Long range: Local bluefin cooperate



SAN DIEGO — The Ridge continued to be the go-to spot for the long range fleet. The mixed-bag fishing continued to be good with a few lulls in the action. Wahoo were a little more elusive but each boat did get a sample. The standard game plan on these longer trips has been to finish off with a couple days on the local bluefin grounds. The bite on school-size fish has been good with the big boys showing from time to time.

Supreme fishes a dead whale

The Polaris Supreme was fishing short on a 6-day trip looking for kelps and yellowfin tuna. The boat began fishing on the first day of the trip, “Today we departed on our Simpatico 6-Day Charter. We hustled and had a nice early start to our trip. We decided to start fishing kelp patties for dorado and yellowfin. We found a school of dorado that bit extremely well. Around lunch time we found a large group of beaked whales, pretty amazing sight seeing the group breaching and swimming close to the boat. Later in the day we found a dead pygmy sperm whale with a huge mako shark feeding on it. When we got close it was filled with tons of dorado. There were a few standouts that were much larger than the rest, but the majority were under 15 pounds.”

The next day the boat found a nice school of yellowfin, “The yellowfin tuna we caught were a great grade. Fifteen- to 25-pounds. The key to these nice grade fish was light line and a small hook. Twenty five-to 30-pound test line and a size 2 hook was the ticket.”


Indy and Phenix

The Independence was on the Roger’s Phenix Rods 8-Day and began the trip on the beach breaking up the ride down the line. Capt. Matt Kaullen was at the helm and sent this first report, “We left Saturday on Roger’s Phenix Rods open and we spent the first day traveling down and getting rigged up with high hopes. We had a good showing of premium 18-to 25- pound yellowtail today. Surface iron, yo-yo jigs and the good ol’ fly-line sardine were the hot ticket. The weather was excellent and it was a great way to start off the trip. We are going to be in tuna mode tomorrow looking for yellowfin. The guys are all rigged up in hopes of wahoo as well.”

Upon arriving on the grounds, the boat found good fishing on school yellowfin, “We had a great day of tuna fishing today on 20- to 30-pound fish. A couple of go-rounds on yellowtail and some wahoo. We are camping out in this fine weather and hoping for more hot action again tomorrow.”

Big X 10-day

The Poole built sportfisher Excel was on the annual Gallagher 10-Day Trip and found quality and variety, the hallmark of the longer fall trips. The boat sent this wrap on the successful trip, “We’ve done just about everything on this trip. Caught wahoo, yellowtail, dorado, yellowfin, bluefin, rockfish, grouper, and a cabrilla. A nice ‘mixed bag’ kind of trip. The group decided to finish off in the local zone for the last two days. We looked at an unbelievable amount of fish all day but they didn’t really decide to bite until the sun went down.”


Intrepid wines and dines

The sportboat Intrepid was on the Doug’s Wine and Good Times 8-Day Trip with Capt. Bill Cavanaugh at the wheel. The boat made a bee-line for the Rocks and the Ridge where the mixed-bag bite has been very good. The boat filed this report after the first day, “We started the fishing portion of our trip yesterday at Alijos Rocks. We had a number of stops, picked off quite a few wahoo, but did not see or catch the numbers we were hoping for. We took off for the Ridge late afternoon.”

At the Ridge, the big sportfisher stuggled then moved to the beach. “We experienced very good yellowtail fishing yesterday. We ended up with our daily limits on mostly 12- to 20-pound fish. The yo-yo jig and the fly-lined sardine on 30-pound test were the most productive methods. A super fun day of fishing.”

Star night train

The Royal Star was on the local bluefin grounds and ground away at a catch during the day. But as night fell, the bluefin began to bite. Tim Ekstrom described it this way, “Following a full day of mixed pace action on bluefin in a size range across the board (25 to 150 pounds) most were ready to call it a night after some full-hearted Flat-Falling well into the darkness. Then they hit us like a freight train. For an hour plus it was every drop, every cast. The vast majority of those landed were 80 to 100 pounds. To call the opportunity, the setting, epic, would barely capture the essence. Foremost there is nothing like night fishing for big tuna. It boasts a flavor that no other recreational fishing can match.”


Angler back to back

The American Angler fished back to back 1 ½ day trips. The boat found good fishing on school-size bluefin with a sample of bigger models. The boat sent these reports, “Limits of 25- to 50-pound bluefin tuna in beautiful weather which went down as an all-day plunker ‘til we got it done. Congrats to JP winner, Paul Hokeness with his 96 pounder. The second 1 ½  -day returned with limits of bluefin and a couple of stray yellowfin. It was all-day action for our people and bites were easy to come by later in the afternoon. Congrats to JP winner Robert Hofmann with his 60-pound yellowfin tuna.”

Rooster 6-day

The Red Rooster III returned from a 6-Day that targeted the local bluefin waters. The boat, on an Izorline sposored trip and with Capt. Andy Cates on the bridge, found good fishing on school-size fish and posted these jackpot winners, “First place went to Randy Ambrose with an 85-pound bluefin tuna, 2nd place went to Anthony Mattivi with an 81-pound bluefin and 3rd place went to Jeff Giese with a 48.6-pound bluefin tuna.”