July 19, 2006 - Dodo

Yes, we couldn't resist the reports of residual Albacore and Yellowfin tuna down there in the area of the 1010 trench, double 220, 295, etc. The Marlin are very slowly popping up here and there, but the thrill of pulling on the tunas was too much to resist. There was one report of good fishing outside of the Butterfly Bank, but no current reports. And so, armed with glowing reports of excellent fishing out-side of the 1010 located at the Terrafin recorded temperature break and numbers from our reliable source at 976bite "we" headed off to the southern waters. "We" consisted of my two regulars (Geoff Halpern and Harry Okuda) and two friends, Ian Orr, executive chef from Staples Arena, and Bobby Wallace, our Barona contact. Unfortunately (for us) son Dr. Kenneth was home on paternity leave. And, of course, we left with the blessings of the High Seas fuel dock.

Before I forget, the weather was marketable. When one goes Albacore fishing in flat seas it is always a blessing. And this was one of those days. 70 miles and not one drop on the railing is one of those days "they" (and I) like to write about.

And so, we aimed for the temperature break (71.5 down to 68+) and started out a little to the northwest of our reported "hot spot." As the morning progressed we found that the "hot spot" had cooled appreciably and the ocean was like the proverbial desert. No birds, no bait, no life of any kind - including those creatures that breath through gills. Finally, we managed to bloody the deck with two Yellowtail from separate kelps. But no tunas. In fact, we did not see a single boat the entire trip until we found a few seiners working about the 295.

As we passed through the 1010 trench we found our "cherry patch" - a kelp paddy from which we were able to limit out on excellent quality 'tails up to 26 pounds. Harry had a nice one (but hadn't entered the jackpot) and Bobby Wallace took honors with a 26 pounder. And Geoffrey had lots of 'em. From there, we pressed on across the 220/220 (for naught) and over to the 295 (for naught) until reaching the 295 (finding only the seiners). During the day we saw not one sport boat nor one yacht. During our departure from Pt. Loma we observed the sporties heading inside and it became obvious that they were working well inside of us - but where? and how far? So much for our "hot dope." I think we should have used that age-old dictum - "follow the sport boats."

With the hours slipping by we turned northward heading back up the line. Reaching the warmer water we deployed one outrigger pulling a Marlin jig along with our feathers, cedar plugs and "whiskey line" tuna feather. As we began "tending to our catch" the outrigger snapped and the line screamed out. Optimistically hoping that a marlin had grabbed the B&P Collector lure we realized that his was a "Dodo" (i.e. Dorado/ Mahi Mahi). Bobby cranked in a nice 15-18 pounder. Nice pictures and nice eating, but no sushi. Final score: 25 YT and 1 Dorado. The yellowtail fishing for the sport boats has certainly helped to salvage their season.
Looks like we will be paying more attention to the increasing reports of local Marlin sightings, bites, and scattered catches. And, of course, fingers crossed in hopes of a forthcoming BigEye bite.