Wednesday, August 27, 2008

1st two Giants of the Year for the Karen Lynn

After a frustrating start to the week including being shut out of BFT Monday on a trip with three Scientists from the Large Pelagics lab at UNH and being in the wrong place at the wrong time on Tuesday's Giant trip, we had an awesome day at the bank yesterday Hooking five Big fish yesterday on mackerel and whiting.

Tuesday Night we realized as we were cleaning up the boat that we still had a tank full of live macks and a few jumbo whiting in the other tank and that the wind was forecast to blow 25-30 Knots out of the East on Wednesday. East and Northeast are often good on the bank especially if it is snotty.

We got out to the bank to find our friend Dave, a very good and successful commercial BFT fisherman already set up and fishing. Other than us and a few boats trolling it was pretty quiet. Quickly we started marking big fish and soon after Dave went off and we watched him for the next 1 2 hours fight what must have been a 700+ lb fish. Dave has caught a couple of hundred giants and usually has them wrapped up in 30-40 minutes so when he is 2+ hours on a fish you know it is big. Dave called us on the radio a couple of times, first saying that he couldn't get the fish up past 70' and then that he had broken three of his five rod holders on his transom and had lost the fish. He headed bank to Gloucester for repairs and to get out of the weather that was rapidly turning nasty.

We then got and released our first fish which was 66" BFT. No sooner had we gotten back on the ball then we hooked another large fish that ended up to be a 77" keeper That went smoothly but we now had wind gusting to 30 knots which made getting back on the ball and fighting fish much more difficult. We flooded all the ballast tanks and with another 8000# of weight the Karen Lynn settled in nicely. We then quickly hooked another fish that gave us a tough fight but when we got it along the boat and measured it came up short by 2" and was released. As soon as we were back on the ball we hooked up a third time and as we struggled to stay with the fish in now very large seas, we were worried that we had hooked another monster like Dave had. When you have 30 Knot winds the chances of getting a really big fish on the boat without pulling the hook or breaking him off go way down. We got the fish after 30 minutes and it was smaller than we had thought about 88" but incredibly round and fat high quality fish. However, we had broken our second and last harpoon due to the aluminum shafts that Jim decided to try this year, that snapped off cleanly where the shaft threads into the harpoon. Collin then rigged our 8' long wooded boat hook "old style" with another harpoon shaft flossed and duct tapped to the wooden closet pole! With that crisis sorta solved we concentrated on getting our third Giant. Now we were all alone on the bank as the smaller boats trolling had had enough of the wind and the rain. We remind ourselves that we had built the Karen Lynn specifically so we could fish days like yesterday so we decided to stay out there and go for the trifecta..three giants. Things slowed down for a couple of hours and gave us a chance to clean up the boat and get a little more organized but then we were on again, but after a short but hard fight due to the now large and confused sea's we released a third fish that was 64-68". We gave it a couple more hours but by 4:00 PM we headed back to Gloucester very happy but quite tired. For our mate Chris, who had caught many school to large BFT's, this was his first Giant and he was absolutely jacked! He even took a bite out of a Tuna Heart!
We will post some pictures and a video in the next few days.

Jim and Collin

Karen Lynn Charters


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