Cod, Sea Bass, Tuna, Gales, Gales and Gales Report, August 21-25
A big, ugly, expansive low pressure and its screeching easterly winds kept the entire Helen H Fleet lashed to the pilings from late Sunday through Wednesday, and Capt. Joe Huck was preparing to get back in the saddle Thursday morning after the long forced pause. Last trip before Mother Nature put the hammer down was a Limited Wreck Cod Trip that sailed early Saturday morning and returned in the evening. Working some of his many pet wrecks strewn across the bottom on the Southeast Part of Georges Bank, Huck managed to put his anglers on top of good numbers of good codfish, many of them in the 10- to 20-pound range, and the biggest around 30, in addition to a scattering of pollock and haddock. Most of the drops were in the 200- to 250-foot depth range, where the catch was about an even split between bait rigs and jig/teaser combos.
Closer to home, the sea bassing is still holding up surprisingly well, with fish in the 3- to 5-pound range common enough to keep anglers sharp at the rails. Speaking of sea biscuits, Huck noted they’ll be adding Wednesdays to the full-day Vineyard/Nomans sea bass and scup runs currently sailing on Sundays and Mondays. While these trips will be targeting the excellent fall push of sea bass, the Helen H and Angler possess Research Set-Aside Permits for the porgies, giving them the option of enhancing a given day’s take with pie-plate scup. For those looking for a bit more elbow room, the Fleet’s six-man charterboats have dates open for fall sea bassing as well, but they’re filling fast. Fluking is in its last stages for the 2010 season, but there could well be another trip or two in the works.
In the meantime, Matty and Walt are buying Red Bull by the case in anticipation of full-bore Tuna Mayhem that kicks off Labor Day weekend with back-to-back three-day trips, sailing from Saturday, September 5, through Monday, September 7, and, on a quick turnaround, again from Tuesday through Thursday. From all the reports in recent weeks, all hands are optimistic this autumn could witness some outstanding yellowfin action along the edge. Both of the three-day trips have very limited space available, so if you hope to hop on either, it would be wise to make the call post haste.
Since none of the boats have been out for the stripers east of Chatham, and since that part of the world took a mighty pounding through the recent gale, it will remain to be seen over the next few days how the diamond jigging is holding together out there.
Here’s hoping for a bit less sideways rain over the next week. For scheduling clarifications and questions, or to book a spot at the rail on any upcoming trip, call the office at 508-790-0660.