Canyon Fishing for more read On the Edge by Damon Sacco
The fishing in the northeast canyons is exceptional. Every highy migratory big game fish that swims in the Atlantic is there. Marlin , both blues and whites, are abundant with some of the Blues approaching grander proportions. Swordfish prowl the depths and arise at night to feed. Yellowfin , BigEye, Bluefin, and Albacore tunas abound with multiple hookups common. Mahis and Wahoos complete the mix. Mako and Tiger Sharks feed on everything and anything that is too week to survive in the dog eat dog world of the deep.
The canyons are noted on any published chart. They apear as cracks along the wall of the continental shelf, and are charaterized by drastic changes in depth over a short distance. Add the Gulfstream, which creates warm water eddies that flow over the canyons and trap fish, and you have the right mix for phenominal fishing.
Typical canyon fishing is done using using 50, 80 and 130lb tackle. Like other kinds of fishing, plenty of fish are caught on 50 lb tackle standing up. However, you may loose the fish of lifetime, say a 700lb + Blue Marlin, or a 500lb swordfish whe fish on light gear. Rods are typically bent butt trolling rods . Always keep around some large spinning rod in case mahi-mahi crash the party.
Most of a typical day on the canyons is spent trolling. Trolling a spread of daisy chains, high speed spreader bars, lures, and natural baits is effective. A typical spread consists of 5 to 8 lines. Outriggers must be used to spread the baits out. Your outriggers should be rigged with roller troller clips so that you can drop the line back to the fish or crank it up to create additional commotion when a fish strikes and misses the lure. Lures , high speed spreader bars , and daisy chains are trolled between 6 and 10 knots. Always try to troll the trough, instead of directly upsea and downsea, which makes the baits appear more natural.
In the morning and at dusk is when you will get bites from big eye tuna and it is often good to switch to more spreader bars and daisy chains as opposed to single lures when targeting these fish. During the day, Yellowfins love a nice daisy chain with a bird teaser and a green machine at the end struggling behind. If you want to increase your chances with a Blue Marlin, put out a couple of large teasers . Also use some single lures such as a nice Black Bart.
At night , it turns into a chunking game on the canyons, with top captains usually tighing up to a lobster pot instead of drifting aimlessly in the current. Once tied up, start chunking using squid , mackerel, and butterfish. You can fish the same way we describe in our swordfish articles. You have to fish hard because many times you will catch sharks and you have to go thru them sometimes before other fish show up.