Long range: Bluefin back on the bite


Fish emerge on back of new moon; Ridge continues hot


SAN DIEGO — After sticking their nose in the mud for several days, the bluefin tuna bit like mad all week. It was a nice return to what has been an excellent bluefin summer. The school-size fish from 25- to 40-pounds have been the better biters with the larger models a little more reluctant. Good quality yellowtail were also in the offing. The Ridge bite continued strong with more signs of wahoo and excellent yellowtail and yellowfin fishing. Things are shaping up well going into the fall.

Big X on the wahoo

The Excel was also on the Ridge fishing an 8-day trip. The boat started with a bang decking over 70 wahoo. The big sportfisher sent this report, “We are out on our Merritt 8-Day trip with an excellent group on board. In this business, timing is everything and we’ve had great timing this trip. So far we’ve had stellar fishing on wahoo (just over 70 now) and trophy yellowtail in the 20- to 40-pound range. The fish bit like crazy, and now the tuna are hitting.”

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Indy down below

The Independence was on the annual John Collins 8-Day trip and found good mixed bag fishing on the Ridge where the bite has been good. The boat with Capt. Matt Kaullen in the wheelhouse sent this report, “We have had steady action down here the past few days on wahoo, yellowtail, and yellowfin tuna. Warm weather has followed us around with the hurricane down below but wow, what gorgeous weather. We are getting along just fine and had a very good day of tuna fishing. We are going to start working up tonight away from the depression down below and will be in search for yellowtail in our travels.”

The next day, the boat found some kelps with yellows and dorado, “We finished our trip off with some yellowtail and topped off on dorado today. Once again hot and gorgeous weather was on our side and we made the best of it. We are breaking down the gear and heading for the barn.”


Intrepid on local bluefin

The Intrepid was on a series of shorter trips targeting the local bluefin bite. The group found good fishing on school-size fish and a nice bonus on quality yellowtail. Capt. Bill Cavanaugh was at the helm and sent this report, “We had an epic day of bluefin tuna fishing yesterday. Daily limits of mostly 25- to 40- pound fish. The best method was a fly-lined sardine with a #1 J hook on 25- or 30-pound line and a fluorocarbon leader. Fluorocarbon does not reflect light as much as regular monofilament, so it is less visible to the fish, which is a better bait presentation that gets more bites. Super fun day in beautifully calm sea conditions. We also picked up 10 yellowtail that were 20 to 25 pounds.”

A second day, more good bluefin action, “Another epic day of fishing for us. Our day started out with mixed yellows and bluefin. Our yellows were good grade from 18 to 30 pounds. As the morning went on, our bluefin fishing got better and better. Five to 8 going for hours. All of our bluefin were 25 to 35 pounds with a couple that should go around 40 pounds. Every one of our bluefin are gilled and gutted and submerged into 32 degree RSW to ensure the best possible quality of the fish. The weather was flat calm all day. A perfect day on the water.”

After returning to the dock, the boat sent this final report, “We had a super fun trip with beautiful weather, great fishing, incredible food, and an awesome group of anglers. Our jackpot winners go as follows: third place went to Dany Hanson with a 36.6-pound bluefin tuna, second place went to John Mayer with a 40.7-pound bluefin tuna, and first place goes to Wade Brown with a 43.5-pound bluefin tuna.”

Angler samples big bluefin

The American Angler was fishing the local bluefin on a James Hardware Charter and ran into a school of the big boys. Capt. Brian Kiyohara was driving the boat and described it this way. “As with all fishermen, we always want to catch a few more but yesterday nature sure gave us a great show. After being MIA for several weeks, the big bluefin reappeared. We looked at them all afternoon but only landed four. The fish we landed weighed 125 to 192 pounds and they proved why they’re such an impressive animal. Congrats to jackpot winners, first place, Willie Suhovy with a 135-pound bluefin tuna, second place, David J. Samarin with a 40.5-pound bluefin and third place, Gabriel Valov with a 37.5-pound bluefin tuna. Hornorable mentions: John Nevarov with his 196, Ted Prohov with his 158, and Joel Valov with his 126.”


Supreme Day

The Polaris Supreme was also on the local bluefin chase and found a great day of fishing on school-size models. The boat sent this report after a full day, “We had a fantastic day of fishing today. Great bluefin tuna fishing. The fish were 20 to 40 pounds and were biting extremely well. Great action from sunrise until 3 p.m. We will be targeting more bluefin and take a shot at the yellowtail tomorrow.”

Star on bluefin

The Royal Star was also on the bluefin grounds finishing up their annual DOI 7-Day. The boat began on the Ridge bagging a mix of yellowfin, yellowtail and a sample of wahoo. The last days were spent in pursuit of bluefin, “A fine day of angling on the anchor for 25- to 40-pound bluefin with a few nice yellows mixed in. Finesse fishing with light line in flat calm weather was an angler’s dream. This afternoon we found a decent area of bluefin that had fish up over 100 pounds boiling around and were able to land six from 70 to 90 pounds with a few shots at bigger ones.”

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