August 27th 2021
Before I tell the tale of our latest fishing adventure I want to go back to something my buddy Adrian said to me while cleaning the boat after my last trip. "Kirk do you know you have water in your bilge." As I was fileting mahi I replied "don't worry there is always some water in the bilge."
Gina, Chris and I pushed off at 4am. Grabbed some bait in the river and off we went. Once we broke the inlet I set the auto pilot. Our destination would be 8 miles north of the Dip. About 15 miles out, the glow to the east started to appear. However it would be a while before we got to see the sun. We got swallowed up by a wall of fog. Inside the fog bank it was windy and choppy. The water temps were in the low 70s. Not the beautiful day that was predicted . As we were about 10 miles SE of the Coimbra Chris spotted fish on the surface. We threw poppers but the fog and choppy seas made things tough. We dropped in a 4 rod spread and spent a half hour trolling the area. No luck so we picked up and continued heading south. Finally the fog lifts and we find ourselves in 76 degree water. Out of the corner of my eye I see a little bit of white water. I head towards and it turns out its a couple of dolphin. Chris and I start throwing poppers. On our first cast our poppers are only five feet apart. Chris's popper gets blown up. Chris did a great job fighting this very erratic yellowfin. With Chris's fish iced up we decided to drop in and put our 8 rod spread out. As we continued to troll south after about an hour I spot a bunch of dolphin. They are headed right for us. As they get closer one of the dolphin goes airborne within a few feet from the boat. I scream out Holy @#!% these are two tones! Get ready we are about to hook up. Within seconds one rod, two rods, three rods, four rods are tight. Reels are screaming and we are running around the boat like three lunatics. After it was over we landed three out of four. At this point we are exhausted. We have four tuna in the box. No need to take anymore. During the chaos my left thumb somehow got one of the hook barbs stuck in it. I was able to pull it out however it wouldn't stop bleeding. I don't mean to be gross but for the next 45 minutes I couldn't get it to stop bleeding. Gina finally had enough and went into the console to grab the first-aid kit. She informs me that there is water in the console. I quickly grabbed the hand pump and start to wonder where the water was coming from. I open the bilge hatch and we have a problem. The bilge is filled with water. We start pumping out the water and I noticed that the bilge wasn't kicking on. I run over to the bilge button and turn it on. To my delight the bilge pumped kicked on and the water starts to recede. It turns out that the bilge pump float switch is broken. The next time someone tells me I have water in my bilge I'm going to take a look. Cape Horn boats are unsinkable however I always have my live raft on board just in case. With my heart rate under control it was time to pot hop. As you can see from the video we had a blast catching as many as you wanted. After we were done catching mahi we ran five miles to the north dropped our spread back in looking for a wahoo or marlin. About an hour later we pass a floating buoy and we get a knock down. I figured it was a mahi however as we were looking at the spread we saw a marlin zigzagging through our spread. We weren't able to come tight but it certainly got the heart racing again. As we continue north we pass a log. Our Joe Shute/Ballyhoo gets hit. I tell Gina to mark the spot. Once again Chris does a great job getting this fish to the boat. At this point I inform the crew that we are done trolling for the day. We pack up and head back hoping to find the log. Thankfully there was no wind and we found the log. These were much bigger fish than the ones you usually find under the pots. After catching a few more mahi we decided to pick up and head home. On the way I found another floating buoy. It had 100's of mahi. They were all decent size. We didn't catch any, we just had a blast watching them attack the live bait that we were tossing in. The ocean was like a lake as we headed home. What an incredible day.
Life is crazy, because I get a barb in my finger we discover water in the console and bilge. If my finger would have stopped bleeding who knows how bad the water situation may have been.
The 4 tuna that we hooked up with on the troll all came on Sterling Tackle gear, two on widetrackers and the other two on daisy chains.
Thank you to Gina and Chris for working their butts off. As I watched Gina gut the tuna it reaffirmed how lucky I am to be married to her. Boat goes in for service next week. I can use a few days to recover.