December 17, 2003 - KEN-DAN
Last Albacore run of the year reported by Dennis Albert

I fished on the KENDAN with Dr. Marty Morris, Ken Okuda and Dave Thomas with hopes of finding some lingering Albacore and who knows what else. There were no reports to work from, the Terrafin charts were showing some nice breaks out by the dumping grounds and the weather looked like it would be in our favor.

Expecting a long run, Marty brought an additional 110 gallons of diesel. The boat holds 300 and we got back without using any of the extra fuel. We left the slip at 6:15, picked up 2 scoops of bait and cleared Point Loma by 7:30pm.

We maintained a speed of 8.3 knots through the night, with the stars shining brightly and a Cheshire moon watching from behind. There were no boats in site for most of the night, but we finally saw a light in the distance at grey light north of us.

We put the jigs in at the dumping grounds at 6:30 am, just after grey light. Around 7:30, there were 2 consecutive splashes about 200 yards in front of us, but we were not able to see what caused them. At 8:30, we found a kelp paddy holding yellowtail at 31-27-936/118-44-408 in 61 degree water. We picked off three yellowtail on bait.

We trolled through the dumping grounds southwest trying to find warmer water. Most of the time it ranged from 61.0 to 61.4. Around 1pm as we moved back to the north west, the temperature moved up to 62 degrees. Couldn't tell if it was due to the warming of the sun or it had maintained that temp from the day before.  Water was smooth and glassy. Occasionally a bird would check us out and one came on us rather quickly and immediately went after a tuna feather hooking itself. Probably not a good sign of the bait condition in the area if the bird was that hungry.

We reached the tip of the elephant bank at 2:00pm and made our turn back to the east, crossing the worm bank at 3:30pm and at 4:00pm we got a single jig strike on a tuna feather. The location was 31-54-638/119-06-456 with a water temp of 61.5 degrees.

We had bait in the water immediately, but no other fish were caught. We boxed the area with the trolling gear. At 5pm, we pulled the lines and headed home. We noted one commercial boat working the East Butterfly as we passed through that area. We arrived at the slip at 12:06am. We burned 221 gallons for the 280 mile trip. That 8 mph speed sure helps a lot.

Harry Okuda

Dave Thomas


Trolling at Sunset