Long range: Cow grounds show promise

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Good sign of quality tuna on traditional winter grounds

BY GUNDY GUNDERSON

SAN DIEGO– After a solid week of good fishing on quality tuna, the long range fleet was encouraged at the prospects for the coming, albeit, abbreviated, cow season. Both the Royal Polaris and the Red Rooster decked several cows and a super cow in a welcome return to solid fishing on the traditional cow grounds. The Independence arrived on the scene as the bite slowed. The wahoo fishing has also been a pleasant surprise with all boats scoring some quality skinnies. Two boats made quick stops on the bluefin grounds, finding lots of quality fish but few biters.

RP finishes strong

The Royal Polaris was a boat that was well positioned to take advantage of the hot bite on the cow grounds for quality tuna. After several days of good fishing that produced a supercow and several cows, the boat experienced a final day on the grounds. The big sportfisher with Capt. Roy Rose at the wheel, sent this report, “We continue to have excellent wahoo and yellowfin tuna fishing. Our numbers have gone down a bit, but the quality has been very good. Most of the yellowfin were in the 70- to 100- pound range, with the larger yellowfin coming in on the kite.”

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A 182 comes aboard the Royal Polaris.

After securing the catch, the boat moved north fishing along the way, “Weather continues to be good for moving north, with a slight breeze, but a very big swell. We tried numerous spots today, only to land a few yellowtail and cabrillo.  We are going to try our luck at some trophy calico bass, tomorrow afternoon.”

The last day was for fishing trophy calico bass and the boat found them, “Well, today was dedicated to Craig Ito, he was not here this year,

A TROPHY CALICO BASS taken along the baja coast on the Royal Polaris. PHOTO COURTESY OF ROYAL POLARIS SPORTFISHING

so we did some calico bass fishing in his honor. We had an excellent day of bass fishing, with most of the fish in the 5- to 8- pound range, with a few going close to 10 pounds. We kept a few for a calico lunch tomorrow, and some tagged some to take home, but most were returned back to the ocean. We also caught a few yellowtail, up to 20 pounds.”

The boat finished the varied trip with a shot at bluefin. “Today weather was gorgeous, flat seas, clear skies. We didn’t have enough breeze to keep the kite up. We saw lots of bluefin today, but they didn’t want to play. We did mange to hook two bluefin, and we were lucky to land both, one was a hundred pounds, and the second one was 182 pounds, both on bait, and 100-pound test. This is a great way to end the trip, just like we started, catching large bluefin tuna.”

Rooster long range revival

ANOTHER COW on the Rooster. PHOTO COURTESY OF RED ROOSTER SPORTFISHING

The Red Rooster also made a catch of quality yellowfin tuna. The sportfisher landed several cows to go with a gaggle of 150- to 190-pound fish The boat sent this brief report, “Its been busy the last few days. We got to experience some of the best long range fishing we’ve seen in years. We opted out of going to the lower banks due to lack of sign and cooler water and bombed it west. We only had a few days to fish but that’s all we needed. There is a really good sign of fish and things to come. Now we are headed into Cabo enjoying some nice weather and some good company. “

Indy 16-day

The Independence was on a 16-day trip hosted by long range legend John Collins. The boat arrived just as the action on the cow grounds slowed. Capt. Matt Kaullen was at the wheel and sent this opening report, “We are out for 16 days on the John Collins Invitational and as always John brought some great gear to raffle off. We have been traveling down rigging up for what’s to come. The guys have stayed busy making top shots learning new connections and of course telling fishing tales. We still have a ways to go and we are anticipating for some hot action.”

A DANDY YELLOWFIN taken on the Indy. PHOTO COURTESY OF INDEPENDENCE SPORTFISHING

After a few days on the cow grounds, the boat sent this report, “The last few days have been hit or miss for us. We have had a couple shots at some trophies but the overall sign of big fish has perished. We are working at it and hoping for some signal of the big fish to arrive. The days are spent trolling up a few wahoo and there is a bit of 50-90-pound tuna fish. We have had great weather on our side and we hope for an attack here soon.”

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