Long Range Report: Slug yellowtail after dark

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Wahoo, school yellowfin and dorado fill out catch, bluefin down

BY GUNDY GUNDERSON

SAN DIEGO — You can sleep when you get home. It’s an old quote long echoed on long range sportfishers through the years and it refers to those ripper, all-night yellowtail bites. It can be tough to find sleep when you are pulling on wahoo, yellowfin tuna and dorado by day and cranking on big trophy yellowtail by night. It pushes the most veteran long range anglers to the brink of exhaustion. These night bites are some of the best bites you’ll ever see for these hard-fighting jacks — too good to pass up. Meanwhile, the weather outside put the bluefin bite on hold.

Intrepid run and gun

The Intrepid was on the annual Hoo’s Run and Gun 14-Day Trip and began out  west as the bluefin bite petered out. The boat changed gears and headed south finding biting fish. Capt. Bill Cavanaugh filed this report, “We departed on our annual Hoo’s Run and Gun 14-Day Trip a few days ago. Our game plan was to fish bluefin for a couple of days, offload RSW fish to the processors and then head south. We fished bluefin our first day, saw good fish all day, had 3 bites on the kite, missed all 3, and never caught a fish.”

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Angler “Adrian” with a 30-pound Red Rooster III yellowtail.

The report continued, “We changed plans and took off south after day one. We arrived at our destination last night at 2030, made a tank of mackerel and preceded to have an epic night bite on 25- to 45-pound yellowtail. It was as good as it gets. Everyone is stoked. We will try for wahoo today and try for yellows again tonight. We have nothing but time on our hands and we are off to a strong start.”

The next day the boat targeted wahoo, reporting, “We spent all day yesterday trying for wahoo and were able to scratch most of the day. We anchored up for yellows just before dinner and what took place last night was straight out of a book. Just like the night before, these yellows were biting just about every bait that went to the bottom. Guys were fishing straight 100-pound, on a spider hitched dropper loop rig with 7/0 hooks and 16-ounce sinkers. A nose hooked mackerel sent down to the bottom, and you were on. Most of the fish were 30 to 40 pounds with a few bigger. Unbelievable. Another epic night bite. We are scratching at wahoo again this morning and everyone is having a blast.”

NICE BULL on the Star. PHOTO COURTESY OF ROYAL STAR SPORTFISHING

RP on yellows

The Royal Polaris also arrived on the Ridge and began the trip with a bang. Capt. Roy Rose was at the wheel. The boat sent this report, “Oh boy, what a first 24 hours of fishing. We had limit-style yellowtail fishing on 25- to 40-pound yellowtail with a handful of wahoo mixed in. Even though it was our first day of fishing, it started out around 0900 hours and didn’t stop until 0600 hours the next morning.  We had excellent yellowtail fishing, mostly on the dropper-loop.  These were all deep-water yellows, and we did have some tangles in the mix, but you expect that fishing deep-water yellowtail.”

After a grueling first day, a few anglers found it hard to get out of the bunk. “On our second day of fishing, it was like a very limited load charter, with only 5 to 8 anglers fishing most of the day. After a long day and night, most spent the day sleeping. We had an excellent surf and turf dinner tonight, as tri-tip and lobster were on the menu.”

A BEAUTIFUL MOSSBACK taken after dark on the Intrepid. PHOTO COURTESY OF INTREPID SPORTFISHING

Supreme 10-Day

The Polaris Supreme was also down on the Ridge and it was the same game. The boat sent this report, “Day six and seven of the trip were very similar. Both days we had fair pickings on the wahoo on the sardine during the day and incredible, awesome fishing on 30- to 40-pound yellowtail at night. It has been a couple of great days of fishing. Weather was a little breezy but not to bad.”

Day eight and another report, “We spent the morning fishing kelp paddies for dorado and wahoo. The guys kept 14 dorado and released the rest and we had two wahoo get away. The rest of the day was spent traveling and napping. We were really burning the candle at both ends of the stick fishing all day for wahoo and all night for monster yellowtail. The sleep was well earned.”

A FAT WAHOO on the Royal Polaris. PHOTO COURTESY OF ROYAL POLARIS SPORTFISHING
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