I don’t do nearly as much canyon fishing as I use to, so when I woke up Saturday morning at 7:30 I realized there was time to make the boat. My friend, Capt. Johnny O’Kinsky was leaving for a two day canyon trip at 9AM and so far I didn’t have enough committed crew to make it a go on my own open boat trips. He wasn’t expecting me but I loaded the truck with all my gear and whatever food was in the house for rations. I figured if he had room, I would jump, and if they were too heavy with crew, I could always drive home. I got lucky and they were four guys looking for a fifth. His boat, the Inspiration is a 36 ft custom twin diesel with a 14 ft beam. We threw the ropes at 9AM and Johnny explained our float plan. Head for the warm water break in the Toms Canyon, troll till dark and set up for the overnight chunk. Troll to the Hudson Canyon and drift for tilefish. On the way back, check out the scallop boats for bluefin tuna. Upon arriving at the Toms, we trolled two small mahi. The overnight chunk yielded no tuna but we still had fun jigging squid and catching 5 to 8 lb mahi on light tackle. When they stopped hitting even live bait, I was able to free gaff three of them. Around 5AM we saw a fish break water behind the boat and I noticed the glow sticks right next to it. Turned out to be a legal sword that ate the deep rigged squid 200 feet down and charged to the surface with it without making a sound on the reel’s clicker. Soon after boating the sword we trolled to the Hudson with no bites. Capt Johnny set everyone up with tilefish rods and rigs. We dropped squid, herring, and sardine baits down 500 feet with two pounds of lead. We boated a bunch of 5 to 8 lb golden tilefish. On the second drift I set up on a fish that maxed out my 30 class outfit like I had never before seen it torqued. This fish was taking runs and head shaking all the way. I loosened the drag three times in fear that I would break it off. I had him on adequate gear, an AVET LX loaded with 65 braid on a Shimano Trevalla 80 to 200 class conventional rod. After 25 minutes, the fish came belly up on the surface and Capt Johnny gaffed my new personal best 43 lb golden tilefish. Here’s the video: youtu.be/ZqLTE3PFUeE
On the way back we stopped on the scallop boats and caught five 30 to 40 class bluefins. If we sailed with a one or two dimensional plan of a typical canyon overnight trip we would not have enjoyed the success we did with Capt Johnny O’s aggressive multi faceted attack. Well done Captain! So glad I jumped on for this one.
On the inshore scene there are big stripers on the bunker pods as well as trolling bunker spoons. Albies are still abundant and we are casting small metals on light spinning gear for them.
Open Boat or Charter Thurs and Fri leaving at 11AM. Saturday leaving at 6AM. 7 hour trips.$175 person. Four people max. All fish are shared.