The 2012 season has come to an end for me as far as saltwater fishing is concerned here on Cape Cod. I put the boat up a few weeks back and, on the last sunny day, Capt. Shaun Ruge and I winterized all the systems and got it tucked in for the long winter’s nap. It would seem I have a buyer for the Verados, and if all goes well they will be living the good life in North Carolina on the back of a 34 Yellowfin.
It that happens, next season the Riptide will once again be sporting fresh new Mercury Verados on the transom. The motors performed flawlessly this season, with no unscheduled maintenance in over 670 hours. That’s almost 7 seasons for the average boater without a hiccup.
That kind of reliability allowed me to take anglers to some seriously far away places for trips of a lifetime and get them back the same day. Imagine racing to the offshore canyons while napping in the beanbag chairs, only to wake up a short time later, 100 miles offshore on water that looks like a mirror. Then spending the morning catching yellowfin tuna and the afternoon fly-fishing for all the mahi mahi you could ever want.
Here is a little video taste of what that’s like….
The season didn’t start in the canyons though. It began much closer to home with a slug of 20- to 30-pound stripers hitting the Cape in mid-May. This large body of fish was the only really good game in town, so we put tremendous effort into following them as they moved around the Cape and Islands before taking up final residence off Chatham. For 2 1/2 months these fish kept my anglers on some of the best action they had ever seen. Having my boat on a trailer allowed us to follow the mass of bass as they moved, a major advantage over many other boats that did not have that capability.
Once the bass fishing began to wind down, we switched gears and began our offshore adventures. A large push of white marlin found its way just south of the Vineyard with a scattering of bluefin tuna mixed in with them early in the offshore season. With the help of some fellow guides, we teamed up and followed those silver missiles as they wandered nomadically around the islands.
When the south bite slowed, we used our mobility again to head over to Chatham and points east for some of the best bluefin tuna fishing we have seen in years. Though not my normal run-and-gun casting fishery, the troll bite out east for 40- to 100-pound tuna was stellar! Unlike the run-and-gun fishing, where 1 to 2 fish is a banner day, this year’s troll bite produced 5 to 8 fish (on average) per day, with numerous days finding us over the dozen-fish mark. It’s hard not to get excited when all 7 rigs splashing on the surface go off at the same time! It’s total cockpit chaos!
Later in the summer, the Cape saw a world-class influx of “tunoids”. The bonito and false albacore showed in numbers I have not seen since the glory days of Harker’s Island. We had the best bonito fishing I’ve ever seen, with one 2-hour window yielding over 30 bonito weighing up to 9 pounds. Then the Fat Albert’s arrived on scene and pushed the bonito out to a large degree, but no one was complaining. Double-digit half-days for albies were the rule for the rest of the season. They were so thick we could often find a pile of them and spend an entire tide hooked up without moving more than a few hundred feet.
All this action is enough to wear you out and make you hungry, so to cover the “need to feed” we found that hitting some secret sea bass spots satisfied the cooler crowd who wanted to take home some meat. This was a new twist for us, but one I truly enjoyed. It was great chasing albies around, then breaking for lunch while catching tomorrow’s lunch.
Each of the last 3 seasons has been a benchmark for Riptide Charters, with this season being without a doubt our best year ever. We were able to get more anglers on more fish than during any other season. I have every expectation that the trend will continue next year.
If you fished with us this year, I’d like to take this time to say “thank you”! Without you guys there would be no Riptide Charters. To those of you who didn’t get out with us, I invite you to join us in the future. Meeting new anglers and making new friends is the best part of being a guide.
I am now taking bookings for 2013. With the uncertainty in the economy, I’d like to offer a bit of stability. For anyone who books with a deposit before the end of the year, I will honor the 2012 rates regardless of what happens to fuel prices or the economy. No rate increase, no matter what, and as always no fuel surcharges!
Please enjoy a short video of our 2012 Season in Review.
Capt. Terry Nugent
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