Cebaco Bay Fishing Reports & Half Truths
June 14, 2011
You could call this column a Captains Log but it’s not. It’s just a collection of idle thoughts from an old seadog. This story is though, about a log. Obviously it ended it’s first life by, fortuitously for us, falling into a river. Having washed down and out to sea it took on it’s second life as a home for small, vulnerable sea creatures. True to mother nature’s form she deemed that it now become a 5 star restaurant for larger travelers on the oceans highway. Enter the story. Humans.
Sunday morning dawned, no wind, calm seas, as it had been for the last week. The boys on Cebaco Bay were hungry for some fresh fish. A crew training day was in order. We needed to hone our skills, especially for our new mates. Loading the 31 Bertram with water and sodas for what was going to be a couple of hours fishing, off we went. I had volunteered to be the client for the day. Little did we know what was in store for us. A simple run to Aguja Reef, bit of training for Pierre and Martin, catch some food and back home for lunch. Yeah right! The beautiful seas were false comfort for there was absolutely no sign of life anywhere. Agua was less than active although we did manage to jig up a couple of small Pacific Amberjacks and a nice sized Tripletail. The Bonito were hard to come by so we spent the next hour trolling a couple of Cojinoas(Goggle Eyes) in the hope of a Marlin. I really needed my 2 new mates to experience proper leaderman techniques for a Marlin or big Tuna. So it was with this in mind we headed for the 100ftm line outside Aguja. With no sign of life anywhere, it was a splash ½ mile to starboard that attracted our attention. Capt Narcisco wheeled the 31 Bertram towards where the splash had been. One bird and a splash that’s all. To our surprise there was a log. Log of the day as it turned out. It was loaded with small triggerfish and amberjacks. The deck immediately becomes a hive of activity with Narcisco furiously barking instructions to the crew. “ Live baits and hurry up about it you guys”. As the designated client I casually grabbed a jigging rod just to avoid the adrenaline and frantic action surrounding me. I dropped the line down and at 100ft I stopped and cranked. Bang! The rod doubled over and line started disappearing at a great rate . At 200yds the fish decided to stop and give me a real workout. This was a big Tuna. With full drag on the small Shimano the fish was going nowhere but at the same time neither was I. This stalemate lasted for 10 minutes until another Tuna hit my line. Bust off! Damn. Meanwhile with 2 liveys in the water the sea erupted around us. 100-200lb Tunas going crazy over the Triggerfish. Right next to the boat . What a sight! I quickly grabbed one of the 50’s with a livey and waited. Adenaline by this stage was dictating every action aboard. The bait by this time had decided that the log was not a good place to hang out but the 31 Bertram was. 100-200lb missiles flying, boiling, darting everywhere you looked. But hey something wasn’t right. Our liveys were being totally ignored. But wait! All of a sudden my line started peeling at an alarming rate. Giving the fish about 50yds I pushed the drag up only to come up empty. The same was happening to Pierre on the other side. These Tuna were grabbing our baits and no matter how much line we fed them they were spitting them back. What was going on? We were getting totally mauled baits back every time. The bite marks revealed that there was obviously smaller 60lbers down there and the bigger Tunas were concentrating on the Triggerfish and Pacific Amberjacks. As I retrieved a mauled Cojinoa the leader was ripped from my hands as two 150lbers crashed my dead bait, Wow! In all my time I don’t think I’ve had as much adrenaline flowing as this. For Pierre and Martin this was baptism by fire. Leaving the boys to the liveys I grabbed the jig rod again. 2 cranks and I’m in again only this time it’s a Bonito. Bang my rod doubles over and then nothing. Tunas were stealing my fish off the jig. Every 15 minutes or so the big Tunas were coming to the surface for several minutes of insane feeding then disappearing to the depths to cool off. It was getting hard to predict just where they would show again so I rigged a popper to cast to the boil ups. This proved to be a fool s errand as every time I hooked up I got busted. These Tuna were too big for light weight stuff. I was been cut off by another Tuna. 2 lost poppers were enough. So it was back to our liveys and a much needed break to clean the tackle up and re rig for the next round.
2 hrs of insane action and we only had one Tuna in the box. It was about this time that my old brain tells me that with no action happening Pierre suddenly starting losing line on his livey .Giving it plenty of line I took the rod and pushed up the drag. Immediately we greeted with the sight of a Blue Marlin rampaging towards the horizon. With the boat backing up fast I pushed the drag up to sunset. The fish only looked to be around 400lb so I figured we could stop it and get it to the boat for a quick release. Wrong! As it turned out the circle hook was hooked in its gill plate so it took just on an hour of full drag to finally turn the fish and get it along side. I was now a very tired puppy after 4 hrs in this oceanic gymnasium. Highly recommended for all you 50 plus guys and girls out there. Anyway to cut the lies short we had a visit from a huge school of dolphins and tuna late in the afternoon. Our liveys were ignored, the remaining Triggerfish were wisely sticking to the Bertram’s hull so after a time the predators cruised off into the distance. Normally we would have been following those Tuna like crazy but no one had any energy left so we upped lines and headed for the barn and a much needed feed. So, Ho Hum folks. Just another days fishing in paradise. Not quite. I would say only one word describes it……INSANE!!! The guys received a month’s training in one day . I’m sure it will be something they’ll never forget. For me, all I can say is that it reaffirms our plans for the future. The fishing at this time of the year with all the natural drift lines is awesome.
Ciao & tight lines