BY GUNDY GUNDERSON
SAN DIEGO-The fabled lower banks high spots like the Potato Bank, the Toussaint Bank, the Lusitania, the Morgan Bank and the Golden Gate kicked out more giant yellowfin tuna this week. The chances were limited but the opportunity to hook a fish of a lifetime could not be ignored. The long range fleet landed several more super cows and an impressive catch of cows to solidify these bank fish as some of sportfishing’s meanest. It is an arena where those anglers with big fish skills, shine. Meanwhile, more good catches were reported from Guadalupe Island to go with some quality yellowtail.
With just a short window to fish the lower banks, the American Angler did manage
to land a supercow and a cow. The fish were bonuses on an excellent 8-day trip. The boat sent this short wrap. Paul Masters caught a 213 and a 308. Paul Bunch lost a BIG one close to the boat. Its joy and heartbreak. This friendly and hearty group returned with their limits of tuna, mostly school sized, with a few 100- to 300-pound standouts. The jackpot winners were, 1st place, Paul Masters with a 308-pound yellowfin tuna. (he also had a 216 and is a first timer) 2nd place, Ed Royles with a 219 and 3rd place, Jeff Theurer with a 127-pound yellowfin tuna. The crew is getting a well deserved break to spend the holidays with their loved ones. Next trip is Accurate 14-day departing Jan 3.”
The Independence returned to San Diego with an excellent fall catch. The boat spent a few days on the lower banks and had their shots, the boat sent this wrap, “After a couple of days trophy hunting we started our way up the line in not-so-pretty weather. Slow and easy we are working up the coast and looking for yellowtail to end our trip on. We had quite a few chances at a jumbo tuna the past 3 days. The guys had plenty of action on the school-grade tuna while waiting for the big bite. The excitement really sets in watching the giants blow out of the water and chase a kite bait. We sure would’ve liked to get a few more on deck but our last day was spent seeing a lot more fish that wouldn’t bite. The jackpot winners were 1st place, Randy Gazda with a 268-pound yellowfin tuna, 2nd place, Chris Ferrieri with a 185.5-pound yellowfin tuna and 3rd place, Jeff Morris with a 181-pound-yellowfin tuna.
Intrepid on lower banks
The Intrepid was another state of the art sportfisher plying the southern waters for a trophy. The boat with Sam Moore at the wheel sent this report, “We made a move south to try for trophies, and we arrived on scene first thing yesterday morning. We saw plenty of life when we got our anchor down but it was mostly small fish. After an hour or so of getting established we started seeing sign of big fish. They started crashing around the boat and it didn’t take long before we got our first bite. Long soaks on 100- and 130-pound test with a sardine was the ticket. We had several casualties but managed to put together a nice day. We caught two cows and several others over the 100-pound mark. We are going to stick this out for the next few days in hopes for getting more opportunity.”
The following day a change in conditions, “We tried for trophies again today but it was a little bit slower for us. We did not see the sign of life that we saw the day before. We did manage to scratch up a few yellowfin in the 100-pound class for our efforts.”
The boat returned home and filed this final report, “We returned home this morning with a beautiful catch of yellowfin, yellowtail, dorado and some nice grouper. We had great action everywhere we fished. We were fortunate enough to have beautiful weather for the majority of the trip. Huge thanks to everyone who came out and joined us this year and thank you Tony Garza and Soft Steel for hosting this trip. Jackpot winners for the trip were 1st place, Jarame Beaupre with a 289-pound yellowfin tuna, 2nd place, Mike Urabe with a 278-pound yellowfin tuna, and 3rd place, Keith Macias with a 180-pound yellowfin. We are in for Christmas and we depart for our four day trip the 27th.”
Rooster scores big
The Red Rooster III was also on the lower banks and scored a super cow to go with some hefty cows. The boat sent this report, “Long range legend Ben Kita landed a 304-pound yellowfin, his sixth tuna over the 300-pound mark. What an accomplishment. Congrats to angler Allan Babashoff. He landed a beautiful 276-pound yellowfin on the the annual Mark Moffat 16-13 Day Trip. Bringing in a tuna this large is an art, the crew guides the anglers through the process, and it’s rewarding to see the hard work pay off. We made a little move south last night to try and get out of the wind and ended up with a nice surprise with a couple of giant tuna, Steve Kiesel was lucky enough to pick off this 351-pound tuna.”