When we arrived on the tuna grounds early am yesterday morning (Tuesday) it seemed like almost every boat was fighting a Big Eye tuna. Unfortunately for us we were about 30 minutes too late mostly due to the fact we had a 4 ½ hour boat ride in the dark to reach the canyon where we fished today. We had planned to fish with the rest of the Cape May charter fleet closer to Cape May but decided it would be worth the extra distance after we got some reports late Monday night about a really good Big Eye bite along with Yellowfins so we opted to make the longer run and it definitely turned out to be the right decision.
This was not an all morning bite as it died as quick as it started, however, there were some boats that had shots at them later in the morning including us but we lost the Devil tuna when the 130 pound mono top shot got wrapped around the rod tip. As most know who have fought but failed to land Big Eyes, they are big and super hard fighting tuna and if the slightest thing goes wrong, it usually results in a lost fish. That is why we refer to them as Devil tuna on our boat. When were about 10 miles from the canyon that was holding the Big Eyes, we heard on the VHF that a few boats had multiple Big Eyes on at once. Upon hearing this, I put the Hooked Up II into overdrive to get there but by the time we arrived and got our spread out, the bite had pretty much died. It was really something to see while it lasted even thought we were only minutes late for the big party. I can only imagine how good the late afternoon into the early evening bite might be with virtually no boat traffic except for the million pilot whales we saw today. In addition to the early a.m. Big Eye bite, various boats did catch some Yellowfin that ranged from 25-60 pounds throughout the day. The Yellowfin were caught in the same general area where the Big Eyes came up earlier in the morning. We boated three Yellowfin which helped soften the disappointment of not boating a Big Eye as our primary goal on today’s day troll trip was to catch at least one Big Eye and we even had thoughts of catching two or three. We watched one boat fight one for almost the whole time we were fishing today and am not sure if they ever got it in. As I previously mentioned, this is why we call them Devil Tuna.
Since the canyon where we fished today is a long boat ride from Cape May, I feel an overnight trip would be the way to go for those who want to have a legitimate chance at multiple Big Eyes. This allows us to be on the tuna grounds during the time of day that I consider prime time to catch Big Eyes. Very early a.m. when the sun is still below the horizon (false daybreak) and again late in the afternoon into the night is my personal preference to target Big Eyes. We marked absolute wolf packs of Big Eyes throughout the morning but they were mostly down 300-500 feet or deeper where they spend the majority of their time during a 24 hour period except for the short periods when they come up closer to the surface and is at those times is when the bite breaks wide open. Like in most fishing it also helps tremendously that very early am and late afternoon on many days have far less boat traffic to sound the tuna. We plan on going back to fish for them as soon as the weather allows and we are available for regular 6 person charter as well as we will be doing some open boat trips for singles and small parties.
We were the only charter boat from Cape May that made the longer run yesterday as we felt the extra distance would give us a better chance of catching Big Eyes but larger size Yellowfins. The rest of the Cape May fleet fished much shorter distances from out home port where the Big Eye bite and Yellowfin bite was nowhere near as good as where we fished. We go the extra mile whenever possible to give our customers the best chance at Big Eyes and other tuna. If you want the best shot at the best fishing, be sure to give us a call or contact us to get on one!
For anyone wondering or asking, 5-8 oz Blue and White Joe Shute lures with a ballyhoo have really been working well recently on the trips!
PS: There was a Bluefin and Yellowfin chunk bite yesterday and Monday much closer to Cape May for those that prefer a shorter less expensive trip and like chunking and jigging rather than trolling. We offer 12 hour chunking and jigging trips for the inshore Bluefins and Yellowfins.