17 August 2009

Training and Tuna

The About Face crew left the dock at 1600 Friday afternoon in search of the Bigeye Tuna which recent reports indicated were being caught. 13 hours later we arrived 115 miles offshore at the East Wall of the Hudson Canyon and had 9 lines in the water before sunrise. As the sun came over the horizon we were greeted by another 80 boats who had the same intentions of finding big fish. Our initial plans were to stay out of the fleet which was working a 3 square mile area and try to find our own fish. It turned out to be a slow morning and at 1100 the crew made the call to join the fleet as it sounded like a few of the boats were finding fish. The first hour in the fleet was rather hectic weaving in and out of boats trying to keep lines from getting tangled. At 1200 the decision paid off and 3 rods went off and we could immediately tell these were big fish. We broke off one fish immediately but crew members Scott McCormick 10’ and Russ Barber settled in for the long battle with the remaining to fish. An hour and forty five minutes later the first fish came in the boat and was a 150lb bigeye tuna. The other fish was nowhere near ready to come in the boat and almost took all the line off the reel forcing us to ditch the rod overboard connected to another rod. We finally got the rod back in the boat but 10 minutes later the rod broke in half. We were forced to cut the line and splice it onto another rod to avoid breaking off the fish. After a total of 3 hours ten minutes the hook pulled on the fish 20 ft under the boat. The crew quickly reset lines hoping to find a few more fish in the evening and were able to hook up on 2 small yellowfin tuna and a nice white marlin before dark which was released. After a slow night Saturday we were up on the troll by 0445 and the first red went off in the dark at 0500. Pete Kaple 11’ was on the rod and after 2 hours we boated another Bigeye tuna weighing in at 200lbs. We pulled lines at 0900 and headed for KP and arrived at school at 1800. The 383nm round trip was a great way for the crew to review their skills in small vessel safety, route planning, watch standing, and terrestrial and electronic navigation before leaving for sea in November. The 6 person crew consisted of Jordan Musselman 10’, Scott McCormick 10’, Mike Burbelo 10’, Peter Kaple 11’, Mike Zubrick 11’, and Mr. Chris Barber.

1 comment:

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