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Topics - Sakana Seeker

Pages: [1] 2
1
General Talk / Salmon fishing in the multiverse
« on: August 25, 2022, 10:01:08 PM »
Salmon fishing video from another planet. Seriously, I have so many questions. The end is cool and it kinda all makes sense?


2
For Sale / Lowrance Hook 2 5” starter set
« on: August 21, 2022, 01:17:24 PM »
Everything you need to get started. Hook2 5” with 1” RAM ball mount, transducer (obviously), C-Map insights pro card, Duracell 12V battery (15 months old), 12V quick charger. This is the GPS chart plotter version.  $150.

The one item that might need replacing in the future is the power cable. It’s working fine now, but a segment needed to be spliced out due to corrosion and not sure how far up the cable the salt water has gone up. Should be an easy fix and replace when the time comes.


3
Gearing Up and Rigging Up / New fish finder and new wiring
« on: July 16, 2022, 06:10:17 PM »
My 5 year old Lowrance Hook2 fish finder started acting up earlier this year with weird readings from the sonar.  The map and GPS function worked fine, but the sonar would stop and go sometimes, and the temperature readings were way off.  After some troubleshooting, I found the culprit: corrosion in my hastily assembled wiring of the power cable from many years back.  Back then, I just soldered the wires and wrapped it up in electrical tape.  After seeing the salt damage, it was obvious that this was a weak point because salt water would inevitably creep into this area.  I decided it was time to treat myself to a new fish finder and this time, wire it up the right way, and I'm pretty happy with how things turned out. 

Lowrance provides a power plug/cable that's about 2 feet long with exposed leads. To make a waterproof connection between these leads and the wire extending to the battery, I found these marine grade heat shrink wire connectors on amazon.  Basically, it's a heavy duty heat shrink tube that has a low-melting point ring of solder in the middle, and a heat activated adhesive on either side of the solder ring.  I pre-soldered the wires just to ensure a good connection, but I don't think it was necessary, given how efficiently the solder was liquified from the heat of the heat gun.  The liquified adhesive also completely fills in the gap between the wire's insulation, the heat shrink tube, and the exposed metal.  I'm pretty confident that this will create a durable waterproof connection but only time and salt water will tell! 

I also used marine grade tinned copper wiring (16ga) to further try and prevent any future salt corrosion.  This particular brand was nice and flexible and the wires were protected in heavy duty insulation.

I finished up the wiring project by attaching some wire fasteners to the topside of the hull to lift the wiring from the bottom of the hull and I bunched up the extra transducer cable to the front, again zip tying it to the wire fasteners.

I went with the Lowrance Elite FS 7 with HDI transducer, mainly because the transducer just barely fits in the Revo 13 transducer cavity without modification and its tucked away inside.  This was important to me since I find myself dragging my kayak on the sand and rocks sometimes.  The larger side scan transducer can also be used with this FF, but there's a bit of DIY modification to do and I believe the sonar would hang off the bottom a bit.  This FF also accepts the new C-Map reveal cards with shaded relief, and the images that are produced on the screen are on another level. 

The last thing I need to do is to prevent corrosion on the plugs themselves, and I'm hoping a healthy application of dielectric grease will do the trick.  If anyone has any suggestions, I'm all ears (these are the standard, screw-lock plugs, not the pressure plugs that dielectric grease will ruin, as in my hook2). 

I'm looking forward to getting the new set up on the water soon, and will report back! 

4
Reposting from BWE. If you’ve ever dreamed of hooking a 100# bluefin from the kayak, I think this video gives a lot of perspective. What an insane battle! Enjoy!

http://www.bigwatersedge.com/bwevb/showthread.php?t=37027

5
General Talk / Saturday evening tunes
« on: April 23, 2022, 05:05:34 PM »
Dreaming of chasing salmon off the coast y’all. Not gonna lie, the fever is hitting hard. Here’s some Saturday evening toonage about where my mind is at. What are you all listening to?



6
General Talk / Open commentary for salmon season scenarios
« on: March 20, 2022, 02:46:05 PM »
Public comment accepted until 4/5. Make your voice heard for what kind of season you want. Alt 1 gives the longest season, fyi.

https://pfmc.psmfc.org/Meeting/Details/2893

Super easy, took less than 3 minutes. Strength in numbers!
Follow the instructions, I entered comments for the following agenda item:

D6   Comment Now   2022 Management Measures - Final Action

7
For Sale / Craigslist PSA
« on: September 11, 2021, 08:59:02 AM »
Maybe this is an old listing, but I just came across it and posting as a PSA

https://sfbay.craigslist.org/nby/boa/d/sacramento-tandem-hobie-oasis-pedal/7368756063.html


8
General Talk / Well this sucks: Richmond oil spill
« on: February 09, 2021, 05:27:44 PM »
https://abc7news.com/chevron-oil-spill-richmond-refinery-sf-bay-in-san-francisco/10324620

Looks like leak has stopped ~4:40pm but was leaking 5 gallons per minute for over an hour and forty minutes plus.  :smt013


9
Safety First / How things can go wrong pretty quickly
« on: September 20, 2020, 08:53:38 PM »
Saw this on the kayak forum down south. It’s worth watching, just to see how something can go so wrong so quickly. Definitely a few lessons in here.  Warning, if you don’t like blood or are squeamish about medical procedures, it gets pretty graphic at the end. Another reason to fish barbless!

http://www.bigwatersedge.com/bwevb/showthread.php?t=35723

10
Intro: Even when I was hooked onto a 6’ thresher shark on light tackle, I’ve always felt in control of the situation.  Hooking a bluefin tuna off the coast of San Diego was like being attached to a running rhinoceros.  The 180-pound braid was so tight that it would twang like a guitar string and even with the drag set at some ridiculous poundage, line would easily peel off and it was obvious who was in control…

Full TR: The big bluefin are back in San Diego.  Over a century ago, the famous Tuna Club of Avalon, Santa Catalina Island, was founded by Charles F. Holder after his historic rod and reel catch of a 183-pound bluefin tuna (BFT) in 1898.  Many notable dignitaries have come and gone through their doors and importantly, club members have recorded each catch since 1900. Bluefin peaked in 1923 then crashed to zero in 1932-1933.  These waters have not seen a significant return of BFT for the last 100 years, until recently, as warming waters off the San Diego coast have brought back big bluefin of 100, 200, even 300+ pounds. 

A good friend of mine went on a long-range trip last year and had an incredible time, catching limits of YFT and BFT.  I was planning to join him on the same 5-day charter in October this year but then the pandemic hit and sleeping in tight quarters with strangers just didn’t seem like a good idea to me. But the thoughts of big BFT kept swimming through my mind. What would it be like to hook one of these amazing creatures?  How good would the maguro be?  One night early this summer, as I stayed awake reading about tuna fishing, I came across two 4-pack operators: Duane Diego at Pinnacle Sportfishing and Brandon Hayward at Bight Sportfishing.  Both offered single day charters for big BFT with very limited loads of 1 to 4 people.  Could this be a way to safely socially distance on the water and go after BFT despite the pandemic?

I contacted Brandon Hayward at Bight the next morning to learn more.  Easy going and full of optimism, Brandon told me about their 23’ Parker that we could charter out of Oceanside.  For the big BFT, we would fish the kite on a full day trip, leaving in the morning and coming home in the dark.  Everything would be outside, and we could charter the boat for 2 people.  I called my long-time fishing partner Plankton to see if he was interested, and before I could even deliver my pitch, he was in!  Originally, I had zeroed in on 9/20 for no particular reason, but then changed our booking to 8/31 because it was the day before the full moon.  Reading up on this, there are mixed opinions about the relationship between the tuna bite and the lunar calendar.  The idea is that they come up to the surface to feed during full moons because they can see the bait from deep below.  Like other superstitious elements around fishing, some swear by it while others scoff.  Brandon was also understandably ambivalent, saying something to the effect of “we’ve caught them on the full moon for sure.  We’ve also had incredible days without the full moon.  You wanna book the 31st?  It might be good”. 

June and July were wide open and big 150+ pound tuna were reported daily.  However, the bite disappeared in August and as the weeks dragged on in silence, I became nervous about our trip.  There were literally zero reports.  Brandon was excellent with the communication and reassured us that they would do everything they can to give us an opportunity.  Of course, it’s fishing and there are no guarantees, but I was relieved to know that this was not a “take your money and run” kind of operation.  They wanted to get on the fish as much as we did!  Finally, in late August after weeks of nothing, came the first positive signs from a multi day trip.  Soon after, Brandon sent me an email: “It busted open. They’re back”.

I could hardly sleep on the nights leading up to our trip, but the day finally arrived.  Brandon owns the company, and besides himself, he has two other captains (Captains Jake and Wes) running the show.  We met Captain Jake in the morning at Oceanside Harbor.  This young man looks just a handful of birthdays older than my 6th grader, but he is a legend in SoCal fishing circles having grown up on boats and guiding.  He was courteous, professional, and brimming with youthful energy.  Within minutes, we were onboard and listening to the smooth purr of the 300hp Yamaha pushing a brand new 23’ Parker as we made the 2-hour journey to the fishing grounds.

However, before we could get there, Jake cut the engine and the boat came to an abrupt halt. Whipping out of the cabin and leaping on top with binoculars in hand, he started to scan the horizon, speaking while moving that he thought he saw something, even though we were 10-15 miles short of where he originally intended to be.  We would soon come to learn that we were in the hands of one of the fishiest human beings on the planet.  From a lifetime on the water, Jake has developed a keen sense of reading the surface and understanding how all of the elements around us are moving together.  Sure enough, some distance away in the direction of his binoculars, a huge foamer at least 200 yards wide erupted on the surface.  Plankton and I had never seen anything like this – what looked like white caps in a concentrated area were bluefin tuna feeding and thrashing at the bait on the surface!  Jake dove back in the seat and gunned the boat to get us within striking distance. 

Once in range, we still had to set up the kite, balloon, and frozen flying fish.  This method of fishing was completely foreign to Plankton and me and involved a lot of moving parts and teamwork. Since tuna are quite shy, you need to present the bait far away from the boat.  The captain puts the boat upwind of the fish. The main line is attached to the kite line, and the kite is flown away from the boat, downwind, hopefully taking your bait in the direction of the school.  At the end of the mainline is a frozen flying fish, rigged with the wings open and hooks in its back.  From underneath, none of the hardware on the bait is observable.  One person mans the kite and the other mans the fishing rod.  Both lines need to be fed out smoothly and at constant rates, ensuring that the bait just skims the surface of the water.  If the timing is wrong and one line is faster than the other, the bait comes out of the water, or it gets dragged and flips upside down. Either way, the fish won’t bite.  It was tricky at first, but we got the hang of it after a few tries. 

Unfortunately, by the time we were set up, the fish had descended and the foamer was gone, but Jake suggested we put the bait out anyway for a practice run.  After a couple of mishaps, we got the kite to successfully take our bait downwind, and all was quiet watching it 50 yards or so away from the boat.  After a few minutes of watching, there was a sudden explosion under the bait, kind of like what you see with those water canons at the water-slide park.  There was a spray of water that was ejected from underneath the bait.  Jake yelled loudly “OHHH!!! YOU’RE BIT!” But nothing else happened.  We just experienced our first drive-by.  The fish had exploded on the bait, likely bashing it with it’s nose or tail, but did not commit and swallow it.  Looking through the binoculars, Jake yelled, “OHHH that was a HUUUGE one!”.   We reeled both lines in to discover a flying fish with a mangled wing and snapped back. 

We would repeat this over the next few hours.  Although we were not where Jake initially wanted to be, he had us on the fish constantly in this newly discovered area.  He would see breezers, which are subtle disturbances on the surface of the water caused by schools of large fish underneath, several hundred yards away, circle the boat upwind and have us fly the bait in.  I tried looking for these breezers too and could almost fool myself into believing I was seeing something.  But no.  He would also mark schools on sonar 70’ -150’ deep and get ahead of the school so that we could fly the bait on top of them.  We experienced 4 or 5 drive byes, each occurring just minutes after skimming the bait into the strike zone.  Again, Jake was extremely fishy, having an unreal sense of where we were in relation to the wind, current, and schools of fish.  If the bait wasn’t hit, Jake was quick to get us back in position and more times than not, the bait would get hit on the second try.  Unfortunately, we had not experienced a bite yet, and the drive-byes just resulted in mangled baits which had to be replaced, which took time.

Jake had mentioned that most of the time the fishing doesn’t really start until the evening, and the day before they had gotten the first of their 4 (FOUR!) big cows at 5pm.  Sure enough, around 4:30pm, we got our first taker.  The indicator balloon, our “bobber”, dove underwater and Jake screamed, “YOU’RE BIT!!!  REEL!!! REEL!!! REEL!!!”.  Chaos.  Just absolute chaos as we both reel – me on the kite and Plankton on the fish.  We get the lines in and the fish comes on – “I GOT IT! IT’S ON!”, yells Plankton as the line goes tight.  Jake is right there, making sure that the main line comes off the kite line and we get that stowed away so it won’t tangle.  Now the fight is on and Plankton is on the reel.  It’s clear that this is not an ordinary fish as it is taking everything he has to stabilize himself while holding onto the rod, and Jake is yelling to wind – “Don’t stop winding!!”.  Plankton is doing a good job, reeling in line when he can, but it looks difficult.  I wonder if it’s really that hard.  I soon get my chance to find out as Plankton asks me take the reel so that he can rest for a bit.  As the rod comes into my hands, I instantly understand the predicament.  The thing on the other end of the rod is HEAVY.  If I didn’t know better, we were snagged on the bottom but we are in 4200 FOW.  The drag is set tight.  Probably 25 pounds or more.  It could’ve been a thousand pounds, it was so foreign to have a fish on like this.  The rod was short, maybe 5 feet, and stout like an unbendable rod of carbon. Yet Jake is imploring me to reel and get the line tight to put a bend in the rod.  It feels like an impossible task.  After a minute, my arms are tired, my hands are shaking, I can’t steady myself against the rocking boat, I can’t stabilize the 3-speed Avet which is the size of a cantaloupe, and this beast of a fish is in full control of the situation.  I hand it back to Plankton who fights it for a few minutes and it was back in my hands again.  Jake again warns us that we need more pressure on the fish and that it was not struggling yet.  I, on the other hand, was full on struggling.  At one point, the fish did a classic head shake and the line bounced.  At the same time, the butt of the rod was digging into my left rib and I went to adjust.  Just one second of slack.  The rod straightens, Jake yells to reel, but it was already done.  The fish felt its escape and it was gone.

Although Plankton and I didn’t talk about it then, we were both feeling the same thing.  How in the hell are we going to reel in a fish like that?  The fight was brutal and it only lasted 15 minutes at the most.  I felt completely dominated.  For the next hour or so, we fished in silence for a bit, both of us realizing that maybe this was not going to be the way we both had imagined.  The hour ticked by.  There was an amazing sunset developing, and my mind went to the place where all skunks go, “well, at least its an incredible view”.  The sun was setting and there were beams of light coming through the clouds. It was beautiful. 

On my last turn on the reel, probably around 7:00pm, I had spaced out and bird nested the line.  I did my best to get it all straightened out, but knew there was one loose loop deep on the reel.  As I handed it back to Plankton for probably the last time, Jake put a fresh bait on with a different rig – two large siwash hooks instead of the treble stinger we had been fishing for the last couple hours, including the only fish we had on.  I said to Jake and Plankton, “hey, can we send the bait out as far as we need to so that we can get that loop out of the line?  I’m sorry, it was my mistake”.  Of course, having a loop like that could snap the line if we had a fish on and it was the right thing to do, but not ideal since we may end up overshooting the fish. 

We watch the line go out, the bait is really far away.  No sooner, and I mean literally as soon as Plankton says, “oh, I think that’s it, the loop is gone”, the bait is bit!  Explosion on the water!  But the bobber doesn’t go down.  We wait a minute…nothing.  We are all a little dejected.  Finally, Jake makes the call, “Okay, bring it in.  But bring it in slow, make sure you skip it in”.  We all know we may not get another chance.  It’s almost dark.  As we bring it in slow, making sure that the flying fish is skimming the surface, all of a sudden the bobber gets pulled fast and deep in the water.  “OHHHH YOU’RE ON!!!!” Yells Jake.  Holy SH*T.  In a state of disbelief, but somewhat more on autopilot having experienced this hours before, we put everything in motion.  Plankton reeling the line to get it tight, me reeling the ballon, and waiting for Jake’s orders.  We get the balloon squared away, Plankton gets the line tight, and the fight is on again!! 

We take turns, reeling and fighting for 5-10 minutes a piece.  The sensation is the same: an extremely heavy fish, very difficult to turn the reel, HEAVY.  But, with just a teeny bit more confidence that we’ve been here before.  Also a chip on the shoulder, we aren’t going to lose this one!  We keep fighting.  It’s getting darker, but we are still on.  Probably 40 minutes now we’ve been taking turns.  But we are doing well, putting a bend in the rod, fighting it on the rail.  Finding some cadence with the swell of the boat, pulling line as the boat rocks towards the fish, and applying pressure as the boat rocks back.  It’s a tug of war.  After we use the boat to gain a bit of line, the fish takes a little back.  We get the line tight and it repeats – pressure, the fish pulls a few inches, we get a few inches back.  It’s brutal.  And Jake is right there, helping each step of the way, but also teasing us and encouraging us at the same time, “come on, you got this!”, and “come on guys, I’m not doing this for you, this is your fish”, or “come on, use your mus-i-cles!”. 

At one point, I almost gave up.  I was having a hard time.  But Jake said something, and I don’t know what led up to it, but he said, “this one has made in Japan stamped on it”.  I don’t know why, but that gave me a surge of strength.  I was going to land this maguro like my forefathers!  I just kept reeling even though I couldn’t feel my arms.  It was pitch dark now.  Plankton shined a headlamp on the surface.  All of a sudden, Jake is calling for the gaffs, he and Plankton see it at the surface.  Jake is yelling directions at me to reel with pressure, or to dive the rod tip in the water.  It always comes down to the end game, where fish are lost or brought aboard.  I don’t know how, but Jake steadies the rod tip with one hand as I keep pressure, then with lightning speed, gaffs the fish on the first shot with the other hand.  Plankton’s light shines down and there is a pissed off tuna thrashing next to the boat.  Jake yells for the other gaff, “I NEED THE OTHER GAFF!!!  HURRY!!”.  Plankton springs into motion, and soon Jake puts the second one in.  He says calmly, “I got it”.  It’s over.  I am in disbelief.  Shaking.  In slow motion, Jake and Plankton move the fish down to the stern and as they get it on board, I see the enormous mass come over the side and land with a thud into the boat.  I let out a howl.  We put our hands on this incredible creature, evolved to swim thousands of miles and in its last moments of life, pulled our boat for a few more.  It was absolutely humbling and I am still in awe at this amazing fish. 

Jake bled, gutted and gilled it, Plankton and I took a bite out of the still beating heart, cementing the tradition of the first tuna kill.  We got it on ice and headed home.  Some hours into our return, as I reclined on a bean bag on deck and gazed at the full moon, I heard what sounded like a rope flapping in the wind.  I sat up to find a flying fish had landed in the boat.  At that moment, the connection between the full moon, the flying fish, the tuna, and the cycle of life hit me and I knew that I would never look at a full moon in the same way again. 

Follow up: Jake dropped our fish off at Five Star Processing in the morning.  They estimated our BFT at 145 pounds before bleeding/gutting. They did an excellent job splitting the fish equally for Plankton and me, packaging the toro, fillets, and sushi blocks in 1 - 1.5lb portions.  The street value of our catch easily paid for the trip.  Once home, I froze most of it.  With about ~3 pounds worth, I dry-aged for 4 days before eating sashimi, sushi, tataki, and poki.  Simply put, I haven’t had toro and sashimi like this since my time in Tsuikiji, Tokyo.  I’m already thinking about next year and how to fight the next one.  I’ll need to build some more mus-i-cles!  Nothing but positive reviews for Captain Jake and Bight Sportfishing, as well as 5 Star Processing.  I would recommend both operations without any hesitation.

Thanks for reading.  Hope to share some BFT poki with you soon when we have an NCKA get together when this damn thing is over.  Tight lines!

11
Recipes / Ikura
« on: August 23, 2020, 11:11:26 AM »
Caveat, I am no ikura master. I’ve only made it twice, and found this one yesterday on the internet, but I like it. Turned out really well. If you have other methods or recipes, please let us know!

http://easyrecipesbyajapanesemom.com/ikura/

If you’ve made roe before, you know that the most challenging part is separating the roe from the skien (all the sinewy connective tissue).

I followed the method in this recipe w slight modifications. I made the salt water w kosher salt b/c it’s without additives. I also added more than a tablespoon. I just guessed the salinity of sea water using taste.  I also did 3 iterations of 140 degree salt water to wash out the skien, so I needed more salt water than it calls for.

I warmed the water on a pan using a thermometer. At 140 degrees F, I transferred the warm water to my tupperware holding the row and used my fingers to separate. Initial round was just getting the row out   Round 2 and 3 were fingers and mixer and successively removing finer pieces. I used the hand held cake batter whisker type and this worked surprisingly well!

Final modification, for the overnight soak in shoyu, mirin, sake, I added a small piece of wakame kombu for dashi flavor.

Edit: 2T shoyu might be too salty for me. Next batch I might try 1.5T.

12
Recipes / Aging/resting fresh salmon
« on: August 08, 2020, 09:31:10 PM »
 Not really a recipe but more on fish prep. Interested to hear what others do.

Last year, I made the mistake of filleting and freezing my salmon on the same day that I caught them. I learned later that the flavor of the fish improves (how can it improve from day 1!? I thought) with aging for 24-72 hours or more. With my recent catch, I put it to the test.

On the day that I caught it, I bled it well on the water. At home I took out the guts and gills and cleaned out the bloodline. I scaled it. Then got 60 pounds of ice in a big cooler and buried the fish in there. I put a layer of 20lbs of ice in first. Then put the fish in and the rest on top. The cooler was tilted so that water can drain, but the fish was suspended in the ice, if that makes sense. The fish was on ice that way until the afternoon the following day, about 30 hours post-mortem. At no time did I want the fish in water, just ice cold.

I then filleted the fish and vacuum sealed my fillets, saving one for dinner that night. Poki and sashimi. Yes, I know the FDA guidelines around parasites and the required temps and time. Salmon is the only fish I eat this way. It was delicious.

I put the vacuum packed fillets in the fridge overnight. According to the meat industry, vacuum sealing does not impact or reduce the enzymatic reactions necessary for the meat to tenderize and give rise to umami. I figure the same would be for fish. In fact, it’s the oxidization and aerobic bacteria that spoils fish and you can keep fish vacuum sealed for up to a week refrigerated, compared to just a few days without vacuum sealing (web reference from a food industry site. I think it’s legit).

On day 2, roughly 55 hours post mortem, I opened one of the vacuum sealed bags for dinner.  Nigiri, maki, hand rolls, seared salmon belly, and air fried salmon skin. It’s not Nobu but it keeps the family happy. The difference was very noticeable! Texture, oiliness, umami, all were improved from the night before.

I then took all the refrigerated packs and put them in the -20.  Not that I’m worried about it, but they will meet fda guidelines the next time we eat it (after a week or more).  The goal is for when those packs are defrosted, they have the same bust of flavor and texture as the 55 hours old fish. I hope they do!!

Curious to know what others do w their fish. For the halibut, I am aging it 3 full days. I did the same thing, vacuum sealed in the fridge on the day after catching.


13
For Sale / Two 2015 Revo 13s $3000
« on: August 02, 2020, 10:34:36 PM »
Package deal, kayaks look to be in great shape. Saw on CL

TWO! 2015 Hobie Used Mirage Revolution 13 Kayak (Kayaks)
 https://sfbay.craigslist.org/nby/boa/d/belvedere-tiburon-two-2015-hobie-used/7170490708.html

14
Wanted To Buy / WTB two speed reel for tuna
« on: July 05, 2020, 06:13:54 PM »
Have dreams of heading south for tuna. Anyone have a gently used two speed they’d like to sell? 50lb braid capacity over 500 yards ideal. Thanks!

15
Stumbled onto this while YouTube browsing. I watched episode 5 first and found it hilarious b/c of the “ABC Wide World of Sport” like commentary. But then found the other episodes 1-4 really fascinating. Some amazing footage and a cool throwback to vintage salmon vids. Hope you enjoy it as much as I did!



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