Following a heavenly night on the anchor in flat calm conditions, we moved out early to our sea bass honey hole and waited for daylight. Daylight came along with a fifty pound white sea bass one of two we landed yesterday. Once again we enjoyed a beautiful morning of coastal yellowtail action picking off a couple of thirty to forty pound halibut as well. On that note I have to add that the quality of the sea bass and halibut that came out of the RSW tanks last trip was absolutely stunning. The halibut actually appeared to still be alive while the sea bass retained those beautiful purple hues around the neck, head, and collar. I am certain that the quality of the meat matched the outside appearance being the finest quality fish those fortunate anglers ever enjoyed. Of course such standards are not unique to those species in the RSW tanks, I just had to mention it as we have not returned with halibut or white sea bass in the fresh tanks prior to the last two voyages.
Following our morning of coastal glory, it was time to face the music returning to the offshore pursuit of albacore and yellowfin while heading up the line. There were some hard earned miles throughout the afternoon but by nightfall mother nature began to give us a break and our ride greatly improved. Tomorrow afternoon and our final day will be dedicated to offshore/albacore action in what we hope will be good conditions.
Just what the doctor ordered today; flat calm weather and epic action on quality yellowtail. Suffice to say we are feeling mighty thankful for our good fortune. Our day on the baja coast began slowly with a couple of exotics and little sign of fish, but as the day progressed into afternoon things began shaping up and it appeared that we were going to catch some fish. The highlight of the day was an evening show of quality yellowtail that all rose to the surface chasing sardines and small mackerel completely surrounding Royal Star. The surface action was outrageous with twenty five pound yellows hammering anything thrown within yards of the boat while thousands of their buddies churned the surface to a froth for hundreds of yards. It was a classic long range scene with every angler carrying a rod tied into a brawling yellowtail and the rugged baja coast providing a beautiful scenic backdrop. With such a fantastic day of fishing under our belts, we opted to shutdown for the night enjoying the peace of a tranquil anchorage before looking for exotics again in the morning.
Our sojourn into the southern bluefin zone was definitely adventurous as we encountered twenty five knot winds and accompanying seas. Of course such conditions are no match for Royal Star, which handles very well in such conditions; especially while drifting, but I would be stretching the truth if told you it was a pleasant day on the water. The good news is that we did indeed find a few bluefin landing eighteen to verify the fact, but none of the fish landed exceeded thirty five pounds. We did see one school of bigger fish that showed some interest in our offerings but none of the cowards were brave enough to try one of our hooked baits. As you can determine from this report a good sense of humor was an essential attribute yesterday as the hours passed slowly between stops. At present, we are done with rugged offshore conditions as we thankfully headed in last night with plans to fish coastal yellowtail tomorrow. Plenty of calm weather and some good fishing action should do wonders for our spirits. Let us hope for good fortune tomorrow.
A very different picture at Alijos than our last visit with plenty of yellowfin and good signs of life but nothing in the size class that we were interested in; especially on the first fishing day of our trip. The vast majority of the yellowfin were in the twelve to fifteen pound class with a couple of standouts that may have been pushing forty pounds. We did manage to scratch up four nice Wahoo but that was all in the exotics department. With a good idea of the potential in this area by evening, we elected to spend tomorrow prospecting offshore in the hopes of connecting with bluefin tuna in the lower regions. I can't say the weather is in our favor but on occasion we just have to deal with the hand mother nature gives us. Look for more information tomorrow.
We departed on the afternoon of the twenty fourth for eight days of long range adventure with a fantastic group of anglers ready for action. With no reports from the lower zones for almost ten days now the decision was made to begin our fishing at the bottom end and work our way north as necessary. While traveling down yesterday, we covered plenty of excellent ground traditionally considered a likely zone for action at this time of year. As it turned out, we came up with nothing for our efforts, although we did see plenty of good conditions and loads of bait. If the bluefin and/or yellowfin do decide to show in the lower zone this season I suspect that we will see some incredible surface action as the fish get on bait balls. The only down side of the equation is that the weather continues to pose a challenge and the forecast for the next few days is looking less that favorable. Oh well. We have certainly made plenty of incredible catches despite the weather on past occasions. Look for our fishing reports to continue tomorrow as we will be arriving on the grounds this morning.
Tough weather working up the line but we managed to pick up 23 albacore out of a few stops late. I'm sure this offshore scene will develop nicely when this weather lays down. We called it a trip at sundown and are traveling home in improving weather. Tim will be departing tomorrow on an eight day so look for his reports on Saturday.
Another fine morning of quality yellowtail fishing highlighted by 4 white seabass from 50-55lbs and a handful of halibut from 20-40lbs. Needless to say we feel very fortunate to be having such great angling in the beautiful lee of an island with the rugged weather reports offshore. Everyone had their fill on the yellows by Noon so we bid a fond farewell to Cedros and began our journey back up the line to try for albacore tomorrow.
Just what the doctor ordered after yesterday, fantastic fishing on 15-30lb yellows in beautiful weather. Everything was on the surface today which made for fun fishing with a lot of visual stimulation. We also had a few nice halibut and one beautiful 65lb white seabass thrown in to keep things interesting. We are going to give this another day before traveling back up to finish the trip in the offshore grounds.
A long day spent prospecting some new areas as we worked down the line. We did see numerous small spots of yellowfin that didn't cooperate and worked through lots of good water, but only managed to land a handful of albacore for the efforts. The weather is a bit rugged and has definitely put a damper on the offshore scene as of late. We are traveling down tonight and will spend tomorrow fishing yellows in the lee of an island.
Well we ran up the majority of the day heading for the albacore grounds and offshore glory. The previous two days featured hot afternoon action and as such we planned our arrival to coincide perfectly with bite time. The only hitch in the plan was the fact that bite time never really happened yesterday although we did find a couple of decent schools that kicked out about sixty nice fat albacore. Thankfully we arrived ahead of a forecasted weather change that promised a difficult ride traveling directly into the wind and seas. We have one more day on the albacore grounds before heading in and turning over the helm to Captain "Lucky" Toussaint on the 19th.
We have definitely had our share of good luck this trip and yesterday was another example of the roll we are on. Beautiful, flat calm weather and perfect conditions greeted us on the yellowtail grounds and even before daylight we began scratching a few twenty five to thirty five pound fish. Things got better from there as daylight brought the fish to the surface in a biting mood. In addition to fantastic action on everything from the surface iron to live bait, the quality of the yellowtail was exceptional with the size average in the twenty to twenty five pound class. Aside from a few brief lulls, the pace continued to improve as the morning progressed into afternoon but by that time we were thoroughly satisfied with our catch of yellowtail. With plenty of time on our hands to continue the quest, we are underway again on a northerly heading with plans to fish offshore tomorrow targeting albacore and bluefin. Good weather is forecast to hold so it appears our ride up the line will be a pleasant one.
Well the day started off just fine with epic weather and good action on school size yellowfin but took a dive after 1000 hrs and never really recovered. The bluefin that we looked at and caught a few of yesterday pulled the classic disappearing act leaving us in search mode once again. Rather than continue the off shore pursuit, we opted for a break in the routine heading in for the afternoon to try a few spots on the anchor before heading up the line. In the end we had nothing to show for our efforts, but had a good time anyway in the glorious flat calm evening. Onward and upward now as we begin the northerly trek in search of yellowtail tomorrow and albacore/bluefin beyond.
Another very nice day of flat calm weather and good fishing on the offshore grounds with action spread throughout on 15 - 25# yellowfin and a fair sprinkling of thirty five to forty five pound bluefin tuna. With the prospect of good size bluefin, good weather, and plenty of time, we have no intention of leaving this zone while this incredible weather holds. There are still a few good spots of the better size bluefin around, it is just a matter of timing and luck to get on the right spot that wants to bite. With this in mind we will give it another go tomorrow before considering other options.
Not to rub it in to the guys on the previous trip who paid some dues for all of us, but this is a great opportunity to reinforce the fact that conditions change rapidly on this ocean and a big portion of luck pays a role in the results of every trip. It's all about timing as we say and in the case of this trip timing so far is good. First of all the weather could not be better and as a result, the ocean is waking up following a week of breezy, rugged offshore conditions. Albacore are up and chomping in the local zone, yellowtail are cooperating at the islands, and most significant to us is the fact that we had a couple of good shots at bluefin yesterday including one school of 60 - 108# fish that gave us a hell of a show and bit pretty good for a couple of minutes. In addition to the bluefin, there has been some good action on fifteen to twenty five pound yellowfin in the same area that keeps everyone busy while waiting for a shot at trophy bluefin. Twenty four was our total on bluefin yesterday with eight of the 60 - 100# fish and fourteen in the thirty to forty pound range. Needless to say we are pleased with the potential we saw yesterday and planning to spend at least one more day in this zone tomorrow. A fantastic three day weather forecast has us hopeful that we will be able to stay on this bluefin for a few more days.
Not a barn burner by any means but we got off to a good start with steady action in the late afternoon/evening that shook the kinks out and prepared anglers for more to come. The difficult weather that hounded us the majority of our previous voyage is now history as very nice, calm conditions have thankfully taken over. One thing I can recommend however is that anglers on our next few voyages make certain to bring a warm jacket and a few long sleeve sweaters or shirts as the temperatures offshore have been downright cold. Also, it is not a bad idea to include a couple of pairs of water proof pants such as our favorites made by FISHWORKS or even a pair of slickers to keep you warm, comfortable, and most importantly, dry when the action gets going and water is being spread around to keep the decks clean. With a good start under our belts we are hoping our luck will continue as we head down the line in search of more offshore action tomorrow.
We are out and underway once again making tracks to the south where encouraging weather reports and good fishing have us fired up about our prospects. We have a fantastic load of bait and a great group of anglers all of whom are as ready as we are to get this show on the road. With a favorable weather forecast we will first prospect offshore looking for any sign of tuna/albacore coming up the line. Beyond that we will see but I doubt we will arrive at the southern end of our journey for at least a couple of days.
On another note I am disappointed to report that I simply forgot to send in the great photos I took from the last voyage. Those of you from the last trip are going to have to wait another week before I get the chance to put them up. My apologies for the delay.
Our final day was spent in calm conditions hugging the coast but I can't say that the fishing was all that hot in the fifty two to fifty three degree water. Man was it cold! We did manage to scrape up a fantastic lunch of shallow water rockfish but that was the fishing highlight. As reported the other notable highlight for which all were grateful was the calm ride home that more than made up for the lack of fish. As it turned out, nothing of consequence was caught offshore either so in the end we came out winners. Now we prepare for our next eight day adventure departing tomorrow with high hopes for the upcoming week.
I elected to send two reports in one today following a long, rough day yesterday for scattered sign of twelve to twenty pound yellowfin and a one school of squirrelly bluefin that gave us the slip. Needless to say by day's end we were ready for a change of scenery and weather and with the forecast promising more rugged conditions offshore our only option in the weather department was to manufacture our own.
Arrival at island paradise came none too soon and with it, mercifully, came a very good day of yellowtail angling that buoyed spirits and transformed this adventure from a brown bagger into a respectable effort. We spent the entire day in calm conditions, catching quality fish that came in small waves in the morning and steady waves in the afternoon. By evening we were all through with plenty of yellowtail in the hatch and a sense of relief that cannot be described. We now prepare for the final leg of our voyage that promises a period of nautical conditions before arriving at our last destination tomorrow. With the catch we have on board and dismal prospects offshore we will be taking the inside route up the line sparing this well initiated group of hearty individuals a final thrashing while heading for San Diego.
I'd like to be able to say something nice about the fishing yesterday but I just can't do it. At present we have the dreaded combination of tough fishing and ugly weather that is making for a very challenging adventure. At this point we have no choice other that to keep plugging away hoping the weather will give us a break and the fishing will improve. There is plenty of coverage out here and we are all combining our efforts but there are certain times in fishing when our quarry sticks their noses in the mud refusing to cooperate. The one good thing I can say is that our group of anglers is handling the slow fishing like pros knowing full well that mother nature is simply in a bad mood. Hope, pray, and persevere. These are our present options and we are exercising them to the fullest.
Well the lack of catching today was certainly not due to a lack of fish but that seems to be a familiar pattern for the past week. Cooler water temperatures, sloppy weather, too much bait, wrong moon phase, and any other excuse you can think of may apply but it all boils down to a matter of time before conditions straighten out and the switch turns on. Once again the encouraging fact is that the fish are around. We did put a few fish on board this morning but not enough to keep us around so the search continues as we head for a new destination tomorrow.
Not exactly a barn burner today with yesterday's promising albacore zone fizzling out setting us up for a day of marginally productive offshore prospecting. Although our results in the hatch were slim, we did see several interesting signs, most notably an area of 15 - 20# yellowfin tuna that were reluctant to bite but present in fair quantity. For the time of year and the area these yellowfin were in one has to wonder how this season is going to play out. Several indications are pointing toward a year featuring warmer conditions and an earlier showing of tropical favorites such as yellowfin and dorado, but it is still a little early to predict. The important fact is that although we did not do a lot of catching yesterday, we did see signs and good conditions. The set up continues to show promise as the month of June progresses and I am certain we have some good surprises awaiting us. At day's end we continued our southerly tack intending to make a morning coastal stop before considering our next move down the line.
We are out and underway on our first seven day voyage of the 2005 summer season. There are varying reports from down below detailing what I consider a typical early scenario with many indications in many different regions. There really hasn't been any wide open action to report for the last few days but once again the set up is promising and will undoubtedly produce when conditions align. We are presently on course for the offshore grounds planning to spend a day in search of albacore and bluefin before considering other options. A fine group of anglers, beautiful load of bait, and good weather have us in the right frame of mind for the trip ahead. Look for our reports to continue daily from this point on as we are scheduled to run continuous through December.