There are times in the life of an outdoor writer, specifically when hanging around with old friends who make a killing on Wall Street, when you question your chosen profession. Last week was not one of those. I won’t go into too much detail since I’m getting paid to write an article about it, but lets just say after spending time chasing school bluefin tuna off the coast of Rhode Island, there is no other job I’d rather have.
I got to fish with two of my favorite fishing buddies–my brother Mike and my old college roommate Mike (pictured below)–and make a couple of new ones. Basically, for this article I’m doing, I joined forces with Jeremy Cameron of Flies and Fins. I trailered my boat to Rhode Island, and he hooked us up with a tuna fly guide named Mike Warecke (860/304-9131.) Tom Rosenbauer, the fly fishing guru at Orvis, also joined us, jumping at the chance to target bluefin on the fly.
In summary, we spent four days on the water. Capt Mike Warecke gave us a bluefin primer, and then we spent the rest of the time chasing them ourselves. What amazing fish. It takes total teamwork to catch them–from spotting the busting fish, to positioning the boat, to the guy on the bow making an accurate cast into the boils (and even that doesn’t produce a hook-up most of the time). The angler has to play the fish with great patience–we lost a few at the boat rushing the landing–and then the guy responsible for grabbing the tail can’t miss. For their size (10-20 pounds) these bluefin will put the hurt on you, ripping line off a large arbor reel like nothing and putting a deep bend in a 12 weight fly rod.
We also got into other great tunid species, skipjacks and bonito. The skipjacks, according to Capt. Mike, are even harder to fool with a fly than bluefin, but they don’t fight as hard. And the bonito are great fish in their own right.
A few points to make. Tom, a master tyer, caught all of his fish on his own flies, but the rest of us hooked them on Capt. Mike’s fly–the Mike’s Minnow. It’s a great baitfish imitation for targeting tuna species. Two, for an angler with such an impressive track record, Tom is one of the nicest, most down to earth guys you’ll ever fish alongside. And third, Jeremy has some of the best fish spotting eyes I’ve ever seen. He’s going to have some sick video of it all on his site, which I’ll link to when it goes live.