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Tilefish Papers, by Capt. Ken Lahr

Our Charter boat, the Canyon Draggin' and our test boat Hanu as well as the Charter Boat Muff Diver have spend a lot of time on the edge deep dropping (>500') for Golden Tile and short dropping for Blue Lines (<500'). We have tried many deep rigs over the last five years. What we will share over the following pages are some of the lessons we have learned over these years. We are always looking for feedback, so if you have found something unique that you would like to share, we would like to hear it.

For some, the hardest part of getting into the deep drop game is just doing it.  For years we had been reading about these creatures of the deep and meeting enthusiastic anglers who brought them up.  We discussed it too many times to count before we actually pulled the trigger.  We had been trolling for tuna all morning with nothing to show for it.  It was early in the year off the DELMARVA, too early for Mahi off the pots to save the day.  We had all of the gear, including electric reels brought by Greg Lavanier, one of our regular anglers.  On this day, we were determined to not return to the docks flying the skunk flag!  We looked over the charts along the Baltimore Canyon walls and picked a spot.  It appeared to be a gentle slope from 800 to 1500 feet.  Our HDS Lowrance with the TM260 1KW ducer was easily hitting bottom and confirming what we read on the charts.  Further, with some tuning of the sounder we could tell we were over a clay like bottom.  With that we dropped and it seemed like forever before the 5# weights off two rods on the corners of the Canyon Draggin' hit bottom.

Just as we we were settling in for a long drift over the edge it happened, first one rod bent over and then the other. Wow, this was NOT a subtle bite, we were hooked up and the rod tip was bent to nearly touching the water.  We had drifted into about 1200 feet of water when we hooked up on two rods.

more to follow...