June 21, 2006
After spending 12 days trolling up the Volga river from Moscow to St. Petersburg and 17+ hours of continuous flying I awoke from my jet lag stupor with the realization that Wednesday was upon us and, with the encouragement of the fuel dock management, that it was time to go fishing. Kenneth had a commitment to take two teenagers for a trip and found a fifth (angler, that is) for our crew. And so, with the mandatory review of the Terrafin charts and a call to Bob (976Bite) Vanian, we set off for the 1010 area (60-65 miles). We picked up rather extraordinary bait (sardines and anchovies) and headed out. With relatively light fishing pressure the bait sits in the boxes of the receivers for extended periods of time and the result is virtually cured bait - i.e. we had no dead 'dines in the tank and only a few chovies throughout the day.
Our departure was delayed by a late arrival of our guests, but managed to clear the point by 23:45. This put us a couple of hours behind Bobby Woodard"s "Christina Lynn" and just ahead of Tony Dileva's "Oasis." During the day I saw no more than 3 or 4 other yachties in the area. The result was that Bob started at the bottom of the 1010 "trench" and we were well above the area at dawn. So worked down into the "trench" and so only one sportboat ahead of us. But, after turning downhill a bit heading to the eastern edge of the 1010 we began to see multiple sporties and soon found ourselves in the midst of almost the entire sportboat fleet with most appearing to be stopped. At one point we counted over 18 boats in the area. As we approached we got our first bite which proved to be our largest fish of the day - about 25 pounds. As the morning progressed there were frequent jig strikes with only an occasional bait fish. Our rising count was repeatedly delayed by the lack of experience of our two "first-timers" and the result was losing at least a half dozen fish by broken lines, pulled hooks, etc and even us "old" pros had the same losses. I don't understand it - the line was fine when I bought it 3 years ago. We observed very few "boils" and found that the anchovies worked better for the bait fish although we did have various 'dine bites as well. As for the jig fish we did well with our usual B&P lime head Zukers, but got fish on B&P Rapalas and B&P cedar plugs. Our morning activity was in and around the "fleet" just outside of the eastern edge of the upper 1010.
The Woodard crew on the "Christina Lynn" found lots of life and had a little action (including a couple of BFTs) at the bottom of the 1010. But as they worked up along the outside of the western edge of the "trench" they had two great bait stops and rapidly loaded up with limits including 5 BFTs. After getting the "call" we headed off in their direction, about 7 miles away, and, after finding them along with 2 or 3 sporties, did not find either of their 2 WFO spots. But as we worked up the western edge of the 1010 we had 2 rapid doubles and then a decent bait stop where they bit well for a short stop. In total, we ended up with about 18-19 fish (lost count) with most in the 12-18 pd size and 2 small 8-9 pounders with some in the low 20's. We even managed to have our "freshman" anglers get a bait fish apiece with the usual "lift the rod-crank down-lift the rod-crank down, etc" encouragement. Lots of jig strikes makes it difficult to take naps, but the fishing was worth it.
The weather was a little rolly going out, but not too sloppy and relatively comfortable. As the morning progressed, the ocean slowly laid down and it turned into a great weather-wise day. There were swells from the west, but little wind and by noon the sea was flat, but not glassy. In early afternoon the overcast burned away with blue skies. We found the water temp about 64.5-64.8 in the area of all the fishing. Many of the sporties limited out. Several nice looking kelp paddies were empty, but Tony Dileva found excellent YT fishing in the area of the 425. And the Poole family (High Seas fuel dock) are heaving sighs of relief.
As we neared the Point we were "buzzed" by a Coast Guard helicopter. And so, not taking any chances, we stopped at the Customs dock and found the agents already there checking out a sail boat ahead of us. So it didn't take long to do the processing. After the visit by the helicopter I didn't want to take a chance on not stopping. Not only are fines quite stiff, but they told us that they have the power of seizing boats.
The next trip? I don't think you'll find this particular bank on the fishing charts.