Thursday, October 4th, 2012
Hi friends. I don't know what's going on with me, it's like the fish just elude us in the morning time and around lunchtime, people start to get very down about our fishing day, myself included. We had a horrible morning. A boat just a few miles from us got on a kelp and had good fishing on bluefin, yellowfin, and dorado. Okay, maybe that means that we're in the right area. Nope. We went in all kinds of different directions only to find a boat already on a kelp catching fish or a boat already working the area. Very frustrating. Around lunch time, the mood on deck was starting to sour and the mood in the wheelhouse was the exact opposite of laughing babies, sunflowers, and Labrador puppies. It was straight death. I was pretty sure that I was about to lose my turkey caesar salad all over the dash and that would've been the highlight of my day up to that point. Yep, it was that bad. But as our boss's old boss, Steve Loomis, used to say, "west is best."
So I made the decision -- we're going to head west all day until we don't see a boat on the radar or we fall off the earth. As I was checking my water temperature charts, looking at the next area where I was sure that I was going to go and find another boat or non-biting fish, it happened. Not the sound of a single fish popping on the sonar or the mast-man yelling at me to rotate trollers, but the sound of a school -- a gigantic school -- on the sonar. I flipped from the computer screen to the sonar screen, throttled back the mains, and spun the wheel hard to starboard. In the excitement of the moment, I managed to tangle up the chord for the gyros in the wheel as I was spinning too (sweet), so I'm yelling in the P.A. system, chasing down the school, and trying to untangle the chord all at the same time and just like that, the school is off the edge of the screen, swimming away with my heart.
As I sit looking at a blank sweep of the sonar for a few seconds and the thoughts of ripping the wheelhouse chair from its base and throwing it out the window, I finally realize that Jed is screaming down at me from the mast. He was screaming profanities, but not directed towards me, at least not directly. His screams read something along this line, and I'll clean it up for everyone at home, "they're f-ing shinning!!" Bingo, as I came back around, the sonar lit up once again right in front of the boat and after a few seconds -- which seemed like a century -- the fathometer ran red. Oh my gosh, they're under us, thick! I can't remember if I cursed when I called for the bait to rain down on the school after we stopped the boat but I apologize to our anglers if I did. In all honesty, I don't think they could hear me on the P.A. as everyone was screaming their heads off as well and after shutting down the mains and running out to the back deck, the most beautiful sight I could've seen was right before my very eyes; fishing boiling everywhere and all the rods bent over. Sonny Jim!
We drifted with that school of five hours and after the initial rush where they were biting sixty pound line for a couple of hours, we kept two to five going for the remainder of the stop. We finished the drift with 120 bluefin tuna (limits) in the 15-30 lb. class and 40 yellowfin tuna in the 12-18 lb. class. Like I said before, Sonny Jim!
So there you have it. A day in the life of a sport-boat captain. It's life of stressing like you're a lady of the night in church and then in the blink of an eye, you're the fireman carrying out the baby from the house fire to place it into the loving arms of it's mother. Here you go, ma'am.
-The Supreme Team