Steve Sakamaki still can Double Haul and Strip Fast at 90

Saturday June 11, 2022 – How about those Warriors beating the Celtics in Boston in Game 4 or the NBA Finals.   Attending a Warriors Game party yesterday,  I ran into my good friend Steve Sakamaki.  Steve and I  fished Jurasik Lake in 2018  and we really had not seen each other since before Covid.   I was super cautious about seeing even my 94 year old mother over the Covid years fearing that any transmission might kill an older person.   Steve turned 90 this year.    We talked at the game and he asked me about Stripers.

Last week I managed to repair my outboard finally replacing a frozen spark plug and  today was test day on the forebay.   Steve asked to come along and I was thrilled to be able to take him today.   I was slightly concerned about the wind forcast which predicted 10-15 MPH all day from the west, but the wind layed down all day and at times the forebay was glass still.    The weed beds are getting thick and some have algae growing on top of them.   The damselflies are hatching and the Forebay is looking really fishy!   I believe from the scarcity of big school in the deep, that the fish are in the weeds.   We fished the really shallow flats for a very short time but I did get a strike in about 4 feet of water.

We started out just running the boat around the middle lane buoys in the  middle of the Forebay.   I sustained the motor at 1000,  2000, 3000 and 4000 rpm for 5 minutes each to warm the motor up and burn some of the Sea Foam I put in the non ethanol gas.   The Wot range for the Honda BF90 is 5000-6000 rpms  The motor develops 90 HP at 5500 rpm.   THe boat was loaded with gas and gear with two people and  performed flawlessly.   At sustained 5000 rpms I was getting what I think is my max speed of 32 MPH  with a full gas tank and loaded.  I cant believe the difference one spark plug can make.   I feel like the motor is new again and was getting some pretty impressive benchmarks for the boat.  I might have to bring a water ski next time. 0

I outfitted Steve with an 8 wgt  Helios 2  with T14 OBS and we started out fishing both sides of the Medeiros Channel.   He had never seen me use the Panoptix before and I really wanted to find some big schools of fish to demonstrate it but we looked high and low and only found a few schools of 10-20 fish running the weedlines.    I  found it difficult to position Steve in perfect casting  position  locating schools in deeper water  because the  fish were moving fast and by the time Steve would cast,  the fast moving fish would be gone.   We changed strategy by finding  fishy weedlines with the sonar and parking on them.    Not fishing uphill but casting right next to the weedline and stripping parallel with the shoreline was the ticket.    He fished uphill and downhill drifting the shoreline with no fish and when he parked and fished parallel on the same drift,  we got fish.   Like skeet shooting,  your odds of connecting are better on a clay thats coming or going vs going across.    We ended up with 12 fish between the two of us with Steve catching most of them fishing from 9am-2pm   I was great catching up with Steve and  he is ready and healthy enough to go on more trips this coming year.  I can imagine  that being able to fish from 65-90 is like being reborn into a second life when Im around him.   I’m looking of the fountain of youth so I can fish like Steve till I die in my 90s.

I fillleted four  20 inch stripers at the fish station for Steve to bring home to his wife.  I really enjoy using a knife on meat.  While we were cleaning the fish,  the sheriff came over to watch and chat.  He recognized me from the inspection he did a couple weeks ago on my boat.   He was very friendly  and mentioned that we are the only boat that seems to catch fish consistently on the forebay.   I think I saw him eyeing the fresh fillets piled up on the cleaning station sink.  I put two in a bag and handed it to him.  He was very grateful and  called his wife to tell her to start the bbq.  Its good to be tight with the sheriff and I feel safer out on the water for some reason.

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