Long Range Report: Night bite on big yellows

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Weather slows bluefin bite out west

BY GUNDY GUNDERSON

SAN DIEGO – The beauty of the 8- and 10-day long range trips is the range of territory and the diversity of species. Under most conditions, skippers can find a willing biter. This week, the boats scratched at the bluefin out west, filling out a jackpot, but made hay at the Rocks and Ridge on epic night bites on big mossback yellowtail. The final catch was a mix of big yellowtail, school yellowfin tuna, gangbuster dorado and hard pulling grouper. The wahoo bite was slowed but catches were made at first light. The weather came up on the outside and the bluefin bite deteriorated.

Intrepid 10-day

The Intrepid departed on the annual Larry Brown 10-Day Trip with the bluefin bite still going. The boat steamed out west and sampled the fish. Capt. Sam Moore was at the wheel and sent this first report, “We departed on our Larry Brown 10-Day and started our trip out to the west targeting bluefin. We were fortunate and were able to scratch away at 25- to 180-pound fish. Fly-lined baits with light line was the ticket for the smaller grade fish and Flat-Falling in the evening was the ticket for the heavier models.”

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TUNA TOM with a nice bluefin tuna on the Star. PHOTO COURTESY OF ROYAL STAR SPORTFISHING

The boat stayed another day, “We spent one more morning trying for bluefin and we scratched away at 25- to 40-pound fish. We had a few shots at some bigger models later in the day but it was not enough to keep us around. We are making our way south now in hopes to kick it off with some wahoo fishing.”

After a steam down south, the boat tangled with yellowfin tuna, “We started our day first thing in the morning anchored up and we had a wide open bite on good grade yellowfin. Most of our fish were 18 to 35 pounds. We lost our conditions and trolled around for wahoo but didn’t have much to show for our efforts. We did a little more looking around and located a school of yellowfin and got the anchor down. It was wide open 18- to 35-pound fish for the better part of 3 hours. Once the dust had settled, we had our daily limits of that beautiful grade fish. Every bait off the corner was a fish. Everyone is tired and we are making a move in hopes for a little more variety.”

Another day, another species, “We arrived on scene to our destination around 10 p.m. and we had tons of life on us when we got the anchor down. Almost immediately guys started dropping down with dropper loops and as soon as they hit the bottom they were bit. The first two fish that came up were 35-pound class yellowtail. Everyone started to drop down and it turned in to a wide open bite on 30- to 50-pound class yellowtail. A bite to remember. 100-pound test gear with a dropper loop rig and a mackerel with super-tight drag was the key to keeping these monsters out of the rocks. The fish kept biting all night long.  As soon as the sun came up, the show was over and we moved on. We managed to catch a few wahoo throughout the day before we left to start working up the line.”

A SLUG YELLOWTAIL on the Rooster. PHOTO COURTESY OF RED ROOSTER SPORTFISHING

RP 10-day

The Royal Polaris was also down below on the annual Hi’s Tackle 10-Day Trip. The boat arrived with wahoo at the top of the list. Crewman Dharyl Shelbourne posted this report, “Today we were on the hunt for wahoo that just didn’t want to show so we went looking for some dorado and boy, did we find them. After about an hour, we had all we needed and went on the hunt for something else. We found what we were looking for in the form of groupers. We ended our day catching several of them.”

The boat made a move for Alijos Rocks, “We arrived at the rocks around 2100 hours and made bait. After about an hour, we had all we needed and started to fish for yellowtail. It didn’t take long for the first one to come aboard and it was a steady bite on 25-to 35-pound yellowtail with a few pushing the 45-pound mark. By 0300 it started to slow down and most of the passengers stopped fishing and went to bed. We are going to start it up again in a few hours.”

Rooster on yellows

The Red Rooster was also down on the Rocks catching large-size yellowtail. The boat sent this short message, “Trophy yellowtail. Going to stay for another night in hopes of another night bite. Largest fish was Bruno’s personal best, a 45-pound yellowtail”

Star out west

The Royal Star headed out west to begin the Ventura 10-Day Trip. The bite was slowing and the weather was coming up. Brian Sims was on the bridge and sent this message, “We headed west to chase bluefin and found some success. We had a few during the day. In the dark, a few more. A few in the morning and just one this afternoon. We may be heading south.”

DANDY NIGHTTIME fish on the Royal Polaris. PHOTO COURTESY OF ROYAL POLARIS SPORTFISHING
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