Outdoor Storytellers – Dolphins

SAN DIEGO — Leaving San Diego at 9 p.m., The Renegade, captained by Doug Reed, is underway and headed out into Mexican fishing waters off Baja California.

The Renegade travels all night to reach the fishing grounds, where there will hopefully be schools of tuna, like albacore.  There’s also the possibility of finding groups of dorado.

By 1 a.m., all the fishermen aboard The Renegade are in their bunks.  No one is on deck.

Sunrise comes early, as Doug lets everyone know what’s going on with the albacore schools.

“We’re just bumpin’ into the cooler water of this transition,” he says.  “We’re going to bump in here and see if there are some albacore running around on the edge here.  And then we’ll bump back to the warmer side of the transition. One, two, three and four make us proud.”

Rods one, two, three and four are set on the troll with feathers, and it’s not long before the first albacore hits….

We find a few kelp paddies with dorado on them.  They’re also called “mahi-mahi”, and it is a beautiful fish.

Meanwhile, in the wheelhouse, Doug, along with his deckhands, are scanning for tuna schools.  Unsatisfied with his vantage point, Doug needs a better look from up top.

“Alright, Joe,” he yells.  “Joe, you ready. I’ll go up. Alright boys, if I’m not back in 30 minutes, send in the paramedics. Here we go. Argh!”

In the distance, large school breaks water.  As we get closer to them, we see that it’s a group of dolphins, numbering somewhere in the thousands.  Some of the dolphins move right into our bow plane and ride along.

The group of dolphins eventually ventured off, and the day-long warm water fishing trip off of Mexico came to an end as the sun set. But a day of fishing turned into an uncommon encounter with a group of common dolphins of the Pacific Ocean.