09/30/08

Posted: 07:10:00

With our day on the outside passing very similar to the prior, I am going to have to come up with some new material or risk sounding like a broken record. I suppose I could relate the tragic tale of charter master Larry Brown's fifty pound yellowfin being consumed by a voracious fifteen foot, Big Bertha Great White shark that was obviously queen of the sea in this district. Displaying zero fear of the boat and complete confidence in the gruesome task of shredding the unfortunate tuna, Big Bertha provided an up close and personal show for our horrified but thoroughly impressed anglers that were imprinted on their memory as a spectacular addition to the voyage. Even poor Mr. Brown, whose hard efforts yielded little more than the sacrificial lamb, enjoyed the show immensely declaring that he would gladly do it again if such an incredible show was guaranteed.

Fortunately, the impressive but counterproductive scene was repeated only once more as a little of that action goes a long way from my perspective. In the end, as so often seems to be the case, Mr. Brown's sacrifice was richly rewarded as he lapsed into "the zone" when the big fish action heated up later on landing three in a row from three different stops in the sixty to ninety five pound class.

And so passes another fine day at the island in ever improving weather that became downright balmy by day's end. The fishing was similar to the prior two day's although the bigger fish on the outside were definitely even more reluctant to bite for whatever reason. We find ourselves in a similar position as yesterday at day's end with little reason to alter our game plan as good fishing, good weather, and good times are plentiful right here. As the saying goes ?If it isn't broken, don't fix it". Taking this into account, we are satisfied to try our hand again here tomorrow.

09/29/08

Posted: 07:09:00

Steady scratching would best describe the quality yellowfin tuna action here at the island with a little bit here and a little bit there throughout the day adding up to a fine score by day?s end. The key to success was a full effort at the rail as various stops produced while others did not and nothing was obvious as to when, how, and why. The Blackwater fluorocarbon was definitely a huge advantage for those in pursuit of the biggest yellowfin as the cagey bruisers cruised the outskirts satisfied to provide a show by crashing around on most stops but were reluctant to take up the battle cry against our anglers. Fortunately there were some mistakes made on their part and we were able to take advantage landing a couple of handfuls in the seventy to ninety five pound class in addition to a good number of the "school" size twenty five to fifty pounders.

As we are well positioned to continue the pursuit of the big yellowfin in our present location, and are thoroughly enjoying all the amenities this beautiful island has to offer, we plan to give this at least one or two more full days before considering other options. With all the information we are receiving from our colleagues from other potential destinations, there presently is no place we would rather be.

09/28/08

Posted: 07:08:00

Not a bad start with our first afternoon producing exactly what we were hoping for - sufficient sign of quality yellowfin tuna showing an improved interest in biting. To this end we were satisfied, though we always seem to want more, and confidant with our decision to begin our fishing at this spectacular island that has historically produced so much incredible yellowfin tuna action at this time of the year. Combined with the fine afternoon fishing was perfect, flat calm working weather and the ideal fishing conditions this zone so consistently produces.

Taking all things into account, we are off to a good start and ready to continue the catching tomorrow. Of course such expectations are easier stated than accomplished so we will see if the fish gods show their agreeable side tomorrow.

09/27/08

Posted: 10:06:00

Heading back to the south, we are once again positioned for success with an incredible load of perfect sardines on board and a well prepared group of anglers ready to enjoy some fishing over the next several days. Providing the fish gods cooperate, we opted to begin our fishing time tomorrow and hope to maintain that trend throughout the voyage. With the extreme southern range of this voyage well covered, we will begin much closer to home as there are plenty of big fish to be landed in this zone and we will realize much more fishing time in the process. We will see how it all shakes out but on paper the strategy appears sound. In the meantime daily reports will continue as we forge ahead on this new adventure.

Tim Ekstrom

09/26/08

Posted: 10:04:00

Other than some epic scenery and serene weather conditions, I can't say we wrapped up the fishing on a strong note. We gave it a good look however and found plenty to pique our interest for upcoming voyages. As we are already sitting on a fine catch in premium condition in the RSW tanks, the net effect of the final morning action, or lack thereof, on the overall success of the trip was negligible. As such we took off for home in decent weather and fine spirits tidying up the gear and tending to small projects in preparation for the next Baja Fish Gear seven day voyage departing tomorrow.

Before I get ahead of myself however I want to extend our most sincere thanks to this group of anglers who were model individuals throughout all phases of this voyage. Whether the fishing was outrageous or slow these anglers demonstrated the right approach enjoying the overall experience and a keen awareness for the vacation aspect of a long range fishing adventure. Again thank you to all who joined us and also to Dennis Braid and Justin Greenberg representing Braid Products on this Braid sponsored voyage. Dennis' trips are always a pleasure to fish on and seem to have a knack for good timing when it comes to the fishing over the past five years. Whether by design or pure luck the results speak for themselves time and again.

Now it is on to the next voyage and daily reports will continue as I have the pleasure of driving during the next seven days. With any luck our good fortune will continue as there are plenty of fish to be caught and good times to be found. We will see.






09/25/08

Posted: 06:59:00

Well we righted the ship today recovering in fine style with a good morning of steady action on 25 - 35# yellowfin and a sprinkling of 20 - 35# yellowtail amidst the most spectacular, dramatic background this island has to offer. Following our enjoyable morning, we were the chosen one's hitting the right spot the right way, though admittedly I couldn't tell you we did anything different that the prior twenty unsuccessful attempts, ending up with twenty four 50 - 80# yellowfin tuna for the effort. Suffice to say spirits are high following our good fortune today that did wonders to restore our confidence in the near future of fishing for this size class yellowfin tuna at this island.

As we are now well supplied with tuna for the voyage, we will spend our final evening and morning in full pursuit of jumbo yellowtail seeking to finish up our fishing time with a change of local scenery and a little more variety.

Times are presently good here on Royal Star and the atmosphere festive as we revel in the pleasure of a very nice day of fishing on the outside in flat clam conditions. We will see if our good fortune continues tomorrow in the form of a few more trophy class yellowtail before our mid morning departure.

09/24/08

Posted: 07:07:00

A thoroughly disappointing, maddeningly frustrating day on the outside as we looked at spot after spot of trophy yellowfin that showed zero interest in what we had to offer on the hooks and only occasionally arose to the surface to lazily slurp a bait. After a full day of effort our catch total on trophy class yellowfin tuna was zero and in the low teens on school size fish. Throw in a handful of yellowtail and needless to say it was in stark contrast to yesterday's production. From hero to zero as the saying goes. All kidding aside I was probably the most wrought up about the day's horrendous results as our anglers enjoyed the phenomenal scenery, epic flat calm, balmy weather, and an island sea that is absolutely packed with life.

The lack of production probably would have been easier to swallow if the catching hadn't been so incredible here during the past week but as we have discovered on both the positive and negative end for so many years - conditions and fishing changes. This fact is really the only thing one can depend on over time in fishing. In fact, it is for this exact reason that we are still optimistic about our odds of success here tomorrow. The fish are here, the weather is superb, we are loaded with perfect bait, and we are sitting on an already fine catch of good tuna in the hatch.

Taking all these factors into account, we are sitting tight hoping that a change for the better is in store for all of us here tomorrow. If you are on our team now is the time send along your well wishes.

Thanks,

Tim

09/23/08

Posted: 07:05:00

What a perfect beginning to a September five day voyage with flat calm weather offshore and very good action on twenty to thirty pound yellowfin tuna with a decent shot of 10 - 15 # dorado in the mix. Following a long, fruitless morning we finally found the right zone and were well positioned for a move outside following two different afternoon stops that produced wide open fishing on this season's beautiful grade of offshore tuna.

With an already fine catch in the first RSW tank, we are ready to settle into the pursuit of trophy yellowfin over the next two full days. More beautiful weather is forecast to grace the effort and we could not be more pleased with our good fortune thus far. We will see if the fish gods continue to smile upon us as the true test of our skill, ability, and tackle is about to begin.

Look for tomorrow's report with the details.

Tim

09/22/08

Posted: 07:28:00

Well it's been a long time since I have got up on my soapbox so now is a good time to share a few thoughts as we cruise to the off shore grounds with a new group of eager anglers and a perfect load of bait. The stage is set for success on our annual Braid five day voyage so it remains to be seen if we can keep the ball, that Capt.Toussaint and Capt. Sims began, rolling in the right direction.

In the meantime I first wanted to comment on the subject of fish handling and on board storage of our product that has been my obvious passion over the past five seasons. The term "RSW" or refrigerated seawater means fish stored in our holds at twenty nine to thirty degrees Fahrenheit. If our catch is immediately spiked, thoroughly bled, and thoroughly washed before being placed in the tanks that are meticulously maintained at twenty nine to thirty degrees, the result will be a beautiful, fresh product boasting vibrant colors upon unloading and premium quality meat for consumption. Any deviation from this process will result in a substandard product that is noticeable upon return. The correct process is painstakingly labor intensive and takes constant oversight and dedication by all the members of our crew. To us, the end result is well worth the effort.

Ultimately, a beautiful fresh product upon return from your long range voyage is a fantastic element of the overall experience that boasts tremendous value. Anyone who enjoys fresh, wild ocean caught seafood knows how valid this fact is. With a reasonable quantity of fresh product to enjoy and share with family and friends, anglers return from their long range voyage with a responsible take that is ideally utilized to the maximum extent of its inherent value. This concept is what we support and believe is imperative to the future of San Diego based long range fishing.

Of course each individual's barometer for take is based on many different criteria. Fortunately for all of us who have enjoyed this fishery over the year?s sufficient quantity has rarely been a problem. More often than not while long range fishing, anglers must temper their "killer instinct" as catching can go well beyond what qualifies as "reasonable" by anyone's definition - sometimes even when adhering to limits. My request of all long range anglers is simply to consider the motivation behind your take, expect a premium product of your chosen long range operation, and retain your catch to most effectively enjoy and utilize your catch accordingly.

Second on my list is to announce the new Royal Star Spring, Summer and Fall schedule for 2009 that will be posted on our web site within the next couple of days. All voyages and pricing are listed and Tracy will be in the office throughout the week to take reservations for those of you who wish to book early. The printed schedule and new brochure will be available towards the end of October. Thank you to all in advance and we will keep you posted on the progress of this voyage daily.

Tim Ekstrom

09/21/08

Posted: 20:48:00

Today we started out close to an area that has been hit or miss. If you hit, its a great bite on school size yellowfin and nice grade dorado. If you miss it can be a long day of driving around. In less than favorable weather conditions today we had four stops that produced just a few dorado and a single albacore.

On a brighter note, we already have a great catch of tuna onboard and our weather is steadily improving. We will arrive at the dock at 0730. Capt. Ekstrom will be at the helm for our next trip.

09/20/08

Posted: 06:49:00

We started out early again this morning with a good shot at 50 - 110# tuna. We had two more stops where we caught more of this great grade tuna. After lunch we settled into a bite on 25-50 # fish which lasted till dark. Of note today was a 66 # yellowtail landed by Jim Hall.

This was just the day of fishing we were after. We will be heading offshore and up the line for tomorrows fishing

09/19/08

Posted: 09:46:00

Today started out well with a sunrise bite on 45-85# yellowfin tuna. We were well prepared and fishing mostly 50# tackle so our hook-up to land ratio was excellent. The rest of the morning we scratched a few more tuna. When the tuna took a powder, we managed a few handfuls of yellowtail. In the afternoon we had a nice shot at some 25# tuna before heading out and picking off a few more nice yellowfin.

Our weather is variable from flat calm to a bit choppy and the scenery beautiful. We enjoyed a fiery sunset that profiled the island as a fitting end to a good day.

09/18/08

Posted: 07:24:00

Today we fished offshore looking for yellowfin and dorado. Kelps were few and far between and unfortunately for us the nice ones that we did find were not holding any boomer schools. That said, we did manage to scratch out a day and have a sample to take with us to an offshore island where we hope to tangle with some larger tuna tomorrow.

09/17/08

Posted: 07:03:00

After a smooth turn around, we are on our way back out for the North County Firefighters first annual five day trip. We have a nice load of sardines, good weather and a great group of anglers on board. We will be starting out offshore, taking advantage of this good weather, looking for tuna and Dorado.

09/16/08

Posted: 08:56:00

The guys finished in grand style hammering the albacore, big dorado, and 20 - 30 # yellowfin tuna to their hearts content from one mother lode kelp discovered on their final day of off shore prospecting. What a finish to an already stellar five day that definitely takes the prize as the most spectacular catch of the summer/early fall season thus far.

Once again this catch is a fine example of the dynamic nature of this fishery from year to year and certainly reinforces the incredible, consistent potential these September voyages offer. Huge thanks go out to charter master Ty Breitman and to all his group of anglers who we look forward to fishing with again in 2009.

Now it is on to the next voyage as Captain Brian Sims takes the helm seeking to keep the ball rolling in the right direction. All the conditions are in place for a fine voyage with good weather in the forecast and plenty of fishing options to choose from. Look for Brian's daily reports to continue with all the details.

09/15/08

Posted: 13:22:00

The tuna were a little less eager to bite, but they still put on an incredible show, with 50 - 100 lbers boiling all around us in a few stops. We ended up with 35 fish, 25 of which were 50 - 90 lbs, with 2 over 100lbs. 50lb flyline gear accounted for most of the bites, but we did drop down to 40 at times when it slowed down.

We are travelling up tonight and will finish the trip fishing offshore tomorrow. We will be in at 0700 on the 17th and will depart on another five day, which Tracy informed me there are 2 openings on. If you can make it last minute, give Tracy a call in the office and take advantage of a promising outlook.

09/14/08

Posted: 07:08:00

An amazing day of fishing here at Guadalupe combined with good weather and incredible scenery. We ended up the day with 92 tuna, most of which were 50-80lbs with a few smaller and a few bigger, top fish was 110lbs. We haven't seen anything like this here yet this year, I feel the bulk of this big fish is just moving in which should bode well for the upcoming trips. Needless to say we are spending the night here in the hopes of a repeat performance tomorrow.

09/13/08

Posted: 07:08:00

We started the trip today in the offshore grounds for slow fishing on school size yellowfin. It wasn't a total loss with a total of 40 fish 25-30lbs but compared with our last day of last trip, it was somewhat disappointing. There was plenty of sign so I'm sure there will be good scores posted in the near future. We are running out to the Lupe tonight in good weather and plan on giving it the next two days.

09/11/08

Posted: 07:55:00

Finally, finally our last day of offshore prospecting paid big dividends in the form of steady action on 20 - 30# yellowfin tuna that were up and biting eager to join us on our northerly trek towards home. This was a day we have been seeking for quite some time as the ocean one day above the southern range of our five day voyages has been scantily supplied with worthy game fish almost this entire summer season. With what we encountered today, this aggravating pattern may have finally changed as there was no shortage of sign around and conditions were perfect for more to come. We will see.

In the meantime we are reveling in our success finally completing a voyage this season with an appropriate end. As I reported, conditions look and feel right for more to come so don't be surprised to see an extension of this success on yellowfin tuna offshore in the weeks to come.

Now it is on to the next voyage as Captain Toussaint takes the helm with Captain Sims as engineer on our first annual Ty's Tuna Charter hosted by long time Royal Star veteran and favorite Ty Breitman. We have been looking forward to this voyage for some time as Ty's fantastic group of anglers is well known for their angling skills and never ending ability to focus on catching fish and having a good time. Look for Randy's reports to continue following departure tomorrow.

09/10/08

Posted: 08:05:00


It was one of those mornings that lived up to all fishing expectations on a long range voyage and then some. We were well prepared with good information from our colleagues and geared up to take full advantage of what we hoped to encounter.

When we did finally arrive at the Promised Land we found primo tropical conditions, an ideal fishing setup, and hoards of voracious yellowtail that hammered any and everything presented until our departure. For sheer volume of fish and caliber of action, there is no way it could have been better.

Needless to say we had our fill of yellowtail in fairly short order and passed the remainder of the day in search mode working up the line focusing on trophy class fish. I can't say we found much to report following our fantastic morning but the day was enjoyed in fine leisure as we made a striking scenic tour on our way north.

With the final goal of offshore success on yellowfin tuna, we will spend our final day again in search mode looking for a strong finish with more variety. Decent working weather is in the forecast so we will see if the fish gods continue to smile upon us tomorrow.

09/09/08

Posted: 08:42:00

Following our first day of island fishing, we are well on our way towards a fine catch though our results from a day of steady scratching positioned us to give it another go in a different zone in search of a quicker pace. We have good working weather, a great group of anglers, a perfect load of bait, and plenty of time to make the most of all the above listed presently in our favor.

Combined with beautiful scenery and good fishing, we are all presently "living the dream" as exciting new prospects are also beginning to develop in several different zones. Before we get ahead of ourselves though, we will focus on tomorrow without taking anything for granted.

09/08/08

Posted: 15:34:00

We got off to a good start beginning the voyage with a fine morning of action on 18 - 25# yellowfin tuna before the catching shut off at 1030. Taking the cue, we passed the remainder of our day in travel/search mode covering plenty of good water for very little while making way south towards our next destination. Good weather presently graces the effort and all anglers are now tuned up for the fishing ahead shaking out all the kinks this morning amidst the tuna action. Now a change of scenery is next with a day of island fishing soon to come.

09/07/08

Posted: 07:08:00

After a flawless turn around, we are back under way headed south on our next Yo's tackle/Blackwater five day voyage with a perfect load of sardines and eager group of anglers on board. With plans to begin the search offshore tomorrow and likely focus our efforts on island fishing beyond, we are ready to start catching in significantly improved weather across the entire region.

Look for reports to continue as Captain Toussaint and I combine our efforts in the search for glory this voyage.

Tim Ekstrom

09/06/08

Posted: 07:07:00

Well, as good as our luck has been thus far we couldn't pull it out offshore as the weather kicked up and just a few albacore and yellowfin tuna grabbed the jigs on occasion in the morning hours. After about ten thirty we found ourselves in the middle of an immense stretch of puke green water that took a significant portion of the afternoon to extract ourselves from. Combined with twenty to twenty five knots of wind and the typical accompanying sea, I have to admit that it was far from the ideal scenario for offshore success.

Such is fishing and such is the result of some prospecting missions that are necessary to map out potential productive areas. Thankfully, three days of steady scratching both offshore and at the island positioned us to absorb this final day of poor catching with relatively little pain as we have a fine catch of beautiful quality RSW yellowfin tuna and yellowtail in the hatch.

As such we return to Fisherman's Landing tomorrow with our pride intact and depart on our next Yo's tackle/Blackwater five day voyage ready to charge with both Captain Toussaint and I sharing the helm again. We will see if we can keep the ball rolling in the right direction as plenty of good potential remains throughout our range of five day options.

09/05/08

Posted: 07:06:00

We finished off our time at the island with steady morning action on the big yellowtail and quality yellowfin tuna with today's grade of tuna 30 - 40#'s on the smaller end and 60 - 90 at the top of the average. The best of the action was over by eleven a.m. but different than yesterday we were able to scratch away at the bigger yellowfin through about one thirty p.m. before things shut down.

After the morning and early afternoon the whole place took a dive despite relatively good conditions and plenty of life around. Despite the almost complete shutdown in production a good time was had by all throughout the afternoon as we enjoyed the epic calm conditions in the island lee and picked off an occasional big yellowtail from a variety of anchor positions.

With two good days of fishing on quality yellowfin tuna and yellowtail under our belts, we took off after dark heading back to the offshore grounds seeking to finish up on a high note. Less than ideal weather is forecast to grace the effort but it is plenty good enough and there is a wide swath of ocean that holds good potential for both tuna and big albacore. We have just about the entire day tomorrow to prospect so time will tell if our good fortune continues.

09/04/08

Posted: 15:06:00

The outside treated us right today with a good day on both yellowfin tuna and big yellowtail in the beautiful, flat calm conditions this island is so well known for. It wasn't easy, which is typical for this island, but every angler who put in the time and effort at the rail had a few quality fish to show for it by day's end. I can't say that we were overly impressed with the signs of fish around but the results from our efforts demonstrated that there is presently more than meets the eye in this zone.

Taking the day's success into account, we have no plans to relocate as we are in an ideal position to focus on straight quality. With any luck conditions will hold and we will finish our time at the island in fine style before heading back offshore for our final day.

09/03/08

Posted: 07:02:00

Nothing earth shattering to report from the latest offshore discovery but we did see good indications of both 25 - 30# yellowfin tuna as well as 30 - 35# class albacore. In addition, the amount of life around and near perfect water structure has us very interested in this zone for the final day of our voyage. As reported we didn't exactly knock it out of the park in the catching department but we had a good sampling of both species for the effort and for most of the day felt we were right on the verge of getting a big hit.

With every fish landed absolutely jugged with offshore squid, all indications pointed towards a deep feeding pattern and us seeing and realizing only a small fraction of what this area had to offer. So, at day's end we continued down the line looking to further the tuna trend at the outside island.

With perfect weather, excellent bait, and a relatively clear field to work with, we will see what tomorrow brings before considering other prospects. With any luck and plenty of help from the fish gods, we will settle in for a couple of full days and focus on pure quality before again heading offshore.

09/02/08

Posted: 09:06:00

We're back out and hard at it departing on our annual Mike Ross "Sternhogs" five day with an excellent load of sardines and fine fishing prospects on our bow.

Our original plan to begin with some island fishing changed in the evening as some encouraging information came over the wire about big albacore in a new offshore zone. As such we adjusted our game plan seeking to take advantage of the opportunity and, with any luck, expand our knowledge of this new potential zone. At the very least we hope it is more than a flash in the pan so to speak.

As we are now committed, we will report the results of our first move tomorrow and continue the daily reports throughout the voyage.

 
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