Long Range Report: Trips, short and long, find good fishing

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Yellowtail, yellowfin, bluefin, dorado and wahoo all in the mix

BY GUNDY GUNDERSON

SAN DIEGO — The long range fleet is in the midst of the best run of fishing this season. The longer trips are finding wide-open yellowtail fishing, school yellowfin and good samples of wahoo down below. The boat then finishes up in the offshore upper zone. Shorter trips are also making hay in this upper zone decking chunky yellowfin tuna, school and trophy size bluefin tuna and some kelp dorado and yellowtail. From day and a half to 8-day, the fiishing has been very good.

Intrepid 8-day

The 8-day trips have been outstanding this summer combining a trip to the Rocks or ridge for tanker yellowtail and a sample of wahoo and a return to local waters for trophy bluefin fishing. The Intrepid with Capt. Bill Cavanaugh at the helm was on one of those excellent trips. The veteran skipper opened with this report, “We experienced some incredible fishing to start out our 8-day adventure. We located a new body of yellowfin tuna mid-morning that was as good as it gets. Numerous spots of fish that were very eager. Wide open yellowfin tuna fishing in flat calm weather was an absolute joy. We also had some dorado in the mix. We looked for yellowtail for the rest of the day and in the late afternoon we connected. Good fishing on mostly 18- to 30-pound yellowtail just before dark.”

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THE THREE CARTER BROTHERS tag teamed this nice bluefin. PHOTO COURTESY OF ROYAL STAR SPORTFISHING

The boat sent this final report, “We returned to Point Loma Sportfishing this morning at 0500 with a nice catch of yellowfin tuna, yellowtail, grouper, and wahoo. Our jackpot winners are as follows: third place went to Anthony Maingot with a 35.5-pound yellowtail, second place went to JC Wileman with a 36.9-pound yellowtail, and first place goes to Leon Vanholsbeke with a 38.8-pound yellowtail. Honorable mention goes to Doug Delany with a 135-pound bluefin tuna.”

Big X 8-day

The Excel was also on an 8-day trip with Capt. Justin Fleck at the wheel. The boat found favorable conditions upon arrival. The long-time skipper sent this report, “We are out on our Tuna Rodeo 8-Day Trip where we decided to start our trip off down below. Yesterday we had excellent fishing on school-sized yellowfin tuna and yellowtail with a few dorado in the mix, as well. After everyone had a few in the sack, we made a move last night and so far its paying off. Steady wahoo fishing to start, and big yellows on the yo-yo jigs to end the day. Hoping for more of the same for tomorrow.”

A SLUG WAHOO landed on the Big X. PHOTO COURTESY OF EXCEL SPORTFISHING

RP 8-day

The Royal Polaris was another boat on an 8-day trip with ideal conditions down below. The venerable sportfisher with Capt. Roy Rose at the wheel sent this first report, “We arrived at our destination around 0430 hours, and it didn’t take long for the yellowtail to start biting. Most of the yellows were in the 25- to 40-pound range and were caught on the dropper-loop and yo-yo iron. Once we ran out of mackerel, the bite slowed down considerable. We made a short move and started trolling for wahoo, and we would get most of our passengers at least one wahoo for the day. Top trolling lure for today was the Russell Double “D” Hot Pink.”

Star fishes short

The Royal Star has been on a series of shorter trips targeting local bluefin schools. Capt. Brian Sims was on the bridge to begin a 3-day, “We departed on the Let’s Talk Hook-Up 3-Day with a great load of bait and good weather. We got off to a quick start with a handful of stops on 30-to 35-pound bluefin for the afternoon. We will be offshore searching for more tuna tomorrow. Todd Wendell came up with our lone yellowfin today a beautiful 35-pounder.”

The trip finished with a bang, “We started off in the local tuna zone for a couple of handfuls of 30-pound bluefin and a handful of 25- to 30-pound yellowfin. By late morning we weren’t seeing much so we decided to go looking. In the afternoon we found an area of large bluefin and had some very exciting fishing. Seeing 150- to 170- pound tuna blowing out on our baits is a sight that few have seen and none forget. Everyone onboard got to pull on at least one of these giants. What a way to end a 3-day trip.”

ALIJOS ROCKS PHOTO COURTESY OF INTREPID SPORTFISHING

Supreme on the whales

The Polaris Supreme was on a 4-day and found a spot of fin whales that was holding. The boat sent this report, “Today we spent the day chasing fin whales and bird schools, there were very nice schools of yellowfin associated with them. The tuna ranged from 8 to 40 pounds. In addition to that, there were some dorado around. Lots of life.”

Indy goes local

The Independence was on a series of local trips targeting the good bluefin fishing. Capt. Brian Pifer filed this report after a 1 ½ trip. “Killer way to end our 1.5-day. Limits of bluefin tuna from 25 to 40 pounds, 3 bluefin at 70 pounds. Also had pretty good sign of yellowfin tuna. We ended with 23 yellowfin. The amount of fish out there right now is impressive.”

A DANDY GROUPER on the surface iron. PHOTO COURTESY OF INTREPID SPORTFISHING
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