9/29/02 - Finished up September fishing in the 'Make-a-wish' Tuna Challenge. I
originally signed up for my boat with Al Kelly, and some time later Dennis, captain of the
Aluminator asked if I wanted to fish the tournament, so we switched my entry to his boat.
There was a captains meeting at 6pm Friday night, which Dennis attended. Al had to come
from Orange county after work, so he left work at noon to avoid the stress. I had to
deal with a meeting originally scheduled for 4-5, then changed to 4:30-5:30, knowing they
never start on time or last the specified time. I made sure all my stuff was loaded the
night before. Sure enough, the meeting didn't start until 4:55 and I left at 6:15. I
hauled ass to Point Loma, making a stop for ice and another stop for a fish bag. If we
were catching a lot of tuna and/or big tuna, we were limited on holding capacity, the fish
bag would come in handy. I got to the Marlin Club about 6:45, where Dennis docked his
boat. Al was already there and loaded his stuff. Tim Swazi had also been there and went to
the captains meeting with Dennis. I got the boat loaded and organized. I always bring too
We left the Marlin Club at 8:00pm, picked up 3 scoops of anchovies and 3 scoops of 'cured' sardines. Based on the weather reports, we estimated our ETA to the numbers south of the Airplane Bank at about 5:30am. It turned out to be a smooth ride on a 210 heading. No wind or swells so speak of. We arrived at our destination at 4:00am. Tim and I slept from 10 to 1 and Al and Dennis slept from 1-4.
At 5am I put out a large, pre-rigged squid to see what I could find. We were metering something under the boat. I was getting hits, so Dennis put out a Sardine. We could see white flashes going after his bait. They were giant Squid! They would grab the baits and run, but as soon as you put any resistance, they didn't have any leverage. We played with them for a while, but couldn't hook any. Al found a couple of squid jigs and I caught 2 right away. The body was about a foot long and they sure could squirt the water. I would let the unload then swing them in the boat. A shark came through and shut the squid down. We soaked our baits for a while. I decided to put on a new Squid rig, since the live squid separated the body and head on my dead squid rig. I let it sink and within a short period of time it got bite, line was screaming off my Penn International 30Wide 2 speed reel, I mean screaming. I grab the rod, move the drag up and the line stops. I put it in free spool and off it goes again. After 5 minutes of this, I decide to wide up and see what is causing this havoc. It was a squid, but 3 times the size of the other ones. About a dozen came up with it. Unbelievable. Al put the squid jig back out and caught one.
9/21-Another day looking for the pointy fish. No takers. We
headed out to the 181 but found colder water. Heard that one fish was caught up by Dana
Point. When we came back toward Oceanside, we found 70 degree water and this paddy. As we
passed the paddy, a small Mako hit a marlin lure, but did not stick. We stopped and fished
the paddy, but nothing wanted to bite.
9/14-Drug plastics for Marlin.... best we did was the Mackeral we caught for the marlin... There was a tournament going on and most of the participants were in 'sector 39', but we didn't find out where that was until we were back on land. They were at the 181, our original target, but we encountered colder water, so we turned the boat tot he warmer water.
We did another charter on the Diawa Pacific Thursday September 12th. Kenny didn't have a charter the day before 9/11, so they were rested and chomping at the bit to get out. We left at 10pm, with 7 of us from the prior trip and 11 new people. The bite slowed on the 11th, so Kenny thought it best to head south, where the 2 day boats were getting fish. As usual, he was right. I had the trolling gear out just before 6am and we got the first hookup at 6:15 on a BP Catchy. On the next run, a zuchinni stopped the boat. It was a mix of trolled stops and Kenny metering fish. We had several great bait stops where 10 or more of us would be hooked up.