“Grab the gaff! … and a club!”
We’ve been catching a LOT of kelp. Everywhere we’ve gone we keep hearing about how great the fishing is. The Channel Islands had reports of schools of tuna in 40ft of water, Catalina Island is well known for its fishing, and in turn just about anywhere we’ve sailed there’s been a tuna jig trolling behind our boat. So far, all we’ve caught underway is kelp.
Until this morning.
It started with all the familiar signs. A tug on the line that causes the reel to give off an angry whir of line. Nique grabs the pole and starts hauling it in.
“I think its more kelp” … but this time it starts veering. We slow the boat down to make things easier. Then Nique sees a flash! Its a fish! A dorado!? Maybe a Tuna?
“I’m sure its a tuna”, Dosh says.
The fish is closer now, and Nique confirms it. “YELLOW FIN!”
I jump into the cabin and grab the gaff, then scavenge for something to club it with. A live tuna in the cockpit would be … well, interesting. Our fishing book reads: “Thump the fish hard on the head with a large heavy club, metal baseball bats work great.” The best thing I can come up with is two foot length of steel tubing which is handed to Dave Green.
After a bit of patience and swift pull on the gaff we have the tuna by the gills. It’s heavy, I need both hands on the gaff and with its violent writhing I struggle to lift it within reach of Dave Green and the steel tubing.
PING PING PING PING PING PING PING PING PING PING.
It sounds like metal on metal and takes well over 30 blows. Nique grabs a wrench to finish it off. This is not bass fishing, this is man versus beast.
We don’t have a scale, but comparing it our anchor concludes about 25 lbs and 3 ft long. One hour later (took a while to clean) we’re having seared tuna snacks. Next on the menu:
Hamachi Kama (early afternoon snack) Terriyaki Tuna Rice Bowl (lunch) Sashimi (snack) Grilled Tuna Burgers (dinner) (Tuna) Steak and Eggs (breakfast) Fish Tacos (lunch) Ceviche (dinner)