We all have that one friend. The guy who loves to fish, loves to eat fish, and always wants to go out on your boat, but is truly incompetent in every facet associated with fishing. It's always a cringeworthy proposition, taking him fishing, but you do it anyway, because, inexplicably, this guy is the luckiest SOB on the planet, and it's a guaranteed slay fest every time you take him out. You almost want to just tie him to the mast, "What About Bob"-style, to secure your lucky charm while avoiding the risk of him breaking something, dropping something overboard (like his wedding ring - that happened), or accidentally gaffing himself at the bait barge. Or maybe that's just me, maybe I'm the only one with that friend. Meet Zach, my lucky charm. So here we go, off on a holiday adventure, up early and launching like pariah's at South Shores to avoid the Holiday Monday Madness at Dana. We got a generous scoop, but perhaps too generous, as most of the smaller dine's would end up rolling. May have over-crowded them a bit this time, oops. A lackluster sabiki attempt off the barge resulted in one mack, and one croaker. Do bigeye eat croaker? The plan was to go yard in the trusty little skiff, heading down toward the Upper Hidden - the worst-kept secret in fishing. With high hopes of bigeye tuna limits, we set off south in pretty nice seas, albeit a slight SE breeze in our face. It flattened out to butter status passing the islands, and as gray light turned to daylight, just barely past the islands, my other passenger spots a huge paddy to our 3 o'clock. We set up, dine's in the water, and not 2 minutes later I turn around to the sound of piano-wire pinging, to see Bob....er....Zach, barely holding on to his bent rod (my rod), mono so tight you could hear it, and the biggest bird's nest I've ever seen. Facepalm. I grabbed the rod and attempted to pick out the nest, but it was a lost cause. Thankfully the dodo swam back to the boat, enabling me to get back 20 yards of insurance back on the reel. Handed it back to Zach, and in typical fashion (I love/hate this guy), he boats the first fish. Me and Peter each got one too, not even 6:30 yet. Off to a good start! Not too long after, we see another paddy (I thought these things were supposed to be scarce down here?), get baits in the water, and Zach and I hookup simultaneously. Naturally, he has hooked (and eventually lands) a nice bull, while I've got a 2 lb skipjack that almost gets eaten by another dodo who followed him to the boat. So Zach has limits of dorado, coyly gloating about his fishing prowess, while Peter and I wonder if it would nullify our luck if we were to throw him overboard. The rest of the day was a blur of skippie jigstops while we found the fleet, and promptly left the fleet, realizing the yellowfin had moved overnight and were MIA with not much time or healthy bait left to find them. We did score another dorado, number 5 for the day, on a blind strike in the zone, on a tiny orange/white skippie feather of all things. Zach was the first to grab the rod, before humbly announcing that he had already caught enough for the day and did someone else want to reel this one in? Now he's hooking and handing. This guy kills me. Heading home, about 10 miles south of the islands, after the skippie bite had gone completely off the rails (5 stops in 5 minutes), I made the call to reel 'em in and head for home. A few minutes later we spy a pod of porpoise, so I tell Pete to drop the cedar plug back again. The second he puts it in gear, it almost flies out of his hands, full ZZZZZZZZ. This is no skipjack. With Zach's coaching (eyeroll), we put a solid yellowfin on deck, the only one of the day, but twice as big as any I was expecting. Nice cherry on top of a pretty fun day. Never found the wide open tuna bite, but we came home with plenty of meat, and never went more than 30 min all day without a bite. Probably landed over 20 skippies, releasing at least half. They did get bigger toward the end of the day though. If you want to introduce your kids offshore fishing, head down this way (maybe in a bigger boat though), and pull a zucchini feather and a small orange/white. Guaranteed. 130 miles on the odometer, only burned 34 gallons. 3.8 mpg. Gas/bait/ice/beer was less than $70 a head. Budget operation at its finest, and that's how I like it. Zach gives me a high five after we clean up, and says "thanks man, see you next time?" Oh hell yes buddy! - Belk out! These things are annoying but so rad looking.