We left the Nantucket Boat Basin at 3:00am on July 4th for a day trip to the canyons. The weather forecast called for winds less than ten knots and a 3-5 foot swell.
Unfortunately on the way out, the fog made for some interesting navigation and it took us a little longer to get out to this canyon which we intended on fishing.
At around 6:00am, our 36' Yellowfin Rumble pulled up to the tip of the canyon. We throttled back, swung out the outriggers, and deployed the spread, which you can learn more about below.
A few miles into our troll up the east wall with no action or life of any sort, I called Eric Stewart who is the captain of El Diablo out of Nantucket.
Eric said he was getting into some solid yellowfin action on the west wall of this canyon and had just broken off a 400lb blue marlin that had destroyed his spreader bar. We decided to troll over to the west side and as we made our way over to El Diablo, the flat line wahoo plug went down, then the long, and finally the short all hooked up with fish!
The First Bite
Three fish were tight and the four of us scrambled to get the lines in and keep the fish from crossing each other. One of the fish shook the hook, but the other two were still on. Both ended up being two really nice sized yellowfin tuna that we were able to put in the box.
After boating the two yellows, we tried resetting the lines but kept getting attacked by singles and doubles of smaller sized yellowfin, until two much larger bigeye tuna exploded on the lures shown below.
Both fish unfortunately did not connect with the hook and we were stuck doing circles in that area trying to get those same big eyes to come up again. Despite our best efforts the big eyes would not come back up to our spread.
Chasing the Marlin, Mahi
At around 10:00am, we sent out a spread directed more towards blue marlin, and for two hours we trolled around and only received two knockdowns from mahi mahi. As slack tide approached, the spread was switched back to target yellowfin, when off in the distance we spotted a good sized pod of yellowfin, and big eye tuna smashing bait on the surface.
We rolled up to the blitz and I fired a cast off the port side of the boat. After a few twitches of the rod tip, this proven tuna lure was destroyed by a respectable sized yellowfin on spin gear.
After that fish met the gaff, the tuna spread was deployed again, this time consisting of only four rods, so we could maneuver the boat more freely to intercept the schools of breaking fish.
A few minutes later, a bigeye tuna exploded on the right long spreader bar and dumped a ton of line. After getting in the harness and fighting the fish for 15 or so minutes the tuna made a vicious head shake and spit the hook.
A Great End to the Day
We got back on the troll and spotted a group of birds pecking in the water and as we got within casting range, yellowfin began to slash bait on the surface. I cast into the school and had multiple birds try to eat my lure, but no tuna follows or hits.
The rest of the spread passed through the school of fish when the purple Carlson bar was suddenly hit by the heaviest yellowfin of the day.
After a solid fight, we had the fish circling under the boat, when a massive tiger shark appeared 30 feet behind the boat looking to take a bite out of our fish. Once we saw the shark, the drag setting went up and we jacked the fish into the boat before the tiger shark could have an opportunity to snag our fish.
At that point it was around 1:30pm, and we decided to head back to the Nantucket Boat Basin with the coffin box filled with fish.
Overall we had an awesome trip!
Unfortunately we were not able to land any big eye, but we had some very good yellowfin action. Big thanks to captain Eric Stewart of El Diablo for putting us on the fish.
Kurt fishes out of Osterville, and usually heads to the canyons and offshore waters surrounding Cape Cod with his dad Ted. We are excited to see where Kurt’s passion for offshore fishing takes him.