Long Range Report: Royal Star starts well on cow grounds

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A BIG YELLOWFIN on the Excel. PHOTO COURTESY OF EXCEL SPORTFISHING
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BY GUNDY GUNDERSON

SAN DIEGO – The cow grounds continued to please with good catches of 100-pound class yellowfin tuna to go with a sample of big fish and terrific wahoo fishing. The Hurricane bank and buffer zone has seen some of the more consistent fishing in recent years. Anglers hope to see a few more trophy fish but all in all it is good fishing. When the tuna fishing has been down, the wahoo bite has filled the time brilliantly. Meanwhile, the rest of the fleet has been targeting the local bluefin tuna on shorter 1.5- to 3-day trips. The results have been good with day bites and night bites producing catches. This week saw more fish ranging from 40- to 60-pounds with a few better kickers over a hundred.

Star on cow grounds

            The Royal Star arrived on the cow grounds bouyed by good fishing on the spots over the last several weeks. Recent trips found good fishing on mid-size fish with a sample of the big ones and very good wahoo fishing. The storied sportfisher with Brian Sims at the wheel sent this first report, “Today we arrived mid-morning in stellar weather. The wahoo were biting, but only a few at a time. The fishing stayed steady through mid-afternoon with a little flash before sunset. By the end of the day we had better than two-a-round on the wahoo and a nice 110-pound yellowfin tuna. With the sign we see and our weather we will stay here for another day, hoping for improved tuna fishing in the morning.”

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KEN MUSHINSKI with a 150 -pound yellowfin. PHOTO COURTESY OF ROYAL STAR SPORTFISHING

The next day, the tuna bit a little better, “We had pretty steady action today from just after daylight until the late afternoon, on both wahoo and tuna. The tuna were 80- to 150-pounds with one standout landed by Frank Argus.”

Another day of fishing and more good results, “Our spectacular weather and good fishing continued today. We had a good morning of tuna fishing with more fish coming into the bank and the average size improving to about 120 pounds. Our best for the day was Warren Sakamoto with a 185. There were a couple of others that hung heavy and for various reasons escaped capture. In the afternoon, we were kept busy by the speedsters of the sea (wahoo). The adrenaline was flowing freely as wahoo went shooting from the stern to the bow with our anglers hopelessly trying to catch up. Overall we were very happy with the day.”

The following day, another good catch, “Another enjoyable day of fishing with a nice mix of tuna and wahoo down here. The weather remains favorable and we are putting together a nice catch. Today Ken Mushinski landed a 150.”

Big X on night-time yellowtail

BRUISER NIGHT yellowtail on the Big X. PHOTO COURTESY OF EXCEL

            The Excel finished up a long trip with a swing through the yellowtail grounds. The boat had good fishing on the southern cow grounds, boating a sample of trophies, good numbers of 100-pound class fish and limits of wahoo. The boat sent this report, “Epic night-bite for giant yellowtail on our last day of fishing. A great way to end the trip. Our internet is back online and we are starting our way back toward home. We had fun fishing on wahoo but the nicer grade tuna were a little harder to come by.”

Intrepid night bite

            The Intrepid was plying the offshore bluefin grounds on a series of shorter trips. Captain Bill Cavanaugh was at the wheel and called in this report, “We departed yesterday morning on a 3-day trip. We found the fish and caught a few before dark. Then at 1 a.m. we fired up the boat. We found a school around 3 a.m. and had a fantastic night-bite. They were biting the FlatFalls on 100-pound really well. Once you got down to 100 feet you were bit. Most of the fish were a real nice grade of 40- to 60- pounds.”

The report continued, “The following day, we caught 20 yellowtail on various kelps. We stayed with a larger school of bluefin for 7 hours. We ended up hooking 8 fish and lost every single one except one that one taped out 11  pound. The fish that we did land, we pulled on for 3 and a half hours.”

Supreme trip

The Polaris Supreme returned from a 1.5-day trip with a good catch of bluefin tuna. Capt. Aliyar called in this morning with this report, “We are on our way home from a 1.5 day trip. We should be at the dock to unload soon. Our group of 25 anglers had limits of bluefin tuna. Ninety percent of the fish were 40- to 50- pounds.”

 

 

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