Tuna report, October 8-10: Last Chance!
Capt. Joe Huck, who has admittedly not been the happiest-go-luckiest guy during what has amounted to a very slow fall of tuna fishing along the edge of the continental shelf, was uncharacteristically upbeat in the wake of the Helen’s weekend two-day mission. The trip left the boat’s Hyannis slip early Saturday morning, and Capt. Joe pointed the bow south-southwest toward Atlantis Canyon, where the most recent available satellite temp shot placed a slug of warmer Gulf Stream water as of late Friday night. Approaching the edge, Joe found some fairly promising water in the 70- to 71-degree range right in the vicinity of the 100 fathom. With lines in, the crew began to troll out off the edge into the deep, then west, bound for another finger of warmer water in West Atlantis. Through the day on Saturday, the troll bite proven unnervingly quiet, and all hands were beginning to entertain siginificant doubts about the odds of a solid trip.�
In the vicinity of West Atlantis, the temp gauge raeding upwards of 71 degrees-not too shabby given the point in the season-Capt Huck spent some time roughing out a finger of warm blue water riding up on the edge at West Atlantis, and eventually chose a spot up on the bank to set up for the night bite.
Crew eventually set the anchor in an area that was showing quite a bit of promise in the form of bait, birds and whales. Not long after sundown, they gopt some solid confirmation that their hunch was a good one, a couple yellows in the 50- to 60-pound range beating tails on the steel deck. Through the rest of the night, the boat rode trhe anchor in what appeared to be a virtual aquarium: a ton of live squid, marine mammals, frequent appearances by roving mahi mahi and the tell-tale boomerang marks lighting up the sounder screen. Through the night, customers picked away at yellows to around the 65-pound mark, plus a good load of mahi mahi, both on sardines and fresh-caught squid. Between false dawn and roughly 6 a.m., the boys on deck were treated to a secondary flurry of action on the jigs, boating a small handful of albacore before resuming the troll. The morning troll, despite high hopes, saw precious little activity. Final trip tally when Huck pointed the boew toward home late morning was 14 tuna, a mix of yellows and longfins, plus another half-dozen fish lost and a couple additional late-night mystery-meat hook-ups that ended badly. The way fall 2010 has been to date, Joe was more than pleased with the results.
As I type this, the Helen H is in the middle of a three-day canyon run which will hit the dock late Wednesday afternoon. Plans are to pull another quick about-face, sailing agan on the Fleet’s last tuna trip for the season, a two-day trip that will depart around 7 a.m. on Thursday morning and return to the Helen’s Hyannis slip late in Thursday afternoon/evening. Here’s hoping there’s some positive word from the three-day.
Either way, most if not all of the rest of the headboat fleet has wrapped it up for the year; if you’re debating one last southward stab before the curtain comes crashing down, there are still limited slots available on the Thursday-Friday run. Call the office tyo solidify your rail position: 508-790-0660.