In praise of Fall

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Re: In praise of Fall

Postby Mean Gene » Mon Oct 21, 2019 12:24 pm

I just returned from my 7 day fishing trip out of San Diego aboard the Searcher and I had a great time. This was my first trip to Gudalupe Island, and although we didn’t find the 80-100 lb tuna we were hoping for, we did catch lots of decent sized yellowfins that pulled long and hard. This was my second ultra limited load trip aboard the Searcher and it only solidified my opinion that this is the way to go. Yes, it costs more, but having only 14 fishermen on a 95 ft boat is just flat awesome.

The Searcher is an older boat owned and captained by Art Taylor who has been in the long range fishing game for many years. For this particular trip each angler had his own private room, and with only 14 fishermen on a 95 foot long by 24 foot wide boat there was never an issue with crowding. Additionally, in the galley there are 5 tables that seat 20 comfortably, so there was enough room for not only all the passengers but all the crew as well. No eating in shifts on this trip. There is satellite TV available, and that made it nice for watching the baseball playoff games and football. A nice perk for this trip was the boat provided for each person a reusable water bottle, a bath towel and a wash cloth. The boat was clean, comfortable and professional in appearance. The water in the sinks in the staterooms tasted like water and had no aftertaste at all. There was ample storage in each stateroom, reading lights in each bunk, and there are 4 heads, two of which are equipped with showers.

Day 1 started with checking in at Fisherman’s Landing around 8 o’clock. Art’s wife Celia greeted the passengers as if they were all old friends, and passed out the water bottles and offered each person cold water or Gatoraid. Everybody was treated like family and there was no way anyone could feel any other way than completely welcome. Once onboard Captain Art gave a very thorough safety briefing and game plan and we headed for Ensenada to check in. Checking in in Ensenada was easy and painless and we were on our way to Gudalupe in short order. Dinner was excellent and we were blessed with flat seas for traveling, which is all we really did. We looked forward to the next afternoon as Art said we’d be fishing by approximately 3 o’clock.

Day 2 started with tackle and technique tips and everyone got their gear ready based on what we were told. We arrived at Guadalupe at about 2 o’clock and started looking for fish. By 3 o’clock we were on a school and had fish boiling around us. The bite was not hot and heavy and it was necessary to use 30 lb line to get bit for sure although some fish did come on 40. The sharks weren’t horrible, but we did lose a few to the tax man including the 2nd one I hooked. In the end everybody on the boat got at least 2 tunas and we ended the evening with 34 fish in the hold. We didn’t find the bigger grade yellowfins and most all the fish were in the 30-40 lb range. On this day I hooked 4 and boated 2. Most folks were using #2 hooks and I started with a #1: didn’t seem to matter much so I just stuck with the #1. Great weather day for certain.

Day 3 saw us start the morning south of where we finished day 1. Here we found some better fish, but still 51 lbs was the biggest. Other boats with us at the island were the Royal Polaris, the Royal Star, and the Shogun. Our morning bite was fairly slow and we eventually moved back up the Island to where we first fished the day we arrived and got into a few there. 30 lb line seemed to be better at gaining strikes than 40. Shark action this day was almost non-existent. For day 3 I boated 3 and had the hook pull on 3, but I paid no taxes. Also, before I continue the story, the bait we got before we left wasn’t all that big, so #2 and #1 hooks were what needed to be used.

Day 4 for us was tough fishing. The weather was much rougher and the fish seemed to have lock jaw. All day it seemed like the current was going one way while the wind was blowing the exact opposite. Whitey was out in force that day and took a heavy toll. 1 person in particular lost 5 fish to the sharks. At one point a 16 footer jumped completely out of the water no more than 20 yards from the boat. That was actually pretty cool to see. The key to getting bit was a good swimming bait. If your bait didn’t start swimming hard as soon as it hit the water you were never going to get picked up. I personally had a good day and put 5 fish in the box. Where I got bit varied from 30 feet from the boat to 150 yards out on a long soak. For most this day was just brutal.

Day 5 was another tough day at the rail for catching fish and the total catch for the day was 16 tuna. I put a couple on the boat with the larger of the two weighing 50 lbs. At one point I had a fish right to the boat, but there was a loose line wrapped around mine. I had to pause so the deckhand could get it off, and the instant he did a shark grabbed my fish, went straight out a hundred yards, then ate it on the surface with lots of thrashing, probably just to make sure we all knew he could. All day we had an 18 footer swimming circles around the boat. It was definitely a bad day to be a tuna coming to the rail. Since fishing was deteriorating the decision was made to head for Ensenada to check in and then spend our last day out west of the Coronados where there was some decent action, so after dinner we left the island. It was a pretty bumpy ride all night.

Day 6 saw us doing nothing but traveling so we could get to our 7 o’clock check in appointment. It was definitely a bumpy ride. At one point my tackle box tipped over due to the rocking and I got to play “this is how we pick up our gear”. I put things away and changed the orientation of the box and it was golden the rest of the way. We made our check in appointment and the officials there were nice enough to let us stay tied up to their dock until about 2 am when we headed out for our last day of fishing.

Day 7 saw us greet the sunrise west of the Coronadaos. We put out some trolling lines and started to look for fish. Art found some huge schools, but nothing wanted to play. After a while we got a bunch of boils and started getting baits in the water. This bunch of fish would hit as soon as your bait hit the water, but it was a lot of skipjacks and small tuna. But, it was a good stop for folks who had not caught many at the island to tag some fish to bring home. We left that school and went looking for better fish, and around 3 o’clock found some. At this last stop we didn’t boat a ton of fish, but everything was a minimum of 40 pounds and added a couple nice bluefins as well. I caught 1 fish on the stop that weighed 54 pounds and that turned out to be good enough to get me second place in the jackpot.

And that was our trip.

A couple of observations. The fish weren’t always in the biting mode but every once in a while they would turn “on” for a bit. In order to get in on that you had to be at the rail. I kept my happy butt at the rail all day, each day, and it paid off, You just couldn’t give up if the fish weren’t biting because 5 minutes later the whole game would change. Moral of the story is, don’t quit. The bait wasn’t big, so small hooks were necessary. 30 lb flouro and active swimming bait was the key to getting bites. The fish weren’t always right at the boat, sometimes they bit 150 yards out. The deck hands were outstanding! The cooks were outstanding. Captain Art puts out a 100% effort every single day, and if YOU want to succeed YOU to need to put out a 100% effort. 14 fishermen on a 95 foot boat is a dream come true.

I’ll put up some pictures here for you but I’ll close with this. No, we didn’t find the big tunas, and the good yellowtail spot at the island was occupied by another boat, BUT, I personally had a wonderful trip. Some of you guys are used to catching tunas over 100 pounds, but that 54 pounder I got was my personal best and I’m very thankful I got it. You are only going to get out of these trips what you put into them, so try hard, don’t quit, and keep a positive attitude. I am completely satisfied with the trip.

Thanks to the captain, his wife, and crew of the Searcher for making opportunities like this available. I most certainly WILL join you again.
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Re: In praise of Fa, are

Postby speczilla » Wed Oct 23, 2019 1:20 am

That’s a heck of a nice trip there Gene. I’ve been out on day trips when I lived in San Diego but never a seven+ day trip. Glad you had a good time.

Hey FS it brings a smile to my face to check this thread and see you getting out and chasing birds. I hope you’ve fully recovered, are completely healthy, and that you’re able to partake in all that fall has to offer. Please post up more pictures of your hunts.

I haven’t seen him post in a while and I know he mentioned last year he had some life-altering circumstances arise, but I hope all is well with JD in Eagle.

Here’s to wishing you all a great fall season in the field and beyond.
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Re: In praise of Fall

Postby blackrock2 » Wed Oct 23, 2019 4:56 am

Looks like a great time tuna fishing Gene! I need to do that next year, tuna is my favorite. I'm guessing best time is right about now. We've been busy elk hunting.......


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Re: In praise of Fa, are

Postby Fsbirdhouse » Wed Oct 23, 2019 8:09 am

speczilla wrote:That’s a heck of a nice trip there Gene. I’ve been out on day trips when I lived in San Diego but never a seven+ day trip. Glad you had a good time.

Hey FS it brings a smile to my face to check this thread and see you getting out and chasing birds. I hope you’ve fully recovered, are completely healthy, and that you’re able to partake in all that fall has to offer. Please post up more pictures of your hunts.

I haven’t seen him post in a while and I know he mentioned last year he had some life-altering circumstances arise, but I hope all is well with JD in Eagle.

Here’s to wishing you all a great fall season in the field and beyond.


Thanks. I'm still out hunting, but these days the younger men are doing most of the lifting. If they don't hunt, I can't hunt.
Hunting out of the blind is still good, but walking for Pheasant is history.
The start to this season has been real hit and miss. Four trips out. First two were OK, but last two were in heavy wind and few birds flying. Just hanging at the house this week, and probably over the weekend until birds start moving. I hear most are being seen 1.5 hrs North of me now, so I suspect a few will start leaking in before long. Hope so!
So the words Fall and Autumn are not to be capitalized?
They are in my world.
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Re: In praise of Fall

Postby Mean Gene » Thu Oct 24, 2019 8:53 am

Don't give up Jim. :thumbsup:

I have not hunted at all yet. My first hunt day will be next Wednesday and I'm kinda using it as a shakedown cruise. I most likely won't get to hunt much this winter, but that's OK, I'll get in what I can.
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Re: In praise of Fall

Postby Mean Gene » Wed Oct 30, 2019 10:00 pm

9 degrees at check in time. Broke ice to get to the blind, broke ice retrieving ducks, half the decoys were in ice when I picked up at 8. Lots of birds in the pond before shoot time...mostly teal...and very few flying after those left. I wasn't picky, killed everything I shot at, and never saw a bird in the air after I was done. But, I got to get out for the first time this year so I was good with it all. At least I didn't waste shells.
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Re: In praise of Fall

Postby Fsbirdhouse » Fri Nov 01, 2019 9:46 pm

With the Winter Wheat shoots breaking ground on the island, I thought I'd do a look see. Hundreds of Geese.
Landlord dropping locks. We're to be first to hunt there on Tuesday
So the words Fall and Autumn are not to be capitalized?
They are in my world.
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Re: In praise of Fall

Postby Mean Gene » Sat Nov 02, 2019 7:55 am

Fsbirdhouse wrote:With the Winter Wheat shoots breaking ground on the island, I thought I'd do a look see. Hundreds of Geese.
Landlord dropping locks. We're to be first to hunt there on Tuesday


Nice! You should do well. Wish I was there with you for that. Make sure and get some pictures. :thumbsup: :thumbsup:
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Re: In praise of Fall

Postby Fsbirdhouse » Sat Nov 02, 2019 10:27 am

Jackwagons snuck out and ground sluiced some of them this morning and scared the rest off. I'll be watching tomorrow. We can hear shots at house. Putting landlord on notice there are poachers about.
So the words Fall and Autumn are not to be capitalized?
They are in my world.
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Re: In praise of Fall

Postby HaydenHunter » Sun Nov 03, 2019 7:15 pm

Fsbirdhouse wrote:Jackwagons snuck out and ground sluiced some of them this morning and scared the rest off. I'll be watching tomorrow. We can hear shots at house. Putting landlord on notice there are poachers about.


Idaho's new tougher trespassing laws should teach them a lesson if you can call the po-po while they are in the act. That's too bad. I know you were looking forward to this hunt on ground that you have worked hard to secure permission on. AAAARRRGGGGHHH!
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Re: In praise of Fall

Postby Fsbirdhouse » Mon Nov 04, 2019 10:51 pm

Since the double By-Pass and two minor heart attacks (If a heart attack can be called minor to 'ANY' degree) last year and early Spring of this year, putting together the hunts for guests and family have become 'iffy' on a day to day basis. I have wanted to get Hayden Hunter on a couple days of hunting as I told him I would, and JD, and Gene for a couple more, but it scares me to invite, and then have a bad health day, especially when guys travel a long way to get here.
This has all been compounded by the fact that the Honey Hole froze up solid (1 inch) in October of all things (It has never done that). It's all field hunting from here-on-out, but must count on others to unlock gates or be present in some cases. I've had to really cull down places I hunt for ease of entry, and then crop rotations always seem to have half my spots in question in any case.
I'm not whining, I knew these days would overtake me at some point, and I am becoming content with that knowledge.
So the words Fall and Autumn are not to be capitalized?
They are in my world.
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Re: In praise of Fall

Postby Mean Gene » Fri Nov 08, 2019 5:34 pm

I hear you on breaking down. Seems each year the flat ground gets steeper.

Got out again Wednesday. Slow overall, but I'll take it. Was stripping off clothes by 10.
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Re: In praise of Fall

Postby Fsbirdhouse » Sat Aug 01, 2020 6:24 pm

Hello Everybody!
Time to open things up on this yearly celebration!
It may still be hot in Eastern Idaho but we can see every sign that the days are getting shorter.
Harvest has started! I saw the first carpet of spilled grain at an intersection in town today. By the end of this week the fields will be full of combines and trucks as the crop is brought in. The cycle of farm life is going to be in full swing everywhere!
The first of the general season elk hunts started on the desert today...That's right, hunting season has started for some, and ere long it will be for bird and beast together!
I've got a lot of new toys for the duck and goose hunts this year. Started building them this last Spring and now they're all coming together. I'll post a few pictures when they start to go into the test phase.
See you all more often here in the near future. Until then stay safe!
So the words Fall and Autumn are not to be capitalized?
They are in my world.
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Re: In praise of Fall

Postby Mean Gene » Sun Aug 02, 2020 6:38 am

Really glad to see you back here posting Jim. Gonna be great now that I'm less than three hours away from you and we'll get to hunt together again.

We're spending all of our time here in Ennis working on our new home. The last couple days have been kinda ugly hot and by the end of the shift I'm toast. At least now were out hanging wood on walls in the great room and I think that will go fairly rapidly. Haven't seen much for ducks and geese, but then I haven't been out much either. Every day we have antelope here in the yard and it's fun watching them. The most I've seen so far has been 31. Guess next year when we put in the garden we better have a good fence around it.
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Re: In praise of Fall

Postby Fsbirdhouse » Sun Aug 02, 2020 11:24 am

Great Gene,
I've been following your house progress on that "Other" forum. Glad to see you've settled in securely now. I'm sure you're looking forward to a new home in the Intermountain West! Welcome! You demonstrate every good thing about how an expatriate from the Left Coast should meld in to the last of the 'FREE' lands we still have left us. We gotta make our stand here...or nowhere!

I am currently awash in decoys and everything to do with the coming hunts. My computer room is full of decoys and battery chargers, and so is the garage! I am pleased with how things are going, and very soon the big blinds will be coming out of the trailer for modifications and re-grassing in part. I can Social distance up to five hunters when I set them all out butted up together, and the Honey Hole area has patches of grass that the blinds are a dead on match for.
I am expecting you to be perched right along with me for some of this season's hunt! Weather and migration will be key...of course!

Going out for Bass and Trout again on Wednesday in a friend's boat and I'll enjoy that, but I have to admit I'll have an eye out for the first low bushes and trees starting to show signs of the leaf change...Yeah that's right, even at this low elevation, and even in this heat, Fall will begin her battle with the last days of the Summer Doldrums! I don't know exactly why I came to celebrate that event in connection with the Fall hunts, but there it is. I am an addict to all things Fall and Autumn.
It's coming soon now!
So the words Fall and Autumn are not to be capitalized?
They are in my world.
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Re: In praise of Fall

Postby Fsbirdhouse » Tue Aug 04, 2020 11:41 am

Yep,
Just back from the boat launch here in town. The son brought his boat up to test a new starter. Everything worked just fine, but we didn't go out in the boat today. Maybe Friday?
Coming home I noticed the shoulders of the road were a veritable carpet of spilled grain. The Harvest is on!

Dragged out the two Lucky Duck goose wing flappers I have mounted on ten foot poles, and did a test with 'em. Man, they look great. I'll post pictures when I figure out how to get them from phone to here!
See ya later...nap time!
So the words Fall and Autumn are not to be capitalized?
They are in my world.
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Re: In praise of Fall

Postby Mean Gene » Wed Aug 05, 2020 7:11 am

I'm going to praise fall a lot more when we're done with this danged house. :lol3:

I will say I am extremely grateful for the cooler weather this week. Sunday we had 96 degrees and this weeks it's not supposed to hit 90 at all with most days in the mid 80s. I don't know if there's "fall like changes" occurring outside or not since we spend 8-10 hours a day working on the inside. But, my wife has a knee replacement coming Sept. 14th so we better at least have a functional building by then so she doesn't have to climb in and out of an RV. Hopefully the insulation crew comes today to finish the back end of the house and the garage ceilings. Once they get that done all the insulation work will be completed. We are finally hanging wood in the front of the house in the great room so there's starting to be light at the end of the tunnel. Need to get that wood on the walls so I can get the flooring in and then set the cabinets. We're going as fast as we can, but the construction crew consists of me and my wife and us two old fat people can only work just so fast. :lol3: When we get done we'll have a spare bedroom so any of you guys who want to come by you'll have a place to stay.
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Re: In praise of Fall

Postby Mean Gene » Wed Aug 05, 2020 7:14 am

some more
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Re: In praise of Fall

Postby Mean Gene » Wed Aug 05, 2020 7:15 am

The view from the porch ain't too bad either.
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Re: In praise of Fall

Postby Fsbirdhouse » Wed Aug 05, 2020 7:21 am

I can hear his neighbors now
"That Darn Californian moving in and building a mansion! I hope he's not a hunter or fisherman. They'll be giving him all the prime draw hunts, and he'll muddy the water in every river and lake.....wish he'd moved to Blackfoot!"
So the words Fall and Autumn are not to be capitalized?
They are in my world.
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Re: In praise of Fall

Postby Fsbirdhouse » Thu Aug 06, 2020 12:32 pm

How does one post a video here?
So the words Fall and Autumn are not to be capitalized?
They are in my world.
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Re: In praise of Fall

Postby speczilla » Fri Aug 07, 2020 1:06 am

Looking good Gene. Wish I would have had more time out your way and I would have helped you get that wood up. I’m not good for much but I can hold up a piece of wood and nail it to the studs.
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Re: In praise of Fall

Postby Fsbirdhouse » Mon Aug 10, 2020 4:54 pm

Played on the river today.
5 Trout to the net. 3 fat Bows, one of which is going in the pan for breakfast.
Two brutish Browns that were returned to the river.
Great morning!
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So the words Fall and Autumn are not to be capitalized?
They are in my world.
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Re: In praise of Fall

Postby speczilla » Mon Aug 10, 2020 9:29 pm

Nice looking browns FS. Not a bad day on the water.
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