What a rough all around day. Met up at Jason T. house at 3 am Sunday morning to push off by 03:30 arrived to Westport at 5:30 am to meet Dave, got the boat into the water by 6:30. Found out the bait tank wasn’t running right so spent the next half an hour fumbling around with trying to get it to work. No bueno, and opted to run the raw water washdown into the tank to keep the anchovies alive. Spent $50 in ice, $60 in bait, $500 in fuel for the truck and the boat, with nothing to show for the efforts.
Tuna fishing is about as hardcore angling that is out here in the PNW. Jason T. has been trying to get me out for the last 2 years but its been tough as schedules don’t always sync up for this father of two young ones. Graciously, my wife gave me the green light to go on a weekend as mostly I am working and or committed to be around for the boys. She knows that its a treat to have Albacore and to target it on the fly rod is really something special.
I was excited to be leaving finally, however the bar crossing was a bit rough and since we’d temporarily plumbed the hose from the washdown to the bait tank it was jarred from the waves resulting in a couple of soaked and cold rear passengers. Jason’s boat is amazing, 25′ World Cat with twin screw OX66 Yamahas rated at 150 hp each. It is about the best fishing boats that I’ve been in and very comfortable, however it is a fishing boat, center console and little protecting from the elements. I should have put on my rain coat, but even so, the water from the bait tank found its way into my slicks and both Dave and I were cold and grumpy from the bar and the sporty conditions.
Two hours of that was enough and good thing the sun was out as we had to dry out while we fished. I estimated we put over 100 nautical miles on the trip as the place where we fished was past the Canyons a 2000’+ trench NW of the boat basin. It took over 2 hours to get to the fishing spot as noted by warmer temps and bluewater. We could tell when we getting close as the water in the bait tank was warmer to the touch. No signs of diving birds or sonar activity. We met several other charter boats out there, but it was pretty dead from the radio chatter on VHF 78 and 79. I was so glad that I took my Meclazine prior to leaving town, Dave on the otherhand wasn’t so lucky. He is a seasoned tuna fisherman and the rollers and sporty seas took a toll on his stomach, pretty much spent the whole day bent over the gunnel of the catamaran.
I think one boat got 3 fish, but that was it, we trolled at 6 mph with the short 5′ plug rods and had a center cedar plugs running on the topwater. Couldn’t tease up a tuna to even get in close to do a bait stop. Bummer. We stopped and tried to make something happen, even got the fly rod out and a line casted kind of going through the motions with nothing to show for the effort.
Perhaps the full moon affect, eclipse, and or the lateness of the season had something to factor with the void of tuna. I’ll probably stick with the salmon, crab, and steelheading this fall, maybe another year I’ll have to wait for another shot at them.