Following a horrific wake up call to a frigid sixty six degree water temperature that dropped two and one half degrees overnight, we thankfully made a short move to the south where we found the right water and the fish in it. Once we located the water and the fish, catching them was the challenge, and similar to previous mornings, the vast majority of the schools we located showed little or no interest in our offerings.
Now the stage was set: flat calm weather, big tuna crashing around that refused to bite, and a consistent pattern of slow morning fishing. Up to this point we have stuck to our guns using our heavy outfits exclusively in preparation for every opportunity that came our way on big fish. Adaptability is the key to a good fisherman's success and with nothing going into the hatch, and worse yet, nothing on the end of our lines, it was time for a drastic change to get the ball rolling. At ten thirty a.m. Captain Toussaint keyed the P.A. mic and made the call "O.K. guys, it's time to break out the gimmick gear, short top shots, fluorocarbon, whatever you want, try it." "With grease calm weather there will never be a better time than now so let's try to get something going."
The ensuing stampede was dangerous as anglers wedged five deep in the galley companionway throwing caution aside in their mad rush to re-outfit with the gear that would guarantee them a bite on a big fish every time. No more waiting, no more angling, no watching in frustration as fish crash around the boat impudently ignoring our every effort to entice them. It was going to be easy street from here on out. Finally, the time had come.
As we lined up on the next school, the stage was set for the ultimate showdown; about a third of the group with the new "souped up" outfits, and the remaining anglers staying with the tried and true rigging that had served them so well up to this point. The school was hit, we got them under us, and here they came, roaring up the wake appearing to mean business this time. First fish hooked - one hundred thirty pound, second - one hundred thirty pound, third - one hundred pound, fourth - one hundred pound, fifth - one hundred thirty pound fluorocarbon, and so on. It just so happened that this stop turned out to be the best of the trip so far lasting six hours while producing a total of twenty six yellowfin with five over two hundred pounds. Those anglers that began the stop with lighter outfits and the "gimmick gear" racked them almost immediately upon discovering that the fish wanted to bite this time and there was no need to assume the risk.
So what does this all mean. Nothing. Of course I am joking about the stampede and chaos, and I thought it was a good occasion to poke fun at anyone who had their pride wounded by our recommendations to stick to the heavy gear during the past three month's wide open action on giant yellowfin. The serious side of this anecdote is that there is a time and a place for such gear and we definitely arrived there yesterday. It just so happened that as soon as we relented, we found the right school that wanted to bite. When we did, the light outfits posed no advantage as the fish were aggressive and ready for action.
We are presently in good weather with two days of fishing to go on our trip. It is ten forty five a.m. and I have big news to report that is literally minutes old. Gary Sato of Sato's Custom Tackle just landed his fish of a lifetime; a yellowfin tuna weighing in at three hundred twenty four pounds. Huge congratulations to Gary the "kitemaster" Sato who just earned himself a new title as sinker fisherman extraordinaire.