A great day had on the bank with the Hanney Charter catching four Tuna between 44″ and 70″ and tagged and released three. A little sloppy in the afternoon when the wind came up, but the group did a great job getting the fish to the boat. This trip was about a week ago and still many tuna around for sure. As it has been a great October so far for both tuna and the ground fish. Lots of life still around as the tuna will be migrating out of the area very soon. Hoping to end the season off with a few more great trips! I have attached some photos from a few recent trips as well. Thanks to all.
Fishing continues to be great.
We have had some great recent tuna/cod combo trips. Tuna continue to show up on the bank with all different size classes mixed in.
We have recently caught some 45″ class fish, which is very good to see. Many reports of even smaller tuna are being seen as well. Nat told me he saw some little guys up on Jeffery’s. Twenty pounders all over the place! Very exciting to see that size class making their way here.
It seems there is enough bait and excitement here for the tuna to come back year after year, hopefully! Half beaks are all over the place, a bunch were seen a couple of miles out. Always exciting to see the tuna chasing the ballyhoo, watching them sky rocket up to ten feet at times.
Hopefully the weather cooperates, as there is plenty of tuna time left!
Good Luck to all! Thanks
We recently had the pleasure of fishing with a few fellow charter boat captains from Texas.
They booked the Karen Lynn for two days of Blue fin tuna fishing .They were very excited to experience the Blue fin tuna fishery we have here. Great weather was upon us, and they could not have picked a better two days to be on the water. They were so envious of the short run we have to the fishing grounds. ‘Twelve miles”… they kept saying”.We have ninety miles to run to get to our closest spot.”
We are very lucky to have such a short run. They were equally amazed at what a beautiful fishing area we have . A great reminder of how lucky we are, and to to never take it for granted.
As far as the fishing goes, they could not have hit it better. As soon as we arrived on the bank, tuna were busting all over the place! Feeding very aggressively on the half beaks, they were coming clearly out of the water a good five to ten feet. What a great site to see for these guys, and anyone for that matter!
Lines in, and about twenty minutes later we were hooked up. A short time later we boated a beautiful 67″ BFT. The crew was very excited to say the least. These fishermen had accomplished what they came to Gloucester for. Fishing continued to be great as they all had the chance to fight their own tuna.
The next day proved to be another great one. The Texas boys already had sweet tuna steaks vacuum bagged and ready to ship back to Texas. So that day was all about tagging and releasing tuna. The tuna were once again busting the surface all over the place. We quickly had a double hook up.. unfortunately pulling the hook on one early. The other came in quickly for a great tag and release. We ended up tagging one more for the day.
The guys were excited to give cod fishing a try. We ended up catching a good amount of keeper cod. They were not rookies to bottom fishing, as they do a bunch of it for grouper.
With another species to add to their list, we headed for the barn. With a great couple of days of fishing wrapped up, Ian and I were relieved that we had the chance to show them what an amazing fishery we have here in our own back yard!
Great day on the water. As we departed with a father, son and daughter charter aboard the Karen Lynn. The seas were some what choppy out there. As the crew was not feeling to well already. Things were not looking to bright. As we came upon some life after not seeing much. The first fish is on and the reel is screeming. Instantly the whole crew is feeling a whole lot better. We get the 14 year old girl in the harness and she goes to work. What a amazing job she did getting the fish boat side in under 15 minutes. We pull a fat 67″ fish on the deck she was amazed to say the least. What a feat for a young girl like that, truly a memory of a lifetime. Fishing continued to pick up as both the father and son getting to reel in a fish. First one was about the same 67″ tagged and released. The father had a nice one on and after a great battle. We tagged and released a nice 71″ fish. Hopefully fishing continues to improve out there. The moon is upon us always intresting to see what it brings. Good luck to all! Thanks
Great few days fishing out on the bank. On Friday we landed a nice 53″ tuna. Yes being excited about catching a smaller fish sounds silly. Although it is great to see a smaller class of tuna show up on the bank, for many reasons. The life continues to show on the bank more and more everyday. We have had some great Tuna/Cod combo trips on the bank this last week. High hopes for the month of September. Good luck to all! Thanks
Tuna trips have been going great. A very interesting season so far. There have been Tuna all over many great bites happening in different places.
There is a large abundance of bait this season. Small juvenile herring are all over the place. We sure have seen some amazing surface feeds this season. It’s very exciting to see the fish finder lit up with bait for over 5 continuous miles. It seems the mid water herring boat restriction is showing a very positive impact.
Stellwagen continues to hold up to it’s reputation as the life on the bank is amazing. As it should only continue to get better. Be sure to check back for our most up to date reports. Thanks good luck to all!
I did an overnight recon trip to Southern Jefferies Tuesday night and Wednesday.
The good news is we got a 92″ 550# Giant and we saw some 60-90# BFT just 4-5 NM’s from Twin Lights. The fish gave us a really hard fight for an hour and a half as it’s stomach was completely empty and we ended up 1 1/2 miles from where we hooked it.
The bad news is the fish are really spread out, so unless you have very specific and current information Southern Jefferies does not offer the same kind of concentrate of bait and fish that the Bank does. The Whales and the bait seem to be quite spread out this year. Captain Collin is out in the Karen Lynn today looking for more Giants so hopefully he will do post an update, tonight or tomorrow. For now we are going to stick to the Bank and maybe to the east for Tuna Charters.
Karen Lynn Charters
Headed out to the Bank, with hopes of more tuna showing up north after the moon. Arrive to the corner with lots of life showing. The usual whales,birds,tons of bait with many bass still in the mix. No tuna on the screen cruised around for a bit and sure enough a few broke the surface. Worked the area for a while and sure enough we were on. About 15 to 20 min later we boated a nice 68″ fish. This class of fish will give you a good battle make sure your gear is heavy and in tip top shape. As soon as it began it shut off. Weather was no good of course and visibility was tough. Stuck it out and kept working, a while later we were on again. A fish of the same size was boat side for a nice tag and release. A great day overall our clients were very excited to say the least. Fishing should continue to improve. I hope this weather pattern changes as well. Good luck to all !. Thanks
Quite a few people on the FLA forum have asked for a “how to” showing cutting up and steaking a Blue Fin Tuna. As promised, we will shoot a video of cutting up a BFT on the Karen Lynn this summer. In the mean time I have put together a description and some pictures of how we do it on the Karen Lynn. All the pictures are of Blue Fin, but some are southern BFT and fish from the Mediterranean some they might look a little different to those of you who notice details like that.
I am sure that people on the forum who have experience cutting up BFT’s will have some other ways of doing it and I would welcome you to post your tips and idea’s. Like most things that require some practice and skill, there is probably no one “right way” to do it. There are however, easier ways to do it and I have tried below to show you one way we have found that is relatively easy. Like most things, the more you do it the better you will get. That said, we have a great resource in our BFT fishery so close to shore and relatively plentiful. Please be conservative about taking fish especially as more and more people get hooked on this fishery. Tuna doesn’t keep particularly well in the freezer, so I would urge you to take only fish you intend to eat and do that with prudence.
Please post the inevitable questions and please point out parts below that need clarification. I will edit the post as I get feedback and questions from people on the forum.
Karen Lynn Charters
TUNA ANATOMY 101
The Basic Steps
1. First you want to Gut, Clean and Prep the Tuna as per my previous post “Dressing and Handling of Medium and Large Blue Fin Tuna” that you can find above in the announcements.
You also need to have a good set up to cut the fish. Big fish over 150 pounds will likely have to be cut on the deck. Having a piece of cheap carpet or some burlap sacks can really help. With last years 57″+/- BFT’s at the bank, I would often cut them on top of a large Icey-tek cooler with a cheap Home Depot walk off mat underneath them. I’m an old guy and I don’t like to work kneeling any more if I can help it.
Having at least one really good large knife is crucial. We have a large 16″ butchering knife we bought from a restaurant supply house. I also like to use relatively inexpensive mild steel fillet knives (those ones with the wooden handles) as they hold an edge better than the stainless knives.
2. One of the keys to making it easier to cut up a BFT is too get it really cold before attempting to cut it. Ideally we will leave it in a brine of sea water, kosher salt, and lots of ice for a couple of hours before cutting it. The firmer the meat the easier to cut and by minimizing bacteria the longer it will keep and taste really good.
3. First you have to remove the head, tail, and fins. It is my understanding that this is prohibited by HMS regulations to do at sea. This should probably be done in your harbor, or if you are in Gloucester, maybe at the breakwater. You should make sure you understand the regulations as the penalties for even minor infractions can be severe.
Atlantic tunas, Bluefin, bigeye, and yellowfin tuna must be landed round with fins intact, or eviscerated with the head removed, but with one pectoral fin and the tail remaining attached through offloading. Tunas harvested from the management unit cannot be filleted or cut into pieces at sea.”
You want to cut off the Pectoral Fin on the side you start on with a “scalping” shallow cut like you were peeling off the skin on a piece of fruit so you do not cut into the meat below it.
You should now have a clean carcass ready to cut up.
5. Next you want to make the first longitudinal cut. You need to pay careful attention to cutting on the blood line and right down to and along the Tuna’s backbone.
6. The Second Cut is when having the right knife will really help. Cut along the Tuna’s backbone into the stomach cavity to create a large “quartered” chunk.
After the second cut you should be able to cleanly remove a quartered section of the tuna as below.
7. What I am calling the third cut, actually requires two cuts to complete. First Cut down the middle of the tuna’s belly just missing the gristle where the ventral and anal fins attached. Then fold the tuna carcass open as in the picture below and cut along the spine to remove the second quartered section. It will be hopefully a little more clear when you are actually doing it than it sounds here.
8. The fourth cut is again one where a big sharp knife really helps. You now have essentially half a tuna carcass and you are looking down at the backbone intact as below in the picture.
You want to carefully cut out the backbone in one large piece if possible, taking as little meat with it as possible. Below these guys have just made that cut and have lifted off the entire backbone very cleanly.
9. You now have half a tuna carcass with hopefully no backbone. For your last longitudinal cut you simply split the half carcass into two quarters by cutting through the indentation where the backbone was. This will result in you know having four quarters that look something like this.
10. Now for the easiest part which is steaking up the quartered carcass. There are many ways to do this but the way I prefer is to cut across the quartered section through the meat but not through the skin, then take a smaller sharp knife and make a perpendicular cut to free the steak from the large piece of skin on the quartered carcass.
Keeping the quarters in the brine until you are ready to steak each one will real help with fighting bacteria and maintaining freshness. Left in the hot sun for only a short time will really speed up decay.
You now can bag the steaks, and then have some Sashimi