Sunday, January 23, 2011

Out to sea.

A few weeks ago I had the opportunity to accompany some friends on their prototype high-efficiency boat for a test run and, while we were at it, some deep see fishing.
I jumped at the chance and imagined casting my 10wt to some dolfin as they marauded flying fish near some floating debris. This was going to be so epic!

We headed East towards to fishing grounds as the sun rose. It was a surreal place to be as light began to spread from horizon to horizon. An hour later, and we were flushing schools of incredible flying fish into the air as we motored through. We knew that we were in the right spot and let two rigged ballyhoo out behind the boat.

It wasn't long before the two reels started to scream and the two young boys with us jumped into position to reel them in. One of the boys was having trouble with it, so the other boy handed his rod off and helped to tag-team the fish towards the boat.

We eventually landed the two smallish Horse-Eyed Jacks and released them back in to the sea. They were less than half the size of the fish I caught back in August and could see the strain these small ones put in the stout deep sea trawling rods. Remembering the blisters on my hands from that long ago battle, I rigged our last ballyhoo and let it out behind the boat.

Hours passed as those around me caught small mackerel and the like, as I just focused on nothing in particular, waiting for the hit...

The 7 knot trawling speed accentuated the beastly hit from the fish as I set the hook and began to pump and reel, pump and reel.

I hoped it was something I hadn't caught before, but it turned out to be a barracuda. He had mauled our last bait and our chances with artificial lures looked slim for the rest of the day.
We spent some time searching some small bays for ballyhoo.

Alas, the schools of dolfin and wahoo never materialized. Perhaps during our next outing I'll get my shot.

The boat performed incredibly well. It is fast and light, with two small engines. After almost 12 hours on the water with the engines running almost constantly, we only used $90 worth of fuel. The attendant claimed that the large Bertram fishing boats would use upwards of $800 in fuel alone to cover the ground we covered that day.

Also, in a Bertram you can't do this...


Anonymous said...

Matt, you don't have to rub it in. While we're in single digits this weekend back home you and Stacy are enjoying life on the island. Enjoy and becareful. Love Dad. As Ralph Cramden said to Ed Norton, It's a shame that youth is wasted on young people. ENJOY !!

Unknown said...

That is a cool boat.

Wade Rivers said...

Beeeeeautiful shots! Thanks for tossing 'em up. Good times? You betcha.