We shifted gears again today after an ominously slow morning had me briefly sweating my claim that we would be wrapping up our fishing time on this voyage here at Clarion. Like a switch turning on, slack current and very little life was replaced after 1000 with a rip snorter of a bite on 120's - 190's with handful of opportunities at big deuces in the mix. For whatever reason yesterday's size average was a little smaller but naturally no one here was complaining about the step up in the grade. Aside from a few lulls where we slowed down to two or three hooked, from 1000 - 1300 we were on the ropes, literally, as every one of the thirty bruisers were scooped and hoisted aboard for measurements and photos before being tossed back over to continue on their way. Needless to say the boys, IATTC scientist Danny Fuller, and I are sporting a few sore back muscles and bumps and bruises after scooping and lifting over five hundred yellowfin tuna from 40 - 287# so far this voyage.
So, the stage is set for big fish and we are lined up to make the most of it as we are now familiar with the program and have a tremendous number of "smaller" fish tagged and released to our credit. The time to focus on trophies is now and like the previous five days we could not be in a better position in every respect. There are a number of anglers yet to join the two hundred pound club this voyage who remain highly motivated and ready to give it their all in this quest. Big fish honors today go to the angling team of Ross Petersen and Jeff Tedmori who simultaneously hooked and fought the same 287# bruiser in classic two pole style. This is actually the second time on a Revillagigedo tagging voyage that we have seen one of these jumbo yellowfin vacuum up two angler's baits at once and succumb to their combined pulling efforts. Special mention also belongs to Scott Brickell who is having the time of his life this voyage capped off today with a mid morning 185 and an afternoon 263#.
It seems I could ramble on forever as the list of good times, amazing sights, and phenomenal fishing is nearly endless when it comes to the anglers reveling in the glory of these voyages. I know I put a strong emphasis on the two hundred pound class fish but believe me it does not take catching "the one" on this trip to have a good time. With the caliber of fishing, incredible spectacle of teamwork the tagging of giant yellowfin tuna entails, and natural beauty of this protected marine reserve, participants in this project are nearly overwhelmed with satisfaction just to be a part of the adventure. And believe me, with everything going on during these incredible bites on Wahoo and yellowfin tuna, the term adventure was never so appropriate. As we sit at anchor in the flat calm island lee this evening, every individual on board this boat can't wait for tomorrow. This is what we live for.