Fishing Report

Friday July 15, 2022

Greetings All Fishermen and Woman

 

I (Captain Brandon) have been fishing pretty consistently and haven't been able to give a fishing report in a few days, my apologies. Saturday the 9th I had an all day ground fishing trip departing at 5am. I had told Jeremy that the weather the prior day was decently choppy and that the fishing would be good yet it would be a bit bumpy. Jeremy's group obliged and were anxious to get out there and get some fish. I had arrived at about 4am to gather all the gear together and start unthawing the clams as well and load the boat up with some new ice. I had everything ready to go at 4:30 and now I was just waiting for the guests. At 4:58am they had arrived just in time to depart towards the fishing grounds. I had given the group the speech and asked if they had gone deep sea fishing before. To my surprise they had never gone fishing in the ocean before and their only fishing experience was out on a pond years ago! I was in for one hell of a day! We arrived at the first spot at roughly 6:10am and started to fish with the drift sock. The boat was drifting at around .8kts which is way too fast for anglers that have never fished haddock. The fishing was automatic the second we had clams on the bottom yet they couldn’t stay in contact with the bottom. I unwillingly decided to drop the anchor to the bottom to keep the boat in one position to try and avoid any hanis tangles. We had started off with 10oz sinkers which held fine unfortunately the problem with never fishing before Jeremy and his crew didn't know how to keep letting line out to let their sinker lay on the bottom. The lines were all out perfectly at a 45 degree angle yet would constantly be a foot off the bottom and out of the strike zone. I had told everyone to crank up and that I would increase the sinker weight so that they could achieve the desired straight up and down fishing. After an hour or so they got the hang of letting the line out until they could feel their sinker bouncing off the bottom. The fishing was okay in my opinion on anchor. I knew if we could drift the fishing would have been faster, yet I could not complain with the diverse species that were coming over the rail. When anchored we were bouncing around and the group held it together quite well. I tried to get everyone to fish at the same time, but unfortunately two of the guests weren't feeling the best. There were only four lines at the most in the water half of the time. Lots of Redfish, Hake, and Haddock were coming over the rail and then with all the rocking and rolling the number of fishing lines in the water dwindled down to two. Jeremy was feeling seasick and was laying on the deck so I decided to haul the anchor and try and drive towards the shore and try to locate some fish. The nice breeze cured him from his sickness and was better in a matter of a half an hour. I knew I had one more spot that was pretty good that was “near” the shore. I had dropped down the anchor and started fishing and the fishing was steady. It was the best  it could be on anchor. We had managed a really nice Cusk as well as some beautiful Haddock. Unfortunately one of the group members wanted to call the trip off early so reluctantly I hauled the anchor knowing I was leaving the fish biting. Happens to the best of us.

That night I called my close friend Steve Georgopoulos to see if he would like to help me out commercial tuna fishing. Before I could get the words out of my  mouth he said yes and was asking me what time he had to be there. I have been fishing with Steve for years now and we have a fantastic relationship. All day long we bust each other's chops and we always can't wait for the next time to go fishing. I had told Steve to get there at around 4:45am to get some things ready and we planned to head out at 5am towards the bank. I had arrived that morning at 4:15 and had loaded the boat up with all the necessary items needed to get out there. At 4:30, sure as anything Steve had arrived and had a smile from ear to ear. You could see the excitement running through his veins and couldn't wait to cast off the last dock line. We left at 4:45 and arrived at the fishing grounds at 5:45. We had tried to anchor up yet the anchor kept popping off the bottom and dragging. I was unhappy with the way we were sitting on the bank so I had decided to pick it up and try and set it again. I was happy I had come to that conclusion. We had finally got dug in at 6am and had our first line in the water at 6:05. I had Steve jigging for some preferred baitfish while I had set the lines out. I had let the first line out no more than 25 yards away from the boat and clicked up the drag setting. I went to turn around and I heard a reel clicking. I was confused as all hell and took a look at Steve and noticed that he wasn't touching the other set up that we had ready and it all clicked in my head. We had a fish on! I turned my head around and sure as hell the rod was doubled over. I yelled “We’re on!” and ran to the rod and cranked down on this fish. I Think Steve thought I was pulling his chain until he turned around and saw the rod fully loaded up. I had gotten around 5-6 cranks on the fish and it turned and ran directly underneath the boat and I felt the hook pull. It was only 6:07 and we had already had a fish take the bait! I had told Steve to throw the other line in the water and hook the bait fish anywhere that the fish were chewing underneath the boat. I dropped the bait to the same depth and threw a balloon on and no longer than 30 seconds later I watched the balloon skip across the water surface and heard the reel scream.”We’re on!” I ran to the front of the boat and threw off the anchor and the fish ran away from the boat. The fish was all over the place from being on the surface to scraping the bottom to 50 yards away from the boat and his final dig was unfortunately right under the boat. The fish ran directly towards the trim tab and had got the line wedged in between. It honestly didn't even feel real what we were experiencing. I had cut the line and got both lines figured out again and crimped on some new leaders and got them out fishing again. Steve started to let out the line and when his balloon was out 25 yards and the fish took the line right out of his hand, came tight and popped. the freaking crimp failed! I shook my head, we had the worst luck possible and I closed the brand new package of crimps and electric tapped them shut and opened a new package. We laughed like hell because we couldn't believe what happened to us for the last hectic 20 minutes. We had double triple checked the crimps as well as constantly cleaned the lines to hope another fish was going to come on through. A few hours went by and countless amounts of bait changed to always have the freshest bait in the water; it paid off. At 9:35am I had put on a brand new bait and started to let it out slowly. The sounds of the reel slowly clicking out was enticing and really made us both start tingling. I had let the balloon go out at least 50 yards in hopes that if we had a taker that it wouldn't immediately go right underneath the boat. I had clicked the reel up to around 10 pounds of drag and turned around to do something else. I heard “click, click and click” I said to Steve, “We're on” I had ran to the rod and cranked down 5 times and felt the rod start to load under the pressure. I told him to keep cranking. I had thrown the anchor ball off as he was gaining line on the mysterious weight. I came back and started the port engine and was ready to put it in gear. Steve questioned me what to do and I told him to keep gaining line and that I really had no clue what was really on the other end. My first thought was that it was a small blue shark playing around and not really putting up a fight. Steve had got the fish roughly 150 feet away from the back corner of the boat and the drag screamed! I yelled “that's a fish!.” The fish had realized that he had a hook in the corner of its mouth and took off running. I was at the helm watching Steve fight this fish. He would gain a bunch and the fish took it right back. He started to see color and the fish began to pinwheel underneath the boat. I had the harpoon in my hand ready to throw it at this beautiful specimen. I had a real good look at him as he came by the first time and I almost threw it and I held back. It went in a circle one more time right next to the boat and I stuck the fish as hard as I possibly could. The harpoon dart went directly through the fish and the dart went horizontal and got a good hold to drag the fish in. I had grabbed the gaff and gaffed the fish in the tail and with all the adrenaline pumping through me I had just muscled this fish right over the rail. Once that fish hit the deck we screamed in delight. We had hugged each other and just kept screaming in pure delight. I was so elated that we had just landed this beautiful tuna but I knew what had to happen next. I tailropped the fish and pushed it out the back of the boat and started to drag the fish behind. We were still yelling and screaming with joy about what we had just accomplished. We dragged the fish for a good while and I started the process of getting the fish on board, gutting, and putting it in the insulated bag. It was such a rush! Steve has been seeking a tuna for years and the last tuna that he had caught was on a close friend of mine's boat with the Captain Kevin Twombly of Lisa and Jake. Kevin is one of the best fishermen on the whole east coast and I was lucky enough to learn the tricks and trades of the fishing business. Steve has gone on at least 30 Tuna charters with only catching 4 in all the trips. One Tuna was caught with Kevin, the other with a captain out of the cape, and the other two out of the outer banks down south. I was honored to have put Steve on his 5th Tuna and it was a trip that I will truly never forget for my whole life. We had carved the fish up at the dock and gave a few steaks away to some people at the marina and took a bunch home for us. Two days later I am at Steve’s daughters house having Tuna prepared in countless ways for me to try. Did I mention Steve could be a professional chef? It was a great time hanging out with him and his daughter and son in law but the best part was being ushered around by his granddaughter. Evalina had me going all over the house on a tour and swimming in the pool. It was a really special time and I forget how lucky I am to know such great people. I can call them family and love each and every one of them. Hopefully my next fishing report will be just as heartwarming.

Until Next Time

Your Captain, Brandon Robinson 


 

Wednesday June 29, 2022

Three days ago on Sunday I had talked to my close buddies about going tuna fishing. These friends being Travis Cheney and Jake Higgins. These kids are some of the better fishermen that I know. Jake had just caught a 116 pound halibut up on Tim Towers' boat and was still riding that high and Travis was dying to get out and target the bluefin, judging he had never had the chance. We had made a game plan to stay on the boat the night before and get out there before the sun had even come up. I had gone down after eating dinner and talked to a good friend, Johnny Johnson, who is a fantastic fisherman. I had already pinned down a place to fish in the morning and he had asked me to fish a specific location so that we could really pin down these fish. Funny thing was where he told me to fish was where I was going to go in the first place. It is funny how things line up. After we conversed, I went back to the boat and waited for the boys to arrive. We had got everything ready to go for the morning and put some new leaders on the rods. We had gone through the process meticulously to make sure we did not lose a fish because of a lapse in judgment. We were so anxious to go we had gone back and forth to just leave at 10 oclock at night and get out before anyone had left. We decided not to leave until 3am and we had followed Johnny out to the fishing grounds. We had our lines stretched, baited, and fishing no longer than twenty minutes after we had settled back on the anchor. We had our lines sitting pretty for the first slack tide and we didn't get a touch. Typical tuna fishing unfortunately. Everything looked pristine and I knew it was only a matter of time. During the flood tide we had kept the lines clean and kept anticipating a bite. We had a “down” rod that was decently close to the port stern. It was at least five feet away and not moving away from the boat. I went to pick up something off the seadek and I look up and I see the balloon rip through the water for a good fifteen feet and then like nothing happened it stopped moving. We knew a fish picked up our bait, ran a good bit and spit the bait right out. Our hearts sank, it was about 7 am now and we had been fishing for four plus hours with one sign of life. Jake started to ask me if we should start drifting or even start trolling around to see if we could locate a school of hungry tuna. I kept telling the boys we gotta stick it out till the  next slack the fish will start coming around. At 10am I started checking baits again. I had thrown on new baits and set them back out. I knew the next slack was in forty minutes so I wanted to get the freshest and cleanest lines out fishing for the prime fishing time. Jake had bought a flat of herring for us to chunk throughout the day which we started chunking heavily at about 10:25am. At this point  we were only fifteen minutes away from the slack. Time passed and I looked at the fish finder that was barren to check the time. It was 10:41 am I looked at the seadek in despair and all of a sudden jake yelled “were on!” We all ran into action. I had hopped on the rod and cranked like my life depended on it. At first I told the guys to wait because I didn't know if it wasn't a small porbeagle that had came into our clum slick, after a decent run we all knew that this was no shark. I told Jake to throw off the anchor and I didnt have to tell Travis to do anything, he was already on it, he cleared the deck and got the harpoon ready to go. Jake got back from throwing the anchor ball and he picked back up the rod and started cranking. I threw on the engines and threw them in gear for a second to keep the line clear of the rudders. No longer than ten minutes later Jake yells that he is at the leader. I went to the back of the boat and picked up the harpoon. The fish was pinwheeling and started to come to the surface. Jake started to scream at me to hit the fish with the harpoon but I told him to wait. Five seconds later That fish came up right next to the boat and I threw the harpoon and drilled it right behind the gill plate. The fish shot right down and went for another run and I let the harpoon line run through my hand and I felt the dart pop out of the fish. I proceeded to retrieve the dart as fast I could and put it back on the pole. The fish took one more good run and came back up, it was bleeding profusely and I knew I had to end this quick before the hook came undone and we would go home with no meat. The fish was off the stern about ten feet and Jake wanted me to hit it right then and there but I waited again, it came right next to the boat and I threw the harpoon as hard as I possibly could. This time the dart stayed pinned we got two gaffs in the fish and tail roped it off and dragged it for a while and went back to hook up to our ball. Once we knew that the fish was secured and the job was done I don't think I have ever screamed so loud in my life. We all were hugging each other and it was just pure elation. We fished for another hour with another but could come tight to the fish so we went home smiling from ear to ear. The fish fed the whole yacht club and made a lot of people very happy. The day could not have gone any better. First of the year and can't wait for the next. Thank you all for the ones that made it this far in the fishing report to share this experience with me. Signing off

Your Captain Brandon Robinson

Special Thanks to my Crew Travis Cheney and Jake Higgins.

 

Tuesday June 14, 2022

Good Afternoon,

This  morning I decided to go out Tuna fishing and I planned out the day yesterday with a good friend Willie.  We had decided to leave the dock at 6 am. The day started when I pulled out of the driveway at 4:45am and headed towards Gloucester and met Willie at 5:15am. We gathered two one hundred and twenty quart coolers and filled them to the top with ice. After we loaded all the gear on the boat we cast away our lines. We went back and forth about where we were going to start our day fishing. I had heard some great reports of people landing numerous tuna over the northwest corner on Stellwagen bank as well as decent catching up on Jeffreys ledge. We had come to the conclusion that the northwest corner was a better bet to start the day. We arrived at the corner at about 7am and started to do S patterns looking for the big schools of mackerel. There was hardly any bait or life in general on the corner and could only manage two mackerel. This was quite frustrating since the previous day the fish were practically jumping out of the water to be thrown on the circle hook! We had noticed that there were numerous boats towards the other side of the bank all lined up already fishing. I had made the decision that it wasn't a bad idea to go and join in all the fun. We had started fishing about a half of a mile away from the fleet of boats drifting away from them at around 0.3 knots to try and locate the schools of tuna. We had fished and covered around 0.75 miles of area without a tug. I had made the call to reel up the lines and make a shift. As all of this was happening I could see birds starting to congregate in a few different areas only .3 miles away from all of the boats that were anchored up. I had “bump trolled” all the way over to these massive schools of bait that were getting pushed to the surface by  the numerous tuna. At a glance it had looked as if they were all herring by the way that they were scattered around. Our hopes were through the roof even though we had a different species of bait soaking in the water. I slowly got right up in the middle of the disturbance to come to the conclusion that it wasn't herring but massive schools of sandeels. There were whales and tuna crashing the surface after the bait balls that stretched the size of a football field! We had our lines in the water dividing the water column up in thirds with the two lines that were on balloons covering the top two thirds of the column and the “down rod” about twenty feet off the oceans floor. The bait had managed to swim directly into our lines and the birds were actually diving all around our balloons picking the stragglers trying to escape the tuna's stomachs as well as the aggressive minke whales that were jetting through the surface. We were hoping one of these hundred pound tuna were going to slip up and take the beautiful baits we had set but it wasn't the case. We had fished the two slack tides without a hit. Out of the twenty two boats on the bank I had only seen one boat hook up a fish and land it successfully. This was very discouraging since there was so much action all around the boat yet ninety nine percent of us couldn't even get a bite. When these fish are on a select kind of bait such as the sandeels fishing a mackerel, whiting, or a herring can be fruitless. There was one tuna that had slipped up and paid the price. I had finally had enough and reeled in the lines at 1pm and headed home with my tail in between my legs in disgust… that's fishing for ya! It was amazing to see these fish surging through the surface intertwined with the whales. That paid for the price of admission itself even though we had not landed a tuna. There's always another day to hook onto a fish. Back to the drawing board again, there's always something to learn about every time you are out fishing. A captain has to take account of every detail of the day whether it is the water temperature, the surface temperature, the tides, the moon phase, the list goes on and on and can feel endless but this is what us captains have to do to excel at the sport that we love. Thank you all for reading to this point this was a decently long report and I hope you enjoyed the read. Until next time… signing off.

Captain Brandon Robinson


 


Sunday June 5th, 2022

Good Afternoon Fellow Fisherman and Woman

Today I went down to the boat at about 5:30am and started to get to work. I started getting the rods rigged up and put some extra bait on the boat. After I finished that I topped off all the necessary fluids so that the engine would run like a top. We headed off the slip at 7am sharp and headed straight for the mackerel schools. We had a blast catching up all of the perfect sized mackerel for the striped bass. Once we had caught over 40 mackerel I decided to head on in and see if the bass were ready to start munching. First spot there was fish but they would come up and push the macks to the top and make a big boil but would not commit. Then one of the harbor seals came in and I knew the fishing was going down the drain so I changed spots. We ended up trolling the live mackerel for around 20 minutes with a couple of good takes but none of them would end up getting the hook. To say the least it was very frustrating. Lots of bites but nothing to show for it. We had trolled into a spot that I knew was fantastic and drifted. We had some serious runs with the live mackerel yet they would not hold on. I decided to use chunks and that worked effortlessly. We had fish after fish for a good two and a half hours. A good 7 or 8 of the bass were under slot by a couple of inches and the rest that we landed were right in the slot range. We had one bass that was about 40 something inches and over 10 pounds shake the hook right at the boat as I was about to lip him in the boat. I was not happy to say the least to lose that fish but that’s what it’s all about I guess. The father and two sons that were on the boat were elated at the fish that we were catching and couldn’t get enough of it. I wish I could’ve stayed longer but our time was up. I was very happy with the way the trip had gone. Can’t wait for the next time!

Thanks for reading and have a great day,

Captain Brandon Robinson

Monday May 16th, 2022

Good Afternoon All,

I'd like to begin by apologizing for not having a constant fishing report… This spring has been trying for the Voodoo. It seemed like every time we would plan to go out there was either high winds or the seas were too dangerous to operate in. We tried to go out the first week of April and needless to say we got the snot kicked out of us. Mother Nature didn't want us out fishing. We had cruised out in two to three foot chop which is honestly regular fishing conditions. We arrived at our spot and dropped anchor. After five minutes on the anchor the constant three footers turned into fives with the occasional six footer. Fishing my whole life I have encountered this type of conditions almost everyday in the early spring and late fall. We had pulled in some nice healthy haddock while trying to stay on our feet. Those occasional six footers turned into seven to eight footers and their sequence was at about six seconds. You could imagine how bumpy that was… Needless to say i had called the trip off and while I was hauling the anchor those seven footers disappeared as fast as they started and we found ourselves battling eight footers to the occasional ten footer. The ride home was fun as the captain because I could really see how the Voodoo would handle being in some nasty conditions. Our customers that came fishing didn't have the same joy as I had. Everyone got sick and had to endure a rough three and a half hour steam home. Judging on that trip we had decided not to give it a shot until the april season was over. We had gone out on harbor cruises and had a fantastic time. We have started to finally see a strong push of striped bass which is fantastic. Now we have an endless amount of opportunities to get on other types of fish besides cod and haddock. Today we finally had a great opportunity to go out there and secure some filets to take home. The previous day the fishing had been very stagnant. Tough tides as well as the current not waking up the fish. Today we knew we had an uphill battle. We threw the lines at five oclock sharp and set a course to our spot. We were fishing at six am and started to locate the fish. Unfortunately there wasn't much fish at really any spot that we had checked. We had seen a couple marks on the finder which was better than seeing nothing at all. We had set up the boat in front of a decent school of fish for the day and picked through a healthy population of codfish and would pick up the occasional Haddock. There was absolutely no current whatsoever so the fishing in return wasn't like I had dreamed. I am my toughest critic and if I don't see three rods doubled over at once I don't feel right. Fish were coming over the rail at about a fish a minute. Unfortunately most of the fish were gorgeous codfish. We could've had at least 30 pounds of cod filets if it had been April 14th. We had landed over twenty haddock yet seventy percent of them were a quarter inch shy. Yes it is frustrating to see fish not make the size requirement but considering the conditions I felt a little of the pressure come off my shoulders. Once a bite started it stopped almost instantaneously. I told the guys to reel up their lines and we were going to make a shift south. After about 4 miles of traveling and hitting multiple spots my hopes were crushed. The bottom was barren yet I kept pushing on I knew they would stack up eventually and with the tide swinging back around I knew the bite would turn on. We had started the drifts and were picking a few haddock for every drift. I had drifted the same track every time about six times. I wanted to be positive we cleared any remaining fish. Now we had started to see some larger codfish as well as some thick haddock starting to come over the rail. The pace of the fishing wasn't up to my expectation but there was still meat hitting the deck. The fog was heavy and we couldn't see all that far ahead of us. Our radar played a huge role in our trip today. All the boats that were fishing around our area were shooting blanks and couldn't even find one legal fish! There were a lot of flustered fisherman on the radio wondering what the hell was up with the bite. I wanted to voice my angers over the channel but I just kept my head down and kept drifting over new bottoms. I actually stayed out an extra hour in hopes that magically the fish would start to bite like hotcakes, my hopes and dreams didn't come true. Our customer Steve Buck from Upstate New York ended up with two one gallon bags of filets. Judging what I had gone through to just get those fish in the boat I was satisfied with the result. Don't get me wrong this trip didn't go how I had planned it but the overall excitement Steve had pulling in the fish one after another put a smile on my face. I am very tough on myself and I never am really satisfied with how I do. I have to hang my head high because there were a lot of guys that were out today that are going home with their tail in between their legs with no fish to show. I don't care how tough the fishing is or how far I have to go, I am putting fish on the deck for my customers. It's my job. Giant thanks again for Steve to actually travel over five hours to come fishing with me today and trusting me with taking him out for some groundfishing. Thank you all for reading this long fishing report. I hope I could paint a good picture of how our season has gone so far. 

Until the next time,

Your Captain Brandon Robinson

 

Friday March 18, 2022

Good Afternoon All,

Three days ago we dropped our vessel and went for a short harbor cruise to see how things were running after the brutally cold winter that we had endured. Great news, she ran fantastic just how we thought. Today we had geared up the boat to go out and check on the fish and see where they were holding. We had driven through almost six miles of really dense fog. Visibility was about twenty yards at times so steaming out at a fast pace was the last thing we wanted to do. Thankfully we have a great radar so we could see through it all! Once we had made it out to some of our old locations we picked up right where we had left off. Fishing was slow at first but that is to be expected. Once the bait hit the bottom and started a good sized slick the fish came right to under the boat. We picked through some Haddock, Codfish, as well as some humongous Redfish. We were simply trying to judge where the best bite would be. No fish were taken home but it did feel fantastic to scratch the itch. We are definitely counting down the days until we can finally start fileting fish and getting our customers some fish to take home. It is right around the corner. Now is the time to secure your spot for this season!



 

Wednesday December 1st, 2021

 

Good Morning Fellow Fisherman, 

 

We hope all of our fishing family has had a fun, safe, and warm thanksgiving. Hopefully everyone has found themselves back at home base after all the traveling that is involved for this holiday! Can you believe it is only twenty-four days left until Christmas! It truly feels that it is flying by before we can even settle down and enjoy the changing if season. Even though I could go on for days about the holiday season, let's talk about the vessel. She is currently sitting up on top of jack stands at one of our local tackle shops. Yes, it is a depressing sight not seeing this beauty in the water yet it gives up more fire under our butts to get ready for the upcoming season. We have got some new additions to add to the vessel as well, but with all great things it will take a little bit of time. We are planning on launching the boat in March, April 1st is our first planned trip. Booking is pretty tight during the first few weeks since Cod will be open for the taking at 21’’. 

Stay Tuned, Fishy Friends

Captain Brandon