July 21, Calm day raises Charlie and the Mola

July 21, Calm day raises Charlie and the Mola

This morning your author and some comrades hit the water of the mouth at 4:45am to catch false dawn. Our boat spent 90 minutes hitting all the regular spots; North side of the North jetty, 3 to 5 can drift, up and down the beach to the reservation, the toilet bowl, etc. Nothing but one schoolie to show on our boat, and one by our friend Tom S. There were many boats turning North to find some mackerel at breaking rocks, which must have been a parking lot.

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Bored by the slack action Tom S. bailed and headed East a few miles out. When we raised him on the radio a while later and asked what he was doing he replied quietly, “Watching the mammals.” That sounded fun, so our boat headed out there too to see the show. On our way we saw a small whale or two, and some splashing we first assumed was from dolphin. As rookies out on the ocean proper, we were informed by Tom that we were actually watching a tuna feed. Wow! Never seen one before.

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Over the next hour or so we witnessed a number of topwater blitzes of tuna ranging from a few splashes to a full on dozen fish frenzy. These usually lasted no more than 15 seconds or so, and then they were gone leaving only some dark disturbed water on top of the holes they left in the sea.

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Tom had much better eyes than us for spotting the action, so when he moved, we moved. On one speedy blast to the South the tuna blasted up right next to the boat. In a flash we stopped the motor, and Dave R. casted a Ocean Lures mackerel popper about 25 yards towards the blitz. Lo and behold, there was a follow, and about 10 yards from the boat, rising up to the surface like a submarine, was Charlie. The fish latched onto the popper and off he went!

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Now all types of things can go through your mind when you hook into a big one. You could think about the tide, about obstacles, about your position on the boat, or, if you’re a rookie like the guys on our boat, you could decide that the drag was set wrong and decide, in the 20 seconds you’ve been on the fish, to crank it down. That is panic working it’s magic. So first Dave realized he was on the fish, then his knees began to shake, then his butt began to sink to the floor, and then he tightened the drag. Ping! The sound of parting line.

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So ended our first attempt of landing a tuna on topwater lures. The process was most likely moot, as the gear we had with us was set for Bass, not Bluefin. It’s fairly certain the fish would have spooled Dave anyway, but it sure would have been fun to hear that drag spinning out for a minute more.

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We did get one more kind of close shot just off our bow a little later on, but all our casts were too late to bring the tuna back up. As a bonus, we did spot and trail a big Mola Mola for a while. Here’s a pic we took along with one that shows what a Mola looks like from the side.

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In other news of the area, there have still been some stripers running the beach at night, and some at the Hampton Harbor runout. We saw lots of guys jigging mackerel off Salisbury, and some guys with the macks on balloon rigs. Didn’t see anyone with a striper or blue though. We’ll keep our ears open for you.

James Waldron
james@simplemics.com

Stickman is the resident web design guy at Surfland. We pay him in eels.

3 Comments
  • steveb
    Posted at 14:58h, 23 July

    great read. going out popping and jigging for charlie tomorrow am off p-town. be the 3rd attempt doing this. have only had hook-ups. more addicting than sttriper fishing!! pretty surreal out there as well.

    tight lines

  • talljeff
    Posted at 15:33h, 23 July

    GOOD GOD I GOT AN ADRENALINE RUSH JUST READING THIS..I WOULD LOVE TO HAVE A HOOK UP LIKE THAT.. IF ANYONE HAS ROOM FOR A FRIEND WITH GAS MONEY AND LUNCH I WOULD GIVE MY RIGHT ARM.. HAHA GREAT JOB GUYS..

  • steveb
    Posted at 16:38h, 23 July

    best way i can think of to desrcibe hooking one is standing on an over pass and dropping the line down, hooking up, and holding on for a bit. casting at these speedsters makes it all more rewarding!!!

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