Wow, great write up and great fish! Sorry your buddy got asthsma, "I gotta assma girlfriend if I can go!"
Here’s the full story. Was working all last week and was dying seeing all the big bluefin being caught. The plan all week was to fish Sunday, 7/11 on my 21 foot Grady White. Saturday night comes and I reconfirm with my fishing buddy of our departure. He has a new girlfriend that runs his life so I was happy to hear that he could go.
I had a prior commitment Sunday morning, a coffee date w/ a girl I’m dating haha. Went well but I didn’t hear a word she said because I was just thinking about breezers and blow ups. I got out of the coffee shop and beeline it to my house where my buddy was supposed to be getting the boat ready to go. I get home and garage is closed, no rods out or anything. I was pissed. Called him and he gave me some bs excuse that later he apologized and told me his girl was right next to him. What a doormat!
So the time was 11am and I had a choice. After some thought I decided to go. Took me a while to get everything ready and I launch it by myself and push off the dock at 12:30. I’ve heard it’s been a late bite so time wasn’t as big of a concern.
I know the dangers of fishing solo, and I tried to be as safe as possible. Wore my PFD all day, attached the kill switch to my jacket. Stayed off the bow so I wouldn’t fall in. I also had 3 buddies in the zone that I was talking with on the radio.
So I send it out of Huntington, straight for the mackerel bank. I start seeing fish about a few miles inside, and then proper it was pretty amazing the amount of fish. Few foam spots, breezers, and streaky marks of ones and twos. Threw everything at em, even the kite( which solo is a shitshow) but couldn’t connect. It was 4:00pm at this time and had a feeling it wasn’t going to happen in this zone so made the last second decision to shoot over to the 289 area, which was my desired destination. Got there at 4:30, and I set an alarm on my phone a drop dead 6pm departure time because I did not want to travel back in the dark. Moved a round a bit then found some life and started marking.
Start skipping around with the kite and around 5:25 run over the mother of all schools. It wasn’t a good school, I’ve seen those plenty of those. It was a banger school, 50ft-250ft and marked it while I was moving for a good 3-4 minutes. Right when my lure was in the zone I was waiting for the bite. Half of me didn’t want to hook one because I knew they were jumbos and solo would be crazy stressful. I’m talking with my buddy on the radio and I start to hear my 50wide sing!! Game on and by the looks of it it’s a real one. I keep it in the rod holder and wide to come tight and keep winding. I fight it for a few minutes, the start to clear the deck. Another few minutes and I get the gaffs. I’m pulling hard on this thing, and get it to color in a little under 20 minutes. I see how big it is and I’m pretty nervous, knowing being solo he could easily pull me in. I choose my shot carefully til I get him broadside, quickly throw my rod in the holder, grad the liter and stick him in the dome. Grab another gaff and get him in the gills. he’s gaffed but not mine yet. He’s big.
I put each gaff in one hand, grab my tuna spike, and put him to sleep. Did NOT want to bring him in hot on the boat. Takes about 5 minutes for me to figure out how to get him in the boat but I do. Pure stoke. 21footer, 50 miles offshore, big ass bluefin
stoked! I caught a nice 120lber the other day and this one was much bigger. I’d guess 160ish. Solo baby!! Was a fun and stressful experience, glad I did it but will not be going solo again hopefully.
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