Happy Thursday everyone!
It’s been a week of rockfish, crab, clams and, of course, tuna here at Basin Tackle. As long as the tides have been right we have been taking folks down to the mud flats every Saturday and teaching ‘em how to find, pump out (not dig), clean and cook these tasty morsels of clam meat. They are just sitting there waiting for us, c’mon down and we will make you a clamming expert!
Crabbing in the bay is good to very good with some genuine monster sized ones coming in. In the ocean it’s hit or miss; don’t drop your pots too close together. Get some distance between them to locate those wily crustaceans and you will be rewarded with world class seafood.
Rockfish has been really good with the odd day of “meh” mixed in. It always seems that just before or after a large system change whether it is wind or pressure that the bite dies off and doesn’t come back in full force until after everything settles down.
The lingcod bite has been slower lately, the odd boat has a really good score but it’s generally one here and one there kind of fishing. Salmon remain elusive but we know of a few coho and Chinook caught outside and unconfirmed reports of a couple Chinooks on the inside. Although salmon fishing is slow now it will change before we know it.
For tuna, this has definitely been the season and there is no better evidence of that here at Basin Tackle than the 4 a.m. openings we have been doing on tuna days.
Early mornings, fresh ocean air, the smell of fresh ground coffee mixed with the early morning hustle and bustle of those heading out to sea — Yep, it doesn’t get any better.
The tuna are still being landed on good weather days but it’s not all that consistent. Some days it’s fishing and others it’s catching. Scores are anywhere from single digits to the 30s lately. Be sure to call us before planning a trip down. If it’s not that great we will wave you off, if it’s good we will encourage you to quit your job, abandon all your responsibilities and go fishing. Call us any time at 541-888-FISH, we can even plan a charter trip for you.
In addition to the tuna and mixed right in with them are sharks, and what a shark season it’s been folks. We’ve seen a lot of blue sharks, some of the biggest ever (check us out on Facebook at Basin Tackle Charleston for pictures), and even cooler than that — we’ve been seeing some Mako sharks brought in.
These critters are rarely in temperatures colder than 61 degrees which puts them right in the warm tuna water. Our own Captain John of Sharkys Charters has brought in the biggest one to date and it really only makes sense, he’s called “Sharkys” Charters for a reason. James was the fortunate client on the day Captain John found a shark and was able to bring in the beast and wrestle it to the deck. During this melee James sustained a shark tooth scratch on his finger we now refer to as “the Shark Attack of 2016.”
The Mako shark or more specifically the short finned Mako is fast, really fast, and this makes it one of the top predators in the sea. At cruising speeds up to 25 mph and burst speeds exceeding 40 mph, the Mako is the fastest shark in the world, and with a mouth full of crazy sharp teeth you want to be out of the water when these things are around.
Typically growing up to 10 feet in length, the Mako can weigh up to 300 pounds. And it gets to that size by eating whenever a meal presents itself. Schools of squid, mackerel and tuna are what sustain these fish, but don’t think that means everything else is safe because they’re not. Seabirds, dolphins, turtles, and yes even people have fallen prey to these apex predators. From 1980 to 2010 there have been 42 recorded attacks on people and 20 recorded attacks on boats. Yeah, boats. Keep in mind these are only the reported and recorded numbers, there are many more that go undocumented.
The Mako stalks its prey from below using the element of surprise. With a high metabolic rate and the ability to generate heat from within (exothermic metabolism) the Mako is 7 to 10 degrees warmer than its surroundings. This exothermic capability allows it to maintain a stable, high rate of activity, a huge advantage when hunting. The Mako will eat roughly 3 to 4 percent of its weight daily in food which really isn’t all that impressive considering I ate 3 percent of my body weight in tuna jalapeno poppers last weekend. Add to this that I often drive well over 40 miles per hour I’m thinking that Makos should fear me, not the other way around.
The Mako shark will live bear four to 20 young every three years, with a gestation period of up to 18 months. I know there’s someone reading this somewhere in their third trimester feeling miserable, be thankful yer not a Mako ‘cause you’d only be less than half done by now.
Now to the good part, Mako is good eating, no, GREAT eating. Often when people tell me they like exotic or weird foods, or super-hot stuff I think it’s because they are playing the “tough guy” card. I thought that may have been the case with Mako, too. It’s not. I can honestly say I have never had a more tender, yet firm, moist, yet not mushy piece of anything that swims in my entire eating career. It is lightly flavored and not at all oily fish; I would eat it over tuna any day.
Here’s what I did; I brushed the fish with olive oil, seasoned with crushed salt and fresh cracked pepper, placed fresh rosemary on top and grilled with lemons wedges above the rosemary. As the fish cooked to a perfect 139 degrees the lemons and rosemary combined with the light tasting fish to create an extravaganza for the taste buds. Yeah this redneck does some “fancy cookin’” on occasion.
Whether you are eating Mako or being eaten by one I … no … that’s not right. Whatever your outdoor pursuit I hope to see you out there!
Rob Gensorek is the owner of Basin Tackle www.basintackle.com in the Charleston Marina and can be reached by phone at (541) 888-FISH, by Facebook at Basin Tackle Charleston, or e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org. Robs fishing reports can be heard daily on several radio stations and his Basin Tackle Outdoor Show can be heard Wednesdays at 3 p.m. and Saturdays at 6 a.m. at kwro.com. In addition to all this he sometimes actually gets out and catches a fish or two.