Surprisingly enough, after ballasting and bracing ourselves for the unpleasant prospect of crossing 170 miles of cranky seas, it really wasn't all that disagreeable. Not that there wasn't plenty of rolling, rising, and falling in the near beam seas, but the ride itself was smooth with no snapping or jerking to pitch us too far off kilter. Regardless of how much "better" than expected it was we were mightily grateful to eliminate the discomfort arriving in the giant Guadalupe lee by mid day. That feature alone was heavenly.
I can't say a whole lot for the fishing that underwent a significant, but not surprising, change from what the guys had the prior trip. Like I said such is no surprise. We did see it, we did land ten of the better tuna in the late afternoon, and we are of the opinion that it is still around, it just wasn't packed into the shallows today. We'll see what happens tomorrow. There is a whole lot of island to look at, and we have two full days to get with the program.
Our photos today are loaded with personal sentiment for the subjects. I have been waiting to include this in a daily report for some time. To begin with my six year old son Duke is making his second Royal Star voyage this time experiencing the amazing scenery at Guadalupe island. This has been a dream of mine since he was born. One Photo today features Duke pulling on a twenty five pound yellowtail with his new outfit that is the subject of this story. An old fishing friend of mine Bob Ramirez, whom many of you have likely encountered on one of his countless long range voyages on Royal Star or Royal Polaris, conducted clandestine, dockside interviews with my daughter Charlie and son Duke to determine their favorite colors. The result a few months later was the unexpected arrival of two beautiful, perfectly matched rods decorated of course in the appropriate colors of choice. I wanted to both graciously thank Bob for his incredibly generous gift, as well as demonstrate the fruit of his efforts. If you are reading along today Bob rest assured that this is the first of many.
The next photo also features Duke with his twenty five pound class yellowtail and his new outfit. The second part of this story goes back to last season when I first tried the amazing Shimano Trinidad 14a. After falling in love with this reel I mentioned that I would be putting one to good use on outfits for my kids. Thanks to Justin Poe at Shimano I am doing exactly that. And, after using these reels now for the past year I want to add that they are far from only appropriate for kids. I used the analogy last year that the Trinidad 14a is like a little tractor. I was convinced of this exact comparison again yesterday. Bullet proof, light weight, durable, and ridiculously pleasing to fish with, this reel also boasts a torque ratio that defies reason. How so much power comes out of this reel is a mystery I still can't quite get a handle on. But, why ask why? The fact is that the Shimano 14a is the most incredible reel in it's size class I have ever seen and/or used by a long shot. I cannot recommend it highly enough. To be confidently using this size reel targeting fifty to seventy pound yellowfin tuna and twenty five to forty pound class yellowtail speaks for itself. This thing is no joke.
Look for tomorrow's reporting, with a few tuna photos, to continue.
As is so often the case with a fantastic voyage to Guadalupe the day of unloading resembled a fine fall ten day catch far more than something typically caught above the 28 degree north latitude. What a beautiful load of big yellowfin and yellowtail. Before handing over the reins I mentioned something about Captain Toussaint and his fishing instincts kicking into overdrive. Needless to say he again proved me right.
We departed on our annual Ty's Tuna five day with obvious plans to return to the beckoning outside island despite the promise of a sloppy ride heading across - time to pay some dues. But, it is also time to appreciate the fact that we are on a boat well suited for the journey that to us represents little more than an inconvenience for eighteen hours. If the fish cooperate in any measure close to what the guys experienced during the past voyage I'll venture in advance that it is well worth it. We'll see.
A flawless, but hurried, turn around, and a quick passage through Ensenada found us steaming west south west at day's end already ready to arrive in the giant, calm lee side of Guadalupe to begin the search anew. Look for reports with the details to continue. All's well.
Same story from the offshore grounds with plenty of bft seen but hooking them was another story. There is hope though as there are some yft filtering in and the kelps are starting to produce decent yt fishing with a few dorado, With plenty of fish in the hatch a slow day didn't faze us a bit as we head home with an eta of 0700 tomorrow.
Tim departs again tomorrow on a 5-day so look for his reports to starton the 31st.
After a nice hit on tuna and yellows this morning we relinquished our hotspot to our friends on the AA and spent a leisurely afternoon trying for yellows at various spots while taking in the beauty of this island. Just about everywhere we tried this afternoon the tuna would show in addition to a few yellows which bodes well for upcoming trips.
We are traveling up tonight and will finish up the trip tomorrow in search of a few bft.
Gary Kawaoka with a typical lupe yt and Mike Masuda with a 97lb yft are today's shots.
The stars have truly aligned for us this trip as we had another stellar all day bite on quality tuna and yellows while enjoying balmy grease calm weather. There are very few places that can offer this caliber of angling combined with typically flat calm seas. Lupe is a unique fishery and like Clarion has a big fish aura about it, it's good to be back. We have a few openings on the next couple trips leaving July 30 and Aug 4 if you want to be a part of this experience.
Kevin Masuda shows off a 95lber in today's shot.
Tim told me after he got in from last trip, if I were leaving today I'd be going back out to Lupe. He had an impressive catch but more importantly he had a feeling that this place was on the verge of getting good, he was right. Our morning started with a nice hit on the 25-40lb yellows before the tuna started to get agressive and pushed them out of the way. A nice steady bite ensued with one to five going just about all day. After the dust settled we had 75 tuna from 50-97lbs and 40 yellows chilling in the RSW, an epic day especially considering our beautiful surroundings. We are sitting tight with two more days to fish here.
Today's shot is for Santaella, Mike Krieger with one of his 80lbers.
Just a quick report to supplement Randy's on the water news from Guadalupe yesterday. I just spoke with Randy and he indicated increasing sign of bigger yellowfin and good fishing. They are presently on their way to another very good day on the 60 - 90# yellowfin and 25 - 40# yellowtail. Conditions are even better than the previous day with warmer water and more sign of fish showing.
There is going to be some very good opportunity at the bigger tuna and yellowtail in upcoming weeks.
As such we are scheduling the next round of voyages to fish at Guadalupe making the necessary arrangements now. If you are looking to fish at Guadalupe and take advantage of the present opportunity please call us soon. We have availability on both the upcoming five day departing Saturday, July 30th, returning Thursday, August 4th, and the six day departing Thursday, August 4th returning, Wednesday August 10th. Again these voyages will be focusing the effort at Guadalupe targeting the bigger yellowfin tuna and yellowtail.
Tracy, Brian, and I will be available in the office throughout the week to answer any questions. Get the bigger yellowfin tuna gear ready and give us a call. We look forward to making it happen!
Flat calm weather and good scratching on quality fish here at the Lupe today while having the island all to ourselves. We ended up with 38 tuna from 50-98lbs and 15 yellows 25-40lbs. The afternoon was best with spots of tuna lighting it up on natural feed all around us showing the potential for some epic fishing. We have three more days here so hopefully we can keep it up.
The rig of choice has been the 40lb rigs with 50lb flouro but I could easily see the need for heavier gear if these fish get with it.
Nolan Sakuma happily poses with a 80lb plus yft as it comes over the rail in today's shot.
We arrived to Guadalupe this afternoon after a beautiful ride out and were greeted by a nice show on quality tuna. A classic Lupe bite ensued after we got the anchor down in that you had to work at it, but those who did were rewarded with a quality tuna or yellow. With good sign of tuna and a nice start in the hatch we are hunkered down here for the night looking forward to the next few days.
I would expect this bite to continue to develop through the Summer as the water warms up, give Tracy a call if your thinking of getting back out to fish Lupe as we have openings sprinkeled on upcoming trips which are poised to take advantage of this fishing.
Jim Nomura is in today's shot with one of his 60lb yft from this afternoon.
One thing I always marvel at is how these Guadalupe trips reveal so much more upon return when the fish are coming out of the hatch; especially from the fact that we are up close and personal with each individual when weighing them for the processing totes, but also from the perspective of basic appearances. So often at this final juncture of a Guadalupe voyage, when beautiful quality tuna and yellowtail are coming out of the hatch in pristine condition, the long range measure of success is demonstrated in stark proportions; the numbers don’t necessarily relate a successful tale, but the quality certainly does. With access to Guadalupe re-established the age old question again surfaces: would you rather have ten bites in three days of fishing resulting in three seventy five pound tuna and a couple of thirty pound yellowtail on summer voyage, or wide open action resulting in a full limit of 30 fish in the fifteen to twenty pound class?; neither answer is wrong or better, just different; each way has an appeal uniquely associated with long range fishing. And, in complete candor, a mix of both forms of action on any summer voyage probably garners the most votes.
I know looking at those big ones at the end of a trip has a meaningful impact however; the fisherman’s bar of success is definitely measured in proportion. And it definitely holds that the more experience one gain’s, the greater the thirst for the exception. So Captain Toussaint ventures forth in search of the exception Royal Star is known for. In every respect we have applied consistent effort to this end. Between our solid crew of professional, experienced men, all of whom have been the foundation of Royal Star upward of three to nine years, and our team of Capt. Toussaint, Sims, and I behind the helm, we maintain a standard unmatched by our competitors. One voyage on Royal Star, one look at our product, one example of the almost unbelievable attention our crew applies toward every aspect of our angler’s long range fishing experience, relates a story unique to our operation, and understood by the significant number of anglers who choose Royal Star year after year. Advancing this fishery by providing anglers with an experience beyond exception is the driving force behind Royal Star. We recognize that it is about far more than just going out and catching fish. Consistent, professional application of our experience and knowledge, and dedication to maintaining the distance between Royal Star and our competitors benefits our anglers in every respect. Randy and the guys are presently on their way to proving it once again.
I mention this relative to a few openings we have on upcoming voyages including the five day departing next Saturday and the six day that follows. If you are one of the many anglers waiting out the summer to see what Guadalupe offers the proof is in the pudding, so to speak. Deciding on a Royal Star voyage guarantees a level of professional service, and a quality of product at the return of your voyage, that is unmatched by our competitors; in fact most don’t even try. The painstaking process of attending to every single fish with appropriate care is simply too much for the average crew to handle. Our guys are far from average; ask anyone who has made a Royal Star voyage and they will verify this assertion with enthusiasm. The difference in the quality of our angler’s product is exponential – a little attention goes a long way; a lot of attention launches the quality into another atmosphere.
One other piece of information noteworthy to the upcoming month is the decision made last week to slice the doomed Pfishcadora four day charter into at least one 1 ½ day voyage departing Friday, August 12 returning Sunday August 14th. Though we are well aware that the offshore fishing has been a huge disappointment thus far the signs of Bluefin are still excellent, and now a smattering of yellowfin tuna and dorado are finally making a showing among the vast quantities of offshore Bluefin still around. I have to believe that in another two weeks things will be well advanced and offshore opportunities will be far more consistent. Between the present Hurricane Dora pushing warm water north, and abundant signs of yellowfin tuna, yellowtail, and Dorado showing down below, my best guess is that all these fish will fill in as the month of August progresses. The present indicators are already in place and developing. Limited to twenty four anglers, the cost of the 1 ½ day will be $400.00 all inclusive. This will be the only opportunity of the year to jump on Royal Star for a short trip. Nothing will be spared in our effort to introduce anglers to every outstanding aspect of our incredible operation. If you are interested give Tracy, Brian, and/or I a call in the office next week. I have to imagine that this opportunity will be short lived so please don’t wait too long to book if you are interested.
To close for the day a final reminder about the handful of spaces available on the upcoming five and six day voyages before I attempt to tantalize any of you on the fence with several fine images describing the Guadalupe experience. Between the almost perpetual flat calm of the massive island lee, the quality of the quarry and the breath taking scenery, there is nothing like it. Charter master Dave Duby provides a perfect example while pulling on a sixty five pound Guadalupe yellowfin at color, then in victory mode posing with crewman Paul Caramayo. Also Charter master Steve Parish, again with the young heart throb Paul, and a fine seventy pound class yellowfin. And, a final shot of Joe Davis moments before crewman Steve Gregonis sinks a gaff into his Guadalupe prize. Look for Randy’s reports to continue as well as any information I have to add. Enjoy a fine Sunday!
There is a usual under current during a long range voyage that broadcasts the overall tenor in many different tones. Most often it is subtle, though obvious to the Captain and crew performing their duties as expert guides, fishermen, and ambassadors. Attention to the pulse of a group is crucial to the success of a trip in many variations; every group has a different feel that the crew gauges then interacts and performs accordingly. Often individuals are reserved in their expressions requiring some studious observation to rightly evaluate; not these guys.
Boisterous, in the good way, focused on making a good time of the experience, and making no bones about the expectation that everyone, Captain and crew alike, join in the fun, consistent of course with our responsibilities, these anglers whooped it up throughout the day despite a marked lack of offshore action. And when we did find our piece of the action on smaller class bluefin the glaring disparity between what we were targeting at Guadalupe, and what was available offshore, lent a more comical pitch to the effort than anything. In comparison it was difficult to muster any serious drive toward production; the little fella's were just too wanton for length and girth.
As such all enjoyed the fishing in lighthearted fashion, and made good use of the opportunity to take it in less any urgency to put a slew of fish on board; far more effort was expended in relaxation and reverie; rightly so. Being the first group of anglers to hang it out and do some real prospecting at Guadalupe this season these anglers were rewarded with the unique satisfaction carried by successful expeditions into the unknown. They knew we were hanging it out there, shared in the suffering of a dismal, rocky beginning on the tuna, and reveled in the triumph of earning the fortuitous turn of events that lead to an exceptional catch of beautiful size class yellowfin tuna. After again reviewing our tally board yesterday I was that much more impressed. Of the fifty yellowfin tuna landed only a handful are under sixty pounds, and at least a third are seventy to eighty eight pounds - on a five day; just like old times; or even better.
Needless to say an appropriate closing note is a reminder to all anglers on upcoming voyages to bring your passport; and if you have not procured one to date it is time to step up and expedite one post haste. It is not certain that all voyages will visit the outside island, that determination will be made at least a few days in advance of a given voyage based on a wide variety of factors, but it is certain that any anglers less a passport will not be on a voyage that does. And right now, based on everything we know, the likelihood that upcoming voyages will include the Guadalupe option is high. If you haven't already done so get your passport - please.
Finally, huge gratitude to Phillips Steel and Wood Group field services for an exceptional voyage of great fun. Between the successful fishing and fine company we could not ask for better times on Royal Star. Now Captain Toussaint takes the helm as I begrudgingly hand it over to administer clerical tasks and nurse a sore eye. Rest assured that the fish killer himself will maintain the momentum as his insatiable thirst for quality yellowfin will only be quenched by exceptional success. God help the poor tuna with Randy back on the water. Meanwhile I will continue reporting one more day and send a few full resolution shots from this voyage. Also, I believe I am scheduled to appear on Pete's show next week. I'll verify that tomorrow. Enjoy today's photo featuring first time long range angler Joe Davis and Captain Brian Sims with a fine example of Guadalupe quality. Have a fine weekend!
Classic Guadalupe, signature, fantastic by a standard far different than the rock 'em, sock 'em, load up type action we so often associate with long range. Though we have found action to fit that description on plenty of occasions on the outside, more often it is a patience game targeting one, two, or maybe, if one is on the right side of fortunate, a handful of opportunities per day. Typically however, and today was no exception, when an angler puts in the time and uses proper equipment, the opportunities translate into something exceptional on the end of the line.
In summary we poked, prodded, kicked, and fought our way through scant sign and slow fishing moving the boat about a hundred times attempting to grasp the gold ring inches beyond reach. Fourteen hours of daylight seems like plenty until one is trying to wring a catch out of Guadalupe. When conditions are right, and today they certainly were, the amount of area alone represents a challenge. Without giving away the store I will offer that local knowledge goes a long way. From the myriad of options available certain conditions and past history can overlap to suggest plenty to a fishing Captain with history here.
The culmination of the day's effort was a big reward, relative in terms of course, but an exceptional opportunity that ended our time on the outside on a perfect note. It was good fishing, for all good one's - yellowfin tuna in the 65 - 85# class and 25 - 35# yellowtail; everyone got even on this go around. Departing the island for a final morning offshore we feel good about the potential discovered, but still feel the best is yet to come. However, I'd be willing to bet that every angler presently on board might feel differently following yesterday afternoon's action. We had a good taste, that's for certain, and what we accumulated in the hatch will be impressive come unloading on Saturday. This was long range fishing defined - exceptional and unique amidst a setting grandiose, spectacular, and awe inspiring. There is no place like it.
A couple of fine examples of the grade and classic Guadalupe conditions in today's photos. Royal Star veterans Larry Nelson, with crewman Steve Gregonis, and Corey Pierce, demonstrating the tuna "bear hug", are both rightly pleased with their sixty five to seventy pound trophies that are certain to grill up fine or be served in sushi form fresh from our RSW tanks. After the typical flat calm conditions at Guadalupe, exceptional emphasis we place on professional fish handling, and only a couple of days in the tanks, the quality of the product from this round will be impossible to best; signature Royal Star.
Our kinship with this island is based on mechanics paid for in thousands of collective hours of discovery as much as instinct. A stunning dawn of velvet soft high clouds bordered in crimson revealed a setting completely opposite from the previous afternoon. One glance at the awakening sky told me the story I had hoped for; the weather change, palpable and poignant, broadcast the soothing tone so familiar here when things are right. The morning began with an immediate showing of 50 - 70 pound yellowfin tuna that proved everything was not lost in yesterday's dissapointing opener. They were here; and as so often encountered at this end of the island, preferred breakfast to dinner. Thank goodness.
Before I get too far however I must report that the signs we found, while significant, were not the mother lode. It added up to a couple of scattered spots of fish that didn't exactly receive our offerings with gusto, but did show enough interest to accumulate into sixteen beautiful, perfectly pithed, bled, and dressed trophies in our RSW tank.A handful were around fifty, a handful were 60 to 70, and a handful were 73 - 87 pounds. Needless to say all of us are ecstatic with the grade that offered a number of other missed opportunities for the ususal list of calamities; most of which the result of finicky fish requiring borderline light tackle to entice.
The news overall all is good - there definitely are premium size yellowfin tuna to be caught at Guadalupe. However, my immediate take is that the island is in the preliminary stages of the big change that typically ushers in the real deal quantites of tuna. Presently the water temp is still a little cold at 67 degrees Fahrenheit, and again, despite finding a modest quantity of the right grade yellowfin tuna, we did plenty of additional prospecting that uncovered no more. As for a predicted time line of when the change will occur I'll keep my notions within. Next week? Two weeks? Tomorrow? It is anyone's guess. For now the good news is that the stage is set. I believe it is only a matter of time before some real deal big hits on this beautiful grade Guadalupe yellowfin will happen.
Perhaps tomorrow will be the day. I'll never forget an early season trip about five or six years ago when we spent two and a half days here, hardly saw a thing in the way of tuna, landed a measly twenty some odd smaller yellowfin, departed for Cedros in an attempt to salvage our final full day of fishing seeking yellowtail, then received a report from my colleague who arrived at Guadalupe the next morning, anchored the exact same ridge where we had fished two thirds of the previous day for ten tuna, and found wide open fishing on 40 - 70 pound fish. The agony of that day is permanently etched in my memory. As I recall the winners on the other rig had somewhere in the neighboorhood of 150 of the bigger yellowfin that day. It can change quickly.
For better, the same, or worse we are here for the duration tomorrow. Hoping of course for better, no doubt we are in an improved state after the wealth of time spent prospecting and getting located today. If they are still around tomorrow, and conditions are similiar, I'm thinking we are better positioned to make the most of what they have to offer. We will see.
Photo today features angler Brendan Slagle and crewman Paul Caramayo with a fine, fifty pound class Guadalupe yellowfin to kick off the 2011 season. Needless to say we hope this is one of many to come.
I love the draw of unexplored waters; the thrilling idea that the unknown represents immense fishing opportunity; being the first to tap that fresh potential is an enticement straight from the fountain of youth. It is an attraction that must be tempered though; too many times have Captain's been victims of over enthusiastic expectations; of emotionally investing in the outcome before it occurs. That is one of those rookie errors that follows a fishing Captain in the form of disappointing memories eternally recalled. Those memories of when everything so right turned out so contrary to the obvious. I have my share. But if no boats visit an area for almost a year, historical trends and present conditions suggest a perfect set up, and one is first on scene for the harvest, the catching part is built in, isn't it?
The big question of what is happening at Isla Guadalupe; that nagging unknown, especially in the face of difficult offshore results and last week's dicey action down the line, motivated us to take the plunge. First off let me say that the entire process of clearing through Ensenada was trouble free, relatively swift, and professionally executed by officials who understood that time is of the essence to our operations. Beyond that we passed through excellent, but unproductive waters on the way in to the august volcanic haven arriving to find conditions well and almost beckoning, almost. There were a few immediate portents suggestive of something awry; little details I have seen all too many times, but nothing in sufficient strength to spoil the moment.
Of course I could go into a lengthy diatribe about my sixth sense in high overdrive but honestly I loathe when it calls from the negative for fear of manifesting the result. Let's just say that we made the afternoon tour, found one small spot of yellowfin that mercifully produced the sole tuna accounted for today, and spent a wealth of additional time scouring an island devoid of further tuna signs. Ouch! How's that for a reward.
To the contrary of all expectations we bombed out on the yellowfin tuna at Guadalupe today. The wheels were set in motion, we followed the new protocol to perfection, we paid the extra cost for the high roller seats, and were the butt of an epic cosmic irony for the effort - fishing at it's finest.
Now, looking forward, as is the only obvious option, we have not eliminated all possibilities for tuna production yet - time of day around here often plays a key role; I'll also add that a little less breeze, that is forecast to come, would likely advance the cause. And thankfully, we have a wealth of yellowtail fishing options to parry our present terror of failure - fortunately they came through to save the afternoon for us today. But, we are under no illusions here; it would have been far better to be reporting big schools of biting yellowfin. Perhaps that is still to come. Stay watchful for tomorrow's report carrying news of all that will be. We are here for the duration, and will report accordingly.
We got off on the right foot heading south with as good a load of sardines as one could ever hope for and anglers revved up and ready to turn over new ground. It is time. And, in accordance with our fishing philosophy, we are all in steaming for the unknown with jigs out and reaching optimism that there are still offshore tuna to be found. Based on everything that has occurred on the offshore grounds thus far it is anyone's guess; there is a wealth of uncovered territory out there broadening by the day. Not that we are under any illusions though, the obvious disappointment doled out by prolific, unwilling bluefin over the past three weeks has led to plenty of adventurous searches rightly abandoned. But, as we have experienced so many times in the past, the ocean functions in the realm of exceptions with surprising regularity. If nothing else it is our turn to reach far in a westerly sweep. As one of many brothers out here, especially in times lean, we are all in to help the cause.
On a completely different note I want to mention that our 2012 - 2013 schedule is soon to be posted on our website reflecting a new trend of longer summer voyages by a day or two in response to demand from anglers seeking consistent opportunities at catching tuna. In several respects the extra day or two makes a huge difference creating a wealth of fishing options for each group that includes every zone distant as well as Isla Guadalupe with plenty of time to accommodate the new requirement of a quick stop in Ensenada to clear in and out with Mexican authorities. As fishermen Randy, Brian, and I are very enthusiastic about the new schedule that will be carried forward for the foreseeable future. In respect to evolving trends we feel our anglers are well positioned for the most successful outcome possible by the changes offered.
And finally, in respect to the forthcoming Royal Star 2012 - 2013 brochure, we are seeking e-mail addresses of anglers willing and/or preferring to receive their copies electronically as opposed to U.S. post. Believe it or not we are jumping on the "go green" bandwagon seeking to minimize the impact of printing and mailing thousands of brochures and envelopes if unnecessary; and, in complete honesty, it wouldn't hurt our feelings to minimize the costs as well. If you are interested in receiving the new brochure via e-mail please send Tracy a quick message at email@example.com and she will add, or tag your existing address, to our send database.
Now, with the business aside, it is down to fishing, and more fishing during the next few days. Look for reports and details to follow.
Captain Sims returned from the annual Kashiki seven day with a fine load of quality yellowtail and a sprinkling of school size tuna after a valiant search turned up little in the way of the bigger offshore yellowfin encountered the previous voyage. Isn't that a familiar story? Here one day gone the next is one of those perpetual elements of fishing that makes heroes and tears; or at least hard earned frustration.
Regardless such ebb and flow dynamics are to be expected and should be received with grace, acceptance, and understanding of the fact that above all the crew and Captain are equally invested in the outcome of every voyage. There is no more difficult situation for the guys running the boat than when good fishing falls flat in the face of great expectations. That is when the true professionals shine in performance and results. The masters in this fishery make the most of whatever hand they are dealt and rally their anglers to the cause. In this respect I extend the highest accolades to Capt. Sims who consistently makes the most of every situation with experienced, strong leadership and plenty of smiles.
This last trip was a great example. Huge expectations were the departing theme but the fish gods had other designs. Rather than come unhinged by the intense disappointment of disappearing fish Capt. Sims made a lateral move, produced a fine catch of alternates, and worked a great time into what could have easily gone the opposite direction. Of course a great deal of credit belongs to the group of anglers who recognized that the tuna were saving their treasures for another time and it was simply occasion to line up for the new party. So our gratitude to the annual Kashiki seven day group of anglers. Rest assured that bonus points are accumulated in fishing - the more time one spends at fishing, the more rewards await.
To close for today I want to extend a serious reminder to all anglers on upcoming voyages about passports in the event your scheduled trip is positioned to visit Isla Guadalupe. Passports are absolutely necessary - no exceptions, and should be the essential part of trip preparations for all five to seven day voyages from this point on. If you have any questions please call Tracy in the office. We will provide more information regarding the likelihood of a voyage visiting Guadalupe in short order - the time has come.
We traveled up all day in decent to sloppy weather. The conversations were lively as guys recounted stories of the ones they landed and the ones that got away. We will arrive at the dock tomorrow at 0715 and will depart on the next trip with Tim at the helm on Monday the 18th.
Dennis Nishimine with a small bass in the flat calm yesterday.
We traveled up for the morning arriving at our fishing destination shortly after lunch. Our first anchor job produced good calico fishing and a few shots at premium size yellowtail. The weather was flat calm and the scenery stunning. After a couple of hours the fish backed off and we went looking. In the late afternoon we found what we were looking for, more flat calm water with biting bass. We stayed on the anchor catching and releasing until after sunset. We then had dinner and broke our gear down. We will be traveling up tomorrow.
Royal Star veteran Bob Ryan pulled this premium yellow out of our first bass bite.
This morning we woke up on the anchor to biting yellowtail. We made sure everyone had enough to satiate their desire or a limit, then headed out to prospect for tuna. We found an area of scattered jig strikes on school size tuna. We did some culling and managed to keep about 3 per rod between 10 and 20 lbs. with the average about 15. The weather was a bit challenging so we will be coastal for tomorrow.
Today we worked offshore. Things looked good from a water perspective as we liked the conditions we had to work with. A few tuna and dorado were all we were able to put aboard in the morning, so we went to plan B. In the late afternoon we had some stellar action on 15-30# yellowtail. We will be back outside looking for tuna again in the morning.
Josh Elgan on his first trip aboard Royal Star is all smiles with this 30# yellow.
Today we worked offshore. We had a slow morning,highlighted by a finning swordfish that we watched under the bow for a few minutes. The cameras were snapping full speed as this bright purple denizen of the deep cruised along the surface unperturbed by our presence. We also had some short stops on smaller yellowfin that kept everyone on their toes.
In the afternoon we found a more lively area and put together a nice score on 18 - 30 # yellowtail. At times the action was hot and heavy, with everything in the water getting bit.
Mas Yokota gets the honors of today's shot, proudly displaying a 25# yellow with crewman Sean Bickle on the gaff.
We traveled down today enjoying very nice weather. After completing our rigging and readying the boat, we had an afternoon to appreciate the raw splendor that a calm ocean has to offer. Blue whales and common dolphins were our almost constant companions as we make our way towards what we think will be some adrenaline pumping fishing action. Everyone aboard is ready. Let the games begin tomorrow.
The day of return and unloading carries a unique satisfaction understood only by those who have ventured a cruise on the high seas; fishing or otherwise. Relative to fishing voyages the culmination of our efforts is revealed in the form of beautiful product coming out of the holds in extraordinary condition. Though I have done plenty to promote the quality of the fish coming off Royal Star I now have the benefit of following the product to Fisherman’s Processing to oversee the handling of and assist with the actual filleting and processing of the catch. The opportunity to see results so extraordinary has done wonders to bolster my enthusiasm for our fish handling on board Royal Star. The number of times during the past year I have taken a momentary pause to admire a particular loin of tuna, side of yellowtail, slab of dorado, or chunk of wahoo is probably humorous to the Fisherman’s Processing crew. But as one of the guys physically invested in producing such premium quality I know that every tuna we pith and bleed using the Taniguchi method, every yellowtail we pith and bleed, every tuna we take the time, regardless of how hot and heavy the action, to dress out (gill and gut), the benefit our customers receive in the form of an incredibly valuable product to be enjoyed and shared is worth the effort ten times over.
I also know that such dedication to consistently producing premium, grade “A” quality product originated on Royal Star and is closely matched by only a few of our colleagues in the long range fishery at best who also recognize that the product anglers consume and share following their voyages represents a level of professionalism consistent with contemporary trends worldwide. On this note everyone, every angler making sport fishing voyages with the intention of retaining fish should recognize the value of fresh, wild caught seafood, and treat their catch accordingly. It does make a huge difference. And I am not preaching on the topic from a pedestal, my perspective has evolved from much practical application, trial and error, and a vision no better or worse than one advanced by anyone else. It is simply recognizing that premium fresh, wild caught seafood today is so valuable that to not maximize its potential, to not appreciate the inherent quality, is a significant loss.
As Royal Star steams south again on the annual John Kashiki seven day, we offer a moment of respect for John who passed last November after a full lifetime of fishing on long range vessels; talk about a man who enjoyed the product coming off Royal Star. When we began producing the premium quality “RSW” fish John must have commented a hundred times in the six years following about how the filleted fish he landed on Royal Star was divided in his freezer from the others; that he coveted the Royal Star product giving away fish from other voyages to his friends rather than share his special reserve. Last year in fact he had me laughing in the bridge relating a story of one of his friends giving him “hell” about some fish he gave him not being the “right” stuff off of one of his Royal Star trips. Anyhow John was a great man always focusing on having a good time during his voyages. In deserving memorial he will continue to be recognized as leader of the “Kashiki” July seven day for years to come.
Captain Brian “Gerbie” Sims is at the helm this voyage heading for what we hope is the promised land again seeking yellowfin tuna and yellowtail from haunts below. With the dearth of anything that wants to bite in the offshore grounds from local to two hundred plus miles a long haul is in order to access what this group observed while unloading the previous voyage. And on that closing note we want to extend our gratitude to the previous “Barking Spider” group, and all others who joined this annually successful eight day charter, for a fantastic voyage of notable character, characters, and fun. It was our sincere pleasure to make it happen.
Photos for the day feature a couple of full resolution selections from the eight day of the action in progress. The first is of angler Brent Hirsch’s direct point of view moments before his 95 pound, second place Jackpot winning yellowfin tuna came to gaff. The second is another version of a photo I sent from Royal Star at low resolution. This photo is so fine I had to share it again at full resolution. There is no better example of the magical potential of long range fishing than this image. Glorious is how I would describe it.
Look for Capt. Sims’ reports to follow during the week.
I'd really have to stretch the imagination to generate an exciting tale from today. In fact, other than observing a variety of gigantic Blue Whales and dolphins in the up close and personal range, I might even assign a bit of drudgery to the day of travel that passed one minute at a time. Mind you it wasn't that bad, there was plenty not to do and that in itself is a novelty for all of us in this world of time evaporating in unending demands. But tempering the anticipation of returning from such a fantastic voyage, for a second consecutive day, is an exercise in patience contrary to our modern American culture. Welcome to long range.
The unavoidable travel component of long range voyages, while against all modern notions of speed and convenience, is exactly what preserves the greatest offshore fishery in the world. The inaccessibility is a godsend on this rapidly shrinking globe - and is exactly why catches like we have on board are made on a regular basis. The sacrifice of a little time passing in slow motion, about ten knots to be exact, is accompanied by access to fishing most anglers outside of long range see perhaps once or twice in a lifetime if remaining in local waters. It is a trade off well worth a day, two, or even three on winter runs, of forced relaxation. Forced relaxation; incongruous as the idea is it fits the bill to perfection; I like that.
So, if you are an avid follower of long range fishing through daily reporting from the vessels force yourself to relax and sign up for a voyage - especially if you have yet to pull the trigger on your first trip. Angler Randall Yee, who was featured a couple of days back in a daily photo, is a perfect example. After hearing about the vast divide between local fishing and long range from every perspective he signed up for this eight day with soaring anticipation of a fishing experience that would heighten his knowledge and expand his fishing horizon. Though he had heard the stories, and knew about good fishing from reading plenty of information, nothing could have prepared him for the actual reality of multiple days of action on 40 - 70 pound yellowfin tuna beyond his imagination. He just simply couldn't conceive of fish biting with such abandon, for such an extended period of time, with the frame of reference gained from several years of local fishing.
And it is not that local fishing is bad, poor, or undesirable in any way. Long range fishing is simply measured by a completely different standard. "Good" local tuna fishing is any time fish accumulate on board typically one to a few at a time by anglers using light tackle finesse fishing their way into coveted opportunities. "Good" long range fishing is closer to the account I offered a few days back about the "Michael Jordan" of tunas. Randall experienced a few amazing versions of such behavior as well. He related one in particular about walking up to the bow to sling a bait, looking down in the water, and seeing the swarm of 40 - 70# tuna free swimming around in layers eagerly awaiting the next bait to be tossed. When his bait hit the surface one of the countless tunas almost lazily sauntered up to the sardine and slurped it down like a carp or coi fish eating a dough ball. He never imagined that fishing for tuna could produce a sight such as this. Now he can. And, seeing as how he now knows the unending fishing potential, and amazing dedication our crew advances in every respect, to our delight he will be joining us again. This is our ultimate goal; our ultimate testament of success.
I close for the day with another fine tuna photo featuring long time Royal Star veteran angler Mark Mayeda and one of his many 50# class yellowfin landed during the voyage. Accompanying his good friends the Hendrickson's on this voyage, Mark is another one of those anglers who makes a good time of every day out here. Look for reports to continue from our turn around day tomorrow.
Aside from a brief afternoon spate successfully targeting a few kelp bass for the larder the day passed uneventful and grand under blue skies over calm seas. An easy pace, free of stress and anxiety, compelled everyone on board to relax, share good conversation, and savor the opportunity. There is nothing like traveling home as triumphant conquerors with ample time to bask, reflect, and revel in events recent past; small details are recalled and recounted; big moments are collectively reassembled into grand visions - every aspect of a series of events so positive now becomes etched in stone.
Last on the fishing front for the day is my admiration for this group of obviously experienced anglers who faced significantly challenging conditions in our sustenance endeavor. Between smoking current, and an anchor position amidst thick kelp, these anglers demonstrated they are no strangers to the pursuit of island bass. They broke out a modern arsenal of perfectly matched tackle and set to clobbering the bass through perfect application of the finesse critical to this set of conditions. The bass were fat, orange, and sassy plenty eager to grab the various plastics, jigs, and wax wings offered; however plastics were by far the best. And, consistent with our identity as cognizant stewards in this region, we kept just enough to supply Chef's Drew Rivera and Jeff Grant for another magnificent creation tomorrow, and sent the rest back to their "Avatar" like compounds among the kelp forest.
Speaking of Chef's Drew and Jeff, and assistant Justin Jackson, this is an ideal moment to cast incredibly deserving recognition their way. In fact, today I am sending two photos of recent Drew Rivera lunch creations that perfectly demonstrate his extraordinary ability. But the ability of all three of our galley team does not stop there. When the action on deck reaches that distinct pitch calling for extra hands, Drew, Jeff, and Justin are quick to set aside their duties and join the fray in whatever position called for. Whether on the bait tank, operating the kites, gaffing fish, or assisting at the rail all three are invaluable assets in every respect; and they are happy to do so. Almost unbelievable among their myriad of positive qualities is a lack of pompous attitude, righteousness, and/or disagreeable edge so commonly found among talented chefs.
With certainty I offer that the galley team of Drew, Jeff, and Justin are the finest I have been to sea with by a colossal margin. They are extraordinarily talented chef's always positive and amenable, and create an atmosphere in the galley that welcomes and includes everyone on board. Three photos today feature the previous two lunches we have enjoyed. Most notable to me is the fresh, RSW yellowtail "stack" over Spanish rice with a mild red chile sauce that Drew produced despite assisting us on deck for the majority of the morning. Imagine hearing the lunch call after three straight hours of pulling like mad men on 40 - 70 pound yellowfin tuna then coming into the galley to find this gourmet offering. Perhaps the photo doesn't do the dish complete justice deserved but I can report that this entrée was as delicious a meal as I ever recall. The perfectly prepared yellowtail was delicate to the point of easily flaking with a fork and literally melted in your mouth it was so tender. The combination of flavors was indescribable to one who admittedly lacks credentials bon vivant.
The second, Asian fusion type dish featured fresh, RSW seared tuna surrounding some savory form of noodles that had the majority of anglers and crewmen calling for seconds, and even thirds. This outstanding original dish was made all the much better by the quality of tuna pulled from one of our tanks. Both of these meals are perfect examples of the level of Drew's creative ability, and the quality of product Royal Star anglers receive from their long range voyages.
I have made the point on numerous previous occasions but can not emphasize strongly enough the relevance of the incredible quality of our product to what is occurring in the world today. The opportunity to fish for sport, and return with robust quantities of premium quality wild seafood does not exist anywhere else. The value this grade of wild seafood represents is incredible and should be utilized and appreciated to it's full potential. If you are making a Royal Star voyage two things I encourage are: arrange a list of friends, family, and co-workers to share your catch with, and utilize as much of your catch as possible in fresh condition. As one of the guys performing the painstaking labor of spiking, bleeding, then dressing out (removing the gills and entrails) every quality tuna that comes on board, even when the fishing is red hot at it's best, I want to see our anglers, and their networks of family and friends, benefit from our efforts. Enjoy the weekend!
Wood is a Royal Star/fishing term originating from the slang "putting the wood to them" saying for any variety of victorious sporting/hunting outcomes. From baseball, to hockey, to anything that calls for the victor to use an implement, that can be conceived of, abstract or otherwise, as a club, the shortened version here carries a unique classification reserved for special, wholesale slaughter type occasions. We don't use it often.
Recognizing that abuse of the term would dilute the significance, we reserve broadcasting the special definition to our colleagues for deserving events, stops, or days only; today was one of them. Wood - no need to provide more when relating information over the wire; when that term is included in a transmission our friends within range know to come running.
Again forty to seventy pound yellowfin tuna were the quarry, again incorporated were a minority percentage of 15 - 25# fish, again the weather was perfect - just enough breeze to float a kite, and again the catching on this larger size class tuna was a good as it gets; so good in fact that we departed in the mid afternoon with full limits leaving a vast number of disappointed, still hungry tuna behind. The occasion to leave wide open biting fish in this size class does not come often. I was going to say does not come often enough but that is not true. The fact that it does happen this way perhaps only a couple of handfuls of times a year is what makes it so incredibly rewarding.
As a group of about fifteen anglers still charged on adrenaline following two days of this caliber action gathered on the stern they were treated to the final show after we spruced up the deck and idled away from our little Eden. The remaining sardines that successfully ran the gauntlet during the day to find refuge beneath Royal Star became the focus of a swarm of tuna insistent on making a meal of every last one of them. In this miniature version of "Lions to the Christian's" the doomed sardines found themselves exposed in the center of the coliseum with nowhere to go and a pride of hungry lions advancing without mercy; the added twist was that the coliseum, in this case Royal Star, was moving just slow enough to provide false hope. The misfortune of the condemned became our grand spectacle as they desperately pursued a hopeless objective being mauled, hammered, and violently destroyed in countless dramatic surface explosions along the way. The whoops and cheers of the crowd only ceased when the last of the unfortunates was chased down and annihilated confirming the ultimate finality of the event . Such is the plight of the poor sardine; not a single one got away.
I could carry that story much further but the risk of reprisal from some nut misunderstanding my sense of humor is too great. Needless to say we are laden with fish concerned with little other than heading up the line perhaps doing a little fishing along the way. Good weather in the forecast promises continuing comfort for this group of anglers who are sated, satisfied, and delightfully sore.
Photo for the day features brawny crewman Blake Wasano doing the lifting on this seventy pound class yellowfin tuna for first time long range angler Randall Yee. Graduating to long range after a few years fishing in the local fleet Randall was treated to the finest example possible of why so many anglers choose to make long range voyages. Between the fishing itself, the quality of individuals sharing the deck, and the professional dedication of our crewmen Randall has been enlightened to an experience unimaginable until lived in the first person. I'll delve into this topic tomorrow or beyond. It is about time I extend some more love and sugar to our guys who are the fabric of this operation. There are none like them; in fact, none that are even close.
For action, location, weather, quality, scenery, and production - real deal type production; the kind that initiates steady attrition at the rail long before day's end, it would be very difficult to best today's results. This is what we came for; one of those days that falls somewhere in the maybe 50:1 ratio; meaning there are fifty days we spend out here on average looking for this one day of extraordinary opportunity.
After a couple of morning hits that began our day with 18 - 25# school fish the second stop became the last. Slowly but surely the bigger 40 - 70# yellowfin tuna began taking over. In classic "plunker" form we poked our way along always managing to keep at least one or two on the line with the occasional flurry for five or six; It was building however; many subtle indications pointed to better things in store. And come early afternoon something hit the switch, the bottom came up, and everyone had one on. Combined with flat calm, perfect overhead sunlight, and crystal clear, blue water the show on 40 - 70 pound class tuna swarming under us like flies was worth the admission price alone. It is a rare sight to see this size class fish all wound up providing this kind of display - again, roughly 50:1.
Though I could draw upon so many moments to describe the caliber of today's events one probably best fits the narrative. Royal Star veteran Chris Hendrickson, who is well versed in this style of fishing, was quick to react when the bigger tuna dropped their guard. Obviously time to rack the stealth outfits rigged with short shots of 40 pound fluorocarbon and smaller reels, Chris immediately heeded our call arriving at the rail with his heavy outfit ready to even the odds. As he swung his sardine into a veritable aquarium of swarming tuna, literally right under his feet, one 60 pound, "Michael Jordan" of tuna's, shot from the water in a leap that covered no less than ten feet horizontal distance, three or four feet vertical, and consumed his bait in mid air. The stunning display was made that much better by Chris throwing the drag lever forward before the tuna even hit the water and watching his line come tight to the tuna flying through the air heading away from him at about Mach 10.
And the ultimate testament to a superb day of fishing was the five to eight o'clock p.m. time period that saw the majority percentage of anglers enjoying the moment, imbibing in spirits, joking and ribbing one another, all the while ignoring the fact that they could toss a bait at any time and hook another 40 - 70# tuna. Our day's results were directly attributed to horsepower. How many did we catch? As many as we wanted to - today. In conflict with the cardinal rule of don't assume anything good will follow into the next day, these self regulating anglers pulled back on the reins saving a few for tomorrow; we'll see how it works out.
Photo of the day features Royal Star veteran from back east Gina Giordano who makes this voyage every few years with her dad John Warren. Easy going and quick to smile, Gina held her own on the tuna today landing two or three to her complete satisfaction. Of course she could have caught more, a lot more, but true to her nature she enjoyed an easier pace watching the show and jumping in the fray on a limited basis. Here is Gina with crewman Blake Wasano and a "stock" grade tuna landed from one of her kite rotations today.
About as fine a day of scratch type fishing as one could ask for though the yellowtail action probably exceeded the "scratch" definition by several notches. The larger tuna were again fickle despite a vigorous showing that kept the vast majority of anglers energized and committed at the rail eagerly applying their best fishing wiles to the challenging competition.
No doubt the scenic component, magnified ten times over by the continued mesmerizing calm spell, provided motivation far beyond common as every fish rising to the surface to annihilate sardines was obvious and dramatic in an unending variety of highly visible violent eruptions; nothing to kindle one's fishing drive like a eighty pound tuna flying out of the water fifteen feet in front you.
On edge, senses fine tuned, fully engaged, every genuine fisherman in this situation jumps into high overdrive applying every ounce of attention and skill acquired to the challenge at hand. There were no secrets kept today; no occasion for Randy or I to provide inspirational dialogue from the bridge to keep anglers in the game, the sign of fish around was too obvious. The same spark that is ignited in a jig fisherman throwing the long rod when a fish rises to the surface was a perpetual theme today. In fact on a comparison basis the showing was more akin to wild fire.
In the end an admirable effort from this group of highly capable anglers accounted for a fair total of the larger model yellowfin tuna - just over twenty to be exact. The blessed yellowtail, oh how we cherish and appreciate their sacrifice, again provided the bulk of the heavy action; combined with the tuna it made for another excellent fishing day.
The crew was advancing the cause like clockwork, the anglers were having a ball, beautiful fish were accumulating at a fine pace in the hatch, and we found ourselves wanting more - more tuna. With a wealth of yellowtail, and a relatively few tuna, though the ones we have are way worthy, the unending drive to exceed expectations pushes our effort beyond settling; just catching enough, or anything, doesn't always satisfy.
So we approach tomorrow ready and raring to continue the drive seeking yellowfin tuna, and everything else, to maintain momentum. Photo for the day features angler Brent Hirsch and his ninety pound class yellowfin landed among the glory of the grease calm I have been regaling clear in the background. This condition goes a long way toward achieving that perfection we seek. But, it is only half the battle. I'll share more on the topic before this voyage comes to an end.
The tranquility of this astonishingly flat calm passage was finally disrupted by action of the desirable kind. Yellowtail, and the presently coveted larger yellowfin tuna, broke the surface surrounding Royal Star in a fury indicative of things great to come, but proved wily, and worthy, when it came to actual results. The challenge has been clearly set forth; no question these are the right ones, but it will require plenty of effort and savvy to acquire a respectable share; they are not going to give it up easy.
However we are presently all in as the opportunity to engage one of these better size yellowfin is to the preference of every angler on board over all other options. The allure of one fish over many, one standout that will yield not only supreme satisfaction, but table fare of the highest caliber, is the real drive behind the majority of these anglers making this annual eight day voyage. Of course if one is good then two, three, five, or ten is even better - and that is the real goal without question, but the starting point of at least one good tuna around is in perspective for the present; after the first we'll focus on two and beyond; in this respect we are well on our way.
Thank Neptune for the ubiquitous yellowtail and their willingness to join the fray and fill in the blanks between these tuna. Without question they have been the pace setters thus far making for a wealth of premium long range action on just about every voyage this season. And though today's action did not near reflect the surface showing provided by both the yellowtail and tuna alike, the yellowtail certainly provided the bulk of the bites, battles, and victories.
As time and conditions proceed in our favor a clear strategy is set forth that we aim to satisfy. Tuna, and then more tuna is the main objective; yellowtail we will gladly accommodate as well. In the process of everything to come, we will pay proper's to the glory of a sea state that can make a pleasant time of even the most trying day of fishing.
Just before sundown I can not even come close to describing the stunning panorama; the sea surface an endless mauve slate of viscous quicksilver reflecting electric gossamer lines, untraceable and infinite, broadcasting the heaven's light devoid of horizon. Were it not for the tangible reality, that everyone one on board spared no words to express, the raving beauty of the moment, of the entire day, was almost too good to believe.
And it would be natural to surmise that this realm calls to the soul on such occasions reminding us of the tremendous potential in all things - perhaps. It could also be a simple, pure moment, realized, appreciated, and catalogued or forgotten as just another flat calm. Either way, it is all good. At the risk of being controversial feel free to remove one letter "o" from the final word in the previous sentence as you see fit. In my estimation either interpretation is correct.
Photo for the day features a long time Royal Star friend and veteran Dom Gobbi. At eighty something years young Dom showed he still runs with the big dogs taming this one hundred seven pound yellowfin tuna amidst the hottest phase of the day's action. Needless to say we are hoping for plenty more of this sign, and then some.
By day's end we were deep into the first, bona fide flat calm sea state we have experienced since I don't even remember when. And when I reference the term flat calm I mean literally flat calm; lake like, inviting, so becoming in every respect that one would gladly succumb, blissfully senseless, to the advances of such heavenly temptation over any horizon. And though we well know the underlying truth, we are more than willing to drop our guard and accept the gift sequestering our wariness in favor of the sweet indulgence such conditions manifest.
Cups of coffee are confidently left unattended, loose items are set down lackadaisically, tasks unfinished are temporarily abandoned in favor of more compelling pursuits, conversations between one or two become all out round tables as anywhere, outdoors or in, beckons impromptu, lively gatherings - all these, and countless others, are the familiar consequence of flat calm conditions. Life at sea is made so easy by such an uncommon deficit of motion that it is almost akin to being at home - where one need never think of the effect of motion on any and every single routine. Now surround the setting with the magnificence of an endless ocean, tranquil, inviting, and generously offering a wealth of spectacles and sounds, and the significance of a day on the high seas in such conditions is instinctually recognized by seafarers journeyman and apprentice alike.
And while transiting this incredible ocean brimming with possibilities none other than the beauty itself was realized by M/V Royal Star. We applied our efforts in the form of dragging jigs, and eyeballing intently, but honestly we were not staking our success on today's passage; bigger and better things await below, or so our instinct tells us. Up above scattered sign of bluefin across several hundred collective miles of ocean dominated the reports; none however were compelling enough to yank our chain to stop. In that respect our decision to continue forth was made easy.
At day's end, awash in calming pastels of pinks, lavenders, and blues, brilliant coronas, luminous and reaching called eyes to the west each paying homage to the indescribable, to the magnificence, of what is beyond. Thoughts of fishing were far from the moment as the dwindling western hues trailed into the sea finally exhausted by the passionate display extinguished by time.
While that time is presently in our favor - five day's of it in fact to get the job done, it is a rather fragile balance not to be taken for granted. Needless to say we sure hope for some good fishing to talk about tomorrow; and beyond.
Well I can report that departing spirits soared upon reports of an almost grease calm holiday weekend forecast. Such weather bodes well in a broad variety of advantages, foremost being our obvious comfort, but there is far more to it than that; especially relative to offshore varieties. Between our enhanced ability to scan the surface for signs, and the irresistible draw of calm conditions that calls game fish to rise in such conditions, a good period of flat seas has a way of revealing the true potential below; and the larger narrative is still about potential.
What really is coming is the lingering, unanswered question at the core of just about every conversation out here and along the waterfront. Bringing all expertise to bear, and drawing upon any inkling within, the outlook is still blurred by an array of variables that tell of much more fish that we are seeing and catching, and much historically productive territory yet to be explored. And, though it seems like we have been at it now for some time, it is still early in the season. Taking this into account, and the fact that so much scattered sign has been seen, rest assured that we are in store for more than a few surprises; and likely an offshore season that extends well into August and September.
That is about the best I can come up with based on what I know so far. In our case we are positioned for the long haul as we depart on our annual "Barking Spiders" eight day voyage with a group of highly experienced, highly motivated anglers ready to pit their skills against whatever gamesters present themselves willing and worthy. We certainly are ready and willing ourselves as Captain Toussaint and I are again in sync applying our collective best to the task at hand.
As the daily narrative continues take heed of the offshore signs already foretelling better things to come. In closing for the day I want to again mention that the age old Pfishcadora four day charter in the prime time of Wed - Sun, August 10th - August 14th has been changed to an open trip presently offering the opportunity for anglers to jump on an ideal voyage positioned for opportunistic offshore fishing. Four days in the middle of August, combined with the perfect Wednesday through Sunday time frame, is as good as it gets.
Also, while I am in the promotional mode, we do have a few availabilities on the five day at the end of this month as well as the first six day in early August. Both of those voyages also offer tremendous promise and again are aligned with primo, weekend inclusive, days of the week. Take a look at our schedule on line for exact dates. Tracy and Capt. Sims will be in the office throughout the week to answer any questions about fishing in general (Brian) and/or upcoming voyages. More than anything however do not fall victim to any doomsday notions about the 2011 offshore prospects just yet. It is far too early to start signing the blues.
Today we started prospecting offshore in decent looking weather. We found bait and water conditions to our liking, but the elusive Bluefin earned it's reputation today. After stopping on multiple dry kelps, we headed in to get some bites on the coast. The bottom dwelling reds, chuckles and lings were very cooperative and provided a fun afternoon and will be excellent table fare.
We will arrive back at the dock at 0630 tomorrow where Tim and Randy will both be aboard for our next trip.