Special Northeast Canyons Offshore Update – April 27, 2013


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We continue to monitor the ocean conditions. The estimated early morning sea surface temperature (sst) of the Gulf Stream is 79°F off Cape Hatteras to 75°F southeast of Cape Cod. There are at least nine Gulf Stream eddy features that occur in this area and we have labeled most of them. Of particular note is that the clockwise eddy just south of the Oceanographer Canyon – Powell Canyon area is interacting with the Gulf Stream. Ten days ago this eddy had an sst of 61°F and now it is 75°F. It remains to be seen what the end result of this interaction will be. Without doubt this eddy is being fed by Gulf Stream water along with the fish that are presently in the Gulf Stream now. Based on our recent catch reports from Cape Hatteras this means that the tunas (bluefin, yellowfin, and bigeye), the marlins (white and blue), swordfish, dolphin, wahoo, and sharks (mako, dusky, thresher, blue) are there. On the positive side if this eddy is not absorbed by the Gulf Stream, then these fish will be entering the canyon areas from Powell Canyon to Hydrographer Canyon. West of Hydrographer Canyon the conditions are not particularly favorable yet as only 58°F water reside to the Block Canyon. However, there is an eddy south of Atlantis Canyon and Veatch Canyon that is pulling some of the Gulf Stream water over those western canyons. There is a filament of 63°F-65°F water being pulled in a northwest direction, but it remains to be seen how this eddy will interaction with the bigger and stronger eddy east.

Another relatively large clockwise rotating eddy is centered over 1400-1500 fathom depths east of Lindenkohl Canyon and has been pulling 72°F-69°F Gulf Stream water westward. There is a substantial pool of 72°F water over the 1200 fathoms east of the Wilmington Canyon. While there is yellowfin tuna and bigeye along with swordfish, dolphin, wahoo and mako sharks in this water, it is likely that only bluefin tuna occur over the 500-1000 fathom depths of the Wilmington Canyon to Baltimore Canyon. As this Gulf Stream water is likely to move in a southwest direction, we anticipate improving conditions over the main sections of the Baltimore Canyon in coming weeks. Further north there is blended Gulf Stream water (69°F-65°F) water over the 500-1200 fathom depths of Toms Canyon that is likely holding the same pelagic fish. While there probably is bluefin tuna over the shallower sections of Toms Canyon we are not anticipating that the warmer water  will move over Toms Canyon. As the eddy is south of the Hudson Canyon we believe that the fish will move into the Hudson Canyon in any great numbers. As the eddy rotates it is likely push the Gulf Stream water over the main sections of the Wilmington Canyon bring in the yellowfin tuna and Gulf Stream associated fish.

While the Washington Canyon and Norfolk Canyon areas will have to wait for the Gulf Stream water to move south, there are very good conditions southeast of Virginia Beach and east of Oregon Inlet. Blue Gulf Stream water (66°F-67°F) is already producing good catches of yellowfin tuna and wahoo  over 50-100 fathom depths. We have also heard of some rumors of marlin in this water as well. Each time a Gulf Stream eddy and filament are pulled to this area one can expect the arrival of more fish.

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