The sharks put a hurt on us again this morning but we managed to salvage a few. We ended up with 7 fish from 150-190 with 2 over 200, not the big hit we were hoping for but still a nice morning. We called it a trip at 0900 and are presently traveling up the line in nice weather. If we make good time traveling up we might take a look for albacore and bft on the first.
Following is a list of anglers with 200lbers:
Craig Drummond 206,222,210
Ed Janowski 206
Len Cunningham 223
Art Little 210,214
Steve Shaffer 216
Gerry Kruse 230
Bruce Posthumus 236,226,215
Joe Arimitsu 207
Well the sharks definitely didn't back off, but we still managed to boat 11 fish from 140-194 with another 3 over 200lbs. We did have workable kite wind today which accounted for a few of the bigger ones. Tomorrow will be our final morning so hopefully we can finish up with a bang.
We had a nice scratch going this morning but unfortunately the afternoon fell flat on it's face. We ended up with 16 fish from 130-195 with three over 200lbs. Needless to say an incredible grade of fish, which makes up somewhat for the lack of numbers. The lack of wind and voracious sharks definitely put a hurt on our tally, hopefully conditions give us a break tomorrow.
I wanted to supplement Randy's post today with some information on developing local fishing that sounds very good for our upcoming five through eight day trips in June.
Significant sign of Bluefin mixed in size from small (twenty pounds) all the way up to two hundred pounds, a good early season signal of twenty to twenty five pound albacore, very good sign of yellowtail on the coast and at the coastal islands, twenty pound yellowfin tuna already spotted and caught ABOVE Benitos.
What is going on here? I'll tell you what I see. Another set up for a incredible June of long range fishing; potentially fantastic for big bluefin. I mention this because it just so happens that we now have four openings on our June 19th - 24th five day voyage coming up in three weeks. This rumor about Royal Star being full all the time is exactly that; a rumor. If a group or any of you have time to squeeze in a June five day, get on this trip. You literally could not have a better set up for offshore fishing. The fishing time frame of the voyage is exactly four days before the full moon into the full; perfect timing for offshore fishing and my personal favorite. With the present signs of fish and offshore water conditions, every indication points to very good fishing on the horizon. Give us a call in the office if you can make it as we would love to have you along on what we believe will be fantastic trip.
Well it's after the full moon and they're still not biting, so much for the gurus prediction. We did see fair sign of fish today but it is in a very lethargic mood and doesn't respond to anything. We still have two days left so wish us luck.
Another slow day for 5 tuna and 10 wahoo.Weather and conditions are fine but I saw less sign of fish today, which needless to say has us a bit concerned. All the gurus assure me though that they are going to bite after the full moon. We did load up on the big flyers at dark so hopefully they will make a difference tomorrow.
Another brutally slow day here at the bank for a handful of wahoo and 7 tuna, one of which was over 200 with 4 others between 170-195lbs. With four more days left, we are going to continue to battle through this slow cycle and pray we don't run out of time before it turns back on. We still see very good sign so the potential is certainly here for a few big days.
Very slow again today but the grade somewhat made up for it. We ended up with 10 tuna, most of which were 110-150lbs with three between 225-235lbs. Once again the weather was grease calm, almost stagnant, which is not helping the angling. With very good sign and five days left, our hopes are high that this fish turns on after the full moon.
We saw very good sign of big fish again today but it was a very slow scratch. Our tally was 14 tuna, most of which were 130-195 with one at 206. The weather has been grease calm making kite and balloon fishing impossible. We're hoping the bite continues to improve as the full moon approaches.
Very poor first day here at the bank for 10 wahoo, 2 tuna, and numerous sharks. On a bright note, the sign of big fish was very good and we have plenty of time to wait for things to change. Our weather is beautiful.
We stopped by Cedros yesterday and caught a couple boxes of perfect size green mackerel before continuing down the line towards the bank. We are presently rigging tackle and enjoying nice weather as we travel South. Our eta to the Hurricane is the afternoon of the 21st so look for fishing reports to start on the 22nd.
We're going to wrap it up here this morning making our scheduled 0800 hrs. E.T.A. with no extra effort. Overall this has been a very good ride up the coast; not exactly flat calm the whole time but not rough either. Now comes the proverbial changing of the guard as Captain Toussaint dusts off his boots and pliers, puts away his spear gun and wetsuit, and gears up for our final long trip of the season destined for this year's uncontested big fish hot spot, Hurricane bank. Naturally we have been keeping track of the action while heading up the line and it sounds as if things have taken off there again with the big fish going on the bite and the weather being favorable. I have to admit that for a few days the action sounded irresistible and the thought of heading back out crossed my mind more than once. I will restrain myself for the better good however and leave things to "Old Lucky" who has a knack for making catches at the bank on this upcoming voyage. We will be laying the boat in one day tomorrow then heading out first thing Tuesday morning with eighteen fortunate anglers on board. Look for our daily reports to continue at that time providing Captain Toussaint and the boys find something on the way down worth writing about. Otherwise look for more information on our website as we have some very exciting news to report this upcoming week.
Travel time is always useful for reflection and in the case of our latest Clipperton adventure there is certainly plenty to consider. I have to admit however that there is such a sense of elation and relief that most anglers have yet to descent from cloud nine following our final day of incredible yellowfin tuna action. Inevitably though we will return to earth and when we do it will be time to prepare for the next voyage using the knowledge gained on this voyage to our advantage.
One point I would like to emphasize is the necessity of maintaining your equipment regardless of fishing conditions during your voyage. It is imperative when targeting trophy yellowfin at a destination such as Clipperton to fish every outfit, every bait as though the next bite you receive will be that fish of a lifetime; your three hundred pounder. It is very common when fishing gets tough for anglers to lose their enthusiasm and get sloppy or forgetful in their rigging costing them opportunities at trophy yellowfin in the process. I saw this on several occasions during this voyage and on countless previous voyages. I know it is difficult to keep your focus when you hook ten sharks in a row, you haven't had a bite in three days, or the heavens have opened up dumping rain like the biblical flood, but this is exactly when opportunities at big fish occur. In addition, it is amazing how those big bruisers have an uncanny knack for picking the one or two outfits that are rigged marginally. The most important piece of advice I give to anglers targeting trophy yellowfin is this: every time you pick up an outfit or fish a bait ask yourself the question; is this rig ready to catch a three hundred pounder? Have you followed the advice of the captain and crew in your choice of outfits and your rigging methods? Is every aspect of your gear from the hook and line to the connections and rig itself perfect. Has it been maintained, drags checked, line changed, etc. All of these little factors become huge when you engage in battle with a trophy yellowfin. The one thing I can guarantee is that if you hook that fish of a lifetime and any one of these critical components has been forgotten or ignored it will cost you that fish. Of course we all make mistakes and I believe there is a popular saying that goes something like "*#@? happens" but it is no surprise that the most experienced anglers have very few of these moments compared to those less prudent.
It is a very sad moment for me and the crew to see our anglers miss opportunities at trophy yellowfin due to rigging failures; especially when the fishing is slow. It is ironic of course that when you need to be focused the most is when it is most difficult but that seems to be nature's way. The important thing is to remember this fact and get stubborn and tough when the conditions are challenging. Stay on your game and you will be rewarded.
We are presently traveling up enjoying a decent ride in fair weather. It looks like we will be arriving in Cabo San Lucas on time tomorrow and from there we continue up the coast towards San Diego.We are scheduled to arrive in San Diego on Sunday, May 15th for any of you who would like to make a trip to the dock to see our catch. I will continue with updates as we head up the line.
Before I tell our story I want to remind everyone of the one most consistent feature Clipperton island boasts that sets it apart from any other destination we visit. Actually I have probably begun to sound like a broken record sounding off what I will now simply call the Clipperton Mantra. Change, change, change. The one thing we can depend on when fishing Clipperton is that every day will be different. There is no place I have fished in the past twenty years that has the ability to transform as rapidly as Clipperton and that is what gave us hope as we began our final day at this magical island.
I have to admit that it was tough to rally the troops and keep the fire of optimism lit when dawn broke and it appeared that another tough day was on the calendar. The first welcome difference however was the lack of rain and sloppy seas that had hounded us the past three days. This welcome change was the spark for what would become a blazing inferno of yellowfin tuna action that both adds to the legend of Clipperton as well as the Ekstrom predilection for waiting until the bottom of the ninth with two outs to pull off a miracle.
Well before we rounded the corner this morning the radar was telling a different story than previous days. Miles of birds lined one entire side of the island and as they came into view a more beautiful sight was never seen. Yellowfin tuna in every size class were everywhere, blowing out and wildly chasing flying fish across a eight square mile area. Needless to say it was a long last mile heading towards the melee that promised the salvation we were desperately hoping for. We were not to be disappointed today. The first stop was actually a little slow and I had some serious concern although we did land a one seventy. It seems they just needed a little time to warm up though as the next stop produced a one ninety nine, a one seventy, and four others from one forty to one sixty. And so it began as we chased huge bird schools and jumping trophy yellowfin landing two over two hundred pounds in addition to another ten from one hundred forty to one hundred ninety six pounds over a period of four hours. We were on a roll that promised to continue through dark when to our dismay and disappointment glory was snatched from our grasp by yet another tropical squall line that put all the birds down and us out of commission for a good hour. When the torrential rain finally cleared the fish were gone and we had no choice other than to head back in towards the island to see what we could scratch for the afternoon.
So close but so far was the sentiment but little did we know the best was yet to come as we approached the island. Before I relate the end of the story I have to take a step back and mention that the best stops any of us have ever seen at Clipperton are instigated by the arrival of some floating object in the vicinity of the island that is carrying bait. When these objects hit the edge where the fish are patrolling all hell breaks loose as they charge the bait and get to the business of what they do best; eat. It seems as if every fish at the island races to get in on the act and before long one can imagine the scene as thousands of tuna, sharks, dolphins, rainbow runners, and any one else big or bold enough plows through the bait claiming their share. This is exactly what occurred following our rejection from the outside and once again our anglers were treated to a show that one might see once in a lifetime outside this spectacular arena. A huge section of rope was the object and thousands of scoops of bait triggered a chain reaction that began around four thirty p.m. and lasted through dark. Interestingly, the action did not begin immediately and I was amazed by the school of fish we were seeing and the lack of enthusiasm they were showing towards our offerings. We were definitely catching a few tuna in the seventy to one hundred thirty pound class but nothing like I though we should be with the amount of fish we were looking at. I can't really say what triggered the event but it wasn't long after we arrived that the ocean literally erupted and all of these anglers Clipperton fantasies became reality as the fish charged and every rod in the water had a seventy to one hundred ninety pound tuna on for the next two and one half hours hours. As exciting as the catching itself, perhaps even more exciting, was the surface show around the boat as hundreds of tuna flew from the water in every direction and chased a big portion of the bait to Royal Star that effectively became the new floating object holding bait. As we had prudently conserved our bait supply for this exact scenario, we had plenty to add to the maelstrom pouring it over the side adding to the chaos above and below the surface. Late afternoon blended to evening and aside from a couple of welcome short moves to thicker spots of birds and other foamers we finished out our day knee deep in beautiful Clipperton yellowfin tuna and chest deep in glory.
The finishing touch was a flat calm dinner in the lee of the island celebrating our final few hours at long range sport fishing's most spectacular destination. As the revelers enjoyed lively conversation and enjoyed the light tropical night breeze outside, one could only marvel at our good fortune in being able to experience the magic of this island.
Now the reality check begins and once again we are to be reminded of why Clipperton is the marvelous fishing destination we have come to appreciate. It is a long way away and thankfully so. This is not a voyage for the faint of heart or under equipped and as such it has remained a jewel in the middle of the eastern pacific ocean. We will be seeing plenty of this ocean over the next seven days, the first leg of which is the three day ride up to Cabo. I will report in as I think of more to say on the ride up the line.
Suffice to say that following three days of fishing smack in the middle of the inter tropical convergence zone we are all thoroughly impressed with nature's spectacles and thoroughly saturated with precipitation. Indeed yesterday was another tough go with only the heartiest few catching a couple of handfuls of fish while the majority were content to wait for greener pastures during a few stops. Aside from a couple hours here and there, rain, wind, lightning, and thunder were the theme and when it rains down here it often invokes visions of God. A conservative guess at the amount of rain we have seen over the past three days is somewhere in the neighborhood of seven to ten inches.
Enough about the rain however and on to the fishing. Although we struggled mightily with conditions, we did see sign of tuna throughout the day but once again these fish are far from being in the biting spirit refusing most of our offerings. One bright note is the fact that we continue to hook at least a couple of trophies a day but I am disappointed to report that we are having a run of bad luck on our big fish averages with hook to land ratios well below fifty percent. I am certain that the choppy weather has played a role in some of the losses but we are definitely struggling with some misfortune in pulled hooks as well as rigging failures that occasionally stack up to haunt you. Big fish of the day yesterday went to long time Royal Star and southland angler Greg Phillips who missed the magic two hundred mark by only six pounds.
So now we head into our final day at Clipperton keeping an optimistic perspective on both the fishing and the weather. In fact as I write this report it is early in the a.m. on the eighth and we have dry conditions and much improved weather. If any place has the ability to transform overnight it is Clipperton island. Time will tell of course and I will report the final results tomorrow.
On another note I would like to wish every mother out there a very happy Mother's day and express my respect and appreciation for all you do. Enjoy your day as you certainly deserve it.
As good as the sign and day was two days prior was as poor as the sign and our fishing results today. It really should come as no surprise considering the pattern so far, but despite the fact that we are all too familiar with the fickle, unpredictable nature of this island, it was very difficult not to feel disappointed following our efforts yesterday. From the cup half full perspective however we did see fair sign of fish, did land a few, had at least one good shot at a cow and several other heavy fish, so things could be much worse. In my estimation it was just a down day for the fish who were very reluctant to show themselves for any length of time, and hardly willing to bite when they did make their brief forays to the surface. The clock is definitely ticking as we head into our final two days and all we can hope for now is a good break in conditions and a good note to end our fishing on. We are absolutely loaded with bait that we have been prudently conserving for the right opportunity so now all we need is for our efforts to pay off with some good luck and timing.
The signs here continue to improve with yesterday being the best by far for quantity of fish seen and action to match. The fish did change their preference in bait yesterday switching from the traditional live baits we bring to local baits fished under the kites. Of course we were ready for just such an occasion and took advantage of the opportunity while anglers were treated to some awesome surface displays of Clipperton yellowfin hammering the doomed flyers. Speaking of awesome displays, another element added to the adventure yesterday in the form of torrential rain, wind, lightning, and thunder that had us shaking in our boots at times. As usual these tropical squalls did not last long when passing through but this fact did not lessen the impact on our senses. There is just something about fishing for trophy yellowfin (they did keep biting) in the driving rain and eighty degree heat that to me shouts "Welcome to Clipperton!". The only real inconvenience caused by one squall in particular was the fact that our drenched kites crash landed while our baits were amidst a huge area of birds and fish that promised a guaranteed bite. By the time we rigged our AFTCO kites, that boast the advantage of being waterproof, the wind had slacked off and we were forced to wring our hands and wait as the fish crashed all around the boat taunting our inability to catch them. This would have been the perfect opportunity for a miniature remote controlled blimp to save the day.
So passes another day at Clipperton that once again did not produce huge numbers of giant yellowfin but did kick out a respectable day on tuna in the eighty to one hundred seventy five pound class. True to form not one day has been similar to the prior but the one constant is that there are plenty of fish here to get the job done. As such we are anxiously awaiting tomorrow and what it brings.
Fortune was in our favor today beginning at midnight and continuing throughout. Not that it was a barn burner on giants but the signs and more importantly, the action was far better than we experienced the previous day. In addition, the signs of yellowfin in the one hundred twenty to one hundred seventy five pound class continue to improve with numerous spots of mid day jumpers yielding a couple of handfuls of fish and wetting our appetite for more. At present it feels like this place is on the verge of becoming the real deal and I believe if we get a favorable change in conditions we are going to see it happen. In the meantime we are making a fine trip of it ending our day yesterday with a very nice catch total and high spirits. With four days remaining we still have plenty of time and have no change of plans in our forecast. Good luck providing, we will keep plugging away at them positioning ourselves to make the most of whatever opportunities come our way.
Yosh Murikami would like to wish his wife Kay a very happy birthday and sends his love.
There were a couple of highlights today for individuals and one significant highlight for the group that although was fantastic, did not have anything to do with catching tuna. Before I go into detail I will begin with the fact that we began our morning with a two fifteen and a one ninety nine and a couple of other smaller yellowfin. Unfortunately that is about all I can report in the tuna catching department as we spent a frustrating day looking at and chasing schools of tuna that were hell bent on pursuing the bait they were on and ignoring our offerings. We did pick a few others but it was a tough day of fishing by all standards. The one bright note is that the fish are around and that is enough at this island to keep our optimism high. As we have seen so many times in the past, this island changes faster and more significantly than any other area we fish. In this case a change for the better would be a welcome difference from the setting today.
The good news is that despite the slow tuna fishing we made a fantastic day of it by taking advantage of the flat calm weather and making a successful shore landing. These were the kindest landing conditions we have seen at Clipperton in many years and I have to say that I did not miss the adventure aspect of beach landing here one bit. I would venture that our anglers who had the pleasure of going ashore did not miss a white knuckle ride as well. As it was we enjoyed easy, safe conditions and spent a few hours on the beach, exploring, surf fishing, and sightseeing while those who did not go ashore snorkeled and swam leisurely around Royal Star.
We certainly were glad for the diversion and gave appropriate thanks for the break in the weather that allowed us to see the island. Of course tomorrow is a new day and as reported there is no shortage of fish around to make it happen. Time will tell and we will be here to see.
It should come as no surprise that the picture today was completely different with a significant current change leading to an exodus of tuna to the end of the island opposite than we fished yesterday. I can't say for certain what the change will mean overall but the action on 90 - 150# yellowfin was fair and steady other than the highlight of the day that occurred in the late a.m. The morning's finest stop featured both the visual and the action that is rarely found anywhere other than Clipperton. In fact, I have never seen a more incredible showing of voracious yellowfin plowing through a ball of mackerel while sharks, dolphins, and boobie birds all did their best to deprive the tuna of their meal. Perhaps the most amazing feature of Clipperton fish is the fact that in these circumstances the tuna have absolutely no regard for the boat continuing on with their thrashing mere yards from the hull. It is almost impossible to describe the sight of hundreds of tuna from fifty to one hundred fifty pounds plowing through the bait right next to the boat while anglers in every direction are getting slammed to the rail desperately attempting to keep their lines clear as the charged up tuna race for the protection of open water.
Literally every bait that hit the water was a bite and as this was our first good stop of the trip things were a little hectic. When the smoke cleared we had a stern deck full of fish however and smiles on our faces despite the fact that the action was a bit of a challenge. I have to commend this group of anglers who definitely arose to the occasion and are now initiated at Clipperton and ready to make the most of their opportunities on this voyage. We will keep you posted on our progress as we have plenty of time reaming to continue our adventure.
We began on a successful note arriving at Clipperton at high noon to encouraging indications of life in the area. Honestly the most difficult choice we faced upon arrival was which direction to go because there were so many giant bird schools to choose from. After chasing spots for a short while however we opted to stop the boat after two and a half days of running and try our luck on the anchor. On the final day of our previous voyage, conditions made a significant change and as a result we were able to fish in our favorite anchoring zone. I was hoping that the trend would carry over into this voyage and for the beginning at least, it appears that it did. The action was far from hot and heavy but we scratched a handful of trophy fish with the biggest coming in at two twenty three and another three from one seventy to one ninety two. In addition we landed another handful in the seventy to one hundred thirty pound class.
Overall I have to say that I am very encouraged by the sign we see here and am anxiously the morning tomorrow. We have the most beautiful weather one can imagine with just enough breeze to make a white cap, and mixed cloud cover to keep things cool; perfect Clipperton weather. Now time will tell and we should have a much better picture by days end tomorrow