Welcome to hot, humid AUGUST ! Water temperatures are up, vacationing boaters are very prevalent and us charter captains are working hard to put our customers on the fish. When fish are finicky, boat traffic and fishing effort can put a damper on the catching. It is just a fact of life in the peak of the season. We try to fish away from the boats and minimize our impacts on the fish, but with less experienced operators zipping around and on top of the school, it can be made harder.
Stripers are around in abundance, but there are many small and sub legal fish in the schools. I suppose the best way to look at it, is that it is upcoming year classes of striped bass for future fishing. The bait supply is incredible with huge schools of sand eels and mackerel, and most recently, vast pods of menhaden or “pogies” in our areas. We are seeing tuna smashing into surface bait while fishing for striped bass within a mile of our beaches !
The bluefin tuna scene is both good and bad. There are lots of bluefin around this year ! They are mostly larger than the 47” to 73” recreational slot limit, meaning they must be sold or released. (NMFS rules) There have been a few of the sub 73” fish caught, but not as many as I would like to see. The “bad” is that the NMFS “trophy” category, which allows the recreational or “charter/headboat” category to keep one of these giants per year, has already been closed and that quota caught. That means large fish caught on the charter must be sold or released. Perhaps after these big tides subside, that we are having now, a new batch of bluefin will move into our waters. The bait is here to support them, so we are very hopeful.
September and October are the months where the bluefin bite really gets hot. If you are considering matching your skills against one of these 400 to 800 pound giants, send me an email and lets get you a date reserved. I do have a few more days left in September that are optimum for tuna, and my October schedule is now wide open for charters ! I usually do not take many charters in OCTOBER because I am fishing commercially for them. I have decided that this year I will not turn away any bluefin charters during the best fishing month of October. If you can get away for a bucket list day of giant tuna fishing in October, send me an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and I will get your day reserved.
Thanks very much,
Captain Bruce & “Marilyn S”