Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Tuna Fishing

      Today was an interesting yet disappointing day. I went to Newport Beach at 4:30 in the morning because we were there for the 3/4 day boat, Patriot, Which caught a variety of fish that I would like to catch. Instead they put us on a boat called the Western Pride, and they didn't tell us why until after the boat came back to the dock. It was because the Patriot was already booked as a charter for that day, so they put us on a three quarter day boat which went for 200 lb bluefin tuna. We probably would have chosen one of the half day trips and some money back (since we booked online and half day trips cost less).

      I went fishing today with Dod Shlome. We have been talking about going on a 3/4 extended (12 hours) fishing trip to catch big fish. We boarded the boat at 6 AM and got going. We stopped at a live bait platform like in San Pedro, but nobody would use the sardines. We would all use lures and cast them out for a feeding frenzy. On the way there, one of the crew members called everyone in to have a seminar on bluefin tuna fishing. The first words he said were: "You didn't think we would be catching bass, did you?" Calico bass is the first fish I caught at the Santa Monica pier. The crew member told us about how big bluefin tuna are, up to 250 lb, and how they would be the fight of a lifetime. One of the crew members told me that a man once died while fighting with these fish because he was under so much pressure and adrenaline. The fish was landed by his friend who was also on the boat. He told us how we would have to look for "foaming" in the water. Foaming is when the water at the surface looks white because of the bubbles caused by waves of the tuna eating sardine bait schools from the bottom and chasing them to the top as they jump to catch the small fish, and birds diving down in the water to catch some. We would have to cast the lure into the center of the waves, wait, then reel in very fast. The crew member told us that bluefin tuna fishing in Southern California is rarely as good as it is this summer. All of these made me excited for the trip.  When we went outside again, we saw a grey whale and dolphins. We had seen a seal at the live bait platform. After waiting for about 2 1/2 hours, we saw foaming and called it out. We drove to it and cast out are lines. It was hectic!

       But, alas, we caught nothing and the school of tuna went away. This happened multiple times. Once, when we were driving, we saw a huge amount of foaming in the distance! We drove there as fast as we could and we did just what the crew member told us. We all wanted somebody on the boat to catch a tuna. The closest we came to catching one was when a tuna came and chased someone's line he might have caught the fish, if he hadn't reeled in too fast for the swift tuna. We ended up leaving with no fish, but the other boats did. As I said earlier, this trip was interesting yet disappointing day. I was happy that I got to experience tuna fishing, especially for the occasional bluefin in Southern California. I got to see a seal, a whale, and dolphins, and how "foaming" works. It was a good trip, but not what I signed up for or wanted.

Tips and tricks for the day:

Newport landing and Davy's Locker fishing trips are not too trusty, and research on what exactly every boat does and what you want to do before and after you book.

Tuna fishing is an interesting experience and can have you fighting the fight of a lifetime if you hook on.

Stay tuned! More posts coming soon!

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