As many know I love fishing for Bass… I don’t know what it is, I just love those square tails. But there is something about Light Tackle Tuna Fishing that gives me a high unlike anything else. I think this is because Tuna fishing is mostly a game of highs and lows…. Often you are waiting…waiting…and than you see the fish off in the distance and it becomes a game of run and gun. It really is a game of patience and precision. The trick of course is to find the bait, which will show you to the fish and that is done using both your sounder, finding the whales, and using your friends. Once you find the life, you must wait and keep your eyes peeled. Once the fish show themselves, don’t get caught up in nailing your first shot. Early in my fishing career I failed to realize that it was best to set yourself up for a great shot than to chase every mediocre shot.
What I mean by this is fish, just like all creatures, follow patterns. Fish are predictable, if you allow them to be… Where they come up once, they often come up again. So if you find a pile of fish, stay in that general area and focus heavily on looking at bait swirls on the surface and watch your sounder for bait inching together. Most important is to try and read when the fish are about to come up rather than when they are coming up. If you are running to fish that are already showing themselves there is a very good chance that you already will be too late… Not always, as if it is a big pile of bait those fish will stay, but often that is the case. It is so important to learn to read the signs and this is where experience comes to play and patience.
Once on a pile of fish put your lure through the school and reel as quick as you can, and be prepared. When these fish hit, they hit. Your drag must be set correctly before you get on, as playing too much with a drag during a fight can put a lot of pressure on your reel/line/rod…
Lastly, it is really important that everyone on the boat realize that chasing Tunas with light tackle is dangerous stuff. When chasing fish, the boat is usually going max speed, this in itself is an opportunity to get hurt, and than when casting people often move too quickly, forgetting the basics. Lastly when a fish is on… it must be respected or else the rod could snap or that fish could put a hurting on an angler. It is so important when chasing tuna to realize it is not all fun and games, but there is a sincere need to stay focused and have patience…
If you want a memory though that you will never forget, go light tackle Tuna fishing. It is simply awesome.
We get the question all the time, why are you guys a regulator fleet? The answer is simple, they are awesome, and they are the perfect boat for the fishery that we have today. The biggest change in boating in the last 20 years is the reliability, size and power of outboard engines. Literally 20 years ago, only runabouts had outboards and everyone turned to inboard motors as they were efficient, reliable and lasted. They were not fast, but neither were the outboards at the time. Yamaha, Honda, Mercury, Evinrude have all developed incredible engines now that has forced most boat manufacturers to develop hulls designed for these outboards.
So why regulators? The Nantucket fishery is awesome, but what we have discovered over the years is that if we go where everyone else goes, we are only giving our customers the experience that anyone can give them. Instead we want the option to go to where we know the fish are. If we know the squid are pushing at an offshore rip 10 miles east of the island, we want to go there. If we want to fish off of Tuckernuck, but the fishing is slow and we want to adjust, we can, as we have the speed. If we want to chase tuna with spinning reels, we can, because we can share them down. Our boats go 40-50 MPH. Not because we need to, but because by doing so we give our clients the best opportunity to have an experience that they will always remember.
We also love Regulators as Nantucket is known for having some NASTY weather and we want to make sure that if a storm kicks up, we can get ourselves home. The regulator is an awesome boat for Nantucket waters, for the rips, for the swells and for all that mother nature wants to throw at us.
We are being sincere when we say that we know the boat market very well, we are convinced there is no better boat to guide the offshore waters of Nantucket than the Regulator.
Anyone who has flown to Nantucket over the last 7-8 years will tell you about the dozens of trawlers that are going back and forth south of the island. Most of the island has now realized that these trawlers are Squid Fishermen and they can tell you about the nantucket squid debate. The way they fish is to lay a 5 inch net on top of a 1.5 inch net and drag this net along the bottom floor. There is no question that calamari is a “hot” dish in restaurants these days and thus the market for fresh calamari is as strong as ever. It was also discovered 7-8 years ago that Nantucket has some of the best Striped Bass fishing because of all the ocean run squid we have. South of the island, Squid for years and years have laid their eggs (Squid Mops) on the ocean floor and Nantucket and Cape fishermen have benefitted from this reproduction ground with incredible striped bass fishing. The Sound and Nantucket do not boast natural striped bass habitat, but our abundance of the stripers number one food source does keep them coming back every year… until that food source is taken.
Squid and nantucket Squid in particular! are the perfect food source for these fish and they crave it. The issue with Striped Bass and squid is that unless the squid are caught in a current (Think Rip) the striped Bass are not agile enough to catch them. South of the cape, west of nantucket and east of nantucket is loaded with Sandbars and rips that give striped bass the opportunity to feed. This supplys the fish with food and recreational fisherman with a mainstay activity that has been a center piece of cape and islands life for years.
The issue now though is these Squid Trawlers are not only catching up the bait, leaving the bass without food, but they are destroying the habitat upon which the squid reproduce. Many of Nantucket’s fishermen have worked incredibly hard trying to push off these trawlers and we have had some success. The state is keeping the boats out of nantucket waters during the summer season, but an archaic law is allowing these trawlers within three miles of the island at the beginning and end of the season.
So the long and short summary is the squid are important and the fight to push off the trawlers is just as important.
I love June Fishing on Nantucket…. I don’t know quite how else to say it. If you ask 100 people on Nantucket what their favorite month is my guess is most say September, some say July or August and some say October… I love June!
Why do you love June fishing on Nantucket you ask? June to me is the beginning, and I love beginnings. I love new, I love starting over, I love what could be’s and the potential and having everything to look forward to. You know why else I love June… Is because the Striped Bass fishing is awesome! Early in the month the fish are SMALL and active. They wack small baits and while you are often catching 22 inchers, they feel like monsters as you are on super lite tackle in super shallow water. Than, one day, out of nowhere you start seeing squid shoot around the boat and you call up your friends and say…fish must be in the rips. And this is when the fun begins as when Striped Bass enter the rips chasing Squid…. hold on! Fun is about to happen. And what is cool is it is like the fish have an underwater microphone, because once one spot turns on, 2-3 days later another does, and 2-3 days later another and …you get the drift. I just love June.
I love that the weather is unpredictable, I love that the days are long, I love that the light is gorgeous, I love that I wear a wool cap in the morning and that the water is clear and cold.
If you love fishing, if you love cool experiences, come spend June with us on the water… You won’t be let down.
Jon Lord is a great friend and a great interviewer. He asked if he could pick my brain about the life of a fishing boat captain, Captain Corey. Of course I said yes. What a fun experience. Jon opened the interviewer picking my brain about hockey. While I am no “expert,” I love the sport. I have played and coached it and have been a fan for years. After picking my head about hockey we got into my view of the nantucket fishing world. It was a fun interview and Jon asked me some incredibly fun questions that made me think. I so appreciated the opportunity to get myself excited for the summer. I hope you take the opportunity to listen and get a taste of our world that we live in during the summer.
My good friend and charter fishing boat captain Corey Gammill joins the podcast to discuss the NHL Playoffs (1:00), coaching and teaching professional athletes like Jonathan Quick, Nick Bonino and Cam Atkinson (4:00), becoming a fishing boat captain on Nantucket (7:00), making work about more than money (12:00), the not so glamorous life in a resort community (16:00), dealing with entitled customers (20:00), competition with other fishing captains (26:00), irrational fears on the water (29:00), climate change and the perilous future of the fishing industry (34:00) and the value of catch and release (42:00).