Friday, September 5, 2008


Got my ass kicked today by a very large tuna while fishing the southwest corner of Stellwagen Bank. I got there late and figured I would just poke around for a while. I caught a bunch of big, 14 pound blues and was rerigging a damaged butterfly jig around 11:15 a.m.. I was drifting down on a bunch of birds that I figured were only over more nasty bluefish when I looked up from my task and noticed a few tuna slashing under the birds. They may have been eating the bluefish and I should have known that I would be undergunned if that was the case. I ran to the stern and grabbed a spinning rod rigged with a popper. I tossed it out and popped it twice and got a big boil. Two more pops and a hole opened under it. The fish didn't appear to even know it was hooked and continued to swim with the school for quite a while while I fired up the motor and began chasing. This fish was clearly too big to handle on my spinning gear, especially alone on the boat. I was mostly interested in gaining back as much line as I could before breaking off so the fish would not have to swim around trailing a half mile of braid. I steamed down hard on the fish which was still swimming with the school. The next thing I knew the fish had gone deep and doubled back around on me. I could not manage the rod and get the boat in reverse fast enough and the fish went deep under the boat and started dumping the spool again. Now, I had the rod on the starboard side of the boat while the fish was swimming away to the port side. The line eventually chafed off on the bottom of the boat and the fish was gone with 90% of my spool of 65 pound braid trailing behind it. I can only hope the fish went to the bottom and was able to rub the popper out of it jaw. Not a good feeling you left a fish in that condition, but I did try to prevent it from happening and lost.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Fluking With TR

I've been remiss in updating my blog. I haven't done too much fishing as of late because my boat is not currently working. I got it all rigged and ready and went to fire it up only to find out I have some sort of electrical system issue with the ignition. It's at the shop now and will hopefully be ready soon. I did get out during the last week of fluke season to fish with Tom Richardson on his boat out of Mattapoisett. We ran across Buzzards Bay and into Vineyard Sound where we set up drifts outside Quicks Hole. The fishing started off slow but slowly we got our down and began bringing a lot of nice fluke over the rail. They made for a delicious fish fry and it was a very nice, relaxing day on the water.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Toro, Toro, Toro!!!

I was a guest aboard Jack Kent's boat this past Saturday, on a mission to put some tuna in the boat. We met in Duxbury at 0400 and mark, The Kid, Jack and myself headed out to make bait for an hour or so. We had no problem loading the livewell with live pogies and headed east as the sun was peaking over the horizon. Before we even got to the Bank we began seeing lots of life. Whales and shearwaters, gannets and terns were everywhere. The birds were sitting in huge rafts and it was apparent something was pushing bait up toward the surface under the birds. Some of the bird piles definitely had wales working under them but others appeared to have tuna pushing the bait. We picked the piles that did not have whales in them and set our first pogie over the side at 0640. By 0645 we had our first hook up. The fish was big and crashed the pogie hard. Unfortunately the fish did not get the hook and we lost it after it ripped a bunch of line. Next, we set out two pogies on another bird pile and again within minutes we were tight. This time however both pogies got hit. Mark and The Kid worked the rods and we landed our first double.

By 0745 we were done. We continued fishing until 1 pm without another sniff.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Back In The Saddle

On July 22 we headed over to Nantucket for our annual family vacation whihc we just returned from on 8/3. Anyone who vacations on Nantucket knows how complicated it can be to get even just a car over to the island on the ferry, let alone a truck and a boat. You need to reserve the space by the end of January to ensure dates and times anywhere close to what you want our need to match with your house rental. This year I made the reservation and ended up canceling the part for the boat to go over with me. It was the first time in nearly a decade I would be on the isalnd without my boat in tow. I spent a lot of time relaxing on the beaches with the kids. We picked blueberries and had a great time.

My buddy Gordon showed up last Thursday with his 20-foot Jones Brothers in tow. We missed the early morning bonito tide on Friday and spent the afternoon catching big blues off the airport. On Saturday morning we got out early and found ourselves on the bonito bar by 0630. There were bonito running the edges but the fishing was not red-hot by any stretch. The fish we were able to hook were kind of sluggish and the hits were soft and subtle.

It felt great to be on the water again. The back felt really good and there was no pain to speak of. If anyone out there reading this wants to invite me out for a day of fishing, just say the word. I'm ready!

Thursday, July 3, 2008

More Thoughts on Breezers

My buddy emailed me some of his thoughts on catching the "Breezing" tuna in the Bay and they made a lot of sense. He is too shy to post his comments on my blog, so I will

"The number one mistake people make on breezing and milling fish is casting at the ripples (even if they are front-side of the school and fish are coming at them) Even casting at the front edge of the wakes is a mistake, b/c that either puts you on the ass-end of the school, in which case the back-end of the school may spook, pushing all the fish down, or it puts your offering completely behind the school…

Most of the fish are WELL AHEAD of the visible wakes. And although they will not eat every time, they are much more likely to eat something well out in front of the pod, especially if one fish turns and others follow…

Nobody seems to get that though, even though it may be the most obvious thing. Duh,"

He then went on to show me aerial photos of big schools of fish just below the surface. They alll showed the wakes of the schools to be about two-thirds of the way in back of the school, proving his point. If you go to you can see the aerial photos for yourself.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Thanks to everyone who has been encouraging and supportive. I'm still not in any shape to be standing on the deck of a boat, but I am slowly making progress. Special thanks to Mark B. who brought me my "Protein Bombs" in the form of delicious tuna steaks from a nice fish landed with his fly rod recently. Nice job.

A recent post on one of the Web sites I view has folks talking about the difficulty of catching all these "Breezing" tuna that are in the Bay currently. Some of the guys are concocting elaborate schemes to bring helium tanks, kites and balloons out there in an attempt to live bait these fish. Several of us have been live baiting fish up on the SW Corner for a few seasons, and it does indeed work. We will often let a few live baits swim around on 30Wides while we Butterfly Jig and drift. Some of the guys we are friendly with, and who have been live baiting on the Bank a lot longer than us, have developed the their techniques into an art form. Kites aren't really necessary as you can use your outriggers just as effectively to bring your bait out in front of the school, without having the boat spook the fish. To each their own, but kites are for giants or kids as far as I am concerned.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Well it's been a month and half since I have updated my Blog. I feel like I have really been through the wringer after spending the last 33 days in hospital. I finally come home this past Tuesday, June 18. I'm happy to be home but still have a lot of rehab work to do before I can even think about boating or fishing.

I've gotten a lot of questions about what is going on with me so I guess I should let everyone know the story. Here is the condensed version:

On 4/7 I went in for a lapectomy on the L5/S1 disk. I had a small herniation of the disk which was putting pressure on my sciatic nerves and causing leg pain. The Neurosurgeon assured me I'd be back to 100% by May 1st. I spent one night in the hospital and was released. I felt great for about the first week or two. The sciatica was gone and I was a happy camper. I started getting some pain back a week or two after the surgery and told the doctor. He basically brushed me off (a pattern that would repeat for a month) and told me to come back to see him in two weeks.

I was finally admitted through the ER on 5/14 where it was discovered I was the unlucky recipient of one of those "Hosptial Style" Stapf infections you read about. I had apparently gotten it during the initial surgery and it had settled in my spine where it was liquefying everything it came in contact with, including nerves, muscles and the the entire L5/S1 disk. Needless to say, it is pretty essential to have a lot of that stuff in working order if you want to do things like walk, stand and sit.

They got the infection under control by flooding my body with massive amounts of exotic IV antibiotics, which I will have to continue taking for a few more weeks. I am now trying to learn to control the pain and teaching myself to walk again.

I'll be out there as soon as I can. I'm motivated if nothing else.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

May Day, May Day, May Day!!!

Well May is finally here and it's not all it's cracked up to be, as far as I'm concerned. My back is still in very rough shape, making it difficult to walk. By now, I was supposed to have been fully recovered but that is obviously not the case. It's all pretty disappointing.

Yesterday I took Peter from Bedford out to the carp flats. We got about 3 inches of rain on Monday and Tuesday and the flats reflooded. We found fish all over the place. I did not bring a rod with me but chose to act as a Ghillie, throwing bread and letting Peter know when to set the hook after a fish ate his fly. He was able to land his first carp on a fly with me.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

I took another walk along the railroad bed today. I did not bring my fly rod, but did bring my camera. It was difficult shooting the fish even with a polarized filter because of the angle of the sun and because my lens kept wanting to focus on the tree branches in the foreground as opposed to the fish. Anyway, there did not seem to be as many fish as there were yesterday afternoon. They probably wait until the sun heats up the water before heading up onto the flats, and I suspect I was a bit early.

I did manage to see the big bass sitting on its nest again. Every time I tried to sneak in to take its picture, it slide away until I left. It was obvios it could see or sense me standing on the railroad bed above it.

Hopefully tomorrow will be nice again and I can get back to it.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Ahhhh, Spring!!

Today was absolutely gorgeous. Light winds, warm temperatures and not a cloud in the sky. I went for walk in the woods mid--morning to stretch out my back which I had disk surgery on last week. I found myself walking down a path that is an old railroad bed that runs to the Sudbury river. As I walked along the railroad bed I was about 10 feet above the water and could see very well into the water. The first fish I saw was a nice largemouth bass in the 4 0r 5 pound range protecting what appeared to be the start of a nest. I threw some bread near it and it just sort of seemed annoyed at it. I moved about 50 feet down the causeway to another clearing and tossed some more bread into the water. Within a minute I saw the first carp of the season slide in toward shore in search of the bread. As I threw more bread, more carp appeared. It seemed that they were coming up out of the river, maybe for the first time this season, and were curious. I walked back out of the wood and headed to my truck. There I decided to get my waders on and make my first trip of the season to the carp fields.

I checked out the usual hole by the causeway and there was nothing in it. I think the water is just too shallow this year and unless the level rises soon, the carp won't make it into that area this season. I walked around the corner and toward the railroad causeway. As I was walking across the flooded grass I spotted a fish about 10 feet in front of me, laid up in the grass in knee-deep water. It was a nice pike about 36 inches long. It was facing directly at me so I just did a roll cast with the small white bread fly I had already tied onto my tippet back at the truck. The pike completely ignored my offering so I made several more casts to it and finally spooked it with one cast that was just a bit too close.

I worked my way over toward the causeway where I had earlier on my walk successfully chummed up the fish. They were still there milling around. I began throwing bread and within a couple minutes I had about 8 fish aggressively searching for food. I made a cast and immediately a fish ate my fly. Before I could set the hook, however, the fish spit it. It had felt the hook and made a lot of commotion, spooking most of the other fish out of the area.

I let the area settle down a bit and went back a few minutes later. I was able to get more fish back fairly quickly and soon there were some new fish feeding aggressively again. There was one fish that seemed very eager and was taking bread off the surface. He (or she) was one of the bigger fish I've seen and before long I was able to get it to eat my fly. It made two blistering runs toward the river. The little 6-weight was really maxed out but after about 5 minutes I had the fish by my side and was able to grab the hook with my needlenose pliers and let it swim off. I'd guess the fish was al of 20 pounds, and if someone told me it went 30 pounds, I'd believe them. I never touched the fish and never took it out of the water, so I really have no idea. I do know it was just slightly shorter than my leg and very fat.

I decided I had had enough exercise for the day and my back was beginning to bark at me, so I headed back to my truck. Hopefully I'll get another shot at them tomorrow.

Friday, April 4, 2008

A-Carping We Will Go...

I drove by the carp flats this morning and they are looking pretty good. The water level is up and should rise some more with today's heavy rains and the snowmelt up North. It would be nice to have the water temperature come up as it is just too cold right now for any carp to be moving onto the flats. A few nice warm sunny days would really help things, but the weather prognosis is for below-average temps again for most of next week. I figure bby the third or last week of April we should have plenty of carp action. I am really looking forward to it this year and will spend more time on the carp flats and less time driving between here and the Cape to save gas money. I think I'd rather stay local and catch carp rather than spend all that coin on gas just to catch 16-inch stripers.

I did get to the Cape yesterday and uncovered the boat and dragged it back up here. It's sitting in the shed at Marabello's right now just waiting for me to get over there to work on it. It was nice be on the Cape on a sunny spring day like yesterday. I stopped by Scorton Creek and saw a nice trout hanging at the head of the pool upstream of the culvert at Jones Lane. I made one cast at it and it spooked in the shadows of the cut bank, never to be seen again.

Friday, March 28, 2008

Getting Itchy

March is the cruelest month. The snow is gone but everything still looks dead. It's still too cold to do much outside and most of the tackle has been cleaned and organized. It's basically just a waiting game now, although I have plenty to do to the boat before the first of May.

It will be interesting to see how the season progresses. I have had several long-term clients call to cancel their prearranged dates. Fortunately, some of that lost business is being made up by new clients. I still have a few really good dates open in June if anyone is interested.