Hey it's Jonathan with Captain Experiences. I was fortunate enough to catch up with Captain Drew Downing of Chatham, Massachusetts to talk everything about Cape Cod fishing.
Full video below or read on for everything Captain Drew has to share on Cape Cod fishing charters.
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Jonathan: Awesome, thanks to everybody-I'm Jonathan Newar and we're here live with Captain Drew Downing of Down East Charters out of Chatham, Massachusetts. I just feel really fortunate to have this conversation in front of few people so that they can ask their questions about your amazing trips.
I've been lucky enough to go out with Steve and my Mom and my family and have a great time out with you and that was one of your nearshore Striper trips which is an absolute blast.
But I'm most excited to hear more about your bluefin tuna trips and also your striper on the fly trips too. Just have a few questions here that we can run through but its pretty much just open air.
Captain Drew: Thanks for having me and before we get started, I'm gonna blame all of this on my poor internet connection. I live way out in the middle of nowhere in Vermont in the winter time and I didn't know its possible. I'm not computer literate but it was a struggle to get here so I'm just happy to be here now. Thank you for having me.
Jonathan: Definitely. We're just gonna kick it off and just ask for standard intro like full name, company name and where do you operate out of.
Captain Drew: Sure... Captain Drew Downing I'm out of Chatham, Massachusetts. I've been running my business, this is my 10th year down there.
We're in a really cool spot, for those of you guys who don't know the cape that well. [Chatham]'s right in the elbow, we're close to Atlantic Ocean the furthest out in fact. We've got warm water from Nantucket that comes from our west and mixes with all that cold water and we get lots of bait and we got a bunch of different things we can fish for, from real shallow stuff and bay boat stuff to shipping lanes and inshore tuna and ground fish.
It's a really cool place to fish and we try to do a little bit of everything. We start early in the year, fishing some squid, sea bass, and some bottom fish [all for bait since] that's the first thing that shows up.
Then we start seeing small Striped Bass and we keep going. Please stop me I can talk about that for a long time!
Jonathan: That was great... Where are you from and what is it like growing up there. Did you do a lot of fishing? Who introduced to fishing? like that kind of stuff.
Captain Drew: Absolutely, I'm a weirdo. I'm the first one in the family to run a boat. Most of my fishing when I was younger was on shore. We walked the beaches, my step-dad was the greatest influence on me that way.
My real Dad, same deal- he didn't like fishing necessarily like I do but always wanted to bring me out there. Back in the mid 90's to late 90's you could walk the beach and catch bass almost everywhere. There's a big resurgence in the late 90's to mid 2000's, so we used to fish on shore and one day I said, "Well I'd like to try this on the ocean side, so I got a small boat and the rest is history!"
Jonathan: Nice, that's awesome. So along those lines, when in that journey did you start guiding and what are your experience throughout your guide career.
Captain Drew: So I got my license I think in 2011 and prior to that I had been commercial fishing for a few seasons for Striped Bass, Bluefish, Sea Bass, and Squid. At that point I hadn't gotten any Tuna fish yet but I knew I wanted to go fishing and I liked it so much that I had my sea times so I went and got my ticket and at that point the light kind a came on for me.
It was less about how many fish we were gonna kill and more about how do I get these guys a great time on a daily basis, how do I show them a great time, and at the same time kind of live vicariously through my charter guests.
Its so fun showing people the resource- some days are better than others but in general we're in a really good spot. I've been fortunate enough to fish with you couple of times and we go out there, we find them and we have a good time doing it.
Jonathan: So if you had to pick one attribute about being a guide or a charter captain, what would you say is your favorite part of it all?
Captain Drew: I just think we get to do things that civilians don't get to do all the time which is make your own schedule, you have coffee as the sun's coming up and it's a pretty sweet office!
There's nothing I would rather do, and everybody's different- different goals, different levels of proficiency but we talk about that on the dock.
We hit the water, we keep it safe and fun and depending on how experienced the anglers are. We do a bunch of stuff and we build a trip basically by each individual person that comes and then we'll build a trip that's fun and safe.
Jonathan: That's awesome, so is there one specific area that you would say is your favorite to fish consistently?
Captain Drew: It's all fun but I think New England in general in the North Atlantic as soon as you get here.
We're always excited because of the seasonality- everything changes month by month and so you're very stoked beginning your year to just get your boat ready and get on the water.
You start your season, you catch some small fish and you're having a blast.
As soon as you start to, maybe not necessarily get bored, but as soon as you get your fill of that, something else happens.
Now the [good] fishing is out on Monomoy where the squids run's on for, bigger Stripers, Bluefish- you do that for a month and a half or 2 months.
That's super fun, that's ongoing and then all of a sudden the Tuna Fish show up.
So my point is, as soon you kinda feel like, "Yeah this is great" something else comes along that you can target and that goes all the way to the end of the year with False Albacore and some other critters.
I think I like them all, I really do - that's the answer. Obviously, I love Tuna fishing but depends on when. If you ask me early in the year, I like Striped Bass fishing a lot.
Jonathan: That's awesome, can't go wrong. Can you describe your trips a little bit. Just kind of telling everybody about the different trips you you have, you have the nearshore Striper trips - the half day/full day, you have the fly fishing trips, you have Tuna fishing trips.
Captain Drew: I will, absolutely. So up until this point, I don't know but I may add a captain but it's just me.
So I usually do 2 trips a day every day, with the exception of things that are out of the ordinary, obviously you know I do full day trips and offshore stuff too but I've got 2 boats this year, which is new this year. I have a 20 foot Jones Brothers with a platform, it's 3 anglers max - ideally its two anglers.
That's a cool little boat - it's got a Yami [Yamaha] 150 and it's like a little big boat so you can take it where you wanna go for the most part but it excels in shallow water stuff.
And for those of you who don't know, we have an area we called Monomoy which is about a nine mile peninsula with some Bahamas-style white sand on the west edge and you can sight fish to your heart's content over there with fly and spins.
Jonathan: Hold up, can I just stop you right there?
Captain Drew: Sure.
Jonathan: How deep are you getting when you're talking about skinny water. How skinny is skinny for the Jones Bro's?
Captain Drew: The cool thing about that is that as much as I love to fish from a boat, I encourage my anglers when we do trips like that to bring waders. Cause we can bring the boat in since we get huge tides swing here.
So it can be two, three, four, five feet on some tide cycles and get the boat in there pretty shallow and then you can actually hop out.
We've got a little ladder you can hop out, walk around, get to some spots that the boat can't get to and whether it be me calling out for fish from the boat or we see them together as we walk around.
You can fish for an hour too, get back in the boat, move it a little bit closer or further out depending on what tide we're fishing.
I think its good to go in about a foot of water, maybe around 20 inches of water but also at that point you can walk around and go into real skinny stuff which is cool.
Jonathan: That's awesome, cuz I've been out there. You can even sight fish for Stripers in about 8 feet of water, so if they're all the way up in a foot - that's a really fun experience.
Captain Drew: It's humbling, you get refused - the shallower you go the more you refusals you can get.
If you get refused - that's okay, cuz you're watching that whole thing unfolding right in front of you. I tell people that it reminds me of bow hunting because you're sitting there with your rod and line all coiled up ready to go- you may have a great day and not fire an arrow but at least in this case we're gonna cast on some fish, but a lot of it is the hunt.
Jonathan: Definitely, its really popular down here along the Texas coast to go fly fishing for Redfish and that's kind of, right or wrong, what I'm comparing it to in my head. Are you using an eight weight rod and what kind of flies are you throwing at them.
Captain Drew: Sure, if there's no wind - an eight weight's fine. You know between eight and ten weight - ten weight is more for bigger fish down at the rips.
There's some big tide, currents and sandbars that people aren't familiar with. Eight weight's fine but it depends on what you want to do but you can hedge your bets and fish in an intermediate line or sink tip line and any little juvenile sand eel is a number one kind of go to all the time. I have a friend who does well with crab flies, I've seen ancbay anchovy flies, I've seen surface popper flies. There's a lot of stuff that works depending on what they're into but something small and sparsely colored when the water is clear.
Jonathan: Makes sense. I guess we're off to fishing the rips. If you could describe that experience a little bit for people that's really cool. You're just off at Monomoy or even kind of in the middle of nowhere then all of a sudden there's this rip and Stripers right under it.
Captain Drew: Absolutely, so the cape in general, at least for us in our area, is a massive pile of deeper water and shallow water- its all soft at the bottom, there's a lot of sandbars.
So on one tide cycle its running west to east on the other tide cycle its running east to west and you've got a northerly and a southerly component to it as well. When you get to the east side of Monomoy in the ocean you start to see a north-south. So what that means - its almost looks like a river.
Jonathan: Right, completely.
Captain Drew: You put the boat in neutral, you might drift for a couple of miles and you'll see all these standing waves out in the ocean. Some three, four, five, seven miles offshore and it's big depth change. Depth changes from 10 feet to 30 feet or in some cases 3 feet to 10 feet.
When the tide's running, there's a whitewater wave there and its bringing bait across the sandbars right through these fish. When it's clear and sunny out you're seeing the fish in the waves, its super exciting.
Jonathan: The tides are crazy, it really is tricky because they can be different at certain points.
You know, they're not as drastic as the low country tides like South Carolina or somewhere like that. They're just kind of tough to read.
Can you talk about that a little bit? That just kind of proves more that you really need a guide out there, not just to read the tides and know where to fish or when but also for safety purposes. Cause some of those rips do get 2 or 3 feet [shallow] and you might get into some trouble if you're not careful.
Captain Drew: No doubt, there's dozens and dozens of shipwrecks there.
Cause if you think you're good offshore, you're not close to land and all of a sudden you know- some years there's a spot on Handkerchief [Shoal] that's about 3 miles from the closest of piece of land and it goes to bare sand, you can get out and stand up on it.
So you've got to be careful and sprinkle in 50% of the time we're out there it's foggy so you can't see anything. You gotta have good pins on your GPS setup where you want to go, and you gotta have a fisherman's perspective.
Early in the year a tide that goes east-west might be productive and then different time of the year a that tide goes to west to east might be productive. Based on what the fish are doing and the temperature of the water and the bait that's coming across.
You need to know why you're going to a spot and when to go there. The best way to do it- there's an eldritch pilot book that has all the tides and currents. What you're looking for is less about the tide and more about the currents. There's a couple things there around Monomoy, if you look at the currents that's what you want to see.
Jonathan: Very cool! Awesome, then can we talk about Tuna trips and what those are like cause I'm working on a blog article right now and I'm doing a bucket list thing and there's a spoiler alert- one of the bucket list trips that I've set myself.
Sometimes you guys run a good bit offshore to the canyons but then sometimes you can catch them within sight of the shoreline. So can you talk about those two different kind of moves and how does this kind of trip works?
Captain Drew: Absolutely... so let me put a wrap on Striper fishing.
So we do the inshore fly-fishing stuff out of the small boat then the other boat is a twenty-six Regulator classic:
Great boat to do most everything and we'll fish [Striped] Bass basically from the end of June till September or maybe October depending on years and what people want to do.
Those trip are the bread and butter in the summer, those are four and a half hour trips or a full-day trips.
You time it around the tides- you go out, you fish a bunch of different light tackle. I don't do any trolling really, its mostly casting jigs or live bait fishing.
That fishery is outstanding, it's one of the best places in the world to catch Striped Bass- that's going on all summer.
Then like you segued very nicely, the Tuna fish show up- some years its in June, the last two years it's been in July they showed up and then it's go time.
So you don't know if they're there unless you go and look for them and like any fishery you got to put some miles on the boat.
So the canyon fishery is different, that's a warm water fishery about one hundred and ten miles Southeast of Chatham.
You can do it, a lot of guys do it but you're catching everything that you guys see down in the Gulf and along the Florida coast- we got Wahoo, Yellowfin, Bigeye tuna and Marlin. That's a big commitment but you can do it, you just need nice weather to do it and a go-fast boat.
Now the inshore Tuna that we see are Bluefin exclusively, so East and North of Nantucket and Martha's Vineyard we're getting only Bluefin and it depends on what time of year it is and what we're seeing.
They can be anywhere from 40, 50, 60 to 1,200 pounds. So you got to bring a bunch of different tackle and think about what you're doing - you don't want to hook the wrong fish with the wrong rod.
We do it mostly the fall- September and October is the best fishing for all styles of tuna fishing.
They're just here, they're residents at that point, they're around. That's when we can cast spinning rods and catch smaller fish typically, if they're not tiny ones- when I say tiny I'm talking about 200 pounds.
We start fishing any wides with Bent Butt rods and we fish mostly live bait with a couple different ways to catch them that way, and you never know what you're gonna get into.
We do some commercial trips for them which we're targeting those big ones when they're around and we do tons of spinning rod fishing for them as well.
If you ask me what I get excited about - it's casting a plug at a tuna fish busting on the surface. Because there's nothing like it, you better hold on as hard as you can. When I take you out this year, you're gonna set it as hard as you can - minimum of three times and then you're gonna hold on. You think you like the rod? And about 20 minutes later you're gonna look at me "God, I don't know man. Could somebody grab this thing." but its epic.
Jonathan: That's awesome! Well, teamwork makes the dream work. Man, that gets me excited - just sitting here right now.
Captain Drew: Absolutely! I think that within 50 miles right - my boat's certified for 50 mile East to Chatham. 50 miles brings you down to the shipping lanes East of the islands, it brings you up to Stellwagen bank of the P-town. If you're not finding them in your big loop out there, that's not your day but most days that's plenty of mileage to go find them. Like you said it depends on the year, one of the beauties of Chatham is that we have so much bait and marine life right offshore that a lot of times they're within three, four or five miles from shore.
Jonathan: So how deep is that, I was just gonna ask. What's the range you can catch them at.
Captain Drew: So every year, I'd go out there and sometime I'll be like astounded because they'll be real close to the but I think when you get to 80 feet deep you're in tuna town. A lot of times 80 to like 140 feet is the spot. They will come in and chase stuff inside of that but if you get to 80 feet deep it's game on.
Jonathan: That's awesome, very cool!
Captain Drew: That's crazy man
Jonathan: That's a blast! So what would make you say that makes your trips different?
Captain Drew: Well, I think there's a lot of guys that do a great job and I'll use this moment to mention some of my buddies - Matt and Andrew over at Blue Water do a great job. My buddy Jeff at Zen Charters does a great job, Greg Wisel, Dragonfly, there's a whole bunch of guys that do a good job. "What makes my trip different" - I guess is that a lot of guys have their own niche, they're very good at catching a bass on jigging rods, their big boat and all they do is tuna fishing. I guess when you give me a ring, I feel just as comfortable doing that flats trip as likely as I do going on a giant tuna trip and I think a lot of people may balk it so if a client wants to do something different, I'm stoked on that like "Sure! Let's do it!". Well I don't know if that makes me different or not, but I'm excited to fish for whatever they want to fish for. I won't get you to trip that you don't want to fish for.
Jonathan: I'd say that's a huge difference, just in this conversation alone we talked about casting these flies to stripers, foot of water, chasing Bluefin tuna. What's it called? You've got a little word for it, the "Chathams' Sleigh Ride" or something?
Captain Drew: You nailed it, for those who don't know it originated as the Nantucket sleight ride and it comes from whaling. Back in the whaling days, Nantucket was the biggest whaling port in the world and what they would do is they would throw a harpoon into the back of a whale out of a wooden Dory and they would cleat the thing off on the boat and they would just get pulled until the whale got tired. So you equate that to Tuna fishing, furthest we've ever been towed is 12 miles and it happens, its when you have a real angry fish and a small boat and you go "Okay, he's just gonna go that way for a long time". It's wild man! It's wild! You try not to get frustrated, you try to live in every moment and just go "Okay, that fish wants to do that. We're gonna go that way for a while", then all of a sudden 2 hours pass and another 2 hours go by and you go "Oh shit! What's happening right now". That's part of the excitement.
Jonathan: That's awesome, that's absolutely badass.
Captain Drew: It could happen.
Jonathan: Yeah, it could happen this summer - who knows. So what's it like when you put somebody on their first fish. What's that moment for you?
Captain Drew: It's why I go fishing, it's at this point in my life I still love catching them. I try to fish with people depending on how it goes, I found that me in my line into is usually good in the sense that I can demonstrate things to people, maybe hook a fish or two and show them how to do it. But when someone else hooks a fish especially if its their first time to our region. I'm stoked dude, completely stoked on it because they've demonstrated that they're a good listener and they see what's going on, they appreciate the fishery, they're having blast if it's something they want for the table. I'm offered a slice or couple up at the end of the day. That's what its all about, it's having fun, there's no pressure for me other than "I'm gonna make sure you have a safe day and give you the best shots to catch these special fish that I can do". When everything comes together and they catch a few, especially tuna fishing - you get couple of bites and you get one in the boat, its group hug man! It's that cool! It's emotional celebration for sure.
Jonathan: That's awesome! Along those lines, why do you do it day in and day out? What gets you up in the morning?
Captain Drew: I always tell people, we could all be sitting around digging a ditch somewhere. There's no slide on that, somebody's gonna do it but if we get to go fishing - the fishery is good man! The tuna fishery has come way back in the last 10 to 15 years. You really feel like you have a good chance to connect with fish almost every time you go out there. It's exciting! If it was the same everyday I wouldn't be excited - but it's different all the time. You get up early, you grab a coffee, you get the boat on the dock, you get guys coming down, we're chatting about what we're doing with the boat all lit up - it's exciting! It's an adult Easter Egg Hunt!
Jonathan: That's a good one! I like that! I haven't heard that one. That's great! So if you had to choose one specific memory that stands out. What would be your number 1 memory as a Guide?
Captain Drew: I've got so many, so many good experience with fellow captains, commercial fishing for tuna fish, so many good experiences with first timers on the boat that have never been out there before. I'll give you two stories.
Captain Drew: One, I ran the boat all the long. I had two little tiny kids who'd never fish before and I had their parents and we went everywhere looking for fish. We drove the boat a hundred miles and it looked like goose egg, the ocean was that dead. So finally, we always have sand shark around. "Do you guys want to catch some shark?". I don't fish for dogfish, I don't try to, it's not glorious but we ran the boat and I put some bait on, we dropped it to the bottom and we caught some little two and a half - three foot sand sharks. They're not very good for much of anything but these kid are so stoked on it and I had to give myself a check and go "It's not about what I want to catch, it's about seeing what's on and reading the room". So those kids had a good time and the parents gave me high five and said "Nice work!". That one is not a glorious one but it was something fun and we had to do what we had to do.
Jonathan: That's a good one!
Captain Drew: I got a couple here, boy Matt and I caught a monster tuna a few years ago. I had some clients out, this was pretty memorable, I had some clients two seasons ago and we ran the boat about 30 miles South of Chatham to the Tuna grounds. They had never casted spin rods for tuna fish before, we stopped about halfway there and I said "Go guys, you need to practice this a little bit. Its a hundred pound mainline, it's a four, five, six out of stick bait."
Jonathan: I think I know where this is headed!
Captain Drew: Dude, its hard to cast. You don't have to cast it that far but you have to cast it accurately when the fish are around. So we talked about it, we get a couple casts in. I said "Okay! We're gonna keep going!". So we ran the boat for another 10 minutes and I see some tuna fish blasting and I said "Shoot guys! Right here, right here!" and they go "What?", I said "There's a fish up". We've moved the boat over there and the fish like they do, they move up and down. Then I said "Go get your lines out, let's do some more practice casts", so they cast off the bow and I take a rod and just chuck it way off the stern. Now you're retrieving these plugs back to the boat, so I cast out - I twitch the plug twice and it looks like someone threw a grenade out there in the water. Huge whitewater explosion and I set the hook and I said "Go guys, we're on!" and they said "What?", I said "I go on a fish! You gotta go reel them in!". There's a lot of time you just need to get your lines in because you don't know what you got - what's gonna happen. So this fish was a bigger fish and it dragged us about 5 miles and this was about 7:30 in the morning and we've kept fighting that fish till after lunch time. In the 5th hour, we had the fish kind of around the boat we'd seen it a few times and it spit the hook out and that was our day. We drove for another few hours and we didn't see anything else and that was the whole trip. Everybody was exhausted, there was guys passed out in the bow, it was that cool! You'll never know man! You'll never know when its gonna happened for you and that was all we had that day but those guys, I bet you they won't forget that one.
Jonathan: For sure man! They'll be back! We've gotta close the deal! That's awesome!
Captain Drew: For sure! For sure!
Jonathan: So... Why do you think what you do is important?
Captain Drew: Well, I try to toe a line between a small business, entertainment and value what that brings, what it brings to the town and then the environmental components. I don't know that it's necessarily important in the grand scheme a lot of things in life. However, I think that fishermen and hunters have always played an active role in conservation and being a good stewards. We try to talk about, good ways to release fish, we talk about fishery science, why we have to limits what we do, what this fishery stock is and what we need to do to improve on it. There's a lot of things but ultimately it's a really cool way to spend a few hours and it's very important Chatham has such a fishing history that not necessarily sport fishing but commercial fishing. I feel stoked to be sharing the same pier and the same waterways in some guys that are absolutely legends and I think that town really needs to have a strong fishery components cuz that was the draw for me to be there. I think there's a few things that are important about what we do in the water.
Jonathan: That's awesome! The history and the fishery itself. So how would you say that the current state of affairs is in Chatham. You said the tuna population have rebounded, I don't know well enough to keep my fingers on the pulse of the area. Everybody has an opinion, so what would be your opinion about things right now?
Captain Drew: Well, it's a good time to be a fishermen unless you ask somebody that is 60 years or older. They'll go "Yeah, everything was great back then and now it stinks". I always respect those anecdotes, I'll just say "You're right man". Just ask someone that fishes for cod, when you catch a cod now, you catch a few - you're pretty stoked on that because it's a little sliver of what it once was. So striped bass, human beings are really good at decimating that particular fish and it's human nature if you're unchecked to keep fishing the hell out of them. It's an interesting one because they breed along the Atlantic seaboard from North Carolina to Chesapeake Bay to Long Island to the Hudson River through the Cape and Islands. They swim all the way up to Canada and everybody gets a piece of those fish. So they're biomass in like 2003 to 2010 was really strong and well rebounded, then we've kind of hammered on them since then. So I think it depends on who you ask, I think they're endangered and I think that the science needs to be accurate and every year we take a really close look at what the limits are, the retention rates are. In the last five or six years, we've reduced the charter retention by 50 percent, we used to have two fish and now we're on one fish. This year they're adding it's like 28 to 34 inch slot for that one fish. To try to protect some of the breeders, I'd be concerned if I was a fisheries manager but I'm hoping some of the science is accurate enough to keep those things around. It's definitely down a little bit in the last few years but we're still catching them.
Jonathan: Thanks for that, but how about the Tuna? Are they healthy?
Captain Drew: The tuna fishery for the last couple years, the biggest thing that I noticed year-year is like what the average sized fish is. In the last few years, it's been a lot of bigger fish previous to that there were mid-sized and small ones so maybe they're just growing up. So there was less chances at catching the small ones with the light tackle, it's more lie "Hey we better be ready for these fish". We've got some giants last year, big ones that you saw - that was 60 to 70. These are big fish dude and that is not appropriate with a spinning rod.
Jonathan: That's putting it lightly not appropriate with a spinning rod and that's awesome! So how do you feel about the future of fishing?
Captain Drew: There's a lot more people on the water now, every year there's more and more people on the water - that's okay. I'm never gonna poopoo on someone else's parade for coming out there and wanted to participate, be part of the fleet and learn what's going on. There's a special kind of concerns in Chatham because the waterways are so difficult to navigate. It's a sketchy spot to run a boat so I always keep an eye on the people that are operating on the Chatham. "Where is it going?" - I don't know, I think the internet stuff right? You and I love it for sharing information, for sharing reports, for maintaining kind of contact with people that shares the same interest. You look back in time, if you had something great and you didn't tell anybody about it - it's fishing spot. There's no way that they would have known that from. Now you got people taking pictures of everything and locations of what they're doing. So my two cents is, go out, enjoy it. Share it with people that you want to share with but be careful on broadcasting it to the world because there should still be some secrets in the fisheries. It's well-kept stuff that you should be proud of for putting the time in.
Jonathan: Yeah, definitely. That's the fun of it! Very cool! Well, this is my favorite question here. If you had one more cast to throw in your life, what would you throw and where would you be?
Captain Drew: Daaaaaang man! That's is a tough one! So for my freshwater friends, I love trout fishing, I love steelhead fishing particularly - that's very high up on my list. I've never been fortunate enough to go tarpon or bone fishing but I really want to. I bet the people that I've talked to followed - said that there's very few things like a charging tarpon or bone fish on the flats and getting that take. I like everything that's hard, anything that is hard to do is rewarding to me. So I think if I went to out fishing in Alaska, it would ruin me. I don't want to catch one every cast. So I have to go lean towards the tuna fishery because that fishery emotionally destroys you depending on how your luck is going and what year it is and how it's going. It's going one year or a few years ago, I let 14 trips in a row without a bite and they're asking me "Okay, so how do you keep getting fired up to go?", I just said "You'll never know what will happen". So on the 15th trip we had a couple bites, we caught a couple fish and it was like this wave of awesomeness because we put our time in and we stayed on it. So I think anything that's difficult is more rewarding, so whatever fish that maybe, where people say this is a hard one to catch - that's what I would be stoked on catching.
Jonathan: That's awesome, great answer.
Captain Drew: Thank you!
Jonathan: Now just kind of on back end here, we just have a few rapid fire questions. The first answer you come up in your mind, spit it out. Now let's start. Favorite body of water to fish?
Captain Drew: I don't know that many but I gotta say North Atlantic
Jonathan: If you had to do something different, what would it be?
Captain Drew: I don't know that I have the life skills to do ton of things but probably we have to do something with outdoors. Maybe just let me get my coffee and I'll go outdoors and I'll be stoked on that.
Jonathan: There you go, next. What hobbies outside of fishing do you enjoy?
Captain Drew: I've got three little kids and I love those guys, I love to do whatever they want to do. I don't push them too hard to do much of anything they're not really of age to - to do a ton of stuff that I do just yet. I love to ski, I'm up in the Green Mountains of Vermont so I watched those guys ski this year and that was cool. I kind of lived like here vicariously through them, I used to play golf once in a while but you can't be a golfer and a fisherman at the same time - it takes too much time. I think I'm doing what I'm born supposed to do, there's no place I'd rather be.
Jonathan: Do you have a nickname? If so, how'd you get it?
Captain Drew: I've got a tone it down a little bit for the live broadcast, my friends just call me Drewsky my whole life. I don't know why, there's probably few others, others just call me "Hey you". If you want to call me "Hey you", I'll give you a "Hey you" back.
Jonathan: That's great! We'll go offline for those other nicknames I guess.
Captain Drew: Yeah, that's a long list, its a PDF file.
Jonathan: Yeah, only for out on the water! So what's your favorite song or band right now?
Captain Drew: Oh boy! I listen to everything man and I've been kind of geeking out on Bluegrass recently, live music - someone like Billy Strings that talented makes me go "Holy Shit!". That guy is something special, I don't know, I got an eclectic taste - I'd say Bluegrass right now.
Jonathan: That's very cool, how about favorite movie?
Captain Drew: There's about a dozen, you know this - that if they're on we're gonna watch them. Starting with "The Shawshank Redemption", "Top Gun", "Armageddon"... I don't know, "Twister"!? If you wanna get weird we can watch that one!
Jonathan: That's great! How about favorite food to pair with those movies?
Captain Drew: Anything that is ready to go, I love to cook. I'm a big fun of sushi, there's a real good sushi joint as you know in Chatham. That stuff's delicious, you give me a nice steak and potatoes and salad then I'd be pretty happy. I'm a big guy so whatever looks good!
Jonathan: Yeah! I got it! Let the big dog eat as we say. How about a drink of choice?
Captain Drew: Boy! I love water, I love coffee as I mentioned that a few times and there's nothing wrong with a cold pop at the end of the day when you guys accomplished something good..
Jonathan: Nice, good stuff! Let's see... How about favorite sports team?
Captain Drew: Oh boy, you got to hit me up. I love my Patriots, I'm still gonna root for Tom down in Tampa Bay. I love hockey - I'm bummed out that I can't watch the Bruins play right now. I'm kind of a New England nut, I don't lose my mind on of that stuff but it's fun to watch them and if they're especially the amount of success they have for the last 20 years has been outrageous.
Jonathan: Yeah, it's been insane! Just a touch on that because it is important in terms of world events - on how people taking Tom Brady Exodus.
Captain Drew: Well it's in the middle of all this corona-virus stuff so if it wasn't for COVID-19, I think Boston would be shut down anyways. It's not a big news story, but it's weird though because now people that are upset, they're always trying to push blame on somebody and they've talked about craft, they've talked about Belichick - all of this not respecting him enough. I wish the guy finished his career there, I don't know if it's just me because it's a rare to somebody to finish out 20 years career in the league in the same team. But I think Tampa is gonna pay him like 30 million or something or maybe more, it's tough to pay 40, 43, 44 year old quarterback a ton of money - I get it. I just wish they did him better and gave him an offer that he would come back to.
Jonathan: Interesting, good take there! Good stuff! Next one is, if you could have one super power. What would it be?
Captain Drew: Holy crap! Probably the ability to not piss off my wife or my family. For me personally, my wife is a superhero because she watches the kids off a lot. Dude, she's the brains of the operations - I wish that her and I were in the same spot a little bit more.
Jonathan: Very cool! Awesome, good stuff! So what was your last Halloween Costumes?
Captain Drew: Oh boy! I've had some real winners, so I haven't done full dress up for a year or two but I was the Dad from "The Incredibles" because my kids - I've got three kids, they would lined up for baby Incredibles. So let's just say the store-bought costume didn't fit very well and that was my last one.
Jonathan: That's a good one! That's awesome, you gotta love "The Incredibles". Next is, what do you want for Christmas?
Captain Drew: I've got everything I need my friend! Once we get rid of the six-foot distance thing out of the way, I'd love being surrounded by people that we all enjoy, sharing meal, cold beverage - that's the best holiday scenario for me.
Jonathan: Good stuff! Cheers to that! How about, can you name one of the Seven Dwarfs?
Captain Drew: Dopey, Sleepy, I should know this.
Jonathan: Yeah, Dopey and Sleepy are there for sure. How about, how many pull-ups can you do in a row?
Captain Drew: I am not in the best health anymore, I'm gonna put the over-under on two right now.
Jonathan: I think two is above average for how these interviews have been going with some of our guides. So that's great to hear. Next one, would you say that LeBron James or Michael Jordan is the best basketball player of all time.
Captain Drew: Michael Jordan, end of discussion.
Jonathan: Good stuff!
Captain Drew: But I'm old and I hold on to older things like that.
Jonathan: That's fair, that's also been another favorite among our guides. So what's the biggest fish you ever caught?
Captain Drew: So Matt and I, my roommate Matt Mendoza is a charter captain - very talented guy for Blue Water Entertainment. About five years ago, him and I were out and with a charter from Chicago - we hooked a fish and broke it off three times and I was like "Unbelievable Dude, what are we doing?". It turns out nothing really just luck of the draw and the charter captain, this guy David goes - I remember it like it was yesterday he said "Don't worry cap, we'll hook another one" and I just smiled because I basically said that "You've never been tuna fishing before". Because a lot of time you got to capitalize on your opportunities. So we got another bit, we fought the thing for about for hours on 100 to 130 tackle. The biggest-heaviest tackle that you can fish, the Bluefin Tuna fishery had just closed so this was a catch and release fish. It taped out at a hundred and 15 inches in the water which means it's probably bigger than that and the thing was absolutely massive. We had never seen it until we lead it around the motor like came up next to the boat. That's absolutely massive, so that's a number between 750 and 1100 pounds. It was a fish story man, it was a good one!
Jonathan: That's absolutely massive! If you fit that thing on the boat and take a picture, you could probably take a picture of its head.
Captain Drew: These guys, two of them were passed out. It was raining, there was like a full on rainstorm that came in, everybody's in like foul weather gear for the last two hours and we got one picture of that fish. It's the black and white one on my website. Where the fish in the water alongside the boat and it's an absolutely tank man. Its the biggest fish I've ever seen and there's more of them out there. That was a special moment for us.
Jonathan: That's a great takeaway there.
Captain Drew: It was cool!
Jonathan: Very cool! Okay, the very last thing is - do you want to give a quick shout-out to the Troops to wrap things up.
Captain Drew: Absolutely man! I'm gonna start by thanking you because I wish you the best of luck because you and I have a unique relationship that we get to see each other in the summer time and that's really fun. North Chatham Outfitters, those guys - I'm a charter captain for them. Mike and Scott have a great operation on Route 28 North Chatham. Literally everything that you ever want, Direwolf fishing - those guys make some fantastic products. I got all the Direwolf stuff both inshore and on my spinning stuff for offshore. Siren lures, my boy Jason makes the best tuna plug you can buy, they're fantastic - check them out. RonZ, there are soft plastics - those guys make fantastic products as well. Who else we got, Helly Hansen, my boy Brad Greenwood hooks me up with some Helly Hansen outerwear every year and stuff is great on the boat. Outermost Harbor, they are the best Yamaha tech on Cape Cod who's right around the corner from us and they got a great boat sales staff, create operation over there. Drew Micah, I got Stage Harbor Marine - those guys are fantastic, that's where I store my boat. They are one of the best deep water harbors in Chatham, they do a lot of sailboats. Drew's got his own company there and lastly Chris Godro he's a shore waiting guide, a friend of mine, fantastic fly tire. We get all our flies from Chris and if you want to get in touch with any of those guys. You can hit me up anytime.
Jonathan: Awesome! We really appreciate it Drew, you know I think this went really well. I'm excited to just blast us out everywhere we can get people to learn more about you. About the Chatham fishery and about your trips because they're from the first person experience so they're pretty amazing. Thanks for everything that you do, thanks for sharing it with us and I'm looking forward this summer and get back out there.
Captain Drew: I can't wait man. Everyone be safe and healthy, relishing this time that you get to spend with your family. Let's just have this thing blow through so that we can resume our live doing what we want to do, spend time on the water and I'm super stoked. Thanks for having me on!
Jonathan: Of course! Awesome, see you soon Drew! Take care!
Captain Drew: Take care guys, all of you. Thank you!
Thank you for visiting us here on Captain Experiences with Captain Drew, here's some pictures from Captain Drew's Chatham, Massachusetts fishing trips.
Updated on December 30, 2022
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