We opted to go up the inside to stay out of the weather so looking for bft was out of the picture. We fished Cedros this afternoon and enjoyed a nice reprieve from the chop of the last few days while catching 10 yellows from 30-40lbs. These big yellows were up on the surface putting on a show which made for a fun bite.
We will be at the dock 0700 Saturday morning and will depart again for a series of 1 1/2 day trips starting on the 31st.
We finished up our stay here at Hurricane Bank today with scratchy fishing that produced a handful of wahoo and 7 tuna, most of which were 90-130 with one at 186. We took off early and plan to try for bft and albacore up the line if the weather permits.
With the dismal reports from the guys as we were traveling down, we're feeling fortunate to have put together a nice trip. We'll post again in a few days when we get up to the bft zone.
A decent scratch today for 10 wahoo and 12 tuna, most of which were 90-150 with two over 200. Very good sign of big fish blowing out all day which gives one the impression that it could go off. With one day left, hopefully tomorrow is the day it does. Our beautiful weather is still holding.
A little slower on the tuna today in spite of very good sign, with eight fish landed from 80-130. A great bite on quality wahoo made up for the slow tuna action today though with 50 boated before we stopped fishing for them. This was obviously a new batch of fish that moved in as they were ravenous and much larger than what we had been catching. With two days left and flat calm weather, we're hoping to finish up with a few more big ones.
Little better sign of big fish here on the bank today while the sharks backed off completely. We scratched out another decent day for 20 wahoo and 13 tuna, most of which were 90-130 with one at 260. Most of the bigger fish have come on the kite but the 260 came on a rigged small tuna. With three days left, hopefully we'll be able to finish up on a high note with the sharks backing off.
We scratched out a decent day for 20 wahoo and 10 tuna, a handful of which were 110-130 with one over 200. There was good sign of big fish blowing out on flyers this afternoon so hopefully our bite will start to improve with more fish moving onto the bank. The weather is still flat calm and we plan to give this at least three more days.
Another tough scratchy day but we managed to put a few quality fish in the hatch. We ended up with 12 wahoo and 7 tuna, two of which were over 200lbs and 5 from 60-130. Thankfully the sharks aren't eating the fish but they make it almost impossible to fish at times. We are going to give it at least four more days and hope they back off at some point. Our beautiful weather continues.
Another tough day on the tuna but we did get a glimmer of hope this afternoon when a short rally on the kites produced a handful of fish, the biggest of which were 240 and 190. The sharks have been brutal which obviously compounds the poor tuna angling. Thankfully, the wahoo cooperated somewhat again today which kept us entertained while waiting for the tuna. The weather is beautiful and we have plenty of time so hopefully these sharks give us a break and our tuna bite improves.
Not much to report as far as tuna goes from our first day here at the bank, but thankfully the wahoo cooperated somewhat. We ended up with 33 for the day, most of which came on the sardines which made for fun fishing. There was a little sign of big fish so hopefully it will start to pick up.
It's been a relaxing yet uneventful ride down the line on our last long trip of the season. We did put the jigs out the first day but in spite of great conditions, came up with nothing. I do feel that the stage is set for a great offshore season with all the bait life and good water we've seen.
We will be starting the trip tomorrow afternoon at the bank where we're hoping the current tough fishing will start to pick up. Look for our reports to start on the 16th.
With plenty of time to reflect upon our previous day's success outside Clarion, I am overjoyed at the thought of expanded options this fantastic day of fishing has provided. Of course I am not shallow enough to believe that every time we fish these areas will be successful, but I am certain that our success yesterday was far from a stroke of dumb, once in a lifetime luck. In fact, we saw similar signs on our February tagging voyage at Socorro, San Benedicto, and Clarion islands. What I believe it boils down to is this: if we, meaning Royal Star or any other long range vessels, put forth effort in these zones, we will make catches on good sized yellowfin, including two hundred pound class fish. Think of what this means to our ten day fly down/fly back voyages from Cabo San Lucas next year. How about those dreaded occasions at Hurricane bank when the fish are off the bite and the prevailing sentiment is one of pure doom as no options, other than to sit and hope and pray, are available. No More. I sincerely hope this will open a new chapter in our fishery and provide many more anglers not only the opportunity to fish for trophy yellowfin tuna, but a reason to feel optimistic about our transforming winter fishery. I know I do, and I can't wait to get back there and fish the way I enjoy the most. Hunting offshore schools of tuna is by far the most challenging form of fishing we do, but affords the greatest sense of victory when success is found. There are going to be lot's of satisfied anglers down here in years to come, and I can't wait to be a part of it.
Well one could figure that this was a particularly dicey move akin to throwing the long ball at the end of the game and hoping for the best. Honestly, I didn't feel that way. Based on what we have seen so many times in the past while traveling between the islands; good bird signs on the outside, way off the edge; sitting at the northeast end of Clarion in the late afternoon watching the fish crash under the birds in the far distance waiting for them to come into the shallows at sundown. Chasing bird schools with big schools of fish underneath and turning around at four or five miles off the island while the fish continued on their way into the deeps. If one really considers the question of where the fish come from at the islands, the answer is obvious: from the surrounding ocean.
With all this in mind, in addition to a few revelations during the previous tagging trip, the desire to actually put forth a solid fishing effort in the zone outside six miles has really been nagging at me. Call it a notion or in today's case pure luck if you wish, but the end result was a fantastic day of fishing from three different schools of yellowfin tuna we found well outside the closed six mile zone. In fact, the first school we tried was twenty five miles west of the island really making one wonder just how much potential there is here. Three different stops, all of which were typical of offshore, school type fishing where the action is fast and furious for the first few minutes, then the fish continue on their way while we attempt to land what we have hooked. That was the case from the first two stops anyway that produced about a dozen seventy to one hundred pound fish before we moved on. The third and final stop of our voyage was very different however both in the size and attitude of the fish. One hundred to one hundred thirty pounds was the size average and rather than a quick hit that lasted only a few minutes, these unbelievably aggressive beasts tore the paint off the boat for almost an hour. I know the "ate the paint off the boat" saying was exhausted long ago, but it is the best literal description I can think of as I witnessed no less that three one hundred pound class yellowfin actually collide with the hull in their reckless pursuit of baits. Unbelievable! Needless to say every single angler was plastered to the rail the entire stop and I can definitely say, even though I would have preferred eighteen, that it was a blessing for everyone that we only had fourteen anglers at the rail. Twenty five beautifully robust yellowfin was the total from our final stop that was the icing on the cake for a hugely rewarding day of fishing.
Now we begin the trek north in what is thankfully beautiful weather. Our arrival day in Cabo San Lucas is May fourth then Captain Brett Rouintree will be piloting the boat up the line for our Sunday, May 7th arrival in San Diego. Look for our reports to continue tomorrow.
Good anchor action on skinnies was a surprising change today that entertained anglers at the rail while waiting for the tuna to appear. As far as the tuna however, they apparently took the day off after a brief morning show that produced only a handful of decent fish. Every day is different and judging by the combined numbers on wahoo today it is safe to say that a new batch of fish has moved in. The tuna are still in the vicinity showing themselves several times throughout the day jumping and chasing flying fish. It is likely that a change in conditions, moon phase, water temperature, or any other change in the elements one can conjure up will transform them into biting fish. On all fishing voyages, no matter how good or experienced the crewmen, a big part of success is simply attributed to luck in timing. With all the elements for a successful voyage in place at the "bank", we will see how the guys on the upcoming voyages fare.
Speaking of luck, we are heading inside for a look around tomorrow, hoping to find a school tuna running around Clarion outside the closed six mile no sport fishing zone. This is something we have wanted to try for quite some time and the slow evening action at Hurricane provided the perfect reason to head in with a few hours of fishing time remaining to give it a try. We will keep everyone up to speed with tomorrow's report.