Bad Luck Fisherman

August 7, 2018 Facebook Twitter LinkedIn Google+ Fishing reports,Tuna reports

Chatham lighthouse

I am beginning to feel like a bad luck fisherman. I try to get out but something seems to happen almost every time. I love to fish and fishing offshore is my real love. I have only made it offshore once this year so far.

I did make 2 trips on the SeaStar party boat out of Cape May.  They give a good trip. We went to the Cape May reef for tautog. I didn’t catch anything Keepable  but I had a good time. I released some sea bass. The boat was very slow that day.  The mates on the boat are very good and knowledgeable.We talked a lot and had a good trip.

The next trip was a fluke, seabass trip. Once again I was skunked, but there were keepers caught on the boat. At one point one of the mates said it had been good earlier innthe week, but the water temp had dropped. Story of my life ” You shoulda been here yesterday”.

Then I signed yo for an open boat trip with That’s right out of Ocean city, Md with good friend, Capt John Oughton.  John gives a great trip and was doing well on the tuna.

I had been having some minor problems with my garage door closing. The night before I went to close the garage door and the top panel of the door started bending. I tried to stop the motor  but before I could stop it all the glass shattered out of the door and the top panel cracked.

I called Capt John and told him I had to stay home. I should have gone because it took over 2 weeks to get the part to fix the door.  John went with 4 guys and had a good day offshore as evidenced by the picture below.

tuna in Ocean City, Md

Capt John charters out of Ocean City, md in the summer and Islamorada in the winter

On the 20th of July we were off to Cape Cod. I had signed up with a charter captain for a shared trip. I tried to keep in touch, but he didn’t answer emails well. As the date got closer , I began to get nervous because he had not filled the trip. I told hime that if he got fewer guys and they agreed to split the trip 2 or 3 ways, i would pay my share. No response. I even offered to take a 6 hour striper trip instead of tuna and pay the whole thing. He said he only wanted to fish tuna.

I decided I had to get out so I went on the Yankee II party boat in Harwich. After about 1 hour 15 minute boat ride, we arrived at the fishing grounds. On the first drift I caught a skate and someone else caught a small shark.

The captain decided to move to a better spot. I heard the first engine turn over and start. The second engine started , the stalled. I heard the engine alarms going off. After a few more failed starts, the captain came on the loudspeaker and said “We lost and engine and will have to return to shore on 1 engine”  That was almost a 2 hour slow ride back at 7 or 8 knots. They did refund all our money.

I was getting desperate. I called the captain from the split charter. He could not fill it and offered me a spot on Friday. I couldn’t go Friday because we had company and were leaving for home Saturday morning early.

My wife had picked up an advertisement for a charter boat the day before. I decided to give him a try. Capt Alan Hastbacka of Got Stryper charters answered the phone and I explained my situation. He said he would get me out. He had a captain he worked with who had a smaller boat and would be a little cheaper for a 1 person charter. He said the other captain would call me. 3 hours later , no call.

I called Captain Alan back and he said he would take me on a 1 person tuna charter  on Tuesday.  That turned out to be a great day. We fished on his boat a 27′ Conch center console. No tuna that day, but we did catch a large Porbeagle shark and a big blue shark. We also caught a nice sized striped bass that we could not keep, because we were more than 3 miles offshore. The area was loaded with bass , but no tuna.

I had fun catching mackerel for bait. I never saw so many mackerel in such a small area. We used to get big schools in April in new Jersey, usually 5 or 10 miles offshore. because of warming waters we no longer get them inshore.

My bad luck on that trip was minor and my own fault. It was sunny and when I went into my bad to get my sunglasses , the case was empty. Also I was filming the catch of the porbeagle on a GoPro and it malfunctioned. I also found out that I am not as young as I used to be. I got the blue shark up to the boat, but when he ran again, I need some help to get him back.

Thanks Captain Alan.


I thought at this time that maybe another trip would be a good idea. I asked Alan about a striper trip. He was very honest. The day we fished for tuna was the commercial striper day. He had been listening to the radio and things were slow. He thought maybe wait til Thursday when some wind would pick up and we could fish the other side of Chatham.  He called me Weds afternoon and said we should be able to do ok on Thursday. I arranged to meet him at 7AM

Wednesday night, my wife and I went to del Mar , a great restaurant in Chatham. When she got out of the car, she fell in the parking lot. With the help of some patrons we got Joyce back in the car. I looked for a local Urgent care but the only one close would close in an hour. We called 911 and the Chatham rescue took her to Cape Cod Hospital. They were a great group on emt’s and they made Joyce feel comfortable.

We realized that Joyce would not be able to go back to the second floor condo we had rented. I went back to the condo and packed the car. I called Alan and cancelled the trip. he was very good about it and concerned about my wife. At 1AM I picked her up from the hospital and drove directly to New Jersey.

Dave and Evelyn Grainger were great hosts for us in Chatham. They were very helpful and concerned about my wife. their properties are beautiful and they are great landlords. they are full of local information and are responsive to the needs of the tenants.

I want to get out fishing more this summer, but am half afraid of what will happen next to the bad luck fisherman.

I am just glad I am boatless at the moment. Things that go wrong cost so much more, when it’s your boat.

Wicked Tuna