Author Topic: 2018 Tuna with challenging sea conditions  (Read 2687 times)

Offline cgrfish

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2018 Tuna with challenging sea conditions
« on: September 12, 2018, 06:29:02 AM »
It’s been a challenging couple years for Tuna out of newport, Oregon.  The currents haven’t developed well for Tuna to come within reach of the small boat fleet, so I decided to take a chance and go find them.

Based on a report from another fisherman we decided to run due west last weekend on the search..  Ended up 50 miles from the tips at 44 41N and 125 12W.  Put 12 Tuna in the boat, half nice grade of Tuna, and half peanuts, but they all fill the canner.  Worked that area several hours, getting all but one on the troll.  Never got a stop going, getting only one on a jig during a attempted stop.  Saw multiple groups of birds working bait, but never saw jumpers the entire day.

One thing I’ve learned going offshore is you will potentially encounter several different sets of sea conditions, etc on a single trip.  On this day this was extremely true, probably the most varied conditions I’ve encountered in a single day.  I though I’d recap them to give everyone an idea of the challenges the Pacific Ocean gives us.

The morning started with a noaa forecast of 3-4 ft swell, and 5-10 sw winds with gusts to 15. Other forecasts (windy and windfinder) both showed wind forecasts below that level, so I decided it was worth a try.   Started the morning with seas very consistent with the forecast, and not concerning, other than I hate a south wind, As our prevailing currents are from north to south, and an opposing south wind can result in unpredictable and variable seas.  Headed out without any issues, but with fog dense enough off shore to slow you down a bit.  There was a small about of wind chop, but nothing overly concerning.

At 30 miles the fog lifted some, and the ocean laid down to a beautiful ocean, and we were running over 20 knots. 

At 40 miles, wind is coming up, and chop is building. 

At 43 miles, were in sustained 15 knot winds, and consistent short period  swells much bigger than forecast, probably 6-8 average with some really big ones mixed in.  It was the most nautical conditions my boats been in yet, and we discussed wether to pull the plug and head back.  We agreed to slow down to troll speeds, set some gear, and keep going a bit, but the margin was small, I was on the edge of bagging it.  Within a half hour, we could see winds decreasing noticeably, and a bit later the sun broke through, ocean was very comfortable for fishing, and we proceeded to grind out 12 fish over the next several hours.

Roll forward several hours, 3:00 in the afternoon, sunny day with little wind.  Blue water, blue sky, and the occasional fish, doesn’t get much better than that.  We discuss how long to fish, and were thinking 4:00 range.  At 3:30 one of the crew comes in and says the winds picking up quickly, and I agree.  I remember windy showing increasing winds in the evening, and we agree to bag it and head in.

Start running at 20 knots, very comfortable ocean.

 At mile 43 we lose the blue water, and the fog settles on.  For approximately 20 miles were in pea soup, running 10-15, not because of sea state, but because of visibility. 

At about 23 miles out the fog lifts a bit, bit bigger swell than in the morning, but were back comfortably running 20kts.  Get a good 20 miles of that, and then 3-4 miles from the bar the pea soup is back, closer to cotton candy.  Slow to 10 knots with all crew on lookout, and we make it back in without issue.  I could see both jetty’s when crossing the bar, but it was thick enough to make you extra cautious.

The bizarre part of the day was the half hour or so of extreme seas we encountered.  I spoke to a friend who is a retired commercial fisherman, and he clued me in by telling me to check the charts for an underwater mountain.  On looking, just before we hit the rough water we were in approximately 3600 ft of water, where it was roughest was about 2200 feet, and then it dropped back to 4400 feet.  As the swells came in from across the seas, they were pushed upward by the underwater mountain, and when combined  With a patch of strong wind going through, and the seas absolutely stood on end.   We travelled back across the same area on our return trip, and it was not noticeably different than the rest of the trip.  Really weird, but it shows how unpredictable the ocean can be.

Great day on the salt, but it really showed the many faces the ocean can show you in one trip.  The jumbo handled it extremely well, and it confirmed the statement I’ve made many times that my boat can handle rougher water than I want to be in.   Love my Tolman!
Jumbo 25
Start 5/2013
Flip 8/30/13
Launch 6/16/15

Offline cgrfish

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Re: 2018 Tuna with challenging sea conditions
« Reply #1 on: September 12, 2018, 06:31:18 AM »
Some pictures, if I can get them to upload....
Jumbo 25
Start 5/2013
Flip 8/30/13
Launch 6/16/15

Offline Cannon

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Re: 2018 Tuna with challenging sea conditions
« Reply #2 on: September 12, 2018, 07:36:10 AM »
Great report! I have run out once this season for zip. Probably not going to make another run this year though, just not enough fish in close.


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Great Alaskan 28' started June 2015, launched August 2016
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Offline cj8mule

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Re: 2018 Tuna with challenging sea conditions
« Reply #3 on: September 13, 2018, 02:36:53 AM »
Great report! I have run out once this season for zip. Probably not going to make another run this year though, just not enough fish in close.


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I've not fished that side of the world.  What is considered "in close"?  On this side I think a 40 or 50 mile trip is close...

Great job getting some tuna in the boat cgrfish!!!


--dave
Jumbo 27' started July, 2016, flipped Feb, 2017, launched Sept, 2017

Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn’t pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same. – Ronald Reagan

Offline cgrfish

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Re: 2018 Tuna with challenging sea conditions
« Reply #4 on: September 13, 2018, 05:58:23 AM »
Quote from: cj8mule link=topic=5373.msg55586#msg55586 date=1536831413
[/quote

I've not fished that side of the world.  What is considered "in close"?  On this side I think a 40 or 50 mile trip is close...

Great job getting some tuna in the boat cgrfish!!!


--dave

For Tuna, close to Newport is 20 miles.  Looking at satellite images last night, there’s a chance they’ve moved in that close over the past week, may have to check it out this weekend.    The trip reported on was my second trip of the season, on the prior trip we were 49 miles out and never had a bite or any indication of a fish. 
Jumbo 25
Start 5/2013
Flip 8/30/13
Launch 6/16/15

Offline guldam

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Re: 2018 Tuna with challenging sea conditions
« Reply #5 on: September 13, 2018, 09:19:03 AM »
Awesome story!

And yeah, I hate a South Wind. Makes for a mighty uncomfortable day on the Pacific.

Offline elkhunter338

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Re: 2018 Tuna with challenging sea conditions
« Reply #6 on: September 22, 2018, 08:01:57 PM »
cool sharing your trip with us.  Glad you caught some fish.  Curious about how much fuel did you burn on that trip.
I have yet to make a tuna trip because no close in reports in the last 2 years. I have not keep real good track of my fuel economy but I would say I am running 2.5 mpg + in ocean conditions.  Even at slower speeds the fuel mileage seems to hold at around 2.5 since these boats do not plow water, one of the best features I like is traveling at 10-15 mph the boat glides along kind of like a cano.
I am already looking forward to next season, hoping for good salmon fishing, tuna in close and abundant.

Offline cgrfish

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Re: 2018 Tuna with challenging sea conditions
« Reply #7 on: September 23, 2018, 07:47:07 AM »
My fuel economy has never hit the glowing reports you read on here.  When planning trips I figure 2 nmpg (nautical miles per gallon), even though I’m normally over that.  I’m in the valley, boats at the coast, so I’m going by memory on this.  We took 82 gallons of fuel out (70 gallons built in tanks plus two six gallon boat tanks), and had about 28 gallons remains when we hit the dock in the evening.    Going offshore, I’m a believer in the1/4 in reserve theory - 1/4 out, 1/4 trolling, 1/4 back, and 1/4 reserve.    Trolling seldom burns the full quarter, so that adds some reserve.

Last winter I replumbed my fuel system so I can easily plug in boat tanks, and the fuel still goes through the Racor filters, so I don’t contaminate the motor with unfiltered fuel.  This lets us run however many boat tanks we like.  I currently have two, but a friend just gave me a third I have to get set up.  We run the boat tanks on the way out, and then they go on the cabin roof with a bunji to keep them out of the way while we fish.   That leaves me with the built in tanks on the trip home so I don’t have to worry about tank changes on the way in.

Incidentally, my wife and I went out last week and got 11 Tuna 32 miles out.  Didn’t take extra fuel on that trip, and I think we had around 35 gallons left after that trip.
Jumbo 25
Start 5/2013
Flip 8/30/13
Launch 6/16/15