Yesterday, Thursday, the plan came together. The marine forecast was for calm seas and light winds. The boat was packed to the brim with pre-cut chunks, buckets of freshly netted peanut bunker, a livewell full of spots and peanuts, 400 lbs of ice, 30 extra gallons of fuel in portable plastic tanks, and 29 rods already rigged for their specific purpose. Usually being this prepared and having the perfect forecast is the kiss of death….but not this time.
We threw the ropes at 2AM and set out for the Hudson Canyon. A short time into our troll, we stumbled on some lobster pots. Our first pass with the spread of bigger tuna lures produced two nice mahi so we decided to reel in and have some fun casting bait at the hifliers with lighter spinning tackle. We boxed 33 mahi in a few hours between 5 and 12 pounds. It was hard to stop fishing for them but we had an agenda. Next up, was Golden Tilefish. I had some good numbers on where to catch some bigger fish so we went on the drift in 450 feet of water where we boxed 11 fish between 8 and 15 pounds, My son, Nick’s, biggest to date.
Last stop was the Triple Wrecks, where the Yellowfin bite has been happening for two months now. We did a slow jog through the fleet, just prospecting, and two of our crew pointed out some fish breaking water. I was sure they must have seen porpoise or skippies but with nothing better going on we headed in that direction where 50 to 80 lb Yellowfin Tuna were airing out. Nick grabbed his popping rod, like he has done so many times before, and on his third cast, his Madd Mantis popper got “whoofed” and he was tight for the first time ever on his popping rod! Fifteen minutes later, a 50 plus pound tuna hit the deck and all was right with the world. Congatulations Nick! I am so glad it happened on our own boat and that I was there to see it. This kid puts in countless hours of prep and then deck work only to help other people hook up. Customers, friends, family, he always makes their experience a priority over his own. He loves doing it but I know he is always waiting to be the guy on the rod.
Here is the end game of his tuna:
We chunked for a little while and broke off two big Yellowfins on 40 lb flourocarbon leader. It’s what you have to do to get the bite but sometimes it costs you during the fight.
It was an epic day with Hi Flier crew Dave Flood from Mantua, NJ, Ray Wetzel from Kenilworth, NJ, Kevin DePaola from Brick, NJ, both who are old high school friends, and my son Nick.
Available for charter on Monday, September 28 for back bay weakfish, blowfish, light tackle grass shrimp and shedder crab mixed bag fishing.
Hi Flier Sportfishing