Sunday, June 13, 2010

Sam's Cup Billfish Tournament, 2010

This marlin tournament is one of the highlights of each year I stay in Japan.  I get out of school early on Friday so we can take the boat into the mainland and get to the opening party, then it's two solid days of big game fishing.

[part of our team at the opening party]

The food at the party continued its year-to-year decline in quality, but I scored points with our group by bringing tupperware and caching a bunch of food for Saturday's lunch.  Needless to say, the food tasted much better the next day when we were 30km from land.

[a neighboring boat of really rich Japanese guys testing the drag on their reels]

[boats en route to the 6am shotgun start]

[first day's catch - 6 mahi and 2 wahoo]

The tournament didn't go so well for us or, for that matter, anybody.  On the first day we only heard reports of three marlin being caught (and the 40-pounder hardly counts in my book) out of 40 boats.  We woke up at 3:30am today and left the harbor at 4:30am.  We got to our spot in the dark and had to lay our lines using a flashlight, which was interesting.  Unfortunately the head start only gave us less sleep, as we caught just two mahi-mahi all day.

We never even had a marlin hit, which is really depressing.  Sometimes we come back empty-handed, but we nearly always at least get hits.  Here are some summary numbers:

fish caught: 10
marlin hits: 0
hours spent on the boat Saturday: 13.5
hours spent on the boat Sunday: 12
hours slept Friday night: 4.5
hours slept Saturday night: 5
time I'm going to bed tonight: before 9pm

So, in summary, a bummer of a weekend.  It's understandable to catch less fish because of bad weather, but that wasn't an excuse this weekend.  If there are really less than 7 marlin brought in, which is the rumor, then that's a big disappointment.  With 40 boats fishing, we can only conclude the marlin have already moved north or they just aren't hungry.

Here's a video of a mahi brought on board yesterday (thanks Gordon for providing the Gorilla Pod tripod to make this angle possible) (feel free to skip the first 1:20) (Mom, that wasn't me swearing at the end):


Son of Higashi said...

I forgot about having to beat them to calm them down.

Dave said...

Just like kids!

Son of Higashi said...

As long as they're your own.