What We Target And How We Do It

Bluefin Tuna

The Giant bluefin Tuna is one of if not the most sought after fish to swim the ocean. These beasts can grow over 1000 pounds, and over 120 inches. These giants are known to migrate up from the south around North Carolina and keep swimming until they reach Newfoundland. They don't stop once they get there either, they end up swimming back to Europe and down to Africa to find the warm waters that they seem to like the most. This cycle never ends which means the tuna are always on the move! They are most commonly found along the edges of the banks where they have an easier chance of ambushing their prey items. They also have a very diverse diet and they will never pass up an easy meal. People have caught tuna on many different types of lures, as well as all kinds of live species that inhabit a certain location. These tuna have the capability to open their mouths immensely so that when they come by they know they won't miss their target. These fish can take down fish that weigh over 20 pounds in one motion and off they go. These fish constantly have to be on the move, as well as eating around the clock. They use up their stored fat every time they kick their tail back and forth, ultimately propelling them forward to their desired destination. These fish won't always be swimming a million miles an hour. They can slow down to inspect their prey items and conserve their energy. These beautiful fish are some of the smartest to roam their waters and they use every part of their body to their advantage.  They will glide by a certain prey item and use their strong tailfin to slap and disorientate their prey. This gives the giants the ability to circle around and get a better look at the fish before opening up and taking it down. The biggest ones out of the bunch will do this, they have had more experience and are usually a lot larger than the rest. The juvenile tuna are not as picky and will take a bait without too much thought at all. We will never complain about a smaller tuna because it will go home with the customer if it is under 73 inches. Tuna when fighting against the angler will burn up their fat to keep their endurance at a peak. The commercial fisherman that hunts these beats try and get them in before all the prized fat is burned off. The ideal time to get these fish is no longer than two hours, after this time period the fish depreciates in price by the second. If the tuna is landed and on the deck of the boat you will actually see how hot their insides become. You can burn yourself if you attempt to feel the stomach of one of these beasts. Some fish come up onto the deck quite literally boiling!

Fishing On Anchor

To catch a bluefin tuna the angler has to be strategic in every which way. These beasts will test your tackle in every way possible and if there is any faults in your preparation the fish will surely find it out and will result in a lost fish and some very frustrated anglers. Every person that is on the boat fishing has a particular job that are all equally important. When we are lucky enough to have a fish take the bait a few things need to happen simultaneously, one needs to release the anchor. Releasing the anchor gives us the ability to turn the boat around and fight the fish. Another person will need to start the engines so that we are able to turn the boat if the fish decides to take a turn. These fish take off at speeds that are hard to imagine so the person that will be behind the wheel needs to make split second decisions so that the person cranking the fish in stays on top of the fish and not have the line directly over causing it to snap the line. Once the boat is off the anchor and the engines are fired up it is up to the captain and the person cranking in the beast to keep the hook buried. The person on the rod needs to keep a generous bend in the rod tip if the rod tip is not bent there is no tension getting put on the fish. This leads to slack line which usually results in a lost fish. Once the fish is brought close to the boat we have a chance in closing out the battle. One person has to be ready with the harpoon as well as watching to stay clear of any lines that could possibly wrap around someones foot and send them over the rail. When the fish comes close to the surface and the harpoon shot is reasonable you go for it. Hit the fish wherever you can get the cleanest puncture. Try and refrain from aiming near the gill plate. I've seen many sharpened harpoons bounce right off and the fish has more time to figure a way to get off the hook. Once the fish is harpooned and gaffed the battle is still not quite over. A tail rope will need to be applied and then everyone can take a huge sigh of relief. The battle will be finally over and you will be going home with a fish of a lifetime!

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Cod / Haddock

Codfish

The Atlantic Codfish is one of the most historical fish to swim the seven seas. The history of these fish go back hundreds of years and made our early economy boom. The Codfish would be salted in our harbors and traded worldwide! These fish would grow over 150 Pounds! Can you imagine winching one of those fish off the bottom! Nowadays it Is common to catch these species from 6 - 35 pounds. There are still giants lurking around on the far ledges and reefs. These massive fish are the backbone of their survival. These fish need to be left alone so that our recreational fisherman and our beloved customers, whether on our vessel or another, will be able to catch the smaller "keeper" sized fish for years to come. The smaller codfish that weigh between 6- 10 pounds are some of the tastiest fish to swim around our local waters. Once they are out of that pound range many of our customers have found that they tend to lose flavor.  This trend is not only singular to the Codfish but all species.

 

Haddock

These fish range from 3-9 pounds on the average. They are some of the best eating fish to swim on the east coast according to our customers. Most people prefer Haddock over the infamous Codfish. These fish fight like hell all the way to the surface. The fillets are nice and thin and people prefer throwing them into the oven rather than frying them up. Haddock love fresh clams more than any fish that we know of but they will also take a jig without hesitation. They live in depths that range from 80 feet all the way down to 700 feet of water! They congregate in almost all different bottoms. Most of the time there will be a Haddock kicking around with all species. They will be in the mix with Dogfish, Codfish, and even inshore species like Striped Bass. When the bait is around almost all  species will be in the general vicinity. 

Bait Fishing

Bait Fishing is the greatest all around tactic to target all species of fish, especially the infamous Cod and Haddock. We tie our own rigs, which we have fine-tuned to put your fresh bait right in their feeding zone! The baits we commonly use are Fresh Sea Clams, strips of freshly caught Mackerel, Herring and Squid. These particular baits put a great deal of scent in the water and in no time these fish pick up their favorite scent and swim directly to your baited hooks. Some baits tend to stay on the hook after multiple drops to the bottom. The fresher the bait the longer it will stay onto the hook. Fresh clams tend to last one or two drops down to the bottom before they come loose off the shank of the hook. Clams that have been stored for two long stand no chance on any hook and will fall off just dropping it into the water let alone all the way down to the bottom... the Herring when fresh tends to stay on the hook just a tad longer than the clams and lasts around the same amount of drops as do clams. Fresh Mackerel  are a very hardy bait when fresh... frozen Mackerel is one of the worst baits to use. They smell horrendous, never stay on the hook, the list goes on and on. When fresh they are a fantastic bait, all species can't get enough of them. The fish tend to bite the meat right off the skin without a second thought! The meat of the Mackerel is essential  for catching. Always make sure there is meat on the hook or the catching potential goes significantly down! Lastly Squid is one of the baits that we use. This bait stays on the hook like no other. The strips of Squid need to be bitten off for them to completely come off the shank of the hook. They can be used for endless amounts of drops to the bottom. We just recommend using a new piece frequently so that there is plenty of scent in the water. 

Jig Fishing

This tactic of fishing is an art and some anglers that we have on the boat will not fish any other way!  The jigs that we provide work best when they are kept in the prime position. The areas that they work best are from directly on the bottom all the way to 10 feet off the bottom. The jigging technique that is taught on the east coast is nothing fancy but can get over complicated depending on who you ask! What we tell our anglers that want to learn this way of fishing are a couple simple instructions. First we tell the angler to let the jig settle all way to the ocean's floor before they try their magic. Our captain has caught many fish just laying the jig on the bottom. The flashy jigs that we always have on the boat catch the sun perfectly and catches the fishes eyes even more! Once the jig has settled on the bottom we tell them to raise their rod from the water's surface toward the sky, after this motion we instruct them to bring the rod back down to the original position. The bottom fish whether it is a codfish or haddock tend to hit the jig 9/10 times when it is falling down back to the bottom. The jigging technique is just a repetitive motion as we first instructed. The angler will know that there is a fish on the other end of the line when he or she goes to raise the rod tip to the sky and feels a lot more weight than usual. This is the greatest indicator that you have something kicking on the end. 

Drifting

This strategy works great in almost all conditions. When the current is running fast towards a certain direction and the wind is blowing against the vessel creates the best drifts. When the two are aligned the drift ends up becoming too fast and the captain will have to come tight on the anchor. When the wind is blowing to hard towards a certain direction and the current is very little in the opposite direction, the way to slow down the vessel we can throw out the drift sock. This device ends up catching the current and slows down the vessel which ultimately  gives you more time over the fish. The beauty of drift fishing is you are able to set up on a desired spot that you would like to set up on towards another spot depending on the direction  of the current. The current can be easily figured out in a matter of minutes and all the technology that we have on the vessel. It is also easy to find the current direction with two separate latitude and longitudes. The Drift Speed can be up two four knots in speed which most fishermen can not handle. only the greatest fisherman our captain has ever seen can handle it but the catching is considerably harder. The best drift speed is around .2 of a knot to about a half of a knot in speed. This gives the angler an opportunity to cover lots of bottom, which ends up producing a lot more fish than anchored up in our captains opinion. Fish also will follow the boat while it is drifting from one spot to another when the fishing is hot and heavy.

Fishing On Anchor

Striped Bass

Fishing at anchor gives you the chance to stay right on top of the fish or a wreck. This technique gives you the opportunity to catch fish at an exact location without drifting off the spot and having to keep steaming back up to the spot. When the sea state is a little two much for drifting we will throw down the hook on the bottom. This will put the vessel's bow into the waves and will ultimately calm down the pitching motion of the vessel. Some of our locations that we fish are two small of a range to drift fish. By the time we get our lines ready and in the water we have missed our spot. These fish in these locations stick to a certain bottom and will not come off their specific bottom. Once you are even 50 yards off the spot you watch the rods go from doubled over to not even getting a touch. Some of the biggest fish stay hidden in the deep wrecks that scatter the bottom of the ocean. Some of the biggest codfish and blue hake that have been pulled off the bottom have been right on top of a certain rock. It's up to the captain to be perfectly  on the spot because if off just a smidge their customers will not catch nearly as much as they could. 

Striped Bass

The infamous seven stripes are one of the most enjoyable fish to target that are not far from the shore. These fish tend to school up together in giant packs and will search for bait together.  These smaller fish that we call in the fishing community a "schoolie". These schoolies are loads of fun all ages, young and old. They love breaking on topwater lures that create a tremendous amount of surface disturbance. These juvenile fish use loads of energy to propell themselves up out of the water in hopes that they either take down their prey or disoriented  them and circle on back to gulf down with less energy.  The smaller Striped Bass tend to feed on the smaller prey items. For example they love silversides, juvenile Winter Flounder, Peanut Bunker, and smaller Mackerel. The larger fish will tend to run solo in search of larger bait. These big cows tend to stay behind current breaks and ambush their prey. These fish arent big for no reason. They conserve their energy whenever they can. Those cows like to eat high calorie meals so that they can go back to their hiding grounds. The cows main diet are Mackerel, Pogies, Mud Hake, Eels, and the occasional Lobster. These big girls are very opportunistic, rarely will they turn down a meal that is easy for them to attack. The bigger the meal the more time they can sit in one spot. It is a common knowledge that these big cows go on a feeding bidge for no more than thirty minutes and then sit and diguest for the next day or even two! Hooking one of these beasts are a rare but amazing occurance. It is something that you will truly never forget!

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Striped Bass Dawn and Dusk Techniques

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There are many strategies that we use to target these strong playful species. During the morning and night hours we usually try to use top water lures first to see if we can get a reaction from them. Usually we try for a good hour in duration, it can take multiple passes of a lure over a school of fish for them to turn on and break the surface. If the captain can tell that these fish are not in a surface breaking mood he will switch to subsurface techniques.

Striped Bass Subsurface Techniques

There are many ways that we can accomplish this task. It is truly up to the person that books the trip, if they want to create movement with the lures themselves, we have a variety of lures to entice strikes. Our Crew will be right by your side to teach how to work a certain lure as well. If the angler would like to troll instead of casting and retrieving , we also have lures that are effortless that we can suspend over certain locations for the highest chance of success. All the angler has to do in this case is sit back and wait for the reel to start singing!