Kohei and I went fishing on the Check Mate yesterday, boarding at 5:00 am and back to the wharf by 4:00 pm. It was a beautiful day out on the bay–black footed albatross, blue and gray whales, little mola molas and lots of hopeful sea life, hoping for handouts of bait / salmon.
The bite was inconsistent, though the skipper proactively tried spot after spot. We were “mooching”, using a banana sinker with a barbless circle hook with frozen anchovies. Fish were biting on the drop and upon retrieval for the most part. We’d get a fish on and then the bite would die–this was the pattern for each stop. The salmon were very, very gingerly gumming our bait. You’d see a few dings on the pole tip, then nothing. Upon checking bait, there would be light bite marks or they’d slip the bait off the hook without giving notice. Needless to say, the way the fish were eating the bait was the source of much frustration and colorful language amongst the fishermen.
One old man got 5 fish! Compare this to the other 5 that were caught by the 20 of the rest of us on the boat. His rig had a sliding sinker, in comparison to ours, which were secured by a swivel on each side of the sinker.
We almost got skunked (I got skunked, but both of us almost got skunked) but at the very end Kohei had a salmon nibbling his bait–it took about 20 seconds and then after slowly taking up slack, the hook stuck. Thanks to Kohei, we enjoyed salmon dinner and it was delicious!