How To: Yellowfin Tuna Fishing in the Northeast Canyons


So we’re on a fast and furious bite out here.
It’s wide open at West Atlantis Canyon. I’m Capt. Terry Nugent for Riptide Charters and
Salty Cape. Today we’re out at West Atlantis Canyon. We’re about 85 or 90 miles south
of Martha’s Vineyard. There’s been some really good fishing out here. A lot of yellowfin
tuna, some mahi, some white marlin. We decided the weather window was there so we’d take
the big Contender and blast down here and see if we could get in on it. There weren’t
a whole lot of water temperature shots up until we were basically launching the boat.
We had a general idea of where we wanted to go, but just as we put the boat in the water,
we got the last temperature shot of the morning and it put us about 10 miles west of where
we thought we were going to go. We got on site and found our temperature break. It was
about a 4-degree break over maybe a mile. We were using the 40″ and 30″ class bars.
Also, the 18″ splasher bars — super hot today. The short [out]rigger position was going off
almost every time we got into fish. So what we’ve done is we’ve taken our flatlines, dropped
them back a hair and taken our long riggers and shotgun and pulled them up. We really
tried to saturate that area 50 to 60 feet behind the boat. That’s where the fish seem to want to eat for us. FISH ON! DOUBLES! DOUBLED UP! One of the things I’m finding I’m really
impressive about these Hogy bars is even the 40″ ones, which is a really large squid bar,
run really delicately through the water. I can run them off my long riggers without
really bending my riggers back. Again, they’re a smaller size squid but they pull so easily,
I can pull them at 7 or 8 knots on the long rigger and I’m not popping my clips, I’m not
bending my riggers too far back. They just really run clean and smooth, which lets me
put an awful lot of baits out in my spread. I can run 7, 8, 9 40″ bars. With that quantity
of bait even fish that aren’t necessarily wanting to eat, they’re going to look up and
see all of those baits on the surface and they’re going to come up and eat. They’re still staying in the spread. Bob’s trying to tease them up over here. FISH ON! We’re
finding that these fish are very receptive to being teased up. When we have one fish
hooked up, normally we’d run over to the opposite rod — let’s say the short rigger hooks up
on the right, we’d run over to the left short rigger, drop the reel into free spool, lock
it up, crank, crank, crank. Drop it into free spool, lock it up, crank, crank, crank. That
surging motion gets the fish really excited, and they usually come up and eat. We tried
that a few times and it worked fantastically. Now what I’m doing is when the fish hits,
I stab the throttle real hard to get the whole spread to come up and speed up, and then drop
the throttle so the spread slows down. Speed it up and then usually on the slow down the
fish will come up, hitting 3 or 4 other rods in the spread when we tease the boat like
that. So instead of getting 1 or 2 extra fish, we’re getting the entire spread of 7 or 8
rods to go off at once. Really, really effective. Everything’s going off! Bigger fish! We stayed
with the small fish [all day] but we just got wolfpacked by fish this size. If you fight
through the numbers, this is what you end up with. We’re gonna put him in the box and
go get more of his friends the same size.

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