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Fall 2022

562 Boat Crew Has Fun Times
On Intrepid 1.5 Day Trip

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Introduction:
2022 started off right where 2021 left off. Yellowtail and rock cod were found in good numbers along the Colonet. Not too long afterwards, bluefin tuna were found biting in the early weeks of January. What started off with a phone call in late January with my buddy Joe soon turned into a reality. Joe, along with our crew consisting of 18 fishermen called the “562 Boat-Crew” booked an extended day and a half trip aboard the luxurious 116 foot Intrepid for July 1st through the 3rd. Knowing that I had another trip booked for the year, my excitement had exploded, making me feel like it was nearly impossible to wait 6 months for it to happen.

Day 1:
It was the morning of July 1st. My dad and I decided to leave the house about 4:30am for a 6:00am e.t.a. in San Diego. With a number of boats and captains I am familiar with offloading, I wanted to be down at the dock early to see how they did. With boats such as the Excel, Fortune, and the Searcher coming in with good fish counts along with the Intrepid limiting out for 2 days on their 5-day trip, we were sure to have good things coming for us. With boarding taking place later than usual, we boarded at 10:00am and were off the dock by 11. After clearing the point, newly appointed captain Travis came down to give us our safety speech and game plan for the trip. He said our bait consisted of a mix of sardine, anchovy, and two slammers full of live squid. Following that, he said we would be making the 10-hour run to the northern Tanner Bank, where they found and limited out on bluefin that morning. With nighttime being mostly knife jigs, he recommended we tie them onto our 80,100, and even 130lb set ups. As for the daytime fishing he suggested we have a 40lb bait set up, with a small colt sniper as well tied on. After our game plan talk, most of the boat proceeded to ready their tackle as we made the 10-hour trek to the Tanner banks. By 9:00pm we were finally in the zone. We were all anxious to be fishing after seeing the good numbers of bluefin come in that same morning. After 45 minutes of searching, we finally came across our first school of tuna. I started out with a Williamson Kensaki 280g knife jig. Although it was lighter than recommended, I was able to cast it out far enough downwind so by the time it was in the bite zone I was nearly straight up and down. After brailling bait for a solid minute or two, we got our first hookup of the trip. Not long after, one fish turned into two, which was turned into four. For a minute we had all thought this was the one school we needed. Unfortunately, we spoke too soon and our school of fish had moved on. By 10:15 we were back on the hunt for another school. It wasn’t until just after midnight Bill had located our second school of the trip.

Day 2:
At 12:22am, Bill came over the PA saying, “Throw some bait, 3’s and 4’s”. Eventually he turned around and said, “Pick up the bait this is a good school, start dumping it.” For those of us who were still awake, we rushed to the rail dropping our jigs. After reaching 125 ft deep, I hit the bottom. At least that’s what it felt like. I quickly pushed my lever on my Penn Torque 40 into the number 2 position coming tight on a fish. Unfortunately, after about 4 seconds of running, my jig was spit out. While I was messing with my fish, the boat erupted into chaos. For 15 anglers awake, 12 of the 15 had hooked up. This was truly the one school we needed. After losing my one fish, I dropped my jig back down hoping for another bite. Thankfully, when retrieving my jig, I was bit somewhere between 350, and 390 ft deep. Once again, I slowly eased my lever into the number 2 position and this time I came tight. The fish started dumping the reel, so I bumped my drag up to strike which was approximately 24lbs. “BITERRRRRR” I yelled. Being my first tuna trip of the year I was so excited to finally yell it. With so many people hooked up I got to experience the fun of night fishing. Working together calling out whether you’re over or under someone is always a challenge. Fortunately, I only experienced one mess up as I worked my way towards the bow. Fishing heavy line kept me worry free as I let Kevlar do his thing and work the tangle out of the line. Tangles are a prime reason why we fish heavy line at night; they are more prominent to happen, so you are less likely to get cut off fishing heavy gear. About 10 minutes into my fight, I found myself ¾ of the way up the port rail close to the bow. Some guys make fun of me for it, but I took my stance on one knee with the rod under my arm fighting this fish when it makes an incredible dash towards the surface of the water. By this time, I swore it was a larger model fish, the way it fought, and how hard it pulled just did not add up right. Eventually I worked my fish back to deep water and made my way around the anchor, into open water and rail space. After about 5 minutes of low gear pulling on this fish, I got it to color and was fortunate enough to have Min stick a gaff in the head of my fish. When the fish hit the deck, it was determined to be about a 70lb fish. Perfect grade of fish. While I was focused on my fish, my buddies Chase, Ryan, Bronson, Sheppy (Dale), Brett, and Marvin had all hooked up, if not landed their own fish. After so many hookups, we were only able to land 12 fish making the trip total up to 16 for the night. When this school moved on, we spent the rest of the night searching with no success. These fish simply disappeared. I stayed up until 4:15am with a handful of other guys hoping for our shots on another school like the one faced earlier but soon had to call it a night.

Day 2 Continued:
After being up for over 24 hours, I decided to sleep in a little longer. My buddies call me crazy, but during bluefin season there are more times than I can count where I stay up for over 24 hours on less than 5 hours of sleep. One thing I do in particular when fishing bluefin is I set an alarm to go off every half-hour, on the hour. In doing so, I forcefully wake up frequently to check if the boat has stopped on a school of fish. On Saturday, I gave myself about 4 hours of sleep before waking up at 8 am. Unfortunately, today remained a slow day across the entire fleet. We saw tons and tons of life, but everything was stuck in a “Lockjaw” position. In total, we stopped on 12 foaming schools of fish, and at least twice that amount in sonar schools. Travis worked hard and continuously all day, into the night. We stopped at 2 schools around 10:30pm and 11:00 pm and my buddy Ryan was lucky enough to catch his second tuna of the trip which happened to be the only one for day 2 of fishing. At the end of the day, we were bluefin fishing. We knew the risks before heading out, the captain and boat can’t control whether or not the fish bite. Captains Bill and Travis worked nonstop to create a safe, fun, and energetic atmosphere for the passengers. Deckhand Ed in the galley did an amazing job of cooking, preparing, and serving the anglers their food on the trip. Kevlar, Min, and Robert did their jobs flawlessly on deck, while working tirelessly through the night. Overall, the 562-Boat Crew had a fun trip even with less-than-ideal weather and fishing conditions.

Helpful Tips:
Bring Dramamine! This can’t be stressed enough. There is no shame in having to take a pill. The pill will usually ensure you enjoy the trip much more.
Fish your heaviest gear. There is no need to go in the water at night with less than 80, it only creates more room for error.
Rig your jigs accordingly. I fished my Williamson Kensaki Knife-Jigs with Mustad’s heavy duty Kevlar 5/0 assist hooks, with a big owner 5/0 4/X treble hook on the bottom. This method ensured a better hook set when the fish were biting the retrieve.
Take care of yourself accordingly. Bluefin fishing is rough. These fish like to bite all night and all day. Learn to spend your time accordingly with naps. Don’t forget to stay hydrated as well.

Let’s Taco ‘bout it Wicked Tuna Style!  With Chef David Powell of the Ocean Odyssey

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 I first met chef David Powell on our Tuna Wars Captains Rollo‘s kids at sea fundraiser trip on the Ocean Odyssey out of H&M landing back in June. Tuna Wars is a friendly competition between two boats with the stars of Wicked Tuna, captains Paul Hebert and Dave Marciano along with his Wife Nancy do an annual Tuna Wars competition to lead their teams in this battle of the boats Team Wicked Pissah” aboard the Liberty with Captain Taro Takeuchi and Dave and Nancy Marciano “Team Hard Merchandise” aboard the Ocean Odyssey with captain Rick Scott. The boat with the largest 3 bluefin at the end of the 2-day trip wins, but the real winners are the kids.

Chef David’s culinary background consists of a three year culinary program with a focus on dietetics at Ohio State in 1995. He then worked at private clubs and Chef owned restaurants till taking a position with the Hard Rock Cafe in Vegas, Hollywood and San Diego. In 2007 David met captain Rick Scott of the Ocean Odyssey while fishing on the Premier (1/2 day) trip.  His plan was to fish for a year and now, 15 years later he’s still fishing and doing his magic in the Ocean Odyssey galley. David said “cooking for 30 always has its challenges but doing it while flying through the air adds a new dimension to it, It’s a love hate relationship, but it really gets in your blood” he also adds “it truly takes a unique personality to smile while working 16 hour days and you gotta be just a little crazy LOL!”Chef David’s culinary skills are top notch.  You never know what he’s going to serve up in his galley, his meals are so unique and different from other boats and it’s very refreshing to have a variety of dishes to stimulate your pallet while fishing on a multi day trip.

Here are a few descriptions of Chef David’s menu. His breakfast choices are a to die for, the machaca breakfast burritos filled with a homemade beef machaca, Pica de Gallo, eggs potatoes and a Queso Fresco Cheese with an array of hot sauces to heat it up to your liking.  This was my personal favorite and I had it every morning. Every time I think about this burrito my mouth waters and I can’t wait to get back on the boat to have it again! David’s French toast is the best I’ve ever tasted with notes of vanilla and cinnamon dressed with a dollop of creamy butter and drizzled with maple syrup!

Our lunch menu included a yummy burger, but because this article is named “More than a boat burger” guess what? David passed the test. Did you ever think that you could have homemade pizza on a sport boat? Yes, chef David makes the best pizza you’ve ever had, it’s so delicious with a crispy crust and he makes several kinds to satisfy any pizza lover, like vegetarian with caramelized onions and a meat lovers pizza, one of the most interesting things that I got to try that he does is a chocolate peanut butter pizza! Yes you heard it here, a chocolate peanut butter dessert pizza! I didn’t think that I would like it but I had three slices lol, it was so delicious and so unusual that I didn’t think the combination would work but it works perfectly. A must try for sure.

Our dinner menu consisted of an amazing taco bar. Chef David made three different types of meat to choose from: pork, chicken and beef, with a large spread of toppings where you can build your own taco how you like our choices where; onions & cilantro, pico de gallo, jalapeños, an array of cheeses, lettuce, guacamole & sour cream served with mexican rice and refried beans. Another highlighted dinner dish is David’s Herb crusted prime rib, served with a freshly baked potato with all the toppings, sautéed seasoned green beans, Cesar salad and a roll. My mouth was watering just writing this article and thinking about those meals I had on that trip.

We had a great two days and even though we didn’t win this year’s tuna wars we all had an amazing time with Captain Rick Scott and his very professional crew.  They have an amazing boat, the bunks are comfortable, with an amazing platform to fish from.  You know you’ll be well fed on any trip you take on the Ocean Odyssey with chef David Powell.

Captain Rollo’s Kids at Sea organizes marine- awareness fishing trips for children who might not otherwise have such an opportunity to witness the beauty and splendor of being on the ocean. Youth are provided with on-the water ocean preservation education where they learn hands-on about the ecosystems that exist in our coastal waters. We serve disadvantaged, physically challenged, and at-risk youth. Since 1999, over 130,000 children have benefited. If you’d like to make a donation or donate your time to Captain Rollo’s Kids at Sea go to: http://www.captainrollos.org/ 

Ocean Odyssey is located at H&M Landing, 2803 Emerson Street ,San Diego California 9210. To book your private charter contact the Ocean Odyssey at: info@oceanodysseyfishing.com Call: (619) 889-4535

Bluefin Tuna Poke’

By Chef David Powell

2Lb Bluefin Tuna loin

1-ea. Yellow or orange Bell Pepper

1-ea medium Jalapeño (diced)

1-Tbls Fresh Ginger (minced)

6-ea. chopped Green Onion stalks (1/2 bunch)

4- Garlic Cloves (minced)

1-Tbls Sesame Oil

1/4c. Soy Sauce

1). Cut Bluefin Tuna or Skip Jack into 1/4” cubes cover & chill

2). Cut yellow or orange bell peppers (not Red due to the color contrast) jalapeño and green onions into small pieces.

3). Finely mince ginger and garlic.

4). Add all the above ingredients to tuna dices cover & chill.

5). 20 minutes prior to serving add sesame oil and soy sauce, mix thoroughly.

6). Serve with craft crackers or wonton chips & enjoy!