more!!! and thanks for letting me live vicariously through your stories...I will never get to go on a trip like this as age and health(bad back) catch up to me way faster than I thought they would, Besides retirement does not include a vacation like this, without my lovely wife included I would not want to go. I think I would rather take her somewhere, I get to fish plenty between trophy rainbows in Idaho and what I can catch out of Shelter Cove I am good. But I am glad you get to go so we can all read your to the point writing style.
The engines fire up a half hour earlier than usual, waking me from my slumber.
I'm guessing I slept, but I don't feel like I did.
I try to rise, then decide to nap another ten minutes.
Ten minutes turned into half an hour.
I rise to shine.
I found some coffee, and that led me to a breakfast with Warlord.
Fewer & fewer anglers are answering the call to breakfast each day that goes by.
During breakfast, Obi Wan is sitting at the next table, and I ask him if he's ever fished with that other legend, Stas Velonakis.
He says he did once.
On a day and half trip.
Wow, I think to myself.
That must have been like when Superman met Batman the first time.
I don my costume and head for the stage again.
Ryan had another excellent bait waiting for me when I got there.
I set it off into the zone, and get a slice of humble pie on it's return.
Warlord and I are just ahead of midships on starboard.
Closer to the stern, some guys are untangling.
A minute or two passes, and I feel a tug on my line.
A steady pull like a shark, but no meat behind it..
I'm on a long soak with a lot of line in the water as I start reeling in.
I look to my left, and the Skipper is standing there, looking at my line.
"Looks like a sixteen ouncer to me Joe."
I have no idea what he's talking about.
I think maybe he wants me to go get him a beer.
I seperate myself from a couple of other anglers on the rail and keep winding in.
Sure enough, there is a sixteen ounce torpedo sinker at the end of my line, dangling from the shank of the hook.
Both Skippers are standing there when I lift it into the boat.
I can't believe it.
They both nod their heads.
I asked them when it happened, but I already knew the answer.
"Man, if that's they kind of day it's going to be, I'm going back to bed."
The Skipper says, "Don't take it like that Joe."
Paul can see the distress written across my face, and tries to ease my pain.
"It was a teachable moment Joe," he says.
"Plus, we got to mess with you."
Paul explains it all for me.
"We put the sinker on, so your line would sink, and not tangle the fly-liners when it went back out."
I get the picture, and it's not a very flattering portrait.
Paul tells me to pin on a bait and keep fishing.
I had to take a "time-out", and give myself a talking to.
I take pride in my game, and was bummed I had messed up.
I soaked two more baits for nothing.
Chatsworth Steve sets a new personal record.
Still nothing for me.
We go on the move.
We drifted away from the rest of the fleet that is fishing the north side.
After the Skipper moved the boat back up the line, we tried again.
I continue to try and soak baits without entangling others with limited success.
Some days your the windshield, some days you're the fly.
I tangle with Warlord in the bow, and decide to go have lunch.
Hopefully, I can keep from tangling with anyone in the galley.
Not that any of it really mattered.
I've caught plenty already.
Maybe that's the problem.
I'd like to put a smile back on my face though.
That sinker incident put me in a gloomy mood, and my inability to shake it off is compounding the negative energy around me.
A biter would change everything.
I contemplate sitting out the afternoon, or keep trying.
I decided to keep soaking baits and quit stressing.
Then, the bite exploded again, and I found myself completely out of step.
I couldn't find a bait that would swim.
Then, with three or four fish going all around the boat, there was no place to drop in without jeopardizing someone.
Seeing me struggle, Paul tried to help me.
Even that didn't work.
I think I was the only guy who didn't get one.
Ramona Dave looks to be on a good one.
Later, it turned out to be foul hooked two hundred pounder.
Another new PR for a fine gentleman.
Finally, fed up with frustration, I threw in the towel.
Just not in the cards for me today.
No need to be down, I'd had a great trip already.
I'd had a good time on the boat, and made a lot of new friends.
What more can you ask for?
A Martini, that's what.
A few die-hards keep trying.
We put about fifteen more fish on the boat during the flurry.
It was fun to watch, probably would have been more fun to be a part of.
Obi Wan put on another show that I witnessed from beginning to end.
When he got it close, he cut the line, and the tuna swam away.
I'm telling you, if I hadn't seen it, with my own eyes, I wouldn't believe it.
If you told me, I wouldn't believe you..
Hell, I saw it, and I still don't believe it.
I've heard of guys like him.
First time I've ever seen one.
Sitting upstairs, listening to music.
The bite died, and we got on the move.
It's sunny and warm now.
I got a second martini, went to the top deck, and watched the show down below.
I was on top of the world.
We stopped to fish with the fleet on a ridge above the north east corner.
The Royal Polaris, Excel, Independence, and American Angler were all there together.
Matador lands another one, Warlord continues to let them escape his grasp.
On our way to make bait again.
We ate dinner while waiting for the bait to arrive.
Bait making cancelled.
"See you at five a.m."
I laid down and thought about that sinker incident again.
It had bummed me out, and my inability to shake it off, had allowed it to snowball into depression.
Well, I thought, at least I didn't cry.
Wow amazing recount of the events on what some would call a slow fishing trip. I want to find out how to get on the Picasso list. Don't really care what boat, where we go, or what we catch. Just want to fish with him again. BTW I may have taken come "cocktail" ice from the galley before it took a turn for the worst. Thinking about changing my name to Ice Monger. Those IPA's on deck did taste might fine though. Keep it up Picasso!
Ryan gave me another hot bait and I soaked it in the zone for nothing.
We got on the move.
I got bit!
I moved the drag lever forward, struck a pose, and I was on. Redemption Baby. Joe's back.
For about ten seconds.
I then I wasn't.
I wound in, I heard the Skipper tell Ryan to check my drag.
Ryan checked it and told him it was OK.
I was curious to see the end of my line this time, and I wasn't disappointed.
The designer hook I favor had snapped right at the bottom of the J.
I'd heard of that before, but never seen it.
Some bend, some break.
Ryan thinks maybe the hook was damaged when they cut it out of a fish.
I don't think so.
I'm not that thrifty.
I usually tie on a new one after I catch a fish.
Been so long since I caught one, I can't remember.
The new "hot stick" Andy B, aka Matador, hooks one after me, and somehow, some way, that fish escapes his grasp.
"Nothing colder than yesterday's hot dog," eh my young friend?
We stop and fish on the anchor.
Obi Wan, who else, puts on another clinic.
Oh yeah, remember the kite?
We put NoCal Mike on it two days ago, right after me, and we've never seen him since.
He's still in jail, and Kite Bite Killer Mike is what we're calling him now.
We try and try again.
Baltimore Jack gets two chances to give us a happy ending.
In both cases, he fails to close the deal.
We're having some fresh made pizzas for lunch today when I'm struck by a bolt of lightning, I mean genius.
Sometimes I scare myself.
I find crewman Blake and tell him to go upstairs and tell the Skipper that Joe is downstairs, and he is whining and crying to anyone that will listen that the Skipper owes me a tuna.
"Are you serious?" Blake asks me.
"No," I say, "but don't tell him that."
"Just do what I told you to do."
He takes off and I have another piece of pizza.
About a minute later, and in the galley, he announces, that "the Skipper wants to see you in his office."
I tell Blake to show me the way.
When we get to "the office" the Skipper asks Blake and Paul to give us some space, so they leave.
The Skipper turns to me and says, "I understand you have a problem."
With as straight a face as I can muster, I tell him, "Yeah".
I tell him I've been thinking about that broken hook this morning and my lost tuna fish.
I tell him I've been thinking about it, and as near as I can recall, that's the hook that You and Paul hung that sixteen ounce sinker on.
I tell him I'm thinking that maybe, just maybe, in playing your game on me, you nicked up my hook, and caused me to lose a fish.
He goes into immediate damage control mode.
He assures me that "the gag" could not have damaged my hook.
"It probably came out of the factory that way Joe", he says.
"I know you're upset, but please don't let this take the lustre off of what, for you, has been a great trip."
I tell him, I don't know.
I tell him, I've heard excuses before. I just don't think that putting that brass ring around my hook, and letting me drag it through salt water could have been good for it.
I tell him how "the gag" sent me into a snowball's descent into depression.
He tries to tell me how some hooks bend, and some hooks break.
The vein in his forehead in thumping big time.
"And another thing," I say.
"When I voice an opinion to another passenger, and a crew member overhears, I don't appreciate being called up to the Principal's Office for a "talking to"."
"It's not like that Joe", he protests.
The vein in his neck is popping now
I tell him, "It is to those of us who live down there."
"And right now, those guys are whispering amongst themselves, "Ooh, Joe got called to the Principal's Office."
He's reeling now.
I've got him on the ropes.
I can hear his back up horn tooting.
He's trying to think of something that will placate me.
I move in for the kill
I put my hand on his shoulder.
"You know that gag that you & Paul played on me?"
"Yeah," he says.
"Well, Blake and I just played one on you."
Luckily for me, he has a sense of humor.
He gets the joke, and breaks out a grin.
The color returns to his face and he breaks out laughing.
I made a quick exit and passed Blake and Paul who are standing almost close enough to hear.
We saw diving birds and jumping fish.
We armed up and manned our battle stations once again.
By the time we got there, they had sunk out.
They left a couple of boils behind, out of casting range, just to tease us.
A couple of shark bites, and that was that.
I told the Skipper they must've had pizza for lunch like us, and weren't hungry anymore.
We tried hard for an hour.
Eventually, I quit and started breaking down my some of my gear.
Captains don't like to see anyone quit before they call it a trip.
I told him I was giving the less fortunate more room at the rail.
We gave up on the non-biting tuna and went looking for wahoo.
Warlord and the rest of his Team Three mates are up.
Warlord says he has the "hot" wahoo lure and sure enough, he gets bit.
More amazingly, he lands it.
As we had previously planned, I'm standing by to take the "hot" lure, and go out on my own as a member of Team IV.
Chatsworth Steve foils my plan by catching his only wahoo of the trip, leaving me shut out.
Don't feel too bad for me, I hardly tried for them.
It's Steve's first long trip, and I'm glad he got that wahoo.
The Skipper called it a trip.
He pulled the wahoo jigs and kicked up the throttles.
Another tough day for us.
A couple of wahoo.
We had chances.
We can't complain about that.
As a group of anglers, we didn't do a very good job.
I'm all broke down.
I mean my tackle.
While cleaning up, I lingered around the Jedi Knight.
I was wishing I had watched him more closely.
People would ask me later, what did he use?
How did he use it?
And I wouldn't be able to tell them.
I'm not much for copying others.
I do my own thing, and I'm happy.
Some kind of BBQ'ed pork thing that was delicious.
Stuart shared some of his fine wine with us.
Warlord, Jordan, and Ramona Dave shared a table with me, and told some good stories.
I didn't catch a fish today, but it was a great day for me on Royal Star.
We're rocking and rolling as the Star beelines towards Cabo San Lucas
It was tough to sleep without an aid of some kind.
I try to rise.
I go up for coffee that turns into bacon & eggs.
I excuse myself to go down and start packing.
It's Korean short rib for lunch.
Many stay in their bunks because of the rough ride.
Trying to nap, but the sea state won't let me.
Usually, this is a good time to watch a movie in the galley, but the DVD player took a dump on us too.
Maximus is not happy.
We still have satellite radio though, and some are listening to the NFL draft.
A bunch are passing the time in their bunks.
Since I can't sleep, I start working on writing the story I will post on the internet.
I was laying there writing it in my head anyway.
Between shots of tequila, I got an intro done before too many folks showed up and asked me what I was doing.
The Skipper was our server tonight in the galley.
It was prime rib ala Chef Mike.
The rough sea state made it more of an endurance test than a pleasure.
A handful of no-shows.
After dinner was done, and the galley cleared out, Stuart and I shared a bottle of champagne.
The night ended with me sitting at a table with Obi Wan, Stuart, and the Skipper as they discussed their golf games.
I was out of my element, knew it, and excused myself to go get some sleep.
you spin quite the tale joe. maybe you should consider writing a book on your fishing adventures.(im guessing you already are) ill buy it.i have done a few of these longer trips and this one was brutal in the catch department for me..day 5 of fishing time and all i had in the hold was an 80# tuna and a couple hoo.had some dissapointment as well with pulled hooks and a mysterious spectra part off on what was a large fish. struggled on the kite while before and after my turn was instant bite.did break the spell and finally put a 185# kite fish in the boat.managed 2 more 130-140 # fish the next day and couple more hoo.great bunch of guys and excellent crew as always.pleasure to fish and meet everbody on board.see ya next year
I couldn't sleep.
I figured I would get ready to disembark.
Shower first, cup of joe second.
Went up for coffee, and Mike hit me with some waffles.
They hit the spot perfectly.
I excused myself to finish packing.
I'm ready to get off.
We settle our tabs in the galley.
The engines slow as we approach Cabo harbor.
A bunch of us hop aboard a water taxi and hit the beach.
A couple of us end up at Capt. Tony's on the Pier.
We hang out, drink coffee, watch the TV, catch up on the news.
Warlord calls home.
Bored, we head for the airport early.
Good thing, boy, it's crowded with spring breakers heading home.
After negotiating the security checkpoints, Warlord and I find a place for a bite to eat.
Lucky us, our waitress is the prettiest girl in the building.
Going back to work, I'm stiff walking up the hill to my office, but I'm happy and healthy overall.
No complaints at all. I'm enjoying the high that comes after a good trip.
It doesn't last forever, so enjoy it while you can.
Finally, I can get back to work! Thank you very much Joe, that was incredibly entertaining - nearly as entertaining as Steph Curry's performance last night. The gag on the Captain was truly impressive - "you have Extra-Large huevos!"