After six full days of hammering away investing a tremendous amount of time and effort at the rail this group of superb anglers finally began to show signs of slowing down on day seven. It could have been that the fishing shifted back to a slower pace. It could have been the beautiful, flat calm, balmy weather and accompanying languid atmosphere. Or, and most likely, it could have been the afterglow from yesterday's boomer hit on big ones carrying over as everyone is obviously fulfilled and satisfied. Not that the guys didn't put forth the effort or were out there clowning around. Again the fishing effort was sufficient to catch what was there to be had. But, there was a tangible sense of satisfaction among everyone and more than a twinge of excitement about packing it in at the end of the day and heading for Cabo San Lucas.
In every way this voyage has been a huge success with the original intent of creating an ultra limited voyage to specifically target giant yellowfin on the lower banks manifesting as a dream come true. With only thirteen anglers, all of whom share an impressive resume in the world of long range sport fishing and a passion for catching big ones, a better opportunity could not be contrived. This was the dream voyage in every sense.
Without exception there was never a period during the seven full days we spent fishing on the anchor when an angler could not head to the rail, toss out a bait, and have a real chance at hooking a yellowfin tuna over two or even three hundred pounds. I know we have had some amazing fishing for big ones on these lower banks going all the way back to 1997, but the consistency of this seven day period is the real standout. It is pretty rare in fishing to not have conditions change or have some kind of wrench thrown into the works that sets you back on your heels and requires a shift in the approach and strategy. Not this time. In seven days we moved the boat only three times either because we slipped on the anchor or to kick the bait that had gathered beneath us out to stir things up. For both Randy and I this is a first that I figure will not be easy to repeat.
Who knows however as we see a very robust amount of fish that continue to fill in around this bank. In fact, today's action on giants was interrupted by the arrival of a new wave of 70 - 120# class fish that showed up in force crashing all around the bank and setting up camp around all of us there. I have already said it a couple of times this voyage but it is worth saying again. There is going to be some incredible fishing down here during the next six to eight weeks. Mark my words. Between the mid range tuna, and the giants lurking among them, this action will continue and may just get better.
So, our final day ended with plenty more action but the bigger fish were mixed with mid rangers that on any other occasion would have been well received. Needless to say with 29 over two hundred pounds and four over three hundred in the hatch these thirteen anglers were not in the market for any quantity of fish and were exclusively focused on targeting giants. In the end we weeded out another four over the two hundred mark and another ten from 150 - 190. After 0800 the fish went back into that wily mode we have become accustomed to blowing out in every direction while showing almost zero interest in biting. We got our share though. As such we put it on course at day's end heading for an early morning arrival tomorrow. Without question everyone on board is ecstatic and reveling in the epic results of this adventure. I will have three days to add a few more thoughts as we head up the line so look for reports to continue. Photos today feature anglers Damon Digregorio in action pulling on a big one, and Gary "Big Fish" Sato with another 230 that succumbed to a well positioned chunk fished on the big gear.