The Maximum Gusto crew headed out for an overnight canyon trip to the canyons off New Jersey. The original plan was to head to the Spencer because the temperature shot and break there looked like it had to be holding tuna. As we headed out the inlet, we got an updated shot and decided at the last minute to change our mind. Instead we headed to the Wilmington Canyon.
The plan was to overnight and fish for swordfish and chunk for whatever stray tuna may hit the baits overnight.
The plan was to overnight and fish for swordfish and chunk for whatever stray tuna may hit the baits overnight. We did end up getting a sword fish boat side after it hit one of our tuna chunking rigs. It took a butter fish on 60 lb. flurocarbon leader. Not the standard sword bait, but it worked. The fish looked small and as we brought it boatside, it touched the side of the boat and broke the leader off. Bummer.
We had no other hits for the rest of the night. The first overnight chunking crew headed to bed and a fresh crew finished the night chunking and rigging the ballyhoo for trolling in the morning.
At first light, a long line buoy was visible close to the boat so we figured we would troll the pot and try to get a mahi or two. It turns out the mahi were ravenous and we landed as many as we wanted in the first hour. It was like fishing for mahi used to be in the Florida Keys. I haven’t seen that kind of action in NJ before. After that, we decided to focus on tuna.
There were signs that the tuna should be there as we trolled the 100 fathom line. We had pilot whales and very active porpoise. Unfortunately, not a single tuna hit our lines! We ended up playing with a few more mahi on the pots and ultmately had as much as we wanted and left plenty go to swim another day!
To finish the day we did a few drops for tilefish. We ended up with a handful of blue line tilefish and one 20-25 golden tilefish. For the time we spent, we were happy. We turned the boat West around 1:00 pm and headed to the dock. We had a long night of cleaning and filleting to do, and we all had to get back to work the next day!
It turned into a late night, but it was worth the effort.