Conflict At Clarion

Dexter Outdoors

picasso

Member
Jul 27, 2009
586
1,141
los angeles
Name
joe
Boat
17 Boston Whaler
I don't do fish reports.
I write stories about fishing trips.

"I dreamed I was in a Hollywood movie,
and that I was the star of a Hollywood movie."
Scott Miller

Chapter One

November 11, 2014.
The Kid's Birthday.

"Sweetie, it's Papa."
Quite an unusual greeting I thought to myself, as I opened the front door to my buddy, The Kid.
"Wazzup?" I said, still in a state of sleep.

I hadn't got much rest last night, thinking about the trip, and now it was six o'clock in the morning, and he was picking me and my gear up again, to go fishing for large, leaping, flying, cow-sized yellowfin tuna off the coast of Mexico, a thousand miles from San Diego.

This is our third trip together. We met fours years ago on another boat. You might have read about us in "Like Kids Waiting for Xmas". Our first trip together resulted in that blockbuster novel, "Bookends", and our second outing last year yielded "The Notebook", soon to be made into a major motion picture.

We stow my gear in his truck, I grab the cooler Honey prepped for us to take along.
It has our lunch inside, and a couple of bottles of champagne, so we can celebrate The Kid's birthday later, at dinner, proper like.

A quick stop for breakfast, and we are on our way, shooting the breeze, discussing the latest goings on among the various internet long range fishing boards we frequent.
In between, he is getting texts and phone calls from his many friends and family offering him happiness on the day of his birth.
He's a popular fellow, so there's lot of interruptions in our conversation.

It makes the trip go faster though, and in no time at all, we're at the landing, unloading our gear, and getting in line with the other anglers who will be on the trip with us this year.

It's our third year on this trip.
We're trying to work our way up to be one of the "Regulars".
We know most of the Regulars, and introduce ourselves to the new guys.
We've lost a couple of Steves from last year,
but picked up ourselves a couple more guys named Joe.
We're in big trouble now.
 
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picasso

Member
Jul 27, 2009
586
1,141
los angeles
Name
joe
Boat
17 Boston Whaler
Chapter Two

The Regulars

Cowboy Jack is head "Boss" man on this cattle drive. He' driving a buckboard and he's brought a ton of supplies.
"Left Hand Leo" is riding shotgun on one side,
"Nubs" Teraoka on the other.

"Little" Larry is in the back seat driver position,
pipe smoking Peter Jim stuck next to him.

Alaska Tom, BAMF'er, back with San Diego Dave, they're loaded for bear.

My favorite law dog, Tim, shoots me a hello, and I spy Dr. John, aka the Sleeper.
He's come back after skipping out last year.
We say "howdy" and he introduces me to his new sidekick, New York Joe.

John "Killer" Keeler is back too.
When we fished together before, I wasn't aware of his reputation.
I've since come to find out, he's the "reel" deal.
Hell of a gentleman to boot.

Big time, cow killer PITA Phil is back with his bag of balloons.

Fresno Donna, aka the "reel Lady", is on board again.

So is Washington Gary, only we call him "Jaypee" now that he won last year's jackpot winnings.

Team Cheezy Poof Boys are back in town.
Bob & Caleb are riding the round-up again with that saddle tramp pal of theirs, "Barstow" Kenny.

Good man, BD Laurens yells hello.
He's chattin' it up with maybe his new roommate, Big Al from Ojai.

My favorite fishing doctors are riding the trail with us again.
Dr. Bob, aka Dr. Death, and his pal, Dr. Miles, whom everyone calls "El Machete" in a respectful tone.

At the head of the line, I can barely see my brother from another mother, "Denver Charlie" Martinez,
but there is no missing his buddy, Magic "Splash" Mike, up there with him.

I chat it up with new guy, Simi Valley Joe, and we discover we have a mutual friend.

Me & The Kid makes the load twenty six.

The Boss is Captain Andy.
Second Ticket is Captain Ferrari.

The professionals helping us amateurs out on this city slicker adventure,
are journeyman Matt "double L, double N" Mullanney,

and up and coming young superstar in the making, Alec Robbie,

along with my own personal favorite, Fernando Calleros.

Camp Cook is going to be Chapman Murphey,
and driving the chuckwagon for him is Anthony "Cheffy" Cefalu.
Lord, help us.
 
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stairman

......
May 16, 2009
5,322
3,495
ramona /ca/usa
Name
doug
Boat
yak and lowe duck hunting skiff but they identify as sportfishing crusiers
ask Denver Charlie Martinez if he remembers doug from the 70's malihini
 
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picasso

Member
Jul 27, 2009
586
1,141
los angeles
Name
joe
Boat
17 Boston Whaler
Chapter Three

The boat came in this morning with a load of anglers and their fish,
so we can't start boarding till they come from re-fueling and prepping the boat.

We've all been up since o dark thirty,
after a sleepless night,
and we're chompin' at the bit to get aboard and get going.

Around eleven o'clock, they roll a cart with the last of the groceries aboard,
and then begin the process of loading our gear,
and stowing it away.

We figure it's a four day ride to cattle country,
so once aboard, there's no big rush to unpack our weaponry.

I give The Kid the first shot to unpack his kit in the cabin.
We've got one of the highly coveted super deluxe versions located on the deck level.
It takes some getting used to.

We're off to the bait receiver to pick up a load of prime, choice, cured sardine.
They're are the eight to ten inch models, just perfect for our application.

While The Kid unpacks, I grab the cooler and set up for lunch.
We're having soup today, always good for lunch on a sportboat.
Honey's homemade Pozole. with all the trimmings and some flour tortillas.
I'm packing an extra bowl for the Chapman.

I let The Kid know lunch is almost ready, and heat up a second bowl for myself.
By now, Chapman is deep into his bowl.
The Kid sits down to join me and jumps in.
His wife is beautiful, but she doesn't cook much, he says.
A bowl of Honey's homemade recharges his batteries.
I could tell he really liked it.

I don't think Cheffy was too happy with me upstaging his snack of fried shrimps and watermelon.
I found a way to make it up to him later.

It's my turn to unpack and The Kid morphs into the social butterfly he is,
flitting from group to group to share a word or two, and always a laugh.

A couple of afternoon cocktails later,
this is a "booze cruise" after all,
chatting it up with old and new friends,
before you knew it,
it was time for dinner.

The Kid and I took first call as I retrieved the bottle of champagne from our cabin.
I brought along some plastic flutes to add some class to the moment.
Even though we are on a fishing boat, no reason we can't be civilized.
I pour for The Kid and those tablemates who were inclined to participate, and of course, they all were.

A fine steak dinner, fresh bread, champagne, and birthday cake for dessert.
Put a fork in me, I was done.

The other guys adjourned to a party of the back porch,
but I was feeling the effects of a long day, lack of sleep, and a little alcoholic buzz.

I took a shower, got into my jammies, and tried to climb into my upper berth.

I was balanced precariously on the edge of the bed,
when the boat rolled suddenly,
tossing me into the bunk where I banged my head on the wooden valance above the window.
The boat rolled the other way and tossed me, back first onto the dresser,
rolled the other way again,
and threw me head first into The Kid's bunk.
I'm rubbing my head as a knot the size of a golf ball forms.
As I slowly pass out, I hear the music of the Texas Tornadoes being blasted from someone's boom box on the party deck.
"Hey Baby, Que Paso?"
 
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stairman

......
May 16, 2009
5,322
3,495
ramona /ca/usa
Name
doug
Boat
yak and lowe duck hunting skiff but they identify as sportfishing crusiers
he had a champagne hangover in the morning
 
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picasso

Member
Jul 27, 2009
586
1,141
los angeles
Name
joe
Boat
17 Boston Whaler
Chapter Four

"Sweetie, it's Papa."

I could hear The Kid's voice calling to me from somewhere.
I thought I was awake, but my vision was blurry, my head was aching,
possibly from the cheap booze we drank last night,
possibly from the throbbing knot on my forehead.

"I'm getting too old for this shit", I thought to myself.
I passed out again and missed breakfast.

"Sweetie, it's Papa."

What the hell does that mean? I'm thinking now as I open one eye.
The Kid is shaking me and asking if I'm going to sleep all day.
"What time is it?", I asked.
"Lunchtime", he replies.

I got up, but I didn't quite feel like myself.
I popped a couple of aspirin, grabbed a handful of water from the sink in our cabin,
and hoped I'd feel better after a rinse.
I came up slowly from the faucet, and caught a glimpse of myself in the mirror.
I had to take a second peek to check out the knot on my forehead.
Ouuuuch!!!

I took a shower and felt cleaner, but still fuzzy.
Maybe it was the booze...nah.
Maybe it was the motion of the ocean.
Maybe it was an inner ear balance thing.
Maybe I'm just getting too old for this shit.

I have some lunch, and make it outside just in time to see the sun shine thru the clouds for the first time today, they tell me.
The sun feels good and I feel lucky to be here and alive, back on the blue water.

I talked to the Skipper a little bit when he went by,
chatted it up about last year's adventure.

He asked me how I got the bump on my head.
Couldn't rightly tell him.

I spent the rest of the afternoon outside relaxin',
and tryin' to feel "normal", or at the least,
a bit better.

Around four thirty, I was up on the top deck looking down below,
catching the last of the day's rays on my back,
when I see the Skipper head down the stairs in a hurry.
He is talking with one of his deckies,
and they're peering into a now waterless tank of bait.
Words being spoken between them,
I couldn't hear from where I was.
The next thing, the deckie grabs a net and starts scooping fresh dead sardines from the tank,
and putting them into a kill box.
The Kill Box is a movable container about the size of a small coffin.
How appropriate.

Net and net, must have been a thousand pieces, give or take.
The mood among the passengers turned funereal.
 
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Simon Bon Bowery

Lizard Fish Hippie
Feb 18, 2007
10,277
1,444
O'side
Name
Simon
Boat
Chris Craft 19 cc "LiL Lizard"
Title should have been, 'Wishi googens go long range fishing'.
 
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Pangamaster

Cow Town Here I come!
Jul 1, 2008
1,959
1,167
San Ramon, CA
Name
Dave
Boat
SD Long Range or Bay Area Day Boats.
I'm on the edge of my seat! Looking forward to reliving your trip through your eyes! Thanks for sharing!
 
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picasso

Member
Jul 27, 2009
586
1,141
los angeles
Name
joe
Boat
17 Boston Whaler
Chapter Five

It was pork chops for dinner tonight,
but the food didn't taste as good as before.
The bitter flavor of dead sardine lingered on our palates.

I climbed into my shoebox, er, my bunk and tried to sleep,
but instead, the rocking of the boat,
and things that go bump in the night,
made for along evening of closed eyes,
deep breathing, but little real sleep or rest.

I got up early the next day, showered, and was first in line for Chapman's famous pancake, waffle, croissant, breakfast sandwich hybrid, served with a fruit cup today.

After breakfast, the Skipper holds a meeting to discuss the bait situation.
We don't have enough left to last the trip.
Maybe four days worth, if we're sensible.
He wants to go someplace and try and replenish our supply.
I think that rules out Hurricane Bank as a destination this trip.
He's already altered course and set a path for Alijos Rocks.
We're going to get there later today, maybe try for some wahoo,
and try for bait after sunset.

Two P.M.

We got off to a strong start.
Denver Charlie nailed a seventy pounder on the troll.
Laurens was first to hook up on the jig and won a prize.
We get on the troll again, and Leo nabs one on his own trolling lure,
an ugly yellow & red thing.
Magic Mike sees a wahoo explode into midair, with a lure of his own design nailed to it's face.
It's the Z Bar in Tony the Tiger.

Team Three goes up and out, gets bit and now it's my turn to troll.

At The Kid's suggestion, I grab Leo's Lure out of the rack, without permission.
I go in from one of the inside spots.
It's a heavy lure designed to fish short in the prop wash.
I put in position, The Kid comes by to check it out and suggests I go longer.
I free spool some and the lure starts to kick out of the water.
"Longer", he says, and I free spool some more.
It stays in the water.
Not more than a minute later, the lure gets bit,
and I land a nice fifty pound wahoo.

As I head over to put Leo's outfit back in the rack,
I spy him up on top in his favorite hanging out spot.

I yell up at him and raise his rod tip and thank him for the wahoo.

He looks down at me and laughs.
He might have cursed me for using his equipment without asking,
but I didn't hear him.

Second day of the trip and I have a highly coveted, prized wahoo in the well.
I'm one of the lucky few today.

Dinner on the Red Rooster tonight was baked Chicken.
Desert was Apple Pie Moonshine.
We partied a bit afterwards

The hoped for bait never showed,
and we continued on our journey southbound.
 
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Mar 18, 2011
919
1,651
SoCal
Name
Doug
Boat
Royal Polaris
Picasso Joe - I've spent hundreds of hours over the years reading reports in this forum. Nothing quite like yours, it's great stuff. Looking forward to reading the next chapter.
 
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picasso

Member
Jul 27, 2009
586
1,141
los angeles
Name
joe
Boat
17 Boston Whaler
Chapter Six

Friday morning, day three, and I slept in.
Again, not really slept, tossed and turned more like it.

The motion of the boat, rather than rocking me to sleep,
keeps nudging me awake.
The engines and other noises in the night never let my brain relax.

At breakfast, we dine while Jack tells us a bunch of stories about his old pal, now deceased, the legendary Del Marsh.

Later this morning, another meeting is scheduled to discuss tactics.
At the meeting, Andy discusses the options available to us.
He gives us "the Grind" speech.
"With the bait making, comes long days & sleepless nights, but we have no choice but to grind it out.

Once the fishing starts, when you're at the rail, don't expect anything to be handed to you.
Don't take anything for granted.
These bites are precious and few.
You have to make to the most of the chances you get.
Don't think you're going to stroll out here in the afternoon and land something.
It's a competition, and although you're all friends now, tomorrow you'll be competing for the few bites we get.
There's a lot of talent on this boat, you'll see the cream rise to the top.
The best guys always seem to be hooked up.

But who knows, maybe you'll be one of the lucky ones who hangs a fat one early,
then gets to sit back and say, Whoo-hoo!!!"

He twirls his right index finger like he's waving a flag.

He's talked to the Big Man aboard the Royal Polaris, who's indicated there are a couple of spots to start, one the smaller grade, the other some biggun's.

The Angler, The Indy, and the Intrepid will all be in the vicinity.
We take a break and come back in to discuss tuna catching tactics.

After lunch, we start rigging our hardware.
It made for a long afternoon.

Some cocktails, corned beef cabbage for dinner, we adjourn to the party deck to relax, chat, and contemplate our futures.
Somehow, "Hey Baby, Que Paso" by the Texas Tornadoes finds it's way back into the deejay's mix.
I was pretty tired so I called it a night at the song's conclusion.

The seas were rough that night, my friend.
Up, down, sideways.
At two a.m., something woke me and I never got back to sleep again.
 
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reellady

I'd rather be catching TUNA
Aug 26, 2011
2,279
1,059
fresno, ca usa
Name
donna
Boat
reel lady
Hermosa and Doug, go to allcoast and read his story from 2 years ago.........Picasso 'Loreto Joe' is quite an author and angler.
 
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picasso

Member
Jul 27, 2009
586
1,141
los angeles
Name
joe
Boat
17 Boston Whaler
Chapter Seven

Saturday

At seven thirty a.m. we are still miles from the Zone,
and the anxiety level is rising.

The try for bait at Alijos Rocks had cost us a shot in the grey light this morning,
but as Andy often says, "You HAVE to try for them."

The check in with the Mexican Navy camp goes smoothly,
probably due to Fernando's command of Spanish.

We head offshore to begin fishing,
and actually tagged a couple before lunch.

A fish caught on the kite for Jack.
Killer got us started with the first tuna on bait, one of many he would subdue.
Dr. Death granted amnesty to a Blue Marlin he hooked.

At lunchtime, most of us were inside, but Denver Charlie Martinez, now known as Charlie Tuna, is up on the kite, when he hooks the fish of a lifetime.
Using the heaviest gear on the boat, little Charlie brings in a beast of a fish.
It tape measures at three hundred twenty pounds!!
Charlie is ready to go to Cabo now.

Later on, Fresno Donna hangs one, and Pita Phil bags some bread & butter on his balloon rig, soaked way back.

Around three o'clock in the afternoon, I went to the bait tank for a fresh one and found one of the better grade sardines, one of those eight to ten inch models that were being handed out in a miserly fashion.

Most of us were using the smaller three inch sardines with a 5/0 hook.
It was the right hook for the bait, but not for the tuna.

So, the one time I get a good bait, I'm stuck with using the 5/0.
I cast out on the port side, just ahead of the stern.
The sardine takes off like I knew that it would.
It gets picked up by a nice fatty.
I slide the drag lever forward and head to the bow.

Twenty or thirty minutes later, I'm in the bow, getting some line, when the hook pulls.
The Kid was well aware I was hooked up to a big one,
and when I get to the stern,
I give him, and the other anglers who inquire,
the spitting motion, and they understand.

Well, at least I got bit, and I got to pull on something.

I cut off the 5/0 and tie on a 7/0.
I replenish my liquids as the tropical heat drains the fluids and minerals from my body.

I'm melting.
Not to mention, my general state of health is not too good.
The lost rest and sleep after four days is taking it's toll.
I still don't feel like myself, something is off.

This has been a long day.

At four p.m., with the sun low in the sky, I jumped back into the bull ring for another rodeo ride.
I pinned on another one of those rare, highly coveted, right sized baits.
I felt so lucky to get two in one day.
I cast out again in virtually the same exact spot as before.
The sardine took off, the same as before.
It got bit, just like before, too.

Fernando was with me in the bow again and asked about my gear.
One hundred pound I said, and he winced.
Told me to use one hundred and thirty this time of day.
I knew that already, but I didn't remember it when I went to the tank.

The sun would be setting in a while and the shark would come he said.
Nothing like putting the pressure on me, eh Fernando?

This cow has me bull dogged and I'm conflicted between pulling hard to land the fish,
and pulling hard and pulling the hook.

Fernando and I are doing laps up and down the starboard rail.
I'm in the stern this time, when Andy criticizes my technique.
"Well, show me," I said.

As he takes the outfit and gets into position,
I crouch behind him and ask,
"How am I supposed to know what to do, if no one has ever shown me?"

He breaks it all down for me, shows me the tricks and I'm back on again with a new resolve.
The new technique comes and goes, I'm a work in progress now.

Night falls as we subdue the beast.
One of only four big ones caught late in the day.

I MUST be dreaming.
The Kid is somehow in on the kill as my celebrity gaffer in the number four spot.

Private rail lessons from Andy.
I try to hug him, but he won't let me.
It's priceless.

I feel like the luckiest guy in the world.

The crew of the boat arranges the catch of fish from this evening into a pile for some group photos.
I get to be in the shot of the big ones.
As the photographers snap away,
and the flashbulbs pop,
behind the crowd of well wishers,
I see the shadowy form of The Kid.
 
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PheasantHunter

Almost A Member
Dec 8, 2011
134
80
MT, USA
Name
Randy
Boat
WishIHadOne
What a great report, I was on the RRIII the trip before. We had a tank of those big sardines but on our 8 day, never had a use for them.

Keep them reports coming, there awesome
 
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The Right Kind

Slave to a Boat
  • Jul 9, 2003
    1,275
    1,061
    Santa Barbara
    1212
    Name
    Gary
    Boat
    The Right Kind - 31' Cabo Express
    "The sardine takes off like I knew that it would.
    It gets picked up by a nice fatty.
    I slide the drag lever forward and head to the bow."

    Been there done that...love it!
     
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