Long range report: Bite hits summer stride

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Bluefin, yellowfin, yellowtail and dorado all in the mix

BY GUNDY GUNDERSON

SAN DIEGO — The long range fleet is in an excellent position with a slew of 4- and 5- day trips on the schedule and a big wad of tuna, yellowtail and dorado just offshore. The tactic has been to find a good kelp, harvest the yellowtail and dorado and wait for the tuna to show. It is a pattern that is proving successful as most boats are returning with plugged holds. The yellowfin have been mostly school size up to 40 pounds and the bluefin have been up to cow size.

Angler returns

The American Angler finished up the Salas Tri-Art 5-Day with a nice catch of trophy bluefin tuna. The boat filed this final report, “The grand finale consisted of several fish over 100 pounds along with several 200 pounders and a group of solid, respectful folks that were a pleasure to watch working together on and off the boat. A gigantic thanks to our friends Matt Salas and Al Tokunaga for sponsoring this trip and the generous giveaways. Many tuna were caught on the Salas heavy chrome 6x & Salas big plug — surface 7x swirled sardine. Congratulation to jackpot winners: 1st place went to Dennis Rose with a 148-pound bluefin tuna, 2nd place went to Mike Beach with a   141.5-pound bluefin tuna and 3rd place went Robby Peterson with a 140-pound bluefin. Honorable mentions were Jesse Miramontez with a 210 and Pat Patrykus Jr. with a 215.

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SALAS AND TRI-ART 5-DAY found good fishing for trophy bluefin. PHOTO COURTESY OF AMERICAN ANGLER SPORTFISHING

Star 8-Day finds ‘hoo

The Royal Star was on the annual Barking Spiders 8-Day. The boat made a beeline to the rocks where it found good yellowtail fishing and a sample of wahoo. The boat, with Tim Ekstrom at the wheel, sent this report: “The first day assessment was adequate to remain and work it again tomorrow. Sign of both ‘skin’ and beautiful grade yellowtail opened the fishing portion of this voyage on the right note and set the stage for more tomorrow. Good weather, fine fishing, good times; a recipe for success all around.”

The following day more quality fish at the Rocks. “A full morning and early afternoon of yankin’ and crankin’ on spirited big yellows determined to prove themselves worthy made way for a couple of high pace evening rounds on wahoo that came as an epic surprise,” Ekstrom continued. “Right into the dark we continued to pick at the ‘skinnies’ until the day was exhausted and the rising moon shut us down. Satisfied with the results we began the return trek north shifting the focus to tuna and offshore fishing on the back end. Prospects in both the local zones and long range are fantastic to be sure.”

A NICE KELP DORADO on the Rooster. PHOTO COURTESY OF RED ROOSTER SPORTFISHING

Good prospects did not quite pan out, “Following a day of northerly travel we arrived on scene offshore to primo conditions and mucho potential. Kelps loaded with yellows and non-biting dorado, scattered sign of tuna showing; all indications were screaming that the time of day would come. And while it did indeed, an afternoon showing was stunning in breadth and potential, they still wouldn’t bite with any serious interests. Again, it’s only a matter of time. With plenty of mixed bluefin, yellows and yellowfin in the bag to call it worthwhile, we’ll be here in spectacular weather to give it another go tomorrow.”

The last day was a bluefin affair, “We finished up the trip this afternoon with a few shots at trophy bluefin in the upper zone. One stop provided an incredible surface display with 150 to 250 pounders blowing out a cast off the stern. We managed to boat 5 from 140 to 160 for our efforts.”

RP slams big bluefin

The Royal Polaris was also on the bluefin grounds and finished with some trophy models. The boat sent this report, “Well we put another great trip in the books today. We had good bluefin tuna action on 110- to 277-pound bluefin. We did have one 40- pound bluefin, but the rest were all over the 100-pound mark.”

FILLING THE SLAMMER on the Big X. PHOTO COURTESY OF EXCEL SPORTFISHING

The boat returned and was back out on the grounds the following day,We arrived at our destination in the early morning hours. The weather was overcast, with a slight breeze, and cool. The action was steady, with most kelps holding yellowtail and dorado under them. We did find some bluefin under our first kelp. The bluefin were in the 30- to 50-pound range. But once the bluefin bite stopped, we went looking. Most of the kelps were holding yellowtail and dorado. The yellowtail were in the 12- to 18- pound range, with a few in the 22- to 30-pound category. The dorado were on the small side, as most were released back to the ocean.”

Independence finds yellowfin

The Independence was also fishing the mixed tuna schools and looking for kelps in-between tuna bites. The boat, with Capt. Matt Kaullen on the bridge, sent this report, “Lots of action today for us to say the least. We had limit-style fishing for 25-pound class yellowfin and good kelping for yellowtail and some dorado. Everyone on board got their shot. We hope for more of the same tomorrow. The group is having a great time and the fish stories are rolling.”

The boat finished strong, “Yet another great day of fishing. Lots of kelp holding yellowtail and literally tons of tuna. We were very fortunate to get a sample of both bluefin and yellowfin. The bluefin are far more reluctant to bite but the yellowfin make up for it with aggressive action-packed fishing. We have had a great trip and have a great catch on board.”

A NICE BLUEFIN STOP on the RP. PHOTO COURTESY OF ROYAL POLARIS SPORTFISHING

Rooster fishes Accurate 4-Day

The Red Rooster was offshore targeting the good mix of bluefin, yellowfin, yellowtail and dorado in the lower zone. The boat sent this report, “Fun fishing on our Accurate 4-Day Trip. Mixed bag of yellowtail, yellowfin tuna, bluefin tuna, and some dorado. Good kelp paddy action all-day long. Going to spend some more time down here.”

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