Unlike inshore fishing, where structure and weeds are a fishing gold mine… No place is more starved for fish structure than the pelagic ocean. It is wide open and featureless. Just. Water. What direction should you point the boat? Where should you start fishing? Well, birds are a great visual of feeding activity, but sometimes our feathered friends are absent.
Anything in the pelagic zone can attract fish. Wind lines, where air and current gather assorted seaweed, bubbles, and debris may be a place to start. And a floating log in the middle of the ocean may serve as habitat, decoy, even shade for species such as mahi-mahi (dolphinfish), ono (wahoo), ahi (yellowfin tuna), and many others. One log holds algae and other microscopic organisms which attract and feed little fish, which in turn attract larger fish.
Fishing off the coast of the Big Island of Hawaii with my friends, their dual 55 hp outboard motor boat happened to discover a log. With our first troll by it, a solid fish was hooked. The boat began to spin while fighting this leaping fish.
“Don’t lose that log!” Norman Ah Hee warned.
One of us always kept an eye on the log drifting in the current. It was low in the water and only about 8 feet long. As long as we kept track of that log, we continued to find mahi-mahi.
A large charter boat noticed our leaping fish and approached. However, they seemed to have missed this piece of magnetic habitat and though they passed through our area several times, never came close enough to the log to entice a fish.
If we lost a fish, we knew where to find another as long as we knew where that log was. If we lost the log in the pelagic zone, there may not be another piece of structure for miles.
Andy Whitcomb is a columnist, outdoor humorist, and stressed-out Dad living in Pennsylvania. Visit him at www.justkeepreeling.com.