BY GUNDY GUNDERSON
SAN DIEGO – After solid fall and early winter fishing along the Baja peninsula, climaxing in a bevy of cows and super cows taken off the lower banks in a spectacular run of fishing, the long range fleet turned to the traditional winter cow grounds of the Hurricane Bank and buffer zone. There is always great anticipation on these early trips, with hopes to gauge the season’s potential. The weather was up this week and the early days have proved to be a scratch. On the local front, shorter trips are scoring bluefin on the backside of San Clemente.
Rooster and Seeker
The Red Rooster arrived on the cow grounds after picking up passengers in Cabo on the Seeker sponsored 9-Day fly down/ fly back trip with Bob Peterson from Accurate Reels. The boat sent this brief report with typical long trip Wi-Fi trouble, “ The weather has been coming down nicely as we arrived on the spot. We had a good action on 25- to 40- pound yellowfin tuna but nothing bigger in the mix. After half a day of that, we moved on to check out another bank for no sign. We are going to make a move tonight and see what’s in store for us next.
RP goes long
The Royal Polaris was also down below experiencing the same lukewarm fishing. The boat, also with Wi-Fi trouble sent this message. “Slow Start. We arrived at our destination around 10:45 hours, did a little looking, but there was not much to see. So we anchored up, began fishing, and the kite started the first action of the day.”
The report continued, “We would land a couple of 120-pound fish to get the day started. But the action was far from being fast and heavy, it was more like a slow pick. We would make it through the kite rotation, but with not many fish to show for it. In the late afternoon, the sharks would start to make a showing, but that’s not what we came out here for. Most of the fish today were in the 80- to 120-pound range, with one around 160.”
Flying fish were the top kite bait so a plan was laid for the following day.”We will try to make a tank of flyers tonight, and see what the bank will produce tomorrow. Weather today was 12 to 15 knots, with very little sea, sunny and warm.”
AA on the cow grounds
The American Angler was also on the grounds kicking off 2022 after an excellent 2022 campaign. Capt. Brian Kiyohara was at the wheel and sent this brief message, “As is often the case on these long trips, communications are not as available as on the shorter voyages. It has been a slow scratch all day. We have had a handful of better ones mixed in. Minnesota Joe picked up a 248 and Galen decked a 188. Everyone is doing well.”
Big X on the cow grounds
The sportfisher Excel was also on the cow grounds looking to put a few cows on the deck. The boat sent this report, “We’re rolling right along here down at the Bank. The weather has been a little unpleasant the last few days which has made for less than ideal conditions. The fishing is still good with the tuna up to 150 pounds and a fair amount of wahoo for the group. The reports show the weather backing off tonight and should produce nice conditions from here on out. We’ll keep at em.”
Supreme on local bluefin
The Polaris Supreme started the new year on the local bluefin grounds continuing a streak
of successful bluefin trips extending back to last season. The boat with Capt. Aliyar on the bridge filked this report, “We started off the new year right where we left off. Captain Aliyar called in from the 3 day trip with 25 bluefin from 40 to 80 pounds. There is plenty of time left to fish today and the guys are hoping to add more to the count.”
After finishing the trip the boat sent this final report, “Off to a great start to 2022. We returned from our 3 day this morning with 32 bluefin tuna. While we had to work for the fish we landed, there was an excellent sign of bluefin in the area and our anglers had opportunities at some nice grade fish. We had bluefin tuna up to 110 pounds, but most were in the healthy 60- to 80-pound range. Nothing like catching quality bluefin on flyline sardines in January. We are headed in to boat work.”