Christian Giardini said that the offshore fishing for tuna right now is as good as it gets up around these parts, from south of the Vineyard to the canyons and east of Chatham. He spoke to one angler who fished the northwest corner of the Dump yesterday and came up empty, while there are a lot of small bluefin in the 30 to 40-pound class around the Star. The larger bluefin have been running the 30-fathom line; one boat was at Gordon’s Gully and didn’t find any fish, but at the end of the day they heard chatter that boats down around Ryan’s and Jenny’s Horns, which are the tuna grounds south of Block Island, had some good fishing. Some fish are being caught trolling with a mix of splash bars and either skirted or naked ballyhoo, but when you find the tuna on halfbeaks or sand eels, then casting with an Epoxy Jig, Harness Jig, or rigged ballyhoo can be most productive. Capt. Mike Hogan told me that he was dragging Harness Jigs right on the bottom earlier this week and had five hook-ups on big bluefin. Christian added that there are also some schools of mahi running about.
The word from Jim Young is that the crew of the Skipjack had another good trip out around the eastern canyons; they had yellowfin in the 60+-pound class and a swordfish in the 125-pound range. There are also some small bigeye in the mix, fish in the 70 to 90-pound class, proving once again that size is all relative. Jim emphasized that a few boats have had white marlin come up in their spreads, all lit up, but they weren’t ready with pitch baits such as rigged ballyhoo to cast at them.
Out east, there are some big bluefin around the Regal Sword to Crab Ledge and a number of 70 to 80+-inch tuna have been caught on spinning gear. Again, Harness Jigs and Epoxy Jigs can be very productive when the fish are on sand eels, but over the last several years, Strategic Anglers Plugs have proven their worth day in and day out. These are incredibly constructed and finished plugs that aren’t cheap, but they do any amazing job of imitating local bait on the tuna grounds. They are also made to run at different depths, allowing you to adjust your presentation and give the bluefin just what they want.