It’s getting late in the year, but that doesn’t matter much if you like chasing bluefin tuna. Off Cape Cod tuna sometimes stick around until Christmas. A little nip in the air doesn’t bother them one bit.
This season the tuna bite off the Cape has been on the slow side. The guys who are really “in the know” are getting the occasional fish, but even they are having a much tougher time than usual. The consensus seems to be that most of the fish just never showed up, and might of made a detour to Canada.
Whatever the reason behind the slower than normal tuna season, it doesn’t change the fact that hundreds of tuna addicts throughout New England are still chomping at the bit.
You just never know unless you go and that next bite could happen at any moment.
I spent the past two days floating above Stellwagen Bank with my buddy Jason Mazzola and his father Pat Mazzola. The ride out from Plymouth Bay, on both mornings, was a bit nippy.
But at least the wind was down. Prior to this week the wind had been howling which made conditions unfishable for just about everyone I know.
We finally got a a break in the weather on Tuesday and decided to give it 100% no matter the temperature.
Not long after leaving the confines of Plymouth we began to see life. About 8 miles offshore I saw a splash which piqued my interest. I squinted and looked closer, trying to get an I.D. on what created the splash.
Just then the water erupted.
“Footballs!” I exclaimed. The splashes were still a ways away but they were moving towards us very quickly. I scrambled to find a spinning rod suitable for the small tuna.
A moment later and the splashes were a couple hundred yards off the starboard side. It was then I realized that these were not football size bluefin tuna, but instead a huge pod of dolphins.
I’ve been fooled by dolphins before and I’ll probably be fooled by them again. As always I wish they were tuna but hey, it was still pretty cool being surrounded by these marine mammals.
If you listen closely to the video, you can actually hear the dolphins squeaking at one another.
Minus a few gannets and pilot whales the rest of the ride to our fishing location was uneventful. Soon we eased the boat into the spot and dropped anchor where we hooked up and lost a 300-400 lb tuna two weeks ago.
I settled in, ready to spend the next 8 hours (and 8 more hours the following day) trying to chum in the most elusive fish in the ocean – an Atlantic giant bluefin tuna.