zzzzzzzzzzzzz - go ahead - rest your eyelids. You won't miss
anything. I'll wake you up when this is over.
I could start by saying "They're back." That is, the past
couple of days has seen a resurrgence in the Albacore bite.
The sport boats recorded some excellent catches down in the
90-100 mile area, but no one seriously thinks they will march
up the line into this very warm water where 72, not 62, is the
current standard. They will probably slide up and out to the
northwest - you know - past the $1,000 bank. By the way,
prices were slowly dropping last month, but are back into the
upward spiral. Down there it is reported that fish are deep
(probably in the colder water) and it takes sonar and lots of
chum to bring them up making it difficult for the yachties.
Private boats made it down there, but jig strikes were almost
impossible to come by. For the yachts, YT fishing is the order
of the day with some BFT and YFT thrown in.
Adding to the negative is the constant, unrelenting pressure
from the seiners, many of whom are reported to have come from
as far as Mazatlan. As the tuna have pushed up and out the
fleet of 16-18 netters have recently been found in the last
corner of Mexican waters between the 302 and the Butterfly
bank. If there are any tuna left from this "roundup" perhaps
some will make it out to the 'fly, but so far results have not
been encouraging. For those not in the know, the price for BFT
is sky high and the Mexicans, once putting them into a "set"
then, without scooping them up, crowd them into large holding
pens. These pens are then pulled at very slow speeds - like 1
knot, to holding areas off South Coronado island or Todos
Santos outside of Ensenada. There they are fed and when they
have grown to I don't know what size are harvested for the
trip to the Tokyo fish market. What are they fed? Whatever
they can lay their hands on - sardines, anchovies, etc and
this certainly doesn't help the local bait situation.
Which brings us to Wednesday. There have been regular
scattered sightings and jig stikes of Marlin and two have been
caught further up the line (one by Lynn Jasper on the "Wait 'n
Sea" off Catalina). The other further east of the 209. In
addition, swordfish are being seen almost daily, and "they're
biting." There have been quite a few hook-ups and several have
been caught. In addition, an occasional large YFT, and even a
BFT, have eluded the nets and have been picked up locally. And
so, Harry Okuda, Geoff Halpern and YT decided to try the local
fishing at the southern end of the scene. Loaded with 'dines,
mackies, and rigged squid we started at the lower end of the
"9", worked past North Island, down along the upper finger,
over to the 425 to the 371 and up to the 302 and then home.
Outside North we had a couple of small Bonita on the cedar
plugs and a legitimate hit on a Tuna jig trolled on the
whiskey line (i.e. way back there). It looked like a good
sized tuna, but the hooks pulled at the boat.
The rest of the trip was through 72.5 nice and blue water and
could best be described as kelp hopping. Lots of kelp, but
only 1 out of 5 productive, and minimal at that. For the day
we managed 6 'tails and one 7-8 pd. Dorado (aka Mahi Mahi,
dodo, etc). Two of the 'tails were in the 18-19 pd. range.
Where oh where are those reported 30 pders? Exactly on the
noon tide Bob Woodard on the "Christina Lynn" baited a purple
one and at the same time Steve Lasley, fishing further up the
Ridge, saw another. Both fish raised adrenaline levels but
were not interested in joining the list of biters.
None of the three high spots had much to offer with the water
at the "kidney" bank (302, etc) having turned green and not
too much in the way of bait and only scattered birds life
being seen. We did see a couple of patches of breaking bonita
and one of these featured large tuna mixed in, but no biters.
And no signs of billfish in our travels. For the swordies,
noon hours and, especially, on the slack of the tide is the
norm, but for marlin it is the old story (I mean excuse):
"Time of day." Of course, this is only the start of that
season and fish and still few and far between. Thus, it is
very easy to be in the wrong place at the right time.
What we did see were 4 seiners coming from the west moving
about 1 knot and all pulling (not trolling), tuna pens behind
them. A very depressing sight. But nothing anyone can do
anything about. With the warm water, more tuna should be on
the way and the Annual Tuna Challenge Tournament (Sept. 30)
should (hopefully) produce some great BigEye fishing. Stay
And now, WAKE UP! See - you didn't miss anything too