preparation is to think big, and then bigger still, yet remain calm. Sure, some folks get lucky and land a tuna and manage to tow it home and sell it, but the majority of the tuna caught by unprepared folks are lost at the side of the boat.

Most folks think of tuna fishing as unrelenting boredom, as you troll or chum along, waiting for the bite. For me, its different. It excites me yet there is a fear that slowly builds and is present as I prepare for and go fishing for Giant Bluefin Tuna. In preparing the day before a trip, there never seems to be enough time to get groceries, fuel, and ice down the boat, then drive to the market for bait, and remember the Bic lighter and to check the propane tank, and oh yeah I was supposed to pick up a couple packs of smokes for the crew. Forget about stopping to have lunch! Hopefully, there will be time to make it home for a shower, dinner and a few hours of sleep before we leave except I’m so keyed up with anticipation, hope, worry, and excitement, its doubtful I’m getting to sleep. Four hours later I ring my crew’s house with one ring, and hang up. He’s awake and ready too, theres no sense in waking his whole house to let him know I’m on the way. He can sleep on the way out, at least halfway. It will take that long for me to calm down enough to get a couple hours of sleep, which is enough for the first day. As we steam out, I’m thawing baits in the brine, laying out leaders and hooks, estimating tide and drift patterns and monitoring the video sounder, and sifting through the radio chatter for anything significant, as I calm my thoughts and marvel at the huge expanse of increasingly visible stars as we get further away from the land. My crew has instructions to wake me a good 6-8 miles from my destination, in time for me to wake up, make a pot of coffee, and closely watch the video sounder for bait and individual tuna fish. The deck lights go on and as the crew breaks up the thawing herring blocks, I start sewing hook baits on the leaders.

Successful giant tuna fishing is simply controlled fear. I’m afraid I wont catch one on the trip, I’m afraid I won’t even get a bite, or worse, lose the one I hook during the fight. It seems that all I do before and during a trip, is to think of all the things that can go wrong and try to prepare for and prevent them from happening. One can do everything right, and fight your fish correctly, then just before he’s close enough to throw the harpoon into the fish, he rolls over, the hook falls out, and he slowly swims down and away, leaving you with that awful, bitter, fear feeling in your throat. Its gonna happen, and the sooner you realize its “fishing,” and not “catching”, the better. So you lost that one, he’s gone, get over it, and just go get another one! Getting down in the dumps and depressed over a lost fish is something that novices can let get to them. They may bite for only and hour or two, so get back in the game! From the first moment you see the big red blobs on the video sounder indicating you have giants under the boat and in the chum slick, you feel that fear in your chest. Its exciting, yet sickly feeling at the same time. Will he stay? Will he take the hook bait or just eat the chum? Are my baits at the right depth? Should I reset that line? Do I have a mackerel out? Should I have a used live bait? Am I chumming too heavy, or maybe not enough? Are my leaders too heavy, or too light?

Preparation in advance is the best way to increase your odds of landing these great fishes. I am currently looking for and freezing hook baits in May for use in October. I order my leader material, hooks, swivels, darts and other materials I need from my supplier now, because I know that in October they will be scarce. Tackle maintenance in advance is critical. Roller guides must be cleaned and lubed, top shots and leaders need to be checked periodically and redone when stretched or nicked. Reels need to be gone through, cleaned and lubed. With your tackle in good shape, what about the cockpit gear? You will need at least 3 gaffs that float, a harpoon or two with the dart attached to a line and basket, and a half dozen tail ropes with eye splices on one end. When you hook up, all this stuff must be in easy reach on both sides of the boat. Keep in mind you are targeting fish that can go over 1000 pounds. How will you get your fish into the boat after you reel it in? I once had a 25 foot boat that I built a ramp that attached to the stern with eye bolts and was supported by the out drive. I slid the tuna partway up the ramp and then lifted the outdrive and slid the fish the rest of the way into the boat! Most small boats have a “gin pole” with a block and tackle at the top end. If you fish by yourself or with less “stout” crew I recommend a pair of triple blocks of the ball bearing sailing variety to help you lift that fish over the rail. Keep in mind small boats have rolled over with two or three big guys all on one side of the boat trying to lift a big tuna into the boat. Use your head and think it through first. (make the big guys go to the far side of the boat to pull the fish up to equalize the weight)

Setting up the boat to fight and land giant tuna is a trail and error process, that one learns by making mistakes and losing fish. This year I added some very expensive through hull LED lighting in the stern to help me see the fish at night. Many times you will hook up at dusk and by the time you get him to the boat, its dark. I lost a fish last year that I could not see good enough in the light from my deck lights to throw the harpoon. I have a steering station in the stern so I can both shift and steer the boat from where I fight the fish. I have heavy duty rod holders at any location where I could foresee fighting a tuna. Some in outboard powered boats may want to mount a rod holder at the outboard side of the steering station. Using the longer “Chatham Special” rod you would be able to keep the fish away from the boat and the props at the end of the battle, and be able to maneuver. Communications between rod man and boat handler are critical, and if you are in an enclosed cabin trying to hear a guy in the stern over the wind and waves and engine noise, it can be hard. My vessel has a live bait system and two large coolers for ice, all securely fastened to the deck and rail in a location that will not interfere with my fish fighting. I have a rocket launcher setup to get all my other rods out of the way when Im fighting a fish. My electronics are all situated where I can swivel them facing aft so I can monitor them while I’m fishing. If you notice, the guys that catch them consistently are always in the back of the boat where the “work” of catching is done. Watching the chum frequency and drift, and working the baits is how you catch one, not sitting in the cabin listening to the radio and drinking coffee. Speaking of coffee, having some comfort on a trip is great for morale. An inverter powered microwave or coffee pot, or just a small propane stove for a hot bowl of soup or burger can really help you stay longer for the “bite”.

Once you make the decision to go after a giant tuna to sell, you have entered into the “General Category”, a highly controlled commercial fishery, and the rules change considerably from the “Angling Category” or recreational fishing. One can go to the Nation Marine Fisheries website for the actual rules, as they change often during the season. The address is: Angling category fishers cannot sell any bluefin. General Category participants can. A license is required and must be on board while fishing. Harbormasters of many municipal ports usually also require a permit to offload your catch to a dealer. Not only do the NMFS minimum size and daily bag regulations change when you become commercial, but the safety requirements for vessels and operators are quite different as well. Safety regulation compliance for vessels targeting bluefin tuna commercially can be expensive, depending upon the size of the boat and the distance you go offshore. Generally, liferafts, EPIRBS and survival suits for every man on board are all required. The Coast Guard is out there and they board every boat for an inspection. If you are lacking the proper gear they will demand you put to shore and will escort you if need be. Know the rules and prepare your vessel accordingly.

Be safe, be prepared, work hard, leave early and come back late, and if you are both lucky and good, you will land yourself one of the hardest fighting fish in the ocean. Take care of your fish after you harpoon him. Lay him down on the side that the harpoon went in. Take the guts and gills out of the fish and pack his cavity with ice. Put the fish in an insulated fish bag and surround his body with ice. Don’t let the fish bang or slide around on the way home and get bruised or dinged up. Then, if you are really lucky, you will have a quality fish that when compared to the rest on the market the day your fish goes to auction, you will have a decent payday to offset all that dough you put into the boat, and the time, stress and energy expended to go after them. Good Luck !

Capt. Bruce Peters F/V Marilyn S

Captain Bruce Peters
Capeshores Charters