I have a confession to make. Over the last couple of months Brian has spent a lot of time reading up on fishing, and more cash than I was happy with building our collection of fishing gear. I chalked it up to entertainment. On passage, there is just not that much to do. So, give the boy some fishing gear to fiddle with to pass the time.
I did not account for crew member Eric Laakman, fishing machine.
Less than 20 minutes out of half moon bay we are motoring along in a pea soup fog and 5′ swells with zero wind. I’m sitting in to cockpit contemplating making dry toast for breakfast and trying to decide if I can keep it down if the swell continues. Eric pops up the companionway with two fishing poles and a box of gear with more energy than I could muster on my birthday. Next thing I know, he has both poles rigged and we are trolling off the back of the boat for tuna. And….hours later, nada. Boo. We catch a few hunks of seaweed to keep the day interesting, and I forget about the gear we drag.
Day 2 of the passage, paydirt. Just when I’d truly and wholly put the rods out of mind and lunch into it, “fish on!” I scramble on deck as the crew furls in the jib to stop the boat and fish battle royale commences. The starboard side rod is screaming out as Eric coaches Brian through tensioning the rod, “Ok, a little more, now crank, one more turn, let him run, crank, hmmm, may be a chunk of seaweed, keep cranking…” Several minutes later, Brian cranks the lure in and sure enough we have a skipjack tuna on the line.
The seaweed comment begins to make sense when the fish hits the surface. The poor thing seems to have changed its mind mid strike and the hook is lodged firmly in the midsection of the fish instead of its jaw. Oh well, no chance of catch and release with this bugger so we celebrate Captain Brian’s first fish!