Off and running on our annual “Baja Fish Gear” seven day voyage we finally head south with a path clearing to traditional southern long range haunts. An incredibly active year thus far in the formation of tropical cyclones we have all been blessed to have the bounty of tuna to the far north to work on when weather has closed the door south. Though we are not one hundred percent in the clear for this run yet it appears that the remnants of the latest tempest to harry Southern Baja is going to rapidly dissipate and head west. Ahhh...
Day one of fishing will find us targeting yellowtail down the line and tuna offshore as we drag our feet for at least one more day allowing ample time for things below to clear out. We have a veteran group of anglers ready to wet their lines and engage in whatever fishing opportunities are to be had. For many years now we have been strong supporters of Ed Tschernoscha and his entire staff up at Baja Fish Gear. Always guiding anglers to successful outcomes with rod and reel combos and terminal tackle perfectly matched for whatever sport fishing adventures they pursue Baja Fish Gear has earned our endorsement by being fishermen themselves. We share this run with the one and only Ed himself seeking to continue the tradition of success that this voyage is so well known for.
In closing today I have a couple of worthy admin items to share. First is the upcoming ten day voyage departing Saturday October 4th, returning Tuesday October 14 that still has a few spaces available for any and all considering an early fall variety run. The water down below has thankfully cooled to reasonable temperatures paving the road for yellowfin tuna, wahoo, and all the fall variety species that make these voyages so popular.
The second item to share is the addition of a couple of new three day voyages that we added to our schedule in late October. As a result of some impromptu schedule shuffling space at the end of October became available. Before scheduling these condensed long range runs we have carefully observed conditions over the past couple of weeks. Right now all signs point toward a continuation of the stellar offshore and coastal fishing that we are presently seeing all the way into November and beyond. In such warm water cycles it is not uncommon for the fish to outlast the fishermen. For this reason we are confidant that these voyages will be well positioned to target yellowfin tuna and dorado offshore as well as abundant yellowtail along the coast of Northern Baja.
The dates of these new voyages are as follows: Saturday October 25 – Tuesday October 28, and Saturday October 31 – Monday November 3rd. The cost will be $1100 dollars all inclusive – no extra for permits or visas. Both voyages have already begun booking and interest among those who received advance notice is strong. This is a great opportunity to get a weekend of fine fall fishing in Royal Star style. Tracy will be in the office throughout next week ready to answer any questions and take reservations.
Meanwhile we are out on the water and at it scouting out future opportunities and doing a little fishing on our way down. Reports and photos will continue as the adventure unfolds.
Stellar weather today in the bft grounds but unfortunately we were unable to locate the bigger models. We did get on a good area of finicky 20 to 30lbers this afternoon that produced 20 out of a long plunker drift.
We will be in tomorrow and Tim will depart on another 7-day.
The morning started out slow but we were able to string together a few stops on school yellowfin this afternoon that provided us with all we wanted. .
With the weather coming down nicely we'll be making a move out West tonight to look for bigger tuna on our final day.
The wind came up considerably this afternoon but fortunately we were able to pick off a good stop on school grade yft before it got too bad. We tucked in behind the island this evening and are enjoying a flat calm ride on the anchor.
The weather is forecast to start coming down tomorrow so we'll give this one more day before looking for bft on Friday.
We broke up the day hitting kelps for decent grade dorado as we worked up the coast towards the tuna grounds. We were in beautiful blue 75 degree water all day but as is usually the case in hot water years, the overall sign of fish in this area was dissapointing.
We will be on the yft grounds in the morning and are hoping to get a weather window later in the week to target the big bft.
A very good day of long range style yellowtail angling in balmy flat calm weather. It was a steady bite all morning with some hot and heavy periods when they put on a good surface display while biting all offerings. We had our fill by early afternoon and are working up to target tuna the rest of the trip.
We got the trip started today with pleasant weather and steady scratching on good grade yellows. We will spend another day on the beach targeting yellows before working back up away from the storm.
Round eight or nine now, I don't exactly recall, of the southern offshore zone serving up dissapointing results. We did see sign, a few decent dorado here and there suggest that a big hit is in the making, but that big hit, or any kind of hit at all, was not in the cards today. Despite our consistent misadventures in these zones this season I am still undeterred. In fact I am more convinced that our turn on the opposite side of the equation is in the making. To achieve success out here one must pay their dues; no question that our tab is plenty sufficient now to warrant return.
It will not be at my hand however as Captain Toussaint steps back into the arena for the next round. Interesting prospects surround this departure between tuna far above and below. Ever mindful of the next tempest brewing to the far south the adventure will begin with best of the best behind the helm. Well qualified and equipped with extraordinary vision and savvy Randy's continuing daily reports will document the exploits as they unfold.
For this run it is soon to be over successfully ending with a satisfying load of premium quality long range species in the RSW holds. Quantity, variety, and quality, the three tenets of a productive, succeessful run, all reside below ready for offloading, a trip to the fillet table, and distribution to family and friends eagerly awaiting the shared bounty. Our most sincere thanks to Charter Master Mitch Otera and the entire group who have shared so many good times with us on Royal Star. The pleasure since as far back as 2002 or 2003, perhaps longer, has been all ours. Good times at sea among good friends – this group is a superb example of what long range fishing is about. Thank you all again.
Final voyage photos feature Wayne Iba and crewman Ryan with a nice dorado from yesterday's limited haul, and an image from way back on day two when long time veterans Terry Uchida and Tad Nakase shared a moment as their forty pound class bluefin came over the rail.
We remembered the joy of fishing today. Unemcumbered by big production goals the setting was rife with laughter and easy going anglers passing time at the rail among good friends in premier conditions. Still warm and balmy the languid atmosphere did nothing to sap enthusiasm for catching, quite the contrary, but the tropical conditions out here have a contagious way of calming the soul. It was plenty good action, steady morning catching, but the scene was more akin to a vacation than hard core fishing. What a concept.
Early evening was the real show stealer as we headed in to target variety in some old haunts rarely frequented by us or our colleagues. It's that kind of year. Magnificent conditions, perhaps the finest I have ever seen in these regions, offer opportunities to explore areas that are tradionally off the radar. Real fishing; the chance to seek something completely new. A little tentative while poking around among the rocks and crannies we settled into a sweet little nook late experiencing variety fishing as good as one can hope for in modern times. Big ole' grumpy bass, marauding yellowtail, and just shy of a couple of handfuls of white sea bass had everyone focused and engaged in the fun. And that is exactly what it was – fun; good times, stress free catching where few anglers have gone before.
Tucked into our personalized haven as the day waned satisfied anglers reveled and enjoyed recognizing all things good about this entire program.The final push will find us back on the outside taking one more stab at glory in the form of something, anything worthy offshore. Dumb, stubborn, or dedicated this season's prior unsuccessful southern offshore outings must still be refused at such times. Nothing was ever caught in complacency, by the likes of me anyway.
Photo today is a draw from a few days prior. Long time Royal Star fishing veteran and model of positive attitude Eddie Abate enjoyed the triumph over this thirty five pound bluefin tuna displayed beautifully by Steve Gregonis.
A new dawn: grease calm, balmy, sun shining, and yellowtail up and biting. A good four hours of “grudge fishing” assauged all the angst and worry of returning fishless, defeated, fool hardy; fortune finally favored our strategy. No Magellan worthy accolades or assignations this time though, this zone is well known for such production when conditions call; we've all caught plenty here before.
Even so one never takes such fishing for granted; it's never just run of the mill. These quality yellows in sizes ranging from 15 to 30 pounds put on a show worthy of the moniker “long range”; everything about this setting fell right in line. An incredible scenic backdrop, a greasy sea surface revealing spots of frantic birds and yellowtail up at times for miles, and nary a boat, or any other sign of human life, to be found. A bona fide step back in time one could just as easily seen such sights five hundred or a thousand years prior; long range fishing defined.
This is why we come – to experience fishing rarely attainable, if attainable at all, within reach of vessels less equipped and capable. We lived reality long range today. And, taking all things into account, we seek to continue, and build upon, the trend tomorrow. An afternoon of exploration and variety fishing set us in good shape to target the dandy yellows again tomorrow morning before heading out and up in another effort offshore. This seventy six to seventy eight degree blue water has a way of motivating one to go in search of. They are out there. Perhaps we will be the ones to find them.
Photos today feature a couple of different images I snapped from the tank when spots of yellows erupted around us.These images must whet the appetite of any true fisherman Needless to say these were opportunites screaming for anglers to fire the surface iron. And indeed they did. Young Connor Chilson is treated to his first long range style yellowtail show in the first image, and long time veteran Andy Kettley enjoys the sights and sounds in image number two. Nice.