Westport Octuna the hardway

Discussion in 'Saltwater Fishing Forum' started by Smiley, Oct 10, 2017.

  1. Smiley

    Smiley Active Member

    The 2017 season was rapidly winding down and with only one trip so far in the season I have to admit I was getting a little anxious that this season might all be a distant memory before too long! Like a bad habit my obsession with checking wind weather and of course terrafin got me thinking that there might be a window just before Thanksgiving weekend. The idea of one more tuna trip had barely registered my own mind when the texts from Whyknot started lighting up my phone! It was on! The necessary preparations got underway quickly as they always do in this fishery because good weather and water are the primary determinants.
    The plan was to meet in Bamfield on Tuesday afternoon and review weather and water conditions and then steam for the agreed coordinates approximately 70 miles off of Westport. After refuelling in Bamfield and waiting for the last member of Whyknot's crew we left the harbour at approximately 10pm under an almost full moon and sea conditions that could only be described as ideal! PA031196.JPG
     
  2. trophywife

    trophywife Well-Known Member

    and then? lol
     
  3. Smiley

    Smiley Active Member

    As we steamed out of the harbour I felt very good about my crew ... After Hours and another SFBC member I had just met earlier the same day "Seagirt" ( as in Bob Seagirt lol! ) After Hours and myself had fished as tuna buddy boats on two other occasions and I knew he was both a capable Captain and keen (understatement) tuna fisherman. Seagirt brought a positive attitude and a considerable amount of knowledge and experience as a fisheries biologist. Our buddy boat Whyknot is a well know member to those individuals afflicted with the need to chase tuna. We had fished together more than a few times over the years and I especially appreciate his passion for this fishery and the contagious enthusiasm that he brings to any trip! His crew is second to none ... hard working and fun loving.
    We steamed out past Cape Beale and turned on to our heading as I engaged the autopilot and settled in for the trip I did a double take at the gps screen 125 miles to our agreed coordinates ... it was going to be a long night but the big buddy heater was cranked and the almost full moon made for a level of visibility that was better than most night runs that I have done in the past. Without any issues we travelled thru the night and watched the sunrise anticipating the day ahead! PA041200.JPG
     
    Last edited: Oct 11, 2017
  4. fish brain

    fish brain Active Member

    and then?
     
    why knot likes this.
  5. Smiley

    Smiley Active Member

    We hit our numbers after running at speed for an hour and change but as luck would have it the temps weren't as predicted on terrafin. It was agreed that WhyKnot and Myself would spread out heading south and west in search of better temps and chloro. We motored along at 25mph when we spotted jumpers!!! This was it ...time to deploy! The crew quickly jumped into action and we had our six rods working the surface and two planer boards working off the cleats . Despite working the area and chumming with anchovies we failed to raise any fish into our presentation. It was a sign of what we would face over the next two days. But as one of my regular tuna crew and good friend " Olde Schoole" says to be a fisherman you have to be an optimist. He's right and we soldiered on headed further south and further west. PA041207.JPG
     
    Last edited: Oct 11, 2017
  6. Smiley

    Smiley Active Member

    _MG_2759.jpg It wasn't until well into the morning around 1000am that we had our first hit... Would like to say I was right in the mix but after a full shift of steaming thru the night I was stunned into consciousness by After Hours battle cry...TUNA TUNA TUNA! ( Told you he was a keener! ) After a decent fight the fish was thrown onto the deck and weighed in at 33lbs after being bled. It was only after the dust had settled AfterHours commented on the spread " something dosent look right " the rod on the far starboard side that was rigged with 4ft leader and a 8ft leader off the same splasher was gone! Seagirt reeled in the line only to find the swivel had been torn apart with one have of it still tied to the line on the rod! ( We had some conspiracy theories flying around the boat ) Truth was no idea what had happened... the optimist in me likes to think we might of actually had a triple!
     
    Last edited: Oct 11, 2017
  7. Smiley

    Smiley Active Member

    We continued our troll heading southwest with little sign of life... only the occasional bird and very little else. Radio chatter between myself and Whyknot confirmed that indeed very little marine life was evident in our area. The effects of the waves and sun combined with the sleep deprivation had the crew in a mellow state to say the least. It wasn't until close to 2pm that we heard the sound that we all came for and hoped to hear! After Hours signature cry... Tuna Tuna Tuna and a screaming drag! Afterhours picked the rod up off the holder and passed it over to Seagirt... the fight was on! Moments later on the port side another rod went off ...Double! Unfortunately Seagirt's fish popped off :( ! I managed to keep mine on and it was tossed into boat after a good fight. Another high grader! They weren't plentiful but they were decent size! PA041217.jpg
     
  8. Smiley

    Smiley Active Member

    Recharged from the action we focused on the spread behind the boat changing positions of splashers and the distances hoping that it would bring fish up into our presentation. In the distance we saw another sporty working the area. A shout out on the radio confirmed he was a recreational fisherman out of Westport. They had ventured out in the early am but had yet to boat a fish and also commented on the slow pace and absence of life. Another hour went by when hooked our last tuna for the day...but we kept trying into the dying light. _MG_2767.jpg
    You can see our splashers in the spread if you look closely
     
    Last edited: Oct 11, 2017
    bigdogeh, Seagirt, Derby and 4 others like this.
  9. Smiley

    Smiley Active Member

    We reconnected with Whyknot and settled in for the evening deploying the sea anchor and setting the radar perimeter alarm. Whyknot's fuel cache also serves as a high visibility markers on this boat!lol After a meal and a couple cold ones we went to work on trying to catch some squid! It wasn't long before the blue sharks were showing up in numbers and After Hours had fun donating several lures to the sharks.... even with 200lb test it was only a couple of minutes before the line was cut. Whyknot managed to put a nice squid onboard... I don't think it even hit the cooler. Straight to BBQ _MG_2774.jpg IMG_3233.JPG.jpeg
    If you are planning on doing an overnight offshore and fishing sharks there are three things that you really need to bring along for the trip... warm clothes propane heater and steel leaders!
     
    Last edited: Oct 11, 2017
  10. Smiley

    Smiley Active Member

    The night watch was uneventful and we drifted approximately 10miles in about 10 hours. The Big Buddy heater was a life saver although at one point in the night dozing off I managed to give myself a hot foot! We started out at first light and got oriented in a homeward direction. We had caught all three of yesterdays fish in about a five mile radius and even though the numbers were not great we had managed a few fish where other boats had not. The crew took a vote and we headed towards yesterdays marks. At around 10am the port side rod went off and After Hours had another fish along side the boat that Seagirt handily tossed aboard ! Not the same grade as our first 3 but no one complained! PA041215.JPG
     
    bigdogeh, Seagirt, Reeltime and 5 others like this.
  11. Smiley

    Smiley Active Member

    We moved steadily toward our numbers form the day before and watched a pod of white sides approach from the starboard side... it never gets old! It's always impressive to see these marine mammals... strength and speed ! _MG_2796.jpg We managed one more fish on the planer board just before noon... I have never fished them before but they are nothing like a rod and reel. No sound no indication other than the board pops up to the surface... Seagirt first words as he pulled in the hand line were" Hey I think we have something on the end of this line!" We all laughed as he tossed a nice tuna on the deck! Seagirt managed to shoot some nice video of the Dolphins swimming under the boat with his GoPro. Too big to post but heres the link..https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B5qcq3Kz2UmgNWx6MmkxQ0MyejA/view
    I think he needs a longer stick on his go-pro!lol
     
    Last edited: Oct 11, 2017
    bigdogeh, Seagirt, Reeltime and 5 others like this.
  12. ILHG

    ILHG Well-Known Member

    Great story.. Makes me want to that dream for sure
     
  13. ILHG

    ILHG Well-Known Member

    Video is awesome
     
  14. Smiley

    Smiley Active Member

    Given the distance we had run and even though we brought a decent fuel reserve of 300 litres in AfterHours awesome fuel bladder. We knew it was important to steam at trolling speed to a point where we could run at speed for Bamfield. Fuel calculations and the economy that you assign are directly related to sea conditions!
    Tidal Chaos has taught me that fuel calculations should be determined at a speed that your boat can run at efficiently if you find that you are incapable of running comfortably at that speed you probably should abort the run or consider closer numbers that reflect what can achieve at a given speed and fuel burn rate with a reserve of one third as you round the turn in to the harbour.
    We continued to troll north east and as the water began to cool slowly we saw more and more sea life. At 100 miles to Beale we lit up the motors and sat back for an awesome boat ride home. At 14 miles off Cape Beale we saw a group or pod of an estimated 30plus Humpbacks ! With our Buddy Boat Whyknot insight a few miles away it was time to finish our final leg . Despite our difference in optimal running speeds we never let Why Knot fall off the horizon and kept up with regular radio checks to ensure we would both be back at the harbour come nightfall! _MG_2940 (1).jpg _MG_2838.jpg
    Check out the birds behind the Commie in the distance!
     
    Last edited: Oct 11, 2017
  15. Dogbreath

    Dogbreath Well-Known Member

    Post - Of -The - Year!
     
    Bait Ban, aheny, bigdogeh and 4 others like this.
  16. Smiley

    Smiley Active Member

    With Beale insight we motored at speed with the sun at our back. _MG_2987.jpg PA051247.jpg
     
    Last edited: Oct 11, 2017
  17. why knot

    why knot Member

    What a great advanture, we had a great time even only one fish made it to our deck.
    Thanks agaen smiley for being a great body boat.
    We have to repeat it next year.
     
  18. Smiley

    Smiley Active Member

    All in all it was great trip! more fish would have been nice but truthfully if thats the only reason your going you definitely would be better off heading down to your local fish monger ! We had an experience that I will remember for as long as I can remember ( the way things are going with my memory is just another good reason to post!lol ) It made me new friends and strengthened existing friendships! Thank you to my capable crew After Hours and Seagirt! Thank you to Why Knot and his awesome crew! Looking forward to doing it again next year! IMG_5731.jpg PA051252.jpg
    PS... Big Shout out to Sculpin! His numerous rich detailed posts inspired me to get off my lazy butt and give back to the site and the people that have provided so much intelligence and insight to fishing in our waters! Thanks John!
     
    Last edited: Oct 11, 2017
    Bruce Lee, noluck, Bait Ban and 18 others like this.
  19. Tidal Chaos

    Tidal Chaos Active Member

    So now that you are part of the 100+ mile club; what's next?

    Nice report and a experience you will never forget. Good on ya!

    I should have known when Whitey told me that Why Knot was heading south with another boat that has a big ass fuel bladder on the bow it would be you or After Hours. LOL!
     
    After Hours IV likes this.
  20. turbomack

    turbomack Member

    Sounds like an epic adventure. RyanB and I did a trip out of Ukee on the 4th also. Ran out to Barkley canyon and fished north to Loudoun . Beautifully calm day with smooth seas but not a Tuna to be had.
     

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