East End Offshore Journal

by Paul

During the Hoops Off-season I sometimes get to go out to sea. On Friday June 12th, I went on an overnight trip to Block Canyon on my friend Dave’s 42ft Henriques Hard Top Express with his two sons Matt & Mike and friend John.

It was a pleasant ride out until a fog bank showed up for the last 30 miles. After leaving Montauk around 3:30pm, we were in the trolling zone by 7:30pm.

With 11 rods to troll, we put them all out with as much stuff possible to announce our arrival. In 30 years trolling the waters off Montauk I’ve noticed that spreader bars with birds & rainbow squids work well. I’ve also watched rigged ballyhoos with ilanders, Joe Shutes or sea witches work. I noticed two new looking spreader bars with hard nosed rainbow squids. They didn’t have birds but there was a big bright yellow Boone bird in the trolling box. I added the big Boone bird to one of the hard nosed rainbow squid spreader bars and ran it off the port side inner rigger. I watched a tuna hit and miss the spreader soon after putting it out. I called out “port side inner rigger.” On the second explosion a 52 inch bluefin ate the hard nosed rainbow squid at the back of the bar with the hook. It was game on. We had been trolling for a short amount of time and had our limit of bluefin by nightfall. Everything else was gravy after that sunset flurry. We ended up catching and releasing 10 bluefin and were headed back to Montauk by noon Saturday.

On the ride home, I reflected on my night at sea in the deep water 75-80 miles south of Montauk. I thought about the big dolphin around the boat all night that kept me going until 2am. I said to Dave on the ride home, “the hours spent out here have a lifetime of memories in them.” There’s nothing like being offshore. Far enough away that you can’t see land on a clear day. It’s a great place to focus.