October 26, 2012 by Ryan Trask
I headed out to Seattle with one of my good friends Andy who works for Kohler company and has been to Seattle on a consistent basis. He asked what I was doing for the 2nd week of October and I said nothing, so I decided to tag along since I had the Verizon Wireless Mi-Fi hotspot and Delta Air internet connection so I pretty much never lose touch with the internet world.
We picked up the rental vehicle and decide what the heck to do for the day. I told him I had some work to accomplish, so we pick up some coffee and then head downtown to a pub where he decides to plan out his work for the week. My week was already planned. Eat seafood, drink coffee, drink beer, and work on the computer… check.
We drank a few coffee's in Seattle because Seattle is the Mecca for coffee right?!
I had connected with Zach a few weeks earlier that I'd be in the area and would like to meet up since I had never met Zach face to face yet. Zach is a full time SEO and does contract SEO work for us. After a few happy hour beers in downtown Seattle and accomplishing some work, Andy and I headed over to across the bay on a ferry where we were staying for the night. I texted Zach and we find out he's only 15 minutes from us. Zach and his wife met us at a local restaurant for good food, a few beers and had some good laughs.
We had a beer up in the galley while we traveled across the bay.
The following day, we headed into downtown Seattle and Andy recommended I see the Public Market. Obviously it was pretty cool and enjoyed the smoked fish and samples they provided.
Typical Andy style, sitting at a bar day 2, Andy decided "let's go fishing". I told him, I'm behind on work, I'm hungover and I brought no gear with me. So we eat some more happy hour food and he hit's Google for "Seattle Fishing Guides" on his iPhone and we start calling every Seattle Fishing Guide possible and makes me call them. I was annoyed, but if anyone knows Andy would know that's his MO. I was not expecting anyone would have availability, but what the hell. Andy gives me number after number and I call around 8-10 people and got a hold of one guy who shot us a price. I told him I may call him back since I was not sure if even wanted to fish. Over the next 2 hours, we start getting calls back on our way to the next bar.
A gentlemen named Mark calls me who I immediately got a great vibe from and talked about how they had got into the Albacore Tuna that day (he didn't answer the phone since he was on his way back) and caught 55 fish within 5 clients. So I still wasn't too excited for a 12 hour fishing trip since I'm a computer nerd, have ADD, had no gear, was in Seattle to work and have a few beers and to check out the city… but whatever… Andy was excited. Andy convinced me and I figured what the hell since I really enjoyed talking to Mark on the phone. I talk to guides and outfitters all over the nation and I figured if I'm wrong about this guy, I might as well shut my business down. I did tell Mark we had no gear since I was out there to just work, check out Seattle and meet my new 3plains contractor Zach. Mark said pickup some boots and he will take care of the bibs for Andy & I. Ok Mark, run my 3plains card, were in. As luck has it, Andy had already booked a hotel at the Crowne Plaza for 2 nights. Great planning Andy.
On our way to Westport Washington
So, we ditch the hotel and head for Westport Washington 3 hours outside of Seattle for the night and stay where Mark's website recommended. We meet Mark and his guide Louis at 6AM and head 35 miles off of the coast Grays Harbor in Westport WA.
"Game on" says Andy
We get out to the spot about a hour or so, Mark and I had a good Chat about his online marketing. I find out Mark's quite savvy and in my business, it's refreshing to meet a educated individual like Mark who really gets its. So I sat back and said… I see why the hell we are here. We hit Google, searched Seattle fishing guides, the guy calls back, we book, he runs my card and boom… we fish. The process is quite simple if you really think about it and I actually was impressed that this guy gets it.
We are 35 miles out and Mark gets our group into the bay to discuss the procedures. Mark is very through on what to do, what the fish are biting on, fish dynamics and how to catch the fish. I really respected how Mark went about his talk since the bottom line is, Mark wanted the group to catch fish, catch them quick and not to lose fish. He made sure to bring that point up several times. If I'm a guide, I would get annoyed if clients don't listen to what line, bait and technique to use. So… when in Rome.
Mark trolled around in his boat "Reel Tight" and he was looking for fish on his graph from the previous days location or "jumpers". A bit later Mark spots some Albacore jumping and says "bait stop" which means hustle your ass up and get your line in the water. A gentlemen on the boat is the first to get a bite. The first thing he does is set the hook and the hook probably ripped right out of the Tunas mouth. Mark specifically told us not to set the hook since they would run with the hook for 5 seconds and to ease into it. Instructions were pretty clear. So at this point… Group 0 - Tuna 1. Losing fish is annoying. I'm annoyed.
The next member of our group hits a Tuna and starts fighting it and Andy hits one no more than a minute later.
Boom! Andy hits the next Tuna.
About the time Andy hits his fish, I feel my free spool going so I follow Mark's instructions to a T, wait 5 seconds, ease into it and start reeling the Tuna in. For us Midwestern folk this isn't a walleye and this is no Northern Pike. This fish fights, sees the boat and then goes out again and continues the pattern. It's really quite annoying for a non dedicated fisherman like myself. Half way throughout the fish fighting process, I mentally decided that I respect the hell out of the guys that enjoy this sport and guides. It was a heck of a lot of fun pulling that Tuna in though.
Louis grabs his gaff and pulls in Andy's fish and mine follows. Good Lord! How the heck did all those guys the day before pull in 55 fish. I'm 6'6" and no wimp, but wow…these fish fight.
Mark Coleman holding up my Albacore Tuna I just reeled in
Mark and Louis asked us if this was the first Albacore we ever caught. We said yep, so of course I figured we we were in for some primitive ritual. Mark smiles from ear to ear and cuts the heart out and we oblige. A little salty, but not bad. The computer nerd in me thought… "good old Google".
Mark cutting out the heart
Mmmmmmmm.... fresh tuna heart
Salty but whatever
So, we re-bait throw our hooks in and less than 5 minutes later Andy and I are fighting 2 fish again. At this point I'm tired and these Tuna want to swim around the boat and tangle our lines. Andy and I lug up 2 more Tuna at the same time again. I sat down and my arms hurt. Louis called me a girl. I deserved the name calling.
Andy and Ryan with Albacore Tuna (look at the big boy to the far right)
We continued to fish and caught around 20 but didn't hit our limit. It was the last day of the season for Albacore and Mark was headed inland for a bit and then he was headed to the river where the fish are. I was very satisfied with our catch since 4 loins on a Albacore are huge.
We packaged all the tuna up and divided the loins up and threw them on dry ice in the cooler for the airplane home. I did get some strange looks at the airport lugging that cooler to baggage or maybe it was because I smelled like fish. I apologized to the guys on the airplane next to me and they liked the photos.
Only 1/4 of our Albacore Tuna
We got back and gave tuna to several of our friends. I was glad I packaged the loins more in sample sizes than packaging loin by loin. All our consumers commented that the Albacore Tuna was excellent taste-wise. Thank you to Mark Coleman and Louis of All Rivers & Saltwater Charters for the great fishing trip. Next time I will actually bring my own gear and book in advance with Mark.