Normal people get excited about reports of big fish. The reports of sub-legal size tuna in the Washington Canyon last week got us going. Particularly the bluefin tuna though there is some interest in obtaining DNA from the smallest yellowfin possible from different regions of the world.
We caught the young-of-the-year bluefin tuna last September. These one-year-olds will be 20 something inches now. There are some scientific reasons for wanting to obtain samples of different size fish (when they start crossing the Atlantic and so on). 2 and 3 year olds (30 something and 40 something inch fish right now) are pretty easy to get samples from (they are legal to keep and people fish for them). Anyway, Dr. John Graves asked if I would go after the little ones. I said that I would give it a try but that there were no reports of the babies in the past couple of days and I came in on one engine last weekend.
That last part was taken care of by Carter Machinery. They have always been very good at getting the Healthy Grin back out on the water in the shortest possible time. The boat ran great. We did not do so well with the little bluefin.
We ran up to the Washington yesterday and fished the area with spreader bars and daisy chains of mini-cedar plugs that Bob Manus had made. The skipjack loved those things and we caught a bunch of them. We had 9 or 10 tuna bites. Due to various factors, we only boated 3 of those. They were all yellowfin tuna in the 31-35 inch fork-length range: wrong color and too big. They went in the box. One of our little mishaps cost us our one mini natural cedar plug chain (and the tuna hooked to it). Replaced it with a full-size chain and got a lot fewer bites. There were some dolphin around. We jumped off a couple and caught a couple of gaffers. We actually had a fair amount of action, just not by what we were after. If anyone gets into the little bluefin again, please let me know.