Five tuna in the ninety to one hundred forty pound class was the day?s grand total that according to Captain Toussaint might have been better had the anchor not slipped at a very inopportune moment. So be it, but the weather was fine, and the day was enjoyed while fishing in a stationary position. Now the northerly trek begins which includes at least one full day in the offshore, big fish zone with high hopes for a good showing that will lead to a second. Again the weather is excellent for looking and we know the fish are around. It is now up to them if the trip is to return with a successful catch of big ?cows?. Regardless of their luck on giant yellowfin, the guys still have plenty of fishing time remaining and will likely spend another full day in the ridge zone as well as a final day on the beach in search of other species. We will keep everyone informed accordingly.
Well they saw them again but the reaction was even less unenthusiastic than two days prior. Fortunately they broke up the day with some good action on big, ?ballslapper? grade Dorado, and the weather is absolutely perfect, but the big fish pursuit still remains the ultimate challenge. After moving around for several days, Captain Toussaint has elected to spend today in anchor mode focusing the big fish effort in an area a little farther to the south where we had good indications on the previous voyage. They have not thrown in the towel on the big fish area offshore, but after a couple of three days of continuous searching, a day on the anchor should be a welcome respite. The next move will of course depend on today?s results, and we will keep everyone posted.
What a letdown! All preparations were made and spirits were soaring after the incredible showing of big cows in the late afternoon on Saturday - but it was not meant to be. In short, the big fish did not show with zero sign other than some spots of thirty pound yellowfin tuna that, like their big brethren, showed almost no interest in biting. So now it is back to search mode, which is no small task for one boat in such a vast area. With any luck tomorrow will be a different day. In the meantime Captain Toussaint decided to make a short relocation starting the day in a different zone where reports of good Dorado, marlin, and potential for tuna action have been on his mind since last trip. Regardless of how it goes, the guys will be back out to the west by late afternoon is search of jumbo yellowfin tuna again. As we all know, every day is different and with perfect conditions forecast to hold through Wednesday, there is no reason that the fish won?t be up again and on the bite today.
Lo and behold! Just when you think that all is doom and gloom and the fish are all gone guess what happens? Captain Toussaint, working in the same general ?beach? area yesterday ran across the mother lode reporting ?as good of sign of giant yellowfin as he has seen yet this season?. Big spots of jumpers, sonar schools, and plenty of scattered cows or ?loose? fish around had the guys stopping all afternoon as the big cows crashed around and stayed with the boat. Now the less than perfect part of the report is the fact that once again the big cows were reluctant to bite doing a lot more showing than going. But they did manage to hook a couple of cows from one spot that yielded a 204 for angler Bill Hunter and a heartbreaking loss of a ?giant one? according to Captain Tossaint.
Although the big cows in this zone have been consistently wary this season, they have dropped their guard more than a few times. In fact, I am reminded of our mid December trip when we saw and tremendous sign one day while hooking only one fish and the next day we landed twelve over two hundred with seventeen fish total coming over the rail. We have very high hopes that history will repeat itself in this case. Regardless the stage is set as the guys have perfect, flat calm weather and the most important component of the equation in their favor ? the fish being there. So that is it along with some fantastic fishing action on school size yellowfin on the ridge two days prior while trekking south. At present the boat is experiencing technical problems with the satellite connection so I have been enlisted as voyage narrator based on information Randy is providing. Wish the guys luck out there as this big deal. Needless to say we were sweating bullets over the past week with the big fish not showing and our ?gut feeling? or ?instinct? about them being there on the line. Now that part of it is settled but the guys still have plenty of catching to do before we come out smelling like roses.
We departed on our 11 day yesterday and are presently enjoying a beautiful
ride down the line. We are going to work down the ridge tomorrow and plan
on being in the big fish grounds the following day. Weather reports are very
good for at least the next 3 days, so hopefully we will get another showing on
the lower banks.
Bob Crawford would like to wish his wonderful and understanding wife a happy
26th anniversary, which was yesterday, our day of departure.
The final morning presented a new challenge as our angler's dedication to the pursuit of trophy yellowfin was practiced in twenty five knots of wind with driving rain. Fortunately the worst of it passed early, but there were plenty of sullen looks, by both crewmen and anglers alike, when viewing conditions at first light. Needless to say only the heartiest few charged it early on, but by six thirty or seven just about everyone was suited up for conditions and at the rail joining the effort. In that respect I have to again report a significant lack of excitement as the tuna continued their frolicking around the boat today while only a brave few ate baits carrying hooks. We did manage to land a mid day, two hundred thirty pounder, in addition to a couple in the one hundred fifty pound class, so the day was far from a bust, but overall the voyage ended on a slow fishing note despite our best efforts.
In reference to yesterday's comments about the tough fishing and remaining optimistic, I have to give credit to this group of anglers who are the best example of this philosophy I can think of. Knowing the stakes of big fish angling, these anglers made a good time of it regardless of the fact that fishing was not easy. Don't get me wrong either. This trip was far from a bust with eight yellowfin over two hundred in the hatch as well as more than a tank full of beautiful, trophy class yellowfin. But overall there was a lot of slow fishing that required patience and a good perspective to overcome.
So our most sincere thanks to Kevin Leong and his group of anglers who made this ten day, fly down/fly back voyage a good time with their passion for fishing and having a good time while doing it.
Now the final leg of the voyage begins with Captain Brett Rouintree taking the helm while the boat travels up the coast. Unless there is some significant development, look for our daily reports to continue upon the departure of our next eleven day on January twenty fourth with Captain Randy Toussaint at the helm. Otherwise look for voyage photos in our daily reports section in the next few days.
First off I need to post a small correction about Wednesday's fishing that featured action on ninety to one hundred seventy pound yellowfin as opposed to the ninety to one hundred pound class I incorrectly stated. Most of the fish were ninety to one twenty with five from one forty to one seventy. Moving on to Thursday, all I can report is another long day of fishing effort for scant results in the catching department. For whatever reason, the yellowfin around this bank are off the bite though they are more than eager to crash around the boat whetting our appetite for action. A couple of days back I commented that the entire ocean seemed to be in a funk with plenty of fish of various size and species around, but none of it showing any inclination towards biting. Today was simply another example of that observation.
Now, before I end today's report I want to remind everyone of the importance of keeping things in perspective when it comes to fishing out here; actually everywhere. One cannot expect the ocean to yield all of it's gifts three hundred sixty five days a year as conditions on the high seas are extremely dynamic. These constant changes can be viewed from a variety of perspectives with a positive or negative bent, but I urge any and all doomsdayers to hearken back to the hundreds, perhaps thousands, of occasions when we are faced with similar circumstances and somehow prevail. Not that we are under any illusions about our present situation, but it is a good occasion to remind everyone that the ocean changes constantly, and thankfully so. In fact the expected changes are, and should be, fuel for optimism rather than the opposite.
That said we are hoping things will change for the better tomorrow before our final day of fishing comes to an end. Just as today's action went cold, tomorrow's could go back on the bite so we are prone to stay put and finish out our voyage on the lower end as really no better option is available. With the wind and seas up again the offshore option is off the table and as such, the prospect of fishing on the anchor is the best choice on our small list. Time will tell.
A vast improvement today with eleven yellowfin in the ninety to one hundred pound class coming over the rail and a full day fish showing on the surface all around us. Combined with the pleasure of fishing on the anchor all day with kites deployed and baits in the water, we were all very pleased with the change of pace and the opportunities to practice our angling techniques. And practice we did as the finicky yellowfin around this bank put on a world class show for hours yesterday while ignoring just about every offering our anglers could present. Thankfully an occasional tuna would make a mistake, and this fact, along with tuna jumping out of the water in all directions, kept everyone interested and focused on the task at hand. And so the effort continues, and with the indications of tuna we observed yesterday, and fine working weather in our favor, we have no intention of relocating in search of greener pastures elsewhere.
It was another down day in the big fish zone with fine weather and perfect conditions producing a much appreciated, beautiful day for looking, but very little sign of what we were looking for. The combination of the fish being down and very little coverage available has led to plenty of driving and looking over the past few days. As such, we are heading down to the lower region tonight with plans to spend at least a couple of days in anchor fishing mode providing conditions are agreeable. Presently, the tremendous amount of fishing time this trip boasts is very welcome as we still have three full days to dedicate to the big fish effort in whatever mode we choose. In this case we are far from giving up on the offshore pursuit, but are welcoming the opportunity to stop the boat get some lines over the side for an extended period of time.
For those of you on the upcoming eleven day, don't despair. Not only is there plenty of sign and excellent conditions in the entire lower banks region, but the ridge continues to be on fire with good signs of yellowfin, yellowtail, and dorado in several areas. As far as the big fish action is concerned, the whole ocean from Hurricane Bank to our location just seems to be in a funk right now. The one certain fact is that change is inevitable and in the present case, fortunately so.
In the meantime we are back in the game with good weather gracing the effort so we will see what tomorrow has in store for us.
Well I hate to say it but this day was inevitable as no one can have the lion's share of good luck all the time. Yes, we took a bath in the fishing department today scouring the ocean from dawn till dusk for a big zero despite our best efforts. As for why the fish didn't show today we can only speculate, but we do know that this is not out of the ordinary in this area. It is very common for the big fish to move around and sometimes spend days, even weeks, in the deep water without any kind of surface showing. That very well could be the present situation as two days of sloppy weather typically has this kind of effect on the big tuna in this region; we certainly hope so. Taking today's results into account, as well as the need for a change of pace, we headed south at day's end planning to check out another offshore bank in the a.m. hours while spending a little time on the anchor with lines over the side. Sometimes it is therapeutic to simply stop the boat and fish, and that is exactly what we plan to do tomorrow morning before heading back out towards the big tuna grounds for the late afternoon. Captain Toussaint is back at the helm tomorrow so we will see if he can dig us out of the hole with some of his magic.
It came right down to the wire again with another day saver one hour before dark that produced eight yellowfin in the one hundred to one hundred forty pound class. The weather deteriorated significantly during the previous night, and showed signs of continuing it's tantrum for awhile, but remarkably the wind let up around mid day making for an agreeable time of it compared to what we dealt with in the morning. I must report that in all our searching today we saw very little indication of the trophy yellowfin around, but that fact is not yet alarming considering the weather change. Once again the water temperature and currents are consistent leading us to believe that this was simply a down day. In fact, as I write this report the weather is showing signs of continued improvement so, with a little luck, tomorrow will be a better day for looking. As I said a few day's back, "one day at a time", and that is exactly how we are proceeding.
It was a nail biter today coming down to the last few minutes of our window of opportunity before we finally got on a spot that looked good and wanted to stick with the boat. Before that stop we definitely endured a little frustration as we found a couple of good schools that completely snubbed us without so much as a boil. Perseverance paid off in the end though with three more "deuces" coming over the rail from a late afternoon spot in addition to three others in the 130 - 150# class. Once again we find ourselves in the same situation with enough big fish being caught to keep us stationary and motivated. Even more significant is the fact that we continue to see very good signs of this big fish around and water conditions holding strong. Considering the amount of fish here, and the history of this region, one has to believe that it is simply a matter of time before they get with the program and start biting again. As the potential rewards are well worth the patience and effort, so we wait, hoping to at least continue scratching in preparation for a big hit to come.
A similar pattern today with an unproductive morning creating marked wheelhouse anxiety while our anglers relaxed, enjoyed the fine weather, and a few beverages of their choice. Again the signs of fish, both on and around the banks, is adequate with scattered spots showing no interest in the morning hours. Thankfully though, the afternoon was the time again today, and the size average was closer to the range we are hoping for. Four over two hundred came over the rail with another five in the one hundred thirty to one hundred seventy five pound class from one afternoon drift that showed real promise before petering out at sundown. Not surprisingly, Gary "Big Fish" Sato was the man of the day with a two fifty six while Bart Ryder's two forty seven and Kevin Leong's two forty five ran a close second and third. Needless to say we have no intentions of leaving this area as long as we can keep scratching in this perfect weather pattern. With easy bait close by and the potential for a big hit on these cows, we are in the game we were hoping for.
Our overall sense is that one day at a time will be the trip mantra as one definitely gets the feeling that it would be easy to miss around here if you are even a little out of step. In other words they are definitely here, but we are going to have to earn every one of them. We will see tomorrow.
First and foremost I suspect that many anglers are eagerly anticipating a good report from the beach zone that has been so productive on big fish during the past month. The latest update as of yesterday is as follows: all signs of big fish are here with a broad zone holding scattered groups and at least a couple of good spots of straight cows. Our results yesterday were thankfully augmented near day's end by a school of one hundred to one hundred seventy pound fish from which we landed nine of about a dozen opportunities. Twice we encountered good groups of cows only to be shunned by the uninterested behemoths that didn't even expend the energy to rise and slurp a single bait. This scenario is far from unusual, especially when it comes to giant yellowfin. Experience has proven that the big fish, other than an occasional departure from the norm, possess a fickle nature and require much patience and effort if one expects an opportunity. So the present strategy is to stick with the program and hope we can put at least a little something in the hatch each day while waiting for the cycle to come around. The weather is a perfect as can be although we might get a few days with a slight bump if the forecast is accurate. The main point of focus is that the fish are definitely here. Water conditions are excellent, local bait is plentiful, and time is on our side. As long as the weather cooperates, and we can keep at least a few fish coming over the rail each day, we will be in the neighborhood biding our time while awaiting our opportunity.
Well, with the exception of catching any fish, the day went according to plan with a quick turn in Cabo San Lucas allowing us ample time to fish the entire afternoon in the area on and surrounding Jaime bank. Not that we didn't see any yellowfin, including big fish, but everything we saw showed almost no interest in our offerings continuing on their way despite our best efforts to stop them. In fact, the indications around the bank are very intriguing especially when remembering the incredible action on cows in that region four years past. Those anglers who had the good fortune to experience that round of giant yellowfin tuna fishing will also recall that January was the month it all came together. With the conditions we saw in that zone yesterday, and the sign of fish, perhaps that will be the next area to come alive? At the very least it is a trump card that is now catalogued.
With nothing to show for our afternoon and indications of the big fish above still strong, we headed northwest after dark hoping tomorrow will be a day the fish are up and biting. As reported, the two most important elements in the equation of success, the fish being present and good working weather, are in our favor, so it now boils down to hard effort (a given) and luck in timing.
All the guys working in the "beach" big fish zone yesterday continued to see decent sign of fish although no big hits on cows were to be had. Regardless the prospects are still very good and as such we will be heading back up towards the area following our afternoon of fishing Jaime bank just to the southwest of Cabo San Lucas. Ah the beauty of the fly down/ fly back voyage. Just think, the anglers, fresh from a night of revelry in town, will board Royal Star at 11:00 a.m. this morning, and will be fishing for giant yellowfin tuna by three in the afternoon. Minimize travel time, maximize fishing time; that's the idea. In fact, this ten day voyage from Cabo last year featured nine and one half days fishing time! Before I get too carried away however, first we must get on the fish and get them to bite, otherwise we will be logging miles and travel time in pursuit of a catch just like anyone else. Make no mistake about it, we are dutifully aware of, and respectful of the fact, that our fate is in the hands of the fish gods. At present though optimism is in our favor and in a very short time we will begin to see how the fishing phase of this voyage begins to unfold. With beautiful weather today and more in the forecast, we are definitely beginning with the correct foot forward.
We are heading down again embarking yesterday on our annual Kevin Leong/Yo's tackle sponsored ten day fly down/fly back voyage that departs from Cabo San Lucas on Wednesday. Our bait is perfect and only a couple of die hard riders have joined us on the trip south that will be occupied with several small maintenance projects, attention to a few details, and of course a little relaxation. Very little of that was occurring yesterday however as the northeast, or famed Santa Ana, winds were up and blowing, making for plenty of occasions where a good chair or a firm grip was necessary to maintain one's balance. Judging by the forecasts and the feel of things, I think we are in for plenty of motion during the next couple of days. So be it. As reported, the bait is excellent and we have several travel days to gather fishing information from the plentiful boats on the water at this time of year. We will keep all interested anglers up to date as the next week should be very revealing about how this month is going to pan out.
Well the big question was finally answered yesterday by the first boat spending significant time in the zone that produced incredible big fish action several weeks preceding and following the Christmas holiday. I must admit, that like many of you, we were anxiously awaiting good news from the "zone", and we indeed received what we were hoping for yesterday evening. The vessel in that region had a few mid day fish in the one hundred thirty to one hundred eighty pound class then finished the day with a very good hit that included five or six over two hundred with a several more just below the two hundred mark. After watching the action big fish action slide during the last cycle of voyages, the biggest concern to us was the continuance of difficult weather that has been the kiss of death when it comes to this zone in past years. As such we feel it is no coincidence that the weather has finally flattened out and the fish came up accordingly. Now the big questions are how long will last and will the bite revive into the full fledged cow action experienced by the guys one day last trip and several days on the voyages before the holiday break. Time will tell of course and the best news is that there is a good number of guys on the grounds today to help keep track of the fish when they get on them. In the meantime we are continuing our run to Cabo San Lucas in grease calm, balmy conditions presently pacing the deck in anticipation of what we hope will be good fishing to come.
We had a good day of fishing yellows on the beach.Nice weather and beautiful scenery.We are going to call it a trip tonight and head for San Diego.
The good old ridge, today produced an all day scratch on school sized YFT's and an occasional Yellowtail.I must say it was a great change from the offshore scene, as will tomorrows yella fishing.
The new year did not start out as we were hoped for. The weather got a little choppy and the fish were no where to be found.We are going to start moving up the line and hope for good weather.