I have it. It happens when you have a monumental fishing trip and try to come back from the way out. But along the way you agree with the Capt. that every floating log, boil, tuna chic, oily smell should be grounds to stop and inspect. Even when the roll out time is about 3-3:30 am …. you just can’t stop.
We headed out into the pitch black dark, darker than I ever remember night. The boat is a 23′ Regulator w/twins. It was a 70 mile journey out to the Wilmington Canyon. It’s a place where dreams are made just as quickly as hearts get crushed. It was a perfect ride out. Capt. prepared most of the bally hoo only hours before. As soon as we hit troll he was deploying with the precision of strategic planner. As I took the wheel: spreader bars, and islanders went over the back and side. It always has to be just perfect. And it is.
When the Capt. is putting everything out I stay focused on the course and try to stay out-of-the-way. It is with complete amazement I watch as the depth descends. I lose myself thinking about all the life at 1000, 2000, 2500. Watching countless hours and reading gives you a lot of ideas of what is down there. Then reality snaps back with a quick bam on the blue and white Islander jr with the small bally hoo. The Capt says… reel it in. IMAGINATION going into overtime. What is it, because it peels off real quick, then goes the place I hate the most: Straight down. I am familiar with this tactic as my one and only other tuna was a Blue Fin who showed me what the straight down dive is all about. But, that was a few years ago. I was holding the rod slightly wrong at first then thinking, this is going to hurt. But after a quick re adjustment by the Capt. I brought in my first Yellow Fin Tuna. Was not huge by any means, it was a keeper and I was proud.
We spent more time trolling as the heat was on and water temps wavered between 81-84. Beautiful blue turquoise, sometimes purple looking water. After a few hours Capt said, let’s look for some Mahi. First high hat, nothing, next one a big boat rushed ahead of us. It was fine, we were enjoying life out there. So we pulled up to the next. Capt threw out a couple chunks and the water lit up with color. Like nothing I had ever seen.
It was the beginning of Mahi madness.
We dropped down gami 7/0 circle hooks from our flounder rods with just a chunk. Before we could get a foot in the water we hooked-up each time. And it went on and on. High jumpers, crazy action, bloody decks. It was addicting just watching them in the water chase each other. Everyone different and more beautiful than the last.
We finally stopped as it was time to start heading back. Quick clean-up and off we went. But then there was this log…how great are these two birds just hangin there, squawking away:
and once again we dropped down some hooks. WHAM! a few more Mahi. Plus, one of the most beautiful of the day.
We pried ourselves and took off for the barn. Then WT… what’s that boil over there???
Capt. put out the bird. It looked to be a tight bunch of skip jacks. But we had to leave… really now.
Life for the day was nothing short of spectacular. The ocean blessed us with a great big bunch of porpoises racing out – airborne showing off, whales, flying fish, the skip jack frenzy, the color of the water… and the coolest little tuna chic that all day long circled the deployed bird time and time again.
We got back to the dock about 6pm…. took some time to get every thing cleaned up. Packed the cooler with the fish….and I could not lift the my side. I’ll even admit my arm was just a little bit sore that night. But it felt good.