Long range fleet back in action

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Boats depart on 7- and 8-day trips find wahoo and big yellowtail

BY GUNDY GUNDERSON

SAN DIEGO — The San Diego long range fleet was stoked to be back on the water after a long delay. The boats launched the summer schedule with a series of 7- and 8-day trips. The fishing has been good with Alijos Rocks kicking out big, bruiser, home guard yellowtail. In-between, the fleet scrapped with bluefin tuna, school-size to 100-pound class yellowfin and a mix of kelp yellowtail and dorado. The table is set for a summer of good offshore fishing.

Rooster out of the gate

The Red Rooster III began the summer schedule with the annual Jorge Nicifore Memorial 8-Day Trip. The boat made a beeline for Alijos Rocks and was rewarded with stellar yellowtail fishing and a few early season wahoo. The boat sent this report “ Great start to the trip this morning. Arrived at our first destination with a bingo on wahoo and trolled up a few more. Very encouraging sign of things to come. Got the anchor down after the wahoo got sore. We were greeted by these giants. Dropper loops and yo-yo jigs with heavy line enabled us to land bruising home guard yellowtail. Most of the fish were in the 30-pound range with a few pushing 40-pounds. Going to spend the night and see what tomorrow holds.”

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QUALITY YELLOWFIN caught under the float. PHOTO COURTESY OF ROYAL POLARIS SPORTFISHING

 

Star 7-Day

The Royal Star launched the first longer trips of the summer departing on an open 7-day trip. The boat began with some lukewarm local bluefin fishing then moved down the line to fish for Alijos Rocks yellowtail. The results were good. Capt. Randy Toussaint was at the wheel of the storied sportfisher and filed this report, “Great day of angling on quality 25- to 40-pound yellows was quite therapeutic after a slow start. We will give the rocks another day hoping for a repeat bite before starting back up the line in search of tuna.”

The next day was another good one, “Another stellar bite this morning on 25- to 40-pound yellows produced limit style fishing here at the rocks. In addition to the yellows we also boated a couple wahoo so hopefully they start moving in for the upcoming trips. We are traveling up this afternoon looking to target tuna for our last two days.”

A SLUG YELLOWTAIL landed on the Star at Alijos Rocks. PHOTO COURTESY OF ROYAL STAR SPORTFISHING

The trip ended well with the bluefin cooperating, “Finished up the trip today with an excellent all-day drift scratching at 25- to 40-pound bluefin in beautiful weather. They tested our angling skills requiring light line and a perfect bait but most anglers were able to catch their limit. We will be in tomorrow with Tim departing on another 7 day.”

RP 8-Day Open

The Royal Polaris launched the summer schedule with an open 8-day. The boat began on the local grounds and found good mixed-bag fishing. The boat filed this report, “Today was a good day. We had excellent bluefin tuna fishing with a sprinkle of yellowfin and yellowtail in the mix. Most of the bluefin were in the 20- to 30-pound range, with a few larger one’s in the 50- to 60- pound range. The yellowfin were in the 18- to 25-pound category, and the yellowtail were in the 12- to 15-pound class.”

The boat made a move south and found good yellowtail fishing, “Well the bite was on today. It started at 0400 hours, and didn’t stop until we departed at 15:00 hours. The yellows were excellent quality, with most of the fish in the 25- to 35-pound range, with a few going over 40 plus.”

A 100-POUND CLASS yellowfin tuna taken under “the ball”. PHOTO COURTESY OF ROYAL POLARIS SPORTFISHING

On the way up the line, the RP came across a commercial float not much larger than a beach ball. As the boat approached, the sonar lit up, a quick chumline and it was game on. The big sportfisher filed this report, “It was yellowfin tuna, not just your normal school size fish, these were in the 35- to 70-pound range, and a few fish did go over the 100-pound mark. We caught fish on the kite, sardine, and mackerel. It was something out of a storybook ending. Weather today was very good, with clear and sunny skies, and flat seas.”

American Angler fishes local

The American Angler was on a family 3-day trip and found a nice mix of mostly school bluefin, yellowtail and yellowfin tuna. The boat summed up the trip this way, “What a great trip, fishing wise and people wise. We had limits of yellowtail with most fish averaging from 12- to 15 pounds. The bluefin have averaged 25 pounds with a couple of stand outs topped by a 70-pound fish caught by KC Brotherton. Perfect size fish for a family trip.

NINE-YEAR OLD MAYA CASEY with a bluefin taken on a family trip on the American Angler.

Big X on big yellows

The Excel was another boat fishing down below for big yellowtail. The big sportfisher experienced an all-day lollipop on big bruiser yellowtail. The boat sent this report, “Crazy ‘as good as it gets’ fishing for 25- to 40-pound yellowtail. The homeguard fish started biting in the dark and didn’t stop. They were chewing the iron, dropper loops, surface irons, and sliding sinker rigs. Now that we are all done with yellowtail, we are headed back up to the offshore tuna grounds for a couple of days to finish it off. Let’s keep it going.”

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