Offshore Vagabonding in a Virus...a Variant of Concern

picasso

Member
Jul 27, 2009
628
1,630
los angeles
Name
joe
Boat Name
17 Boston Whaler
(different kind of a fish report...)

Going on three years now, we just can't shake this thing.
Rising case numbers and hospitalizations.
Forehead temperature checks at the boat.
Last minute cancellations due to Covid 19, and it's "variants of concern".
Not to mention the rest of the chaos going on in the world.

In spite of that,
or maybe because of it,
sixteen anglers lined up Wednesday morning to boardVAGABOND.
When The Vegas Boys cancelled at the last minute,
our trip went from "limited load",
to "ultra limited load".
Gave the boat a more "yachty" feeling,
not so much like a cattle boat.

When I arrived, I stepped out of my truck,
and almost got run over by my pal from the Red Rooster,
"It ain't Easy being" Phil Lisi.
Easy's going out on the Bird,
while I'm joining friends I've made on the Watkins charter,
riding it now for the third year in a row.

Speaking of the Bird,
I spotted Captain Jason in the parking lot.
He helped me land a cow last November,
so I had to say hello.

Lined up to board,
the guys waiting to get on Intrepid,
are on the opposite side of the pedestrian walkway.
One of those guys looks familiar,
and he comes over to say hello.
It's No Cal Lou.
We met on that boat, probably a Wahoodad trip.
Might have been the one where I met The Kid.
Lou tells me he's retired now,
and moving to Texas.
I tell Lou The Kid will be there waiting for him.

So, here we go.

DAY ONE

It's windy.
It's white cappy.
We're heading south,
going with the current,
downhill.

The tuna have been a no show recently.
Most of the fleet has been scratching a catch of either rock fish or yellowtail.
We're going to be searching for kelp patties,
hoping to catch some yellowtail, some dorado, maybe some tuna.
Slim to none chance of any Bluefin Nightfall fishing this evening.

Safety Seminar with Capt. Andrew was routine.
Charter Master Terry Watkins took over and held a raffle to give away some nice prizes.
I'm sitting in a booth with Nigel the Englishman on my left.
The guy two spots to Nigel's left wins the first reel.
The guy to Nigel's immediate left wins the second reel.
I use my left elbow to nudge Nigel in the ribs and say,
"Boy, this bodes well for you, doesn't it?"
Instead they called out a number,
I didn't hear what it was,
somebody said it was me,
and someone handed me a reel.
I looked at Nigel and shrugged, "sorry man."
He laughed.
I thanked our overly generous charter master for the present.
I told him no matter how the rest of the trip goes, I already won the jackpot.

My roommate, Ian and I,
were familiar with each other,
but hadn't spent much time chatting in the past.
We took turns unpacking our gear.
Ian is a veteran long ranger.
He knows the game.

Lunchtime, and afterwards,
the lads, some of whom have been up since early this morning,
decide it's naptime.
The way things are looking,
I'm skeptical we'll fish today.

Four p.m. arrives,
my opinion hasn't changed,
and I decide to have a cocktail.

Five thirty and we're rolling past a tuna pen.
Just to prove me wrong,
the Skipper slows,
and stops to soak some baits,
for nada.

Dinner.
Chef Glen, and his helper,
Ola, the Hawaiian, put on a show.
Head Deck Technician Tommy put on a clean shirt,
and was our server tonight.
Big Caesar salad.
Baby back Ribs.
Big Scoop of Macaroni and Cheese.
Cornbread.
Some delicious yellow corn that one of the Fresno Boys has brought down for us to enjoy..
It was good,
but not like that sweet, white Mexican we get in So Cal.
What can I say?
We're spoiled.

DAY TWO

Up at five.
Breakfast at six.
On deck at six thirty.
It's a way nicer day today.
We're trolling jigs in teams of four.
Half hour shifts.
It goes fast.

At nine thirty we hit a kelp and put on some yellowtail and dorado.
Nothing to write home about.
The ocean surface is smoother today,
the sky is still gray,
but the sun is trying hard to break through the marine layer.

At ten thirty I'm sitting upstairs,
watching the anglers working on the deck.
We get underway again,
and crewman Hayden is heading up to the crow's nest.
"Back to looking," he says to me as he heads up to his perch.
It was easy to like Hayden.

I already mentioned crewmen Andrew and Tommy.
They're not old in human years,
but they've been around a long time.
They're sort of jaded.
Nothing you can do or say will shock them.
They've been at their job a long time, and they know it well.

Hayden, on the other hand, and his working partner, Trinten, are the opposite.
They're young and full of energy.
They're all ears, and eager to learn about everything.
They smile a lot,
they work hard,
and are only "too willing" to help you,
in any way they possibly can.

Trinten was the "new guy" on the crew,
but watching him in action,
it was easy to see why the Captain would give him a chance.
Trinten has some talent.

Eleven a.m. and we stop to fish a kelp pattie that Hayden has spotted.
No biters.

Lunchtime and I pour a cocktail.
I join Matt and Mike #2 at a table for some good food,
and good conversation.
I met Matt last year.
He's a ball of energy.
He's brought his friend Mike #2 with him on this trip.
Mike #2's energy is a bit more refined.

Matt is telling a story about their "ski bum" days from years ago.
Barely surviving,
they applied for food stamps.
They got some, but the lady in charge told them it would be a "one time" deal.
Mike #2 tells me it was the "one and only" time in life he took public assistance.

Turns out Mike #2 was a union rep for some electrical workers.
I'm a union guy myself.
Over conversation,
we enjoyed the bond that those of us in "organized" labor share.

Two p.m. and I was back upstairs enjoying the view.
Capt. Andrew was on his way downstairs when I told him I had a question for him the next time he came by.
He stopped his forward progress and returned to my station.
"What can I do for you?", he says.
"Tell me about Team Five", I says.
I had seen a little sticker on a little door to a little hatch in the ceiling of the galley.
He tells me the story.
I ask him if he ever gets tired of telling that story.
"No", he says.
I ask him if he has to tell the story on every trip.
"No", he says.
"About every fifth one."
He resumes his journey towards the ladder.
As he turns to head down, he gives me the look-back.
Andrew is a young old man.

Four p.m. and a patch of blue sky opens up above us.
That calls for a cocktail.

Five p.m. and the deck below is engulfed in sunlight for the first time this trip.
Everyone stretches out to greet the warm embrace.

Five forty five and we stop for some dorado fishing.
From my perch up above the action,
I'm fascinated by a parade of passing whales.

The Skipper fires up the engines,
comes on the P.A. and says,
"We're outta here."
We head off in a northwesterly direction towards San Clemente Island.
Right into the wind and current.

Chef Glen and his helper, Ola, put on another show tonight,
with Hayden as our server/emcee.
A Salad with Strawberries? Really.
I don't think I've ever had that before.
Steak, potatoes, sprouts.
Fresh baked bread.
Hayden's Famous Banana Split for dessert.

I mentioned to someone, just loud enough for the Chef to overhear,
that it's sad when the meals are the highlight of the trip.

The lowlight of the trip occurred midway through dinner.
John Rambo, solo passenger, friend of the boat, took a tumble.
The boat did a rock, then a roll, the next thing I know,
John has his right hand on my left shoulder.
I turned my head to the left, and our eyes met.
Problem was, John is horizontal, with a look of fear in his eyes, like he's hoping for a soft landing.
He didn't get it.
We all felt bad for Rambo.


DAY THREE

I slept good.
Even into the bumpy ride.

Six thirty a.m. and I'm on deck.
Still overcast, but the wind and whitecaps are gone.
Rambo is up and putting on a brave face.

The boat has the kite/helium balloon rig ready for launching.
I mention to Terry I like the Skipper's confidence.

Seven forty five, we hook a small yellowtail on the troll.
We encounter a patch of blue sky.

Nine a.m. we encounter a patch of bluefin tuna.
No biters, but the sign of life in the area is good.

Noon
Skipper says take a nap.
We're moving to an area about forty miles away.

I mix a cocktail and head back upstairs.
I plug in some music.
I'm going back down to Mexico in the Fall.
I'm working on a new playlist for Los Mariachis for when I get there.

Two p.m.
Second cocktail.
More music.

Five p.m.
We arrive in the zone, and begin to try for them.
We got the kite up in the air twice, but no biters each time.

Six p.m.
I got lucky babe.
I elected to try the drop-shot technique that I just learned from my mentor, Kenji-san, last month.
I like it because I can still feel the bait swimming, even with the sinker attached.
I pinned on a sardine, through the lower jaw first, and then up through the nose cartilage.
I was using a 4/0 Owner Gorilla Ringed hook I got from The Kid.
I went to the rail and started my descent.
With the sinker on the bottom, it can go down fast without worrying about the helicopter effect.
I was using six ounces of lead, and I was at the perfect 45 degree angle.

As soon as I got to the marker on my line indicating I had two hundred feet of line out, and my bait was probably actually more like 100 feet beneath the ocean's surface, the tuna climbed all over my bait.
I knew it was a good one.

The new kid, Trinten, was at my side.
He ran interference for me as we negotiated our way around the boat a couple of times.
His help was just right.
Not too much.
Not too little.
Long story short,
we got him.
Might be a new personal best for me.
Might have even broken the 100 pound mark.
We have to wait until we put it on a scale at Five Star Fish Processors.

We took some pics, and I started a recovery program.
Tee Dub had hooked one at the same time and
I remember doing the over and under with him at the rail.
Might have been more than once.
It was all a blur now,
but those photos of us together will be a forever moment, memorialized.

DAY FOUR

I slept like a King.
When I got up and went for some coffee, Trinten was waiting for me with a full report of the night's activities.

A few fish had been caught early in the evening, right after dinner.
The best fishing was from midnight to 5 a.m.
There were a couple of smaller fish in the 40-60 pound class,
but the majority of the catch was that 80-150 pound class.
Steve, Chris' buddy, lost a heart-breaker, dream maker, love taker at the last possible moment.
Sounded like some damn fine fishing to me.
I asked Trinten if he had found time to sleep.
"Not yet," he says.
I told you that kid has some talent.

Seven thirty and the bluefin tuna are erupting all around the boat as far as you can see.
If you've never seen it, it's impossible for me to describe.
If you've never seen it, I feel for you.

Making a poor choice, I toss in a sardine on forty pound line.
I got bit, and held on long enough for Capt. Andrew to do a look-see.
Then my line rubbed up against one of those other tuna swimming around,
and it was game over rather quickly.
We lost a handful of hooked fish this morning.
I suspect those line rubs were the cause.

Eight a.m. and I'm soaking one in the bow.
There's a couple of other anglers to my right on the starboard side of the boat.
Eventually, we are joined by an angler hooked up to a good tuna.
This angler was the hot dog on day two,
but he's been cold as ice since.
Capt. Andrew is at his side, ready to lend assistance when needed.

I didn't see it happen, but the angler's line parted.
Maybe it got nicked somewhere like I described above.
Who knows?
Instead of taking it like a man,
he took it like a five year old,
and threw down his tackle on the deck,
and stormed away.
Nobody said nothing for a while.
Capt. Andrew shook his head.
I suggested maybe this wasn't the game for "that guy".

One of the gentlemen that had been to my right when this all started,
Scott,
said he'd known him forty years.
I told Scott that told me a lot...about you.
I told Scott that he was the definition of a loyal friend.
I told Scott I couldn't hang with "that guy" for forty minutes.

That Guy eventually returned,
thoroughly embarrassed,
to collect his gear.
Nobody said nothing.

Nine thirty a.m.
We're trolling again.
It's a single lure, way, way, way back.
Capt. Andrew is on top of the bait tank.

The Skipper accelerates, comes on the PA to say "get ready".
I ask Andrew if he wants me to wind in the trolling rig.
He looks at me, he looks at the rig, and nods his head.
I guess he thought I was qualified enough to do that.

I started reeling the rig in as the boat turns to the left.
I kept winding as the lure took me around the stern and up the port side.
I kept winding as I got to the bow.
I kept winding, and I kept winding.
It seemed like minutes passed, and I keep winding.
And keep winding.
Finally, I come to the end of my rope.
I lift that lure out of the water,
and head back down the empty starboard side to the stern.

When I get there, Andrew is still on top of the tank.
He's been waiting for me with a big ass grin on his face.
That will be the last time I volunteer to do anything on that boat.
Ever.

Lunchtime and there's a party mood creeping up on us.

I get a chance to chat with the Skipper about things.
One of them is this particular casting style of his.

I had seen it before, and early in this trip,
I asked him for a lesson if we had the time.
He agreed but told me that without some overhead casting skills,
or some experience fly fishing,
the lesson would probably not take.
He told me the essence of it.
He is casting the line, not the bait.

He starts with his hands together.
Rod and reel in his right hand, thumb on spool.
His left hand, thumb or finger, pulls line off of the reel as he begins his backcast with his right arm.
The motion of his right arm going back starts the pendulum motion of the bait.
At the height of the backcast, his arms spread far apart like an eagle

He starts the forward motion with his right wing.
You can see how he is casting the line, not the bait.
As the cast ends, his left hand is still holding the line coming from the spool.
He's an artist.
It's poetry in motion.
Like watching Michaelangelo sculpt a statue.
Or Picasso painting a picture.

One thirty p.m. and I go back to my roots.
Flyline.
Sixty pound, in case of line rub.
The fifty pounder I hooked in the stern came in like butter.
Tommy put the gaff in it, and a tag on it.

The party really got started now.

Four p.m. and few at the rail now.

Six thirty and a few are still trying, but not me.

Eight thirty and I'm thinking "what a perfect trip".
Good companions.
I won a reel.
I might have caught a personal best bluefin tuna.
I might have cracked the 100 pound barrier, still to be determined.
I got that second bonus tuna.
It wasn't me that got injured.

The sense of good fortune was overwhelming.
Enjoying the ride,
not thinking about the destination.

El Fin
 

f'nsabiki

Newbie
Jun 11, 2006
98
84
cardiff
Name
joel
Boat Name
kayak
That's some Hemingway report! "Glad it wasn't me" is always the first thought that goes through my mind when someone gets hurt, hooked or skunked.
 
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Capper

Newbie
Jul 25, 2021
49
287
58
Oak hills
Name
Greg Lightcap
Boat Name
Squrit 2
(different kind of a fish report...)

Going on three years now, we just can't shake this thing.
Rising case numbers and hospitalizations.
Forehead temperature checks at the boat.
Last minute cancellations due to Covid 19, and it's "variants of concern".
Not to mention the rest of the chaos going on in the world.

In spite of that,
or maybe because of it,
sixteen anglers lined up Wednesday morning to boardVAGABOND.
When The Vegas Boys cancelled at the last minute,
our trip went from "limited load",
to "ultra limited load".
Gave the boat a more "yachty" feeling,
not so much like a cattle boat.

When I arrived, I stepped out of my truck,
and almost got run over by my pal from the Red Rooster,
"It ain't Easy being" Phil Lisi.
Easy's going out on the Bird,
while I'm joining friends I've made on the Watkins charter,
riding it now for the third year in a row.

Speaking of the Bird,
I spotted Captain Jason in the parking lot.
He helped me land a cow last November,
so I had to say hello.

Lined up to board,
the guys waiting to get on Intrepid,
are on the opposite side of the pedestrian walkway.
One of those guys looks familiar,
and he comes over to say hello.
It's No Cal Lou.
We met on that boat, probably a Wahoodad trip.
Might have been the one where I met The Kid.
Lou tells me he's retired now,
and moving to Texas.
I tell Lou The Kid will be there waiting for him.

So, here we go.

DAY ONE

It's windy.
It's white cappy.
We're heading south,
going with the current,
downhill.

The tuna have been a no show recently.
Most of the fleet has been scratching a catch of either rock fish or yellowtail.
We're going to be searching for kelp patties,
hoping to catch some yellowtail, some dorado, maybe some tuna.
Slim to none chance of any Bluefin Nightfall fishing this evening.

Safety Seminar with Capt. Andrew was routine.
Charter Master Terry Watkins took over and held a raffle to give away some nice prizes.
I'm sitting in a booth with Nigel the Englishman on my left.
The guy two spots to Nigel's left wins the first reel.
The guy to Nigel's immediate left wins the second reel.
I use my left elbow to nudge Nigel in the ribs and say,
"Boy, this bodes well for you, doesn't it?"
Instead they called out a number,
I didn't hear what it was,
somebody said it was me,
and someone handed me a reel.
I looked at Nigel and shrugged, "sorry man."
He laughed.
I thanked our overly generous charter master for the present.
I told him no matter how the rest of the trip goes, I already won the jackpot.

My roommate, Ian and I,
were familiar with each other,
but hadn't spent much time chatting in the past.
We took turns unpacking our gear.
Ian is a veteran long ranger.
He knows the game.

Lunchtime, and afterwards,
the lads, some of whom have been up since early this morning,
decide it's naptime.
The way things are looking,
I'm skeptical we'll fish today.

Four p.m. arrives,
my opinion hasn't changed,
and I decide to have a cocktail.

Five thirty and we're rolling past a tuna pen.
Just to prove me wrong,
the Skipper slows,
and stops to soak some baits,
for nada.

Dinner.
Chef Glen, and his helper,
Ola, the Hawaiian, put on a show.
Head Deck Technician Tommy put on a clean shirt,
and was our server tonight.
Big Caesar salad.
Baby back Ribs.
Big Scoop of Macaroni and Cheese.
Cornbread.
Some delicious yellow corn that one of the Fresno Boys has brought down for us to enjoy..
It was good,
but not like that sweet, white Mexican we get in So Cal.
What can I say?
We're spoiled.

DAY TWO

Up at five.
Breakfast at six.
On deck at six thirty.
It's a way nicer day today.
We're trolling jigs in teams of four.
Half hour shifts.
It goes fast.

At nine thirty we hit a kelp and put on some yellowtail and dorado.
Nothing to write home about.
The ocean surface is smoother today,
the sky is still gray,
but the sun is trying hard to break through the marine layer.

At ten thirty I'm sitting upstairs,
watching the anglers working on the deck.
We get underway again,
and crewman Hayden is heading up to the crow's nest.
"Back to looking," he says to me as he heads up to his perch.
It was easy to like Hayden.

I already mentioned crewmen Andrew and Tommy.
They're not old in human years,
but they've been around a long time.
They're sort of jaded.
Nothing you can do or say will shock them.
They've been at their job a long time, and they know it well.

Hayden, on the other hand, and his working partner, Trinten, are the opposite.
They're young and full of energy.
They're all ears, and eager to learn about everything.
They smile a lot,
they work hard,
and are only "too willing" to help you,
in any way they possibly can.

Trinten was the "new guy" on the crew,
but watching him in action,
it was easy to see why the Captain would give him a chance.
Trinten has some talent.

Eleven a.m. and we stop to fish a kelp pattie that Hayden has spotted.
No biters.

Lunchtime and I pour a cocktail.
I join Matt and Mike #2 at a table for some good food,
and good conversation.
I met Matt last year.
He's a ball of energy.
He's brought his friend Mike #2 with him on this trip.
Mike #2's energy is a bit more refined.

Matt is telling a story about their "ski bum" days from years ago.
Barely surviving,
they applied for food stamps.
They got some, but the lady in charge told them it would be a "one time" deal.
Mike #2 tells me it was the "one and only" time in life he took public assistance.

Turns out Mike #2 was a union rep for some electrical workers.
I'm a union guy myself.
Over conversation,
we enjoyed the bond that those of us in "organized" labor share.

Two p.m. and I was back upstairs enjoying the view.
Capt. Andrew was on his way downstairs when I told him I had a question for him the next time he came by.
He stopped his forward progress and returned to my station.
"What can I do for you?", he says.
"Tell me about Team Five", I says.
I had seen a little sticker on a little door to a little hatch in the ceiling of the galley.
He tells me the story.
I ask him if he ever gets tired of telling that story.
"No", he says.
I ask him if he has to tell the story on every trip.
"No", he says.
"About every fifth one."
He resumes his journey towards the ladder.
As he turns to head down, he gives me the look-back.
Andrew is a young old man.

Four p.m. and a patch of blue sky opens up above us.
That calls for a cocktail.

Five p.m. and the deck below is engulfed in sunlight for the first time this trip.
Everyone stretches out to greet the warm embrace.

Five forty five and we stop for some dorado fishing.
From my perch up above the action,
I'm fascinated by a parade of passing whales.

The Skipper fires up the engines,
comes on the P.A. and says,
"We're outta here."
We head off in a northwesterly direction towards San Clemente Island.
Right into the wind and current.

Chef Glen and his helper, Ola, put on another show tonight,
with Hayden as our server/emcee.
A Salad with Strawberries? Really.
I don't think I've ever had that before.
Steak, potatoes, sprouts.
Fresh baked bread.
Hayden's Famous Banana Split for dessert.

I mentioned to someone, just loud enough for the Chef to overhear,
that it's sad when the meals are the highlight of the trip.

The lowlight of the trip occurred midway through dinner.
John Rambo, solo passenger, friend of the boat, took a tumble.
The boat did a rock, then a roll, the next thing I know,
John has his right hand on my left shoulder.
I turned my head to the left, and our eyes met.
Problem was, John is horizontal, with a look of fear in his eyes, like he's hoping for a soft landing.
He didn't get it.
We all felt bad for Rambo.


DAY THREE

I slept good.
Even into the bumpy ride.

Six thirty a.m. and I'm on deck.
Still overcast, but the wind and whitecaps are gone.
Rambo is up and putting on a brave face.

The boat has the kite/helium balloon rig ready for launching.
I mention to Terry I like the Skipper's confidence.

Seven forty five, we hook a small yellowtail on the troll.
We encounter a patch of blue sky.

Nine a.m. we encounter a patch of bluefin tuna.
No biters, but the sign of life in the area is good.

Noon
Skipper says take a nap.
We're moving to an area about forty miles away.

I mix a cocktail and head back upstairs.
I plug in some music.
I'm going back down to Mexico in the Fall.
I'm working on a new playlist for Los Mariachis for when I get there.

Two p.m.
Second cocktail.
More music.

Five p.m.
We arrive in the zone, and begin to try for them.
We got the kite up in the air twice, but no biters each time.

Six p.m.
I got lucky babe.
I elected to try the drop-shot technique that I just learned from my mentor, Kenji-san, last month.
I like it because I can still feel the bait swimming, even with the sinker attached.
I pinned on a sardine, through the lower jaw first, and then up through the nose cartilage.
I was using a 4/0 Owner Gorilla Ringed hook I got from The Kid.
I went to the rail and started my descent.
With the sinker on the bottom, it can go down fast without worrying about the helicopter effect.
I was using six ounces of lead, and I was at the perfect 45 degree angle.

As soon as I got to the marker on my line indicating I had two hundred feet of line out, and my bait was probably actually more like 100 feet beneath the ocean's surface, the tuna climbed all over my bait.
I knew it was a good one.

The new kid, Trinten, was at my side.
He ran interference for me as we negotiated our way around the boat a couple of times.
His help was just right.
Not too much.
Not too little.
Long story short,
we got him.
Might be a new personal best for me.
Might have even broken the 100 pound mark.
We have to wait until we put it on a scale at Five Star Fish Processors.

We took some pics, and I started a recovery program.
Tee Dub had hooked one at the same time and
I remember doing the over and under with him at the rail.
Might have been more than once.
It was all a blur now,
but those photos of us together will be a forever moment, memorialized.

DAY FOUR

I slept like a King.
When I got up and went for some coffee, Trinten was waiting for me with a full report of the night's activities.

A few fish had been caught early in the evening, right after dinner.
The best fishing was from midnight to 5 a.m.
There were a couple of smaller fish in the 40-60 pound class,
but the majority of the catch was that 80-150 pound class.
Steve, Chris' buddy, lost a heart-breaker, dream maker, love taker at the last possible moment.
Sounded like some damn fine fishing to me.
I asked Trinten if he had found time to sleep.
"Not yet," he says.
I told you that kid has some talent.

Seven thirty and the bluefin tuna are erupting all around the boat as far as you can see.
If you've never seen it, it's impossible for me to describe.
If you've never seen it, I feel for you.

Making a poor choice, I toss in a sardine on forty pound line.
I got bit, and held on long enough for Capt. Andrew to do a look-see.
Then my line rubbed up against one of those other tuna swimming around,
and it was game over rather quickly.
We lost a handful of hooked fish this morning.
I suspect those line rubs were the cause.

Eight a.m. and I'm soaking one in the bow.
There's a couple of other anglers to my right on the starboard side of the boat.
Eventually, we are joined by an angler hooked up to a good tuna.
This angler was the hot dog on day two,
but he's been cold as ice since.
Capt. Andrew is at his side, ready to lend assistance when needed.

I didn't see it happen, but the angler's line parted.
Maybe it got nicked somewhere like I described above.
Who knows?
Instead of taking it like a man,
he took it like a five year old,
and threw down his tackle on the deck,
and stormed away.
Nobody said nothing for a while.
Capt. Andrew shook his head.
I suggested maybe this wasn't the game for "that guy".

One of the gentlemen that had been to my right when this all started,
Scott,
said he'd known him forty years.
I told Scott that told me a lot...about you.
I told Scott that he was the definition of a loyal friend.
I told Scott I couldn't hang with "that guy" for forty minutes.

That Guy eventually returned,
thoroughly embarrassed,
to collect his gear.
Nobody said nothing.

Nine thirty a.m.
We're trolling again.
It's a single lure, way, way, way back.
Capt. Andrew is on top of the bait tank.

The Skipper accelerates, comes on the PA to say "get ready".
I ask Andrew if he wants me to wind in the trolling rig.
He looks at me, he looks at the rig, and nods his head.
I guess he thought I was qualified enough to do that.

I started reeling the rig in as the boat turns to the left.
I kept winding as the lure took me around the stern and up the port side.
I kept winding as I got to the bow.
I kept winding, and I kept winding.
It seemed like minutes passed, and I keep winding.
And keep winding.
Finally, I come to the end of my rope.
I lift that lure out of the water,
and head back down the empty starboard side to the stern.

When I get there, Andrew is still on top of the tank.
He's been waiting for me with a big ass grin on his face.
That will be the last time I volunteer to do anything on that boat.
Ever.

Lunchtime and there's a party mood creeping up on us.

I get a chance to chat with the Skipper about things.
One of them is this particular casting style of his.

I had seen it before, and early in this trip,
I asked him for a lesson if we had the time.
He agreed but told me that without some overhead casting skills,
or some experience fly fishing,
the lesson would probably not take.
He told me the essence of it.
He is casting the line, not the bait.

He starts with his hands together.
Rod and reel in his right hand, thumb on spool.
His left hand, thumb or finger, pulls line off of the reel as he begins his backcast with his right arm.
The motion of his right arm going back starts the pendulum motion of the bait.
At the height of the backcast, his arms spread far apart like an eagle

He starts the forward motion with his right wing.
You can see how he is casting the line, not the bait.
As the cast ends, his left hand is still holding the line coming from the spool.
He's an artist.
It's poetry in motion.
Like watching Michaelangelo sculpt a statue.
Or Picasso painting a picture.

One thirty p.m. and I go back to my roots.
Flyline.
Sixty pound, in case of line rub.
The fifty pounder I hooked in the stern came in like butter.
Tommy put the gaff in it, and a tag on it.

The party really got started now.

Four p.m. and few at the rail now.

Six thirty and a few are still trying, but not me.

Eight thirty and I'm thinking "what a perfect trip".
Good companions.
I won a reel.
I might have caught a personal best bluefin tuna.
I might have cracked the 100 pound barrier, still to be determined.
I got that second bonus tuna.
It wasn't me that got injured.

The sense of good fortune was overwhelming.
Enjoying the ride,
not thinking about the destination.

El Fin
Wow what a report thank you
 
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Warlord

Member
  • Jul 7, 2005
    532
    609
    71
    Granada Hills, CA
    Name
    Steve
    Boat Name
    22' Supreme Wakeboard Boat
    Thanks for the great read! Good on ya to get your PB and had a great trip. Your experience with the crew is the reason I’ve been going on the boat for over 20 years. Mike is one of the great captains. He has his priorities in order. He trains his crew well He insists on customer service. And he’s taught that underhand cast to anyone willing to ask!
     
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    mhanson59hb

    Fear No Fish
  • Apr 22, 2013
    2,736
    4,436
    Huntington Beach
    Name
    Mike
    Boat Name
    2008 Trophy 1802 "Mako My Day"
    Great, entertaining report!

    PS - I've never read one written in Haiku before :D
     
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    Pitchinwedge

    Member
  • Aug 7, 2016
    889
    617
    So Cal
    Name
    Sammie
    Boat Name
    None
    He starts with his hands together.
    Rod and reel in his right hand, thumb on spool.
    His left hand, thumb or finger, pulls line off of the reel as he begins his backcast with his right arm.
    The motion of his right arm going back starts the pendulum motion of the bait.
    At the height of the backcast, his arms spread far apart like an eagle

    He starts the forward motion with his right wing.
    You can see how he is casting the line, not the bait.
    As the cast ends, his left hand is still holding the line coming from the spool.

    Did you get the complete lesson? Seems the left hand is the key and it's not just about spreading the arms apart. We can't all be Fluffy, right?
     
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    vegasandre

    I Should Upgrade My Account
    Aug 20, 2010
    2,138
    2,789
    San Diego
    Name
    Andre
    Boat Name
    Any Boat that I can go on
    Did you get the complete lesson? Seems the left hand is the key and it's not just about spreading the arms apart. We can't all be Fluffy, right?
    sounds like a fly fishing Single Haul.. very interesting.. time to practice that in the backyard..LOL
     
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    Pitchinwedge

    Member
  • Aug 7, 2016
    889
    617
    So Cal
    Name
    Sammie
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    None
    sounds like a fly fishing Single Haul
    Actually maybe a little bit like the second half of a Double Haul? Keep in mind.... if the spool isn't moving fast enough, the bait won't go more than a few feet before it comes flying back at you as the line comes taut or if the spool if spinning too fast, you got a big birds nest. We don't have the luxury of a bunch of slack line between the spool and the stripper guide.
     
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