Well this didn't exactly go as planned. Unexpected? Not really. The way this place has been over the past ten days there is absolutely no predicting what may happen from one day to the next. Such unpredictability is actually what lured us into remaining and giving it another try. And it was a good move. As my favorite mentor Steve Loomis used to say "it wasn't a bad move, it just didn't work out as planned". Just for the sake of conversation though I'll throw out the question to all the shore side strategists who follow the fishing along through the various vessels? daily web reports, what would you have done? I know among the seasoned long range anglers such conversations regularly occur down below during their voyages so here is your chance. Fifty six Guadalupe yellowfin tuna for our first day, beautiful conditions at the island, day three of a six day, plenty of premium sardines, and the island to ourselves. After the first successful day, and with these conditions to work with, would you have departed in pursuit of island yellowtail? I am going to speculate that most of you would arrive at the same decision.
The result? Zero. Nothing. Nada. No tuna, and almost no sign amidst near perfect conditions. Just a couple of consolation yellowtail before our fast departure for anywhere but here in the late a.m. Welcome to the world of fishing. After participating in various fisheries for twenty five years I can tell all of you that scenarios such as this are so common that it is well - common. Such is among the many attractions to this world however. There is zero predictability in the incredibly dynamic ocean environment that one can spend a lifetime studying and still find yourself regularly chasing your tail. Time and experience can definitely minimize the ultimate effect of swings and misses, but it cannot eliminate the inevitability of rapid, unforeseeable change. And remember this unpredictability works both ways. The perfect example being our first successful day at the island. We headed out there with marginal fishing reports and conditions at best. For the most part the place has yielded terrible catches for the better part of a week. Upon our arrival we found good conditions and good fishing. As upsetting as it can be at times the fact that the ocean is so unpredictable is actually the seed for the tremendous optimism necessary to be a successful fisherman. In fact, that optimism is presently in full force as we head inside in search of salvation. No doubt about it we are behind the ball now so we have to find them somewhere, get back in the saddle, and get the job done. Just another day in the crucible.
The final word on today's fishing is on the positive side and once again demonstrates the unpredictable way of things on the high seas. We took off for greener pastures at about 1030 seeking anything offshore along the way to break up the ride and salvage the day. By about 1400, with nothing to show for our tremendous efforts, easy, gentle rolling seas, warm temperatures, and a hearty lunch of fresh, handmade gourmet pizza, the staterooms and bunks were serenading anglers with enticing prospects of a relaxing afternoon siesta. In fact, about half of the anglers seized the opportunity melting into the mattresses full, relaxed, and satisfied. Then, with no precursor and zero warning it happened - sonar school. Talk about a wakeup call. Eager, voracious offshore yellowfin charged the corner hammering anything and everything that hit the water for about ten full minutes as anglers scrambled, bumbled, stumbled, and fumbled their way to the rail shaking out the cobwebs amidst the instant pandemonium of wide open fifteen to twenty five pound yellowfin. It was short lived, we managed to land thirty two of the little buggers before they gave it up and moved on, but it was exciting to say the least. Afterward there was no more napping going on. We never did find anything else holding fish though. Good size kelps were nonexistent and we closed out the day steaming southeast grateful for the little bit of action we did encounter.
Our photo today features another long time Royal Star favorite Randy Toepher with his fifty nine pound Guadalupe yellowfin tuna landed during our first hit yesterday morning. I am glad to report that Randy is enjoying the opportunity to fish with his son David this voyage continuing a tradition that began almost ten years ago. I am venturing down the sentimental road again but I can hardly help it when I see these fathers, sons, and daughters that have fished with us and grown up over the years. The fact that the tradition of going fishing with dad continues well after the kids are out of the nest genuinely strikes a cord within me. Suffice to say I hope I will have the opportunity to do the same with my kids when they are older.
Look for tomorrow's report and have a fine day.