Six in the morning my alarm went off. Time for breakfast and driving over to Jim for our day of fishing on the ocean. We were hoping for a break in the wind and sure enough, there was none. Jim was ready with his truck hooked up to his Bayliner and we drove over to town.
This boat and trailer combination ways about 6000 lbs, but his truck had no trouble with it. Jim’s fishing buddy Ed had also just arrived, so we lowered the boat in the water and slowly headed out the Noyo River. Once through town and under the bridge, it turned foggy and we used the GPS and radar to find our way out. Half hour later the sun would come out. There was still some residual swell running of previous days wind, enough to make you having to brace yourself all the time.
Ed baited the gear with herring and put it overboard. The gear consist of a metal flapper called a flasher, a lead weight to hold everything down, a hoochie to make it look like a squid inside which a herring is hooked to a barbless hook. You use barbless hooks to not hurt the fish so much in case you have to throw it back.
Weighted this way one gets to about 20 to 30 feet deep, because the boat is moving at 2 to 3 knots (trolling). If you want to go deeper to find fish there, you use a downrigger. This is a heavier wire on a separate reel with a much heavier lead ball on it. This ball can sink much deeper (100 to 200 feet) on a moving boat. The actual fish line you use with the rod is loosely clipped to this downrigger line and can therefore slide down to greater depth. Once the fish ‘hits’, the clip comes loose and you can start reeling in the fish. Being barbless, you stand the chance loosing the fish, so you have to keep tension on the line at all times while reeling in.
Having said all this however, we didn’t get so much as even a nibble on the bait. We spend a few hours looking for fish, changing gear and tactics several times to no avail. Shortly after eleven we headed back in the harbor a bit bummed, but that’s fishing; you never know.