“Keep your eyes open. When the sun sets, we might just see the Green Flash,’” said Captain Eric Kerber (On A Mission Fishing Charters). We were about 15 miles into an 80-plus-mile run from Hudson Canyon to Shark River Inlet as the sun plunged through the western horizon last Tuesday.
The “Green Flash” is an optical phenomenon whereby a green splotch is visible above the upper rim of the sun as it sets, the result of the sun’s light being separated into different colors—most often green—by the atmosphere.
We didn’t see one that night, but the day had been full of flashing greens, yellows, and blues appearing below high-fliers to attack our poppers, flies, and chunks.
We’d pointed east that morning hoping to find tuna, but well equipped to make the most of our plan B, catching mahi-mahi on light tackle. while the tuna never showed, the mahi didn’t disappoint.
Almost every high-flier had mahi under it. Some held dozens of 3- to 5-pounders, while a few had a handful of 10- to 20-pounders. With the smaller mahi, quadruple hook-ups were common, but the larger mahi were cagey, following just inches behind a topwater only to refuse it at the last moment (the video below shows what would have been my biggest ever mahi snubbing a walk-the-dog plug after giving it a close look). The biggest bulls even ignored the sardine chunks. The day was full of action, and fishing was exciting enough that I’d almost forgotten the tuna stood us up.
It’s been slow-going for tuna fishermen in the canyons this summer. There have been few good reports of longfin, yellowfin, or bigeye for the past month, but things seem to be improving, and the best canyon fishing of the year is still to come. In the meantime, pack some light spinning rods, keep your gameplan flexible, and keep an eye out for green flashes on your next trip to the edge.