200 lber on the Flatfall - Eclipse Aug 13-14

Discussion in 'Southern California Offshore Fishing Reports' started by steveooo, Aug 15, 2016.

  1. steveooo

    steveooo Member

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    Long report. Pics pretty much tell the story though...

    Every August a good friend of mine charters a 2-day on the Eclipse out of Seaforth Landing. The dates this year were Aug 12th-14th.

    Friday afternoon we met at Seaforth landing and were boarding the boat by 7 pm. There were 15 of us on board, which is quite a luxury on a boat as big as the Eclipse. We picked up a nice load of 4-7” sardines and headed out.

    On the way out Captain Mark Gillette gave the safety seminar and discussed our game plan. Our plan was to fish down south for YT and Dorado on day 1, and to come up closer to home on day 2 to fish for Tuna. We were optimistic, as the boat had found limits of tuna the same day we were leaving.

    We woke up Saturday morning and we were about 115 miles down and still headed south. We ate an amazing shrimp & grits breakfast from Chef Anthony. Wind had kicked up overnight, which made finding the kelps a bit difficult. Crew was looking hard for them, and managed to find a few nice ones, but for the most part the kelps were dry. Mark told us not to worry, and we were still headed to the zone that the better fishing should be found in. We scratched up a few nicer grade YT in the morning, and continued to head south. About 1 o’clock we start getting into a little better zone. There was a current break, some more life, and we found a few kelps in a row. Those kelps only had rat yt, which we were not interested in keeping, but things in the area were looking good.

    At about 1:45 the unexpected happened. We stopped on a kelp. Everyone gets a bait in the water, and the rats swarm. I drop down a flatfall. One second after it hits the water it gets picked up by a rat. Not big enough to pull drag, but big enough to put a full bend in the rod. My fish was about 1’ below the surface. What happened next, happened quicker than you can imagine, but I keep replaying it slow motion. Another angler hooked another small YT, which swam directly toward mine. The two fish collided head to head right below the surface, and my jig popped out. Fully bent, my rod acted like a slingshot, and the jig comes flying out of the water directly toward the face of Mark, another angler on the charter. He turns around, and my worst fear had come true. The flatfall hooks had embedded deep into his lower lip.

    We immediately cut the jig off and get him into the galley. It didn’t look good.


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    If you have ever fished the Eclipse, you know three things Mark takes very serious are Fishing, The Raiders, and Safety.

    Mark and his crew immediately sprung into emergency protocol measures. Captain Mark came down to attend to the Mark, the angler. After assessing the situation and considering every alternative, Captain Mark made the tough but right choice - that we needed to get Mark the angler to a hospital. Due to the way the hooks were positioned, the location that they were in the lip, and the risk of infection, there was nothing else we could do. Angler Mark took some pain medicine, and Captain Mark turned the boat around and started to head uphill. We were about 135 miles south at this point, headed straight uphill into the building swell and current. Mark and his crew were unbelievably professional. They did not leave the injured angler’s side. They did a formal heath assessment every 30 minutes. Captain Mark got on the radio and alerted the proper authorities that they were headed up the line with a patient. He used the Satellite phone to get in touch with the Anglers wife, to arrange pickup and transportation to the hospital when we got back to the dock.

    I felt horrible. I still feel horrible. Everyone on board knew it was the right thing to do to get the injured angler back to land, and everyone made the best of a bad situation. I felt horrible that my mistake had cut the fishing day short just as the fishing was picking up, and doubly horrible that it was my jig that did the damage. I think at the end of the day most guys were just relieved that they weren’t the one with the jig in their face, or the one that caused a jig in the face. I’m not sure what I could have done different, it was just a freak accident. I certainly wish we didn’t have to deal with the situation at all, and I have a lot of “should have” and “could have’s” running through my mind today.

    It was a long and lumpy ride back uphill, and the boat pulled up to the dock around 3:30 am. The injured anglers wife met him at the landing, and they went to Hillcrest to get the hooks out. I received update today that hooks came out without much incident, they have him stitched and cleaned up, and he is doing well.

    Here are some before & after pics @ the hospital

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    Once we dropped of the angler, Captain Mark turned the boat around quickly, and headed out to the tuna grounds to try to salvage a decent trip out of the mess. I think we pulled in to the tuna zone by about 8 am.

    Wasn’t long before we start seeing breaking birds, with tuna underneath them, boiling and clearing the water. First stop we hang a few, which was relief because at this point we are 1.5 days into our 2 day and we only had 3 YT on board. I hung one on the popper, a couple others got them on the colt sniper, but the majority of the fish came on bait. Light line, small hook, and flouro were the ticket. Those fishing heavier than 20 lb. had difficulty getting bit. The grade of fish ranged from about 10-20lbs. We didn’t lose to many from line breakage, but lost quite a few by the small hooks pulling

    We chased bird school after bird school, and stopped on spot after spot of fish. The difficulty we had was getting the fish to stay with the boat. Even throwing large amounts of chum wouldn’t make them stick around, but it seems like we pulled a few fish out of each stop.

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    On one of the first stops, we saw something pretty cool. We saw a 6 ft. blue shark swimming upswell. As it came closer we saw a school of 15lb tuna attacking it. There were probably over 20 tuna on it, and they were ramming the shark in its side and tail. The shark and tuna came right under the boat, so we got a good look at it. Wish I had snapped a picture.

    As the afternoon progressed, the tuna went down and stayed down, and the bird schools showing us signs went AWOL as well. We stayed and searched in the zone pretty late. The boat was not running another trip that evening, so Mark stuck it out pretty late for us to try to get us some more fishing time. At the end of the day I think we had scratched up 39 yellowfin tuna for the now 13 of us, which I think is pretty good considering the circumstances.

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    Just pulled out of the RSW, ready for the knife.

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    I cannot give enough praise to Captain Mark and his crew for how unbelievably professional they were in dealing with the injury situation. It also speaks volumes about the operation they run, that after having the unexpected happen, guys still stepped of the boat on Sunday, smiling and with fish to bring home.

    Its probably only appropriate that I sign this one off like Captain Mark does in his reports “Tight Lines and Sharp Hooks!”

    Steve
     
    la vida, karlk1125, solid72 and 10 others like this.
  2. MarktheShark56

    MarktheShark56 Well-Known "Member"

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    Tuna weren't attacking the shark. They use sharks as a means of dislodging parasites and random food particles from their gills. Since they can't do this on the bottom in deep water, sharks, molas and other large fish are their method of choice. I worked at an aquarium for years and watched tuna, yellowtail and other pelagics do this every time we fed them.
     
  3. Tunahead

    Tunahead Long Time Tuna Abused Member

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    Great Report and pics and OWEEEEEE...glad he's OK and good job crew!
    Those rats will do crazy things, as will dodo's and cuda at color. Too crazy.
    Glad you all got some nice fish and made a go of the trip after all! Whew!

    .I can relate! I had a Dorado off San Onofre, 1st kelp of the day,
    Jump and throw a Zuker with a 7/0 back thru my cheek in 88' on Freelance.
    All the way thru, hook came out. We taped it up, went back to the paddy
    dropped the bloody Zuker and WHAM! Caught that hot sucker. Fished all
    day pouring down Advil, had 28 stitches at Hoag on the way home. No fun=LUCKY!
     
    Zed likes this.
  4. Dallas33

    Dallas33 Newbie

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    that's crazy i never knew that.... makes sense though.... sharks are like sand paper
     
  5. Zed

    Zed W...X...Y...

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    Ive seen yellowtail doing this at the Coronados before, but I never heard tuna doing it too.

    Good report Steve and Eclipse sounds like theyre on the ball. Everything was handled in the end.
     
    surfsalot likes this.
  6. fishsmith

    fishsmith Captain

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    Gnarly! Did you really weigh him, or is that a taped estimate?
     
    Fishdood, jerryl, wils and 3 others like this.
  7. homie 101

    homie 101 ________________________

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    2nd time this year someone gets hooked up with a mantuna on that boat.
     
    Last edited: Aug 15, 2016
  8. Black-is-Back

    Black-is-Back Wishin i was Fishin

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    Ouch!

    I'd sure like to know how they got the hooks out so clean?
     
  9. pmurphy

    pmurphy Member

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    My fellow anglers:

    Please, please, please always wear glasses. If at night, wear clear safety glasses.

    This could have been so much worse....
     
    MightyMach and solid72 like this.
  10. caballo del mar

    caballo del mar Well-Known "Member"

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    At least you hooked a cow this season.
     
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  11. Tunahead

    Tunahead Long Time Tuna Abused Member

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    MAJOR: "What's your take on this combat fishing lip ripper Gunny" ??

    GUNNY HIGHWAY: "Pain sucks! Adapt, Improvise, Overcome!!
    "Don't let a Rat rip your lips off!" LOL "You can't kiss with ripped lips" LOL

    GunnyHighway.jpg
     
    mackereljoe likes this.
  12. finsane

    finsane I've posted enough I should edit this section

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    Who's the chica?

    [​IMG]
     
  13. jiggyn

    jiggyn Do you even fish?

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    Oh CHIT
    gonna sting a bit there good call by the captain and crew
    Great report
     
  14. Frogznlogz

    Frogznlogz Member

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    If those were the stock hooks all you have to do is give a little tug and they snap right off. Or so I hear,,,, :jig:
     
  15. Big_Samps

    Big_Samps Newbie

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    Does he get a refund or credit of some sort ? Lol
     
  16. saltwaterfish

    saltwaterfish Well-Known "Member"

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    Did you at least split the jackpot 50/50 LOL
     
  17. homie 101

    homie 101 ________________________

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    Good too see this boat finally putting some fish on.
     
  18. M5Boost

    M5Boost Member

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    That titty bout to pop out, someone saw nip...
     
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  19. Brad I

    Brad I Common Sense Isn't Common Enough

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    YES!

    On a 15 day trip, we had to make bait pretty much every night in very bouncy water and guys were stumbling all over the place, so many took to wearing glasses even at night so that hooks from the sabiki rigs did not snag their eyes.
     
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  20. Shark Meat

    Shark Meat Diehard/Determined CAPT

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    I am cringing sympathetically and vicariously
     

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