Showdown At Shimada

Discussion in 'San Diego Long Range fishing Reports' started by picasso, May 3, 2015.

  1. picasso

    picasso Well-Known "Member"

    los angeles
    17 Boston Whaler
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    “Jo Jo was a man who thought he was a loner…”
    Paul McCartney

    Chapter One

    The Kid picked me up at four thirty a.m.
    We were going fishing.
    It was Springtime in Southern California, and we were traveling down to Mexico, looking to harvest some of those tuna cattle they’re famous for down there.

    Harvest time in the Fall has been the traditional time for me and The Kid to hook-up, but things change, seasons change, and reasons change, so we’re taking a flyer and hoping for the best.

    Our voyage was being co-sponsored by the Seeker Rod Co. The Kid was acting as their representative for the second time in as many years.

    The new co-sponsor this year is the Accurate Reel Co. Big Boss Man, El Queso Grande, The Emperor himself, Jack Nilsen, the host with the most, was on hand to give The Kid some lessons in how to throw a Killer party.

    Gary Gillingham, the “G-man”, had drawn the short straw and was helping Jack out with the hard stuff. That boat load of loaner gear Jack provides for all of the prospective tuna assassins to try, use and abuse, and compare Accurate’s metal alchemy to the competition.

    We pulled into the parking lot around six thirty.
    Checked into the office at Fisherman’s Landing.
    There was a short line of killers waiting at the counter, we joined the queue.

    The Kid started greeting some of the participants from last year, and introducing himself to the new guys.

    One by one, they collected our fees, put our signatures on the manifest, and issued a pass to board SHOGUN for a seventeen day journey/adventure to and back from the Shimada Seamount, aka the Hurricane Bank.

    SHOGUN always seemed an odd name for a fishing boat to me.
    I think it translates to “Supreme Military Commander”.
    Looking at this rag-tag bunch of ryoshi (fishermen), I don’t think we could have struck fear into the hearts of any real military force we might encounter.
    I just hoped we could scare up some giant yellowfin tuna.
    Keep hope alive!
    Last edited: May 10, 2015
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  2. picasso

    picasso Well-Known "Member"

    los angeles
    17 Boston Whaler
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    Chapter Two

    SHOGUN arrived at the dock at eight thirty.
    It was already locked and loaded for battle.
    We boarded ourselves and stashed our kits in cabins down below the deck level.
    I discovered we had a daimyo lord aboard when the porter helped him and her Ladyship, with their things, into a deck level cabin.

    The Kyaputen welcomed us aboard, his crew attended to our immediate needs, we cast off and by ten thirty a.m., we were passing the Isla Coronados, officially beginning our four day journey, southbound, to the Shimada.

    Our chef, Mr. Josh Peavey, invited us into his dining room to sample some linguini and clams that he had prepared for us.
    Not too heavy, not too light, and just the right amount.
    This turned out to be his signature style throughout the trip.
    He showed himself to be a truly skilled craftsman, who overcame any obstacle thrown into his path, most of the time with a smile or a laugh.

    That daimyo lord I mentioned earlier. His name is Lemberg Allen, in the Japanese fashion. Her Ladyship, Thee Beth, was accompanying him on this adventure. Both of them are certified, licensed to kill, Killers.
    I discovered his true identity when I spotted a name tag on some equipment he had stored near my own.
    “Oh, you’re famous!”, I blurted out.
    He didn’t look at me, but I saw him grin.
    “Not world famous, but famous in our world.”
    “Actually, I’m both,” he replied with a laugh.
    “We just got a publication from Australia, and we, her Ladyship and I, are in the centerfold.”
    I apologized for my rudeness, and quickly added what an honor it would be for me to share shelf space with his Lordship.
    He forgave my transgression with a wave of his hand.
    I moved my tackle box closer to his, hoping some of his magic would rub off on mine.
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  3. Workplacesafety

    Workplacesafety Reducing workplace injuries and illnesses

    Long Beach Ca.
    Jeff Bruner
    14ft Valco, San Diego Long Range Boats
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    Well, I was kind of hoping you'd bring your perspective on this trip Joe. Because of you, I don't have to fish long anymore, just reading your fine stories is enough for me, and I get to fish multiple 8-10 day trips every year instead. Keep writing my Brother...Can't wait for the next chapter.
    Last edited: May 4, 2015
  4. picasso

    picasso Well-Known "Member"

    los angeles
    17 Boston Whaler
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    Chapter Three

    One by one, I introduced myself to the rest of the slayers.
    There was Shoboshi (fireman) John.
    Pony-tailed Eric.
    Culver City Mike.
    Lance "the other legend".
    Roland "Tsuru" .
    The Admiral.
    Ed "Stache".
    Don Don, squire to the Lord and Lady.
    The Tank Brothers, Richard and Robert.
    Near Beer Bob.
    His pal, Mike.
    Little Tony, the only passenger aboard with real Japanese blood in him. More ninja than samurai.
    His pal, Jay the Printer.

    There was a trio of killers that I knew belonged to a super secret society.
    Jig Stick, Old Dog, and The Man with No Name were what they called themselves.
    I kept my own identity and membership a secret from them as long as I could.

    The crew of pirates operating the boat were captained by Aaron Barnhill.
    The second ticket/jack of all trades was Bryan Winn.
    Weapons and Tackle chief was another ninja, Charlie Morito.
    Chief Engineer was Russ Brazwell, aka Godzilla.
    Chief Deck Technician was stealthy Tommie L. Miles Sr.
    Apprentice Greg Simmons on the bait tank.
    The Chef, Josh Peavey.
    Farley, galley boy in training.

    At seven p.m. we all gathered in the galley for dinner.
    I got a chance to meet some of the assassins, Little Tony & Jay, The Man with No Name, over some pork and potatoes.

    It's been a long ass day, so after dinner, I grab a shower and find a futon.
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  5. picasso

    picasso Well-Known "Member"

    los angeles
    17 Boston Whaler
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    Chapter Four

    It's four a.m. and I'm laying awake in my coffin.
    The Kid and I are in Cabin 12.
    I gave him the upper bunk, as a favor, after he laid a guilt trip on me about having it the past few trips.
    It was odd, the way I remember it, I was going along with what he wanted.

    His berth is super deluxe with a skylight, and room for him to do his bicycle kicks and yoga workout in the mornings.
    You could play cards or host a tea ceremony on his bunk.
    I can't roll over in mine without hitting a body part on the bottom of his bunk.
    It's OK, I like to help others.
    It's part of the code I live by.

    Since I can't sleep, I go and shower, lay back down, and wait for the first call to breakfast.
    Standard fare this morning, eggs & sausage w/ pancakes w/ warm blueberry jam.
    Good, hot coffee to go with it.
    After breakfast, I go downstairs to unpack my gear.

    Nine a.m.
    The Skipper called us into the galley for a meeting to discuss the "big fish" leaders we were going to need, and the way he wanted them constructed.
    He broke down the jackpot rules for the participants.
    He informed us about the options for having our victim's cadavers processed when we returned.

    After the seminar, I ordered one complete set from Charlie Morito, our tackle sensei, so as to have a set to duplicate.
    I figure to build replacements as the trip goes along, and as I use them.
    When my turn comes on the kite, I want to "be ready" with whatever the Skipper desires, and have it right at my fingertips.
    "Be Ready."
    Another one of the rules of the code I live by.

    As we near the end of the seminar, The Skipper pulls a ziplock bag from his pocket.
    Inside the bag is a tag with each of our numbers from the manifest.
    He's going to draw a number to see who is first up on the kite when we reach the killing zone.
    "Number Eleven."
    I look down at my name tag and see I'm holding a pair of aces.
    It's me.

    You've probably seen or heard that guy on the beer commercials.
    The Most Interesting Man in the World.
    Say hello to the Luckiest Man in the World.
    That's me. Again.
    I've heard it said, I can't deny it, I believe it.
    It appears I've still got a little bit of maho (magic) in me.

    Being chosen number one on the kite turns out to be the best, most tactical move I make during the trip.
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  6. picasso

    picasso Well-Known "Member"

    los angeles
    17 Boston Whaler
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    Chapter Five

    After the seminar, the sponsors gave away a bunch of swag.
    The Trokar guy sent some hats and hooks for everyone as well.
    Jay the Printer passed out some shirts he made for the occasion.

    High Noon

    I put one reel on a rod and took a timeout for lunch.
    The Chef served up a flank steak salad with a chipotle dressing.
    It was delicious.

    That afternoon, I worked on two things.
    Preparing my weaponry and accoutrements for battle,
    and sizing up my opponents in this competition.

    I strike up a conversation with Near Beer Bob.
    He's not thee infamous Beer Bob, but the next best thing, hence the name.
    It was either that or Biru (beer) Bob.
    He's ridden the boat before, and shared some of his insights with me.
    He's rode with The Skipper a few times, and says he's seen him grow into a real leader.

    At dinner that evening, we had a Thanksgiving style meal.
    I shared a table in the galley with Ed Moustache, Fireman John, Jig Stick Ken, and Lance, the other legend.
    I asked questions of each, trying to draw them out, looking for some clue, some sign about the man, and how he'll respond in the heat of the battle.
    I keep my own cards close to my vest.
    After dinner, the conversation continues, and someone mentions "Bloodydecks", a popular fishing website.
    When called upon, I reveal my true identity.
    I spy a raised eyebrow or two.
    It appears, my reputation has preceded me.

    I excuse myself promptly, and head to the onsen for a hot soak.
    Afterwards, I run into Lance on the back porch.
    I offer him a nightcap from my bottle.
    He begins to decline, hesitates, looks at the label, and decides to accept.
    I pour him a stiff one and try to draw him out.

    He's more than willing to be drawn, and starts captivating my imagination with stories about SHOGUN, ROYAL POLARIS, going to Clipperton Island with the Big Man, fishing the other islands in the Revilla Gigedos chain.
    He's had a long and full career.
    He's a little beaten and battered now.
    His spirit is willing, but his best killing days are behind him now, I'm afraid.
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  7. picasso

    picasso Well-Known "Member"

    los angeles
    17 Boston Whaler
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    Chapter Six

    Monday, April 13th
    Five a.m.

    I got up to answer nature's call, and I saw a few gents sitting in the galley when I stopped for a glass of mizu.
    My sleep was better last night, thanks to some earplugs, and some ventilation.
    I went back downstairs to try and catch forty more winks.

    At six thirty, I rose again, went upstairs for coffee, which turned into first call for breakfast.
    It's one of my favorites.
    Two eggs, over easy, on top of a bowl of pork fried rice.
    It was excellent, and a nice surprise.

    After breakfast, I hit the showers, and got ready for a wahoo fishing seminar scheduled for later this morning.

    After an extensive, comprehensive, and well done presentation by The Skipper,
    he dismissed the class, and we headed to the back porch,
    just in time, to see the Alijos Rocks formation going past our port side.
    Someone put a trolling rod in the stern, but The Skipper said the temperature was sixty eight degrees, and the chances of snagging a wahoo, are right smack dab in the middle of "slim" and "none".

    We drew lots, and divided ourselves into trolling teams.
    I landed on Team Six with Big Jack, Little Tony, and the Admiral.
    You know about Big Jack.
    Tony, being the only real Japanese on board, had a distinct advantage in the competition.
    Tony and I got off on the right foot. I really, really, enjoyed the times we shared each other's company.
    The Admiral is a retired U.S. Navy and on a "bucket list" trip to fish long range for the very first time.
    His personal best fish, prior to this trip, is a thirty pound King salmon, I think he said.
    He played us like he was just some junior grade lieutenant, but you could tell he was a real officer, and a reel gentleman.

    I spent the rest of the morning fashioning some 130 lb. topshots I planned to use fly-lining the sardines.
    Around eleven thirty, I found Charlie, and asked him to rig my big bait reel SHOGUN style.
    They like a length of 200 lb. hollow on top of the 130 lb. spectra. with a 200 pound monofilament top-shot, leaders as described in the kite seminar.
    That reel is going on a new rod.

    A Seeker Off Shore Pro series called the Four X. It's rated to fish 150-200 pound line.
    It's a beast.
    When I tried to bend it in the driveway, tied off to my boat trailer, it made me wince.
    I don't know where it came from, or how he got it, but that rod was a gift from The Kid for coming along with him on this adventure.
    He gave it to me with just enough time for my wrapper, Mr. Soon Hong @ Cosmo's Tackle in Koreatown, Los Angeles to build it to my specifications.
    Given that he was swamped with orders after the Fred Hall show in March, he did a fantastic job of crafting me a fine weapon.
    It was built full length with the reel seat moved forward a couple of inches.
    3M cold-shrink fore-grip from the reel seat to the first guide.
    My colors.
    It's the only one of it's kind in the universe.

    It fits me perfectly.
  8. picasso

    picasso Well-Known "Member"

    los angeles
    17 Boston Whaler
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    Chapter Seven

    12:30 p.m.
    Pulled Pork Sandwiches.
    A Bloody Mary.
    Ah, the good life.
    I sure am lucky.

    The Skipper is trying to locate some warmer water so we can search for kelps, and find something we can kill and grill.

    I shared a table with the G-Man, Culver City Mike, and Big Dave, the Man with No Name.
    Waiting for the others, The Man and I talk about Mammoth and the High Sierras.
    When G-Man sits down, we ask for his input about the fishing differences between Spring and Fall.
    Culver City Mike plops down and says we're students of the same dojo, Cosmo's.
    He points out another patron of the same school, Roland, aka "Tsuru", the crane.
    Roland's name is perfect for him, with his long legs and his wide wingspan, a couple of shocks of silver hair, he even looks like a crane.
    Across the room Roland's eyes and mine meet each others, we nod our heads slightly.

    After lunch, Charlie catches up to me to double check my order for leaders.
    I gave him some extra 20/0 circle hooks to kirb for me.
    Looking back now, that move turns out to be another key ingredient in my recipe for success.

    I catch up to The Kid, and he's got his glow on.
    A couple of beers, a couple of shots.
    I pour a dirty martini and watch him entertain the folks.

    3:30 p.m.
    The Boozer, aka The Kid, is frantic.
    He's lost his phone, his umbilical cord to the world.
    The alcohol haze is not helping him focus.

    I head into the galley to sample The Chef's afternoon snack.
    Turkey and Rice soup.
    Someone should make a movie about this guy.

    5:00 p.m.
    The Cocktail Hour.
    The Boozer found his phone, all is well in his little Wi-Fi world.
    We're sittin' around, just chillin'.

    7:00 p.m.
    Where does the time go?
    Work, work, work. Eat, eat, eat.
    A piece of sirloin crowned with crabmeat, asparagus and potatoes.
    I shared a table with The Man with No Name, G-man, Culver City Mike, and The Kid.
    Everyone at the table cleaned their plates like they were starving or something.

    8:00 p.m.
    Cigars and Brandies on the Veranda.
    Between sips and puffs, my mind drifts back to last November's "Dream Trip".
    I'm thinking maybe, after that one, I should have passed on this adventure.
    There's only one way to go, and that's down.
    "Nothing good lasts forever, right?"

    Then I remember the draw for the kite, my number being pulled.
    Maybe, just maybe...I can catch fire again.
  9. vegasandre

    vegasandre I've posted enough I should edit this section

    San Diego
    Any Boat that I can go on
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    Keep it coming Picasso :)
  10. picasso

    picasso Well-Known "Member"

    los angeles
    17 Boston Whaler
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    Chapter Eight

    Breakfast At Sevens.
    It's a new day, but I don't know what day it is.
    I sat down at a table with Near Beer Bob and Ed Moustache.
    I already told you I was sharing shelf space with the daimyo Lord Allen.
    I'm thrilled beyond words just to be able to write that sentence.
    Ed Moustache's box is on the shelf above mine.
    His box and mine are the old wooden kind that nobody has much use for these days.
    'Stache and I are older than "old school".

    Over breakfast, 'Stache, Near Beer Bob, and I had a little discussion about literature and the arts when things got a little over-heated, and I'm forced to calm them both down.
    When I'm satisfied that calm has been restored, I exit the galley and thank The Chef for carnitas omelette he served us this morning.
    The Chef winks at me and whispers, "Hey Buddy. Don't miss the chilliquilles coming up later in the trip."
    "Wooo-hooo!", I reply.
    "Who's Buddy?", I think.

    Today is the last day to prepare ourselves and our equipment for battle.
    The Showdown starts tomorrow.
    The skies are dark and cloudy this morning.
    Be Ready.
    Rules of the Code.

    The Skipper calls us into the galley for a nine a.m. meeting.
    He wants to discuss our opponents, our strategies, our techniques.
    Man Baits.
    The Kite.
    The Rail.

    The meeting breaks up at ten thirty. There's hot coffee and coffee cake waiting for us.

    The Skipper hangs around the galley for a bit, chatting it up with some of the assassins.
    I spy an opening and make my move inside of his personal space.
    I quiz him about the relevance of time and tides at our planned destination.
    I remind him that we battled as allies in the past.
    I tell him I was on a short range trip, and he put me on some bluefin tuna that I played and played.
    The Skipper tells me he remembers me.

    With some people crowding around us, I ask him if SHOGUN gets more kamikaze fish than the other boats in the fleet.
    Kamikaze fish are ones that get disoriented, (that's a funny line right there), by the boat's illumination and come right to the hull.
    No one gets the joke, except The Kid.

    Eleven a.m.

    I get busy.
    I took a break for lunch at twelve thirty and shared a table with The Admiral, Pony-tailed Eric, and somebody else I can't remember.
    Gyros and a salad.
    I'm getting tired of telling The Chef how good it is, but he's not getting tired of hearing it.

    When the guy I can't remember starts hacking, I excuse myself and get back to tending my business.
    Tuning and re-tuning my weapons.
    Be Ready!

    I put all of the reels on their respective rods and triple checked the drags.
    The 4X made me tear up a little when I put a bend in it.

    Three p.m.
    I chilled out with a bowl of chili and a cold Tecate, sal y limon segura.

    Five p.m.
    I believe I AM ready, and I have a cocktail to celebrate.
    Another visit to the onsen (hot springs) for a soak, a shower, a fresh yukata (robe), and I was ready for dinner.
    BBQ Babybacks.
    I'm a little late, so I ask to join a group already seated at a table.
    It's The Admiral, The Man with No Name, and the Tank Brothers, Richard and Robert.
    Our server brings ribs for The Man and I.
    The others opt for some salmon.
    The food, the wine, the company, combined with the conversation made for a nice meal.
    We adjourned our meeting promptly after dessert.

    In the morning, we had a date with destiny.
  11. Olddog8

    Olddog8 Well-Known "Member"

    Sold long ago
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    I wondered when you would start posting your masterpeices
  12. picasso

    picasso Well-Known "Member"

    los angeles
    17 Boston Whaler
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    You're a tough act to follow my friend.
    Masterpiece? I don't think so.
    Just fish porn with some klass...
  13. Pangamaster

    Pangamaster Cow Town Here I come!

    San Ramon, CA
    SD Long Range or Bay Area Day Boats.
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    Love your stories and style! Thanks for the master pieces....cannot wait for the rest of the chapters!
  14. Juanba

    Juanba CR

    Pt Loma
    John John John
    Kayak,Gregor, Panga, Long Range SD
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  15. Juanba

    Juanba CR

    Pt Loma
    John John John
    Kayak,Gregor, Panga, Long Range SD
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    Quiérenos mas!
    Historias de el famoso
    Picasso-San a.k.a.
  16. picasso

    picasso Well-Known "Member"

    los angeles
    17 Boston Whaler
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    Chapter Nine

    Wednesday, April 15th,

    TAX DAY at Clarion Island, en route to the Shimada Seamount...
    I wondered if I sent that check in before I left town???

    At three a.m., for the first time in four days, the speed of the diesel engines changed.
    The Skipper takes the throttle down a few RPMs.

    Four thirty a.m.

    We've tried to make some mackerel, but all we've done is lose bait rigs and sinkers to the sharks.
    Not a good omen, and a reminder of my prediction to The Kid, that this trip would be a bit sharky, based on intelligence I had received from some veteran long rangers I know.

    I take a break for coffee.

    Five a.m.

    We officially began hunting for tuna, but found only a variety of jacks willing to die for us.

    Five thirty a.m.

    I'm sitting in the galley with 'Stache, drinking coffee, waiting for the kite to go up.
    The Chef offers to make me breakfast, and I accept.
    Eggs Benedict.
    Wonderful, as usual.

    Six a.m.

    The sun rises, or the Earth rotates, take your pick.
    Rain sometimes.
    The sharks were thick that day, my friend.

    I threw out a chrome jig on fifty pound line trying to catch a skipjack to use as a "man bait".
    A skippy takes my offering, but my joy turns to horror when a huge shadow inhales my skippy, and dives for the bottom.
    I hand the outfit to Charlie to try and get some line back.
    He gets some, but the anti reverse bearing fails in the process.
    Charlie keeps going and puts a bend in that rod like I'd never seen before.
    The Skipper gets tired of waiting and puts the boat in gear.
    Oh, my poor rod.
    Finally, something gives. My little chrome jig comes back to me, minus the hook and the welded ring attaching the hook to the lure.
    My San Diego jamb knot on fifty pound Izor rope is still intact.

    Seven fifteen a.m.

    We're on the move.
    Better to burn fuel than burn baits to the sharks.

    We put out some trolling lures hoping to catch some wahoo, but instead, the G-Man snags a shark in the back.
    It's an expensive lure and the G-Man wanted it back.
    It took some time, some skill, some luck to get it back, but they did, and released that shark to go ruin someone else's day.

    We tried trolling again, and Jig Stick got a nice wahoo.
    We got a lot of short bites, suggesting some smaller fish were hitting the jigs, but wouldn't stick.

    The Skipper got tired of this and decided now would be a good time to go check in with the Mexican Navy's camp on the south side of the island.
    We motored over to the base, and waited for the authorities to arrive, and check our paperwork.

    Ten forty five a.m.

    The check-in took a little longer than expected, and the authorities departure was delayed by some mechanical problems with the engine on their skiff.

    SHOGUN crew was unable to solve the problem, so The Skipper elected to tow them in close to the beach, and hoped they could row the rest of the way in.
    As we backed away, the Mexicans got their engine running again, and delivered their Capitan to shore without dropping him into the drink.

    Good Job!
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  17. picasso

    picasso Well-Known "Member"

    los angeles
    17 Boston Whaler
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    Chapter Ten

    The few small wahoo we caught were donated to the galley for dinner tonight.
    Not much tastes quite as good as fresh wahoo, so I ask The Chef to take me off of the beef scheduled for this evening, and I'll join the fish eating guys, The Admiral and The Tank Brothers, that I met last night.

    One thirty p.m.

    We trolled around for wahoo, but only caught small tuna.
    The Skipper decides to set a course for Shimada.
    I set a course for the shower and a martini.
    The Kid crashes into his bunk.
    Too many brewskis, I think.
    I unpacked my music, and head to the lounge to hang out.
    Someone's put a movie in the DVD player.
    It's "Saving Private Ryan" and too depressing for me right now, so I split.

    It's been a wonderful day today.
    A "nothing" day.
    I lost two bait rigs with the sinkers, got hammered on my skippy rig, and lost the use of one of my fifty pound outfits.

    I went down to clean up some, put on some music, and instantly my thoughts turned towards home.
    The Kid wants to hear some Village People while he works out on his deluxe double wide, double tall berth.
    We split the difference and listen to the "Kill Bill" soundtrack.

    First, Last, and Only Call for Dinner is made.

    I go upstairs and join Pony-tailed Eric, Culver City Mike, Near Beer Bob, and Jig Stick for some baked chicken, rice and veggies. Somebody came late to the table, but I can't remember who it was now.

    Later, after dinner, and a nightcap with Lance, the other Legend, on the Lido deck, I retire for the night.
    We all make ready in our own way.
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  18. picasso

    picasso Well-Known "Member"

    los angeles
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    Chapter Eleven

    Last night I had the weirdest dream.
    I fell asleep thinking about the Shimada Seamount, and I ended up dreaming about a book I read many years ago. It was a fiction/history thing about a classic duel or showdown between two of Japan's greatest swordsmen.

    Miyamoto Musashi and Sasaki Kojiro faced each other in mortal combat just as the Tokugawa Shogunate was bringing the era of the swordsmen to a close, around 1607, I think.
    Like Old West gunfighters, they had outlived their time.
    The two men could not have been more different.
    One was tall, elegant, handsome, literate and refined.
    The other was short, stocky, rough-cut, lacking social graces.
    It was like me and The Kid.

    I woke from my dreams around five thirty a.m.
    Our ETA is seven a.m.

    At six, I was having breakfast, and over some eggs, sausage, and nicely done Pan Francais, I got a chance to quiz Jack about his wahoo rig.
    He tells me it's a Fury series 600 Narrow/Narrow, two speed.
    He looked bad-ass wielding that thing on the wahoo yesterday.

    Eight thirty a.m.

    Having waited for this moment for days, I'm first up on the kite.
    I didn't use to be much of a kite fan.
    I saw it as a meat catcher.
    Now, I see it as a ticket to a larger grade of victim.

    The Kite went up.
    We sent out a live flying fish with my 20/0 circle hook in it's back.
    I got bit right away.
    I set the hook and wound down tight.
    I brought in the first shark on the first day at the Shimada.
    We cut the line and I lost my hook.
    It was an omen of things to come.

    I went downstairs to re-hydrate, and shake off that first at-bat.
    I made contact, just the wrong species.

    Nine a.m.

    Back on the deck, I take Tommie's advice and start fishing a sardine on a 135# outfit with an eight ounce sinker rubber banded around the line.
    "Drop it to the bottom, wind it off of the bottom quick, and then slowly retrieve it in low gear.
    Send it back down, retrieve it again, and change the bait. Repeat as necessary."

    I try an eight ounce sinker and it looks like I'm fly-lining.
    I put on a heavier sinker, and keep trying until I hook a shark.

    Meanwhile, the G-man gets a nice tuna off of the kite, and the Man with No Name gets one on bait.

    I go inside for a cocktail and wait for lunch.

    After lunch, I contemplated sitting the afternoon out, and wait for the afternoon/evening grey light bite.
    Then, I vetoed myself, went back out, and tried some more.
    I tried and tried and got bit by the right kind.
    I was walking and winding up the port side when Charlie joined me.
    We were getting some line on the reel when everything went slack.
    I looked at Charlie, and he looked at me.
    I wound in the rest of my line.
    When the hook came out of the water, someone's spectra was looped around the shank.
    That maybe had something to do with my hook separating from my fish.
    Charlie took the loop of spectra off of my hook, and we waited together to see who was on the other end.

    About ten seconds later, some angler turns the corner in the stern and starts walking towards us, winding in his loose line.
    It's The Kid.
    Deliberately sabotaging me?
    When he catches up to us, I look at him, and say, "OK Man, you want to play that way? All's fair in love and tuna fishing, OK?
    I leave and Charlie explains it to him.
    When I see The Kid again, he apologizes, even though we both knew it weren't his fault.
    Good Times.
    It was better it happened early, rather than later in the fight.

    Three p.m.

    Still trying, I'm zero for everything, but "Tsuru" lands a nice one.

    Five p.m.

    I was on the long soak with a sardine in the corner.
    It had taken a while to get in this position.
    Daimyo Allen and The Kid were on either side of me.
    I had a lot of line in the water and off of the spool.
    I came to a spot where my spectra was pinched or under wrapped or something.
    My mind flashes back to the last time I used this reel, and the mental note I made to remedy this problem before I used it again.
    I start reeling in my line, and wouldn't you know I get bit.
    The line went tight, the hook pulled, and The Kid asked me what happened?
    I tell him and Allen overhears.
    They're very sympathetic.
    Remember "Be Ready"?
    Failure to live by the code has cost me.

    Russell took a look at it later, told me it needed major surgery.
    This is what happens when you have too many reels.

    Five p.m.
    I ordered a cocktail from the bar, and watch as The Kid and Jack went out on the kites.
    At six o'clock, I called it a day and wore my kabuto (helmet) into the shower.
    At seven p.m., The Kid quit, came down to tell me he struck out on the kite, but finally got one on bait.
    A 100 lber. he gave away to somebody.
    No kabuto for him in the shower.
    He cleaned himself up, phoned home to check on the family matters, then we headed over to a little restaurant The Kid knows of.
    It's Josh's Japanese Food & Other Stuff, a little spot where we enjoyed some seafood and sake.

    Ten p.m.
    We shared a table and our sake with Little Tony and his pal Jay, Culver City Mike and Roland "Tsuru".
    After dinner, I chatted it up with Tony about his life and the Japanese/American experience before, during, and after World War II.
    A couple of folks eavesdropped on the conversation.
    Tony reminds me a lot of my wife's favorite uncle.
    I thoroughly enjoyed his company, he tolerated me as best he could.

    One last note before I close the book on today.
    I couldn't help but overhear a conversation taking place at another table.
    An angler was suggesting to his tablemates that a certain individual was the "best" angler on the boat.
    I had to laugh, politely of course, at the mere suggestion.
    Today, with my own eyes, I had seen "The Legend" that is Lord Allen Lemberg.
    He killed fish in minutes that mere mortals would have been on for an hour.
    It was an amazing display that apparently was beyond the comprehension of most of the viewing audience.
    The majority of them simply could not appreciate the fine art
    A virtuoso performance by a master showman, wasted on the masses.
    I felt very lucky to have seen it for myself.
  19. picasso

    picasso Well-Known "Member"

    los angeles
    17 Boston Whaler
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    Chapter Twelve

    A New Day...Friday, I think...Four a.m.

    I was woken from my sleep, probably by The Kid going out to go fishing.
    I took my sweet ass time getting going, but was on the deck at five thirty with a cup of coffee in my hands.
    The lads had made a good score this morning.
    At six thirty, I was having breakfast, and listening to their stories.
    Old Dog got his cow.
    Richard Tank, a novice, got in on the action at the rail and landed some meat.

    Another kite turn awaits me this morning.

    Eight thirty a.m.

    I went out on the kite with one of the boat's new outfits.
    An Accurate reel on a Seeker rod.
    Live flying fish, caught by the crew last night.
    20/0 Mustad circle hook.
    I wasn't out very long when I felt the twinge.
    I couldn't see the bait.
    Tommie, acting as my eyes from his perch upstairs, thinks I'm on and tells me to wind.
    I started turning the handle and saw a wahoo leap right in the area where my bait was.
    Then, the line went tight, and I knew this was no wahoo.
    It was a tuna, and it was a larger.
    I used my harness and plate for the first act of the show, discarded them both when the fish went up and down, and used the rail the rest of the way, on my way to Harvest town.
    Big ass circles in the bow, I applied the "coup de grace".
    Jack gets a nice rail shot of me and the crew.
    I get a nice tuna, about ninety kilos, for the freezer.
    My sciatic nerve leaves me a "wake-up" call.

    I turned to put the outfit back in the rack, and my left leg stiffened.
    That sciatic nerve, I hadn't heard from it in a long while, it must have been hibernating or something.
    Why does it always wake up when I'm fishing for big ones??
    I limped up the side, walking like a penguin, biting my lip.

    Nine thirty a.m.
    Having a cocktail with The Kid.
    Bloody Mary with some bagels and lox.
    The guys who got up early are starting to crash.

    Ten forty a.m.
    The Admiral saw his "bucket list" dream come true, when he hooked and landed a jumbo, ninety kilos plus.
    They took his photo with the crew, his smile was as wide as an aircraft carrier.

    Taco Thursday
    After lunch, I went out to fish.
    I spy the second ticket and seek his counsel.
    He advised me to take a nap, and save my strength for later.
    "Nothing is going on."

    Three p.m.
    I rise to fight again.

    Four thirty p.m.
    Nothing is going on.

    Seven p.m.
    I quit.
    Near Beer Bob got a ninety kilo model off of the kite as daylight ended.
    I waited for the dinner bell.
    When it rang, I joined The Kid, The Man with No Name, Fireman John, and Boss Jack for steaks done well.
    Jack told stories about his travels around the globe.
    After dinner, Jack presented Old Dog with a new Accurate reel for that cow he caught this morning, today's big fish.
    It was like ice cream on top of cake for Old Dog.
    I guess they can learn new tricks.
  20. DMcD

    DMcD Well-Known "Member"

    Idyllwild, Ca USA
    Dennis McDougall
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    This may be one of the best stories I've ever read...right up there with "Shogun" and "Game of Thrones." Domo arigato, Picasso!

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