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Mikkelsen/Excel 17 day report...Part 3

And so it continues

We all have either experienced, seen or heard of kite hell but maaan,
those first two up on the list, Including Ralph, were treated to a first class stateroom in Satan's finest dormitory. Through some Wahoo bites and smaller tuna those first two intrepid anglers held on to their 80 wide reels morning, noon and night. No calling it quits for these two.
It was hot with little breeze most of the day and nothing even knocking on or sniffing at the door of the kite baits except for perhaps a few sharks. I now know, based on my last trip, I am sticking to my one hour max turn on the kite as I just do not have that kind of patience. I will ignore the little imps that sit in my head telling me the big one is just a few minutes away and if you give up your rotation you are going to miss it. Screwwwww that. But for these two gentlemen who have caught way more than their share of big tuna the Wahoo bites just were not worth giving up their shot for the biggers should a few come though. Alas, the biggers never showed their faces at the Bank.

After two days of pick, pick, pick Justin makes the decision to head to Clarion to fish outside of the 6 mile buffer zone. It appears there are serious negotiations going on as to possibly getting permits in the near future to fish inside the buffer zone at this one Island and that will be amazing. No one wants to jeopardize or crush our hopes for this
very strong possibility so with this in mind we make the 18 hour crossing to the Island.

We arrive and check in with the station. Once again we were greeted by large pods of whales all around the boat with some giving us the
Whale high five by breaching, some almost out of the water, near by. Many other species of water related wildlife was everywhere.
We see wonderful sights of birds crashing onto feeding fish so the drive to get past the 6 mile zone where bird schools are still working kept us very excited. It did not take long to sneak up on the first of many and get some rods bent. 40 - 100# tuna were the fare of the day with a few going bigger. I spent much of the day throwing Poppers and though I was getting crashed on with reasonable regularity I could not get a hook to stick. Ughhh. I have some thoughts on how to re rig these poppers so there is a better chance to stick em but I will save that for another time.

Chasing working birds is the watchword of fishing outside the zone at Clarion. Working from the drift is both good and bad. The good is the drift keeps the baits in line with the fishermen as the wind and current keep up a steady pull on those rascally sardines thus few tangles occurred. The bad news is it is tough to stay on top of the school. Though this first day the fish stayed with us as we chased down bird school after bird school many of the smallers were released but a few of the medium biggers came by to play.

Once again current and wind was a factor and those with 2 - 4 ounces of lead seemed to be doing the best. I went to bait for short periods and got my fair share of tuna then continued my Aerial assault at what I hoped would be bigger fish. A few on the surface iron, 6X jrs. and Raiders, but none on the poppers and none of the really bigguns. Dang. Still, not a bad day considering the tough conditions back at the bank.

Day two at the Island where again the bird schools were very approachable and feeding fish were to be had. Similar sizes as the day before but certainly a few more in the larger sizes. My day was spent in similar fashion as the day before as I was determined to get those Tuna Hunter Poppers bit. They certainly did their job getting fish to attack but the hooks just never found a place to stick. Again, I fished some bait and got what I needed and went back to the business of casting artificial stuff.

I believe this was one of the days I brought out the Super Seeker full 10 ft. Ulua to fish tuna with. To say there were more than a few snickers and questions as to my sanity by most of these folks who think the rail is only for holding on to or leaning against while snapping pictures of their harness caught fish would be an understatement. Since I caught several nice tuna, including one about 140#'s on this rod combined with an Accurate 665 wide, with little effort expended, showed a few folks what the Super Seekers and the rail can do for a fisherman. Unfortunately I am still waiting for a cow to be landed on this rig but there is no question in my mind this rod and reel can handle the job. Besides, Its just plain fun to fish with.

Just before dark, James hooks into what appears to be a shark. It did not do a lot of angler damage so not much was expected. 45 minutes later the unexpected occurred. What came up was a toad. 329#'s of toad actually. A magnificent creature as if any 100# or above tuna is not magnificent but this was just a beauty. James, as usual, handled it with pure aplomb stating it was no big deal. Of course the rest of the trip he was hounded with the question of who was going to mount the fish for him as we all knew that fish was going to be eaten and not mounted. But Oggy rode him pretty good about that one.

To be continued.

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