Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Deepest Dive Redux

It is good to see our attention turning back to our own world. We have Earth Day and Earth Hour coming around the corner. And we have a heightened awareness of our balance within our collective environment. But every now and again, people do things that stand out from the background noise.

If I had as much money as James Cameron does, I'd probably do something similar. Of note, the people whose footsteps he followed...

the U.S. Navy!!!


Oh - and when did the MARIANAS Trench change to MARIANA Trench?

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Dogtooth Tuna

Trolling score - perfect sized Dogtooth Tuna - big enough to fight back and small enough to have delicate sashimi.

I got a barracuda that was just as long also.

Mark White 7" Pusher Scoop lure - MONEY!!!


Saturday, March 24, 2012

Big Bone Gyotaku

I'll post the finished product later.


Caught 13 (plus or minus a couple) bonefish and landed one Bluefin Trevally (and lost a few others including a sizable one that trashed my furled leader).

The fly I made yesterday was killing it!!! It eventually got taken by one of the bigger bones (thigh sized, not the schoolies I've mostly been catching). I released all but the last three (I need to make more lumpia). The bigger ones were awesome to fight - taking me to the backing at least three times each fish!!! The other flies I used for the bonefish were gotchas.

Tried out the Orvis Hydros 8 wt rod that I picked up on sale a couple of months back - I'm not sure if my technique is getting better (probably), or the rod is making me look like I cast better, but whatever it is I'll take it.

I even caught a few darts towards the end of the session.

You can't really ask for a better day of shore fishing!

Friday, March 23, 2012

New Fly - Clouserish

Really low tide tomorrow -

The low water depression should be "money"!!!

I tied this new fly - we'll see what it produces tomorrow - if it catches I'll name it.

If it disintegrates, we'll just pretend this post never happened.

Stay tuned

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

The First Signs....

The anchored ships were all pointing to the South East...

And the track the sun takes across the sky has moved further North.

First signs the weather patterns are shifting -

Time to do the gear inspections on the kites and boards!!!!

SUP Fishing

This afternoon Steve-O and I brought the ULI FAQ out to the sunken wreck. There is a group of Trevally that hangout there until feeding time. I tried casting a Mark White 1.5 ounce Bar to see if I could hook into one and have it drag me around on the SUP.

I got a bunch of them interested, but no takers.

Next time I think I will use a fly setup - maybe a Polar Fly or the gummy minnow. Since this was flatwater and not pounding surf, the fish had a lot more time to scrutinize the lure. Hopefully the fly will throw them.

In any case - a paddle out was a great way to end the day!

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Post Work Fishing

The fellas (Rod and Steve) and I left work regular time today (for once right???!!!!).

We headed straight for the marina and took out a Mako. We headed south for the normal trolling spot and dragged squid skirts around for a bit. We only had an hour total so we had to be picky where we went.

We didn't get one bite.

That is until we were headed back in.

We drove over this school of Big Eyed Trevally. None of them hit the lures. The picture shows them pretty clearly, but the school was really big - just weren't hungry.

Then we said "heck - do another pass"

The middle line (medium heavy spinning rod that lost the other squid lure this weekend) started singing as line peeled off the reel.

The fish just kept taking line and made a beeline for the shore. I was finally able to stop it with the drag. It jumped and showed a long silhouette and dark shading. After five or so minutes of fighting, it jumped again - I thought it was a tarpon.

I finally reeled it in to the boat - five foot barracuda - as thick around as my upper thigh.

The three of us stood there wondering how we were going to get the hook out of its mouth. I definitely wanted my lure back...

The big guy solved the problem for us by finally biting through the leaders aft of the lure head.

This was one that got away - but to everyone's benefit!!!

Awesome pre-dinner fight!

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Small Fish Fun

I went after the smallest fish I could find today. Armed with the Tenkara Ito and using squid chunks on a tiny hook, I caught a wrasse, a Sergeant Major and several darts.

Just as much fun as hooking into the big ones!

Saturday, March 17, 2012


The afternoon was spent offshore trolling.

Here's the score that the fish got on me -

On the way out I rigged three swimming lures and two squid skirts (outer positions). I then rigged another squid skirt on my heavier spinning rod. Well, that rod got a hit and I couldn't stop the run with the drag. After a minute of listening to the drag peel off braid, the fish doubled back and cut the line above the leader. I just got the lure too -

Much later in the trip, the captain saw a flock feeding - we motored over and got two simultaneous hits. Both were from the squid skirts and both were long fights. A 40+ pounder and a 25 pounder were boated and that was that. I got the smaller one with my rod/reel (which is rigged lighter that the rest of the gear on the boat).

I am happy with the way I setup the lines and build the lures - I am convinced I have a degree of OCD, but that is more to keep my mind busy and keep the learning continuous. Saturday was a good day!

"Never Give Up!!!"

One of my fishing partners Steve-O.

After getting the cold shoulder from the Bluefin Trevallies running the inside track, I suggested he try using bait.

He switched and brought in some pugnacious Sergeant Majors.

Every one of these guys would fight to the point where they were lifted from the water. At this point one would think they their goose was cooked and it's all over. But no - these guys are just beginning the fight!!!

No other fish I regularly catch does this - the picture is the fish poo bomb - while the unsuspecting angler is removing the hook to throw this fish back (I've never eaten one, but I imagine it would have a strong "fishy" taste, not in high demand as sashimi), it is crapping all over your hands.

I'd say this fish gets the last laugh.

So there it is - if you slow down enough to take the time to look at the details no matter what is in front of you, even something as "unsporting" or "un-glamorous" as catching small fish can be the most entertaining thing you've done all day.

But in this case, for me it was the second most entertaining thing I did - read on...

Small Stuff

Two triggerfish, a Hawkfish and a Sergeant Major.

Small fish with light tackle can be just as fun as big fish with bigger gear.

It's all in the state of mind you find yourself in - appreciation of what is in front of you.

But besides the open mind, sometimes there are obvious reasons why small fish can be more fun - specifics in the next post but to give you a hint.... poo poo

Fish 1 - Me 8

I went on two separate fishing stints on Saturday.

The first was shoreline fishing and the second was deepsea.

I'll post the various catches over the next few posts.

The first chunk was caught on a Mark White 2.5 ounce Ulua Bar - the two GTs were schoolies that were about 3 pounds each. The Bluefin was around 10 pounds and was an AWESOME fight!

I switched to lighter tackle when a friend showed up. More on that on the next post.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Swap Meet

I don't have a clue why this happens -

Every low tide, clusters of hermit crabs gather and rummage over each other.

Kinda like a garage sale where people can buy the shirt off your back.

Not sure if there is aggression - like "I'm bigger than you so I'm going to yank you out of this shell and take it because it fits me better anyways", or if everything is completely mutual.

Probably the former.

I can't get to the answer because everytime I come close, they stop what they are doing and close up.

Go figure.

Reach out and touch someone

Serpent Stars poking around at low tide

Just because it looks clean...

Doesn't mean it is.

Small plastic particles drifting in an otherwise pristine environment.

The problem is this stuff is everywhere. Gyres exist in every ocean and each holds a tremendous amount of plastic trash.

In the last few decades, the wholesale pollution may have dropped off, but the number of people has grown and some recent natural disasters have swept tons of garbage into the oceans.

Picking up trash is not enough anymore. There is more trash on the landmasses and oceans than we can possibly pickup - even after you pick it up, where does it go? Back in a landfill to sit there for eons.

Reduce-Reuse-Recycle - if not for you, then definitely for your children, their children and all the generations to come.

We can do better -

Better Score Today

After surfing, I beat feet to the Southern fishing spot.

The tide was still way out, but the waves were bigger and the weather rainier than yesterday.

I made a beeline for the big rut that juts in (same place as the last few trips down here).

I saw a school of trevally pushing the waterline - lots of activity between the reef fish and the trevally.

I pitched the gummy fish and I hooked up with a huge trevally!!! It wasn't pulling out line but I wasn't able to pull it in either. The water was flowing pretty rapidly through this choke point I was fishing. After about five minutes of this tug of war, the orvis knot I tied the fly on with gave way - I estimate the trevally was just over 10 pounds and most likely a big thick-lipped (GTs and Bluefin Trevally run harder). Oh well - you can't win them all...

I tied on a deceiver and was back in business - I landed these two Bluefin Trevally back to back. The first I hooked in the back just forward of the dorsal fin and the second was a square shot in the jaw. Good fighters!!!

The rains finally came and I took shelter under the coconut trees (I saw one flash of lightning - I'm not taking any chances).

By the time I went back out, the tide had come up a notch so I switched tactics to fish for bonefish. I caught this schoolie and called it quits.

Fish 1 - Me 3

Although if you count that big trevally taking my second to last gummy fish fly, I'll give it another point. Great weekend of fishing!

Saturday, March 10, 2012

SUP Surfing

The tide, swell and timing all lined up today!

Small, but clean - I'll take it!

This ULI FAQ is so fun to surf!

Trevally Schooling

Not literally - more figuratively - and more like them schooling me

I saw the first streaks of blue just after the tide filled in to where my knees were submerged.

A school of about seven medium (~10 lbs) to small (<5 lbs) sized Bluefin Trevally was hovering where they could make lunges at the bonefish schools.

I cast the bonefish bitter fly to them, but either it was too small or they didn't care for it.

I reeled in and changed the fly out to a deceiver and landed this Yellowspot Trevally - AWESOME FIGHT!!!

In the other pictures, you can see two Bluefin Trevally in tow - they often try and steal food out of each others mouths or at least try to eat some of the scraps that would inevitably come off prey. The other two followed the one I had hooked nearly onto dry land.

After this fight, I hooked into a bigger Bluefin Trevally but it broke the tippet pretty quickly. I put on a Cowen's Mullet and before I come start casting, another Bluefin took it - I started to tighten the drag and then it broke off. I tied on a gummy minnow and that drove the Bluefins crazy - hooked, and broke off AGAIN.

By this time the water was coming up fast - I had to move back towards shore and I didn't see another trevally.

Seeing as how I let all the fish go (catch and release as long as the fish will survive), I think they won today.

Actually we all won - I got to fight some awesome fish and lost some flies - the fish got to fight me and lived to fight another day.

Tomorrow is another low water low tide...

Tres Bonefish

In the depressions there were raccoon fish, pinfish, wrasses, convict tangs, moray eels, others unseen and of course bonefish.

During low tide, they cram in together to wait out the low water. If they venture off to deeper water, they risk getting eaten by the trevally, or other larger predators.

Among the three bonefish I landed, I had some hard hits from at least three others - losing flies each time. The first two I lost because the tippet I was using was old. The third found a rock to break off the tippet.

The last one was quite hefty.

At this point, the tide started making its way back in.

The bonefish started to spread out and use all the water that was available. They do that because they are looking for food (creatures that didn't survive the low tide exposure, and other animals that bury themselves - after having to breath stale water for a few hours, they eagerly show their soft parts when fresh water washes over - which leaves them vulnerable to patrolling bonefish). They also spread out because the trevally can get to them as the water gets deeper...

Pinfish Take

The tide was as low as I've seen it.

These coral sprigs were in and out of the water as waves lapped in. Good thing for the colonies that the spring lows are short in duration.

This Pinfish was the second fish I caught - just before the carnage started.

Saturday Carnage - the Trials and Tribulations of Flats Flyfishing

After handling some issues at work, I went South to checkout the Spring Low Tide.

There were two depressions that were holding water and more importantly fish.

This Wrasse was the first one I caught.

I've caught these before, but this one had some heft to it and the colors were brilliant.

The Bonefish Bitter fly I was using tricked a few fish - but the fish did some damage to my flybox contents.

Keep reading for details.

Friday, March 9, 2012

Friday's Fish

Pau hana time fishing!

Nice fight from this GT!

I had to time the retrieve between sets - the surf was PUMPING!!!

Nice chunky waves that were begging to be ridden!

There were tons of water pools (due to the overtopping surf) - I plopped the GT in one. After finishing, it was still strong -

And I let it go back to the ocean...

I lost the lure though - on a rock that I could reach if it wasn't for the pounding surf.

I'll make sure mother ocean knows I paid my dues already. Flyfishing tomorrow!!!

Barracuda Damage

I would have landed it if I had a double hook rig...

You can't win them all -