Know ing when to fold em
We had not been fishing for a few days when I heard chatter on the VHF that the fleet was experiencing the best blue marlin bite of the season. With no charters on the horizon for a couple more days I decided to go out and give it a look. Reportedly the best bite was near the buoys off Pescadero.
It was not hard to find the spot because when we arrived there was already about a half dozen boats slow trolling baits around the area. It only took a few minutes and we hooked a sailfish. The action seemed slow though and it didn't appear the other boats were hooking up.
Later in the morning we hooked a marlin. It was about the same time that word came out on the radio there was a huge comarilla (feeding frenzy in spanish) of striped marlin off the high spot of La Ribera. I could hear the skippers in that area talking and it sounded like the bite was full speed. One by one the boats in our area pealed off in the direction of La Ribera until we were alone. The chatter on the radio continued and it sound like everybody was hooked up and many of the boats had already released several fish.
Okay, what to do. The run to the hot spot off La Ribera was only about a half hour. Should we join the fleet or wait for the fish to show? With clients we probably would have left a long time ago and headed for the sure thing. I liked my cards though. All alone with no traffic in the area where several blue marlin were landed the day before. I decided to stand pat and play the day out where we were. Looking back maybe we should have folded and made the move. We never had another bite. That's fishing!
Later in the week one of my best buddies, Spa Buena Vista home owner Jim Bull fished Jen Wren III. Jim had much better luck trolling live skippys off La Ribera and finished the day with 3 sailfish and a couple small dorado.
The hot bite had been going on for almost a week when Spa Buena Vista home owner Matt Clifton arrived with the goal of catching a striped marlin on the fly. Matt is an accomplished fly fishing guide and my thoughts were that his timing might just be perfect. We spent the day slow trolling live baits without hooks with the idea we could tease the marlin closer to the boat to give Matt a shot with his fly. As luck would have it the fish decided to play hard ball that day. In the course of the day three marlin came in and kamikazied baits off our lines so fast there was no time to react. It was frustrating for me to not be able to give an angler that can handle a fly rod so well at least a shot. That's fishing!
Cup a joe and this view. Not a bad way to start your day.
Punta Pescadero home owner Kevin Anderson sent me this great picture of him and his family on Jen Wren last week.