The mission…. FIND SOME TUNA!
Saturday, July 10th, 2010
We needed to get our game finely honed again before the start of our heavy trip schedule, so we ventured through the hole with just the two of us and our able assistant Lisa! Lisa has been with us on at least 2 or 3 other expeditions, and really knows the ropes, but apparently has something of a “reputation” on the docks, as we found out Sunday. As we were headed out, the captain of the 50′ charter fishing boat the Endeavor called us on the radio because he had heard that Lisa was fishing with us…. He proceeded to give us a polite warning, and to share a story with us about the time he had Lisa on board his boat Tuna fishing. As the his story goes…. he had a full load of passengers on board and landed into a really thick school of Tuna, when Lisa proceeded to rather “dominate” the deck, and pull in Tuna from a multitude of rods (hers as well as those of most of the other passengers), racing from rod to rod, totally ignoring the rest of the fishermen! He said that of the approximately 60 tuna landed that day, Lisa personally accounted for a vast majority of them! Now Lisa’s story (rather feeble we think….) is that all of the other passengers were sea sick, comatose and unresponsive, laying all over the deck of the boat, and she was the only responsible person able to harvest all those willing Tuna! Hmmm….. who to believe? More on that question later in our little saga….
So we headed out with Lisa to a spot that the satellite charts (we subscribe to two different commercial services which shows us both temperature and water clarity conditions) showed should hold Tuna. At about the 27 mile mark, just short of our plotted target, the conditions really started to look good, so we slowed the boat down to Tuna trolling speed (about 8 mph ) and threw the gear in the water. Then the trouble began…. Almost immediately we get into fish, starting with one of the hand lines, and moving through the rest of the gear. We are never able to move from a spot over about a mile across because of the heavy concentration of fish. Around and around, back and forth we troll, fish are coming over the rail at a remarkable pace when Dave and I begin to notice that we are getting very little “catching” time, and are pretty much relegated to working the hand lines, putting fish away, cleaning up, and the occasional rod if Lisa is otherwise occupied hauling another Tuna into the boat on one of the other rods…. Hmmm….. Now mind you this is all one day before our warning from the charter captain, so we were a little unsuspecting on what was happening to us….
By about 11:30 we have our self-imposed limit of 24 very nice XL (20-25 lbs) Tuna iced and packed away and are headed back to port. On the drive back to port we start recounting the day, and realize that together Dave and Wade have only landed about 3 fish apiece and that dog gone Lisa must have brought in 18 fish herself! Obviously her Mommy neglected her education in “sharing”….
Seriously…. Lisa is quite a “fisherperson” and can not only ably handle the Tuna, but also our combined all day long teasing sessions, and to be fair, she did offer to share her lunch with us. 🙂
Day 2, Sunday, July 11th, 2010
With Lisa again joining us on day 2 of our exploratory expedition, we head out through the narrow Depoe Bay opening and point the boat in the same direction as the previous day. On Saturday we heard that we had overrun the fish a bit, with boats catching large numbers of fish at around 17 miles. With this in mind we deployed the gear at around 18 miles and trolled for awhile with limited success. It was obviously a different day than Saturday…. We moved around, and out, to about the 30 mile mark, scratching up a fish here and there, before finally turning the boat toward home with 7 more fat 20-25 lb Tuna in the fish boxes. Stopping by the crab pots, we pulled into the bay to process our catch, eat some crab, and clean the gear and boat.
This was a seriously fun weekend, and we want to thank Lisa for her cheerful company! You are a good sport Lisa!