The TUNA bite is getting better by the day! This has been a rather long week charter fishing and getting myself ready to fish the Ocean City Tuna Tournament this weekend. The first of the week was spent inshore doing several bottom fishing trips. We did ok, plenty of bites but also a lot of shorts or throw backs. Flounder and sea bass, mostly mixed, were a few triggers. Then the homework got harder as we needed to find some Bluefins…and in a hurry.
We spent our days with some great groups this week and things worked out very well with plenty of throw backs as we seemed to manage 4 to 6 real nice 40 to 50lb Yellowfins. Still most bites were on spreader bars and ballyhoos. The tuna seemed to be moving in the right direction by the end of the week as we were now catching them in 50 to 60 fathoms of water, 70 to 71.5 degrees, clean green. Meanwhile, we would sneak inside mid-afternoon to do a little recon on the inside looking for the elusive bluefin. We scored finding a little knot of fish on a bump in-between the Chicken bone and Hambone, in about 21 fathoms. The North end of the bump was holding just enough bait to keep the fish around which is just what I was looking for. So, needless to say we scored big in the Ocean City Tuna tournament, coming in First place with a 158lb Bluefin!!
We fished our first day on Saturday and scored pretty quickly but unfortunately the fish won and got away. But no worries, let’s go get another one. Well, 20 minutes later the right short rigger goes off and we get our slot fish. And boy we pushed it…46 and a half inches…PHEW!! Now we need another BIG bite! Two hours go by and nothing…the bait was leaving and I was getting worried. And somehow I found the patience to pound it out back and forth as the bite finally came at about 11:30am and this time it’s my shotgun bait, with old reliable on their blue and white sea witch with a red head. An hour later in the boat, 64 incher and FAT! Now we are looking great, so…to the scales. After day one we managed to be in First place with the 158 pounder and then add in our 67 pounder we are also in First place stringer win a Daily, end of day one.
Day two brings lots of stress, however, the pressure was off real quick. Five minutes after lines were in we catch a 63 incher. So now we need a slot fish bad. Twenty minutes later we hook another lunker…and I mean lunker!!! Every bit of 180lbs but we had to let him go…oh well. So the day goes by and still no slot fish. I decided to head inshore to the 13 fathom bump and it worked out…a 42 incher. Now we keep our fingers crossed and off to the scales. Well, we managed 110lbs and 42lbs which kept us in first place stringer and still in First place Heaviest. And the waiting begins.
Yeaa for us!!! We win both First place Heaviest and First place Stringer! However, in this tournament you are only allowed to be paid for one or the other, whichever brings us the most award which in this case was the Heaviest fish. And for those who understand me personally this is/was not an easy thing to do, so we are feeling pretty good!!
Capt. John Oughton – THAT’S RIGHT