|Reel Attitude’s 2006 Fishing Fervor|
When my wife contacted celebrity Captain Black Bart from Hawaii during the holidays and after reading his big game fishing legends, I was ready to chronicle “Reel Attitude’s fishing adventures for 2006. As many of you may know, Captain Black Bart, a celebrity captain posted a record-breaking marlin years ago weighing inat 1,656 pounds. Although “Reel Attitude” didn’t bring in one of that magnitude, it was an unbelievable fishing year posting over 2400 Striped Bass, 6000 Bluefish and 300+ School Blue fin Tuna with over 70% School Blue fin released alive. Our largest striped bass caught was close to 50 pounds, the biggest bluefish weighed in at 20 pounds. You name it, we did catch it and it was quite a trophy season, in the eyes of this Captain and that of our clients!
We started our season early for Cape Cod at the end of May with over 15 striped bass and 20 bluefish off Martha’s Vineyard. This was significant when you consider that the year before the striped bass just weren’t running until the middle of June. The water was just too cold around 52 degrees resulting in slower fish migration.
As the fishing fervor continued, we rolled into June waiting with “baited” breath to really start the season and JUST GO NON STOP. We hit Nantucket, Martha’s Vineyards, and the Monomoy Schoals, and were delighted when one of our clients caught over 50 fish in one day. We used unique umbrella rigs with china black and white tubing and single squid and eel imitations. This generated more bass and bluefish than you could shake a stick at and everyone got ready to go from the gaff to the grill to cook it all. They certainly demonstrated on these trips out their successful angler’s prowess and success!
Continuous trips to Crabs ledge, the BC Buoy and to the Sword for School Blue Fin tuna resulted in some real nice 55”-65” fish. That started quite a fervor when everyone calling in for charters wanted to book Tuna trips. There just weren’t enough days to accommodate all of our fishing Tuna anglers but we made it work and everyone was booked, rebooked and even managed to book some new client charters as well. What a season!
We celebrated July 4th back on the water participating in the Allen Harbor’s 3rd Fishing tournament. We loaded the boat with some great friends and serious anglers from Lover’s Lake in Chatham. We had a blast catching fish. We caught over 70 keepers with our female experienced angler, Rhonda Lou Hackett, catching the biggest bass! We took many pictures of that. Rhonda has a place on the vessel “Reel Attitude” every year for the tournament….you’re a keeper! In fact, everyone on the boat that day is being called to “do it again”!
Our combination bass and tuna trips yielded 5-10 school tuna every time we went out. One our clients, Bill Reilly and his son, EACH caught 140 and 150 pound blue fin tuna. You can’t imagine how thrilled they were. We also hit the Canyons running and scored well on Yellow fin Tuna, Wahoo, Mahi Mahi and White Marlin. Who said you have to go to Hawaii to catch these keepers!
We really ramped up for the Monster Shark Tournament at Martha’s Vineyard and Oaks Bluff. We posted 12 sharks; 6 of which were Makos and had a chance to win with a 550-600 pound Mako. We brought this Mako to the boat 3 times giving the client the chance of lifetime to “gaff” the fish. This fish just outsmarted man and yes, unbelievably, got away. Unfortunately, weather conditions weren’t good lasting for 4 days and there were 7-9 foot seas really played havoc making it very hard even for the most experienced angler. It’s all about conditions, weather, water temperatures, finding the fish and putting all your skills to the test once you land the fish, gaff it and get it in the boat. At the tournament’s award dinner, we knew we would have had the trophy fish and to make out situation even worse, some of the raffle gifts were “gaff’s”, reminding us of what could have been had we “outsmarted” the 550-600 pound Mako. Next year, we’ll catch em’, I’m sure of it!
The rest of July opened up with some decent weather and we just continued to troll for results and catch more tuna, bass and bluefish. We certainly booked many Canyon Trips and made one run after the other. As we moved into August, we caught up to 25-28 School Blue fin tuna from 27” to 65”. On one Canyon Run, Don Govoni and his brothers scored real big on Mahi Mahi and Yellow Fin Tuna. We also caught some great striped bass off the backside of Nantucket.
As if we hadn’t fished enough, we were off to yes, another tournament. This time we had booked ourselves into the Falmouth Grand Prix. Weather conditions were definitely better than that of the previous Monster Shark tournament and we did some great canyon fishing. The over night stay was a calm as it gets on the water and we awoke one morning to find ourselves right in the middle of yellow fin and albacore tuna feeding on bait fish. What a surprise! Needless to say, our crew rallied quickly, to get the gear in the water and get results. This was a great way to start the day. I was so excited I missed my traditional cup of black coffee and “Dunkin Donut”. I was delighted when one of our tournament crew, John O’Brien, ended up coming in second in the junior division. His father, Jim O’Brien was really proud! Even though we lost some marlin, we caught more fish along the way. The event was a great one and the dinner and awards banquet a wonderful way to close the event and keep our sights on next year’s comeback event.
We continued our Canyon trips catching more Wahoo and yellow fin while also tying into a HUGE THRESHER SHARK. This thresher really gave us some fish action hitting our two rigs on top of the water. Boy, was that an exciting day putting all of our skills and experience to test. We used all of our special designed 48” squid rigs both with orange, black and white squids…. anything and everything to “lure” fish to bite and they did just that!
The end of August took us right into another major tournament at the Hyannis Angler’s Club. This blue water tournament had to be moved to another date due to inclement weather. Although we lost three days, we moved right into labor day and caught 12 really nice school blue fin tuna off the sword location.
As if this wasn’t enough, the General Manager of Allen Harbor Marine had his bachelor’s party on the vessel “Reel Attitude”. Everyone had a great time catching bass and bluefish all day. Quite a day we had and a great way to celebrate your last few days of being single. Once married, the Bride and Groom both appeared on the vessel, Reel Attitude, while we escorted them to Martha’s Vineyard for a short pre-honeymoon before the bigger planned honeymoon trip. You certainly could tell it was quite a wedding feast and party as the bride and groomed nestled and napped close to one another while the Captain and his wife Karla, enjoyed the ride over. I might add this was Karla’s first opportunity to set foot on the vessel since we had been in dogged pursuit of fish all season.
Although the weather played us a few days, the school blue fin tuna bite took off with a vengeance and we had many days with over 15-24 fish from all sizes and weights. We went back at another tournament, The Hyannis Angler’s Giant Blue Fin Tournament and weathered the fog, wind and trials and tribulations that come from bad weather. We landed numerous school blue fin tuna but didn’t take in any giants on this trip out. Our tournament team took over 24 fish the last day but none large enough to weigh. As a Captain, you chronicle every trip out in your mind. I can honestly say chasing these fish are truly memorable and it’s just something you never forget each time you go out!
It did turn out that out of 50 boats participating in the Hyannis Angler’s Giant Blue Fin Tournament, there were only two fish taken in three days. The giant bite just didn’t materialize and the season ended with only 8 percent of the quota being filled. This is low when you consider the number of angler’s out on the water, making a living and pursuing their American passion and dream of being a trophy angler.
What contributed to 8 percent of the quota being filled? Most of this was the result of numerous herring trawlers taking all of the bait and, as a result, the fish didn’t migrate through the Chatham and the BB Buoy areas.
We weren’t ready to stop in October so we kept our lines out, replaced an outrigger or two and had all of our fishing gear ready to take in more fish. School Blue fin Tuna remained strong and we continued to look for the giants. Although there were only a few small giant bites along the way, one of our clients fought and captured a great 300 pounder. We later finished out the canyon fishing and got ready to haul “Reel Attitude” out of the water for its’ winter rest. What a vessel with so many fish as keepers!
I, as the Captain, really enjoyed this year’s fishing season. Every experience with each client was just great! We took more fish, more pictures and cut up more tuna steaks than I would have ever dreamed. Once the boat was docked and hauled out of the water for it’s quiet winter nap, I moved right into the holidays with the best fishing gift ever and MORE EQUIPMENT for all of us to use and enjoy for our 2007 fishing season.
I mentioned that my wife, Reel Attitude’s Reel First Mate, Karla, had quietly contacted Captain Black Bart from www.blackbartlures.com! To my surprise, a gift Tuna Pack arrived and on Christmas Eve I opened Black Bart’s hand-selected package. I was thrilled!
Captain Bart sent his special selection: A Costa Rican Prowler and Eluethera Plunger for Yellowfin and Albacore/Blue fin Tuna. Nestled in the box was even more; A Mahi and Rum Cay Candy set of lures also for Albacore/Blue fin as well as Blue Marlin. There was even a mini 1656 Slant for Blue Marlin, which was Captain Bart’s legendary lure from the 1656-pound record-breaking Marlin he caught years ago. As if this wasn’t enough, he had a signed book to both Karla and I called “Living Legends of Big Game Fishing”. It’s an unbelievable book and a very interesting read. I just can’t set it down. In fact, my brother, Alfred wants the very same book!
We’re now ready and the vessel will be loaded with additional new fishing gear thanks to this great Tuna Pack and Black Bart! From our house to yours, thank you again for a great fishing season and for coming back every year on the vessel Reel Attitude. This year, 2007, will be even better! As your Captain, I’ll see to that!
Happy Fishing…See you real soon!
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