Monday, October 12, 2009

Tillamook Tales!

Went over the hill to Garibaldi for the weekend. We didn't go out fishing til around 10, so we watched the zoo at the ramp. I'd call it 'controlled chaos'.
Many weekend warriors, excited clients, and others dreaming of coastal chrome!

It was still a bit windy in the morning, even in the harbor.

I was impressed with how quickly and smoothly it went! Glad I wasn't a part of it, and was only documenting it!

Walked over to the Tillamook Bay Boathouse and got a few more shots before it got light.


Big Tuna Marine at First Light

We eventually made our way out to Barview to watch the fleet start harvesting chrome.

Glad to have these guys watching over us!

Was a pretty calm bar, with most of the boats venturing outside the tips. Look close, two boats have fish on!

Looking North, the sky began to get light...

We headed back to Big Tuna to get the crab pots rigged and lines ready.

Trying to get out between the salmon boats was like a corn maze out there!
Looking back at them, once we were out, they looked like you could literally walk across them!

Saw Captain Johnny Bowles out there puttin a hurt on the feesh, while we slid out past the Chrome-seekers.

Ended up with some large ocean crab as well as a pile of rockfish.

Great day on the water... Could be the last nice one for a long time, looking at the weather forecast!


Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Passions and Pelagics: Pacific Pork and Pomfret

Ahhh! Let me first start by saying, 'what an AMAZING day yesterday on the water!' From the time we stepped aboard The Seelicious, we knew it was gonna be a great day. We idled out to the coast guard tower, then throttled up. Made our way out past the tips with no concern. Flat bar. The sun peeked its rays above the coast range.

Little Italy, once again, has treated me to a head full of memories!

Bud, Mike, Dylan and I made the run west, only after a nice filling breakfast at the Wheelhouse. Mmmm, what a way to start out the, biscuits-n-gravy, bacon, eggs and toast! Can you tell I'm hungry this morning?
Seelicious was loaded with its late-season arsonal. A porcupined boat; quills armed with fishtraps and iron. Chovie along with light green/clear fishtraps worked the best, with purple/clear also getting a little action.

Mike brought his own gear, and found the fish REALLY liked his BF jigs.

Oh yes, lastly, to add to the arsonal of Late-season tactics, we had a livewell full of anchovies just WAITING to become heroes! This was their day to shine! This was the day they lived their whole lives for.. The big dance...
...Go get 'em, squigglies!

So we make our way out past the tips, across a relatively smooth bar. The ride out was comfortable and seemed quick given the distance. We found green/blue water and some good temp breaks around the 125 line. The wind laid down as the day progressed. Sheep never appeared, making the spotting of jumpers MUCH easier! Most of the time, Ole' Eagle-Eye Mike would spot 'em 1000's of yds out before the rest of us saw them.... (I think its a trained eye that comes with all those ocean hours!)
The fish were a bit skittish and would sound fairly quickly as we rolled up on them. For the most part we could slide up, throw a few traps and iron and hook right up. Livies would then be deployed creating the second wave of the attack. This hooked up the next couple fish in the pod. By this time, the fish would normally sound and be below us. Once it seemed the pod moved on, the third and final wave of the attack was deployed...Iron to 100ft. Iron Mike would hook up on his BF jig down around 50-100'. Granted, not every pod out there produced these numbers. We Did have a couple stops that were bounty-less. But for the most part, we made it happen when we needed to.

Dylan spotted what we thought were 2-3 dorado under a kelp paddy we slid up on. We casted EVERYthing at them, including live bait but no hits. I was fortunate enough to see the forked blue-green tails as they were swimming off. We even slow trolled the livies around the paddy, with no results. We decided to move on to the next set of jumpers.

A little later, we came across a small baitball getting worked. We slid right up on it, and it moved right towards us. The predator fish that were workin this baitball were we casted all around and thru the bait ball, and immediately hooked up with a Pacific Pomfret. You could see these chrome, crevalle-lookin piranha fish down in the water flyin in on the baitball, hitting it from all sides. Apparently our iron jigs looked extremely tasty to them, and we had 4 in the boat within a couple mins. They aren't large fish as you can see.

After the excitement wore off, we continued on our quest for longfins.

In the afternoon, the bite really picked up. We were noticing more and more pods of jumpers. The wind dying down and the ocean calming helped this out! We managed a healthy number of fish throughout the afternoon. Unfortunately, it IS October... The sun is setting earlier and the days are getting shorter, so we decided to run in.

We pointed the battlewagon east, and ran back to the barn at a smooth and comfortable 28 kt cruising speed. It was like a lake out there!

On the ride in, we recollected the events and highlights of the day. The calm conditions, seeing the dodo's, sharks, casting and hookin-up, (and yeah, losing a few), catching the Pomagranites, err PomPoms, err Pompanos, err....POMFRETS!, whatever they are! just kidding, they're pretty cool little fish!

These fish have some Sharp little teeth.. I'm not at my normal computer to edit, but you can kinda see them in this next picture. They also have a nice deep blue line along with that lighter blue along the back of the fish.

Anyway, just be be out on the ocean in and catching tuna in October definitely gave us a sense of accomplishment. To be blessed by Mother Ocean with 23 tuna, 4 exotics, along with visuals and memories to last till...well,. NEXT TRIP!

I couldn't have been out there with a better group of guys. I enjoyed fishin with all of you! For the most part, we were a fairly-well-oiled machine out there... Glad we got to fish together again, Mike! and of course a HUGE thanks to Bud for another AMAZING trip on the pond! You've allowed my head to swell with some amazing memories, yet again. Thank you, Amigo!