Georges Cod and Winter Scheduling Update, December 3, 2010
Capt. Joe Huck on the Helen H has put together a couple of good recent cod trips, taking advantage of the short-lived weather windows and some solid concentrations of mostly small to medium-sized fish. He’s been working Georges, the Channel and Nantucket Shoals, where the biggest challenge has been getting on the right pile of fish, the right ratio of keepers. There’s been a decent amount of bait around, fuelling good fishing with jigs rather than bait (fresh clams have, of course, been working, but there’s been no real need to feed them bait). Most of the guys are swinging 14- to 16-ounce diamonds, though most jigs-including Butterflies-have been getting the job done in the 130- to 160-foot depth range. The fishing has ranged from fair to lights-out, depending mostly on the conditions. The last trip on Sunday, November 28, had a nice pick of fish right away, then a bit of a challenge when the tide turned around and ran into the wind, giving the Helen only minimal movement over ground. The trip before that saw a wide-open late-day bite that loaded coolers quickly. Good news is that there are lots of market-sized codfish around, and your odds are quite good of securing a nice pile of fresh fillets as we head into the lean months.
Plans remain to sail when the weather allows, 4 a.m. or thereabouts to 6 p.m. Huck noted he’s adjusted sailing times slightly to work around the weather, maybe leaving a bit later on days when the wind has been up overnight and dropping out toward dawn. Best plan, if you’re hoping to have some fresh codfish fillets in the fridge for the holidays, is to call the office and add your name to the list.
In other news-the big news, really-Joe has been in close communication with the south-of-Block-Island cod fleet. Obviously, the last few winters have seen some very solid fishing in that vicinity, and there’s good reason to think it’s on the verge of coming back together this winter. There’s a ton of herring and mackerel around, and some pretty good signs of cod scattered around the area as you read this. To capitalize on this prime winter fishery, Capt. Joe is finalizing a plan to join forces with the Capt. Lou out of Montauk. As of January 1, the Helen H will be sailing daily out of Montauk, within easy range of the Block Island grounds. If you’re on the list, a mailer will be forthcoming laying out the specific details. If you’re not currently on the mailing list, you might place a quick call to the Helen’s Hyannis office, or stay tuned for additional details here. You can reach the office at 508-790-0660.