Long Range: Weather up: wind and swell hamper fleet; weather improves by week’s end

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A FATTY ‘LUPE yellowfin landed on the AA. PHOTO COURTESY OF AMERICAN ANGLER SPORTFISHING
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BY GUNDY GUNDERSON

SAN DIEGO – After slow fishing on the back side of the moon, foul weather stepped in and furthered the frustration of the long range fleet. Early in the week, most boats scrambled for the protection of the beach. But with the weather coming down, boats again ventured offshore. By week-end, the bite on the bluefin grounds rebounded. Guadalupe picked up and boats venturing down to the Ridge and Rocks found improved conditions and good fishing. With a slate of 8 and 10 day trips beginning to depart, the focus down below will now intensify.

AA returns with jumbos

The American Angler returned from ashort trip with a load of big bluefin tuna. The boat’s timing was right for a brief few days of big fish fishing. The boat sent this report, “Bob Hara and company had 10 bluefin tuna from 120 to 232 pounds. Four of the fish were cows. Another 9 fish went 60 to 100 pounds. The guys returned this morning with 19 jumbo bluefin, 30 respectable yellowtail and a few smaller bluefin. A huge thanks to Bob Hara for his generosity on this trip and his year round support for the American Angler. The JP winners were Galen Steward with a 208 (he had 2 cows), Daniel Kanan with a 202 and John Tuttle with a 125.”

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GROM with a surface iron yellow on the RP. PHOTO COURTESY OF ROYAL POLARIS SPORTFISHING

RP fights the weather

The Royal Polaris was on a short 1 ¾ Day Fins & Feathers trip targeting local bluefin tuna. Unfortunately, the weather was up and the boat sent this report, “Windy, windy, windy. Today we departed on a 1.75 day trip. We headed to the bait barge, loaded up on fresh sardines and headed for points west. But we didn’t know what was in store for us. The beautiful weather we had the trip before, turned into 18 to 22 knots of breeze. Up and down we go. Not only was it impossible to fish for the jumbo bluefin, but I don’t think we could have landed one. So we headed to the yellowtail zone, dropped our anchor and we will see what we can do in the morning.”

The following day, this report, “The Fins & Feathers Trip is in the books. We didn’t light the world on fire tonight, but we did get some quality fish for our passengers. Top fish today tapped out at 234- pounds. That jumbo came on the kite, on the Polaris flyer. We finished off with some nice yellowtail and beautiful bluefin tuna.”

Big X on 10-day

The Excel was on the annual Gallagher 10-Day Trip. The boat arrived on the Ridge and sent this first report, “We are currently out on our Gallagher 10-Day trip and things are going great. Very good fishing on yellowtail, school yellowfin, and grouper with a few wahoo now starting to hit the deck. Excellent late summer/fall fishing going on right now.”

A BEAUTIFUL GROUPER on the Big X. PHOTO COURTESY OF EXCEL SPORTFISHING

Indy and Young’s

The Independence finished up the annual Young’s Tackle 8-Day Trip. The boat found all they needed down on the Ridge and Rocks. The boat sent this report on the way up the line, “We have buttoned things up here and are on our way home. We have had good traveling weather on our way up and feeling good about our catch. We are very fortunate to run into some awesome fishing this week. We started off with wahoo followed by an insane yellowtail bite a nice shot at beautiful mahi and ended with as good as it gets tuna action. The Young’s Tackle gang has done it again and pulled off a trip for the books.”

COMING IN HOT on the Intrepid. PHOTO COURTESY OF INTREPID SPORTFISHING

Intrepid down below

The Intrepid was on an 8-day trip plying the waters on the Ridge. The boat got off to a good start with a night time school of dorado, “Another exceptional day of fishing for us took place yesterday. The night time saw a large school of dorado in the lights and it was wide open. James Ashman and Javier Sandoval were sight casting on the larger ones and picked off some 20-pound plus models. The morning saw more wide open yellowfin tuna up to 30- pounds. After we did our tuna thing we got the anchor down and had very good yellowtail fishing. Nothing short of epic.”

After a move out to the Rocks, the boat sent this message, “We made a move out to the Rocks to try for wahoo yesterday. We had some opportunities and caught some nice wahoo, but it did not seem as though any new fish have moved in yet. Our weather was better than we had expected and everyone enjoyed the day. We are going to look for bigger yellows on the coast today.”

Rooster at the ‘lupe

The Red Rooster arrived at Guadalupe Island on a Larry Brown 6-Day Trip hoping the local shark population went on holiday. The boat sent this first report, “Nice start here today with scratch fishing on decent size tuna ranging from 60- to 120-pounds. We will see how it goes tomorrow after trying for bait tonight. Nice day today to start off the trip.”

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