Steady progress toward the goal today as bigger fish returned and we made good on the opportunity. Good scratching is how I would describe it - a perfect pace during the same “banker's hours” bite time as the prior two days that kept the deck orderly, efficient, and well managed by the boys. Three over the two hundred mark complimented another dozen or so in the 150 – 190 pound class along with steady release action on yellowfin in the 100 pound and under range.
Good times among good friends; nothing like enjoying the company of those who share the passion for offshore fishing and drive and mettle to embark on a long range voyage. When times are good it makes it that much better. At the official half way point of this run we are mindful of remaining hold capacity and laser focused on occupying it with jumbos. At this point it only takes one – the one – for each angler to spike the ball.
Speaking of victory special credit is due for Bosko Kustidic who is putting on a clinic at the rail during his first long range voyage. Bosko is clobbering the fish with such consistency that his success can not be assigned to luck. His secret? Time at the rail; time in the water. In short – fishing; slow or otherwise he is out there at the rail putting in his time. The results speak for themselves. Today's photos first feature Bosko and his son Vladimir with a hearty 221 landed this morning. Photo number two is the man solo with his prize.
As side story worth mentioning occurred at the beginning of the voyage. Bosko signed on for this adventure with no prior long range experience. He was a little apprehensive before departure not knowing anyone or what to expect. When the final skiff arrived carrying the last few anglers that flew in from San Diego aboard was Bosko's son, and experienced long range angler, Vladimir. Caught totally off guard by his son's surprise appearance Bosko, in his overwhelming joy, realized that he'd been had. We were all in on the scheme from the start. Needless to say both Bosko and Vladimir began this voyage on a high note that has definitely carried over to the fishing.
A distinct difference in the size average today as 75 – 90 pound fish made up the bulk of our catch with a handful of standout 150 – 180's. Very good action during bankers hours added an air of civility to the effort while the traditional early morning and evening period practically failed to produce; every day is different.
Gliding into day four fat and happy capacity and ample fishing time remaining dictate a release size of 100 pounds and under. These mid ranger's add up in a hurry and we aren't really in the market for more, unless driven by necessity. As of now time is on our side. With fish in the tanks and agreeable weather becoming more so all the time it goes without saying that one and all are happy campers. Spirits are high and optimism higher. Bigger fish, the trophies we came for, await somewhere ahead.
Photo of the day features a familiar face from the past who finally made his way back to the Royal Star deck following a long hiatus. It was with genuine warmth that we greeted Dr. Bob Hulbert after missing his positive influence on every voyage he joined for almost six years. A well developed sense of humor goes a long way on these adventures and Bob's perspective is perfectly aligned with what it takes to craft good times from every opportunity. Here is Bob with the first deuce of the voyage, a 204 landed yesterday morning.
Steady action today mixing it up between old school live bait presentations and regular kite bites. Everyone was energized and engaged throughout the day as the random timing and distribution of bites required simple effort to produce the result that anglers were seeking. Yellowfin tuna in 90 – 120 pound class, and a significant mix of 150 – 170's, were complimented by three bruisers that cleared the two hundred pound threshold.
We forge into day three satisfied that we are in the right place at the right time. While fairly agreeable the weather could stand to improve a notch or two. The forecast suggests that such a wish just may come to fruition as a calm stretch with legs is due to arrive Thursday morning. Overall good living is how I would describe it.
Good fishing among friends old and new in absolutely stress free surroundings. Every fish landed is received by one and all as if it were there own. Genuine exclamations of joy and success, congratulations all around, and sincere excitement for the victor's achievement are the trademark of a group of long range anglers having fun. This is them – a signature group of individuals creating an inclusive atmosphere that equally celebrates the time and accomplishments.
Photo today features long time Royal Star and long range veteran Dr. Stuart Exall who made relatively short work of this 203 he landed as twilight set upon us. Unlike the possessed demon Stuart wrangled with on his last adventure to the edge this dandy was fairly civil acquiescing to a RSW ride north in route to the Fisherman's Processing jerky block.
A lukewarm reception today amidst sloppy conditions and mixed up seas. We're not feeling the love in this area yet but reserve judgment until a more thorough inspection is complete. There is sign, there are fish here, but conditions are difficult and uninspiring. The beauty of this voyage of course is that we have an eight day time frame to work with. Not that any guarantees come with time, especially in fishing, but time on the ocean at least favors change. And at present change is what we are looking for.
A few nice ones came on board early and eluded the camera as I waited in vain for something bigger and better. A hearty 175 for first time Royal Star angler Bosko Kustidic took fish of the day honors and a few more pushed the 150 mark. No bruisers, or yellowfin tuna over 200 pounds, were landed or hooked.
So passes day one. Undeterred we forge into day two expectant of better things to come. A weather forecast that is quickly coming around to just how we like it – fishing calm – promises a steady platform and reason for these tuna to rise to the surface. Calm stretches and fine fishing often coincide. We'll see if such is the case this time.
An easy day of preparation as our southerly passage consumed nautical miles in relatively calm conditions. Picking up the trade winds last night what seas there were pushed us toward our first destination while a booming, long interval north west ground swell freighted news of old storms afar.
Arrival tomorrow promises an end to our languor as the upcoming week and a day of fishing in earnest begins. The goal is set; the objective is clear; now to find something to work with. We'll know more by the end of tomorrow.
Greeted by brilliant sunshine and aquatic revelers delighting in the tropical conditions a marked contrast was drawn between
life on the near horizon and what most left behind. Cold rain and snow, now a thousand miles to the north, is a distant
memory; the beauty of the fly down option.
While a significant majority of these veteran anglers elected for a prior day or two of easy livin' in Margaritville before
embarking on this eleven day offshore run a final few arrived mid afternoon today to set the fishing portion of this voyage
in motion. A little rock and roll accompanied the late afternoon southwest dash re-acquainting one and all with the ornery
side of Mother Ocean before settling in to relative calm.
Tomorrow will be dedicated to travel and preparation as we launch into the upcoming week of targeting trophy yellowfin tuna
and wahoo. The daily narrative and photos will continue through our return on the 12th.
Our beautiful weather continues as we work our way up the line but the downhill push has been brutal, thus bumping our eta to 1100 at customs putting us at the dock around 1145. Our final photos show a 250 coming over the rail for Mark Bower and Dennis Mcneely with a 235.
Flat calm weather as we travel up but the downhill current is knocking back our eta a bit, we’re looking like 1000 at FL right now, will update again tomorrow.
Following is the list of anglers who boated fish over 200:
Glenn Evans 205
Mark Rubins 216
Tom Nordstrom 228,223,210,203
Gerry Kruse 270,267,225
Rudy Scott 219,204
Tom Kurata 210
Dale Kurata 235,235
Dennis Mcneely 247
Mark Bower 245,235,225
George Takenouchi 220
Kohei Kikuchi 253
Larry Ward 254
George Alfaro 265
Kevin Aguirre 245
Tom Nordstrom is in today’s shot with one of his four over 200 taken this trip.
Hi this is Glenn Evans Charter Master, as we head towards the cape to end this fantastic voyage I would like to thank all of the sponsors who provided items for the fund raiser for Sean Bickel’s Kids. I am proud to announce we were able to raise $2,000.00 dollars for his kids trust fund. Thank you to the following:
Nordstrom Wordworking Studio, Aftco, Mitch’s Seafood, Baja Fish Gear, Inside Sport fishing, Fisherman's Processing, Sato Custom Rods, Bloody Decks, Pelagic High Performance Offshore Gear, The Bight “ A Journal for the Saltwater Angler”, Fishing Videos.com, Fishworks, Okuma, Western Outdoors News, Shimano, Mission Brewery, Cousins Tackle, Fisherman’s Landing Tackle, Sato Crimp & Winder, Accurate, Calstar, Bill Boyce “Photo- Graphics- Design”, Ken’s Custom Reel, Jeff Burroughs “Long Range Sport Fishing San Diego Style”, M & M Custom Rods, Brandon Hayward
We finished off in style this morning with a handfull of 130 to 190lbers and another three over 200 from 205 to 270. Our final tally on the cows was 23, I will post a list tomorrow.
We are presently traveling to the Cape in beautiful weather with an eta of 0600 on the 20th.
Rudy Scott and Gerry Kruse are in the first photo with a 205 and 267, Larry Ward and Mark Bower are in the second with a 190 and 225.