2009-10-04 - OU Weekly Report - 225 lb Swordfish in NJ Overnight and Key West Report

October 04, 2009

A week of just darn awful weather in the northeast led me to jump on a plane and head south. I spent this past wee k in the Florida Keys checking on our boats there, and working on our new locations, both Ft. Lauderdale and Key West. I had the opportunity to spend a day in Key West with Capt. Ted Lund, who recently joined the OU Team (see his report below). Ted is the former editor of Saltwater Sportsman, and a n expert Key West Fishing Captain. Ted showed me around, set up tours of the marinas and hotels we'll be working with and gave me a great overview of the diverse fishing action we have to look forward to out of Key West. For those who don't know, Key West is a very unique fishing destination in that it offers two coasts to fish. There is almost always somewhere to fish in relatively calm seas. Fishing the Gulf side wrecks, Tortugas, Marquesas, and the reefs on the Atlantic Side of Key West are all on the menu for this coming season.

Just as I was about to give up on the fishing up north with all the lousy weather we've been having, I get the call that the YELLOWFIN CHUNK BITE is ON! So, here I am back in NJ thinking maybe the best is yet to come. Both PRETTY WORK and LOW PROFILE got out last night and sure enough, the bite was on. Capt. Joe's report is below and you'll read about nice Swords and a decent number of yellowfin for both boats. At this point, it looks like we'll be running Canyon Tuna Trips right through November. I've not heard of a longfin tuna caught yet, so you know there is plenty of good fishing to come in the North East Canyons.

New Jersey

Swordfish, Dolphin & Yellowfin


Yellowfin, Dolphin

Key West, FL

Cobia, permit, mutton, mangrove, yellowtail snapper, king, spanish mackerel, swordfish, dolphin, blackfin tuna & tarpon

Islamorada, FL

Dolphin, yellowtails, yelloweyes, vermillions, redfish, snook, cobia

Ft Lauderdale, FL

Swordish day or night, Dolphin & Sails starting to show.


Captain Trey Rhyne - Email Captain Trey

New Jersey Fishing Report

It's Blowin' but They're Bitin'

Well, and so it begins. This is what we have waited for and they have finally starting to bite overnight pretty good. Although smaller fish than we are used to, the fish are responding very well to jigs and a blast on lighter tackle. Most fish have been in the 20 to 30 lb range with some pushing in the 40's. It is great to see them bite on the full moon which is typically slower, while the sword bite is good on the full. Somebody say sword?

We are just getting back from the Lindy with awesome results. We anchored on the NE corner of the Lindy after trolling with no results. We marked numerous amounts of bait there and decided to sit there for the night. About an hour into it we started to mark the yellows pretty good going 3 for 5. While fighting two other fish we hooked into what we thought was a nicer size yellow. Fifteen minutes in we knew we were in for a fight to a nice sword. Unfortunately we hooked him on a sardine 60 feet down on 80 lb leader with a Penn 16 VSX reel. We knew we were in for a battle. We decided to get off the hook as we had minimal line left on the reel. After several jumps, four miles and four hours we finally had our shot at her. We quickly sunk 3 gaffs in her and all high-fives from there. We estimated this fish between the 225 and 250 lb range as this was one of the fattest fish I have ever seen, holding its weight all the way to the tail.

Shortly after setting back up, I decided to head to bed....yeah right, 5 minutes into my movie chaos in the cockpit once again as we hook into another sword. We battled this one for about an hour before sinking the gaff in this 80 lb fish. This one bit the sword bait, whole mackerel down 150 feet. Now it was 2:30 am and we continued on at this point catching one more yellow and some dolphin to add to the mix. This was one memorable night for me that I will never forget. To get a sword that size on light leader is extremely lucky and requires great effort on the crew. Thanks to my mates Johnny and Joe as they did a great job, as well as the anglers. Tight lines!

I would also like to thank Stu on the Pez Machine as while we were backing down on the fish I called him on the radio to let him know our status. We became closer than I like to get while chunking but he was very understanding and had no problem whatsoever. Class act Stu and thanks again!

Listen to Captain Joe's Audio Report for this exciting trip!

Tight Lines All!!!
Captain Joe Trainor - Email Captain Joe 

Key West Fishing Report

Pictured to the right Ft. Lauderdale angler Bill Andersen with his first-ever cobia on fly, a 28-pounder. It was taken on a 12-weight outfit on a wreck in the Gulf of Mexico with Over Under Key West captain, Ted Lund.

Slightly cooler weather in the first week of October has brought with it plenty of baitfish and some great fishing here in Key West and the Lower Florida Keys. Couple that with what has been absolutley flat-calm, grease slick, wind-less days and you've got a recipe for fantastic Fall fishing.

Gulf of Mexico
The Gulf wrecks are probably offering some of the best variety right now from cobia and permit to mutton, mangrove and yellowtail snapper, king and spanish mackerel and a host of other species. Normally we chum with shrimp boat bycatch in the Gulf, but pilchards have been so plentiful, we've been loading the livewell and creating a hatch of our own over the submerged structure. During the last week, slightly cooler weather has brought with it hoardes of cobia, with some wrecks holding schools of 100 or more fish. On Sunday, Bill Andersen of Key West caught more than a dozen cobia on fly with me, including his best fish yet, a 28-pounder. Permit to 30 pounds are holding on the same wrecks and love nothing more than to slurp a live crab drifting in the current.

Late season dolphin are making a good run off Key West from the reef edge out to Wood's Wall nearly 20-miles south of Key West. Although there haven't been too many giant fish, there have been plenty in the 12 to 15 pound class. It's a great time to pull out the light spinning or fly rods and have a blast. Although a little earlier than normal, blackfin tuna and little tunny are beginning to show up on some of the deeper water wrecks like the Cruiser and Wilkes Bar. The tuna are averaging 15- to 18-pounds, and as they fatten up over the winter and move further west on some of our other wrecks, fish in the 25-pound class will be the norm. This is pretty much a live-chumming game, and there have been plenty of pilchards and sardines around. If the bait sticks around in the kinds of concentrations we've been seeing, it should be a really good year for chumming pelagics.
The lack of wind has also brought about some good conditions for swordfishing, both night and day. If you want to catch a broadbill swordfish, now is the time.

Yellowtail and mutton snapper fishing has been good on the Atlantic reef edge from American Shoal all the way down to Tail end and beyond to the Dry Tortugas. The fish are biting better in areas of dingy or off-colored water, where you get the Gulf Stream blue mixing with inshore green. Chunk baits of bonito, mackerel or similar oily fish work best, especially when you chum with liberal amounts of majua. This is all 12- to 20-pound spinning tackle and plenty of fun. Anyplace you find the snappers, chances are there will be a big king mackerel or two lurking around; its a great time to put out a big conventional with a live blue runner and see what happens. Several fish in the 40-pound class were reported this week.

Late-season tarpon continue to make things interesting for anglers fishing live mullet or pinfish in the channels throughout the lower Florida Keys. Most of the fish are smaller this time of year, but a few in the 100-pound class have been released. This is a great opportunity to get out of the heat and sun, as the best times to fish them are in the early morning or in the still of the night. These same channels are producing a few snook, some large jack crevalle and legal mutton and grey snappers as bycatch. If you enjoy casting artificials, you can get in on the fun as well... all of these fish love hardplastics like the Bagley Finger Mullet or Sebile Magic Swimmer.
We've really seen an increase in activity on the flats since air and water temperatures have fallen. Gone are the 90-plus degree water temperatures. With a return to the lower 80s, bonefish and permit are extending their hours on the flats letting anglers have some good full days of fishing. Calm conditions have made the fly fishing tough, but spin fishermen casting crabs (permit) or shrimp (bonefish) are hooking up regularly.

Captain Ted Lund - Email Captain Ted


OU Open Boat NJ Trips

With the overnight bite turning on, we are going to start putting together open boat overnight tuna trips whenever we get a weather window to run.  This time of year, the more flexibility we all have, the more likely to get out and load the boat.  ANYONE WHO IS INTERESTED IN GETTING OUT, EMAIL OR CALL US!  We will make a list and contact everyone whenever we see a weather window.  Hopefully we will be able to get 6 people together and get out. We typically see the windows develop with about 48 hours notice. 

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