BY GUNDY GUNDERSON
SAN DIEGO– With great anticipation, the first boat in the long range fleet arrived at Guadalupe Island. After some trepidation about permits, post pandemic, the fleet was thrilled at the issuance of permits and eager to open up new fishing grounds and another option. The initial reports are promising as the American Angler boated a nice catch of 70- to 140-pound fish. The island offers a good option to offshore bluefin and coastal yellowtail. Meanwhile, the rest of the fleet kept the pedal down on the bluefin tuna with more and more school yellowfin showing.
Angler fishes Guadalupe
The American Angler arrived at Guadalupe Island as the first boat in months to fish the island. There have been few reports but based on time of the year, the fishing should be heating up. The boat, with Capt. Ray Lopez at the wheel, sent this first, highly anticipated, report, “Arrived this afternoon and saw a good sign of fish. A four hour drift produced 32 fish from 70- to 110-pounds with a few 40 pounders mixed in. Here we go.”
After another day of action, more good sign, “Steady, steady fishing on 70- to 140-pound yellowfin with the average size at about 100-pounds. There were some heartbreaks, for sure, but in the end, everyone onboard is a winner
RP on bluefin
Meanwhile back on the ranch, the rest of the fleet was fishing bluefin tuna with more and more school yellowfin showing. The big sportfisher sent this report, “We started fishing this new area in the dark. We scored several bluefin ranging from 150- to 230-pounds. Once the sun came up, we fished breezers and flat-spots all day long, making for plenty of drifts. Most drifts kicked out a few fish at a time. These daytime fish were an average of 25-to 45- pounds. We did hook a big one but we were not able to land it.”
The report continued, “Once night rolled around, we got another short window to try for those bigger tuna on Flat-Falls. We managed a few more big bluefin anywhere from 120- to 150- pounds. At the moment we are now heading home. I just want to give a huge thanks to our charter master Louis Matsumura and Hi’s Tackle for putting on this great four-day trip with all of the great tackle, gear, and hats that came with. It was an amazing time with an outstanding group of people.”
The Independence was also on the bluefin grounds with Capt. Brian Pifer on the bridge. The vessel was on a 3-day trip. The skipper sent this report, “What a show the bluefin put on for us today. Incredible sign of fish of all sizes. Schools of 20-40- pound fish. all the way up to 100 to 200 pounders. We ended our day with 34 bluefin with 3 over a 100 pounds. We ended our 3 day trip with solid finish.”
The jackpot winners were as follows, 1st place, Paul Rubio with a120-pound bluefin, 2nd place David Kobzeff with a 112-pound bluefin and 3rd place, Daniel Lutz with a 93-pound bluefin.
Polaris Supreme on bluefin
The Polaris Supreme has been on the bluefin for a few months with good results. Capt Aliyar offered this tip for anglers now departing, “Although we are seeing some flurries of big fish at night and a few during the day, a lot of our recent fishing has been on 25- to 40-pound test fly-line setups. The smaller Mutu circle hooks and fluorocarbon should be included in the tackle for your next trip. Additionally, be sure to have an assortment of heavier gear from 60- to100- pound for sinker rigs and jigs should the opportunity arise.”
After a little down time, the Red Rooster launched into the summer schedule with a local bluefin trip, “Nice day yesterday with a 6 hour drift in the morning with fish from 20- pounds up to 80- pounds. Had to stop and go fishing in the afternoon for more of this mid-grade fish in great weather. Had a night on smaller grade fish last night with pretty good action just no bigger fish. Pete Peterson did pick off a 65- pound Escelar or ‘Oil Fish’ as they are called. Delicious for the table.”
The Royal Star finished up a stellar 8- day on the bluefin grounds looking for a jackpot fish. The boat sent this final report, “The perfect closing note concluding the annual Barking Spiders 8-Day with a full day, and night, of exclusive trophy bluefin action. Fish from 150 to 220 were the standard with a slim few in the 120 to140 category. Already boasting a boomer catch of yellowtail and bonus wahoo in the RSW tanks, the trophy bluefin vaulted this voyage into the legendary category.”