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October 20

Running on, running on empty
Running on, running blind
Running on, running into the sun
But I’m running behind

Jackson Browne, Running on Empty

The death march that is the Offshore Season of 2014 continues unabated – well, death march from the perspective of those who have to cover it. I guess if you’re out on the water, this is pretty much the greatest season ever – heck, there’s blue marlin and wahoo and Lord knows what else out there right now. But if you have to find new and creative ways to say “it’s still going” twice a week, you start to feel a lot like Ron White at the end of a long tour – you know all my bad jokes, and you know I don’t have any good ones. I’m left with nothing to defend myself but a cigar and a scotch and a scowl …

(cue theme music)

Distant Blue

To be honest, I should really be counting my blessings. If my math is worth a damn, this is the 26th update of the season, and that might seem like a lot. But the truth is, I got a late start this year – I’ve had seasons where we were updating in May and the totals were up around 35 updates. So maybe I should just shut up and write …

Maybe it’s just my perception, but it does feel like things are slowing down a little bit. Of course, with all the excitement the aforementioned exotics are raising, it’s hard to tell. The amazing blue marlin show continued this weekend, as both SNOOPER and SECOND C had 5-hr battles with Mr Blue – and both ended up on the losing end. SECOND C’s fight was Saturday morning off the Isthmus at Catalina while SNOOPER battled on the 9-Mile Bank that same afternoon. Rod Halperin sent along this shot of the SECOND C blue on the run. More and more crews are running larger tackle, targeting the blue marlin and wahoo; while it’s worked well for the speeders the marlin remain elusive.

We received very few responses to our traditional Sunday email ping, which is what has me thinking things are slowing on the striped marlin scene. Our marlin season is a lot like making microwave popcorn – you can’t really predict when it will end; you can only watch as the number of reports slows to a trickle, and stick your fork in it at an appropriate time.

The closest thing there was to a “hot spot” this weekend was off the nuke plant domes at San Onofre. I’m still tracking all the details, but it sounds like there were at least three released there over the weekend and one more today. There was also some action at the 9-Mile Bank as well; it was there that Barry Brightenburg helped his client Jason Jager release the nice striped marlin you see below.

You’ll recall that at the outset of this series of reports, I declared this to be our farewell season. With that in mind, the big announcement comes Thursday … :-/

Enough adventure for this guy

The World Series starts tomorrow in Kansas City and, I’m sorry, but I couldn’t care less. I have never been a fan of the wild card, even if my beloved Florida Marlins did use it twice to win their own Series. In this series, both teams made it in through the WC back door, as it were, and I’m not the only one failing to feel the excitement. I can see how the Royals might be seen as worthy participants in the Series, having gone undefeated in their eight playoff games thus far. But the Giants? Puleeze. I’ll catch it here for being a Dodger fan when I say this, but the Giants were the least talented team in the playoffs and got through more by the self-immolation of their competition than they did through any performance of their own. Yes, there were some “magic” moments along the way, and I’m sure Travis Ishikawa will go down alongside Bobby Thompson in Giants baseball lore. But to all the people suggesting that three trips to the WS in five years is somehow indicative of a dynasty are just idiots. Beyond Buster Posey and a couple of pitchers you’ll find very few players who even played in all three. If anything, it’s a credit to the Giants front office for cobbling together a resilient roster three different times, or to manager Bruce Bochy for getting the most out of what he has. But once the Royals complete their sweep, I guess there won’t really be much to talk about anyway, will there?

There was supposed to be a cold-weather trough running through our area for the next couple of days, but checking the latest report, I see that it has paled in significance. I was prepared to declare it to be the storm to end our season had it materialized; since it didn’t … never mind …

Hurricane Odile be damned, the tournament season has begun in Cabo San Lucas, and a pair of events wrapped up this weekend. In our last update, we talked about the one qualifying marlin caught on the first day of the Los Cabos Billfish Tournament; as it happened, that 365-lb blue marlin caught by Jason Snyder on REEL GOLD was the only qualifier of the event. A total of 25 billfish were caught over the three days of fishing – 18 striped marlin, 5 blue marlin and 2 sailfish.

Meanwhile, the first of two back-to-back Bisbee’s events, the Los Cabos Offshore, was held Friday and Saturday. Fishing was as tough here as in the LCBT, and again only a single qualifying billfish was landed. Local Cabo San Lucas angler Fernando Guzman on LOS RUDOS weighed the only billfish of the event, a Gordo Bank blue marlin that tipped the scales at 322-lbs.

Anglers get little time to lick their wounds and hone their strategy, as Wednesday is the first of three fishing days in the big one, the Black and Blue. We’ll share what we know on Thursday and cover the results on Monday.

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