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Old 08-13-2019, 02:15 PM   #1
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Default link to BFT caught by ancient north coast natives?

Was reading through all the BFT posts and threads on here yesterday.
Someone posted a link to the ancient north coastal natives night fishing in lagoons and coves and spearing huge BFT's.
Went back to read it to wifey today and can't seem to find it anywhere.
Can anyone direct me to that link again?
Thanks all.

Ff

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Old 08-13-2019, 02:27 PM   #2
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Default Re: link to BFT caught by ancient north coast natives?

That's funny, I was telling my wife about that same thing last night. Anthropologists found large bluefin bones in Northwest campsites many hundreds of years old.

I couldn't find it either but I didn't search hard . . .

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Old 08-13-2019, 02:58 PM   #3
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Default Re: link to BFT caught by ancient north coast natives?

How old were the BFT bones in the middens? Seems like there would be some oral stories passed down of such an awesome thing. Imagine harpooning a 100lb tuna!

Not that many lagoons on the north Oregon coast....a few down south, Sunset Bay near Coos Bay comes to mind.
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Old 08-13-2019, 03:06 PM   #4
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Default Re: link to BFT caught by ancient north coast natives?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fishfeet View Post
Was reading through all the BFT posts and threads on here yesterday.
Someone posted a link to the ancient north coastal natives night fishing in lagoons and coves and spearing huge BFT's.
Went back to read it to wifey today and can't seem to find it anywhere.
Can anyone direct me to that link again?
Thanks all.

Ff
Here ya go-

https://spo.nmfs.noaa.gov/sites/defa.../crockford.pdf
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Old 08-13-2019, 03:12 PM   #5
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Default

It was me that posted the link. I went a bit BFT OCD after possibly being spooled by one back in 2015. Anyway, I started reading up on Pacific Bluefin and stumbled on that study. Mind blowing stuff. These fish belong here!

https://spo.nmfs.noaa.gov/content/ar...waters-british
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Old 08-13-2019, 03:18 PM   #6
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Default Re: link to BFT caught by ancient north coast natives?

Very cool

I was in Baja last month and had dinner with an American that flies spotter planes for the Mexican BFT fleet. They used to wrap them regardless of size and haul them to the cannery.

Now they target 80-100# BFT and net them and transport to feed pens. Feed them sardines for a couple of months, get their fat content up and sell them to the Japanese.

The Mexican Government recognized the high value and importance of sustainability. So now their poundage quota represents less than half of the dead fish for more value.

Making west coast blue fin more sustainable.

I thought that was interesting.
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Old 08-14-2019, 12:32 AM   #7
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Default Re: link to BFT caught by ancient north coast natives?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Greenleaf View Post
How old were the BFT bones in the middens? Seems like there would be some oral stories passed down of such an awesome thing. Imagine harpooning a 100lb tuna!

Not that many lagoons on the north Oregon coast....a few down south, Sunset Bay near Coos Bay comes to mind.
The oldest remains came from a mainland BC site (Namu) which were recovered from strata dated somewhere between 3000 - 4000 BC. So roughly about the time the pyramids were being built. A site at Nootka Sound provided the most continuous record with bluefin remains recovered from all strata dating from about 2300 BC to 1880.

Imagine harpooning a 644lb tuna from a dugout canoe! That was the largest estimated out of the 45 specimens analyzed, with the smallest estimated at 103. The average out of all was in the ballpark of 320.

The author claims bluefin remains have not been recovered from any other sites in western North America, and suggests that is correlated to cultures with whaling technology, rather than distribution of bluefin.

And yes, tribal elders provided oral accounts of the last known tuna hunts sometime around 1880. Not everyone will take the time to read through a mostly dry scientific paper so I'll post the good stuff. Freaking incredible:

Quote:
Ethnographic and historic information


Information from ethnographic sources substantiates and augments archeological evidence indicating that large bluefin tuna were present and harvested by Nuu-chah-nulth people of Vancouver Island well into the 19th century. Elders of the Mowachaht group from Nootka Sound on Vancouver Island have contributed invaluable details about tuna hunting strategies employed by their elders, some through interviews with Richard Inglis of the Royal British Columbia Museum, Victoria, British Columbia during 1991 and 1992 (lnglis2). These accounts represent the only ethnographic description of aboriginal tuna hunting on the northwest coast (McMillan, 1979). Pertinent details that substantiate the occurrence of adult bluefin tuna during the historic period are presented here.


The month of August is said to have been the time when tuna could be found feeding at the surface in inshore waters (sea-surface temperatures during August usually average about 14°C [Sharp, 1978]). The occurrences of large tuna were apparently preceded and accompanied by recognizable changes in water and weather conditions and by a unique set of associated fauna. Tuna traveled well inside Nootka Sound into protected inlets and were harpooned at night as they fed at the surface in shallow inshore waters (located by spotters positioned on nearby cliffs). Bioluminescent plankton present in the water made the big fish especially visible at night, even from a distance. A fire was sometimes built in the bow of the hunter's canoe to attract the fish to within spearing distance, a strategy called "pit-Iamping." Another method was to paddle the canoe quickly away from an area where tuna were spotted: the canoe created a path of light as it moved through the bioluminescence. The tuna would follow the light, right up to and under the canoe, and were harpooned as they emerged at the bow. The word for tuna ("silthkwa") means "like the bow wave made by a boat," and undoubtedly reflects their surface-feeding behavior. These tuna were always referred to as "big fish, 6 to 8 feet (ca. 180-244 cm TL) long." George Louis of the Ahousat Band was about 80 years old when interviewed in 1992. He said that his father told a story about the tuna hunting he observed as a small boy (perhaps when about 10 years old) sometime between 1880 and 1890.
Makes me wonder if these big tuna were inshore feeding on pinks or coho.

Last edited by SilverFly; 08-14-2019 at 12:59 AM.
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Old 08-14-2019, 01:13 AM   #8
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Default Re: link to BFT caught by ancient north coast natives?

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Originally Posted by Gun Rod Bow View Post
Very cool

I was in Baja last month and had dinner with an American that flies spotter planes for the Mexican BFT fleet. They used to wrap them regardless of size and haul them to the cannery.

Now they target 80-100# BFT and net them and transport to feed pens. Feed them sardines for a couple of months, get their fat content up and sell them to the Japanese.

The Mexican Government recognized the high value and importance of sustainability. So now their poundage quota represents less than half of the dead fish for more value.

Making west coast blue fin more sustainable.

I thought that was interesting.
That would've been an interesting dinner conversation. Not sure where they are getting feed now since they've apparently stopped large-scale netting of sardinas in the Sea of Cortez. I spent a week in June fishing out of Muertes Bay and the sardinas are back after several years of being virtually wiped out. Fortunately the predators came with them.


Whatever the reason it looks like bluefin might be bouncing back. If so, and based on what that study suggests, then maybe, just maybe, big BFT showing up in fishable numbers could become a thing (again) in the PNW.
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Old 08-14-2019, 09:52 AM   #9
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Default Re: link to BFT caught by ancient north coast natives?

Thanks Silverfly! I appreciate the readers digest version!

I agree. How cool would it be if this became the norm!

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Old 08-14-2019, 10:19 AM   #10
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Default Re: link to BFT caught by ancient north coast natives?

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I agree. How cool would it be if this became the norm!

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that would be cool, but my wallet might not think soo lol
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Old 08-14-2019, 01:29 PM   #11
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Default Re: link to BFT caught by ancient north coast natives?

I'm trying to picture Tinman harpooning a 200lber from his wherry...
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Old 08-14-2019, 01:35 PM   #12
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Default Re: link to BFT caught by ancient north coast natives?

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I'm trying to picture Tinman harpooning a 200lber from his wherry...
Wouldn't need his oars for much.
Maybe an anchor would be handier.
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Old 08-14-2019, 02:02 PM   #13
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Default Re: link to BFT caught by ancient north coast natives?

There was a talk given by a man on Oregon geological history.

In short, he was collecting petrified wood, and identifying the species.
He said most of the wood from the Siskiyou mountain was palm trees....hmmmm?.... I wonder what humanoid erectus was eating then,? Yellowfin...?
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Old 08-14-2019, 02:17 PM   #14
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Default Re: link to BFT caught by ancient north coast natives?

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Not sure where they are getting feed now since they've apparently stopped large-scale netting of sardinas in the Sea of Cortez. I spent a week in June fishing out of Muertes Bay and the sardinas are back after several years of being virtually wiped out. Fortunately the predators came with them.
Indeed. That almost wrecked the local fishery. I know the outfitter we go with was hurt badly financially by the bait netters, as were the local captains he works with. 3 years ago we tied tiny (1 1/2") Sardina flies, 2 years ago there were no Sardinas and we used Ballyhoo flies. That was the year that the locals put their feet down and physically blocked the commercial netters access to the Muertos area. This May the Sardinas were rather large, 5 1/2 to 6", and plentiful. Fishing was pretty damn good too. I'm headed back in 2 weeks. Cheers, CopperMan.
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Old 08-14-2019, 03:20 PM   #15
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Default Re: link to BFT caught by ancient north coast natives?

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Indeed. That almost wrecked the local fishery. I know the outfitter we go with was hurt badly financially by the bait netters, as were the local captains he works with. 3 years ago we tied tiny (1 1/2") Sardina flies, 2 years ago there were no Sardinas and we used Ballyhoo flies. That was the year that the locals put their feet down and physically blocked the commercial netters access to the Muertos area. This May the Sardinas were rather large, 5 1/2 to 6", and plentiful. Fishing was pretty damn good too. I'm headed back in 2 weeks. Cheers, CopperMan.
The fishery I am talking about is Pacific Side. Ensenada and South. Sardines for bait. Not sadinas in the SOC. Which are actually a flat iron herring.

Ive been too busy/lazy to post a report about our trip to Cedros Island. But in addition to absolutely off the hook fishing for Yellowtail on the 30-35 pound class. All on cast surface iron, the thing that impressed me most was the bait in the water there.

Shoal after shoal of bait litterally 10 miles by 10 miles on the south end of the island. Anchovies, mackerel and sardines. I have videos. Might get around to posting in December.
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Old 08-14-2019, 07:07 PM   #16
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Default Re: link to BFT caught by ancient north coast natives?

Shoal after shoal of bait litterally 10 miles by 10 miles on the south end of the island. Anchovies, mackerel and sardines. I have videos. Might get around to posting in December.[/QUOTE]

I have also to Cedros and have seen the unbelievable amounts of bait. Nothing like I have ever seen before. No joke.... There was so much bait jumping that it was loud on deck.
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Old 08-14-2019, 07:23 PM   #17
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Default Re: link to BFT caught by ancient north coast natives?

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Originally Posted by Gun Rod Bow View Post
The fishery I am talking about is Pacific Side. Ensenada and South. Sardines for bait. Not sadinas in the SOC. Which are actually a flat iron herring.

Ive been too busy/lazy to post a report about our trip to Cedros Island. But in addition to absolutely off the hook fishing for Yellowtail on the 30-35 pound class. All on cast surface iron, the thing that impressed me most was the bait in the water there.

Shoal after shoal of bait litterally 10 miles by 10 miles on the south end of the island. Anchovies, mackerel and sardines. I have videos. Might get around to posting in December.
I was aware the bluefin pens were off north Baja on the Pacific side, but was under the impression they were using SOC sardinas (flat iron herring) as feed. Whatever they were using the SOC bait for really screwed up the fishing for several years as Copper Man pointed out. Glad that sheet stopped, but I agree the pen operations are a much better way to manage bluefin stocks.

Looking forward to reading your report whenever you get to it. Would love to get down to Cedros one of these years. Doing a long-range out of SD is definitely on my list, if not my budget for a while. My dream trip would be one of those limited load fly trips on the Shogun (wouldn't board without a jig rod though!).
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Old 08-14-2019, 07:54 PM   #18
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Default Re: link to BFT caught by ancient north coast natives?

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Originally Posted by CopperMan View Post
Indeed. That almost wrecked the local fishery. I know the outfitter we go with was hurt badly financially by the bait netters, as were the local captains he works with. 3 years ago we tied tiny (1 1/2") Sardina flies, 2 years ago there were no Sardinas and we used Ballyhoo flies. That was the year that the locals put their feet down and physically blocked the commercial netters access to the Muertos area. This May the Sardinas were rather large, 5 1/2 to 6", and plentiful. Fishing was pretty damn good too. I'm headed back in 2 weeks. Cheers, CopperMan.
Seems like things have bounced back. Our group had a great week of fishing. Especially for big roosters. Several over 50lbs were caught, with the biggest at 65. I managed a 55 on a 10wt (that was a workout). Mullet flies with a touch of green worked best for me, but others said tan or greenish sardinas were the ticket for them. Other species for the group included several striped marlin (all on live bait), toro, african pompano, black skipjack, a few dorado, one sierra, lots of ladyfish, and a few smallish snapper (not to mention countless needlefish).

Pretty sure it's the same bunch of pangero's fishing there so good chance you might be on the same boat. I fished all week with Ramone so if you run into him tell him the "Snapper King" says hola. That's what he started calling me after I developed a minor snapper problem when seeing big dogtooths crashing bait on the surface. Man, they are a tough fish to fool. I had some seriously realistic sardina flies that were refused over and over again. Got several small one's near-shore on an 8wt (that was fun) but the biggest was a decent yellow snapper about 6lbs that ate a mackerel fly dredged deep (surprising tussle on a 13wt). I did miss one grab in a big dogtooth boil using a squid fly, but forgot it was tied on a 5/0 circle hook and I strip-set it right through it's teeth. We also had an epic tuna boil going one day off the SE side of Cerralvo with a mix of 10-15lb skipjack and 50-100lb yellowfin. We had them boiling for half an hour but every time we hooked up it was a skippie. If you get into that scenario you'll want a fast sinking line to get below the skippies.

Good luck!

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Old 08-14-2019, 09:20 PM   #19
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Default Re: link to BFT caught by ancient north coast natives?

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Originally Posted by wak'm&stak'm View Post
There was a talk given by a man on Oregon geological history.

In short, he was collecting petrified wood, and identifying the species.
He said most of the wood from the Siskiyou mountain was palm trees....hmmmm?.... I wonder what humanoid erectus was eating then,? Yellowfin...?
My parents dug a petrified stump out of the hillside behind their casa about 20 years ago, while putting in a road.
They sent in a chunk to OSU to be analyzed, and it was also a palm tree.
Later they found several other sections of the tree when pushing through the road.
Must been a nice balmy area at one time.
This was just within 30 miles of Salem.
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Old 08-15-2019, 04:16 AM   #20
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My parents dug a petrified stump out of the hillside behind their casa about 20 years ago, while putting in a road.
They sent in a chunk to OSU to be analyzed, and it was also a palm tree.
Later they found several other sections of the tree when pushing through the road.
Must been a nice balmy area at one time.
This was just within 30 miles of Salem.

I just find stuff like that mind blowing. It’s hard to get your head around the geographical changes of just our little corner of the world.
Tropical Oregon, Steens Mt with glacier tracks, clams at Fort Rock, Astoria canyon carved thru the shelf from a big freakin flood.
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Old 08-15-2019, 06:58 AM   #21
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Default Re: link to BFT caught by ancient north coast natives?

I had never heard of this! thank you for posting. Not to get all political but this makes one consider the ebb and flow of the climate... Especially if we have historic palm trees and BFT in the PNW at one time. Anyway, really enjoyed your post.
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Old 08-15-2019, 02:40 PM   #22
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Default Re: link to BFT caught by ancient north coast natives?

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I just find stuff like that mind blowing. It’s hard to get your head around the geographical changes of just our little corner of the world.
Tropical Oregon, Steens Mt with glacier tracks, clams at Fort Rock, Astoria canyon carved thru the shelf from a big freakin flood.
Yes mind blowing. Imagine being there to witness some of those events. And living to tell about it.
I also found some huge slabs or rounds of a petrified tree under water, in the river in front of our casa. I was a younger teenager back then, and would snorkel all over our beautiful swimming/fishing hole every spring. I cleaned up the garbage on the bottom, and found tons of fishing gear hung up too.
Right at the foot of a small rapids, at the head of the hole, I found about 1/2 of one of the slabs protruding from the small gravel and small boulders. It was about 2 feet thick, and around 4 feet in diameter, when I got done clearing the gravel off of it.
In the process, I found the edges of 2 other slabs or rounds. No idea how many more were buried down there.
Each slab or round must have weighed several tons at least.
Couple years later another spring or fall flood covered them back up again.
Never saw them again.
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