Offshore 2016: What We Know So Far

A screenshot of our chartplotter from last Thursday's exploratory mission south of MV.
A screenshot of our chartplotter from last Thursday’s exploratory mission south of MV.

If you haven’t been offshore yet, you haven’t missed much unless you are geared up for giant tuna. YTD East of Chatham has been the place to be except for the fact the fish are extremely large, many of which topping 400 pounds, including a 580-pounder taken last Wednesday. There have been a few smaller more manageable fish sighted East but very few actual reported catches. On the South side, it has been pretty slow. I went last Thursday and hit the Claw, Coxes Ledge, Tuna Ridge, the Horns, NW Corner, NE Corner, and home via the Star and Gordon’s Gully and spotted very little life other than a 1 pod of dolphin. Capt. Larry Backman stuck around longer than me and saw about a half dozen tuna briefly pop at the NW corner, a few miles west of the 2 degree temperature break in the center of the Dump at the time. The water was frigid but there were some confirmed tuna catches at Ryan’s Horn and Jenny’s Horn the week before.

HERE’S THE GOOD NEWS

The bite is moving our way from New Jersey and NY with confirmed catches by Hogy customers looking to reorder gear. Granted these fish are notably further south than than Cape Cod, but it really doesn’t take long for them to land here. Heck, they have tracked bluefin making the Atlantic crossing in 3 days! More good news: by looking at the most recent sea temp chart, I see that Coxes Ledge and the Claw are up to 64.8 degrees, which is easily 3 degrees warmer than when I was there last Thursday. I find the smaller bluefin prefer at least 65 degrees before infiltrating an area. The early season bluefin bite is going to happen ANY DAY now.

I am haunted by the 64/70 degree temperature break just south of Veatch Canyon and the even better one at Hydrographer’s Canyon. But those breaks are about 102 NM miles from the Hooter right now, kind of a hike. I was planning on going Thursday with Capt. Terry Nugent, but Mother Nature had other plans with big wind and seas. Hopefully the upcoming SW wind cycle will bring that water even closer to the Canyons.

Speaking of weather, of the next 5 days of weather forecast, 4 of 5 days will have winds from SW and the South, with velocities up to 20kts over the next 3 days. That will surely bring good things both for close offshore and the Canyons. Friday the winds look like a brief change to the NE before kicking back to SW Friday evening, leaving Saturday as the first fishable day offshore. With 2 to 3 foot seas (as the weather stands on Tuesday AM 6/21).

Where to go on Saturday? Your guess is as good as mine or anyone else’s for that matter. Let’s all communicate on Salty Cape’s Facebook this week to share where we are going and what channel we’ll all be on so we can network and find the fish!!!

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