C’est La Vie
|Date||December 5, 2012|
|Area||North of Kerama islands|
|Moon Age||21 days|
|High Tide||11:26 +162cm|
|Low Tide||4:49 (+35cm), 17:19 (+87cm)|
It was rainy today. As the cold front coming down from the north, it would be even worse in the afternoon. The tide chart also indicates that the morning would be the only chance. It is a neap tide. A long big tide-up in the morning and a small tide-down in the afternoon. The nature wasn’t looking too friendly today.
Whatever it is, once the boat is out, all we can do is to give everything we got. So here we go!!!
It was showering only a little in the morning. The wave is not so bad either, not a problem at all for slow pitch jigging. The captain started out at 150m deep line about 7:30. I dropped a 260g Rector with luminous zebra pattern. Then I noticed the current is not moving at all.
I always do a steady 1 pitch a second tempo for the first try. This way you pick up much information about the sea conditions. If the current is strong, it feels heavy. If there’s layers of different currents, you feel changes of the weight.
Even though it was around 150m deep, The current was so weak that I felt 180g can do and changed to 180g Rector. From then on I tried different jigs and different weights every time.
The selection of jig weights has been my main concern these days. In general, the lighter and the smaller the jig is, the more bites it attracts. So it seems. But it’s not always true. There should be a particular weight that moves the most moderately in each conditions. Moderate movement doesn’t promise the most benefits, but I want to have the ability to find the most moderate weight so that I can consciously make choices from sharp movements to dull movements.
Anyways, it was around 10:00 o’clock. I was doing slow pitch jerks with medium fall actions when it hit it.
A grouper family. I think it’s Epinephelus chlorostigma. There are so many kinds of grouper family around this sub-tropical water. They are all delicious but it’s hard to id them all.
It’s hooked on the rear, which means the fish made the bite when the jig was falling. I made a mental note that a constant slow-pitch lift with medium fall action may be today’s hit pattern. The jig was Deepliner CX 180g, a classic slow pitch jig.
And, of course, closed my fish right away. Ike Jime procedures, breaking the brain, draining the blood, and crashing the spinal cord.
According to the tide chart, the currents were supposed to be moving in the morning, but it didn’t seem to be. The pitch felt so light all morning. The fish is not active at all. There had been a few catches on the boat.
We changed places and it felt a little heavier at one point. I was doing what seems to be today’s pattern, constant slow-pitch lift with medium fall action.
Then a big one hit.
It was when I counted 10 cranks, so I was probably about 7m high. But the fish dragged out the line so fast for about 3m and then I got snagged. I couldn’t do anything, and the fish went into the rocks. I waited for a minute or so, but the fish didn’t seem to move. And I didn’t want to waste a time now that it was beginning to feel like a fish-active time. I gave up and cut the line.
It was probably the only chance for the day. It’s a little past noon. The current felt moderately moving, and the sounder was picking up schools of fish.
And sure enough, another big one hit.
I was on Rector 210g. I hang on to the first run and started reeling when I suddenly lost the tension. Shit! I found that the hook was broken. Was it rusted? The drag wasn’t too tight. Lost in thoughts what went wrong, I felt sorry for the fellow anglers too. When you lose the fish where you hook it, the commotion seems to chase away all the fish around.
The captain picked another spot. The sounder looked very good. I dropped the same Rector. A fellow angler hit a fish and he was enjoying the fight. I was watching him over my shoulder when another one hit.
I was sure I hooked it good. “Got this one!” I said. This is not as big as the previous 2 fish I lost, but probably about 5kg, amberjack or travelly. It was running all over the place, choking my reel. I got by the first 2 runs and I was lifting steadily when I suddenly lost the tension again. Can’t be!!!
I found the hook was gone. Not broken. Gone out of the ring. Damn it! This is clearly my error. I didn’t check when I lost the previous fish? Was I upset about losing 2 fish in a row?
I took a deep breath. Apologized to the fellow anglers. Told myself the fish is still active. It’s not over yet. Give your best shots.
But that was all she wrote for the day.
Well, except for this little guy.
Check your system every time you drop your jig.
This is a code.
No matter what you do, check your system every time. This is basics. If you lose 3 fish in one day, that would pretty much end it.
C’est la vie.
It was a good lesson.
Fishing goes on.
The grouper became a brilliant fish soup 6 days later. A Japanese style “Nabe” dish. I made the soup base from the groupers head and bones with Konbu. Then throw in the fish meat and chicken and vegetables. The meat was so rich in flavor after 6 days of aging.
The little guy became semi-dried. Still sitting in the freezer. Semi-Dry keeps good quality even in the freezer. Just grill it with a cover on and without defrosting.