We were hopeing to send the year out with a bang,but it did not quite work out.We saw plenty of yft but it did not want to bite.Would like to wish everyone a happy new year.
Today we had decent fishing on yft.We had a good shot at dark at some better sized yft.The weather is still nice and we are hoping to get another chance tommorow.
Today we had a handful of yellowfin and a couple wahoo. We saw good sign of yft but it did not bite.We still have flat calm weather with some rain at times.
Today we had a handful of small tuna and yellowtail.We have nice flat weather with some rain squalls.
Although a little tardy, here are the photos from Randy?s last voyage that featured a few decent shots at the bigger fish down below as well as fair action on variety. Once again there are plenty of fish around that will undoubtedly provide a good round of action for those on upcoming trips if conditions remain favorable. Along with these photos we want to graciously thank all of our loyal anglers for their support and wish everyone a fantastic holiday season bountiful in love, family, and prosperity. We look forward to the next voyage, the New Year, and the opportunity to fish with all of you for many future seasons.
Thank you from Tim, Randy, Tracy, and the entire Royal Star crew of
Not the big hit we were hoping for but we still pieced together a nice day on 18-25lb yellows while enjoying nice calm weather. They bit the jigs the best and put on a good show which made for fun angling. We are running up tonight and plan on fishing a few hours in the morning, weather permitting.
Long slow day of prospecting for one wahoo, a couple dorado, and 30 small tuna with the exception of two in the 60-80lb range. We are traveling up to top off our bait tonight and plan on starting on the lower end of the ridge tomorrow. It looks like the water has warmed back up a bit up there so hopefully we'll get a shot at some wahoo tomorrow. Our weather is beautiful.
P.S. Chad wanted to thank his new bride Jordan for giving him the most amazing "wedding gift" a guy could ask for. He's got some tuna over 70#s and landed an 85#er today to go along with some of Jordan's favorite fish: Dorado!
We scratched together another decent day for 28 tuna, most of which were 25-50lbs with 6 from 80-110lbs. Very good sign of fish but they were very reluctant to bite. Losses were higher today due to the need to drop down in line size to get a bite. We are making a move tonight to one of the other lower banks in hopes of finding some biting fish.
Encouraging sign on this big fish here today with a slow scratch that produced 22 fish, 10 of which were 70-115 with a 165 and a 182. We did have one stop that was reminiscent of the Thanksgiving trip with 90 - 200lbers blowing out 360 degrees around the boat. Being the first stop of the trip on this size fish, casualties were high with 5 out of 12 hookups hitting the deck. Hopefully this area is just starting to develop and we have an even better day tomorrow. Our beautiful weather continues.
Well, not the big hit we were hoping for but we did get a little taster and enjoyed a beautiful flat calm day. Our tally was 42 tuna, most of which were 35-50lbs with a couple of 70-80lbers thrown in. We are traveling further South tonight and hope to get a shot at the big ones tomorrow.
We spent the day prospecting down the ridge in nice weather for very little to report aside from lots of small tuna. We are going to top off on mackerel tonight and proceed down to the lower banks hoping to make a trip on quality tuna. Wish us luck.
Today's report includes a few more photos from our previous voyage that dissapeared in cyberspace. Congratulations to those anglers who made the photo album and stand by for Captain Toussaint's glowing reports.
Doug Mac Blaine during our hot yellowtail action
Jackpot winner Nate Rose with his 92.2 pound yellowfin
Jim Kirkpatrick with a fat ridge grouper
Lee Weiss with a jumbo ridge yellowtail that ate a live skip
Traveling down rigging gear on the first day of a ten day trip. We plan on starting on the ridge tomorrow and will fast track down unless a bunch of wahoo make us put the brakes on. We have high hopes that all that tuna the guys saw last trip on the lower banks wants to bite by the time we get there.
I had a few more thoughts regarding this latest trip to send along with this round of photos. First of all I sent a couple of short movie clips to add something new to our photos. Second and most important, I was struck by the load of fish following this voyage that featured beautiful variety, quality, and quantity that one would hope for on an average fall ten day voyage. It just so happened that the bar was set very high on the previous voyage and all of us this time had huge expectations of glory that just didn?t happen. I can?t say that I wasn?t disappointed; I was, but after seeing the load of fish and returning to reality I was reminded that very few fall ten day voyages return with spectacular loads of trophy yellowfin. The point is that we must all remember when we make these trips to be thankful for the fact that we are out on the water among friends living our fishing dreams. Every trip is and will be different; that is a guarantee, this is what makes those exceptional voyages, like the previous trip or the Let?s Talk Hookup last year so special. The only sure fire way to swing the odds of being on ?the trip? is to go regularly until your turn comes around.
On a final note, this group of anglers was absolutely fantastic keeping the atmosphere light despite the fact that the fishing was very difficult at times and the weather gave us some grief as well. I want to again extend my most gracious thank you to all of you and look forward to fishing with you again on Royal Star. Enjoy the photos
Mark Shimozaki and a fine quality beach yellowtail
Sean Burroughs with a beautiful ridge grouper
Second place Jackpot winner Joe Vedlasquez with his 86.6 pounder
Ten of the gang with the results of a nice bingo on wahoo
Thanks to Rick Sweetster for replacing old Glory
Dennis Groat landing his 84 pound Yellowfin
Nate Rose landing his jackpot 92 pound yellowfin tuna
Yellowtail action on the coast
Finally we have something other than good weather to report; this time the fishing we experienced being the highlight. There is no doubt that the yellowtail action we enjoyed yesterday easily rivaled any of the best bites in my memory. Twenty five pounds was the average and full speed was the pace during a three hour drift that easily fulfilled all of our yellowtail desires. This bite was best characterized by the unbelievable surface show where schools of voracious yellows were tearing up balls of sardines that we were pouring over the side. The surface action was insane with every well placed surface cast yielding a epic top water display of a big yellowtail hammering the jigs or poppers. Naturally with this type of action on the surface iron, every form of bait fishing from dropper loops to fly lining was absolutely guaranteed to get bit. Needless to say the therapeutic effect of this trip ending ripper was sensational and combined with relief was a sense of pure elation.
I shouldn't be amazed because this has become my trademark, but honestly I would just as soon catch a few earlier in the trip to relieve a little pressure. Better late than never as the saying goes however and no matter how or when it comes, we are always thankful. Ultimately it proves once again that our old motto rarely lets us down. "When the going gets tough, the tough double down". With a little time to spare at days end, we took advantage of the opportunity to fish the kelp line for a few nice bass before heading north. Tomorrow we plan to do a little "fun fishing" for a couple of hours before calling it a trip and heading in.
Captain "lucky" Toussaint will be departing Wednesday and I can just short of guarantee that the tuna fishing down below will be very different than what we experienced. The latest reports indicate that a significant change has already occurred in the lower zone with much more fish moving in and water conditions improving. So the stage is set and we are ready looking forward to the next trip and what it will bring. Look for Captain Toussaint's reports to commence on Thursday or Friday next week.
Other than the beautiful weather we enjoyed, I really had a hard time finding something positive to write about when considering our day. The morning highlight was by far the best of the day when the small Mexican bait boat fleet used Royal Star as a reference to target small skipjack and yellowfin tuna that had gathered around us at night. It was a step back in time watching the fishermen working with lift poles, throwing on fish one after another within a couple hundred feet of Royal Star. They were so close that we could hear the men cajoling one another and the fish hitting the deck, flapping wildly as they rode the conveyer belt to the fish holds. Like I said that was the highlight and the fishing department had little to offer other than some more disappointment on a couple of not biting schools. Onward and upward as we continue the trek north in full search mode. As I have reported in the past, our motto is "when the going gets tough, the tough double down" and as such we have no plan to give in any time soon.
Bitter disappointment is how I would describe my sentiments today following a day of perfect weather and an ocean plentiful with fish that we could not get to bite to save our lives. It is little consolation that all of us down in this zone are more or less experiencing the same phenomena but this fact, at the very least, is helping to preserve our sanity. As reported we had the weather and conditions today to get out on the offshore big fish grounds and we were thrilled for the opportunity. The big fish that were so prolific last trip were scarce at best but it only takes one school and late in the day we believed we had found the one. It was a perfect setup in perfect conditions at the perfect time. Our positioning was ideal as we crept into the school and the fathometer lit up with a spot of straight cows (giant yellowfin) that made my heart flutter with anticipation. I gave the call to throw bait, and throw it we did pouring it over the side scoops at a time. All anglers were on their game, in the water almost instantly with their eighty and one hundred pound outfits ready to finally feel the exhilaration of a shot at trophy yellowfin that would erase the memory of the previous days disappointments. This was it; this was our chance to save it. The results? Nothing. Not a boil, not a bite, as my chief mentor Steve Loomis used to say "not even a skinned bait". The question now is what to do and the answer of course is keep trying. Not in the lower zone however as that little experience tapped my enthusiasm for this area once and for all.
That is not to say that it won't come around however; it probably will, those anglers on upcoming voyages will simply have to be the ones to make it happen. In fact, the one bright note to the story is the fact that the fish are still around and it is likely a matter of time before more good fishing is to be found down below. In the meantime we are now on a northerly tack in search of better opportunities ahead.
With the weather the way it was, we told ourselves that even ahead of our fishing hopes was the desire for better working conditions in the form of calm seas. Fortunately our wish was granted as we enjoyed a day of flat calm, beautiful tranquility that was unfortunately well below our expectations in the fishing department. We did see a few bigger fish today and managed to land handful but the schools just didn't want to bite and that was that. I have to hand it to our group of anglers however who are wholly dedicated to the fishing effort putting in countless hours at the rail despite finicky biters and at times, horrifically slow action. We have now reached the stage of our trip where there is no alternative other than to keep trying and that is exactly what we intend to do. Thankfully it appears that the weather will be on our side. Now all we need is plenty of good luck.