It was Thursday, March 7th, four days after we began the Pacific crossing. We started fishing the previous day, and we would have started sooner, but we had eight days of meals that my angel of a mother made packed neatly in the top loading fridge, which we did not want to waste. After three days of sandwiches for lunch, fresh tuna or mahi mahi sounded wonderful.
The first fishing expedition failed. There was no wind, so we motored 5.5 knots and dragged a lure for 12 hours. This was déjà vu. During my Atlantic crossing two years ago we were skunked until the third to last day, when we caught a massive tuna that lasted two meals a day, all week. I did not want to wait that long again. Self doubt crept in. What if I’m just a lousy fisherman?
I was on the sunrise watch the next morning and as soon as the sky started to brighten, I set our line with a Rapala high speed trolling lure and optimism. I only had to wait an hour and a half until the zzzzzzzzzzzzzz of the drag interrupted the quiet morning. That energized me more than my morning cup of coffee ever has and I sprang into action. I put the throttle into neutral and yelled at my dad to wake up because FISH ON! Since he was not completely awake yet, he came running up with no clothes on thinking it was an emergency. The fish was only about 18 inches, so I apologized and said I actually didn’t need help and he could go back to bed.
My favorite thing about ocean fishing besides excitement hearing the drag run when the fish first strikes is the anticipation to see what fish I caught. In this case, I caught a tuna, so seared tuna steaks or sashimi were in our immediate future.
I spent the next hour remembering how to filet a tuna, which went surprisingly well. I then mixed some wasabi into soy sauce, put my Buff face protector over my head to look like a sushi chef, and offered my dad a prime cut from the back of the tuna filet. After the sashimi appetizer, the gourmet meal continued with seared tuna medallions and a side of long grain wild rice. It sure beat our usual PB&J sandwiches.