Half Hour Fishing Trip

Reading Time: 3 minutes
Moon, Venus, Jupiter
Moon, Venus, Jupiter

As the Malihini cruises the deep blue ocean searching for floating kelp paddies and hidden fish, iridescent blue flying fish fly out of its way skimming the water with its fins temporarily transformed into rapidly fluttering wings. Aside from our bait, two small dorados, and a couple of yellowtail so small that they are not even reported, these are the only fish we see all day long.





Exodus to Sea in the Morning

We leave before 6 am. It takes four hours to get to the fishing spot at 10 knots an hour. Once we get there, there is no place to fish in the wide open sea, the floor of the ocean some four thousand feet beneath us. In the next five and a half hours, the boat cruises, the spotters sit up top on the roof of the captain’s bridge, and the boat chugs along endlessly. The boat stops only 6 times in 4 and a half hours. Each time we stop near a smallish floating kelp paddy, I hook an anchovy, put it in the water and watch it swim off and wait as it fails to fulfill its destiny of attracting my quarry. The crew has advised us to change bait every five minutes to keep it fresh and alive. But in our six stops, we never stay long enough to have time to change the bait. No one gets a bite and the captain decides to move on within the five minutes. That means in a twelve and a half hour boat ride, I only fish for thirty minutes.

DSC_0503_PelicanThe sea is calm with gentle swells but the heat is sweltering even out on the open ocean. No breeze flows through the cabin and its windows trap the heat. The outside shade of the cabin offers some relief but the choices are stand in the shade if you can find any or sit in the heat. Steven, my cousin, and Steven his friend that lives in San Diego, and I spend a lot of time out of the sun in the cabin playing the card game thirty-one. I drink one of the four or five Coors lite beers that I had while waiting for the chance to fish as the Malihini trolls the waters endlessly.

DSC_0573_NobleAs the day wears on, it becomes obvious the day is a dud. I pass some more time talking to some of the other 51 fisherman on the boat, some from San Diego, Irvine, Temecula, Phoenix. I meet a couple of other transplanted Chicagoan’s. We trade notes on Southside bars, neighborhood renovation, deep dish versus thin crust pizza, ice fishing and zebra mussels. I notice that the percentage of woman is 10%, five out of the fifty. Maybe Brooke can encourage more women to fish, why should men have all the fun? But mostly the day drags on in the heat until the captain finally throws in the white towel and mercifully ends this unproductive trip.

DSC_0539_FlyingDolphinsThe Malihini drives through a large pod of dolphins on the way in: one bright spot in an otherwise hot and unprofitable day.





DSC_0565_PackIt is one of the few fishing trips I have questioned the bumper sticker wisdom “The worst day fishing is better than the best day working”