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Old 09-14-2020, 02:20 PM   #1
Bait O Eggs
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Default spent the night, what did I see?

Rolled West Friday afternoon from Garibaldi, we got a little less than couple hours of fishing in before it got dark, Tuna report: we picked up one tuna Friday evening. Saturday we picked up another 8 fish on a really slow day, mostly between the 51 and 55 line West.

I get up in the middle of the night to wash the corner of the deck off, and see a light under the boat. About as bright as a 100 watt light bulb under the boat right in front of the motor. I figure it is some sort of bioluminescence critter under the boat. I cant see anything in the water, and it seems to be only under the boat. I turn on a flashlight to try and see into the water and it immediately goes dark in the water. I wait a couple minutes and the light starts coming back slowly. I try to take a pic, but when my phone backscreen lit up it would go dark again. I peer into the water and see a bunch of little fish under the boat. 3 to 5 inches long and lots of them, they are dark and not apparently the source of the light. I am thinking come morning I should have tuna stacked under the boat feeding, but we drifted into colder water thru the night, and in the morning I couldnt see the bait or any tuna with us.

I figure the experienced guys like MarkMc have seen this mystery light tons of times, but for me it was a first time seeing the light in the water in a very dark situation, heavy fog/smoke and no stars or moon.

As an FYI, I put out two sea anchors like people use in the river to keep the boat straight when anchored trying to slow my night drift. There was a light breeze all night, and we drifted 6.6 nautical miles in about 8 hours.

Right after dark a ton of jellyfish showed up on the surface. They were all around us, and were not there before dark. A little eerie when they just showed up everywhere.





Any guesses on what the light source was? Google tells me maybe it was dinoflagellates

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Old 09-14-2020, 03:02 PM   #2
Quiet Riot
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Default Re: spent the night, what did I see?

UFO, underwater florescent object..

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Old 09-14-2020, 08:13 PM   #3
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Default Re: spent the night, what did I see?

Hey Roy, I spent the night Friday as well, but off Cascade Head-ish. We didn't drift more than two miles and you are right -- couldn't see jack due to fog and smoke.

Jellyfish all over the place and the boat proved to be a good roost for a myriad of birds -- one of which got tangled in our net at 1 a.m. and decided to hang with us on the deck for quite a while Saturday.

I don't remember seeing anything bright in the water in my overnight trips before, but I do know there are always sharks circling around due to the mast light. Sharks were the worst I can ever remember on bait stops -- thus not much happening on a bait stop other than losing hooks!

Hope you are well.

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Old 09-14-2020, 09:02 PM   #4
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Don’t know what these might look like at night, but they were all over in the first few feet of water In one area we stopped.
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Old 09-14-2020, 11:40 PM   #5
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Default Re: spent the night, what did I see?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bait O Eggs View Post
I figure it is some sort of bioluminescence critter under the boat. I cant see anything in the water, and it seems to be only under the boat. I turn on a flashlight to try and see into the water and it immediately goes dark in the water. I wait a couple minutes and the light starts coming back slowly. I try to take a pic, but when my phone backscreen lit up it would go dark again. I peer into the water and see a bunch of little fish under the boat. 3 to 5 inches long and lots of them, they are dark and not apparently the source of the light.

Any guesses on what the light source was?
Two comments. I have been out a lot at night. The most common light source is very fast moving fish in the 2+ pound range. Individual fish look like streaks of light. If it was a glow under the boat and you could see small bait fish, it is possible that larger fish were feeding under the boat but not coming out far enough for you to see the individual streaks of light. I have personally had bait fish gathered under a light that I had over the water when I was sure there were larger fish down below. When I turned out the light I couldn't see anything but I could hear larger fish hitting the surface of the water as they were chasing the smaller fish. I turned on the light hoping to see what was there and could see nothing, neither small or larger fish. I repeated the process several times with the exact same result. No way could the tiny fish under the light make the loud splashing sounds I was hearing as soon as I turned off the light.

My dad and I used to fish commercially at night for pacific mackerel. We used two lights about 600 and 200 watts spaced about 20' apart. Lighting up the water like that we attracted a large number of different kinds of fish. Learning this little fact we, implemented the strategy when taking charter parties out fishing. We would arrive at the fishing sight 2 hours before daylight and put these lights out. Long before daylight we would be catching barracuda, yellowtail, and bonito. Good times.

I shared that last paragraph to say that when you saw lights under the boat and bait fish around the boat, you should have thrown a line in the water. You may have had your tuna or ??? then and missed an opportunity. Night time can be great fishing, especial when big somethings are darting around.
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Old 09-15-2020, 01:30 AM   #6
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Default Re: spent the night, what did I see?

Roy, I spent Thursday night drifting 5 miles. Shimmers of light was all I saw. Nothing touched the anchovie that I offered. First overnight at sea for me.
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Old 09-15-2020, 09:08 AM   #7
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Default Re: spent the night, what did I see?

Humboldt squid will light up in any number of colors and even patterns. They tend to hang in one spot and not zip past like a fish would. You can see quite the light show if you boat one. Tip: Do not land a humboldt squid if you can't deal with the ink. They will dump ink all over your deck and spray anything in sight. They will squirt water mixed with ink when you try to gaff one. Not fun to get that sprayed all over your face.

Don't ask me how I know this. Anyone who went on the Julie Rose III Swordfish trip will know too.
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Old 09-15-2020, 09:20 AM   #8
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Default Re: spent the night, what did I see?

Kraken with a flashlight?
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Old 09-16-2020, 08:10 AM   #9
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Kraken with a flashlight?

BigFoot Scuba Diving...........
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Old 09-16-2020, 08:15 AM   #10
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Default Re: spent the night, what did I see?

Bigger question is how was the tuna fishing?
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Old 09-18-2020, 10:00 AM   #11
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Default Re: spent the night, what did I see?

I've seen squid about a foot long on my overnight trips. My guess is squid and maybe phosphorescence plankton.
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Old 09-18-2020, 10:56 AM   #12
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My guess is lantern fish. They have been feeding on them down here in Eureka for a while..the last few times out I really didn't pay attention as much as yesterday..they were bright yesterday. One of the fish guys on our home board identified them..the stomachs were full of the tiny little schooling fish. Myctophid...
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Old 09-18-2020, 12:33 PM   #13
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Default Re: spent the night, what did I see?

We launched off of Cannon Beach last Friday evening and got about an hour of trolling in before we shut it down for the night. Oddly, the birds were super active around us all night. Twice a bird got stuck in the front of the dory - once in an empty bucket. I was sleeping on the back deck and was sure I was going to get pooped on. Got lucky though. We only drifted a couple miles overnight.

We spent about 23 hours on the water, had the dory out to 125 17, and had 1 tuna to show for it. Back at it again tomorrow!!
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