Bluefin still hanging around, Bite remains Hit or Miss
Capt Josh ran the Sorta Salty Today on his first bluefin tuna trip. He pulled up a nice 100lber (photos look more like 120lbs to me but he never taped it out and big tuna generally weight more than they look). Josh pulled the fish off a foamer ball and had him to the boat in about 25 minutes. That was the only bite for the day, but with bluefin that’s all you really need for a decent day. A lot of boats, but luckily mostly locals but it still makes things a bit tricky. I was on my dad’s boat again on a day off but took a few buddies on a spear only trip, unfortunately for us the water turned 53 degrees and dark green and we could only see to the tips of the spear guns, we found a whole lot of fish and covered nearly 200 miles looking. There’s a lot of fish out there we can see on the surface, but getting them to slow down enough to pull off a shot in the 10 foot of murk is impossible. Several times we had the fish so close to the boat we could nearly gaff them but the guys in the water couldn’t see them coming in time to react and swing the gun.
I took off with some decent hopes with a private group of four. We searched north hoping to find the fish I saw the day before but they seem to vanish so we headed back down to the fleet of boats where a few guys were catching a few fish but mostly catching each other and a lot of violent words over the radio. Not my style fishing but we stayed late into the evening and it became a lot more manageable. We watched fish jumping all day but finally hit a school willing to play and got one bite. We watched another boat I knew hook up from the same school of fish while simultaneously having our one bite of the day spit the hook. This is one of those miss days when I say hit or miss, we can blame the full moon or whatever makes the fish picky but a few other boats did well, and a many others didn’t get a bite, finding that one hungry school makes or breaks the day. We found them but a bite and a fish on the deck can very different things when it comes to bluefin.
We left a bit late in the morning looking for that afternoon bite and had a long line at the fuel dock so we didn’t leave until about 9:30am, I was in no rush as the bite has been in the early afternoon to mid evening. As I was driving out I pulled up my gyros to take a look and saw a group of birds with fish foaming. We threw the macs out and got bit quickly by a 130lber. Got him in the boat in about 20 minutes. My dock neighbor slid in and managed to pull his first bluefin off the same school, we were the only boats in sight but that quickly changed after we both stopped and I think someone spilled the beans on the radio after spotting us. The fish went down from the boat pressure, so I pulled a mile or so away to give the other boats a chance to run a circle and leave. Once they all left I jumped back in once the fish came up and hooked up a nice 120lber right away, the fish was a bit suicidal and was on the deck in about 10minutes but put up a good fight for the last 3 minutes since it was a bit green and managed to make some funky runs before rolling over. Again the boats seeing me fighting a fish all came back and checked us out and drove the fish down, the fish never came up and we fished until dark. Super flat ocean and a great sunset ride home and we were all happy with the results of the day.
Capt Josh ran the sorta salty. He had very similar situation to the day before except the fish he found weren’t willing to play. He saw a lot of foamer piles that wouldn’t touch a madmac. As a captain on a charter boat its extremely frustrating but its the way tuna fishing goes some days and you can only search so many miles per day and check so many foamer piles. A few other boats happened to get lucky and be in the right place at the right time including my boss for my engineering job, who landed a 130 and 140lb fish completely solo and was back to work by 3pm even with cleaning the boat. The fish are there, its just about finding a group willing to eat and putting your madmac in front of them. I’m still blaming the full moon for there finicky behavior and thinking that next week they will get a little more predictable again. We have some storms rolling on the 15 day forecast in but I don’t think its over yet. Last year it took about 6 straight days of 15+ foot swells which typically doesn’t happen until after thanksgiving.