The 5th Annual Harwich Headhunt is now in the record books. This year our fleet of 20 boats included many of our long time local competitors (ncluding one that almost won it again), some crews from Boston, a crew from Plymouth, a couple out of Bass River and a newcomer who took the prize with the biggest fish the Headhunt has ever seen.
The day started out with a crazy shooting something out of the sky just before 5 am that I need to put out there to find out if anyone else viewed this anomaly? I am being serious here as it lit up the sky and changed into 3 different colors and was seen by a few different folks.
The chop of the morning settled down with the rising sun creating a picture perfect day with some of the clearest waters we have ever witnessed in July Cape waters. This beautiful weather combined with the unbelievable fluctuations in water temp (we had from 47 to 64 degree water that we fished) made for a difficult day catching stripers on the south side.
The calm beauty of the day, along with the slow striper fishing was heard loud and clear on the radio at times on tourney channel 66. Numerous rants and raves broke the slow pace of the day and added to the camraderie of the event which we will continue to encourage each year.
Bluefish were big and plentiful for many of the teams and skate fishing kept us busier than we would have liked when we switched from jigging wire to using bait. The Screaming Banshee jigs were the only thing that put a keeper bass on the boat so we kept reverting back to them even when we thought our other options would rock given the conditions.
At times, we would clearly see bass on the bottom and in the rip, watched schools of sand eels flow over the edges, only to find our own sand eel rigs come up short. Heading further south on outside was our plan until we ended up in thick fog, frigid water, and no radar to help us keep clear of the knuckleheads in the brand new blue regulator which almost ran over us with their radar spinning. They obviously had no idea how to use their equipment so if you're reading this, slow down or read a manual.
Back inside we went to fish spots that had produced fish in the high twenty pounds in the late afternoon just the day before. In total, we pulled about 7 keeper bass, with the biggest being 18.5 lbs, but it was a tough day of striper fishing as many contestants will attest.
When we arrived back at the dock around 2 pm we heard that there had already been a 39 lber and a 29 lber weighed in. This report was coming from our wives who helped us out all day and looked good in the process. Our first thought was that we wished we had a bigger fish, but then quickly got psyched that someone had scored a really big fish for the tourney.
The big winner was Billy Hatfield and his crew who caught the fish on the bayside using a tube and worm and hooked up around 5 am.
2nd place was perennial tourney heavyweights Mike O'Brien, Charlotte Hedmark, Gordy Hatch, and Jimmy O'Brien aboard Arlie Ex.
3rd place was for Team Powe out of Boston with Captain Seamus Muldoon of Jailbreak Sportfishing
The afternoon at Sunrise Bait & Tackle and the 400 Club was awesome. We want to thank the 400 Club for their great food and service, and thank Sunrise for the weigh in and overall support of the tourney.
Thanks again to all of our sponsors and everyone involved in the 5th Annual Harwich Headhunt.
Please send us any photos so we can put them on the site and continue to keep in touch through the year (firstname.lastname@example.org) so we can make this baby even bigger and better next year.
The Burke Bros.