We ground out a day in the lower albacore zone scratching up one here and two there with the exception with one afternoon flash in the pan that sparked some hope, but fell flat of expectations. All told it was a typical day of offshore albacore fishing when the fish were either scarce or down. After about ten minutes in the area my evaluation was the former - not much fish. Recognizing this however is not a matter of pessimism taking over. It is very important to how we set ourselves up to fish the area, and our mind set.
I know in my case, and the case of the vast majority of fishermen that run offshore fishing boats, we possess an over the horizon mentality that compels us to strike out and push on to find the main vein or mother lode of fish. I have spoken of it before. It is the main driver behind the spectacular catches long range anglers consistently enjoy; that notion that if it is good here, or not, it is certainly better somewhere else. While this is true in every respect there are also times when the "Megellan" mentality drives one right out of the fish into left field where the agony of catching zero is exacerbated by the zone left behind producing. Those occasions are a particular joy that do a stellar job of making one feel and look like a donkey.
Taking this into account today was one of those times when the fishing was marginal, but much better than catching nothing. The catching nothing part was demonstrated at the end of the day by several colleagues who struck out in search of glory - and struck out. The writing was on the wall. It was one of those days when necessity called for hunkering down and making the most of what we had. So we worked our little cherry patch up and down, back and forth, and side to side until the husky call of the corpulent alto reverberated in our ears. At 1645 we were out of there on our way north with our nineteen albacore for the day; not any kind of day to be reveling in the highliner category, but a day we made nevertheless.
Now it is on the next seven day Michael Doi charter that will feature Capt. Randy Toussaint at the helm. Capt. Toussaint will head up the voyage that promises to make the most of any and every opportunity presented as is his trademark. There is no better fisherman out here. It is a fact. God help the fish when Randy is around because he certainly won't. Look for Randy's scant reports to continue as the voyage progresses. He is a man of few words, but lacks nothing when it comes to action. He is the man - plain and simple.
Last photos of the voyage feature two of the finest southland fishermen I know. Greg and Todd Phillips have earned their reputation fishing for everything from kelp bass to tuna offshore. Recognizing their expertise and savvy, Shimano sent them out with a wealth of equipment to test and try this voyage. They are the reason I had the opportunity to test drive the new Trinidad 14A I think so highly of. So, here it is again. My new love the Trinidad 14A with a couple of albacore subdued by it's flawless features. Greg and Todd are the appropriately featured anglers with scowling crewman Blake Wasano and a placid Capt. Sean Bickel doing the gaffing honors. Our sincere thanks to the Phillips Steel/Wood Group annual charter for a great time on the water. Until my next round of voyages good fishing to you all. I'm out.