Tuna are here!

Jack Harrell and Albacore.
Jack Harrell and Albacore.

So here’s the deal. I’ve been out of the game for a solid two weeks with hernia surgery. Meanwhile, my fishing buddies kept at it and had a great time with the Albacore fishing in dory boats out of Pacific City. The Albacore have been challenging as always, but my friends have managed to catch several very nice tuna, all on trolled flies.

Ed Bowles and albacore.
Ed Bowles and albacore.

One of the nicest tuna was this fish pictured below that Kevin caught.

Kevin Ferguson and albacore.
Kevin Ferguson and albacore.

No pictures of Jay with tuna, not yet anyway.

By the way,  John Harrell has been running dory charters for black rockfish and silvers on the fly rod and having very good success whenever it was possible to launch the dory into the surf. you can contact John at Pacific City Fly Fishing or call him at 541 812 9716.

I’ll be out in the ocean again just as soon as I can, in the meantime, may each of you be well and have fun at fishing or wherever you may be.

Jay Nicholas,  July 24, 2015.

Albacore – Warm Blooded Fish?

Pacific albacore tuna close aboard the dory "Last Cast", a bare week ago.
Pacific albacore tuna close aboard the dory “Last Cast”, a bare week ago.

My source for this observation is taken from The Oregon Fish Commission Research Briefs Number One Volume One dated April 1948.

( I quote)

“Albacore Have Higher Temperature than Surrounding Water

While accompany the crew of the tuna boat “Western Sun” on a fishing cruise in August 1947, George Harry, biologist stationed at Astoria, found that the body temperature of albacore off the Oregon Coast was about 20 degrees higher than that of the surrounding water.  Although fish are generally regarded as cold blooded animals, it has long been known that some species on being warm blooded.

“Mr Harry checked nine fish by simply inserting a pocket thermometer through an incision and into the viscera immediately atrer the fish were landed.  The albacore temperatures ranged from 80 to 86 degrees whereas the water remained at 63 degrees (F).  the albacore were found to be feeding largely on anchovies. ”

(End quote)

More recent observations reported by Oregon Sea Grant in 2009 indicate that the temperature differential is more on the order of fifteen degrees, but the elevated temperatures were each observed in tuna after being landed, and no mention was made regarding whether the battle prior to landing could have elevated the temperature.

These observations of elevated body temperature are consistent with the traditional practice of immediately chilling and bleeding albacore in order to achieve the highest possible quality and taste in the flesh.

Ideally, each albacore will be pithed, the gills cut, and the fish immersed in chilled saltwater which allows the fish to be chilled rapidly as it is bled.


Here are some age vs. average weight figures I gleaned from the Internet.

One year old:  8 Lbs.

Two years old:  18 Lbs.

Three – Four years old ( and older):  twenty five pounds and up

Note please, my dear friends caught several albies last week while I was recuperating from hernia surgery, fish that pressed the scales to twenty five pounds.

Oh my goodness, how large might these tuna be a month from now?

I hope to find out shortly.

Best wishes to all

Jay Nicholas (July 16 2015)



Last Cast Feature in 2015 Steelheader’s Journal

Steelheader's Journal 2015 Edition.
Steelheader’s Journal 2015 Edition.

Just got my copy of the 2015 edition of Steelheader’s Journal, and quite naturally zipped straight to the back page to see the Essay I wrote at Pat Hoglund’s invitation.

Jay Nicholas' essay in the 2015 Steelheader's Journal.
Jay Nicholas’ essay in the 2015 Steelheader’s Journal.

Thank you Pat, for the opportunity to share my renewed passion for winter steelhead fly fishing.  Yeah, there are kings out there now, but when the salmon season winds down, I’ll be after those chrome bullets again come January 2016.

Common, get out there and purchase your very own copy at your local fly shop or online.

Jay Nicholas, July 8 2015