One of the locals that fishes with us regularly, Beerman, shared his “Day on the Water” story and photo. Yet another sign that things are, in fact, picking up!
“Finally, a normal day at the office! I changed boats today (Tuesday) to the Eclipse and Alex, Carlos and I headed north to the shark buoys to make live bait and try again for a blue. I bought 4 ballyhoo and by 9 a.m. all the tuna tubes were full and we had a variety of sizes and types of live bait.
We have been fishing the buoys for a few weeks now and haven’t seen a live fish anywhere around them. But today the fish are so thick, you can see the 10- to 20-pound skipjack schooling and flashing just under the surface. With every cast or troll we caught two at a time; that’s all the rods we had put out for bait.
The bait was rigged and dropped back, one on each outrigger and one on the downrigger. The plan was to slow troll in circles within about a mile of the buoys.
I went below for a bottle of water and as I returned, we got a strike on the 10-pound skipjack from the left outrigger. Rigged with a 3-inch circle hook, Carlos slowly sets the drag and the fish is hooked. Alex, from the captain’s chair above is saying it’s a big dorado.
I took the rod from Carlos and position myself in the office chair. All this time, the line is spooling off the reel which is set at 25 pounds of drag; this ain’t no dorado! Finally, the fish exits the water with a tremendous splash- it’s a blue! Alex thinks it might be a black marlin. That would be nice as I have only caught one black in my life and that was about 25 years ago in Australia. I fought the fish for about 20 minutes and it turned out to be a 200-lb. blue.
By 11 .a.m we had landed a big bull dorado weighing about 35 to 40 pounds! I am so happy I am ready to call it a day. But, we make bait three more times and get a lot of strikes but none that get hooked up. The baits skin is covered with bite marks and scratches so we know the fish are hungry but apparently the bait is too big for whatever keeps trying to eat it.
Capt. Alex from the Eclipse, with Beerman’s dodo.
One of the bait was a 10-inch live bonito. I was holding the rod as we trolled close to a buoy hopping to hook up with a dorado, when I felt a slight tug. Alex thought I had a bite, I thought it was just the bait getting excited.
I reeled it in to check and the bait had been bit in half with only the front head-part remaining. What was interesting and you don’t see very often, was how clean and straight the cut was. There was no ragged tissue, no ragged bone. The fish had been sliced crossways as if by a laser. Alex thought maybe a shark or a wahoo but we’ll never know. Another mystery of the sea!”