August 1st and 2nd, 2009
Porpoises, Whales, and Other Adventures!
Saturday ….the fishing was done for the day, and we had just shut the boat off to quietly drift on the ocean waves to prepare for the trip back to port, when seemingly out of know where, a small pod of perhaps a couple of dozen Porpoises began to circle around and under the boat. What an experience! We have often seen Porpoises in the area, and have even had them follow alongside our boat when we are running, but this was the first time that they had them come so close to quietly look us over (we could have touched them!). They stayed around for about 5 minutes or so, and then moved off, performing some aerial acrobatics in the process. Wow….a really, really cool experience.
Oh, and the fishing…. Saturday was pretty much a scratch effort, with a fish picked up here and there, but no real hot bite. Our able crew consisting of Eric, Dick, Ben and Jon, did manage to boat 10 very nice fat Tuna, with just enough action to keep everyone on their toes. The fish are unusually large for this time of year (as a mater of fact, they have been large all season long, compared to years past) and ranged in size from 20-30+ pounds.
Back to port we headed, to fillet and package the days catch, and prepare the boat for the next day’s adventure. This weekend we decided to experiment a little with our fish preparation program, where we actually vacuum packed the fish right on the dock! Pretty neat way to do it. It does take a little longer, but the fishermen only have to take the packages home and drop them in the freezer!
Sunday, the ocean conditions on the ride out to the fishing grounds were foggy and flat. We quickly ran out to about 30 miles and dropped our lines in to do a little prospecting. Nothing much happening, so we picked up and ran about another 5 miles west. Stopping and deploying our lines, we managed to pick up a couple of fish, but they were few and far in-between, so we picked up again, and ran another 5 miles out to try another spot. By this time the ocean had kicked up significantly, sending a few smaller boats back to port. Even though it was a pretty bumpy ocean, our stalwart crew consisting of Chris, Dave, Mike and Craig, persevered, and began picking up fish at a rapid clip! We continued at a steady pace, and by our turnaround time of noon, we had the fish boxes stuffed with 16 very nice fat fish, with many in the 30 pound + range.
Headed back in, we had a couple of cool Humpback Whale sightings, with one pair close enough (inside of 100 yards) to hear them spouting!
Back in port, we again filleted and packed the catch, snacked, and wished the crew a safe trip home with many pounds of Tuna meat in their coolers!
Our thanks to Maureen for running the fish packing operation, and to our great crews for a another memorable weekend in Depoe Bay!