2022 Report on North Pacific Albacore Jig Season



Albacore Troll season, 2022

West Coast jig fishing aboard f/v “Ocean Joy”

Captain John Harder (JB) reporting

The season started out around a month late, but good. Some boats were getting up over a ton a day off of Newport, Org. some 60 miles out.

Aug, 14th, was our 1st day fishing. We caught our 1st fish heading SSW from the Straits at 47:40%N x 125:20%W. We caught 165 tuna that avg. 13 lbs. This is nearly a ton of fish. We decided to stop and look around the area before going too far.

Aug. 15th, Ocean Joy caught 178 tuna around 47:20%N x 125:20%W. Fish seemed to be scattered, but still added up to close to 1 ton. We stayed in the area for a couple more days before reports of better fishing reached us to the SW.

Aug. 19th, we started around 44:41%N x 127:00%W with a lot of boats in the area. We managed to catch 240 fish. Grade avg. 15 lbs witch was good. The best part so far is that nobody has seen, nor heard, of any net marked tuna sightings. So far, this has been a clean run of fish. We, Ocean Joy, stayed in the same area for the ten days averaging 250 fish per day. Mostly large 15 lb. arg. That’s over 2 ton per day.

Aug. 27, We moved SW to 43:40%N x 127:30%W where we had better fishing. We also experienced a new run of small fish moving into the area. Some had net marks on them. Our 1st sine of net marks on small fish. Bummer!!

9-10 lb net marked fish

9-10 lb net marked fish

marked fish
closeup of the marked fish

This was truly disheartening. If this fish was the future run of fish, it did NOT look promising.

Aug. 30th, we moved back to the North along the 127%N line and caught close to 1 ton per day, but turned into spotty fishing.

Sept. 2nd,We started at 46:16N x 127:40%W and hit some warm water. SST was 66.9%. Nice edge earned us 274 mixed grade of fish.

Sept. 3rd, we moved back to the south to 44:10%N x 127:58%W picking fish along the way. We started seeing more scratched fish in the area.

This marked fish may look big, but it’s only around 11 lbs.

This marked fish may look big, but it’s only around 11 lbs.

My guess is it came from squid boats set up North of Hawahi.

Sept. 5th, after some good fishing, we started moving Northeast to end our trip.

We have seen a good body of fish come close to the west coast. It is flighty, but much better than the past 2 years. Amazing that it was not scratched up by net boats.

Bled, Blast frozen -40% Albacore Tuna Unloaded 35 ton into Steveston

Bled, Blast frozen -40% Albacore Tuna
Unloaded 35 ton into Steveston

Many markets were already full. Some buyers stopped buying. Price dropping…

Sept. 20th, Ocean Joy finally gets out for trip #2. 45:25%N x 125:50%W. 1st skunked day of the season! We caught 0 fish heading south. Word is there has been some big scores off of Blanco while we have been in port.

Sept. 21st, Around 42:34%N x 126: 05%W, we got into some good fishing. With the help of the great group of boats around us, we managed to catch more than our quota for the day. We had over 400 fish and shut down early. Our quota is 350 fish for quality control. In order to maintain our cold -30% fish hold, we stop fishing. Hard to do sometimes.

Sept. 28th. 42:37%N x 125:30%W. Ocean Joy has been fishing around the same area for the past week. We have averaged 1-2 ton a day until now. We only have 124 fish so were moving North. We have not see any scratched fish in this area. Fish are mainly large 13+ avg.

Sept. 30th. 44:24%N x 127:52%W, we ended up with 149 fish. No marks on the fish. Moving North.

Oct. 1st. 45:20%N x 126:20%W, we got into some good fishing. Thanks again for some of the other boats in the area & group to keep us located. We got our 350 fish quota just on dark.

Oct. 6th. We have been fishing in the same area for 5 days getting our 350 fish quota. Today we have seen our 1st scratched. We are bummed out again.

first scratched fish oct 6

Oct.7th. 45:30%N x 127:30%W, our fishing dropped off. We only had 149 fish. Many spots are drying up. Water is starting to cool off.

Oct. 9th. At 45:38%N x 128:00%W, we only had 55 fish & decided to head for home. Wx. Starting to turn & other boats giving it up.

I'm so glad and encouraged that we had a decent run of clean fish off of Bloaco! The small fish outside the Columbia River had scratches.

Both trips. This bothers me.

It should bother all jig fishermen!

This is JB ( Captain John Harder) signing off & we’ll see you then.

Smooth sailing!