Well one could figure that this was a particularly dicey move akin to throwing the long ball at the end of the game and hoping for the best. Honestly, I didn't feel that way. Based on what we have seen so many times in the past while traveling between the islands; good bird signs on the outside, way off the edge; sitting at the northeast end of Clarion in the late afternoon watching the fish crash under the birds in the far distance waiting for them to come into the shallows at sundown. Chasing bird schools with big schools of fish underneath and turning around at four or five miles off the island while the fish continued on their way into the deeps. If one really considers the question of where the fish come from at the islands, the answer is obvious: from the surrounding ocean.
With all this in mind, in addition to a few revelations during the previous tagging trip, the desire to actually put forth a solid fishing effort in the zone outside six miles has really been nagging at me. Call it a notion or in today's case pure luck if you wish, but the end result was a fantastic day of fishing from three different schools of yellowfin tuna we found well outside the closed six mile zone. In fact, the first school we tried was twenty five miles west of the island really making one wonder just how much potential there is here. Three different stops, all of which were typical of offshore, school type fishing where the action is fast and furious for the first few minutes, then the fish continue on their way while we attempt to land what we have hooked. That was the case from the first two stops anyway that produced about a dozen seventy to one hundred pound fish before we moved on. The third and final stop of our voyage was very different however both in the size and attitude of the fish. One hundred to one hundred thirty pounds was the size average and rather than a quick hit that lasted only a few minutes, these unbelievably aggressive beasts tore the paint off the boat for almost an hour. I know the "ate the paint off the boat" saying was exhausted long ago, but it is the best literal description I can think of as I witnessed no less that three one hundred pound class yellowfin actually collide with the hull in their reckless pursuit of baits. Unbelievable! Needless to say every single angler was plastered to the rail the entire stop and I can definitely say, even though I would have preferred eighteen, that it was a blessing for everyone that we only had fourteen anglers at the rail. Twenty five beautifully robust yellowfin was the total from our final stop that was the icing on the cake for a hugely rewarding day of fishing.
Now we begin the trek north in what is thankfully beautiful weather. Our arrival day in Cabo San Lucas is May fourth then Captain Brett Rouintree will be piloting the boat up the line for our Sunday, May 7th arrival in San Diego. Look for our reports to continue tomorrow.