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Friday, February 11, 2005
Bombing the Net at Eagle's Nest
Yesterday the boys brought in 40 tons of squid. That was wonderful! However, it was at the cost of bombing the net on a pinnacle near East Point ( Santa Rosa Island). The squid like to spawn in the shallows midst kelp and rocky bottom. The squid sirens called five boats into harms way that night as the tide reached its maximum flow, and the nets dragged over the Reef at East Point and shredded many a mesh as well as sawing the purseline in half. Steve was acting as relief skiffman and saw the disaster unfold from the end of the towline. Paul, Marcus, Johann, and Rich struggled with a net that wouldn't budge as the current pushed it further onto the underwater reef. All five boats tore up and knew they would be spending the daylight hours sewing on the dock.
I got the call at 9 am to hightail it up to Port Hueneme with a bale of web and a new floating purseline. I arrived to find five weary men and 200 feet of tattered net stretched out on the dock. The only solution was to pull on my boots, sharpen a knife, fill up a needle with green 18 thread, and start lacing the damage together with the rest of the gang. Seven hours and many Wendy's double cheeseburgers later, the Papa George idled out of Port Hueneme Harbor and resumed the hunt for squid.
Last night I awoke to the rattle of wind and rain on the windows as the promised Pinapple Express pushed through San Pedro. I imagined Steve out in the skiff, hat pulled low over his eyes, wet cigar clenched in a grimace as the rain raked his face and the swell rolled under his keel. Soon I'll hear the results of last night's fishing.
My homespun adage is that for every day of bad weather, a fisherman earns an equal and opposite day of excellent weather. Just the other day Steve called about the gorgeous evening run by the north side of Santa Cruz Island......

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