Monday, August 9, 2010

Offshore

The lone bluefin tuna caught on a 12-hour offshore jaunt.
When:Saturday, August 7th, from 5am to 5pm
Where:62-miles offshore of Point Pleasant, known as the Chicken Canyon
What:Jigging for bluefin tuna
Weather:Partly cloudy, wind 10mph from the NE, high in the mid-80's
Moon:Waning, two days before the new
Tide:Unknown

I have my own narrow-minded idea of what fishing "should be."

I've never fished for "meat" and a huge part of the satisfaction I get comes in being able to locate, entice and ultimately liberate my quarry, solely of my own resources. Now, if I pay someone a lot of money to take me on their boat, to find the fish for me and then use their equipment that they rigged to catch something: is that really fishing?

Now, that being said, I've always wanted to go offshore to fish for tuna, and that is exactly what I did this past Saturday.

I woke up at 1am, left Point Pleasant at 5am and then spent 3 hours motoring through choppy seas in a boat that was probably a little too small for my liking. I NEVER get seasick, but figured I'd take the Dramamine just in case. I didn't yuke, but was feeling pretty queezy.

The canyon is a wonderful place. I saw whales, dolphins, turtles, sharks and a ton of bait breaking the surface. The fishing was extremely slow and dropping and cranking jigs in 200 feet of water is pretty tiresome. After a handful of fruitless hours, one person on the boat hooked, and after 45 minutes, landed a beautiful bluefin tuna.

That would be the only fish of the day.

Two hours later we were back at the dock and were greeted by a couple of "scientists" who were there for the benefit of the bluefin fishery. If anyone knows anything about this, it boils down to strict regulations in the US and open season in the Mediterranean. It's a touchy issue and it seems that the ones who follow the rules are the ones who suffer.

On top of that, there was some shady business as to the ultimate destination of the vast majority of the tuna meat that was supposed to be divided evenly among the fares, regardless of who caught it.

All of this left a bit of a bad taste in my mouth and made me really think about why it is that I go fishing. This was a nice experience, but it's one that I'm not likely to do again.

2 comments:

  1. Spoken like a true "Fresh" water guy. It's got to be balanced for you. I love both. But different scenario. Under the right conditions and with the right Capt you could have done it all. I will not pay someone to bait my hook, I want to do it all even the mate job.

    BFT definitely need our attention. But it's up to all FW and SW to be responsible caretakers.

    Glad you finally got out, but kinda sad it was not a better experience for you. There is nothing like seeing you first While Marlin leap out of the air!

    Great Read!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thanks.

    If I did it again, it would have to be on a bigger boat.

    Great experience though.

    Hope your summer has been amazing.

    ReplyDelete