August 13, 2005 - Bluefin and Yellowfin
`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.
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 Daisy 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.
Between painting, cleaning, improving, etc. Suz and I realized we had not been enjoying San Diego as it was meant to be enjoyed. Hence last weekend's update. While this weekend should have been filled with quiet days of home improvement, we received an offer we could not refuse. Pat and Kari's dad/father-in-law, Alan, invited us to go deep-sea fishing with his brother, Marty Morris. Marty is a veteran of fishing in the So-Cal area, and one of the top Pacific anglers. So 8PM Friday night, we boarded the "Ken-Dan," and set off 90 miles to the west in search of the big ones. While the pickings were slim, we managed to land some yellow tail and blue-fin tuna. Suzanne and I both got our shots at landing one (courtesy of Marty's son, Kenneth), and it was a blast. We also saw some sharks (Suz had one on the line for a bit, and I was hoping to watch her land it), porpoises and got very close to a pod of whales.
In the end, we walked off with some beautiful fish, great memories and new friends. Not a bad weekend. I've attached some pics of our fish, and our dog. Shiloh continues to be quite the puzzle. She's a beautiful, mellowdog, unless she's alone or at the beach. If alone, she panics, and produces quantities of drool that defy logic. If at the beach she never stops running. Otherwise, she sleeps. San Diego, as always, is beautiful. We look forward to hearing from all of you, and look froward to visits!
Alan and Marty,
We picked up the dog directly, then went home and stayed up long enough to clean and wrap the fish for freezing. Kept one steak fresh for a seared tuna meal tonight and it was delicous!
Cannot express how much we enjoyed the hospitality and adventure. No one can believe that just 25 hours ago we were 90 miles at sea. Took awhile for our legs to adjust to stable ground. Couple pics. Will send more.