I consider myself very lucky to fish for the challenging bluefin tuna from Chatham, Massachusetts. Located on the very elbow of Cape Cod, I am at the closest point to the fantastic bluefin tuna fishing east of Cape Cod. Both my bluefin tuna and striped bass fishing charters leave from the Chatham Municipal Fish Pier and we have schools of bluefin tuna as close as 4 miles away from the dock in summer and even the far away spots such as the Regal Sword are a mere 1.5 hours away. Capeshores Charters fishes for bluefin tuna from the first of June through mid November each year., sometimes traveling as far as the famed Georges Bank. We mostly do both 8 and 10 hour charters during the summer, but in the months of September, October and November we do many longer “bucket list” type charters for the real “giant” bluefin. These fish are from 400 to over 1000 pounds, and depending upon conditions are caught from 5 to 150 miles away. These types of trips are dawn to dusk at a minimum and the Georges bank trips are always overnight and usually multiple day outings. If you are wanting to ever experience doing battle with a fish that is 10 feet long and weighing over 850-900 pounds, these are the types of trips you should consider. Planning a trip for giants is critical and it is never too early to reserve a window of time to accomplish this goal. In planning, consider one day to travel and get set up with lodging and stow gear on board, a minimum of two days fishing, and one day to rest up and recuperate.
I fish these wonderful resources from a beamy, stable, seaworthy and fast 34 foot down east designed sport fisher named the “Marilyn S”. Built by Ernest Libby, the vessel is a proven design for fast, reliable, economical seakeeping. When the winds kick up halfway into your trip, you will be glad you are not on a little 22 or 25 foot open boat for the jarring, spray-soaked ride home. If there is a downside to having such a large and comfortable boat to go after bluefin, it would be that I do not have the luxury of slapping the boat on a trailer to jump over to Cape Cod Bay or Gloucester area if the “news” says there is a bite going on. Being in a fixed location has its advantages too. I don’t have to worry about parking, you get to have a safe walkway and ramp to get on and off the boat, and the public bathrooms are right on the other side of the parking lot.
This is my profession, I fish them from one location as long as the bluefin are in my area. I am dialed into local fisher news and reports as I am here on the waters every day. If there are fish in the area and I have no charters I am fishing for the giants commercially. My fishing gear is all top notch proven gear with back ups on board. I have local knowledge that I will share with you once you are on board, regarding bait, tides, moon, tackle, navigation or what have you. My weekly or daily fishing reports are what is going on in a general way, without posting actual locations. I feel sometimes too much info is thrown about to bolster one’s reputation or ego and it seems the result can be too many boats on the spot to allow the fish to keep biting. These larger fish have been around a long time, and have seen boats before. A 74” bluefin tuna is 7 years old. My largest giant bluefin to date was 10’ 2” long and weighed 1082 pounds and was estimated to be 18 years old. The next day we caught two others each weighing over 850 pounds. Those two were between 15 and 16 years old. The point here is that stealth is key. Imagine being a feeding tuna at 3-4 am and hearing this buzzing sound and whine of the many propellers of 20 boats coming eastward from land to the tuna grounds ?
Some days are better than others. Tide, current, moon phase, boat traffic, bait, whales, etc all have an effect of how productive your day may be. Consider that, if most the boats come out at dawn (say 5:30 am) and it takes a half hour to get out of the marina to the ocean and it takes an hour to get to where the fish are. They arrive at 7 am, and the boats that were there early have already caught a half dozen fish and several boats are still hooked up and doing battle. Yup, you missed the bite ! (again) What is the trick ? Next time LEAVE EARLIER ! Boats (and sunlight) do put fish down. Beat the crowds. Find your own fish. Keep your mouth shut. Fish on productive days. Don’t run over fish and through the fleet. In looking though my tide chart for this coming year, I see that we have some really special tides during some of the weeks this summer for bluefin tuna fishing. If you think you might want to try to get one of these big boys, give me a call at 508 237-0399 and we can discuss what you may want to do and when. You can also email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thanks very much,
Captain Bruce & Marilyn S