Things have been very busy here in 2021! The year started with the 2021 Castafari Big Game Seminar Series that took place virtually this time around. We hosted a series of 7 different virtual events which aired throughout the winter and spring seasons. We are looking forward to bringing back our in-person seminar trade show event at the Boston Quincy Southshore Marriott on March 5th and 6th. We will be working alongside J&B Tackle again, who will be set up at the seminar offering a full inventory of tackle and great deals. Basically they are bringing their store to the seminar! This is a great opportunity for fishermen to get a jump on replenishing their tackle box, and saving money in the process. We will also be hosting a vast array of tackle companies who will be setting up in the J&B store area displaying and demonstrating their latest products. At the former event, there were 18 different leading tackle companies setting up in the store and providing product showcases. This offers a very personalized and interactive atmosphere for our customers interested in expanding their knowledge on what works, how and why.
The Seminar as always will offer the most comprehensive hands-on- bait-rigging instruction available. Both days will encompass non-stop bait-rigging instruction on rigging trolling baits, stick baits, bridled baits, strip baits, and natural dredges. This allows our customers to put some gloves on and rig it themselves! We also have over 25 marine related vendors setting up and displaying at the show providing just about any service available to help maintain your vessel. The event welcomes 14 top-notch captains and two doctors presenting a variety of cutting edge topics on the pursuit, art, and science of catching fish. They will be back this year as well, and we will have a couple of new pros in the lineup, too. For more information, please visit our seminar website at www.castafari.com/fishing-seminar
The next Castafari event on the horizon was the 2021 Oak Bluffs Bluewater Classic fishing tournament which was held July 13 - 18. This is a 4-day bluewater competition held in Oak Bluffs Martha's Vineyard and sponsored by Landshark Lager. This year we welcomed 48 boats, and we awarded over $300,000.00 of prize money. The fishing was good out at the canyons, and as usual, boats were allowed to fish 2 out of 4 days. Several blue and white marlin were released, along with catches of bigeye tuna, yellowfin tuna, swordfish, mahi, and wahoo. This year we expanded the event, and opened a weigh station and registration tent in Falmouth for boats unable to attain dockage on island. The beauty of this event is that boats are able to leave from any port. We also introduced our new OBBC interactive Phone App which enabled the public as well as tournament participants to gain an inside real time look at what was happening. The app can be downloaded free of charge at the app store under "Oak Bluffs Bluewater Classic". Congrats to the crew of the Picasso Moon who took first place! The OBBC also donated $8,000.00 to the Boys and Girls Club of Marthas Vineyard. Please visit our tournament website at www.obbclassic.com.
Now let's talk about the fishing! The Castafari kicked off the summer season in late June chasing medium-sized bluefin tuna that showed south of the islands. We saw thousands of fish...literally everywhere. Our best day included 34 catches! This is a great sign for what is to come over the next few years. The bluefin population appears very healthy, and there were groups of fish all over the place from NJ to Maine. The fish in the canyons were just as cooperative and plentiful. We also caught dozens of big yellowfin tuna, the biggest I have seen in a very long time. A couple of these big yellowfin were over 130 pounds! Most bites came on skirted ballyhoo in the long position. We caught some nice bigeye tuna out there as well, especially around the full moon. Most of the action was out in the eastern canyons from Veatch to Hydrographer. The swordfishing was excellent as well, and has been for the passed several years. Each season we have been targeting swords during the daytime hours, and catching fish on almost every trip! The Castafari also caught 4 nice blue marlin, and 2 of these fish were well over 600 pounds. One was pushing over 700! This was the 1st season in ten years that we didn't place in the top 3 in any of the tournament events we fished, but we did manage a notable catch and biggest albacore tuna award in the JB Tri-State. The fish weighed 65 pounds which was a pound shy of the Massachusetts state record.
The Castafari then switched into full on bluefin tuna mode once mid September rolled around pursuing giants around the Cape Cod Bay area. Our best day was 3 fish to the boat. The rules are still one fish retained per day, so we did release quite a few big fish. I also brought the boat down to Chatham to pursue a body of fish that was holding in the Great South Channel, running trips from Falmouth. The trick was live bait on the bottom, and fresh leader material. We never leave the dock without a plethora of both! The bay fishing was good. We experienced bites on most of the trips, and though we caught some great fish, we suffered through some heartbreaking losses. Regardless we always had fun. The Castafari is well equipped with a top of the line Release Marine fighting chair. We don't expect clients to fight fish from the rod holder unless they choose to do so. "Fish the chair if you dare" are words we prefer. There's nothing quite like doing battle with a giant tuna from a fighting chair.
I had to cut the season a little shorter than usual as a noreaster caused some significant damage to the Castafari's canvas enclosure. She is high and dry for the winter season. The bluefin are still here in December. There will be world-class bluefin tuna fishing right through Christmas the way things are going. In the meantime, I hope everyone has a great holiday season!