August 29th & 30th, 2009
Pilot & Humpback Whales, Porpoises, Tuna, Salmon, and a snapping Shark on a handline…. quite an interesting mix for the weekend!
The ocean conditions turned out to be a pleasant surprise on Saturday. We were expecting a lot rougher conditions, but the water was smooth with no wind waves and a 3 or 4 foot swell on a 10 second duration, so we were able to run basically as fast as we wished on our way out to the Tuna grounds.
At somewhere around 25 miles out, we saw something that we had not seen before; a pod of 6-8 Pilot Whales and a couple of Humpback Whales seemingly swimming together! We watched them for a few minutes, and could not really figure out what or why they would all be together in the same small area, but summarized that perhaps there was an abundance of food congregated in the area, but it was strange and wonderful thing to see!
We moved west past the whales about 5 miles, and tossed the Tuna jigs in the water for a trial. The Tuna this time of year act much differently than they do early in the season. We see them jumping and porpoising on the surface, and they are more reluctant to grab our trolled lures, but after a little while we were hard into our first fish. We tried to cast jigs to a few jumpers, but no takers. We then continued our troll around the area and managed to pick up fish at a fairly respectable pace.
During one of our stops to land a fish, we were bringing in the other lines when one of our guests grabbed a handline and started to haul it in when it started pulling back! Catching a Tuna when retrieving a handline is not that unusual, but what he pulled through the transom door WAS…. a 4 foot blue shark! The Shark thrashed and snapped around on the deck while we worked to pry the lure from his jaws, all the while landing the Tuna we had stopped for! Even a little blue shark can inflict a lot of damage with their rows of razor sharp teeth, so we carefully pried the hook from his mouth and quickly returned him to the water. Settling down from the little burst of excitement, we continued on our Tuna quest.
All too soon it was noon, and time to tidy up the boat for the return to port. After a quiet and uneventful run back to shore with 12 Tuna in the hold, we set up our processing equipment and soon had all of the Tuna fillets securely packed in vacuum bags, labeled and on ice ready for the trips home to the freezer. What a great day we had with Jim, Greg, Randy, Kyle and Maureen! This was their third year out with us, and we hope to see them again next year!
And thanks again for the treats you left guys……
Now Sunday was another day altogether…. while Saturday was sunny, clear and warm, Sunday was drizzly, cloudy, and cold, with a 3-4 foot wind wave on a 4-5 foot swell. Based on the weather, Salmon became the quest, so we slipped out of port in the early light and headed a little north to try to find some fish. After having only a few bites and no fish there, our crew mates of Jeff, Scott, Lisa & Maureen decided to move a couple of miles off shore to try again. “FISH ON!” was the yell, and for the next few hours, we had pretty steady action, with some really beautiful Coho Salmon brought to the boat. Unfortunately, out of the 11 fish we managed to net, only 2 were legal hatchery fish that went into the box. Oh well…. that’s fishing.
A fun time was had by all, and again before we knew it, it was time to head in. After processing and pictures, our guests departed for home and we cleaned and put the boat to bed to await the coming adventures next week!
Our thanks to all who joined us, for another great weekend!