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Story Contest - Our Best Day

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Story Contest - Our Best Day
It started out like most other Saturday's in Ensenada, with a hangover. I was in worse shape than the rest of our crew but that only slowed us down. This weekend Josh & Mike were joined by their sister Kira, her husband Jeremy and our father, Steve so the party Friday night was mandatory. After a rough wake-up session and acquiring a beautiful couple scoops of mixed anchovies and mini-macks from Mike's bait, we took off trying to catch the rest of the fleet all heading south toward reports of some fantastic albacore fishing. As the sun came up, so did the miniscule breakfast I had eaten. Trying to settle my stomach, I climbed up on the hardtop trying to convince the crew and myself I was looking for signs of life but it was obvious to all that I was looking for some air in a last pathetic attempt to save myself. We were 29 mi. out when I spotted some birds and porpoises working off our port side. We ran over, put out the jigs and were shortly hooked up into a good bite of football yellowfin. After a few baitfish the action died and we continued on our heading south. A screaming drag seems to be the ultimate cure because it works for seasickness as well as a hangover. As we put the jigs back in, we got a report from Speno (one of our friends with a head start) that he just broke in his new boat with its first fish. Being a sleeper marlin, he slid up on and fed a large sardine. I decided to put out my 100 lb. rig with a Mexican flag colored marlin lure long in the center rigged with a lg. single owner, opened a sprite and climbed back to my perch on the hardtop (this time really looking for action).

It wasn't 20 minutes before both the outriggers snapped back with more force than we've ever heard. I got down on the deck just in time to see Kira pick up the starboard outrigger rod and get ripped down the rail until she hit the back wall, she was yanked over it and wedged between the outboard and our kicker motor. The only thing holding her in the boat was the fact that her shoulders wouldn't fit through. As Mike picked up the starboard flat rod which was also screaming line, he pulled her back into the boat by her fighting belt. While throwing chum I saw how fast line was peeling off the 100 lb. center rod and realized how big the fish really must be. Dad grabbed the port outrigger rod, then the sinking port flatline went off as huge boils began to erupt on the chum around the boat. Jeremy grabbed that one and all hell broke loose. We all took turns throwing a scoop of bait as we worked our fish by the bait tank to keep the show going, but Jeremy did more than his share when he lost his fish after about a 1/2 hour. Shortly after that, my fish came to color, Mike gave his rod to Jeremy for just long enough to gaff my fish and the both of us pulled our first bigeye over the side. I pinned a sm. mackerel to some 40 lb., pitched it out, hooked up instantly and handed it to Jeremy. I grabbed Mike's TLD rigged with 50 lb. and a big owner, another mack, another hookup. With a toad in the boat it was time to call in our friends which wasn't easy. I put my bent rod in the holder ran up to the radio and talked until the bend came out of my rod, then I would run back and crank it down until he would start pulling line again. I did this 3 times before our position was common knowledge and everyone was satisfied. By now, the other troll fish hooked on 50 lb were getting close to the boat and doing big circles. Mike had color on his when Jeremy, following his hot fish around the bow came down the port side fast wrapping Mike's line & cutting it when the tip of Jeremy's rod touched. Mike lost his first bigeye and Jeremy caught his first 10 lb skipjack. Kira was on her third lap of being dragged around the boat when she started falling behind her fish. Dad and I were at the starboard rear with our fish in sight when we noticed her line coming down the side but she was still at the bow. Mike got the rod from her but it was to late, her fish had already wrapped both our lines together. We moved quickly enough to save 2 of them but Dad was the 3rd casualty of the stop and he didn't take it well. We told him to get a line back in the water because the fish were still boiling all around us. After a major tantrum, he informed us that he didn't have it in him to battle a fish for another 1.5 hrs. Mike grabbed Dad's old Penn senator, the last one rigged and ready with 50 lb line. He was hooked up again in a matter of seconds. About 2 hours in, I was almost done with my second fish when I ran across my Sprite still in its holder. It was a beautiful site for a dehydrated hung-over fisherman so I took a huge swig, but something wasn't right. My mouth felt like it just got a coat of slime. I spit out a mouthful of bloody Sprite, only then did I bother to look into the can that we must have dragged a gaffed fish over. The sight brought on another round of heaving but I kept on my fish and regained my composure.

About this time a line goes slack for the 4th time on this stop. This time it's Kira, she reels in to see the feather rigged with a swivel on the hook end had spun the hook around and released the fish. My fish came to color and was put to rest by my father who really needed to kill something at this point. Very tired, I debated jumping in the water for a rare chance to swim with the massive tuna working the small amount of tiny chum we had left. It was a short debate then I grabbed one of the last sorry little chovies we had left, pinned it on a huge Gorilla hook and watched it sink sideways unable to swim against the weight of the hook. It didn't have to sink more than 5 ft. before it was inhaled by another large tuna. Now it was just me in the rear of the boat and Mike at the bow, our beat up, tired crew just watched our audience grow as boats arrived from every direction. The first to show up hooked up but most just got to see 3 of us work to pull my 3rd bigeye of the stop over the side. The cheers from the onlookers were even louder than ours. My earlier chumming long forgotten it was time to kick back with a cold cerveza and watch Mike try and turn this fish with Dad's archaic gear. He was constantly tightening the drag trying to turn him with no luck. The hotter the reel got, the softer the drag would get until we all heard it start to lock up. Mike tried to bow to the fish then dipping the rod completely in the water, Snap! He nearly threw the rig in the water.

We all stood around for a few minutes in awe of what had just happened during the last 3 hours of chaos and marveled at the results laying on the deck. Completely beat up, tired and out of bait, we decided to cruise back to the hotel early. We were very excited so we decided to cruise back celebrating. I couldn't resist slipping back that marlin jig and a tuna feather since we were just cruising. Sure enough, immediate double hook-up. These fish were pulling strong but nothing like the previous battle. We made Kira take the heavy stick despite her protests and Dad grabbed the other one quickly farming a nice albacore. Dad tossed out a dead bait he found somewhere which was grabbed by a dorado that ran halfway around the boat and broke him off. I threw a swimbait out on 15 lb which resulted in a hookup as soon as it hit the water. I set and another 15 lb dodo came out of the water which I handed off to Jeremy who needed a little boost after the line crossing heard around the world. Jeremy's first dodo put on a beautiful show and contributed nicely to the evening's feast. The Bigeye weighed 71, 76 & 81 lbs. Kira's albacore came in at 33 lbs.




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Re: [TeamStriper] Story Contest - Our Best Day In reply to
great story takes me back to the day i was living in CA. and tuna fishing nothing pulls like a big tuna
CHRIS Everyone is intitled to my opinion
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Re: [TeamStriper] Story Contest - Our Best Day In reply to
Good Story, kinda reminds me when I lived in San Diego and went out on the boats. Not as good a day a you had though.

TO AIR IS HUMAN, TO HEO2 IS DIVINE


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Re: [TeamStriper] Story Contest - Our Best Day In reply to
See now... THAT is why I'd LOVE to salt water fish ONCE in my lifetime!

Awesome power to that story!



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Re: [FisherMOM] Story Contest - Our Best Day In reply to
i tell you susan you have so got to get on a sportboat one day and tie into a tuna i was a deckhand for seven years from S.D. to L.A. and i can tell you first hand there is nothing like seeing acres of tuna jumping all around the boat so close they are taking the paint off the side of the boat and when you hook one they will easily strip off a 100 yards of line on the first run i have seen big tuna make a grown man cry if i had the money i would so be down there for the tuna season
CHRIS Everyone is intitled to my opinion
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Re: [FisherMOM] Story Contest - Our Best Day In reply to
Hey Susan, my wife and I went to Florida near Gulf Shores (SW of Pensacola) and had our 1ST EVER deap sea salt water fishing trip.... wow, was it worth it! We were out on a "walk on" charter last Thursday, the boat went about 15 to 20 miles into the gulf and we caught 3 'keeper' Triggerfish and 3 'keeper' Red Snapper! In spite of getting seasick 3x times cause it was rough, I still would go again... but next time I'd just pay more attention to the forcast!

Suggestions from my experience (and lack of funds):

Check the weather at least one day ahead if you can, and plan on showing up at some fishing Marinas that have walk on trips. The best kind are ones where the boat is 35 to 65 feet long but where you're not crowding all together, like a party boat. Less people, a bit more $$, maybe 60 to 80 bucks for adult for a 6 hr to 8 hr trip, and less $$ usually for kids to fish. Some of these boats will need you to reserve ahead, since they try to take a certain amount of people, and if the weather is good, even during the week, you may have trouble getting a boat. The Capt. will cancel it if he gets a bad forcast, usually. We went out with rough seas and other boats refused to go! Still worth it, and who knows, maybe your kids will love the high waves! My wife had a blast, didn't get sick, and caught the first 3 fish before I got a bite!

Regards, Glenn