"There has been a 20-year lull in the Mud Hole," says Gatley. "Ten years ago it was dead. Now for the past two years, there has been consistently good fishing for bluefins. The sand eels have rebounded, and that is a major reason the fish stick around."
"To see bluefins again is great," says Kosztyu. The first year they started showing up, they appeared along the 30-fathom line. Then the second season he fished them, in '09, he found productive jigging on both the 20- and the 30-fathom lines. "That's when the jigging got hot," he says. "We had sand eels like we haven't seen in years, since the 1980s and '90s. I don't know why they left, but they started showing up again, and we were marking acres of them on the bottom."