fishologist: I think the captain originally said it would be 12 hours. The seas were so calm, however that we made it out in about 10 1/2.
Rick asked what I had learned. Here are a few items:
(1) It really does take a real man to drop a heavy jig down deep and when folks like Kil and others told me the lightness of the equipment was important, that was not B.S. The rod I used on the small amount of jigging I did (maybe 15 drops) was a Smith 5 1/2 foot Nirai that is rated for PE8 and weighs 11 ounces--no problem there. But the 32 ounce Twinspin also had to be lifted every time along with the rod and a jig that outweighed it by 3 ounces. I chose the Shimano long lift and reel down, partially because someone (I think it was you Rick) felt that YFT prefer it slower, but mostly because the process was so tiring that I was in reality pumping up and reeling down on the freaking jig!!
2. Using the rail is for real. Even though I could read and write when Fred was born 57 years ago, I greatly adimire his ability to fight fish--any fish--without a harness. So I decided to do that the entire trip. And it was successful, but in addition to the gimbal and plate putting the rod down on the rail in low gear and honking down on that crank was slow but sure.
3. I learned that reasonable people can differ and all be right. I had previously used size 5 and size 7 super mutu hooks for chunking--with some success. But the deck hands on the Big E had little rigs made up of 64 pound mono tied to a little bitty circle hook that was about the size of the end of my little finger. I decided to use one even though Louis gave me that look he has that means "If you lose a big one on that piece of $hit, don't blame me." But as I told Steve and Fred, I was willing to take that chance just to be able to lord it over him if I landed a 150 pounder on something that looked like a perch hook. You would have to know Louis to understand.
4. I learned that people rarely ever change much. I learned many years ago that if you really want to catch a fish, you use bait--live bait--dead bait--but not plastic, wood, or iron. And hour after hour, nothing in my limited experience has changed that opinion. Catching a yellowfin on a jig is hard. I didn't try it real hard but I watched a helluva lot of other people do it and only one yellow was caught by one guy on a jig the whole trip--not counting a couple of babies. And the bites on top are brief--especially when some guy decides it is OK to use bass tackle--Hell, nobody matters but him. See below.
5. Fred was being nice about the yahoo with with the light rod. I will not be. He was selfish and cost the rest of us a lot of fishing. It was rumored he was a regular, but that should have been no excuse. We work as hard for our money as he did. I hope you are reading this, my friend, whoever you are because, although I doubt you care, when you went back to using the same crap after that marathon, you showed how little you care about your fellow anglers.
Now I know not everyone can spend as much money on tackle as some do. I am by no means rich, but decided if my future hobby is going to be fishing, I need to be equipped for it. Some of us just have to prioritize. Two rigs would do it. Oh well, this fellow probably logs onto the internet with dialup and a Commodore 64. Used Dells cost too much.
6. I learned one other thing: those gorgeous women on Jason's posts are not ones he actually knows. I personally saw 3 girls come up to flirt with him at different times in restaurants and gas stations. Only one of them had all her teeth and the other two had wide load signs on their back.
That is the rant. I may think of more later. You would never know it but I loved the trip.