2008 Monster Shark Tournament

We just got back last night from the 2008 Martha’s Vineyard Monster Shark Tournament and we are totally exhausted but I wanted to post some of the pictures that we got over the four day trip. Our Charter, Joe Bianco and friends, were great to fish with and we had a awesome time with them. Not only did they bring huge amounts of incredible food (Joe owns a specialty meat and sausage company) but Joe’s son Louis, diligently took many great pictures when he wasn’t fighting a fish.

Over the two days we caught and released over thirty blue sharks with ten very large sharks we estimated to be over 250# and a few in the 350# range! Additionally we lost a nice Mako at the boat, and caught a thresher shark that missed the 250# cut off for adding points. The thresher may have come up short for counting in the standings but gave us an incredible fight. In the end, everyone went home very happy and extremely tired.

This was our second year at this tournament and there is definitely a steep learning curve. This year things went very smoothly and the weather was generally good. The only thing that was missing was time to sleep!

Karen Lynn Charters

Collin Catches record 54.7# Striped Bass

This big striped bass didn’t slip the hook

By RICHARD GAINES Staff Writer Gloucester Times

Colin MacKenzie is a professional fisherman. So when he hooked up at dawn yesterday a couple miles out past the Dog Bar breakwater, it was with some experience that he said, “I thought I had a tuna.”
Un-uh. MacKenzie would discover to his great pleasure 10 minutes later that, using a live mackerel, he’d hooked and boated a striped bass for the ages.
Back at Winchester’s Fishing Company where it was weighed into an annual contest as the leader by far, MacKenzie learned he had caught a 54-pound bass — so far as Winchester’s knows, the largest bass of the decade, and only the second 50-plus bass in 15 years.
Winchester’s has already weighed in five other fish of more than 35 pounds in a season that seems ready to take its place as the best for fish of a certain size.
By the standard chart of length, age and weight, the MacKenzie bass likely hatched from an egg in 1986, about the time a massive all-points recovery program to save the striped bass from extinction finally took hold.
The recovery has been one of the nation’s singular recovery success stories.
The only other bass of more than 50 pounds in this decade was caught strangely enough just off the Annisquam Yacht Club in August 2005.
Born and raised in Gloucester, MacKenzie, 28, and his mate Chris Coomb were on their way to participate in the Monster Shark tournament in Martha’s Vineyard on MacKenzie’s 43-foot boat when they took some time to catch some mackerel and hoped to land some bluefish to use for bait in the tournament.
The mackerel was swimming in about 20 feet of water about 30 feet from the bottom when the big bass hit.
“He took it and ran; I thought it was a small tuna,” MacKenzie said.
MacKenzie operates Karenlynn Charters. Stripers heavier than 50 pounds are rare anywhere, especially on this side of the inshore waters, and even farther south along Cape Cod, past Montauk on Long Island, N.Y., and down the coast of the mid-Atlantic states, 50-pounders are big news.
For perspective, the world’s record rod-and-reel striper is a 78-pounder caught in 1982 off the Atlantic City, N.J., boardwalk.
Richard Gaines can be reached at rgaines@gloucestertimes.com

Slow Tuna fishing at the NWC this week

We were out four days this past week, two days for Tuna and two Bass trips. As you know the Bank has been very slow with some school and giants caught in Cape Cod bay and off P-town. Yesterday Captain Collin went east after not seeing any signs of fish at the corner despite huge pods of bait and many whales and trolled out toward Wildcat Knoll without seeing any fish. We did mark some small to medium Tuna deep down, on the edge of the bank, on the sonar at first light. Even the Gloucester stick boats have been slow the past few days but we expect the fishing to heat up when we get a change in the wind and some cooler water onto the bank. Collin recorded temps as high as 68.5 degree’s yesterday and saw the thermocline between 50-60′.

We have heard that there are some significant schools of fish (not sure what size) way to the east, out by Davis Swell and Sewell Ridge which is 100 NM east of Gloucester. Although these fish may be headed for Canada, with the abundance of bait and mackerel in the Gulf of Maine, that pattern might change. This may be too much wishful thinking, but this year’s conditions are clearly different from the last five and we are still really excited about what could happen later in the summer and this fall. The fish that are here may settle in soon and really start feeding. Meanwhile, the Striper fishing continues to be excellent closer to shore and we are enjoying a brief respite from the dogfish infestation!

We are bass fishing early this week then we are headed to Martha’s Vineyard for a charter for the Monster Shark Tournament. We will post a report when we are back in a week.

Stay Positive!
Jim and Collin