White Marlin Open Journal, Day 4

We've all had those times when we've seen better days...

boats at the canyons

boats at the canyons

Boats of all sizes troll at Washington Canyon for top honors in the White Marlin Open.Chris Woodward

"Committee boat, committee boat... This is boat 179.... We'd like to weigh in a skunk." Hey, if you can't laugh at yourself, you know others will, right?

Day three of fishing the White Marlin Open, and our Team Contender boat was skunked. Our buddy boat, the Rock Doc, however, went one for two on white marlin. So they flew the flag, literally, on this our final day offshore for the tournament.

Anglers who have not yet fished three days this week can fish tomorrow. But we wrapped up our three days with a big goose egg. The awards ceremony will be held Saturday.

Our team was buoyant this morning. Everyone had a good feeling as we ran out to the Washington Canyon, the same place we fished the first day. We had decided to go for tuna again. An 83-pound white marlin had been weighed in Wednesday, so the tuna category — with a 248.5-pounder in first place — seemed more attainable. It also seemed more exciting for the whole crew.

We trolled amid a who's who of tournament boats, many had weighed in tuna the previous two days. Clouds of bait showed on the sounder. Pilot whales, humpback whales, birds — an ocean full of marine and avian creatures — came alive all around us. But as the hours passed, we felt the reality descend.

"Ok, this is it, I'm selling my fishing tackle," angler Tony Novelli quipped.

"Have we not been living right?" Capt. Mike Sisto asked, hoping to do some kind of penance and lift this awful curse. Sisto said that in his 19 years of fishing the canyons, he has only been skunked three times. He doubled that this week.

But when it was time for lines-out, we still felt fortunate to have had three days at the canyons, with fun companions, in a fabulous, fast boat on the hunt for big fish. So, we'll sit out tomorrow, watch the weigh-in and await the awards ceremony, where more than a million dollars will pass to some quality fishermen. And we'll be back next year.