Another great day of long range fishing next to a beautiful island in flat calm weather. We basically scratched all day with one to three going most of the time on 40-80lb tuna and 30lb yellows. We did get a 147lb yellowfin on the kite today which is the biggest I've seen here and probably explains our heavy losses.
We are going to finish up the trip here tomorrow.
A nice slow scratch for 43 yft from 35-80lbs and a handful of 30-40lb yellows, which combined with beautiful weather made for a great day. The tuna showed good all day but were reluctant to bite making the lighter lines and fluorocarbon the way to go. We are going to spend the night and give this another day.
Another fantastic day of fishing on 25-45lb albacore made for a great start on our annual Mitch Otera five day. We had our fill by early afternoon and spent the rest of the day looking for bluefin as we worked down the line. In spite of beautiful weather, good water, and the full moon, no sign of bluefin for us or the rest of the fleet today.
Well we took the long shot and came up empty handed on the trophy bluefin although we did see one school that in typical form for this season ran for their lives at the sound of our approach. We were not to be left with a losing hand however as we charged north head on into a ravenous school of jumbo albacore that topped off our limits and gave all those who saved room the first day a chance to put a few longfin in the premium fresh tank. So ends another summer long range voyage that is off the scale for quality, variety, and quantity.
These reports from the past several weeks are probably beginning to sound like a broken record with day after day of incredible fishing, beautiful weather, and fantastic fortune. I can only assure everyone that no embellishment is needed when describing this remarkable stretch of fishing that will no doubt be talked about for many years to come and is certainly logged in my memory as one of the finest ever. I know it is cliché but it just does not get any better from an angler's perspective. Even more amazing is the fact that just when we think it can't get any better it often does and with that in mind I can't wait to get back out here and see what tomorrow and next week, and next month will bring. As I can not make every trip however, it creates quite a dilemma for me but it is high time "old lucky" Toussaint get back out here so look for his reports to commence tomorrow (maybe). If not, I will be back out in five days so don't despair if the reports are slow in coming and scant in detail.
Last but not least I have to pass on a little recent wisdom about the use of fluorocarbon on long range trips that may save future anglers a bit of trouble and much despair. Here it is plain and simple - When the fish are biting, you DO NOT want or NEED to use fluorocarbon. I'll give you all the scenario to make the point. The albacore were biting wide open, as good as it gets, and at least two thirds of our anglers were using fluorocarbon leaders. This is a waste of time and money. Save the fluorocarbon for when it is scratch fishing. I was amazed to see numerous occasions over the past couple of weeks where anglers in the middle of wide open frenzy's were taking the extra time to painstakingly secure fluorocarbon leaders to their gear. The second piece of advice is don't despair if your fluorocarbon supply runs short and there is fishing time remaining. I have witnessed several anglers over the past couple of weeks absolutely crushed, devastated to the point of losing their enthusiasm to fish because their fluorocarbon supply ran out. I suppose they were of the belief that without fluorocarbon it is not worth fishing but I want everyone to harken back to previous years or trips when they caught tons of fish without using fluorocarbon and keep fishing with confidence. I don't want to knock the use of fluorocarbon either because I have witnessed the unquestionable advantage it represents at times. Just remember in all fishing to adjust your techniques to the present conditions to maximize your efficiency and effort. The ultimate advice I can give if you are not certain is to ask a crewman on board your favorite long ranger as to when and when not to use your fluorocarbon leaders and make sure to stock up!
When you spend enough time out here the odds inevitably come around in your favor and a trip like this is bound to happen. Other than capitalizing well on the opportunities we have had I can't really say that the unbelievable catch we have on board is the result of exceptional skill or fishing savvy but rather perfect timing. Whatever the case we will take it because trips like this are few and far between and believe me we are appreciating this exceptionally good fortune for all it is worth.
The good fishing continued today and in fact got better in that the majority of our afternoon yellowfin were in the sixty to eighty pound class where the past few days featured only about thirty percent of our catch in this size range. Best of all was the fact that it was all top water fishing with the majority of our bites coming on the kite in many cases mere yards from the boat as the voracious tuna plowed the baits in spectacular form. Every bite was accompanied by hoots and hollers from the entranced onlookers many of whom sacrificed their fishing effort simply because the show was too good to miss. Oh, I almost forgot to mention the incredible night time yellowtail action on thirty to forty five pound beasts. As the saying goes "when you hot your hot". Now we move north to take the true test of our good luck tomorrow heading offshore in search of trophy bluefin in an attempt to seal the deal on what I consider as fine a summer six day long range voyage as an angler (or captain) could ever hope for.
Other than throwing in a few hundred pound class tuna, there is really no way this trip could improve significantly or proceed better. To put things in perspective, we could head in right now with the fishing we've done and catch we have on board and this would be considered an epic trip. Flat calm conditions, beautiful scenery, incredible action on 40 - 70# yellowfin tuna, an occasional twenty to forty pound yellowtail mixed in - does it get any better? Time will tell. We have two more days to continue this epic adventure and hope to keep the ball rolling in the right direction while counting our blessings.
Aside from some slightly difficult fishing conditions, the day could not have been better with steady action on quality yellowfin beginning mid morning and lasting through early afternoon. As always, the epic scenery of Guadalupe was well received although ironically, conditions on the outside yesterday were actually better than we experienced today on the anchor. Regardless, the fishing was everything we hoped for and indications definitely favor a continuation of this trend. As such we plan to take full advantage of the bounty as long as we are able.
What a spectacular day offshore featuring the most beautiful, crisp atmosphere and perfect, flat calm seas with just a hint of breeze to keep the temperature cool and water temps consistent. The fishing was right in line with the weather and was perhaps the best we have experienced this season with mammoth schools of jumbo albacore biting with complete abandon. To top it off, trophy bluefin in the 150 - 200# class made a showing late and although we have nothing but heartbreak and failure to report in this department, we know where they are and were very encouraged by the fact that we actually coaxed a few bites out of the wary beasts. This was one of those days that we can never get enough of and as such we can hardly wait to see what tomorrow will bring.
O.K. We have determined that Captain Rouintree is as capable as we hoped in the fishing department as well as handling the challenges of manning the crew and vessel. We have also discovered that he is Captain Toussaint's obvious protégé in that no reports were posted on his maiden voyage. In this case we will cut him some slack but all of you can rest assured that Brett's computer skills will be much improved by the time his next voyage as Captain comes around. That said, Brett did a fantastic job putting together a flawless game plan and fabulous trip loading up on jumbo albacore and targeting quality and variety at the big island in between. Yellowfin, yellowtail, and a few miscellaneous put the finishing touch on a epic maiden trip and as such Royal Star anglers can look forward to Captain Rouintree on select future Royal Star voyages. Randy and I will continue to handle the brunt of the load however and we depart today on our annual Nakamura six day voyage with a wonderful group of anglers, perfect load of bait, epic weather, and very promising reports on our bow. Look forward to our reports this week and enjoy the fantastic photos from Captain Rouintree's debut voyage.
This was one of those one in a hundred days of albacore fishing where all favorable conditions came together to create a perfect scenario where the "fatsos" were up and biting and the weather was grease calm. It is a rare occasion offshore but believe it or not we were all slaying the prolific jumbo longfin clad in shorts and t-shirts sweating in the balmy, tropical like weather. This was also one of those "float" days where the true quantity of fish the ocean is holds is clearly demonstrated in seemingly endless spots of breaking fish and areas on the surface. True to form this season, we did plenty of looking at bluefin yesterday both under the boat and all around but the wily shortfin continue to defy our best efforts at catching ultimately proving that their fate has nothing to do with our luck, skill, or effort, but simply their whims.
Now we are homeward bound setting up for our next annual four day Pfishcadora with Captain Brett Rouintree making his debut at the helm. Brett is a exceptional young man who has proven his ability as chief engineer and second in command on Royal Star for the past four years. Now it is time for him to earn his stripes as Captain and the set up outside appears favorable. If you are a Royal Star fan or just a supporter of good, hardworking young men earning their opportunities in this world wish the best for Brett as I do this voyage and look for his reports to follow.
We had the morning we were hoping for with very good action on both yellowtail and yellowfin tuna but similar to yesterday it was all over by noon. We did manage to scratch a tuna here and there from twelve o'clock on and even managed a few yellowtail but as the afternoon waned so did my patience and as such we are ready to move on.
If there were any afternoon highlights to mention, the Great White show tops the list with grease calm conditions and bright overhead sun perfectly illuminating the beasts while they swam laps around the boat. Never one to miss a photo opportunity, we immediately relegated a couple of albacore to the cause and the Great Whites at Guadalupe soon discovered the superior quality of our Royal Star RSW product. Judging by their reaction, I believe they gave us high marks eagerly consuming our offerings while appearing to desire more. Two fish were all we were willing to sacrifice however and honestly I think the quality was wasted on their primitive composition. Kind of like giving a rich bottle of wine to the old boys hanging out down by the boardwalk slurping Thunderbird daily. Ultimately we did make the most of our photo opportunity and the impressive beasts put on a fantastic exhibition while diverting our attention from the slow tuna fishing.
With more than our share of good luck at this point of the voyage, we are taking the long shot and looking for bluefin tomorrow hoping throw in a few more albacore for good measure.
I made the analogy a few days back about the Great White Sharks at Guadalupe being like an old friend we all have that boasts a variety of offensive qualities. If that is the case then yesterday was like the day that old friend makes a huge embarrassing scene at a social function and you contemplate never speaking to them again.
We had a good day of action both on quality and variety but the sharks really taxed us hard focusing solely on the bigger fish crushing hopes and dampening spirits. Landing a thirty or thirty five pounder was no problem but any of the fifty pound and up grade was hopeless after a short while in the morning. Needless to say we are over it and would just as soon see these beautiful, offensive beasts take leave and go bother someone else. Aside from the rude behavior of the sharks we had a very nice day scratching a few nice yellowtail and mixing in fair tuna action throughout. Conditions are fine and the set up is good and with that in mind we figure we might as well give it another go before considering other options.
When it comes down to it, a good portion of our offshore success is attributed to timing on any particular day or trip. Of course we have to know how to best take advantage of the opportunities encountered but the fact that our trips have a set time frame makes the luck factor rather significant on all of our trips. That said, the luck factor was in our favor yesterday as we began our annual Michael Q five day with superb offshore action featuring 25 - 45# albacore. Interestingly, the "fatso" grade of albacore that we have been catching most of this season took a break last week and the vast majority of what we were landing was in the 18 - 25# class. Not that there is anything wrong with that grade of fish, in fact we are pleased to catch those any time, but there is something very special about the "fatsos" with their striking features and hearty appearance. The fatsos really got with the program yesterday picking up steam in the late afternoon and biting until we were all exhausted from pulling and satiated with fun. As we headed down, the aroma of Ben Gay and vibrant atmosphere told the story of a elated group of anglers reveling in the glory of their favorite past time. These are the cherished moments we seek out here and as such we could not be more pleased with our day.
A nearly perfect ending aside from a few early morning anchor antics brought about by fierce winds and shifting conditions. Abandoning our honey hole, we found another little cherry patch that put the finishing touch on as close to a "perfect" trip as we could ever hope for. Once again all three criteria: quality, quantity, and variety, trademarks of a exceptional long range voyage, were all achieved. Combined with the spectacular scenery and beautiful weather a better long range trip could not be scripted. Finally, this group of anglers could not have performed more admirably or enjoyed themselves more rounding out the successful theme of this adventure. Captain Mark Wisch of Pacific Edge Tackle in Huntington Beach always seems to assemble such fine groups and as such we will be looking forward to their return next year. Huge thanks to Mark and all his guys from the entire Royal Star team.
This really was what one could consider paradise this morning with epic fishing for quality yellows and tuna while flat calm weather and amazing scenery (above and below the surface) topped off the setting. When I mention the below the surface aspect of the setting, I refer to the now ever present Great White Shark population that appears to enjoy our company even when they are not wreaking havoc on our fishing. No matter how many times we see the awesome behemoths their magnificence is never lost or fails to invoke appreciation. Not that we appreciate when they eat our hard earned catch; we don't, but they have become somewhat like that friend we have all had that possesses a wealth of offensive habits but we just can't shake our affection for.
To top off our already fantastic day, I finally relented to the pressure of west coasts finest, Captain Mark Wisch, and introduced our anglers to the spectacle of Calico Bass fishing Guadalupe style. I think Captain Wisch was beginning to believe that I really didn't know how to fish for bass but after today I believe I may have moved one notch higher on the list. All kidding aside we had a fantastic time catching big bull bass on everything from the Newport two bait special to the twenty five year old decrepit scampi dug from the rusty depths of veteran Royal Star angler Jack Friedenthal's tackle box.There's nothing quite like a good day of fishing and gorgeous weather to buoy spirits and in these categories August 11th, 2004 was flawless for all of us on Royal Star.
Of all the beautiful places we fish this island stands alone with it's sharp relief's, spectacular contrast, and towering, cathedral bluffs. Combine this breathtaking, raw beauty with world class gamefish angling and no better destination for our pursuits can be found. The predominant grease calm conditions provided by this giant obstacle put the finishing touch on the list of perfect features Isla Guadalupe offers. That said we reveled in everything there is to enjoy here yesterday putting together a very nice day on the tuna and yellowtail in classic Guadalupe fashion. All's well and providing conditions remain favorable our plans are set for the next couple of day's.
Just the beginning we were hoping for with excellent albacore fishing to open the trip that set the pace as well as shook out the kinks preparing our excellent group of fishermen for genuine long range action ahead. The cat's out of the bag that Guadalupe has been the place to be and with a very good start in the hatch and plenty of time, we are following our desired game plan en route for the big island on the outside. We are all looking forward to testing our angling skills on yellowfin and yellowtail at the island but I must also admit that most of us are looking forward to avoiding the weather offshore that gave everyone their share of nautical excitement yesterday. With paradise on the bow we are anticipating what tomorrow will bring.
Well you've probably all figured out by now that when Captain Toussiant runs the boat you can just about forget the idea of receiving any kind consistent photos or reports. That doesn't mean however that the fishing has suffered any and in fact it usually means that the fishing is good. I will once again report that the catch Randy just unloaded was as good a haul on a four day summer voyage that one could ever hope for featuring quantity, quality, and variety. Yesterday was the big day offshore with the huge quantity of albacore that have been taunting us for so long finally dropping their guard and taking a shellacking from all boats in the area. Randy was actually driving away from the jumbo longfin by three p.m. looking for some exotics to finish up on.
As we depart on our annual Pacific Edge five day, reports indicate the coveted albacore, so willing and prolific yesterday, have once again changed their mind giving the majority of the guys a rough go of it after a decent shot at daylight. There has been some picking done late but it appears that we have our work cut out for us if we plan to put a catch of albacore on the boat tomorrow. So be it and we are prepared with a fantastic group of anglers and a beautiful load of bait to get the job done.
We finished the trip offshore and enjoyed an incredible day of fishing on 25-40lb albacore in beautiful weather. We did see two spots of 80lb bluefin today but once again, they showed no interest. The overall sign of fish looks very good for upcoming trips.
Tim leaves on our annual Pacific Edge 5-day tomorrow so look for his reports on the ninth.
Nice weather and decent fishing on tuna from 25-60lbs with a few yellows is the report for the day. We are going to travel back up tonight and try our hand at the offshore scene again tomorrow.
We started the trip out right today with excellent fishing on 25-40lb albacore in beautiful flat calm weather. Very good sign overall so hopefully this is the start of an upward trend for the offshore scene. We are traveling tonight to look for a different species tomorrow.
We really had our share of good luck these last two days with steady action on quality and variety while fishing both the drift and sitting on the anchor. As the weather on the outside deteriorated somewhat, we could not have been in a better position to avoid a thrashing and put together a fine catch of long range quality. Finishing up on the outside, the action took a turn south but reports from up above continue to indicate a robust quantity of fish spread over a considerable area. We're back to the old "if they would only bite" portion of the report that seems to have become the mantra of this season. Once again it is at the very least a comfort to know that the fish are around and likely only a matter of time until the switch turns on and we begin to get some of our own. Overall we had a fantastic trip that once again featured the three attributes we consider the foundation of an ideal long range voyage. Quality, sufficient quantity, and variety. It is not that common for a trip of this length to meet all three criteria and as such we are elated with our good fortune. At present, we are heading in to turn the boat around this morning departing again on our annual Tidelands Oil four day at noon. Captain Toussaint will take the helm for the next few days so we will see if he can keep the ball rolling in the right direction.
On a final note, we are beginning a new program for our daily reports that will feature a gallery of trip photos immediately following each voyage. There will still be some daily photos sent on longer trips but sending photos for the entire voyage upon our return enables us to significantly improve photo quality and quantity. I am really looking forward to this new approach after struggling with inconsistent satellite service and low resolution for so many years. The photos now will feature very high quality so be sure to click on them after each trip. It is also likely that the photo gallery will be full of surprises so enjoy this new feature and have some fun!
Now this was more like it today with bona fide long range action that began just after daylight and lasted through the early afternoon. Although we had to put in our time running, the beautiful scenery and yellowtail action more than made up for it and we enjoyed the entire day mixing up our approach both catching on the anchor and drifting. Following our slow afternoon yesterday this was just what the doctor ordered. Reports from above continue to detail the rigors of looking at good spots of albacore that don't want to cooperate but some of the guys did find improved action on kelps today even mixing a few yellowfin tuna into their totals. As such we will be targeting yellowfin and yellowtail tomorrow hoping to finish up with a good hit before heading in for our next turn around.
A classic case of good news and bad news today with the good news being the sign of albacore offshore was outstanding today with spots of fish scattered across thirty miles or more and water conditions favoring their nature. The bad news was that they were far from a biting mood dishing out tremendous frustration aside from a few shots early in the morning. After the morning shot we spent the day in start and stop mode with rarely more than an hour passing that we did not see some kind of significant sign of fish. As reported however the spots of fish in ninety nine percent of cases continued on their way leaving us with nothing to show for our efforts. Such seems to be the pattern this season regardless of where they make a showing and as time has proven the only recourse is to forge ahead while waiting for their fickle attitude to change. So we wait and thankfully we have several more days to do so and the weather is fine. We now hope that luck will lean in our favor and the fish will get with the program.