Monday, July 12, 2010

June 22, 2010, 15:30 PDT

N 38°47.503’, W 129°08.926’

Yesterday was certainly an exciting day for us aboard Osprey. I was on the 09:00-12:00 watch and had put out my deep sea tackle, not actually thinking about catching a fish as much as it was something to do to pass the time. I think I mentioned earlier, we are way past being in sight of land and there is absolutely nothing out here to break up the monotony of the day as the scenery is exactly the same everyday in every direction…open ocean. I sent out a green-mirrored spoon with a 4 ounce banana lead on some serious 65 pound test braided line and a 55 pound monofilament leader line. We were cruising at about 6 knots and I had the setup trolling about 100 feet back from the boat. After about an hour I heard the line start peeling off of the reel. I calmly went below and announced, “Richard, I have fish on.” Richard had been sleeping having just come off of the 06:00-09:00 watch.

I returned to the reel set up on the port side of the boat and tried to begin reeling in whatever it was that I had hooked. Easier said than done; the reel wouldn’t budge. I adjusted the drag to make sure the fish had plenty of room to play and waited for Richard to emerge from below. I told Richard where the net, the gaffing hook and a pair of fishing gloves were and we positioned ourselves to fight this fish to the end.

I managed to reel down on the fish a couple of times but the effort was immense so I decided to let the fish tire itself out. Richard quickly noted my panting and asked who would tire first, the fish or me. After about 10 minutes of trying to reel this fish in, I handed the reel to Richard and asked him to help. I took the pole back and started reeling down hard. When we had the fish in sight, I told Richard to carefully coax the line in by using his gloved hands on the line. This worked well and we soon had the fish close to the boat. Richard got the net and I made one last effort to take up the balance of line so that the fish was within Richard’s reach with the net. Richard successfully netted the fish and between his leverage with the net and my pull on the pole, we soon had a nice looking tuna in the cockpit. He started to struggle a bit against the net but a few quick whacks to the head with a mallet ended that promptly.

Pictures were taken and we attempted to weigh the fish with my newly purchased electronic scale. The fish weighed in at 15 pounds and change and was approximately 2 feet in length. It took me about an hour and a half to clean this fish and we ended up with a whole lot of tuna. We cooked the first of many tuna medallions last night for dinner and they were really good. We are anticipating many more fresh tuna dinners along the way to Hawai'i.

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