Green Harbor MA Captains log

Bluefin Tuna Fishing | Stellwagen July 2011

by admin on July 21, 2011

Yesterday was truly an awesome day on the water. This adventure actually starts the day before when a sudden change of plans sets the wheels of fate into motion.

It all starts Tuesday afternoon with a late cancellation, setting up a day of solo tuna fishing. I resigned to the fact that I’d be alone, so I figured I’d troll rubber sunrise to 11am then head for the barn before the winds picked up. Of course the plan was about to change again, I just didn’t know it yet. My wife and I decided to escape the summer heat and eat dinner on the water Tuesday evening. While we were out there, the water was glassy flat and I was able to spot a few small schools of mackerel (always keep one eye on the water). They were mostly tinkers but a few were tuna worthy. After catching about 25 nice bait sized fish the mind starts churning…I could hear that voice in my head “I want to catch a GIANT tuna” over and over again, yes the full on tuna sickness had set in. I spent the next hour or two convincing my wife that the seas would be calm, the whales would be everywhere, the sunrise would be beautiful and I needed her luck and skills at the helm to “catch a giant tuna”. The crazy rant eventually works…she is in for a 4:30am departure.

I am so pumped I can hardly sit still (so I don’t). I have all my trolling gear in order and live bait waiting at the slip! I spent the evening preparing & testing my leaders (100lb fluorocarbon, 300lb swivel, owner bait hook, crimped & completely blacked out with electrical tape). I asked my youngest daughter & wife touch both leaders and think “giant tuna” before I bag them up (I’m not superstitious).


4:30am we depart Green Harbor as planned and everything my tuna sickness promised my wife it would be, it was, and more! It started with a very nice ride across the bay followed by an incredible sunrise as we arrived on the SWC. The whales were bubble feeding, we saw full out of the water twisting breeches (multiple times), we had enormous striped bass hitting the rigs while trolling (over and over again), it was truly incredible. One of the stripers was so big I thought it could be a little tuny, nope, it was a 40+lb striped bass. We gave up on the troll around 8am and set two macs on balloons in 190ft drifting up and over the edge, into 80ft. The activity seemed to have slowed compared to earlier but the area was still alive. Just before 9am a football sized tuna jumps out of the water 40 yards off my stern and 10 minutes later, it is GAME ON. The battle continued for 45 minutes, the fish took about 300yrds of line with 17lbs drag 3 times but eventually we have the fish on the deck. It tapes out at 57 and change, and it is very fat.

Great days like this are few and far between, getting to share the experience with my wife/best friend made it 1,000 times more special. Thank you Laurel for being there for me again! I love you.

A few photo’s from our adventure..

Capt. Laurel Mortell

Capt. Laurel Mortell at the Helm

Edward Mortell 40lb+  Striper

Edward Mortell 40lb+ Striper

Edward Mortell - Bluefin Tuna - Stand up fight

Edward Mortell - Bluefin Tuna - Stand up fight

July 20, 2011 57" Bluefin Tuna

July 20, 2011 57" Bluefin Tuna

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