Scientific Fishing

Yesterday, we had Doctors John Graves and Hamish Small from VIMS with us. This was one of our dedicated young-of-the-year bluefin tuna hunts. Basically, it is running offshore and pulling Spanish mackerel gear. We did have some marlin baits from the outriggers. It was little spoons off of the transom, small planers and inline sinkers. Sometimes we catch a bunch, sometimes just a few, sometimes none. This was the latter. Most of the time, we will catch a bunch of small blackfin tuna. Didn’t catch any of those either. What we did catch were dolphin, jacks, frigate tuna, skipjack tuna, a yellowfin tuna. The yellowfin were numerous yesterday and they like eating those little spoons. Yellowfin tuna on Spanish mackerel gear is impressive. It typically does not end well. We never got spooled but were close a few times. Typically, those little hooks just pull. We did manage to boat one of the yellowfin. I thought we were lucky but Stan Simmerman said it just requires the right angler on the rod.

The boats around us really fishing had a good day. Marlin fishing was really slow. A few were caught. Most switched over to a very good tuna bite and most everyone had a good catch of yellowfin tuna. Skipjack were numerous and both bigeyes and longfins were caught. Good numbers of nice wahoo were also caught. This was mostly in the 300s-400s on the 4 line, 50-100 fathoms. Out deeper, there were weed lines holding dolphin and some boats loaded up on them. We did this for a bit seeing if we could find some baby bluefin in the grass and caught dolphin and jacks. With the tuna and wahoo bite going on, most boats left the dolphin alone. Boats who dropped for swordfish were successful. When were back at the fuel dock, there was a steady flow of tuna, wahoo and swordfish going by. Good time to be offshore Virginia.

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