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Oct-08-2010, 07:53 AM #1
MBG goes to PEI...Trip of a lifetime!
Land of Giants: My father (Cpt. Greg) and I just got back from a 5 day trip to PEI. Sure as hell beat sitting at the dock here in MA waiting for the wind and weather to cooperate.
Well, to put it plain and simple, the trip was amazing. Couldn't have asked for a better experience! As for the entire story, here it goes:
Really this whole thing started because of my "real boss". I work as a PM at a hospitial in Boston as my full time job now. While talking with my current boss during the interview, we started talking about tuna fishing some how....she pulls out a picture of an 800lber that her daughter's boyfriend caught up in PEI. Come to find out, my boss is pretty much a citizen of PEI. She has been going/living there for 25 years and owns a house up there. Not only that, it is about a mile from North Lake....that's when this all started.
Her best friend is the harbor master at North Lake and about 50 of her friends are giant fishermen. She pretty much told me "I could fish with anyone I want....."
I linked up with her friends Jamie and Troy Bruce (soon to be Bruce Brothers Charters). I really don't think these guys could have been any cooler. They pretty much treated Old Greg and I as there mates for the trip. We rigged baits, ran the boat, it was great. Felt right at home and we are all good friends now.
We got up there Sunday morning after a 11hr drive. Quick rest, and then Jamie picked us up at the house. We got down to North Lake and saw the spectacle. 92 boats, 130s galor, stretching leaders, rigging baits....we were in heaven. We ran out with Jamie (Tuna Clipper) and his brother Troy was in his boat (White Water). They wanted to get bait for the next morning. I asked where is jigging rods were......no such thing. These guys busted out 200lb hand lines with 50 hand tied HUGE mackeral flashers. Pretty much every bait was huge and they are not short of it thats for sure.
10 minutes in, Troy calls us up and says he's feeding fish. We bump over to him (filming everything) and I see Blair, his mate, toss a herring....900lber within 3 seconds, whole back out of the water...We pulled up to him; about 3 feet from his transom, and were feeding 800-1100lb fish right in between us. ABSOLUTELY INSANE!!! Pretty much all of these guys have 100-300' herring nets on the bottom. They pull up one end, tie off to it like an anchor, and then shake the bait out. Fish were all over the place. I got great vid, including some underwater footage.
Monday - We shoved off at 0200 and headed for the herring net again. Mind you, these nets and feeding ground is about a mile out of the mouth of the harbor....basically like fishing at Scituate or North River Bell Bouy. We get there and chum for 20 minutes or so. Jamie and Troy get word of a HUGE bite down at "The Ridge". They are deciding whether or not to go because it is such a "far" run. We asked how far. "25 miles.".....that is a "far" run for these guys. Crazy. We told them that is pretty much our everyday run and they couldn't believe it. We ended up moving South East. The Ridge is on the Eastern side of PEI in between the island and Nova Scotia. There are a few videos of hand feeding there you guys have probably seen on You Tube.
Both Tuna Clipper and White Water do about 18 knot cruise and are 45' by 15.5'. Awesome boats. We get close to the spot, and all we can see is a city of lights. Jamie starts telling us how there are some guys who have probably already hooked up (before the season start)....we arrive to 200+ boats, pitch black, all fishing within 500yds of each other. Guys are sceaming, cutting off fish, you hear drags peeling all around you, and the finder is LIT UP. Guys WERE already tight and we got there at 0500.... We get out some live macks and start chumming herring. We have 5 guys tight around us within 100' of the boat all shining spotlights on each other and us. We can't move. One slob eats a piece of chum out of Old Greg's hand pretty much but wouldn't take the hook baits.
The madness and bite at the ridge ended by 0800. A couple guys hooked fish up until 1200 but it was spotty. If you had a net on the Ridge, which we didn't, you got a fish. At around 1200 we made a move back to the North side and set up. A few boats hooked up here and there but nothing focused in one spot. Definitely goes to show you...hand feeding for almost 2 months straight, and then finally when there are a ton of boats and pressure on the fish, they start to shy away.
We ended up getting skunked Monday (2am-9pm). Troy got a 212lb fish right at sunset on Monday. There were actually quite a few fish in that size range taken in a little area Monday night. Another guy Craig went tight at 8pm and needed help. We ran over to him in the pitch black and dropped Leon (another mate on Jamie's boat) off to help. That fish ended up being 650lbs.
After a long day Monday, we heading back out on Tuesday at 0500. We heading straight for "Scituate Bell." We pulled Jamie's net and hung on it. We shook the net, and were jigging macks at the same time, squeezing their eyes and chumming them half dead. I rigged a mackeral swimmer and was showing Jamie. He and I started rigging a 130 to put it on so if we moved we could troll...when.....
Jamie starts screaming "we are tight!!!", I look at the kite bait, and a HUGE fish was on it. I ran back to the rod, waited, came tight. Jamie, Old Greg, and Leon dumped the net and cleared. We were off to do battle.
90 minutes later after tag teaming the fish with Leon; Old Greg at the wheel, Jamie on the stick, Leon on the rod, and me on a Gaff, we got him (all on film). We swam the fish for an hr or so, brought him tight and went in. He was 912 round, 738 dressed, and 116" long...yeah dad, I won the bet. Absolute slob. We were all pumped. And the best thing, they get just as excited as any of us. There whole families are down to watch the fish come in, and it is great. Honestly, just like home.
Hah, another thing that cracked us up was; after the first guy at the ridge anounces "BOATNAME tied off" all 200+ boats get on the radio and say "Congratulations THERE BOAT NAME" 200 Times! Old Greg and I thought there were f'n with the guy! But, come to find out, that is a loooong tradition. Order of radio chatter is as follows: "Tuna Clipper Hooked Up", "Tuna Clipper Tied Off", Every other boat, "Congratulations THERE BOAT NAME." Needless to say there may be a "Congratulations" on the Bank every now and then
There is so much "stuff" to talk about on this adventure. We made a great relationship with these guys. They were so happy to have us on board, they want us to fish the commercial season with them again next year! You will be seeing a link to their boats on the MBG site until they get their page up and running. Jamie and Troy are 4th generation Giant fishermen up there. We got to meet their father and actually got the fish on one of his old rods! They will be running charters beginning next July.
Again, unreal trip! 400+ fish caught in 2 days between about 300 boats. 92 boats out of North Lake. Most of them slobs. Biggest fish was 1380... I saw a couple fish between 1000-1100 weighed at North Lake on Tuesday. Come to find out, our fish ended up being one of the top 10 biggest fish weighed at North Lake for the season...pretty cool.
If you get the chance, GET UP THERE. We will be back next year for sure.
I have more pics and vid than I know what to do with. Pretty much of every "main event" during the trip.
These are only a few but, I will have more of hand feeding, the scenery, etc etc, up later today.
Feb-12-2011, 10:04 PM #2Captain
- Join Date
- Newport Beach, CA
Thats a giant! What was the technique you were describing with the nets?
Feb-13-2011, 12:13 PM #3
Wow... fantastic report and pictures. That is some amazing fishing over there. Interesting culture and techniques too, thanks for the post.
Posted over four months ago and the only reply is from yesterday?? Massachusetts board seems a little lonely.
Mar-07-2011, 11:41 AM #4
WOW! I'm sorry I missed this post ealier. Come to think of it, it would have made winter go by that much slower. That is an incredible fishery they have. I hope to check it out one day. Thanks for the post.
Mar-07-2011, 03:32 PM #5
Epic post, can't wait to see some vid.
Mar-19-2011, 06:05 AM #6
Mar-19-2011, 06:20 AM #7
I love stories where I stop breathing and start reading faster.
That was an awesome read!
Jun-12-2011, 05:36 PM #8Captain
- Join Date
Holy $@&),! That is a huge fish. Congrats.
Jul-18-2011, 06:50 AM #9
Thanks for posting this up guys.I really need to pay more attention to the Massachusetts room.
-JohnC.fish,and visitors,stink..after 3 days...
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