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Outer Banks Fishing Report - February 2012
Yesterday I pulled all the screws, routed the bottom and laminated a sheet of 1/2" plywood to the outside of the transom. I also glued a mahogany cap on the stem.
This morning I pulled more screws, shaped the stem and filled all the holes with thickened epoxy. Tomorrow I will sand the skiff one more time and round the edges of the bottom so the fiberglass fabric will roll nicely from the bottom to the sides. Jonboy went out of town, so I need to find some help with the glassing!
There was a good sign of yellowfins AND bluefins today, depending on where you were.
We had a few yellowfin bites as we worked to the northeast, and towards where the best sign of bluefins had been reported. It sounded, however, like there were a lot more being seen than caught, so I let me group decide whether to go back where we had some yellowfin action or keep heading up the line and hope for the best. We chose to look around for more yellowfins. We got struck a few times, but only hung on to six, but they were pretty decent yellowfins. We also caught a dolphin to go along with our catch of meat. The good news was that the bluefins did bite this afternoon and most of the boats that were there caught one.
We got the bottom screwed and glued this morning.
I was hoping that the epoxy would kick off in time to trim off the excess, but it's still kinda tacky. Anyway, the next day I don't fish, I'll trim up the edges, laminate another layer of plywood on the transom and cap the stem with a nice piece of mahogany.
I had an unexpected delay in skiff progress...ran short on juniper.
Earlier in the week I had to make a "juniper run". I have had the new boards drying, and the last couple days have planed them down and now they are all cut and ready to plank the bottom with in the morning.
Today wound up being much nicer than the weather man forecasted, but fishing was still a little spotty.
My buddy Kevin called me up and said he wanted to go fishing. I told him the weather didn't look so great, but he said "man... I NEED TO GO FISHING!" Sometimes you just need a fix. Anyway, hopefully the day offshore was therapeutic for him. We headed to the east, and after finding nothing in the only area that there were bluefins found yesterday, decided to make a move. There were two boats fishing out of Oregon Inlet, and both reported a sign of fish, so we steamed 15 miles to the northeast to get a piece of the action. Unfortunately things dried up about the time we got there. There were a few marks around, and one of our boats hooked a couple bluefins, but the other two of us didn't. We got lucky at once when three yellowfins hit us, and we landed two of them, but that would be the extent of our action. Thanks Kevin, and I hope you can team up with your brother for another day offshore soon!
There were only three of us out today, and finding fish was difficult.
We were all searching for bluefin and having no luck. I made an executive decision, after fishing a couple hours, to steam south and look around down there. A friend of mine had a few bluefin bites down there on Saturday, so I was hoping to find his scraps. We checked out several good spots, and burned a lot of fuel looking, but never found the gold mine. We did spend a few minutes jigging some amberjacks, and you could have caught all you wanted. We also had a mako encounter, and caught a dolphin. One of the other two boats did finally catch a few tuna this afternoon. Thanks Sean for spending the day with us!
There was a tremendous area of bluefins today, but very few bites.
I'm not sure but I think there were only three or four bluefins caught out of the Hatteras and Oregon Inlet fleets. It wasn't because there weren't any fish because there were fish busting and marks everywhere...they just wouldn't bite. We got lucky and caught a wahoo, so atleast my guys will eat good! There was a very scattered yellowfin, and we spent the afternoon with the smaller stuff out in hopes of catching some of those, but it didn't happen. If you are thinking about bluefin fishing, don't give up hope. There are plenty of fish, they just took the day off. Thanks Kevin, and I hope to see you guys again soon!
I made the decision at 4:30 this morning not to fish due to a nasty forecast. It has been a productive morning in the shop as I got the sides of the skiff planked.
Once the epoxy dries I'll fare in the shear line with a belt sander, remove the frames, flip the skiff over and plank the bottom.
My long time friend and crew member from "back in the day" asked me to build him a skiff, so when I'm not offshore, I'll be in the shop!
It looks like I may have a busy spring with bluefin fishing, so the time I have to devote to Jon's skiff will be limited. Still, people seem to enjoy watching the progress, so I'll try to post some pictures periodically. This skiff will be a little smaller than the one I built last winter. This one will be an 18 footer. It's nice to get the shop smelling like juniper again!
I had some of the same crew again and we had a couple of outrageous strikes on surface popping plugs!
The current had really picked up, and the fish weren't showing on the surface as good as the day before, but there were marks everywhere and a good sign of bluefin in the area. We got lucky and greased our first fish, a 65 inch 150 pounder that was caught on a popper. After that we hooked a bigger fish on a top water popping plug and wound up battling him for the rest of the day. Once we got him to the boat we could see that the plug was in his cheek, which made landing the 250-300 pounder that much more difficult. I marked fish the whole time we battled him, but working jigs was difficult for my guys to do while I was maneuvering the boat. Great work Jason and Chris!
Today the ocean was alive with bluefins AND yellowfins!
My group was strictly jigging or popping today, so getting out the trolling rods and getting whammed by the yellowfins wasn't even an option. From the time we started fishing this morning till when we quit this afternoon, there were bluefins and yellowfins busting the surface. Most of the bluefins were a little more than most people would want to tangle with on jigging rods. We had twelve bites, hooked ten, caught two and broke off eight. We did catch one that was barely small enough to keep, a 200 pound, 72 incher, but the one we released was closer to 90 inches and 400 pounds. You had to be there to appreciate all the action, but trust me, it was happening!
I headed south this morning, and promised my group some wahoo action, but I was wrong.
After our wahoo flurry yesterday morning, I knew with the slick calm weather that we would be able to find some fish and do well. After pounding the break, with no luck, I headed on off to the deep in hopes of finding an edge. I found it in 250 fathoms, and we landed three gaffers out of a half dozen bites. I jogged back inshore around lunchtime to work up the break and hopefully find the striped ones. We finally hooked a nice wahoo on a shortrigger, but he managed to get away, as our luck would have it. We did have some epic action with albacores and black tip sharks near the end of the day, but it wasn't what I had hoped for. Still one of the nicest days offshore this year. Thanks Jason, and I'll see you again soon!
I gotta say that as far as weather goes, today was anything but ideal. Still, we made it out and back, and had some action!
We only fished three hours before my group threw in the towel. It was pretty rough, with north to northwest winds at 20-25 on top of a northeast swell. We didn't have any action for the first couple hours, but in the last hour we caught two wahoos and lost two others. I wish conditions had been a little nicer because I felt like we were just getting on some fish when we had to go in. Tomorrow is supposed to be nice, so we'll see! Thanks Paul.
We headed up to the east to find some more bluefin today. We found something blue, but it wasn't a tuna!
Conditions had changed considerably from the last day I fished, and the temperature break that held schools of tuna this weekend was no where to be found. I was the only boat looking for bluefin today, so it was a "needle in a haystack" situation for me with no help from a fleet. We never had a tuna bite, but had some excitement when a 250 pound blue marlin crashed a flatline bait. This fish put on a great show, with 20 or more jumps. Tony did a great job of angling the marlin to the boat, and my old friend Teddy wired and released him. Great fish guys. If your gonna catch "one" that's the one to catch!
We headed out this morning with yellowfin on our minds, but our minds changed!
The yellowfins were very sparse, in fact out of the Hatteras and Oregon Inlet fleets combined I only heard of two caught. The bluefins made a great showing today, so our interests shifted to over them instead. There were a lot of fish around, but for the amount of fish that were seen, they really weren't biting that well. We saw fish flashing and busting, as well as huge marks of bluefins on the bottom machine. We caught two, the first was landed by Heath, and was small enough to keep, at 140 pounds. The second bluefin would have been too large to keep, and we estimated him at 300 pounds. Greg did a good job of hanging in there for the duration of the fight! Near the end of the day Justin pitched a bait, on 50 pound tackle, to a 350 pound hammerhead shark. My buddy Casey angled him to the boat for the release. It was a picture perfect day offshore, and a lot of fun with a make up party! Thanks everybody!
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