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Captain's Focus

2008-08-31 - 20+ Bluefin on NJ Overnight Last Night
LOW PROFILE just returned from its fourth NJ Overnight Tuna trip in a row. The results have been quite mixed, as Friday night was one of our worst of the season, while last night's trip was the best Bluefin Tuna trip we've ever had. On Friday's trip, we decided to give the Lindy a shot, and found a 5 degree temperature break running right through the middle of the canyon. Everything looked great before dark, and we had great conditions, at the right itme of year, in one of our favorite spots. We had a good shot at a White Marlin, and caught a small yellowfin on the troll. There were lots of porpoises, whales, birds and lots of bait about at about 20 fathoms. We settled in for the night, hoping to have the first quality overnight Yellowfin report of the season. Unfortunately, by 1:00am, we had had two bites, one of which was a small sword and the other never came tight. So, as we had planned, we pulled the anchor and headed back inshore to beat up on the Bluefin we'd been catching consistently all week. The previous three or four trips, we had been catching good numbers of Bluefin on the Lobster Claw. The best bite had typically been between 5am and 8am, but on some nights, we were able to catch fish during the night and also in the late afternoon. Arriving there at 3am on Saturday, there were all ready about 40 boats anchored up, not a good sign. We got anchored where we wanted to be however, and began the waiting game. Unfortunately, we never got a bite, and had to leave about 9am with our tail between our legs. The bite was very slow Saturday, with ony a few fish being caught by as many as 100 boats that had decided to visit the Claw based on the great reports that had been coming in throughout the week. Indeed, we had caught 7-12 Tuna on all our trips earlier in the week. We headed back out Saturday afternoon, and were set on trying to find Yellowfin on the edge somewhere, as the Bluefin Bite seemed to be dying off. On the way, we got a call from another Charter Boat, who told us they were working a Scallop boat, with good results. Luckily, we were only about 6 miles away and were able to change course and get in on the action. Upon getting behind the boat, we immediately hooked up with two nice fish. We eventually boated one and lost the other. This was a 100 pound class Bluefin. We had several more bites, and released a couple more fish before dark. We made a tough call to stick it out inshore, as we were marking fish very well, and there had also been some small yellowfin in the area. Our decision turned out to be a great one, as we were able to establish a chunk slick and hold the fish all evening. By 10:00pm, we had fish stacked up under the boat, so we dropped the anchor, proceeding to catch them one after another. The Bluefin were fiercly competing for every bait we through in the water. We fished only 1 rod for most of the evening, and the bites typically came as we were setting the baits out. Towards the end of the evening, we rarely even get the rod in the rod holder before we'd get the bite. We released about 20 Bluefin, all between 100 and 150 pounds. The bites were mostly on live squid which were abundant last night. We've never seen these size Bluefin feed this aggressively on a night trip before. It was a really great evening. We pulled the anchor at 4:30am, and headed for the barn, with a lot of sore arms and backs resting in the salon.

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