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OVERNIGHTER IN FEBRUARY?
Yes, it's true. We just returned from a 28 hour voyage to the edge. As you see in the picture, the water in the Canyons is unseasonably warm and reliable reports of Bluefin Tuna over the past few weeks, gave us the itch. So after a few intelligence gathering phone calls with the ROFFS crew, we gathered up a great group of guys, and off we went. We were not sure exactly what we would find out there, but we knew it would be a memorable trip.


We looked all over the Wilmington canyon and really did not see any signs of tuna, or conditions that seemed would hold them. We really have no idea if things have changed from a couple weeks ago, or whether the fish then were simply passing through then, on their way elsewhere. Bait was not plentiful by any means. We marked bait (squid mostly I think), but never saw much of it at night. After about 5 hours of trolling down the west side, across to the east and out into the deep a bit, we settled in the NE Corner, on the 100 fathom curve, for the long (12 hours to be exact!) evening.

We setup before dark about 4pm, in hopes that the bluefin might move into the edge to feed before dark, but that never happened. However, pretty much as soon as it did get dark, the first rod of the night came tight to a Blue Shark. For the next 8 hours we released probably about 20 Blue Sharks and hooked, 3 makos, one of which (about a 120 pounder) made it to the fish box. We hooked a real nice Mako, which Joe estimated at about 200 pounds, but it came unglued right at the boat. We had hoped for some swordfish action, but with the sharks so numerous, I'm not sure we ever stood a chance. The shark action all came without any chum. We were chunking, (very lightly) butterfish and some sardines and pretty much stopped chunking about 11pm. We started the chunking up again about 4am, in hopes that the tunas might move in for a morning meal, but it didn't happen. We continued till about 7am, cleaned up, and had a great ride back in.

The water out there was quite blue and very clean, with temperatures ranging from 53 to 58 in the Canyon. We saw some porpoises and some squid. Not tons of life, but obviously enough to hold this shark population. What a great learning experience for everyone aboard. I don't believe anyone aboard (certainly not myself) had ever been in the canyon in the middle of the winter. We WILL do it again. Armed with a better understanding of what to expect out there this time of year, we feel there is plenty to do, when the weather and water is right. Will you hit the tuna out there in the winter? I'm not sure, but it won't keep us from trying, especially when you can get in on this type of shark action overnight, a resident Tile Fish population, and plenty of deep water wrecks to work on as well.


Tight Lines,


Trey
 

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Great job guy's...I have been watching that break for quite sometime thinking it would hold Tuna...and while you may not have hooked any I give you and your crew a thumbs up :thumbsup: for venturing out there...And fresh Mako steaks in the middle of Feb. well that is awesome as well....Keep up the good work !!
 

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Sorry I was not able to make it after I had to cancel the NC trip. Certainly would do this and the addition of Tile and a wreck or two would make for a very nice overall trip.
 

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You crazy man!!:D I hear Rock Harbor is really nice this time of year. :thumbsup:
 

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trey---any chance one of the sharks was a porbeagle?? The seabass guys near the edge at times saw a few in previous years. It's amazing but there is no nj state record for them,think it has to be at least 100#. I think the pez machine had tuna in jan. A few years back.
 

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Trey,

that is pretty cool, you guys went fishing. Thank you for posting report here.

Only thing i can compare is, we fished the Canyon several years ago for Tile in late April, with Timmy Tanghare, and we saw several Mako's right int he warmer Blue water - one of which we baited and did not hook. There was Blue water in the Wilmington that day, and Mako's too!

What was interesting, there was Sargasso weed, and as the weed slammed into the colder water edge, you could see it shrivel and die!

Great to hear a tale from the edge in Febuary!

Captn Joe
 

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Just getting back from this trip and it was quite fun for me . It was awesome to get out there in February and have pretty good action to boot. As far as knowing it was not a porbeagle there are some very differnet factors. All porbeagles have a white blotch, very distinquishable , on their dorsal fins. Porbeagles do not jump , the reason we were ready for this one when it came to the boat as we heard it splashing and jumping in the distance. Most porbeagles are found in the temperature in the mid 40's which would make sense why the sea bass commercial guys get them. The easiest way however is that white blotch on the dorsal making the dorsal about 20 percent white , similar to what we see on the oceanic white tip we often see in the islands
 
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