Capt. Terry Nugent of Riptide Charters on Cape Cod provides a couple of blow-by-blow accounts of the tremendous tuna action taking place off Chatham:
We’ve managed to do a few trips over the last week in between the snotty weather we have been having. The Big Contender gives us windows that many other boats don’t have. With the tuna fishing still in full swing, that’s been the target for our trips. It has been great to have a bunch of tuna newbies on the boat with the action being as good as it is.
My regular sport Jeb wanted to show some friends of his what tuna fishing is all about. He brought 2 guys out that had never landed a tuna before. In fact, one of them has never landed any fish before. So when the short rigger bar exploded in whitewater and the little Shimano TLD began to scream, he got the nod to fight the fish.
With a harness and some coaching from the Captain, he fought the fish like a pro! After 15 to 20 minutes I sunk the gaff into Kevin’s first fish ever—a fat 54″ Chatham bluefin! Talk about getting started on the right foot!
A short time later we hooked up again and my next newbie got the call. His fish was a good bit smaller, and that was perfect. We ended the day with the over/under, and everyone took home fresh sushi!
My latest trip was with Tim V and his crew. Every time these guys come out we crush the fish. So with all 4 guys being tuna newbies, I was very hopeful to change that for everyone. The offshore report was pretty ugly with 4-to-6ers forecast and the nearest weather bouy reading over 7’. But since most of it was going to be swells and not wind-driven waves, we opted to take the shot. We ran out of the harbor on FAC water.
With Monomoy breaking the big swells, we kept our fingers crossed that things offshore would be better than expected. We hit the end of the shoals and found 5’-to-7′ swells with just a hint of wind wave on top. I dug the tabs in on the Contender and pulled the throttles back a bit to keep from launching off the back of the big waves and we made a surprisingly comfortable 32 knots out to the tuna grounds.
It took us a while to find the fish, but once we did the bites started coming fast. Tim drew the first fish, and in perfect form he took the curse off the boat with the group’s first tuna, a nice 45” fish. All in all a great day with a great group of guys.
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