Long Range: local bluefin bite draws fleet’s attention

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BY GUNDY GUNDERSON

Cow quality fish in 1.5-day range; Indy arrives at Hurricane Bank

SAN DIEGO — Once again, the volume of fish, the quality of fish and their current propensity to bite could not be ignored by the long range fleet. No where on the long-range itinerary can produce a catch equivalent to quality of big bluefin tuna being caught on the local grounds. To this end, many of the long range boats are front-loading their schedule with local bluefin trips. It is an excellent opportunity for an angler to step up to the enhanced experience provided by these highly professional operations. Meanwhile, the Independence arrived at the Hurricane Bank looking for a catch of giant tuna and to take part in the recent, red-hot wahoo fishing.

Epic trip ends

The Royal Polaris had a trip for the ages. The portion of the voyage, down on the cow grounds, at the Hurricane Bank, was excellent with the landing of two super cows, a handful of cows and a wahoo catch that stacked up like cord wood. As if that wasn’t enough, the big sportfisher, under the guidance of Capt. Roy Rose, took a swing through the local bluefin grounds in search of a cherry on top. The boat found it in the form of a ripper bluefin night bite.

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The boat sent this report, “Oh, what a night. The bite started at 0230 and after 4 hours of epic bluefin tuna fishing. We had daily limits of bluefin. Most of the fish were in the 120- to 150-pound range with a few in the 160- to 195-pound range and four over 200-pounds. The largest fish was caught by Eric Thomas, on a glow in the dark Flat-Fall.”

The report continued, “All of the fish were caught on some type of lure that sinks, the Daiwa Saltiga SK Jig, the Shimano Flat-fall and other knife jigs. Everyone caught fish tonight. Wee had 54 bluefin tuna from 100- to 232-pounds. We had 17 personal bests this morning, and Jim Woody caught his first bluefin tuna, and it was over 150 pounds. Most of the crew is sleeping now, as well as our passengers. What an end to a 16-day trip.”

AA goes local

The American Angler kicked off their schedule with a series of local trips targeting 1 half-day trophy bluefin tuna. The early trips have been a success with the bluefin cooperating and lots of big fish in the mix. The boat sent this report, “Capt Ray called in with limits of 60- to 170-pound bluefin this morning.”

A 205 COW landed on the Angler. PHOTO COURTESY OF AMERICAN ANGLER SPORTFISHING

The boat returned to the dock, loaded a new group of passengers and returned with another good result,

“Today, we had limits of bluefin tuna ranging from 60- to 174-pounds, and congrats to Tony Delmonte with his 174. Spent some time with the people at the top of the dock this morning and had more than one angler say that the people, crew and weather were exceptional and the fishing was just icing on the cake.”

Indy starts fast

The Independence began a 16-day trip with high hopes. The Hurricane Bank fishing has been good this spring. With the RP just completing back-to-back excellent trips the Indy crew was primed for action.

The boat with Capt. Matt Kaullen at the wheel sent this report, “Off to a good start. We departed a few days ago on our Graftech Rods/ Avet Reels 16-Day. Rick Ozaki brought a crazy amount of gear to give away including rods/ reels, terminal tackle and all sorts of good old swag. We started out with a nice wahoo bite to get warmed up. So far the tuna have been ranging from 90 to 200-pounds and have made their showing. The water is warm and so is the weather. We are picking away down here and we will check back in soon.”

A BIG BANK YELLOWFIN landed on the Indy. PHOTO COURTESY OF INDEPENDENCE SPORTFISHING

After a few days, the boat checked in again, “We have been hard at work down here wrestling wahoo and yellowfin tuna. The wahoo fishing has been epic everyday, and the fish are fat and healthy. We have been picking away at yellowfin tuna in the 70- to 170-pound class, and today they made a good showing. We have good weather and lots of time to capitalize. We hope to keep up the pace and get a few more shots at a big ones.”

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