June 18, 2005 - 1st Albacore - Marty
Here I am on Monday writing the Wednesday report that covers fishing last
Saturday and will come to you on Tuesday. Come again? Well, you know what
I mean. I waited for Harry (Okuda)'s stomach to settle down, get some
rest, and then share with you the report of our first Albacore trip of the
season (summer doesn't start til tomorrow).
The flurry of fish close in about a month ago has just been kind of a
blurred memory for they moved on to parts unknown and in the last couple
of weeks the key has been "loooong" one day trips (high 80s into the 90s),
but mainly the day and a half variety out in th 105 - 120 range (miles,
that is). And there has been some decent size to them running in the mid
teens to the mid 20s with an occasional 30 pd class.
Early last week the weather cooperated and, with flat seas, they bit
pretty well for the sport boats. But when the wind blows it appears that,
like Harry, the fish don't care for the rough water either and the bites
drop accordingly. But early weather forecasts for the end of the week
weren't bad and so a trip was planned. And so I assembled a talented crew
of Harry, Dennis Albert, Mark Henwood, and a special guest, George Nelsen
from up north. Old timers may recall the years that George and his buddy
Lon Chaney (yup, from THAT family) fished regularly on George's boat,
Unfortunately, June gloom prevented usable SST charts. And the reports
were that the "closer" fishing was in the high 80s and into the 90s
(miles, that is). And so, undaunted, we gathered at 8 PM, baited up with
very nice 'dines and 'chovies (sar- and an-, that is - I guess we are not
supposed to use first syllables). We cleared the point close to 9 PM and
set sights for areas above some of the numbers put out by the web site
reports. Gets light about 0500 (now that we are hitting the longest days
of the year). Thus, 8 hours at 9 knots puts us at 72 miles, kind of short
of the alleged bite areas.
The weather forecast for Friday night and Saturday was border-line and we
found steady winds of perhaps 10-12 out of those dreaded words - NorthWest.
But we weren't getting the big swells and running 200 we were kind of
running in the trough with lots of rolly-polly, but no crashing. Even I
managed to sleep through most of it.
Temp was 66+ outside of North Island and we later found lots of bait marks
at the lower end of the Airplane (several people found the same earlier -
and later - but nothing biting in the area). Continuing on down the temp
steadily dropped and stayed about 59.9 to 60.1 and no bait marks. At dawn
we were still in that cold water and as we continued on - no life.
The temperature break came at about 89-90 miles. The temp rose to 62.5 and
at about 92 miles we had our first bite - 1 + 1. Harry pulled one in about
9:15 and has claimed the 1st Albie recognition from SWYC. Shortly
thereafter we were bit again. Most jig bites came on the old faithful
Zuker B & P with the line green head. I think Dennis also got bit on a G &
Y thing. And we had several bait fish (and must have lost close to half
dozen). At one point we had a 4 way twist and lost 2 of them. So we had
about 9 fish on board and were close to high boat for those hardy enough
to make the trip (some had 0 or 1).
Yes, the weather was snotty and very uncomfortable, but quite fishable. On
the radio came the boat "No Limits" who was catching a few inside of us
("all on Blue and White"). So we headed off in his direction. This took us
into colder water before reaching his area that was about 61.8. So we
pulled "them" in and ran about 10 miles. As the temp came up we put the
lines back in and immediately saw several of those little black birds
flitting around. The "No Limits" had taken left the area and was still
getting bit as he moved north. He wound up with 13 for the day. But in
"his" area we found 3 or 4 other boats and one by one they were getting
bit. Finally, we got bit and managed 2 jig fish. As the day wore on and
being 90 miles from Point Loma we trolled up the line and got a double
along the way bringing us to 13 also. When the temp started to drop we
pulled them in and took off.
Yes, the weather was kind of snotty (maybe the other "s" word is more
appropriate), but without the big waves and steady 18-20 knot winds we
were able to more or less stay "on top of it" running about 12 knots. A
little wet in the cockpit for filleting so everyone got a chance for
shut-eye. Made it back to #1 about 8:45 (the same time we cleared it going
out - 24 hours earlier). Yes, it was a rough day, but having been out in
much worse I didn't mind it that much. But when it is like that for 90
miles that does magnify the conditions.
So now we'll rest up and wait for better conditions, closer fish, and a
drop in fuel prices. (Don't hold your breath) Marty
P.S. The next time you hear from me will probably be from
FOOTNOTE - on a subsequent trip on July 16, 2005 - we found the 14th
albacore from this trip. Hold your breath on that one!
June 19, 2005 - The wind blew all the clouds away and brought us beautiful
Yesterday, we found the temp breaks exactly as shown. Our first area of
catching fish was at 29/54. When we trolled towards that other area (to
the East and slightly above) we crossed the temp break exactly as shown
and found the fish in the slightly cooler water in the 56-54 strip that
closely follows the deep water line.
SSTs? don't leave home without them. Marty
Below is a comparison of SST and Chlorophyll charts and the location of