Larry, want to read my fish story/report? Capt. Devon

Questions about Saltwater Fishing

Larry, want to read my fish story/report? Capt. Devon

Postby newcapt » Mon Mar 14, 2011 11:15 am

The news from Icy Bay is that George has been paid off and moved north. However his brother Gary and wife Shine still own a large stake in the company. Pete Grimm is now the main man in the company and has rehired me to Capt. the ICY CAPE. I am a young gun @ 32yrs old and have spent my life looking for fish not money. In fact I have just enough cash to put in the boats gas tank this coming weekend in North Carolina for fun fishing. Anyway, I hope you find the time to make it up to Icy Bay if not this year then sometime in the future. I will not be leaving it is my dream job come true. Now in the winter and early spring I live to fish in and around Virginia.
If you did not know already the Bluefin Tuna bite is the best it has ever been out of Oregon Inlet North Carolina. Two days ago they landed the new state record @ 805lbs. So we will be dragging the boat back down next weekend.
Larry, let me tell you a true fish story from two weeks past. Day one me and my fishing buddy Brad took his 24’ twin 150 outboard McKee Craft out off shore during a break in the weather between gales. We sailed out of Oregon Inlet as soon as the seas calmed down around 1pm on Saturday February 26 2011. This time frame allowed us to fish the whole trip without seeing another boat on the fishing grounds. After making it out through a few eight foot breakers at the mouth of Oregon inlet we were blessed to meet with a truly epic feeding frenzy offshore the moment we hit the 63F warm water. It all went down around 40nm out on the edge of the continental shelf in 300 fathoms of blended green water.
Mr. Dahlberg, it was the coolest thing I have ever seen on the water. The giant Bluefin tuna had corralled a school of 20 inch blue fish into a ball the size of a baseball diamond. On the surface of the ocean was a layer of dead blue fish pushed to the top of the bait ball. The helpless blue fish were packed so tight the live ones were floating the stunned or dead. Looking down into the clear green water in every direction huge tuna were swimming lit up as if charged with electricity. It was surreal like in a computer generated cartoon. All around us in the air over and into the blue fish the tuna flew like neon green and yellow cruise missiles.
Needless to say any bait or lure we put in the water was greeted with an open mouth moving at 35 mph. I learned that day it’s not a good idea to tighten the drag just because the reel is half empty after 10 seconds. We broke two off before we even got close enough to see what was happening. Then we witnessed the most spectacular strike. I put out a pink squid bar and when we dragged the bar past the bait ball it was engulfed by explosions as if being shelled by artillery. The tunas managed to get that spreader bar broke off within 30 seconds. On the next pass we got a tuna hooked up with a ballyhoo. I remember Brad holding the rod as the fish made its first run strait through the middle of the bait ball. I was thinking oh no the line will never hold with all the massive tuna exploding on the surface. Like a tiny thread the fishing line came off the screaming reel. Moments later the hooked tuna sounded and we settled in for a 1.5 hr fight. When the tuna finally came up boat side we marveled at the great fish truly, it deserved our utmost respect. Without hesitation I hit her with the harpoon and the fight was over.
After pulling the BIG fish through the tuna door and icing it down we looked around to find the action never stopped nearby the tunas were still busy eating the blue fish with not a care in the world. I sent out a single ballyhoo rigged with a pink islander and that’s when the Megaladon size Bluefin struck. There were three of us on the boat and over the next 6.5hrs we all battled this monster late into the night. It was crazy in the dark with the seas building. For a time during the fight we were joined by a large pod of porpoises. In the dim light cast from the boat they seemed like white ghosts. On this night the porpoises were calling in an eerie tone inviting us down to join them underwater in the graveyard of the Atlantic. For only a moment we got a look at the Megaladon tuna it was a tremendous fish. The end
Capt. Devon Fernandez
PS get your butt to North Carolina ASAP. I would recommend Capt Tom Krauss on the 50’ HOOKER @ the Oregon Inlet Fishing Center. Tom is my big game fishing mentor and has always been cool. :P
Last edited by newcapt on Mon Mar 14, 2011 12:39 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Larry, want to read my fish story/report? Capt. Devon

Postby dahlberg » Mon Mar 14, 2011 11:47 am

Thanks for sharing the great story! Wish I could click my heels together and land in the cockpit!
sorry to say my time time now is totally committed!
Again, thanks for the post!
Larry Dahlberg
The Hunt For Big Fish
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Re: Larry, want to read my fish story/report?2 Capt. Devon

Postby newcapt » Wed Mar 23, 2011 12:00 am

The Bluefin Tuna are on full attack out of Oregon Inlet. Friday March 18 and Saturday 19 Brad and I fished with the CATCHN 1 a 24’ CC. After driving straight to the boat ramp from the boat yard in Baltimore MD we untied as soon as the first charter fired out of the harbor. We followed the bigger boat on out through poorly marked sand bar infested water between the harbor and the bridge. Out past the safe water buoy we had smooth sailing. The moon was just setting it was a warm pastel orange color and looked full. A small fleet of a dozen CC boat were trailing behind the one big charter boat. We headed away from the fleet and from a distance it looked like mama duck was leading the little ducklings out to the fishing grounds. On we ran south past the fleet about 40nm to the 68F water. On the way out I spotted breaking tuna in 200 fathoms 1000yds from the warm water edge. I had only three baits out and one gets eaten. After Brad battled the fish with stand up gear for about 35 min the first one was darted in at 71 inches. We started trolling again and immediately get a great bite. I started cranking and After a 40 min fight we released an 80 inch Bluefin boat side. The last tuna of the day was about 72 and came in after 35 min. When I cut the line and released the tuna blood came pouring out the gills. The 12/0 SS Tuna Hook was in the corner of the mouth but I think it pulled up from deep during the fight. The bleeding tuna did swim off at speed but I can only hope that fish is ok. So it was all the Bluefin we wanted on Friday and that turned out to be three. Somehow during the days fishing the camera got wet. We got back the ramp at 130pm on Friday.

So I am looking at the weather on Fri night on the computer at TW’s and it was not good for us with 20 – 25kt increasing winds and waves predicted out to 20nm. We went on Saturday anyway the only CC with the fleet out the gate at 6am. We had calm seas on the way out and left the fleet in our wake. Back to the area we fished on Friday and it was game on. We were getting huge boils and had two baits get knocked off the riggers. The fleet was caught up with us and fishing about a .5 mile away. It was clear they were hooking up so we trolled that way. We trolled in around the fleet for about 15min and had a few more boils. I think the tuna were charging up and at the last second thinking WTF that fish has a rope(300lb mono) tied to it. Then trolling the out skirts of the fleet we had a big tuna swallow the ballyhoo tied to the smallest rod on board. Our faithful angler Randy got to cranking on the tuna and the wind got to blowing. When we were fighting the beast I could see the jig pop guys hooked up on the Canyon Runner only 100yds away. A few times during the battle the waves were breaking a bit over the side of the boat but we stayed on the fish anyway. This Bluefin was a really mean one in no mood to come to the boat. After an hour the tuna came to the surface and we could see it in the 7ft waves swimming just under the surface. In the end game I leaderd the fish into the Brad with the harpoon. This Bluefin was a giant @ 77 inches. Now seas building we got the tuna in the bag and on ice. With high winds and waves predicted we were heading west as soon as the deck was squared away. It was a bumpy ride in and judging by the seas out front of the inlet I called for life vests to be worn on the way in over the bar. Our crossing was uneventful and we ran in only to find the tide was so low we had to wait three hours to get the boat out on the trailer. This spring Bluefin run has been great that’s for sure. Later in the fishing center I found out our best estimate of 80 inches on my released tuna is good for a citation. Randy also got a citation for the 77 inch fish at the scales.

The gear we have been trolling is 50 class with 150lb Power Pro and 100yd 80lb Basil Papas top shots. Brad got one 72 inch tuna on a 50 wide spooled with 80lb Ande mono. After first meeting these tuna in February I went to 300lb wind on leaders crimped to a swivel. Off the swivel I used 5ft more 300lb mono with a pink or blue Islander and a 10/0 to 12/0 SS Tuna Hook. On the hook is a horse or Jumbo ballyhoo. I had two tuna hooked with the Islanders running barefoot. We had one 9” pink squid bar gone broke off by frenzied Bluefin. On the last trip Saturday we put out a green machine spreader bar. The green machine bar got smashed by a strike that threw water 20ft up. That fish broke the stinger off after a 30 second run. Also on the last day when the tuna seemed to be short striking the rigs with a 300lb wind on the big tuna grabbed ballyhoo run off my 50 T with a 100yd top shot of 130lb I made. That rig had no wind on only a bimini twist to the swivel with 5ft of 300lb. We also got a really fat tuna in February using a small wind on swivel with 50ft of 130. I have been ordering my Ballyhoo from Baitmasters they have a jumbo size. We have been finding the tuna where the water is from 50F to 68F in depths of 200 to 360 fathoms. The schools of tuna seem to stretch for miles and they are big fish.
With our boats tags filled Brad and I are moving on to fish out of chincotiuge VA for Mako sharks Tuna and Swordfish later this spring. I also am gearing up for jig fishing and trolling with planer boards out of Icy Bay Alaska. My new ride the 36’ ICY CAPE is waiting for me at I wonder what would happen if I hung my swordfish light over the off shore mountains overnight in the Gulf of Alaska. Sixty nine days and counting until take off to Alaska. For sure I will have some pre fishing to get done before the first guests show up. I can hardly wait to get out on the Gulf. On the fishing grounds 35nm out underwater pinnacles come up out of 6000 fathoms too less than 100ft. Every time I ran out there the fish got so thick under the boat that the sonar started reading a solid bottom at 20ft in 100ft+- deep water. You can feel the butterfly jig hitting the rockfish on the way down to the halibut. Huge Ling Cod swim up to the boat and giant 70 inch halibut follow hooked fish up in packs.
Capt. Devon
PS I just read pods of orca have moved in on the NC tuna fishing grounds. They are haveing an all a whale can eat meal ticket every day on the fishing fleet.
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