Team Goose Heads Offshore

Goose Hummock Pro Staffer Chris Nashville showing off a beautiful mahi.

Team Goose set out into a Southeast breeze, which slowed us to a steady 35 knots enroute to Hydro which was reporting a great temperature break of 70 to 78 degrees. We arrived on the scene at about 8pm to a setting sun and a rolling three foot sea. We immediately began to chunk for shark and deep drop for Swords, with Nick taking the lead. Meanwhile, Sam got to work preparing supper on the ‘Jonnie Avallar’ grill. It was an uneventful night, aside from some brief action on the shark rig around 4am. After a blistering first run it seemed to be a good sized fish, but we can’t be certain as unfortunately it chaffed us off after a couple of minutes.

Roughly 45 minutes before dawn the sea had flattened out, so Sam sparked up the grill for breakfast and the team got the trolling gear ready. With lines in we began the troll up the edge of the canyon. We had 5 bars out, two deep dive Yozuri plugs and a Ballyhoo down the middle. By 10am all we had seen were a few flying fish and the wind was building along with the sea. A large sports fisher came into view on the other side of the canyon, and after a brief radio chat we found that they were not faring any better. We decided to make the move closer to shore. The wind by this stage was a steady 20 and the sea was 3′-4′ — So much for the 3′ every 9 seconds and 5-10 breeze that was forecast!

After coming back into the shipping lanes where the wind and seas were calm we decided to try a high flyer for Mahi. Just a day before joining us in the canyons, Erin had caught her first ever fish. We were determined to get her a Bluewater fish, and Erin was tight into her first ever Mahi after a few casts with a 6 inch RONZ. In a few short minutes the fish was netted and safely released. Soon we were catching Mahi at will, and Nick changed to a White YUM YUM soft plastic on a bass 4/0 jig head, and after a couple of Mahi in the 2-3lb range he was tight on a monster! When it dove deep instead of coming to the surface, we realized that he was probably into a Tuna, which would present a challenge as he was on a Stella 5k and a Reel Easy Bass rod. After an epic 30 minute battle we pulled a 40lb+ Yellowfin into the boat, with Sam capturing the last piece of the fight on a GoPro under the water.

Jake Howarth with one of the many yellowfin Team Goose landed.

Now that we were in the Tuna, we switched to 11inch RONZ, Shimano Orca and Strategic Angler plugs with the appropriate rods and reels. Jake and Chris were tight within minutes and battled with Yellowfin in the 40-50lb class, while Phil was busy bringing the fish into the boat and steering to avoid tangles. Erin chose to go after the Mahi, but then the inevitable happened and her Stella 5000 screamed as a Tuna took the smaller RONZ. Chris helped her fight the fish but after an exhausting 15 minutes it spat the hook. We were all disappointed, as we had hoped for Erin to catch her first tuna. After 20 minutes the fish had moved on so we decided to throw the bars out again to try and reconnect.

Half an hour later, the green machine went tight with a good fish, and after the initial burst of speed the line parted. We checked the line (and muttered a few expletives) and it looked like the topshot was chaffed as it came out of the outrigger clip and parted. We continued to circle and within a few minutes we were tight again, this time on the Ballyhoo, but 30 seconds in we lost the fish. Phil was on the rod and reeled it in to check the ballyhoo, and as he was changing it a White Marlin came up behind it and played with the Islander Skirt still attached. We have not caught a Marlin on the boat yet, and so we were excited about this opportunity. Despite teasing for 10 seconds the fish would not strike and disappeared. Phil reeled it in and saw that the Ballyhoo was gone, explaining why the fish did not attack again. Despite moving around for another couple of hours we saw nothing, so we stowed the gear and started home.

We hit a dense fog 20 miles into the return trip that stayed with us right to the tip of Monomoy in fact. We also came through a couple of heavy rain fronts, and were grateful for our STORMR wet weather gear as there is not a lot of rain protection on a center console. We charged down the sound at nearly 60Mph, out of the fog and into the sunshine with a full rainbow showing off of Monomoy–a great way to end the trip! Despite a lack of success in the canyons, the trip on the proved epic with a catch of 6 Yellowfin, countless Mahi, and a near miss with a shark and Marlin!

Here’s some great footage Sam Brown was able to shoot.