This has been a great season on the water. On our last trip we saw over 20 bluesharks and 2 makos. The sharks stayed with us all day. To the south we have double digit blue sharks with consistent mako sightings and to the east we have large schools of bluefin tuna, whales, and large numbers of blue sharks as well. We have a shark trip coming up this weekend so stay tuned for a report.
This season we came across a blue shark with plastic around it's neck. This is not the first time I've seen this happen to sharks, in South Africa I saw numerous sharks with plastic and fishing lines wrapped around their necks. In both cases I was able to snap the lines off the sharks...Here are some images.
Yesterday August 28th was a good one for us up here on Nantucket. Running 30 miles offshore we found a nice temperature break going from the high sixties into mid seventy degree water. This season has seen very warm water temperatures close to shore, and with that comes many different types of large fish. Finding blue water out there with a viz well over 50+ feet we had our fist shark fin on the water before chum was even put in the water. Within five minutes the first blue shark was on our bait. Within the hour we had up to ten blue sharks around the boat and they would stay there for the rest of the day. Sharks from nine feet down to five were swarming the blue waters around the boat paying us lots of attention. We also had a rare dusky shark come in and hang around, eating baits at will for over an hour. Other large fish we had around the boat were yellow fin tuna and a large mahi. Highlights of the day included cutting a heavy piece plastic wrapped around a blue sharks neck which could have proved fatal for the shark. With all this blue water, baitfish, and warm temperatures the season should stretch strongly into the fall. There is also the possibility of diving out east with whales and tuna which will become more of a focus. Stay tuned with more reports to follow.
Winter has been over for a long time. Most all of the islands wildlife is back on the island. The blue sharks are stacking up in all of thier usual places. Bluefin tuna's have also made their first apperances of the season. The mako's should be somewhere inbetween the Jersey coast and the gulf stream and heading up any day now. With the water sitting in the upper 50's about to turn it is only a matter of time before everyone settles in for another season of wildlife encounters here on the North East...On an inshore note, this is the time to dive the shallow wrecks and shoals surrounding the island as the viz is great and the numbers of inshore species such as striped bass and seals is at a peak...The boat is ready to go and we'll be putting some time on the water within the week....Check back here for updates
The waters east of Nantucket have turned on with life in October. Sharks are still around in solid numbers with some big 3 to 4 hundred pound makos being seen. This is the season were the big fish show up and feed in the cold water before making the trip to their winter areas. As impressive as the big sharks have been, there has been huge numbers of whales and tuna feeding on acres of bait, creating one of the most amazing ocean sights I have ever seen. Big bluefin tuna up to 300 pounds have been herding bait together in massive amounts while large whales crash up from below and take mouthfulls of bait. To add to the choas there are usually thousands of birds flying overhead that dive straight into the blitz. To be on the boat right in the middle of this scene is a very cool thing I can attest would rival events like the sardine run of Africa and the bait balls found in the Pacific. There are very few locations that host such a large number of large animals in full feeding mode in such close quarters. Pics to Come...
Report from Sept. 17th Canyon Trip: Went to Hydrographer Canyon about 100 miles off Nantucket Island. Left at 8 pm yesturday steamed all night to get to the canyon wall at 5 am. Windy and grey for most of the day with pockets of sunshine and rain, 5 ft. chop, blue gulfstream water moving real quick. Jumped in and filmed some big schools of mahi in over 1,000 feet of water. Saw a pod of sperm whales on top but they dove before we could get to them, messed around with some dolphin (mammales) tough to get them to stick around us though. Set up for shark at about 10 am right on the canyon wall which goes from 600 to 2000 feet. Plan was to drift over the canyon which is about 8 miles wide coming in off the gulfstream. 2 buckets, baitline with bluefish baits. After an hour a tiger shark pops of up surfing on the waves 30 ft from boat. Long story short had 2 mabye 3 different tigers taking baits and finning on the surface, one was about 15 Ft. Was in the water waiting for them but they wouldn't come near the boat for a camera shot. Thought it could have been the strong current and typical tiger behavior of hanging back in the slick, especially in swift current. The sharks were acting very timid. Most likely the combination of large sharks that come into very little contact with humans and the crashing affect of the boat in heavy seas keep them at distance. Never the less we had great surface activity and were suprised by a large 400 pound hammerhead that swam around the boat. What a day spent 100 miles offshore with sharks, mahi mahi, turtles, whales, and dolphins. Six hour ride home from the edge
Epic day on the water today. With the waters chilling with fall season settling in the sharks are becoming very active. Water temps have dropped in the 60's and the big offshore pelagics are feeling the crunch. We are having to run a bit further offshore to find good water but overall productive water is all around us. Today was a classic late season day with huge amounts of action in the water. The small weather windows available during these stormy months mean less trips but big days when the weather breaks. Today we had packs of big blue sharks around the boat for hours along with several large bluefin tuna that were hyped up and in feeding mode. This time of year it is not uncommon to have several sharks and large tuna in one spot. We still consider ourselves very lucky to have seen these endagered and prized fish coming so close to us with little fear whatsoever. Amazing day on the water with a steady stream of 8+ bluesharks and 80 - 100 pound bluefins crashing the party, often chargeing sharks for baits.
In the month of August we had a number of good shark days. This season there are more makos than blue sharks which makes us very fortunate. Mako's are they number one pure predator in the worlds oceans, taking down prey such as swordfish and tuna.
The last week has brought stormy conditions and a few bluesharks closer to shore for the boat. The visibility has suffered a bit from 20 miles inward. I am convinced all of the bluewater and sharks are holding in big numbers 30+ miles offshore. Once the weather gives us a window we will be out there diving with them. Reports coming as soon as it clears up
Having returned from South Africa it's time to swing full throttle into shark diving on Nantucket Island. Saturday July 26th marked the teams first shark trip offshore for the 2008 season. The waters around Nantucket are teaming with sharks this year for those willing to venture offshore. As usual the sharks were right there for us to jump in with. After arriving at "The Dump" we found a clear 30+ viz and signs of life in the form of sea turtles and baitfish. After setting up our slick we had a pup mako cruise by and snack on some baits. Quickly followed by a pack of blue sharks. All of the action subsided after an hour of good shark activity but picked up steadily after a short wait. A nice 150 lb. mako appeared right behind the boat and buzzed around us for the rest of the dive. Quickly after it's appearance a 7 foot blue shark arrived on the scene followed closely behind by a sandbar shark. To have three species of shark at once on a dive is a pretty remarkable progression for this open ocean location in the Northeastern United States. We have a lot of shark dives in the future, check back for updates!