Long Range: Excellent bluefin fishing, fleet fishes short

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THREE GAFFS on the Intrepid. PHOTO COURTESY OF INTREPID SPORTFISHING
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BY GUNDY GUNDERSON

SAN DIEGO — With a couple of boats in transit to the cow grounds, the remaining long range fleet fished short and hammered the local bluefin tuna. The better bites took place at night with wide-open action on the knife and flutter jigs. The quality of the fish has been excellent with a few cows, lots of 100-pound class fish and a nice batch of 40- to 60-pound models. The day bites have been plunker bites. Overall it has been limit fishing. Because of the quality of the fish and the good bite, quite a few new short trips are being added to the schedule.

A BIG JIG FISH at night on the Intrepid. PHOTO COURTESY OF INTREPID SPORTFISHING

Intrepid on the bluefin

            The Intrepid returned from the yard with a vengeance, putting together a string of excellent catches of bluefin tuna. The first trip got things off to good start. Capt. Bill Cavanaugh filed this report, “We departed on an extended 1.5-day trip Tuesday morning. After loading bait, we cleared the point at noon and headed to the fishing grounds. We got on an okay school of bluefin around 10:00 and picked up 4. At around 10:45 we got on a good school of 40- to 60-pound bluefin and it was game on. We picked up our first days limits by 11:45 with 52 bluefin. At around 2:00 a.m. we located another good school that wanted to bite and picked up our second day’s limits of bluefin by 3:45 a.m. These were smaller fish and were 20 to 30 pounds. What a night. Everyone was pumped.”

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The report continued, “We returned home this morning at 0530 with trip limits of bluefin tuna on an extended 1.5-day trip, 104 bluefin tuna that were mostly 30 to 59  pounds. Our jackpot winner for the trip was Paul Flack with a 59.9-pound bluefin tuna.”      The boat was back out on a 3-day with similar results. “We are having a good 3-day trip and are experiencing some good bluefin fishing. We are on the last fishing day of the trip and are currently in a plunker bite with 80- to 90-pound fish. So far we have landed 5 out of this and are currently fighting two others. The quality of the fish we’ve seen this trip is very good with 30 or more over 80 pounds, 3 or 4 over 100 pounds, with the rest between 40 and 60 pounds. We have close to 100 bluefin now for the trip. We have high hopes for tonight.”

A NICE JIG FISH on the Intrepid. PHOTO COURTESY OF INTREPID SPORTFISHING

The boat returned with some biggies. “We arrived back to Point Loma Sportfishing this morning at 0630 with a beautiful catch of bluefin. Our jackpot fish are as follows: third place went to Charley McGee with a 162.4-pound bluefin, second place went to Allen Schneider with a 194.2-pound bluefin, and first place goes to George Wong with a 241.9-pound bluefin. Thank you to everyone that fished with us, it was a pleasure.”

After a quick turnaround, the boat was back out on another 3-day. “We departed on our 3-day trip yesterday with a great load of bait and we made our way down to the fishing grounds. On our way down, we hosted our bluefin nighttime and daytime seminars and got everyone prepped for action. When we arrived on scene we saw plenty of sign but it didn’t really want to bite. Once nighttime came around we had a few short stops for one to three fish but it wasn’t what we were looking for. We searched all night until around two in the morning and the ocean decided to come to life. We got on a school of mostly 60- to 90-pound fish and every drop with a knife jig was a trophy bluefin. Once the dust settled, we ended our night with daily limits. We are going to keep hunting for this bluefin in hopes to get a shot during the day.”

Indy on the BFT, too

            The Independence was also on the grounds putting together good bluefin scores. The big sportfisher with Capt. Matt Kaullen at the wheel sent this report: “We’ve been grinding away at this bluefin the past couple days and nights and have put together a nice catch thus far. Best fishing is in the dark hours and we are starting to see the 100-pound-plus fish. We had a busy night last night with fish up to 185 pounds and 17 over 100 pounds. We are gonna give it another shot tonight before heading in and hoping to end on a bang.”

A 241-POUND COW landed by George Wong. PHOTO COURTESY OF INTREPID SPORTFISHING
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