Tough day on the wahoo but we had a steady afternoon bite on yellows and 30-35lb tuna which kept us entertained. We still have nice weather and plan on moving up again tonight to continue our wahoo quest on the beach tomorrow.
An overall great day of angling in beautiful weather here on the lower banks today. Very action packed from mid morning on with numerous long drifts that produced all the 25-35lb tuna we wanted, 30 nice dorado, and no less than 50 hookups on striped marlin. We are going to top off our bait supply tonight and move up to the Ridge where we plan on concentrating our efforts on wahoo for the next few days.
It was another good showing on quality tuna today but unfortunately they wanted no part of biting. In spite of the discouraging results, I still feel that these lower banks are lining up well for the upcoming trips. We are still enjoying beautiful weather and plan on concentrating on school tuna tomorrow before starting to work back up the line.
In addition to Randy's report of very good fishing today, I am sending along some photos of a fine RSW stored catch from a couple of trips back. I have made many references to the quality of product anglers should expect when their voyage returns. These photos are a good example of that quality. In all the photos, the fish are fresh, held at thirty degrees Fahrenheit which is two degrees above the freezing point of seawater. It is cold enough to frost over the eyes and make the fish firm but not cold enough to freeze - perfect in our application. You can see a few rub marks from the fish shifting slightly in the tanks. This is normal and does not adversely affect the product quality unless the skin is broken. The bigger fish in these photos have been dressed out (gilled and gutted) which is beneficial to the end product in many ways. Most of the time, fish under twenty five pounds are stored whole. On Royal Star the exception for smaller fish would be if we plan to store the catch in RSW for more than five days. As we place an enormous emphasis on producing a premium quality product every voyage, these photos are a fine demonstration of what Royal Star anglers enjoy long after their voyage ends.
It was a great morning of angling on 20-35lb yellowfin in balmy flat calm weather. Many of our stops started on spots of bait with whales, seals, porpoise, and hundreds of birds in addition to the tuna cutting through the middle of it all, a true Blue Planet experience. We were satiated on this grade fish for now by early afternoon and opted to change locations in the hopes of finding some bigger fish.
We were successful in the finding but not in the hooking of bigger tuna this afternoon with one 65lber landed in spite of a couple good showings on 60-150lb fish. We did hook one fish at sundown that was in the 150lb range but unfortunately it chewed off after a long battle. Still it was a very encouraging sign prompting us to start here tomorrow with high hopes of kicking off our '08' big tuna season.
We started our annual Ventura Sportfishing Club ten day today working down the inside looking for wahoo. We enjoyed beautiful balmy weather as we prospected south but only scratched out 8 nice wahoo and a token flathead. With great weather forcasted for at least the next three days, we are headed down to the lower banks in hopes of making a catch on quality tuna.
As promised, here are a few photos from the previous shared by Kamell Allaway of Grand Alaska Lodge and J-Dock Seafoods. On that note, in addition to the photos, Kamell shared an incredible quantity of Alaskan King Crab, Dungeness Crab, and Scallops with the entire boat last voyage much to the delight of all; especially Chef Drew Rivera who was akin to a kid in a candy store at the sight of the beautiful seafood. Some of the photos feature Chef Drew Rivera's outstanding creations featuring the seafood shared by Kamell. Thank you again Kamell from all of us who enjoyed your generosity and likely gained a few pounds in the process.
As this trip comes to an end following a relaxing day of travel up the line in remarkably calm seas, my final report is a reminder that there will be a number of high resolution photos from the voyage posted over the next few days. Huge thanks to Kamell Allaway from Grand Alaska Lodge for many of the photos I will be sharing.
In addition I want to also remind all anglers that the 2009 Royal Star summer/fall trip schedule and pricing is now posted on our website under the schedule title. Prices will include all permit fees and are based on a presently realistic fuel price of $3.00/gallon. As always all Royal Star voyages are limited in capacity to no greater that twenty four anglers on voyages eight days and less, twenty three on ten day voyages, and eighteen on all voyages over twelve days. Our printed schedule will be available soon but for those anglers who wish to get a jump, now is the ideal time to ensure availability.
If you are seeking the finest long range fishing voyage available today, our combination of three veteran owner/operators at the helm, highly accomplished, journeyman crewmembers at the rail, unmatched cuisine at the hands of Master Chef's Drew Rivera and Jeffery Grant, and combined more than fifty years of experience in this fishery can not be bested or outperformed. Capt. Randy Toussaint, Capt.Brian Sims, and I are all in this business because of our passion for fishing and introducing anglers to this incredible sport. There is a profound difference between Royal Star and our competitors. Make a voyage with us and you will recognize and appreciate our experienced, professional attention to detail that makes your voyage the best.
That said we return to Fisherman's Landing tomorrow at 0730 and plan to depart on our next voyage with Captain Toussaint at the helm by 1130. Look for daily reports to continue as well as photos over the next few days.
We could not have ordered up a better day or more fitting action in response to yesterday's offshore blank that I already gripped mightily about. Thankfully, today we enjoyed an entire day of fishing while anchored steadily scratching at beautiful grade yellowtail in grease calm, summer hot weather. Absolutely perfect fishing current, plentiful, perfect bait for this type fishing, phenomenal scenery, and nothing to do other than fish all day and enjoy to our heart's content. This was a very good day of relaxed, enjoyable fishing for everyone. It was also an appropriate conclusion to our fishing time this voyage that produced a very nice catch featuring classic fall ten day variety.
An interesting feature of this voyage was the significant amount of time we spent near the coast both while fishing and in transit that provided anglers the opportunity to get up close and personal with the spectacular rugged coastline of Southern Baja California. Now I realize that a long range fishing voyage is not a scenic tour and all you hardcore anglers out there only care about clobbering fish. But, the number of cameras in hand, photos taken, and sightseeing taking place as we cruised up and down the coast this voyage, even by our veteran's, did not slip my attention. Fortunately we made a very nice catch in the process - certainly the most important element of a successful long range fishing adventure.
So now we are in travel mode with a good weather forecast for the final leg of the trip up the line. Look for one more update from this voyage tomorrow as well as many high quality photos to come. Capt. Toussaint will be returning on the next voyage so look for the long winded embellishments to grind to a halt in the upcoming week which is probably a relief to many of you.
Wow, what an example of the dramatic contrast in long range fishing. Yesterday - fantastic fishing, rip roaring action, rods bent, muscles straining, the thrill of victory. Today - a struggle to stay awake as we searched offshore the entire day in premium water conditions and a good enough sea state for very close to nothing. This was a classic lesson in how even the strongest fishing effort sometimes yields pathetic results. Particularly pathetic today was the lack of kelps or any other flotsam with the entire day total of kelp found maybe filling one five gallon bucket. Mind you that was five men searching from daylight through dark effectively covering at least two hundred square miles of ocean. This was a long day that undoubtedly goes into that character development category I mentioned earlier in the trip. Unfortunately for all of us, these mathematically inevitable slow (in this case stopped) days are part of the program that fortunately happen much less often that the good ones.
So with this day over and my hubris and bravado temporarily in check, we are continuing the journey up the line with plans to target game fish tomorrow back in the shallows. Honestly, less my B.S. and sense of humor that I hope you all recognize, everyone had a fine time today relaxing and enjoying the complete leisure one can only find in the stress free, unencumbered world of long range fishing. At least, in my opinion, that is how one should approach days like these. Less cell phones, congested traffic, depressing news stories, daily stress, and of course politics, there are very few escapes that compare. Today was a perfect example of such. Reading, relaxing, and eating Chef Drew Rivera's phenomenal creations. That pretty much describes the extent of today's activities for anglers. Of course this is not preferred, but when days like these occasionally come along, no one suffers much. Tomorrow is a new day.
We are still on track here with another very good morning of yellowfin tuna action fulfilling our expectations and rounding out our quota on this species of game fish. The early afternoon was spent working up the beach for a handful of dorado as we headed in to again top off our big bait supply before heading up the line tonight to focus on dorado and wahoo offshore tomorrow.
The scenic tour up the beach was epic and provided an opportunity to do a little variety fishing for exotics along the way. I can't report that the catching was all that successful, but the areas traveled, fished, and searched were intriguing and exciting to wet a line in. Most importantly, the main afternoon objective of reloading our big baits was a glowing success and positioned us to take full advantage of whatever we encounter for the remainder of the voyage.
With decent weather in the forecast and plenty of potential for wahoo and dorado on the outside and up above, we now hope the combination of our effort, ability, and good luck will produce what we are looking for.
It was an action packed day of yellowfin tuna fishing that began in the area we found yesterday evening and continued through the afternoon when were satiated for the day and in the market for more of the bigger baits. Beautiful, tropical conditions and incredible scenery were highlights along with the fishing and at the day's conclusion a good time was had by all.
And so the search continues after we reload and head back out to the grounds for another go at the yellowfin tuna and whatever additional game fish we might find. We have plenty of fishing time remaining and good working weather in the forecast so we will see if we can keep the ball rolling in the right direction. So far so good as the saying goes and we hope to keep it that way.
There is nothing like a big slice of humble pie once in awhile to re adjust one's perspective. It is just part of the program in this occupation and a necessary reminder that no matter how good, confident, and/or capable one is, the law of averages dictates that you will swallow your pride on occasion. Character development I always call it. We took our shot offshore today in less than perfect weather that was workable but not much more. We found tremendous swaths of green, lifeless water and as the fishless morning led into a fishless afternoon the grim reality of the situation was weighing on us all. Throw in the fact that the big fish went off for the first and second boats of the season to visit Hurricane Bank to add a little contrast and super charge our competitive drive. Not that we could or would have been there, but regardless the tension and stress level was thick enough to cut with a knife. Suffice to say that if there is catching going on anywhere, especially catching on big yellowfin tuna, that is where we want to be. It was not a happy time on the bridge of Royal Star.
On deck however our anglers were doing just fine rolling with the punches seemingly confident that all would turn out for the better by day's end. It took until about an hour and a half from dark before we saw our first encouraging signs of life - a little bird sign, bait on the fathometer, a few jumping dorado, and an occasional striped marlin. Compared to the prior ten hours, this was a bonanza and the boys and I kicked into overdrive burning in the glasses for any and all indications of surface life. Finally, with a mere forty five minutes of daylight to work, we found the right sign and were able to go to work. A beautiful grade of thirty to thirty five pound yellowfin charged the boat in two different stops applying a therapeutic salve to our pride in the process. Most importantly, because they are the ones who really matter in this equation, all of our anglers had a great time finally enjoying the opportunity to do some catching after a long day of exercising incredible patience on deck. Thankfully we ended the day on a good note and with any luck positioned ourselves for a successful day tomorrow in the process. I wouldn't be surprised to find some bigger fish around this zone with another full day tomorrow to have at it. But, for now on this ten day adventure, we are plenty grateful for every nice fish that comes over the rail. As we say, it is all relative.
We put the "soap bars" to good use today on a beautiful school grade of yellowfin tuna that made our afternoon and ultimately our day in addition again to almost a couple of handfuls of wahoo. Throw in fifteen or twenty nice yellowtail and many 10 - 20# Dorado we released and it added up to a good day of steady fishing in fair weather.
Classic fall ridge action would perfectly describe the present set up with very good variety fishing on good quality. Now that we have a fine start, we are off to the unknown taking at least one day to go prospecting on the outside in search of glory on bigger yellowfin or at least enough sign to dedicate a few days to the effort. Collectively we have seen some encouraging signs of the right stuff on the outside so we will see if conditions cooperate and the combined effort of three of us can come up with something tomorrow.
Not a whole lot to report for today's effort. We did manage to scratch up almost a couple of handfuls of nice wahoo, and dedicated plenty of time to the search for quality tuna, but the real victory of the day came in the form of perfect slimy little green "soap bars" that we hope will position us for success tomorrow and beyond. "Soap bars", for those who did not fish long range vessels when bait making was a regular task, are perfect, hand size green mackerel that are cherished for their heartiness, vigor, and effectiveness by both anglers and game fish alike. We are presently loaded with these perfect mackerels, as well as beautiful sardines, ready now for the next push south where we plan to continue the search for any and all desirable game fish tomorrow.
With good weather ahead and plenty of time, we have high hopes that the fish gods will smile upon us. It is time.
Not much to report today after the novel I sent in. The day passed in short order as we talked shop and prepared tackle looking forward to our fishing tomorrow and beyond. Reports from below indicate very good potential for wahoo, yellowfin tuna, and dorado in a variety of zones. Combined with good weather we are looking forward to the next solid week of fishing time while taking nothing for granted. Present conditions are nothing short of spectacular with flat calm seas, crystal clear skies, and zero wind. It is a fine day to be on the high seas and we are thankful for it. Look for fishing reports to begin tomorrow and if you are on our team send us a few good wishes.
After a well deserved night at the dock, the boys and I departed this morning on our next ten day voyage sponsored by long time Royal Star veteran John Pettey. Many anglers world wide are familiar with John's beautifully unique jewelry that features ocean themes in hundreds of varieties and settings. I am more familiar with John at the rail and know from over twenty years of voyages I have shared with him that a better individual is nowhere to be found.
We are presently headed south with a perfect load of bait well positioned for our first move down the line. We are keeping abreast of all developments, and have a fluid game plan as such, but we are certain at least for now that we will be traveling the full day tomorrow before our fishing begins in earnest. In the meantime I have to share some insight, if you elect to believe as such, following an eventful time on the beach that included a few hours reviewing a computer screen that provided plenty of material for lively discussion.
First off I was energized by and grateful for the level of enthusiasm I see for long range sport fishing. It is because of this passion in so many of you that we are successful; and by "we" I refer to all of us in the long range fishing business. That said in some individuals I see this passion manifest into fervent support of their chosen long range operation that resents competition and sows negative, minimally informed opinion that only serves to discredit what could be otherwise be valuable discourse. Too bad. As this is my or Royal Star's individual forum, let me share an opinion shaped by twenty three years and well over four thousand days at sea in this arena.
We, meaning all those who have invested their lives in this venue, are all fair, decent, hardworking individuals dedicated to our profession. There are no bad guys out here. There is competition - both daily fishing competition on the water and business competition shore side. The two definitely intersect. We all compete through our actions, promotion, and dialogue. We all believe that we are at the top of our game, have the best operation, and the best vehicle to perform what we believe is the best form of long range sport fishing. We have to believe and promote these attributes with confidence to maintain our advantage. There are, and have been plenty of individuals who do not conform to these standards during my tenure in the world of long range fishing. Those who are satisfied to be average, or to just be here going through the motions. They don't last long or the operations they work for suffer significantly.
The point of this is that we all promote and must if we expect to succeed. Everyone advertises that they are the best and must believe that they are. We all do have very distinct advantages with some possessing more than others. Whether it's the softest pillows, the best food, the most experienced crew, the best product, the best network or code group, or the biggest platform. They, and a myriad of other attributes, are all legitimate, promotional advantages to be resented by no one. The only bona fide measure of an operation however is a history of consistent results - both catching, if that is what anglers are here for, and customer satisfaction. At the risk of mimicking our contemporary politicians - it?s all about our records.
That is what I recommend to any and all anglers considering a long range voyage. Shop around and review the almost endless information available both on the websites as well as in tackle stores. Ask yourselves what you are seeking and how you wish to go about it. Make your decision based on the information provided by individuals in this profession as well as those who provide a healthy, positive perspective based on their experiences.
To those who already enjoy long range sport fishing and participate in the variety of available open forums, take a step back before you communicate and consider the topic in its entirety and the impact of your communication. I appreciate and admire the loyalty you express but not when it contains unnecessary, unfounded, or uninformed negativity. Don't be the fanatical sports fan that stands behind the opposing team spewing vitriol and obscenities. Such communication only serves to damage the credibility of the forum and limits productivity.
Now I suspect that plenty of you out there will read this, take aim, and let fly. Good for you. Fortunately, my perspective and confidence is founded in a very long history of innovation and success that most of us in long range sport fishing enjoy or realize in one form or another. My credibility is not suspect nor is my history or experience. That doesn't mean that you must agree or accept the opinions and direction I share, but it may serve one well to consider it. On that note would one of our dedicated anglers reading this do me a favor and post this on the boards. It is about time for a lively, positive discussion on this topic. Thanks in advance and look for reports to continue throughout the voyage.
Here are some more photos for all to enjoy with Capt. Sims' reports. Granted Capt. Sims has not had much to say over the last few days as they were thankfully scratching a few fish while attempting to avoid the weather, but now that the worst is over, they are back on track and having a good time. All's well. Enjoy the photos.
This morning we stopped on our way up the line for a couple of hours of fishing. The reds cooperated for us. The quality was outstanding with many in the 5# class. The butterfly jig was very effective as was the bait. We then called it a trip and headed for home in nice weather. Many thanks to Shimano for the great swag packs and the two Tiagras given away this trip.
We will arrive at Fisherman's Landing tomorrow at 0800 and be in for a night before our next trip. Reports will resume on the 15th.
Today started with a beautiful sunrise over the rugged Baja coastline. The yellowtail started to bite a little shortly thereafter. At mid-morning we started heading up the line checking various spots for a few here and there. We finished with a drift for 17 before a dinner in the flat calm lee of an island.
We traveled up for most of the day to get out of the weather. Once we got inside and started fishing we managed about one yellowtail a round. We are camped out for the night and will be at it hard in the morning.
Along with Capt. Sims' report from down below today are more photos from our very successful, fantastic prior voyage to Guadalupe and beyond courtesy of Larry Brown and Anna Diaz. Enjoy today's images and look for more over the next few days.
This morning we rolled onto the fishing grounds and were instantly rewarded with a little bingo on wahoo.We then set our anchor and scratched at wahoo and tuna. We didn't set any catch records but it was good action for awhile. Most of our tuna were 30-35# with one standout at 115. Due to building weather we are making a run tonight to fish in more protected waters tomorrow.
Here are a few of the promised photos from last voyage provided by anglers Anna Diaz and Chartermaster Larry Brown. Thanks again to Larry and Anna for the amazing quality of these images.
We started outside today looking for flotsam. We had beautiful looking conditions, but found a distinct lack of floating objects. We slid in to some structure and picked a few wahoo, yellowtail and yellowfin to salvage our day. We will not be in this area tomorrow.
Today we had flat calm weather without a breath of wind till after lunch. Our fishing was pretty good today as we managed a little bit of wahoo and finished strong with a fun bite on yellowfin tuna. With plenty of premium yellowfin aboard we will be looking for other species tomorrow.
So far things are progressing as planned with the guys logging a good day on the twenty to thirty pound Yellowfin while mixing in a sprinkling of Wahoo, Dorado and Yellowtail. Overall the size average was a significant improvement from the prior day that featured plenty of release action on smaller grade fish in addition to the "keepers". Today had its share of smaller, release size fish but overall there was thankfully much more gaffing and tagging than releasing. The weather is grease calm and everything that can be in order is to everyone's delight. So far so good as the saying goes. With plenty of good prospects in their present location, the guys will continue to seize upon the present opportunity before moving on to pursue other options.
Look for Capt. Sims' reports to continue tomorrow.
The guys began the fishing portion of their voyage in variety mode focusing on everything from Wahoo to yellowtail in one fell swoop. With beautiful weather complimenting the effort, a fine day was had by all as decent scratching on Yellowfin tuna, Dorado, yellowtail, Wahoo, and even a few bottom grabbers engaged anglers from just after day light through evening. It was a good start and perfect warm up for the next move down the line that with any luck will produce continued action on better size Yellowfin and Wahoo. Prospects are good, the bait is living beautifully, and everyone is in fine spirits ready to continue the catching and relaxation in balmy, flat calm conditions.
Look for tomorrow's reports with all the details.
Traveled down today in very nice weather. Seminars and tackle rigging kept us busy throughout the day. We will be fishing first thing in the morning so wish us luck and check back tomorrow.
We departed today on our first 10 - day trip of the year. Shimano is our sponsor and gave away a bunch of SWAG including Hats, Shirts, butterfly jigs, and mustad hooks this afternoon. We have a great load of bait and beautiful weather as we travel down towards our first fishing destination
No glory to report from our final day that was spent in relaxed mode on the beach unsuccessfully targeting yellowtail and all other coastal species. It was a typical morning of beach fishing that was in stark contrast to the prior fishing locations that featured beautiful balmy temperatures and calm seas. When anglers awoke to the extreme change in conditions, precipitated by an ocean temperature of 62 degrees, the sense was that we had traveled two thousand miles north rather than a mere one hundred. Over night we went from shorts, tank tops and tee's to full skin coverage including jackets and hats. Between the chilly wind, dense sea fog, and choppy seas, I was surprised to see zero drop in the fishing enthusiasm of this fantastic group of anglers that got out there and charged to their hearts content up to the final minute of this adventure.
On that note I want to extend our gratitude to Ed Tschernoscha of Baja Fish Gear and Larry Brown both of whom provided incredible giveaways as well as much direction and encouragement at the rail. Also, our gratitude to all anglers who performed like pro's from the first to last stop enjoying every opportunity to the fullest throughout the voyage. Finally, we want to thank all those tackle manufacturers and entities that provided equipment for our anglers this voyage. The list is as follows: Sportfishingreport.com, Blackwater, P-Line, Big hammer by Sunrize, AA Worms, Braid Products, Booyaa, AFTCO, Marina Del Rey Anglers, Izorline, Pukala, Western Outdoor News, Chuck Byron Art, Salas Lures, Promar, Accurate Reels, Baja Fish Gear, Seeker Rods, and Tady Lures. Our most sincere thanks again to all who provided gear and those who participated in this voyage.
Now Captain Brian Sims takes the helm on our first ten day voyage of the season proudly sponsored by Shimano. At present, there is a wealth of opportunities down below so look for Captain Sims' reports with all the details beginning tomorrow. Also, I will post many photos from this voyage over the next few days that were provided by Larry Brown and Anna Diaz for all of us to enjoy. Thanks again to Anna and Larry for sharing some of your amazing shots.
The gears are really meshing here now as our departure from Guadalupe for the outside yielded very good action on 18 - 30# yellowfin tuna from a variety of kelps as well as a sprinkling of dorado, yellowtail, and even a few twenty five pound albacore. In addition to the fine fishing the real bonus was a day of glorious, flat calm weather featuring a crisp atmosphere and barely a ripple sea state that was ideal for looking, and even better for relaxing and enjoying all the elements of good off shore angling.
I have to mention that the day's success was not simply the result of our skill and fish sense as we received information from our ever so valuable code group that enabled us to narrow down the search grid and zero in on the most productive zone, without a boat in sight, in relatively short order. So many times in the past the benefit of information sharing has proven to be an invaluable advantage, and number one reason we are so effective in finding and staying on the best fishing available as a fleet and as individuals. Today was again one of those times and needless to say we are cognizant, and appreciative of the fact that we possess this huge advantage. I sure wouldn't want to be competing out here without it. In fact, without it one really would not be competing at all.
That said we are lined up on the coast for our final day of fishing that will feature a full effort towards locating and targeting yellowtail in an attempt to round out our beautiful catch with a little more variety before calling it a successful voyage. Regardless of whether we find the yellows or not the catching part of the trip is already a success. But, it would be a nice bonus to pick up a few more yellowtail as we still have plenty of time on our sixth and final day of fishing.
Look for tomorrow's final report from this voyage with the details and more.
All things considered, despite the fact that today was considerably slower, we finished our time at the island in fine style with a couple of handfuls of seventy to one hundred pound yellowfin for the effort. And take it from me it definitely was an effort as the grease calm, stagnant conditions had the fish in a lethargic state lazily rolling around while showing almost zero interest in our offerings.
Taking the cue, and avoiding a big pile up in the process, at day's end we headed out in search of off shore action, hoping to add some depth and variety to the voyage in the form of Dorado, yellowtail, and or albacore and bigeye. I know the bigeye part is a long shot but one can always dream.
In the meantime we are enjoying flat calm weather on the outside that is perfect for the mission we are undertaking. With a little luck, we will have good news from this zone tomorrow.