August 10, 2005 -  Stripe

`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 fuel dock.

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. 8th. Marty