`Wednesday Report? The Red, Black and White flag was up. The fishing was
kind of stinky and, thus, the Skunk flag went up. The Mushroom had been
the place to go a few days earlier, but that might have been the classic
"Bye-Bye" bite so often seen with Marlin fishing. The sport boats with
their scanning sonars and lots of cum on the meter marks managed to pull
in a few of the albies and a handful of BFTs, but many private boats
joined us in the 0-0-0 column. Lot$ of mile$ and lots of $mile$ at the
The experience should normally have told one that it was time to shut down
- until, of course, the Tuna push from down below reaches our waters. But
with a brother visiting from St. Louis and two of his relatives chomping
at the bit for the Albacore chase Kenneth and I agreed to give it one more
try. "Loaded" with all the hot dope on the day's fishing we headed out to
the only game in town - back to the Mushroom Bank. The plan was to stop in
the dark on a meter mark and give it a try. Minor problem - couldn't find
a decent meter mark. But we tried some specks for nada. And so we put 'em
in and headed West. At 8 AM we heard a sound we hadn't heard for a couple
of weeks - a reel clicker attached to a bent rod - a hard to come by - a
jig strike. We couldn't remember the right words, but someone found them
written on a scrap of paper: "Hook Up!" But the fates were unkind and the
fish fell off. But lo and behold - boils on the chum. Kenneth immediately
"hung" one and and handed it off to the guests. He hooking and handing
while they kept pulling and breaking - no, to be kind - were bit off. As
the first fish that made it to the gaff was identified as a BFT (Blue Fin
Tuna) we changed to circle hooks. Twice I was picked up, but got the bait
back with the circle hook twisted around and the point imbedded into the
sardine. No point - no hook up. But out of about 10 hook-ups we managed to
boat 3 - about 15-18 pders.
So back on the troll we went. With all the talk of Yellowtail (YT) under
the kelp we kept looking, but saw only one patty later in the PM (see
below). I kept heading west for the next two spots including the
"Boomerang" bank. And the odometer steadily kept adding the mile$. I
reached the East tip of the Boomerang and should have kept going, but
thoughts of the magic 100 mile limit was on my mind. I turned and headed
towards the "60 Mile Bank" where there was more talk of the kelp and YTs.
But around noon I heard a report of someone heading towards Guadalupe
coming across a large area of foaming "large" mixed BFTs and YFTs.
Couldn't get them to bite, but managed to pick up one YFT off a kelp
patty. He gave the numbers which were just outside of the "Dumper"
(Dumping Grounds) and about 14 miles away. Since we were already strung
out I turned and headed in that direction. Along the way a single and then
a double on Skipjack. All three fell off, but we nailed one on bait (food
for the Marlin bait).
Lo and behold, less than 1 mile from his numbers we found a kelp patty
("the" kelp patty?). Fished it for a while and suddenly brother Alan's
line went tight and in came a nice 20+ YFT. Shortly after resuming the
troll - a double - one on a Daisey Chain and one on the lure following the
"bird." 2 more nice YFTs. Several minutes later a bite on the Rapala and a
4th YFT. No boils on the chum and no bait bites. The fish ran about 22-28
pds. If it had been earlier we would have worked the area a lot longer,
but 88 miles from SD at 3 PM with 6 hours of running to go we pulled them
in and took off - to the "whistler" buoy (SD #1) at 9:10.
The water temp varied from 67.3 - slowly dropped to 66.8 - then up to
68.1. The dock count for the SD landings: 321 anglers on 17 boats totaled
1 YFT, 142 YT and 5 Dorado. Ken-Dan: 3 BFT, 4 YFT and 1 Skipjack. Let's
see - 3 x 15 is 45. 5 x 25 is 100 = 145 pds. Almost 200 miles at $2.50 =
$500 (divided by 145 = $3.50 a pound). Costco can do better than that, but
the weather was beautiful and sooo much companionship and brother-bonding.
While the albies are apparently gone (going West at a steady rate) reports
of YFT moving up from below mean that "it ain't over til it's over" and
time to get serious with the Marlin fishing. The tuna and, hopefully,
BigEye, should be here in great numbers for the Tuna Challenge Tournament
(Sept. 24). Get your application in and don't forget the Seminar on Sept.