Which leads me to another throwback thought—the past few years meat was very effective so a cooler full of rigged ballyhoo was always in the cockpit. Not so much now. The longfin and bigeye seem to turn their noses up on the meat in favor of good old plastic squids and Green Machines, just like in days of old. Our daytime longfins all hit Green Machines behind soft birds dropped back behind spreader bars run off the ‘riggers. Reports from other boats indicate that the more lures you had in the water the better your chances of hooking up. Some boats ran six spreader bars with a few lures scattered around the pattern, and dredges are definitely helping bring the fish up, but most are filled with plastic squids rather than rigged natural baits.
If you’ve never fought a bigeye tuna you’re in for a treat, or some backbreaking work, depending on your idea of a good time. They are incredibly strong and seem to never give up. I think you reel in the last 100 feet of line about a hundred times when there is a large bigeye on the other end.
If this continues the fall fishing in the Hudson could be epic, just like the old days. Maybe we’ll cross wakes while pulling the plastic in the Hundred Square.