Our amazing late season continues with an abundance of albacore tuna, great catches of halibut, rockfish galore and even some salmon thrown into the mix. In terms of albacore this is without a doubt the season of the century and — whatever measurement you use — we have annihilated all records for numbers of tuna and sheer volume by weight!
We are even seeing large numbers of dorado and Bluefin and this past week an honest to goodness marlin was caught off the coast by Garibaldi!
It’s not just the ocean that’s bountiful right now, in our bay we are seeing decent salmon catches with some of our regulars catching fish almost every time they go out. Don’t mistake this for a hot salmon bite or a great season mind you, but overall it’s “pretty ok” for some folk.
Two weekends ago some of our customers and all around good people Jeff and Mariss went out to sea for an overnight adventure on the tuna grounds. They report that all sorts of creepy sounds and sights were to be had, including what they think sounding like a whale right beside the boat in the dark, things that go “thump” and a 9-foot-4-inch blue shark.
Blue sharks often reside with and around the albacore schools and are as much or possibly even more fun to catch than the tuna themselves. Pacific blue are the most abundant sharks out there, and while it gets a bad rap as a nasty tasting fish it makes stellar shark jerky.
The Pacific Blue Shark rarely exceeds 8 feet in length and can live to 20 years of age. As far as sharks go, this species is fairly docile and is actually preyed upon by the California Sea Lion. Other predators of this species include sharks like the Mako and the White.
There are at least 12 documented cases worldwide of the Pacific Blue Shark attacking humans.
As far as food goes herring, anchovies, sardines, octopi, squid and mackerel make up the staple diet of the Blue Shark. They are very opportunistic feeders and seem to become more active in the early evening and at night often attracted to the baitfish circling around your vessels lights. It is this predictability which in part make it such a great sport fish.
The Pacific Blue Shark migrates throughout the Pacific and sharks tagged in Southern California have been recaptured in Acapulco, Northern Oregon, the Hawaiian Islands and off Midway in the central Pacific.
Mating season is in the late spring and the gestation period is from nine to 12 months depending on the environmental conditions, food available and other external factors. These creatures are referred to by people far smarter than me as “Viviparous” which essentially means they give birth to live, fully formed, itty bitty shark babies. Litters average around 30 young with the maximum recorded at 135.
If you’re out for albacore this season don’t overlook the fun these amazing creatures can provide, and the ODFW says we can catch and keep 25 of ‘em!
No matter how many you may catch and whether ya eat ‘em or toss ‘em back I hope to see you out there.