May 2003

Fisherman's Landing new FISH-CAM

Friday May 30, Mark wanted to take one of his crew out to fish. It was Drew's last day so Mark wanted to get him a fish to remember San Diego by. We were fishing on the SAFE HARBOR. We left the bait receiver with a scoop of Sardines and larger anchovies about 1pm. We headed toward the rockpile. There were 4 party boats and a couple of private boats 4 mils short of the rockpile. Mark threw out a bait and left the clicker on while he worked on a rig for Drew. The clicker went off and sure enough a yellowtail was there. Mark let Drew fight the fish and bring it to gaff. It was a 20 pound yellowtail.

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May 26, 2003 Lisa and I went out for some Rockfish.

Lisa and Dennis in the East Cape

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Wednesday May 7, went fishing today with Burt, an associate from the past in Seattle, now from Salt Lake and Mark on a boat Mark has access to these days. The boat is called SAFE HARBOR Originally we were going to go on the Malahini out of H&M landing, but it would get back too late for Burt to make his flight back to Salt Lake. Mark took the opportunity to take the day off and take us out the boat.

We headed down at the Rock pile fishing for yellowtail. Once there, I gave Burt a Calstar rod with a Trinidad 14 reel and an Iron man #5 in blue and chrome, assuming since he was an experienced fisherman he knew what to do and I could get by with minimal instruction. After finishing his first drop, Burt said  "I just hooked the lip". At first I thought he had a fish. When I turned around to see his fish, he was holding the Iron man and treble hook at his mouth. Upon closer observation, one hook of the treble was in his lower lip. It was straight in, towards his gum line, past the barb. There was already swelling about a quarter of an inch from where the hook was.

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There was no first aid kit on the boat and I didn't have one in the backpack I carry when fishing on other boats. We had ice and filled a small baggie which he pressed to his lip.

I tried to cut the hook and ring with my pair of dikes to relieve the weight we had to deal with, but the dikes didn't 'cut' it. Maybe someone who was stronger could have done it in the position the hook was in without causing Burt additional pain. Remember, the hook was in his lip, so it was really hard to get any leverage.

My recommendation was  pushing the hook through past the barb, but Burt thought that we should cut his lip and back it out. There was a mirror in the salon, so I suggested he take a good look at his predicament and let me know what he was comfortable with. He still felt it would be better to cut his lip. Fortunately, I maintain sharp Forshner filet knives. I laid the knife along the shaft of the hook and sliced the outer skin of his lip, following the line of the shaft and point. The 'meat' was exposed, but no barb. One more pass and the outline of the barb could be seen in the 'meat'. I said hang on and pulled. It came out.... whew! Burt maintained the ice pack and after a half an hour, it stopped bleeding. It remained puffy throughout the day. There was also a black and blue swollen area. I suggested that he was also hit with the 'iron' which may have caused that bruise.

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Burt got the bleeding to stop after a half an hour. In the mean time the yellowtail were breezing around the boat. Marks flylined bait got hit and he landed a nice yellowtail.

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Burt began to fish and was fine the rest of the day. Burt caught his share of Ling cod and Starry Rockfish. He left us at 3:30 for the airport to catch his flight. We all questioned the 'tetanus shot' implications; how long since he had the last one, how long are they good for and when you need one, how soon after the incident 'must' you have the shot.

Burt kept saying it was the first time in 40 years he ever 'hooked' himself ...

As for myself, I went out and bought a 'first aid' kit to carry with me. I question whether it is really complete.

If this incident wasn't enough, the steering went out on the boat down at the rockpile. Mark was sort of aware of the problem. Neither the autopilot or steering wheel were working. We were going to the left in circles. Mark offered to trade Declaration forms for Power steering fluid with a Trophy, but they didn't have any. Mark eventually put a call out on the radio and the HARVEY B responded. They were up at the North end of South Island with a quart of steering fluid. But we had to get to them. We fished 'til 1pm and then started to deal with our dilemma. Earlier, I tried controlling the arm to the rudder with a short gaff with minimal success. For our return attempt, I came up with the idea of using a boat rope, looped around the arm, wrapped around the bait tank. I used my full weight on the rope to get the boat to turn right and eased off to let it go back to the left. There was no view of what was in front off the boat, so Burt and Mark pointed in one direction or the other when we needed to turn. It was pretty grueling for about 45 minutes.

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We got to the HARVEY B and Mike Bingham tossed us the fluid, funnel and hose. We poured the fluid in the steering column and eventually had the steering power back. Half way back, the steering went out again. More fluid and we were back in  business....