Long range report: Ridge lights up

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BY GUNDY GUNDERSON

SAN DIEGO — As we creep toward fall, the many high spots that make up the Ridge are showing signs of life that bode well for a period of fishing that’s often the best of the year. Vast schools of yellowfin tuna, yellowtail mounted on the high spots and slippery packs of wahoo greeted long range anglers this week. Grouper and kelp dorado nicely filled out the catch. The local bluefin schools have seemed to spread out making for some hit and miss fishing. But big coastal and kelp yellowtail have provided fast action on tuna down days.

Intrepid wahoo

The Intrepid was on the annual Soft Steel 8-Day patrolling the Ridge in search of the skinnies. The bite on the speedsters has been hit and miss as of late. The big sportfisher’s timing was right. The boat with Capt. Bill Cavanaugh at the wheel found some willing biters, “It is Saturday afternoon and we are having some good wahoo fishing going on here today. We are pretty stoked on it. We have close to 50 wahoo on board for the day, for only 20 passengers. It’s been pretty action-packed here for the last few hours to deck 50.”

A BIG YELLOW taken by a lady angler on the Angler. PHOTO COURTESY OF AMERICAN ANGLER SPORTFISHING

Another day on the Ridge, more good fishing, “What a great day we just had. We experienced very good yellowfin tuna fishing in the morning on mostly 12- to 20-pound fish. These fish were biting so aggressively that our good friend James Ashman was bit every cast on the artificial for about 15 casts in a row. We ended up having a solid day on the wahoo as well. Our weather was flat calm all day. We ended up with our daily limits of yellowfin tuna, 15 yellowtail, 2 dorado, and 33 wahoo. Our hot stick for the day was Jeff Tyler who picked up 5 wahoo. Everyone is stoked. We are working north now. Life is good.”

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RP 8-day

The Royal Polaris was on the Carnes Brothers 8 Day Trip prowling the Ridge for anything that would bite. The boat with Capt. Roy Rose on the bridge sent this report, “The weather, was just perfect until about noon, then it got hot.  But that’s okay, because the fishing also was hot and heavy. We had another good day of yellowtail and yellowfin tuna, with some dorado mixed in. The yellowtail are the highlight of the trip so far, and numbers and size are very good. Most of the yellowtail were in the 20- to 30- pound range, with a handful of 15- to 20-pound fish mixed in. The yellowfin are in the 12- to 18-pound range, with some going over 30 pounds. Yo-yo, fly-line sardines, sliding sinker, and dropper-loop. We also caught our first wahoo of the trip, with some grouper mixed in as well.”

A NICE BINGO on the wahoo posed on the deck of the Intrepid. PHOTO COURTESY OF INTREPID SPORTFISHING

A day later, more wahoo showed up, “Well things continue to be good for the Royal Polaris. We spent some time trolling for wahoo today and it paid off with some jumbo size fish. Most of the wahoo were in the 45- to 60-pound range. We also caught yellowfin, yellowtail, grouper, dorado, and wahoo. The wahoo and yellowtail all were very good grade, with the yellowfin being that same Ridge-size fish. There is no shortage of yellowfin and yellowtail on the ridge.”

Indy down below

The Independence was also down on the Ridge experiencing the same excellent fishing. Capt. Matt Kaullen was in the wheelhouse and sent this report after a couple days in the saddle, “We have had some good yanking and cranking the last two days for yellowfin tuna, yellowtail, dorado, and a few wahoo. Nice, warm weather down here and we are happy with the set-up. Good grade yellowtail and good grade 20- to 25- pound tuna has kept us busy. We are going to try it again tomorrow and hope for some more.”

After another solid day the boat traveled north looking for kelps, “We did some kelping today and got our limit of dorado on the way up. Good weather and a good time today. Beautiful fish that put on a great show. Always a crowd pleaser.”

KAYLEE WATTS with a Star yellowtail. PHOTO COURTESY OF ROYAL STAR SPORTFISHING

Supreme 6-day

The Polaris Supreme was on an open 6-day and the decision was made to target the local offshore bluefin and yellowtail. The boat jumped right into the fish but they did not cooperate. “Today we started out our six-day trip locally. There was excellent sign of 20- to 30-pound yellowfin tuna. However, they did not cooperate that well. We are headed west in search of larger bluefin.”

The next day the boat found fish more willing to bite, “Today we spent the morning catching quality yellowtail and school-size bluefin tuna. The yellows were a great grade, 15 to 30 pounds. The trick was light line and small hooks. The tuna were not the bigger grade we were targeting, so the search will continues. We will try a new area tomorrow.”

Star on the beach

The Royal Star was finishing up a 5-day with a shot at coastal yellowtail. Capt. Tim Ekstrom described the day in this way, “A fantastic morning of yellowtail fishing along the beach featuring abundant rail time, epic scenery, and fine quality. For a day of long range action on the coast we could not have asked for more. Spot fishing throughout and ending in a stunning sundown, the day was completed in high fashion. Less a complaint in our blessed microcosm we commenced the passage north with plans to fish along the beach and offshore tomorrow depending on conditions.”

BENDO ON A GROUPER aboard the RP. PHOTO COURTESY OF ROYAL POLARIS SPORTFISHING

Angler returns

The American Angler was on a 3-day trip targeting local bluefin and yellowtail. Veteran Skipper Capt. Brian Kiyohara was driving the boat and sent this message, “We’ve been having great bluefin fishing and ended the trip with limits. We also had a nice catch of yellowtail. Our group returned, tended to our catch and headed home to begin preparations to share their catch and enjoy it themselves. A huge thanks to Michelle Uesugi and Tim Kimura for carrying on the tradition of being gracious hosts. Congrats to JP winners: 1st place, Bryan Sherman with a 45-pound bluefin tuna, 2nd place, Allen Kizuka with a 37-pound yellowtail and 3rd place, Russell Fujizawa with a 34.5-pound yellowtail.”

GROUPER LANDED. PHOTO COURTESY OF ROYAL POLARIS SPORTFISHING
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