I had crews lined up to fish both Saturday and Sunday. Friday night, my starboard engine would not start (starter solenoid). Well so much for the weekend. Dare Marina and Yacht Sales called me Saturday morning and said that it was ready to go. I cannot say enough about the service I have received from Dare Marina over the years.
Sunday’s trip was back on and Saturday’s crew was invited to come along also. Outdoor writer, Ken Perrotte could not come back for Sunday’s trip to get more photos for his sea bass article. We will get him back out on another trip. We were joined by another outdoor writer, Martin Freed. Martin is a very interesting guy. He and his wife have hunted and fished all over the world. Not really for “sport” but living off of the land kind of thing. While the rest of us were eating our pizza or subs, Martin was eating a moose which his wife had shot. When Martin caught his first-ever citation blueline tilefish he said that his wife would laugh at him if he got a “citation”. They find the whole, citation-fishing for awards, thing amusing. Now, he was fishing with a member of the VSWFT Committee and on a boat on which at least a third of the 2008 Expert Award winners have caught citation fish on. Martin did not get a choice. He now has a citation and his wife gets to laugh at him. He was really fun to fish with.
We never saw another boat all day. I will admit that it was a bit bumpy out there. It was a good day to be on an Albemarle. I still thought some of the big boats might be out there checking out that temperature break or doing the deep-drop thing but we had the ocean to ourselves and we tried to fish it all.
We started out at the 100 fathom curve south of the Norfolk Canyon. We put out some ballyhoo when we hit 60 degrees. In short order, we were hooked up. It was on a TLD 30 which made for a fun fight. While Chris Boyce fought the fish, we had a drifter bite on our one bait left out. We did not get that one. After about an hour, Charles Southall sunk the gaff into Virginia’s first tuna of the year and we had our bluefin tuna limit. The fish weighed a bit over 100 pounds.
Next, were tilefish. The bite was good and they were on the large size. We caught what we wanted and left them biting. We ran to a wreck and caught some jumbo sea bass. We left them and did a few drops for grouper. There, we found the dogsharks. They really were not much of a problem for us the rest of the day. Martin caught a yellowedge grouper and it was time to run home with full fish boxes.