Very good sign of tuna again today but we had to work at it to get them to bite.
By day's end we had another respectable score and are presently traveling down
to fish yellows tomorrow.
Ryan Burdette is in today'shot with a 102lb bft taken yesterday in US waters.
We looked at plenty of schools of bft in flat calm weather today but getting
them to bite was a struggle. Typical of bluefin, they usually don't bite with
reckless abandon for long but we still managed to put together a good day.
We are traveling down tonight and will fish offshore again tomorrow.
Don Van Dyke is in today's shot with a nice bft taken on scratch gear.
We started off our annual Floyd Abbott 7-day in US waters this afternoon with
beautiful flat calm seas. The fish were a bit reluctant to bite but we managed a
respectable score of 32 mixed grade bft and 8 yft. We are spending the night
here hoping the bigger grade make a showing tomorrow.
We saw plenty of sign today, especially during the mid morning hours when steady strikes and quick opportunities at
small to fair size yellowfin kept things lively, but no blue and gold, and no worthy class gamesters were to be. Leading
into an eventless afternoon it appeared that the farther we went the cooler the water and less life we encountered. The
writing was on the wall. Our trip was done, our catch was made; this trip was over.
Though it ended with a whimper it really made no difference. This voyage had enough fish in the tanks already; more
would have been just that - more. So we sailed parallel to the sunset fat and happy, satisfied that good fortunes
aligned with our strategy. Once again it must be stated that though this voyage was a glowing success it would have been
that much more so with the company of Charter Master Michael Doi; his good humor and settling influence was sorely
missed. But this group of seasoned anglers made the most of the occasion regardless throwing aboard more than a few U.S.
caught bluefin, and a bounty of southern yellowtail, in Michael's honor.
Final voyage photos feature the last U.S. bluefin image with it's victor Cliff Hamaishi. Triumphant and jubilant, this
trophy was Cliff's personal best, and ended up capturing second place in the jackpot. Photo number two features Royal
Star veteran Jim Nomura with a dandy Calico Bass just before he released the big fella to see another day. Look for
Captain Randy Toussaint's reports to continue after departing tomorrow on our next seven day adventure.
Nice combo day of fishing and gaining altitude; abundant quality yellowtail again providing the majority of the catching
action. Our affection for the bread and butter, spring, summer, and fall long range species can not be overstated. Their
abundance, reliable biting disposition, and superb quality as table fare with the advent of RSW storage of our product
has made them the cornerstone of many a successful long range catch.
Heading out and up for our final day working offshore about the only species remaining on the variety list this voyage
is Dorado. So off we go in search of a few handfuls of colorful leapers to round out what has become an exceptional
catch of fish. The beauty of the summer seven day in living color: sufficient time to assemble an ideal long range
voyage featuring the combination of variety, quantity, and quality fish. Throw in plenty of opportunity to unwind and
relax amidst the fishing and there you have it. I love these voyages.
Photo today features master angler Mike Krieger with a fine specimen landed today amongst the weeds; no jesting about
the master title either. If there is an angler capable of getting more bites consistently than Mike I would be
surprised; not just one day or one trip either. Ever since I have been fishing with Mike he has been the same - always
catching the daylights out of whatever we are fishing for however we are fishing for them; a born natural.
We put together a solid morning on beautiful grade yellowtail in good conditions. Roughly three hours of steady action
fulfilled the majority of yellowtail desires. Fish in the eighteen to thirty pound class were downright voracious for a
couple of those three hours hammering everything from anyway presented live baits to the surface iron. That kind of
production adds up quick; just how we like it. When came the afternoon breeze we were long gone enjoying the giant lee
while prospecting for bait.
We did find the bait, so much of it that stunning is an understatement in description, but the size and species for our
gangions was wrong. Sardines, by the millions, provided an all you can eat buffet for myriads of birds and mammals in
the region. The show was epic and the scenery incredibly entertaining; the objective of replenishing our supply of live
bait fell way short.
Regardless of the anti climatic end the day was a glowing success. Throwing together a catch of yellowtail down here is
presently no slam dunk. We have our colleagues and network of information to thank for this one. What comes around goes
around. The value of that philosophy in any fishery can not be overstated.
Today's image is another pulled from the first two days of the voyage when we targeted U.S. blues. Larry Higashi was one
of the fortunate's landing this eighty five pound class beauty in the late afternoon.
A long, slow, tranquil day of easy passage chewing up nautical miles southbound. An interesting set of conditions has
developed, not a good kind of interesting for one seeking game fish, but an explanation for why the main volume of
offshore gamesters has settled to the north. We covered a lot of miles from sun up through sun down and did not see
anything favorable in the way of water temperature or color along the way.
Not that the conditions encountered suggest anything more than it was terrible today - change out here is as regular, as
common, as the sun rising and falling daily, it just settled the present question of where to hang our hat for the next
round of fishing; obviously not here.
Among the beautiful advantages of long range fishing are time and mobility; an awful lot of successful fishing outcomes
are accredited to these tenets. We put them to good use when necessary. This is one of those times. Better conditions
are somewhere beyond today's pastures. It's just a matter of where, or if, we will find them.
Thankfully one lone yellowtail prevented the black and white stripe rodent from tainting today's effort with malodorous
charm. All in good humor; a bounty of pristine RSW product already in the hatch made light of the paltry fishing
results. Photo today is again a draw from our first successful two southeast of San Clemente island. Greg Emoto, no
stranger to offshore bluefin success, is no less impressed with this beauty because of it. In fact those who have been
there before have perhaps an even keener appreciation for just how special these opportunities are; certainly for how
delicious these prime specimens, pithed, bled, dressed out (gilled and gutted), and held in 31 degree refrigerated
seawater will be.
This was a day that I wish everyone who shares the passion for long range style offshore fishing was here for. It was that
good. A memorable outing producing perfect quantity and quality; what an opportunity. So much so that we are now satisfied to
leave the freshening wind and building seas behind in favor of variety and preferred fishing conditions - we hope.
Weather permitting we'll have the chance to do a little southern offshore prospecting in advance of our ultimate destination.
Some colorful leapers would do wonders for contrast in our burgeoning primary RSW tank; a timid goal in light of the
precedent set. But we must live with the result of our extraordinary good fortune the remainder of this run. Trust that no
one's feelings are damaged by this consequence. The show goes on.
The camera took a timeout today as action at the rail demanded full attention. Fortunately I snapped a few "extry's" during
the first couple of days to make up for the deficit. Long time Royal Star veteran Brett Rapazo saw it all come together when
this corpulent, eighty five pound class bluefin came over the rail yesterday. "Livin' the dream"; one that is our present
Another productive outing on U.S. Blues though the devils put us through the wringer as the day wore on. Vast
quantities of bluefin in the 50 - 80 pound class tantalized our appetite for serious, long range style clobbering
but their fickle disposition allowed none of it. We pieced it together, with most of our bluefin catch coming from
one good, extended mid morning go around, while the 15 - 20# yellowfin filled in the gaps when the bluefin went
into afternoon lockdown.
Ample time and the right weather made for an easy decision to remain on the offshore grounds. The size average and
potential for a real deal hit on these bluefin is too good to pass by. Viva El Nino: long range fishing within a
stones throw from home. We'll take it with gratitude. Having seen this program more than once before we abide by
the notion that it is best to fish for them where they are. A past few thousand mile, fishless round trips south
while our local brothers were piling them on have a convincing way of driving this point home.
Photos today feature anglers Ron Ishisaka and Ronnie Koyasako with prime examples of what we all like to fish for.
These seventy five pound class bluefin are the prize summer long range quarry. A few of these dressed and stored
prime in the RSW tanks go a long way toward defining a successful fishing outcome.
We had an inquiry in the office a few days prior, thankfully the only one of its kind so far, that asked the question:
"How is the Mexican ban on catching bluefin tuna going to affect our upcoming voyage?". My answer: "It's not". We make
due, we make the most of whatever opportunities are available, and we have never had the success of any voyage
predicated upon catching something specific before we leave the dock. This is fishing. It is the great unknown. And
unexpected changes and events, man made and natural, are part of the incessant challenges that make this profession
simultaneously fantastic and maddening.
Today was an ideal example of this reality. Departing on the annual Michael Doi seven day, that is deficit Michael due
to family obligations to all our sincerest regret, we took a tour out west seeking to begin this voyage with a little
U.S. waters bluefin action before pushing south. A short steam out front, a mere three hours, and the search began.
Working west toward the beautiful San Clemente island our fortune took a turn for the better - a dandy area of bluefin
was spotted, tracked, run down, and enticed with epic sardines courtesy of Everingham Brothers.
The result was sixty four bluefin and eight yellowfin for the late afternoon on the day of departure. Who would have
guessed? In fishing anything is plausible. Everyone one of us should keep this in mind. A lot of these bluefin are
already north of the U.S./Mexico border this year: a welcome gift from "El Nino" in the light of the impromptu closure
of bluefin fishing by Mexico. Foremost is our desire for a reasonable resolution to the present closure in Mexico -
there are still many bluefin to the south ready and willing to be caught - but there are viable alternatives; no reason
to be canceling any trips just yet, or falling on our swords.
Apart from just over a handful of fifteen to eighteen pounders the size average of today's bluefin was 30 - 39 pounds.
The yellowfin were 12 - 20. The weather is exactly how everyone wants to see it - flat calm - and forecast to remain
such for the next couple of days. Sounds like good conditions for offshore blue finnin', and that is exactly our plan.
The waters of the United States of America will host Royal Star again tomorrow. With our California fishing licenses
current both Captain Randy Toussaint and I are optimistic about the conditions and potential in this zone. In addition
to these school fish the big boys are also around. Tomorrow is a new day.
Photos feature a familiar father and son on the deck of Royal Star. Steve Masuda and his son Erik masterfully exploited
these thirty five pound class bluefin today enjoying the steady pace of the three hour, late afternoon "plunker".