Cigar 7-8 Jun 08
I was suppose to help out being a safety boat at Harborfest but my wife could not make it due to her studies at nursing school and I did not want to operate my boat in close quarters by myself so I wimped out of harborfest. Sorry Joe.
Weekend weather looked good so put together an overnight trip with Wes Blow, Mike Kim, Doug Gross, Stan Winner, and myself. Had a buddy boat, SLC with Don and Brandon Honeycutt. Put lines in at the 150 at 40 fathoms and worked south and little east with 72 degree water. No love to the 000. Talked to Mike (Kapoc) on the Blue Dragon and there was a bite around the 200 line so we worked back north. Waterman was there and they caught a few tuna so we worked that area for a while. Threw the kitchen sink at them but we just could not raise them. Saw several bait balls tight on the bottom at 50 fathoms and the Waterman and another charter was just drilling those bait balls. SLC and I simply could not raise them. Pull the spread in tight, back out longer, planer out, planer in, change colors, witches, islanders, spreader bars, daisy chains, bird chains, horse hoos, no plastic, lots of plastic, slower speed, faster speed, S-turns, we tried about every combination. I suspected I just didnít have enough stuff to want to make the tuna raise from feeding on the bottom at 50 fa so maybe we need more lines so ran 11 lines which is the most I can really do without creating a mess. Even tried jigging the lines as we crossed over the bait ball. Still no tuna love for us or SLC. Got to give the big sportfisher charters credit, they raised tuna when I could not. If there were not boats trolling over the bait balls, I would have tried to jig them up but it would that would be pretty rude to stop to jig when the trollers were their first.
Set up a drift at night on the 100 fathom curve and drifted west. The labrador current was running pretty hard from the north and with the south winds it pushed us west inshore at 0.5 knots. Chunked butters until after midnight using the chumchucker. Puts out a nice flow of chunks, maybe too much but probably OK in this case as the chunks were flowing south pretty fast from the current. Put 4 lines out, butters w/ 80 lb flouro on circle hooks, one deep, one med depth, one up tight, and one with no weight free floating with the chunks. No pulls for us. Don and Brandon crank in a big mako next to us on a big hunk of albacore. Dad wants to release it but Brandon wanted to keep it. They manage to tail rope it and drag it backwards to drown it, then they drag it into boat but with the head sticking out of the transom door. I toss them my tuna bag since I wasnít using it. After midnight, I shove out overboard to about 250 fathoms to set up for swords. Thought I would have the same westerly drift but in that short distance we traveled, must have gotten out of the labrador current and now the SW winds won and we pushed NE. Not a single pull with 4 big sword rigged squids with lights. Had minimal bait all night in the swordlight. A couple of small squid darting around every once in a while but were not interested in my squid jigs.
At dawn we are around 500 fathoms at the 250 line so we decide to push east in search of the new water pushing in. Found it around 750 fathoms going from 70 degrees to 74 degrees and nice formed weedline. Lots of current making it a bit bumpy but still manageable with 10 knot winds. Pull some gaffers and bailers off the weedline. The hot side was pretty much weeded up and hard to keep baits clean. After playing with the mahi for a while, we run back inshore to the tile grounds and catch a few tiles and seabass. Finish the day back on the troll at the 200 line at 50 fathoms and same story, big bait balls on the bottom but we could not raise a tuna to save our lives. We hit a wreck on the way back that was loaded with big spades but we could not coax them to bite with our clams. Hit a few buoys on the way back in to see if any cobes were hanging around any but didnít see any.
All in all, a great trip but no tuna love for us. Great crew and thanks to Don and Brandon for buddy boating with me. Always nice to have a buddy boat out there at night.
That's tough fishing Mike.
I hate those scratch your head trips. You sit there and are constantly thinking what can I do different and sometimes no matter how hard you try it just doesn't happen. You'll gettum next time.
We were in the 24' Cape Horn at the Cigar yesterday.
Don't feel bad about the charters having the secret bait.
Top Notch was around me all day at the Cigar Sunday picking off YFT one at a time.
We had a morning bite and landed 3, but we could not figure out why Top Notch was catching, and we were not.
I asked him if he had a special, secret Ballyhoo that we didn't know about.
Fish Hawk 3 -- Cape Horn 24 offshore CC
oceanart.com --- Bill