Earlier in the week my cousin Fred Gushue and I decided to charter a boat for the afternoon with a few boys from the Calvary High School baseball team. We went down to the Hillsboro Inlet fishing fleet and met up with a long time customer and friend Capt. Tom Oberender who is running a boat named "Texas Wireline". We had heard through the grapevine that the grey tilefish were biting so we decided to give it a shot. Grey tilefish make for excellent eating and would be perfect for dinner as long as we could catch them. Tom had a spot picked out south of the inlet about a mile so we loaded up the crew and headed offshore. I still get butterflies in my stomach every time I leave the inlet. I have had so many great catches out of Hillsboro Inlet and this would be no different.
We set up in 400 feet of water with two rods rigged with 5 hooks and a 4 pound lead at the bottom. For bait we used cut squid on each hook. We freespooled the line until it hit the bottom and before we were able to lock the reel up the rods began to bounce. We left the rig down for a second and then began to reel. The rods bent over and we all smiled as we brought the fish to the boat. Tiles!!!! Tom had put us on the mother load as he has done time and time again with charters from all over the world. What was surprising about this catch was the size of the fish. Grey tilefish on average off our coast range from 1-3 pounds. The tiles we caught on this trip were all between 2 and 5 pounds! We caught fish non stop for a few hours and decided to go in early as we knew we had a lot of filleting to do. The mate on the boat use to work as a chef so he made short work of all of the fish. As I pulled out of the parking lot I glanced at the lighthouse and thanked God for another productive trip. The captains and mates working out of Hillsboro Inlet are some of the best in the world. They give 100% and produce great catches year round. If you have never chartered a boat you should give it a try its totally worth it!!!
If you have any questions about techniques and tackle for tilefish give us a call at the shop and we can get you dialed in.
Till next time,