We ran out to the Wilmington Canyon early Saturday morning. We met at the dock at 2:30 AM and threw the ropes by 3 AM. The chart plotter displayed 88 miles to our destination and I thought that’s a lot further than my Seaside Piers or Lavallette run. Ocean was flat calm and the marine forecast was for more of the same all weekend. Hoping this was going to be redemption time for last weeks zero we pulled at the Spencer Canyon.
I had a full Open Boat trip of four guys, Stuart Lombardi of NYC, Alan Smith of Manahawkin, NJ, Craig Kelley and his son-in-law Jarrett Powell both from Tuckerton, NJ. We arrived at the Wilmington around 7:30 AM and put out an eight rod spread. Three spreader bars, three squid chains, a cedar plug, and a Yummee Flying Fish I attempted to fish from a kite. There was not enough wind and the helium tank did not deliver enough gas to the assist balloon so I wound up with a whirling dervish instead of a stable square kite. It wrapped around one of the other lures and I spent the next 20 minutes untangling. When we started we had 63 degree water and some pilot whales. During my untangling, I gave the wheel to Stuart and gave him a heading to bring us deeper and more southerly. In that 20 minutes, the radio was lit up with boats hooking up yellowfin in 68 to 69 degree water. I grabbed the wheel back from Stuart and noticed the spike in water temp as well as a dozen circling boats and whales and porpoise. He brought us right to the spot!
We trolled around that area seeing and hearing boats hooked up, but not a touch for us. I started second guessing our spread, our speed, …..me. I dropped the RPM’s a little and that dropped us from 6.3 to 5.8 knots. I started checking the lures for grass as there was a little on the surface but they came in clean and alas…as I was checking the last lure we watched a yellowfin crush a rainbow spreader bar, and another hit the green machine bar, and another hit the flatlined cedar plug, and another on the second rainbow spreader bar……four on! We boated three of the four, all about 20 something pounds but over the legal size so they went in the cooler. We beat up that area some more and got a double header of slightly bigger fish and then we tripled up with a 20 pounder and two others that were taking more line and a little longer to subdue. They wound up being 40 and 50 pounders.
Here’s a video of that hookup: www.youtube.com/watch?v=65qGkX2xTII
We were all boxed up and headed for the barn feeling great about the day and about halfway home I saw schools of bluefin airing out. We put out a quick four rod spread and a 50 pound bluefin crushed the flatlined red and white cedar plug. Forty five minutes on a 20 class, Jarrett decked a 50 pound bluefin. Got back to the marina by 6:30 PM and all was right with the world.
We will be running offshore to the tuna grounds from time to time. Either the canyons or hopefully the mid range grounds, like 40 to 60 mile range will heat up in the coming weeks. These trips will always be announced with short notice, sometimes only a day or two before, as we are looking for perfection weather to run offshore. If you would like to be on our email list for these and all of our trips, as well as our fishing reports you can email us from our website.
As always we will also be fishing for bonita, albacore, bluefish, stripers, weakfish, fluke, kingfish and all of the mixed bag bay fishing. We will also be light tackle shark fishing within five miles of the inlet for two to four foot browns, dusky, and spinner sharks. All catch and release and a lot of fun.
~Capt Dave DeGennaro, Hi Flier Sportfishing, 732.330.5674, www.hiflier.com