A quick turn and we are again en route south to the offshore grounds. After unloading the RSW tank packed full of beautiful grade albacore and bluefin tuna, we are highly motivated by the quality to try our hand on the outside again. We are going fishing. This is a good point to make in light of the fact that thus far the 2010 offshore season has been identified by a constantly changing set of conditions that sets up every day as a new challenge. Following the beginning couple of weeks of early June, when the fish were actually settled in and the picture was stable, the playing field has been shifty at best, and about as unpredictable as one can imagine. Added to the stubborn to develop conditions are the cursed not biting fish that confound, confuse, and thwart all reason - especially the albacore that are typically reliable about climbing on when we do find them.
Capt. Sean Bickel and I were talking about the set up as we rolled down today and he said it perfect. "We are going fishing". It really is as simple as that. This has been one of those seasons when victory offshore is a particularly sweet success to be savored. In contrast to the early June period when I made the analogy about the incredible fishing being like going to the supermarket and loading up the cart, present times are the exact opposite. This is more akin to searching for victuals in a fertile valley on a exceptionally dry year. There are fish to be found, but only in little shifting pockets of small groups - for now. So, we are going fishing hoping we position ourselves in the right place on the right day. Actually, we have four full days on this five day "Phillips Steel/Wood Group charter to find the right zone. We are glad of it.
With more good weather on the way we have the most important component of offshore success in our favor. Our photo today features Royal Star angler Mike Neal and crewman Blake Wasano with a "fatso" albacore. It's a little gory, but does the trick. More from offshore tomorrow.