11 Oct Offshore Report: Canyons Still Hot
The stretch of calm seas and winds this past weekend opened the ideal window for a run out to the Canyons. Fully prepared by thursday with a worthy crew, we tossed the dock lines 6am Friday morning. We were gliding over the pond at 29 knots toward Veatch in Tuf Guy, a 40′ Cabo Express. Four and half hours later we dropped lines in on the flats and began to troll toward the edge. Before long a wahoo took the far left rigger, armed with a blue and white Joe Shute. Twenty minutes in we saw color and one minute after the hook pulled. We replaced the mangled ballyhoo with a fresh horse and got back on the troll. Shortly after a school of Mahi charged through the spread and we had three in the cooler to get the skunk off, but not feeling entirely satisfied having lost a big bull in the pack. At witching hour halfway between Hydro and Veatch we had two single big eye bites that were dropped moments after hooking. 200 yards of top shot gone in seconds. A crossed line was chaffed in the process sending a Canyon Bar back to the deep with the Eyeballs. The morale was low heading into dark, not much to show for a long day, and having been a slow summer for the night bite we were unenthusiastic to start chumming. A crew member who goes by the “chunkster” reminded us that if there was ever a time to redeem a trip, its at night. So we set up a drift over marks of fish and heavy bait balls. No love the first few hours of darkness and to add insult to injury the seas picked up to rock a pair of momoi clippers off the boat.. As we drifted to 1900′ of water around midnight we had a big feed of dolphins and halfbeaks in our lights. A couple red bulls later, the clicker sounded and the fight was on. The crew was up and on deck in seconds. We watched like mosquitos around a bug zapper at the eerie glowing light maneuver 150′ down. First sword was in the boat, 200lb range, on a homemade sword rig. Two more followed at 1am and 2am. The trip was heading for a complete 180. By 4am the tuna showed.. First Yellow took a chunk 30′ away from the boat and 30′ down off a balloon. Nick the jig & pop specialist seized the opportunity to spool out a Point Jude Deep Force. He snapped out of a dehydrated coma and had another 70lb yellow on deck. The “Chunkster” had prevailed, there was a YFT blitz going down all around the boat. Point Jude Deep Forces and RonZ’s were dropping until the sun came up.. then we ran out of chum. The fish bag and fish boxes were packed to the limit so we called the trip and pinned the throttle back to Rhode Island.
We assumed this would be our last of the season but after these results our fall plans may change. The water out there was warm and abundant with life. Another ride to the edge might be in the near future, weather pending of course.