Three Lantern Marine & Fishing

By Steve Zelck

Steve Zelck aboard the F/V Bounty Hunter, finishing the last of the fall season with this massive beast.
Steve Zelck aboard the F/V Bounty Hunter, finishing the last of the fall season with this massive beast.

Well it’s now November and the fall migration and feeding frenzies are well underway. You’re excited for some serious action when the weekend approaches. What are you going to go after? Cod… nope, closed. Haddock… not a chance. Striper… perhaps. There are some big stripers hanging around along the rocks but you have to work for them. Your best bet is to throw a livey in there that they can’t resist. I have heard some scattered reports of bluefish actually showing up, so check out your favorite spots or troll around with your favorite deep divers and you’re bound to find the toothy critters. If you like mackerel (grilled or smoked), you’re in luck. You can practically walk on them. You should be able to fill up a tote in no time at all. I’d say you’d even have enough for yourself and friends.

Let’s move on to what’s happening offshore. I’ve seen more sharks than usual this year. There are plenty of bluedogs around for sure, but there are good numbers of healthy threshers and also stories of aerobatic makos have been rolling in.  Some stories have been coming claiming the appearance of “Jaws” – yes, great white sightings – and they’re not just eating seals and scaring swimmers down towards the Cape. They have moved North to Stellwagen Bank and points beyond. We had one breach behind the F/V Bounty Hunter twice as we were getting macks for bait. Yes– just like you see on the Discovery Channel, in fact the second breach was so close it had me heading for the wheelhouse.

The tuna fishing remains the best I’ve seen in years. There are plenty of fish around but they don’t come easy. We had battles taking as much as five to eight hours, ending in heartbreak when the beast finally escapes our grip. We aren’t alone, several other boats in the fleet have had brutal seven to eight hour fights, only to come up empty-handed. Seems it keeps happening in the same area of the Stellwagen Bank. All those who have been defeated by the monster, have nicknamed this fish, “El Diablo.” Legend has it, he has about 15 hooks stuck in his lips, five darts in his back and even a tail rope dangling behind him. If you are fortunate enough to hook El Diablo, I commend you – he’s all yours. There are plenty of more manageable 400- and 500-pounders around, but none seem to come easy. There are a good bunch of smallies around – we’ve released a 66 and a 68-incher in the last few weeks and seen some schools, upwards to 50 pounds bless the surface. I’d say you better get out and enjoy the last bits of the fishing season as winter is approaching faster than we want.


FORECAST BY: Steve Zelck was born and raised in Gloucester. Steve’s love of the sea lured him back to pursue his fishing passion and not a day goes by without him checking the pulse of the harbor for action. If you don’t find Steve at Three Lantern Marine & Fishing, you can bet he’s out working on his lobster boat, F/V Erik and Devin, named after his kids. He also tuna fishes aboard the F/V Bounty Hunter with Captain Bill Monte from Wicked Tuna.