We went out looking for some triggerfish yesterday. We had a nice catch of triggers and we kept a five-man limit of sea bass. Nice day of wreck fishing. Back at the dock, one of our dock mates had been a bit east of us dropping for swordfish. They had 3 bites, catching one sword. A bit east of them, over 500 fathoms, a handful of boats experienced a fairly epic bigeye tuna bite. My slip neighbor was in early because they had no more room on the boat. They had caught 5 out of 7 bigeye bites. Everyone out there (all of 5 boats) were covered up with bigeyes. Another dock mate was unloading a limit of rockfish. They had run up in the bay to the buoy 42 area. Said there were fish all over the surface, all you wanted to catch. Their fish were 20 something inches long but they said some big fish (40-50 pounds) were also caught in the area. December has started out pretty well.
We fished the Triangle Wrecks yesterday. We were mostly after flounder and we were also looking for big bluefish. We caught bluefish but just little ones. We did not do much with the flounder. Jerald Abraham caught a nice squid and the one flounder that we kept. We caught plenty of sea bass. The guys kept 40 of the nicer ones, releasing the rest. Johnny Boyd caught a nice false albacore on his flounder rig. Stan Simmerman caught a confused flounder that was brown on both sides. It also had a notch in it’s head. Other than that, it seemed healthy. We tagged and released that fish. The boats that ran out to the Norfolk Canyon had a good catch of yellowfin tuna yesterday.
Yesterday, we ran the Healthy Grin with Dr. John Graves out in search of young-of-the year bluefin tuna. Basically, it is fishing for Spanish mackerel offshore. There are special research permits involved….so don’t do this at home. We caught a bunch of little blackfin tuna…which look very similar to bluefin at that size…skipjack tuna, dolphin, bullet tuna, and a single bluefin tuna. So success, sort of. We also had 4 white marlin come in. Got bites from 3 (on ballyhoo, not on the little spoons), and caught 2. The science people come for the baby tuna. My crew comes for the bycatch.
We ran the Healthy Grin to the Washington Canyon. We came back in yesterday flying 7 release flags out of about a dozen white marlin that we saw. While we were mostly fishing for fun, we did do a little fishing for science. We put out a little spoon and caught some baby tuna for the researchers.
I did a little boat work yesterday morning then slipped out of the inlet and trolled the oceanfront for a few hours before coming in for lunch. I had 3 bites: pulled off a king mackerel, caught a king, and caught a cobia.
Stan Simmerman an I trolled the ocean front for king mackerel today. There was a 42-pound king weighed in yesterday and another big king caught today…..not by us.
We did keep a nice mess of Spanish mackerel in the 20-25 inch range. Stan released one that was over 26 inches long. The one big bite we had turned out to be a 50-inch cobia.
Short trip to use up last of my chum. Caught 4 cobia, missed others. 2 were keeper-sized.
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I went after cobia again yesterday. Talked to Wes the night before. He had Rob Wittman fishing with him. He said that he left it up to Rob when to start. Rob said he’d be there 4am. I said the heck with that, I’m headed out after a leisurely breakfast, which I did. Then came in for a late lunch. Caught 4 cobia, none large. The largest I saw just swam up to the boat, slacker that I was being, I had nothing ready to toss to it. Nice lazy Fathers Day except Wes kept bugging me. He and Rob caught 14 cobia before I left the dock. They ended up catching and releasing 19 cobia up to 51 inches and kept a 20th fish. Another Wes report: he invited me to drum fish with him Friday after work but I was at a Potomac Rivers Fishery Commission Meeting. He went, said the grass was bad but they caught 5 big red drum…so that bite is still going on….buoy 8-10 area.
This was my 3rd short cobia trip this month, just running the little boat from the house. Caught cobia each trip. All small.
We finally made it back out on the water yesterday. It seems to have been blowing every weekend since last year sometime. We fished a couple of inshore wrecks. We ended up catching 17 tautog, a good number of sea bass, a pollock, and a cod. We tagged and released most everything. We caught one tautog, about 20-inches long, that had already been tagged. It looked like it had been on there sometime so it will be interesting to learn the history of that fish. We did bump bottom leaving Rudy Inlet and it was close on the way back in. Be careful until they get that area dredged.