July 12, 2012

Full Moon Hangover

On Saturday 7.7, I took out Sammy and Bobby hoping that we could shake off the full moon doldrums. Things started out well with us getting into the mackerel with no problem except for the fact the were all large to horse. Beautiful tuna bait but a little large for stripers and difficult to cast. We caught a pile of them and tried to put a few mediums in the well, got a few and hoped the stripers would be in the mood for chunks. We hit a beach in Scarborough that we haven’t fished yet this season and put out a couple of livies and a chunk. We had a good run off on Sammy’s naked swimmer but missed the hook. No more action so we move over to the adjacent rocks and Sammy and Bobby’s macks start getting harassed by what we suspect is the same fish. Bobby’s balloon ends up getting taken down and he is on. Good fight and a nice 31″ striper is brought boatside.

Bobby’s 31″ striper from the rocks.

Not much happening after that and we decide to try for some more smaller macks. We find the macks again but still all large to horse. We take what we have and run to a beach spot for the incoming tide. After we set up we start getting takes but the stripers were very tentative. They would either swipe at the bait without grabbing the mack or they would grab and drop quickly. The best show was right next to the boat with a big striper chasing Bobby’s mack around in circles and finally smashing it on the surface. Unfortunately all the circling wrapped a bunch of line around the balloon and when the striper took the mack the line broke. Wicked cool to see 10′ from the boat but a shame to miss it. The chunk on the bottom finally goes off and Sammy brings in a 31″ fat striper.

Sammy’s fat 31″ striper that took a chunk.

Bobby had a strong hit then nothing. He reels it in and all that is left is the head of the mackerel with a crescent shaped cut right behind it. First solid proof of bluefish but never saw one again despite continuing to fish for another 2 hours. The fish are there but they have been very tentative only sniffing or half heartily taking our baits. I am hoping they heat back up as the moon wanes.

On Sunday 7.8, I went out on Jean’s boat with Captain Dickie in search of the first tuna of the year. We start out looking for those horse mackerel that we were catching the day before but in a different location off of Two Lights. Guess what we started catching? That’s right, beautiful snack sized mackerel that would have been perfect striper bait, we couldn’t buy a horse mackerel. Mother nature is a cruel mistress! We manage only one horse and can’t afford any more time bait fishing and leave with what we got. We start out at Pollock Nubble but it was dead with no life on it. With the smooth sea conditions we decide to make the 30 mile run out to Platts. We found the life at Platts along with 12 herring boats and many more tuna fishermen. Ran across a floating tuna liver from a recently caught fish that we found encouraging. We start a slow troll and soon after we get a knock down. I jump on the reel but it doesn’t feel like a tuna and sure enough the line goes slack after 30 seconds. We inspect the line and it is chaffed up and cleanly cut, shark. Two years ago we caught a nice thresher the same way but was hooked perfectly in the corner of the mouth.

Our guest Chuck with a nice thresher

The rest of the day was uneventful and we wrapped it up with some bottom fishing.  We ended up with several nice cod, couple of haddock, cusk, and a big pollock. Still a little early for the tuna, I can’t wait for them to settle in to the area.

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