Tuesday, October 16, 2007

November Yellowtail!

Here I was, sitting at work, Saturday afternoon, watching golfers beat the ball around out on the range. Checking the computer every few minutes for an update, I'd wait to see how the Tuna guys were doing. I saw Chad's post from Bud, talking of fish in the boat. Didn't sound like a monster day for numbers, but hey, any tuna in October is a great sign!

Later that afternoon, I get the call from Bud. I hear how they did, and the other boats that were out. I got work cleared and made preperations for a Sunday Run...which could quite possibly be the last Tuna Trip of the Year. I called Dylan (Z. Fisherman) to join us.

He and I cruised over to Garibaldi first thing Sunday morning to meet up with Bud and Dave (Beer Wagon). We left dock around 7am. At some point on that dock I heard Bud mumble, "Red sky in the morning, sailors take warning..." This is a preface as to what was to come..

The bay was littered with smaller salmon boats, anxiously awaiting that first-light salmon bite. I mean LITTERED. We had to dodge our way out through the mine field of boats. Finally, we were to the tips and noticed a realitively flat bar. It was an easy crossing. Up to 25 knots we rose, gliding over 5' swells with ease, due to the length and duration between each swell.

Calm seas and little wind accompanied us on the way out.

The water started clearing up pretty quick and before we knew it we were into bright blue water. We threw out trolling gear and made our way West in 58.5 degree water.

A large dragger was up ahead and we made our way that direction. We noticed alot of bird activity, most of which were albatross. We trolled through them a few times when the first rod went off. Up to the boat came Sr. Albacore!

We caught him on a Cedar Plug Chain. First fish in the boat. This brought a little ease off our shoulders for the rest of the trip.

In this same vicinity, we hooked up again. This one ran and fought differently, shooting from side to side. As it came up, we heard "Yellowtail!" We made sure THIS fish wasn't getting away! He attacked one of the spreader bars. Here's a scary fella, brandishing a bloody knife and a glare that could kill. Oh wait, it's just Dave.

We each wanted a picture with this one. This next one is Dylan.

...and finally, yours truly...

Our first exotic of the year, and what a time for it to come....OCTOBER?!

We spotted a few schools of jumpers, but they remained pretty shy of the boat. We hooked up a couple others, but somehow they came unbuttoned. Managed to get another nice-sized albie in the boat.

Around noon, the wind started kickin up from the South. This bumped the forcast up to more of a 3 and 5 forcast. We started seeing some sheep which made spotting jumpers almost impossible. at this point, we started trolling west and eventually pick up and ran.

The ride home definitely was not as comfortable as the ride out. With that southerly, the chop was nearing 4-5 ft.

We slid in across the bar before it really had a chance to stand up.

All in all, it was a successful mission. The yellowtail just brought that extra bit of energy and enthusiasm.

Driving back around the bay, headed for home, made for some good picture opportunities as well.

Wow, what a difference a few hours make. That morning, the Ghost Hole was PACKED! Not to mention pretty rough
... and now, at sunset,...calm and quiet... no boats.

Great year. Thanks Bud, I've had some great trips and memories! What a great way to end the 2007 Oregon Tuna Season!

....Or IS it the last? ...can't tell with Bud