We've been having a little difficulty getting the reports in over the last few days but I think we have the problem ironed out now. In a nutshell we headed to the southwest out of the gates this four day voyage looking for opportunities at the bigger fish before finishing offshore on the final day. There was some epic action on quality last week on the outside but this week began with far less than ideal working conditions and fishing that reflected such. Our total results from the couple of days at the island were respectable, and we can definitely say that every fish landed was a good one, but overall we got the short end of the stick on conditions and left the island wishing the tuna fishing had been better. Such is fishing and like every fishing trip timing is everything. We will now see how our timing offshore is as we head out prospecting again in search of something to work with in our preferred southern working territory. There is a tremendous amount of potential with all the warm water around so we will see if we can make something of it tomorrow.
Our morning offshore prospecting mission didn't work out here today but we did get into an area this afternoon that produced steady action on yellowtail and dorado. We also saw a few nice schools of albacore just before dark but only managed to land three. They might have been reluctant to bite due to this 74 degree water, this is the warmest I've ever seen albacore in. We will be departing again tomorrow on another four day trip so look for reports to resume on the 30th.
Tough day for us here at Guadalupe with less than optimum weather conditions to work with due to the tropical storm that is below us. We did manage to scratch 20 tuna from 50-60lbs out of a few short flurries so at least we got a sample. I'm sure it will go on the bite when conditions straighten back out as we saw plenty of fish. We are running back up tonight to finish the trip tomorrow in the offshore grounds.
We pieced together a decent start to the trip here today in the offshore grounds for 47 albacore, 85 yellows, and 12 dorado. We saw good sign of albacore but the seiner traffic made them reluctant to bite. We are presently heading for Guadalupe where we hope to have a nice day on quality tuna tomorrow. Our weather is flat calm and balmy making for a beautiful ride down.
When considering our results from the last three offshore prospecting missions we have undertaken I started to recall an old joke about a hunter and a bear mid way through yesterday when we had only a few handfuls of fish to show for our efforts and a big, beautiful, but blank ocean around us. Actually it was far from blank with very encouraging water conditions and plenty of life, but no concentrations of good fish to sink our teeth into. Our day consisted of many short stops on school size yellowfin, dorado, and yellowtail around flotsam and on jigstrikes trying to cover as much ground as possible before the day was extinguished by nightfall. In this respect I can say we were one hundred percent triumphant as we worked our tails off wringing every possible fish from the one hundred plus miles of open water traversed in search of a new body of offshore fish down the line. In the end we are very grateful for the good day of angling on quality yellowfin at Guadalupe that turned out to be the big highlight of this four day voyage. We are presently working north in preparation for our next Phillips Steel four day voyage departing tomorrow with Captain Toussaint at the helm. Look for Randy's reports to commence tomorrow.
Definitely what we had in mind today with an extended morning period of consistent action on 50 - 60# yellowfin tuna that gave all anglers the chance to stop, fish, and hone their skills while targeting a quality size tuna. Combined with beautiful scenery and perfect weather, the day was fine success that came through for every angler who put in the time and effort at the rail. In that regard Guadalupe is very consistent. The most valuable advice I can share with all anglers on voyages to the outside island is be prepared to work hard at fishing and the catching part will usually follow. Of course the island is a spectacular place and there is nothing wrong with taking in the sights, taking it easy, and even perhaps downing a few beers. Just don't set your expectations too high in the catching department if this is your preferred approach. I don't want any anglers to take this perspective the wrong way either. In today's day and age, with the beautiful fresh product that goes a long way when processed or filleted at home, one certainly does not need to rate the success of their long range voyage by how many tons of fish they returned with. But Guadalupe can be a very challenging place to make a catch, and even that one or two fish, that will very likely be the standout accomplishments of your voyage, can be hard to come by if an angler does not wish to earn them.
That said we are heading back offshore for our final day looking to end our voyage on a high note with plenty of action on whatever we may encounter in what we hope will be a new zone. With perfect weather in the forecast, we couldn't hope for better conditions to search in
Not exactly the beginning we were looking for as the morning broke with sloppy, unsettled weather and a very different feel than our prior three days offshore. It took about three hours to realize that the fine fishing for jumbo albacore and big yellowfin was not in the cards today and very well may be elusive until conditions change or the fish show up somewhere else. Of course these things do happen, and are expected, as the old saying of " it's called fishing, not catching" comes into play. Thankfully for us and the fleet, the good fishing for quality yellowtail and now good sized dorado is readily available on kelps saving the day when the albacore and yellowfin go off the bite. That is exactly how our day played out and now we are heading down the line relishing the open water and world of opportunity on our bow.
We could not have scripted a better ending for what was already a fine fishing voyage featuring beautiful weather, consistent action on quality tuna and yellowtail, and a exceptional group of anglers. In the case of our final day, all of the above listed details continued as we enjoyed a steady day of action on fat albacore with a smattering of forty five to fifty five pound yellowfin in the mix. We even had a beautiful, ninety three pound bluefin tuna make a cameo appearance tilting the jackpot contest in favor of veteran angler Dave Cabot, who no doubt will enjoy the finest quality bluefin loins one could ever imagine one day out of our RSW tanks. Tomorrow we head out again on our annual Steve Kimbrough four day adventure hoping for an extension of our good fortune that has certainly not gone unnoticed. As such I want to take the opportunity to express our gratitude to all our anglers who make these voyages possible and the ocean that bestows it's grace upon us. Thank you.
It's a good thing the yellowtail came through for us as the tuna showed zero interest in eating anything we had to offer today. Similar to yesterday there is no shortage of sign to fish for, but whether they are out on the fringes or directly under the boat the result is the same; hardly a reaction short of a few half hearted boils. Such is fishing. At the very least we take solace in the fact that when these fish decide it is time to bite, there will be plenty of good times at the island. Not that we didn't have our share of good times today. As reported we had a very good morning and afternoon shot on the big yellows especially in the morning when the average was thirty to forty five pounds! Suffice to say that our anglers caught as many as they wanted enjoying the challenge of wrenching burly yellows from the rocks while again basking in perfect weather. Now we resume the offshore search heading north to finish our voyage with what we hope will be a final day of albacore and yellowfin tuna action. The perfect working weather continues so time will tell.
Well it wasn't from a lack of fish, poor weather, perfect bait, or decent working conditions. In fact we had every condition one could hope for at the island but as any seasoned fisherman can tell you, that doesn't necessarily assure success. It was far from a total bust as we managed to pick and scratch a fair catch of quality yellowfin, but one can not help imagine what will be if the fish around here do decide to get with the program. Suffice to say we were taunted all day by what we saw but could not entice using every trick in the book. The one encouraging fact is that the fish are here. As such we plan to give it one more day hoping that they will have a change of heart tomorrow. At the very least we are far from suffering as the weather and scenery is as perfect as it can ever be.
Far from the typical day of offshore albacore fishing that is usually characterized, especially by the "old salts" with a penchant for drama, as a hearty, nautical experience complete with ten foot seas, howling winds, and plenty of spray striking flushed cheeks. Although that description is obviously extreme, more often that not, the offshore albacore pursuit is conducted in cloudy, chilly weather that can certainly be breezy at times. In yesterday's case, we could not have been father from the above mentioned conditions. Grease calm, hot, balmy, outright tropical conditions (complete with a.m. lightning and thunderstorms) was the setting and the albacore, along with plenty of their yellowfin, yellowtail, and even a few of their bluefin friends, made a good mid afternoon showing in a handful of action packed stops that were well distributed among our fleet. Between the absolutely epic weather and the good fishing for variety, quantity, and quality (the yellowfin tuna were forty five to fifty pounds) one could not have hoped for a better beginning on a summer five day long range voyage. With a good start of jumbo albacore, yellowfin, and yellowtail in the "RSW" tanks we are proceeding down the line looking to spend a few days at the island in search of a few trophy fish and scenic variety before heading out offshore again.
We're out and underway on our annual Kevin Leong five day adventure heading for points south and what we hope will at least be a sample of offshore glory. At present the list of options is very encouraging although the big hits offshore tapered off today with the majority of what was seen switching into a not biting mode. Such is fishing, especially in the offshore zone. It looks like we have very good working weather to begin with so now is the time to take a shot before continuing our southerly trek.
We finished the trip up with a bang here in the offshore grounds with great fishing on 22-40lb albacore and 15-50lb yellowfin. There was a nice spread of fish today which is very encouraging for the upcoming trips. Tim will be departing tomorrow on a five day so look for his reports to start on the 17th.
We enjoyed a great day of fishing on 18-30lb yellows here at Cedros in beautiful balmy weather. It was nice steady action all day with everything hooked on the flyline and jigs. We had our fill by dark and are presently catching a couple boxes of mackerel before continuing up the line, where we plan to spend our last two days prospecting offshore.
Another discouraging day of tuna fishing here at the rocks with the few we hooked being consumed by sharks. There is plenty of fish here to make a nice catch but today it simply didn't want to bite. On a bright note we did manage to land 10 wahoo out of a few stops and our weather is beautiful. By early afternoon the handwriting was on the wall prompting us to take off for greener pastures. We are presently on course for Cedros where we plan to fish yellows tomorrow.
Not exactly what we were hoping for here at the rocks today but we managed to put a few quality fish in the hatch. Our tally was 20 nice tuna and 7 wahoo. Unfortunately the sharks and small fish spoiled what would have been a great day on the 50-80lb tuna, we're spending the night in the hopes that they back off tomorrow.
Uneventful day traveling down towards Alijos in nice weather. We will arrive tomorrow morning and hope to resume the fantastic angling that Tim left last trip.
Well once again we were denied on our offshore prospecting mission but I can't say I am surprised with the prior three days reports indicating that the fish are down in the lower zones. Although this is not a welcome fact, it is the reality of offshore angling, and such challenging periods can only be met with fortitude but also, and just as important, a balanced perspective including a good sense of humor. That's right, a good sense of humor on those long offshore days goes a long way to minimize the disappointment and lighten the atmosphere. Of course it isn't likely that much humor will be found on the bridge during challenging fishing phases, but that doesn't mean that things can't be at least a little lighter on deck. It's a good piece of advice to keep in mind as slow days of fishing, and even an occasional slow trip, are an inevitable fact. The only thing to do in such cases is make a good time of the voyage otherwise having a good time and sharing a few laughs with good friends.
In the case of this group I can definitely say that they fall into the above mentioned category although in this case it was relatively easy to shrug off a slow day with a beautiful catch of fresh quality yellowtail and yellowfin tuna in the hatch. Captain Toussaint returns tomorrow assuming command on our next seven day John Kashiki voyage. With the present set up I wouldn't be surprised to see "Old Lucky" head back down below as a better prospect simply does not exist. We will see however as offshore fishing is always dynamic and full of surprises. With the full moon coming and good weather in the forecast, the ocean is prime for a change. Look for Randy's reports to begin in a couple of days.
Our yellowtail angling yesterday can only be described as perfect for our present situation with steady action on beautiful, twenty five to thirty pound class fish lasting throughout the morning. None of that crazy, wide open, climbing over the top of each other type action that pumps the adrenaline up to peak levels. Just easy, one to three fish hooked all the time in flat calm, balmy weather; exactly what one day dreams about while working away the hours in anticipation of their Baja, long range trip. With a fantastic catch of fresh yellowfin tuna in the RSW tanks already, anglers fished and took accordingly releasing plenty of gorgeous yellows or simply enjoying the action from the top deck once their modest goals of fresh yellowtail in the tanks were reached. Welcome to the new age of long range fishing. I want both thank anglers for and commend every one for the rational, responsible, and practical fishing we have witnessed during the past two years, but especially the past two months. The trend of keeping only what you want and can use, and not a huge excess, is in full swing. Good going anglers!
That said, we are now heading north west taking a long shot in search of the elusive bluefin tuna that presently have their noses in the mud doing a very adept job of avoiding our fleet. Perhaps tomorrow will be the day as we are taking a tack well off the beaten path hoping to encounter something new for our group to work with. This of course may be a very tall order but with our present catch of fish in the hatch, it is definitely our turn to cover new ground in search of the mother lode.
A nice change of pace today following a decent ride in to the coast that was rather uneventful. We actually covered some very good area on course to our destination but other than a smattering of smaller yellowfin tuna and midget yellowtail, we encountered nothing to pique our interest. The coast was another story however as we found very good indications of yellowtail upon our arrival that ultimately did not bite all that good, but plenty good enough in our position. In fact it was a perfect pace that allowed all anglers to thoroughly enjoy the sights and sounds of the incredible show of birds, yellowtail, Bonita, log barracuda, sea lions, dolphins, and blue whales all assembled in the same area to wedge themselves on tons and tons of bait. With a couple of days remaining we will be in this zone tomorrow looking for a few more yellowtail and perhaps enough bass for a meal before heading up and out on a final offshore mission tomorrow.
We opted to move on seeking variety in scenery and species as we are now very well off in the 50 - 75# yellowfin tuna department. Good fortune definitely smiled upon us again as our third day was the best yet with very steady action on both the kites and sardines beginning just after 0700 hrs and continuing through the early evening. In fact it was so good on the kites that we made it through the twenty four man rotation two full times in about six hours of fishing much of it with only one kite in service as the deck requirements were demanding the entire crew at the rail. Wow! What a fantastic three days of action that were by far the best I have seen at this location in at least three or four years. So now with a beautiful load of fresh, meticulously spiked, bled, and gutted 50 - 99# yellowfin tuna in our RSW tanks, we head up the line, looking to spend a few days on the coast targeting yellowtail before putting in some time offshore in pursuit of bluefin tuna on our final day. Our good weather continues and we expect more of the same as we will be island fishing for at least the next couple of days.
We definitely got off on the right foot here today which was quite a relief following some shaky reports about changing conditions and much less than eager yellowfin in this vicinity. We were very fortunate to make a stop while traveling down landing smack on top of the "candy" bait where we loaded up with high hopes of putting them to good use upon our arrival. As it turned out the soft bait made all the difference encouraging even the less enthusiastic yellowfin around us to join the party while the eating was good. Ironically, the only complaint we could muster is that the weather is too good with slack winds and grease calm conditions grounding all forms of aerial bait presentation until the early evening when a whiff of breeze stirred. With the breeze we were finally able to scramble a few kites confirming our suspicions about their potential. If the light breeze remains, there may be some good times in store for us tomorrow. We will see one way or the other as our game plan, barring the unexpected, is set for at least the next couple of days.
We kept the ball rolling in the right direction with another fantastic day of perfect weather and very good action on forty to ninety pound yellowfin tuna. Our prediction about the kite potential was indeed correct as the light breeze today proved sufficient for flying and the tuna were eager for that style of presentation. We are elated at day's end finishing up our fourth of July at sea with an appropriate meal of barbecued yellowfin tuna steaks following a traditional mid afternoon snack of barbecued jumbo franks and Chef Drew Rivera's outstanding barbecued spare ribs. Yes, that is correct, we had the barbecue going throughout the day taking advantage of the beautiful weather and paying tribute to our country's tradition on Independence day while enjoying epic action on yellowfin tuna. What can I say. Just because we are fishing doesn't mean we can't have a little fun.
Tomorrow is back to business however although we really can't hope for anything better than we had today.
Apparently our reports have been missing over the past couple of days as difficult satellite connections have hindered their transmission. We have prevailed on the water however, successfully turning the boat around on Saturday the first heading out on our annual "Barking Spiders" eight day voyage. With a fantastic load of bait and very enthusiastic group of anglers on board, we are heading for points south looking to start on the bottom end of our list of options in pursuit of yellowfin tuna and perhaps, if luck is with us, a few tropical exotics. Following yesterday's trek south, I can report that the water temps are definitely on the rise and the species we expect in such conditions are heading up the line. I would even speculate, in light of what we observed yesterday, that the local boats are going to have more than a few shots at exotics such as yellowfin tuna and dorado around kelps and offshore before too long. We certainly hope so as the obvious void in albacore could stand to be filled none too soon. We arrive at out southern destination today and will of course continue our reporting as long as we are able.