March 2004

March 16, 2004 - I fished with Mark and Chris on Mark's - SAFE HARBOR. There were great reports of Albacore and Bluefin tuna being caught over the weekend 80 miles out. I checked with Al to see if there were any updates for Monday, but non of the fish reports reflected anything and Terrafin wasn't updated. We left the bait receiver at 8pm. The seas were very calm and we were able to run at 23 knots. We got to our destination at 1:30 am.

We started trolling at gray light. Water temperature was 60.0 degrees, not the 63 degrees we had seen on the Terrafin chart from the 13th. We didn't get our first bite until 6:30am. Mark decided one angler would get all the rods, the second angler would clear lines and the third angler would throw bait. He had us draw straws. I won, so I got the first jig fish. It was a small Albacore on a white/pink tuna feather. No baitfish on this stop at 31.26.9/118.21.5..

Second fish was at 10:30 on a purple Rapala. We were to pick up 5 jig fish, with 4 of them on the Rapala, good lure. Once again, no baitfish. Boxing the area of 31.26.69/118.13.61, we got another jig fish and finally a baitfish at 10:45, and 2 more at 11:00am. .

We hit another dry spell, with the temperatures dropping as we went south west, so we doubled back to 31.30/118.04. At 1:30, we picked up 4 fish, 3 on bait and one on the purple Rapala while it was just hanging in the water. So we had 10 fish for the day, 4 on jigs and 6 on bait. We lost one baitfish. We saw paddies, but none were holding fish.

As we headed east past our original starting point, the water warmed. My sense is the sun had warmed the water. I recall seeing stars when we passed over the area in the dark. The temperature was 60.1 at that time consistent with the water where we fished most of the day. In the afternoon, it had heated up to as high as 64 degrees.

We spotted a 10 foot tree stump floating on the water. Wow! If we had hit that when we were running 23 knots, I shudder to think what might have happened.

We also saw a sea turtle. I couldn't get to my camera in time to get a picture. They are pretty rare in our area.

As I said earlier, the seas were flat calm all day. We headed home at 24 knots, arriving at 6:00pm.
I forgot to mention, we brought Marty Morris' secret weapon - Bananas.


Chris & Mark

1st Fish

Pink Jig

20# Albacore

The Catch


Floating Log

Floating Log


March 11 - I fished with Mark and two of his friends; Dave from Minnesota and Jeff, who is working on Mark's house. We picked up a scoop of bait and I brought some old frozen Squid. We went out to the south end of the 9 mile bank in Mexican waters. The Malahini out of Fisherman's Landing caught up to us and fished the same area, about a mile or two west of us. Water was like glass, no wind. Sea temp was 60 degrees. Lots of kelp paddies.

I had a great day, bringing in 10 fish by 9:30 and a couple more by noon. I caught the only Ling Cod, the largest Salmon Grouper and largest Red. Dave brought up 2 salmon grouper on the first drop but then got sick from the diesel exhaust. He wasn't seasick, just nauseous from the diesel fumes. Jeff kept snagging the bottom, but did catch a couple of fish. And of course Mark caught some. In the picture below, he is 'setting the hook.'



Making Bait





When I got home, the phone was ringing and it was Jeff Melberg, my fishing buddy from Boring, Oregon. He had just sent me a picture of his first spring Chinook.

Jeff Melberg


Some other pictures from Jeff as a result of the phone call.