Tuesday, September 29, 2009

4 tuna monterey monday

Dad and I left Monterey in Feeling Lucky at 6:30 and went to the 36'15"/122'55" spot. That's a mere 50 miles from Pt. Pinos. Waves and whitecaps started about 25 mi out. Outside was fishable but not pleasant all day.

From 15/55 started a tack south-west. At 14/56 had a triple (water temp was 62), but the usual moves produced no further fish, tacked south, then north-west, then straight east, fix a tangle, back west again at 16/47 a single, once again no subsequent fish rose in area despite several passes in a search pattern.

We gave up at 16/46 with 59 degree water and 4 15-20 lb. fish in the box.
This was another long boat ride, 3 hours to get home, not back at the house with the boat parked until 5:30.

It turns out there is a major White Sea Bass bite in Monterey and being adventurous about the target would have been a better decision. But I couldn't ignore the major tuna catch reports from Sunday and I just didn't know it was rough right past where the weather buoy said it was calm, didn't want to fiddle with a fish I didn't know how to catch and miss on a sure thing. Whatever, I like to run a boat and tuna is my favorite fish to catch. The custom 18 gallon tank we added to dad's boat makes long tuna trips like that possible, we made sure to drain the aft tank fully. Once again Feeling Lucky turned out a solid performance despite the pounding and the distance we put her through. We need to clean out the speedometer tube in the motor, that was the one system fail.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Left Monterey harbor around 6 am with high hopes of catching a few tuna, but these turned into fears as soon as I got outside the bay and saw the whitecaps and felt the 10 knot wind. It was going to be a bumpy one.

My general plan was to head for 36.30/122.30 and tack SW because of the SST on tempbreak, but the break was a few miles past that. We dropped in around 9ish after the 3 hour pounding to get out there. We started working once the water was 59 degrees W/SW but were hearing radio fish at 34/57 so eventually fishless in 61 degree water I set a heading for those numbers.

Around 11 I switched the spread from purple and black feathers to zuchini clones. We were only running 4 rods due to the wind and difficulty keeping it all fishing properly.

Finally at about 12:00 we got a single, but turning back over that spot produced nothing. Around 12:30 I heard on the radio some big Farallon had just felt the weather had gotten bad enough to turn around and I was in Dad's little 21' Grady, and we were looking at a 3 hour run home at least.

At 12:45 I called it with one fish in the box and decided it was time to limp home with my tail between my legs. We pulled the rods and started heading east, and as I was trying to figure a comfortable speed and heading in the slop and chop I looked down at the sonar and the SST had shot up to 61.9 degrees. OK, put em back in! We didn't get all 4 rods back in when the short corner went off, my brother was in the process of dropping back and I think hooked a fish with the rod in his hands. We just kept turning back over that spot for 16 more tuna in singles, doubles a triple and a quad to finish in the next hour and a half. I was pulling my fish over the rail by the leader to gaff the others cause they weren't that big (12-15 lbs maybe). Too fun!

The numbers on that spot were 36.27 /122.44.
At 2:30 we decided we had enough fish for our needs so we left them biting. Tuna fishing. wow! back at the dock just after 6 pm. return the boat to my dad, eat a nice dinner my parents had prepared for us, back home in Sonoma County around midnight. longish day, brutally rough conditions, and I can't wait to do it all again when the calendar and the weather and the fish permit.

the catch minus 4 already packed in another cooler.

a visibly tired crew, but no longer sorry about the pounding I put them through!

me with the big fish of the day. boga on the water after we bled it said 27 lbs.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

salmon season slow

Back from my vacation (where I worked hard as a boat captain, and when lucky, fish processor) up in Trinidad, CA. What a beautiful place to tie up a boat. A great community. Right off the bat the Harbormaster saw me fueling at the Chevron and started helping me out, the mooring that they had for me wouldn't work but he had other ideas, etc. In the end I tied to a commercial boat's mooring who wasn't in the harbor at the time.

We got 2 fish on the opener, listened to the weather report the next day and stayed in and fished the klamath river for 4 fish, then got skunked on Monday, 2 fish Tuesday, skunked Weds, 1 fish Thursday outside the mouth of the Klamath, skunked on Friday.

Fishing was so slow, and I was outta gas, so I decided to pull the boat and go home a little early rather than gas it up and keep trying. Lots of work to do on the farm.
I sold 6 started pullets to a neighbor who just finished his chicken coop. I need to thin out my upper flock. I think one night when the door was left open there was some predation, I am down one cuckoo maran and no birds will roost by the door now, so they've taken to roosting in the next boxes which is annoying cause they poop there now.

I'm going to put up an electric fence around the turkeys so I can let them out of their tractor without fearing for my high-calcium hen feed.