December 1, 2004

When last we met I indicated that we three (Ken, Harry Okuda and myself) had returned (1 AM) from a rather successful albacoring venture down to 94 miles. As we left the marina our parting words were (sorry Will) "When shall we three meet again? In Thunder, Lightning, Rain or - how about sub freezing weather drifting for Swordfish?" I'm not sure if the dictionary explains the meaning of "hard core" but an accurate interpretation was best said by Gen. McAuliffe at Bastogne. And if you are not old enough to recall that major altercation referred to as WW II - or you haven't seen "The Battle of the Bulge"  or "Patton" - the good general's response to a German ultimatum to surrender was - "NUTS!"
    This is the time of year when the SF start moving south and are frequently found by the gill netters in the deep water just off the 9 mile bank drop off. How deep are the nets? Don't know. Waiting for "The Beak" to get us that dope. Where are they finding the fish? Don't know. Waiting for "The Beak" to get us that dope. But our most recent encounter had found them pulling their nets up near the top of the "9."
    Again, weather forecast was for light winds and drifting at night is a nice way to cut down on fuel bills. So, what the hell! Out came the long winter undies, flannel shirts, sweat shirts, jackets, blankets, wool hats, etc. Over to the market for some fresh squid. Get out the needles, dental floss, crimps, hooks and even chain gangs.
    And so, out to the promised land. Not until, of course, watching Ken Jennings blow it on Jeoprady - one of the worst kept "secrets" on TV game shows. Watching the program was actually an anti-climax. And one can only wonder - did he lose? or did he "throw" the game?
    We never did find the fleet and chasing lights we managed to find the Ensenada-bound "love boat" and various military types. So, rather that spending the night running all over we stopped, about 14 miles off Point Loma and went to work. Out went one squid with light sticks to 75-100 feet and down went another to 150 on a deep troller. During the night the NW winds of about 10 knots made the ocean kind of sloppy, but winds seemed to be swinging around to the NE pushing us in a SW direction towards the "302." But in the early morning hours the winds died off and the water glassed over. Thus, 5 AM found us about half way from the "9" to the "302." To summarize the night's results - we should have gone albacore fishing. That nice temp break is still down there (on the Terrafin SSTs) and only slightly moved west from where we found the fish last week. Actually, with 20-25 degree temperatures in the inland valleys (where there is no air movement) the air is a lot warmer out on the open ocean. "Warmer" is not quite the description - less cold is more like it. But - no bites, no sharks (the shark chummers seem to have taken care of that) and the squids looked fine when we pulled them up.  So home we went with various errands, Orthopaedic Grand Rounds at Mercy Hospital, and then to bed. After giving you this report, of course.
And, not to tie up the Emails with "too many words" ( just like "too many notes" in Amadeus) I gave you only 1 pictorial momento of our latest venture.