The first house I ever bought was a very tiny, very old, 1830, farm house. The ceilings were low...the rooms small, but each room gave me the comfort of your own crate. Walls and ceilings give us that Shelter feeling. That feeling allows us to venture into casual thought....or reading....or TV.....and not have to be cautious about life's pace outside of there..We can allow our minds to wander. Shelter is indeed, one of life's necessary and primary reinforcers.....right along with food and water. When you have it ...you feel good and fulfilled......But how do you feel when you don't have shelter?? I hope we never have that horror.
Let me ask you something? Where is the shelter in the ocean ?..On the ocean floor that has many nooks and crannies for species to call shelter?..Yes of course. Or perhaps in the dense, current pushed, masses of seaweed, that drift the oceans highways. Yes , that too is shelter for all those who fear predatory death......and in the ocean....that means. ...almost everyone!! That still leaves a lot of "open ocean"..for the "eat or be eaten" scenario to occur. I guess there is probably no leisure swimming for fish in the sea. Everything is done while scanning your surroundings. No where to hide....a scary feeling
As I have mentioned, many times before, the North Atlantic canyons can allow you to see and catch some very spectacular ocean occupants. The water is warmed by the gulf stream and the warm water hot shots peruse this famous nautical thorough fare. Its worth the grueling trip, it sometimes requires, to get there.
This canyon trip....was my first......and I was Green in those days...I took on the trip with EYES WIDE OPEN...like any first timer would do. We were catching smaller yellow fin, but to me , they were out of this world. I knew I was hooked on these tackle busters forever. Forever has continued up to now, because I have...and hopefully will tally many more, Yellowfin warriors.
Trolling was working just fine, so the mate had a wide assortment of approaches that were skipping over the surface of the midnight blue water of the Gulf Stream. I remember how long it took him to lay out the squid bars , to assure that they ran completely straight. I remember the ongoing alterations he seemed necessary in doing through out the trolling ride. I remember his hesitancy in stopping if we hooked up ....unless it was a sizable one. Mating a trolling charter can be quite busy and labor oriented if the day goes as planned. Our numbers showed us that this day ...was going as planned. ............4 in the boat already!.
Great first mates are a joy to watch. They dance in the back of the boat. All their moves are purposeful. All the best sightings are usually his first...that's how keen their eyes are. This guy was great. His patterns and lure selection were uncanny. His gaffs were clean and sound the first time. His sea lore was captivating and his instructional approach to tuna fighting was appreciated. You don't mind giving 20% tips to guys like that.
My eyes have developed after years on the water...I have that privilege now.....but not in those days......but as mentioned....the mate did....!. Out of nowhere, he screamed to the Capt. to "STOP THE BOAT NOW!"....unheard of with 8 rigs on a troll.!!! The mate then screamed at the 4 of us.."Reel all those rigs in as fast as you can"........We did...and as the boat eased to a full halt , the last squid bar was yanked on board. "There is a huge Sea Turtle on the starboard side" he ranted. I thought to myself...your kidding me, he stopped the boat for that?????, but at the same time all four of us ran for our cameras as the slow moving , rare creature came closer. I was serene over the thought that the mate was that in tuned with the experience to go to that extent to allow us time with this rare....non-fish!
The four camera buddies bumped into the mate as we all tried to pile in the starboard corner for the best shot. Note I said four cameras..the mate did not have a camera. His intentions were not photos. He had a light action rod and a small chunk of bait that he was about to throw at the turtle!!!. Needless to say ....My response was quick and loud. What the f... do you think you are doing. Don't hook that turtle!!! He simply smiled and said. To you , he is a turtle....to me, he is shelter for mahi mahi........and with that , the slow sinking tidbit was gobbled by an aquarium colored rocket ship that sailed 5 feet into the air. The mate continued his explanation, as he fought this super gamefish......." Even something as small as a turtle can provide shelter for fish...traditionally there will be mahi mahi under them...like now....so take you pictures...and grab those Penn 704's.....We are gonna have some fun."....and we did....When the boat had 10 mahi's on board , we considered that plenty for a charter of 5 ...and began to troll again.
According to the dictionary in my lap., the definition of Shelter is..1. Something that provides cover or protection, as from the weather. 2. A refuge or haven. I looked at the ocean differently from that day on...perhaps this story will urge you to do the same. After all, didn't we all think that the turtles shell was his shelter? It does the trick for passing pelagic's also. Nature is a community, don't just learn What things are....Learn their Purposes ...............Striper Mike