October is THE month to go after bluefin tuna of any size. The fish move into our areas feeding heavily on the herring that accumulate on the edges of the shoal water in the fall. By having put restrictions on the mid water herring trawlers has benefitted our tuna fishing this year considerably. The big fish have showed up again as a result. For the last 2 weeks the fish have been in our area consistently and when the weather permits, we have been able to go after the giant bluefin tuna and hook into one or two of these bad boys. October weather is notoriously finicky. If planning a trip, one needs to be flexible and willing to postpone your day and be able to go a day or so later when the weather gets nice. The October weather patter blows for a day or two - lays down for a day or two - then blows again. You generally would not without extreme luck, be able to plan for a Sunday or one particular day of the week and have it be nice enough to fish 25 miles offshore.
This year again the fish are big, at 700 to 1100 pounds. These huge fish are over 20 years old and have seen it all. When hooked they do all sorts of things trying to shake that hook. Some of you may have seen the 1082 pound fish we managed to take last year on the website. This year we had one on for over 3.5 hours that was even bigger and broke him off. Impatience is one of my many character defects, and it cost me this time. I had that fish under the boat for over 1.5 hours and could not move him 10 feet. In - out , in - out, in - out, the same 10-20 feet of mono back and forth, over the guides of the rod for over an hour, with no gain. So I tightened the drag a little, got another 2-3 feet, and then another 2-3 feet and then "pow" ! the 200 lb test flourocarbon leader cracked and he was gone. I have learned most of what I know through mistakes like that, so I guess I'll just keep learning. I guess that means I'm getting smarter though, no ?
Most of these fish do get away due to trying to fight prolonged battles with giant fish in sloppy weather conditions. Usually pulled hooks are the reason many get off, the hooks we use are rugged, but at 2", small considering the tuna's mouth is large enough to put your head into. Many times the leader breaks when the boat takes a roll, or when the fish gets close to the boat many bad things can happen. The fish turns under the boat or gets tangled in the keel or rudder, swivels and crimps get caught in the guides etc etc. If you hook on of these huge fish, your lucky. If you get it to the boat, your lucky. If you get it into the boat your lucky. If you actually get a decent price for it when you get in you lucky. Luck is a huge factor. We have all heard the saying " I'd rather be "Lucky" than "Good"!" Well, it sure applies to giant tuna fishing.
Yesterday we lost another one, with a pulled hook. It doesn't feel so bad losing one to a pulled hook as opposed to losing one to a tight drag, broken leader, or other screw-up, but a lost opportunity is well, lost. I have hooked 5 giants this year and landed only two of them. Hopefully the next trip will be "luckier". Another night on "Loser's Ledge" does not look very appetizing at this point. I did manage to catch and land 5 bluefin yesterday that were to small at around 67 to 71 inches, along with 2 large blue sharks, before we pulled the hook on the "real one". I had relocated to another area from where we had been fishing because things had slowed down. Even though we caught "shorts", I am very hopeful about the amount of sign I saw there. There were small tuna all over the surface, crashing and jumping clear of the water. Whales feeding and bait balls through out the area indicated to me a food supply large enough to attract and hold the fish was there.
If you want to try your luck on one of these giant bluefin, give me a call at 508 255-0911 and if you are weather flexible, there is a good chance you will be able to get to get out after one.
Thanks very much,
Bruce & Marilyn S