Tuna Pic.jpg

Dave Delong, center, and two fishing partners show off a blue-water catch.

It’s a Friday, and the boat is all fueled up and ready for an offshore adventure chasing albacore on Saturday.

The alarm goes off at 3 and the day begins with a quick shower to wake up me up. Off to the boat we go, to finish up a few last-minute details icing the fish boxes, attaching drag straps and, of course, getting the rods in the proper positions.

Now it’s 4:45, and me and my two fishing partners leave the slip to follow another fishing buddy out. He has radar, which is a big plus when running in the dark.

We’re heading out 17 miles to the warm, blue water in which albacore had been caught over the past few days. An hour later, we have our gear in the water.

Within a few minutes, four rods bend over and drags start singing - looks like a promising day already! Three out of the four make it onto the deck, and we’re off and running.

However, as most fisherman know, things can change in a hurry due to weather, current changes or just Mother Nature protecting her bounty. So as the day progresses, we score enough action to keep our interest and to hold us on the water until about 1 p.m., before heading in.

When the spray settles, we have 22 on board and moving for port.

There’s nothing quite like fishing the Blue Water in anticipation of hooking up with an albacore, pound for pound one of the best fighting fish out there. And excellent table fare as well. Smoked, barbecued or canned, it’s hard to miss with fresh-caught tuna!

Dave Delong of Brookings is a devoted fisherman and the Smith River pressroom manager for Country Media.

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