Placid warmth, even balmy, while gentle, variable breezes softened the heat that accurately represented summer for only the second time this season. It has been some time since I have seen my crew shed their shirts to soak up some ultraviolet the old fashioned way. Taboo as the mention of getting a sun tan is nowadays, it is still good to see men working, and behaving like real men. No manicures, facials, or mud baths for these guys. Pure, salt of the earth, old school fishermen is a more apt description. And if they aren't when they start working with us, they are by the time they advance. Just consider the guys that Randy and I have worked with on Royal Star over the past fifteen years and advanced in the fishing industry. David Wolfson, Bruce Smith, Brian Sims, Markus Medak, John Coniff, and Brett Rouintree. All these individuals used Royal Star, and the knowledge they gained during their tenure on board, to earn positions as successful Captains, and in the case of all but Bruce Smith so far, successful owners of their own vessels. Every one of these men fits the above described as if the definition were written for them. Take note ladies - there is hope. They still do exist out there.
Getting back on track, as part of the fishing narrative the calm conditions were particularly significant this voyage. Our group of seasoned anglers enjoyed the ability to traverse a completely stable deck that did not so much as move an inch vertically or laterally while we targeted yellowtail this afternoon. To the even greater delight of anglers, the yellowtail were in the mood to cooperate coming through in waves maintaining the perfect pace for the production we sought. To top it off, there was a steady mix of "premiums" in the fray to keep things interesting and anglers sharp. What a perfect day. Perfect because the yellowtail cooperated, perfect because the weather was ideal, and perfect because grumpy weather and no fish on the outside left us with virtually no other options. Once again we are the beneficiaries of an extremely generous Mother Nature, and a extremely prolific yellowtail population. Good times at present. We are appropriately, and respectfully grateful.
So the question now is what's next? Head outside to look for a needle in the haystack, or work up the coast and ply the chocolate brown fifty four degree water for a predictable outcome? Either way, it lines up to be a challenging occasion, that is solely weather dependent. Crappy weather - head inside. Good weather - work the west. Rest assured that we choose the western route one hundred times out of a hundred with the right conditions. If there is even so much as a chance of catching something offshore - tuna, albacore, or otherwise, we are there.
Photos of the day feature a group shot of the old school Pfishcadora's enjoying the day in fine style. From left to right are Marty Berk, Shelly Siegel, Art Litman, and Rick Whipple. Also, Art Litman is featured with next generation Royal Star crewman Paul Caramayo and one of two fine "premiums" he landed from an afternoon hit in paradise. Look for tomorrow's final voyage report. Enjoy the weekend!