Feast your eyes on today's photos and reminisce about days of old; the days when we targeted vast
quantities of quality offshore Bluefin less the flying circus that has annihilated the fishery since.
Today there were no boats, no pens, no planes, just us and a whole sea of opportunity to ourselves. We
didn't score big in numbers but in significance and relative proportion we made a big score.
Far off the beaten track, in the face of difficult working weather, we chose the difficult route upon
departure from Alijos yesterday. Recognizing the obvious fact that finding fish offshore would only
happen if we were there we forged into the crucible unable to resist a zone that has been nagging at us
since our departure. We made a fishing move; like fishermen; as anglers who choose Royal Star for their
long range voyages would expect us to; as our nature compels us.
The result of our efforts was 24 Bluefin from two different stops the best of which produced a dozen. The
first stop caught more than a few anglers off guard as the size range of today's fish was 60 - 75 pounds
with one that came in at 106. Between the difficult weather, the larger fish, the typical, head shaking
Bluefin behavior that tears loose an amazing number of hooks, and the necessary acclimation to better
size fish that always costs a beginning few, the fishing during the first go around was way better than
the catching. After that though we got in the groove.
So now it is a matter of seeing just how much there is to it. Needless to say the red alert was
transmitted over the wire and at least a couple of our colleagues will join us tomorrow to expand on what
we found. The one thing I will offer with confidence is that when the weather calms down and more eyes
and sonar's join the search, there is a one hundred percent certainty that more, and better numbers, of
these Bluefin will be caught in this zone. It is simply a matter of time and conditions.
Of course on this note I again have to mention that we have one six day voyage with plenty of room to
accommodate those of you that have been waiting for signs to develop departing Sunday June 24th returning
Saturday June 30th. This voyage is lined up perfectly to target offshore Bluefin, yellowfin(did I mention
that we caught one 25 pounder yesterday?), and albacore as well as mix in an island or day on the coast
if the occasion calls for it. But offshore tuna is the main idea, and will be pursued first and foremost.
Now we know they are here; and this is only the beginning; mark my words.
Photos today feature Shimano master angler John Kuch who earned the coveted title landing "The First"
beautiful offshore Bluefin of the 2012 summer season. Let's hope that many like this will be filling
sport anglers sushi platters from this point on. Photo number two features first time long range angler
James Haiber kneeling in triumph next to a rack of 60 - 75 pounders dressed and ready for storage in the
RSW tank. Can you imagine? Perfect, fat seventy pound Bluefin in the RSW tank at thirty degrees for only
two days; a sushi lovers dream no doubt, and the finest quality product one will ever find. I can't wait
to catch more. This is what we live for.
What began as a fine morning, with a few nice tuna and again steady yellowtail action, fizzled in rather
short order as a strong condition change ultimately rendered our prime position obsolete. Fishing at it's
finest; and in this case, to our grateful satisfaction, the wrench in the works merely elicited the move
to the north we were planning anyway; enough yellowtail for now.
An enticing water condition about fifty miles north of the rocks was calling in addition to the Bluefin
and Albacore grounds much farther up the line. A decent weather window tomorrow at least offers a crack
in the door we can slip through tomorrow; afterward it appears that She's gonna blow again for another
couple of days.
So tomorrow is it and we plan to invest our time and effort in our chosen zone way beyond the beaten
path. It seems to us that some trail breaking is in order to get things going. And whether it is or not
we are all in. We'll see what tune we're singing following tomorrow's effort. Regardless of the outcome
it must be done; making it happen is what we're all about.
Today's photo is prefaced by a correction in yesterdays report that indicated "Alaska Mike's" tuna he was
featured pulling on escaped. After further research I was corrected - that particular tuna was captured,
and rests in the RSW tank at a respectable sixty two pounds. Also respectable is another fine Alijos
yellowfin now in the hatch landed by first time long range, all the way from New Jersey angler Joseph
Scott. Joe figured that an eight day long range voyage was a great warm up for the "Rock and Roll"
Marathon he will be participating in on Sunday the 3rd following our return. This seventy pound class
Alijos yellowfin was the icing on the cake for Joe's three hugely successful days at the famed "Stones".
TUNA! Not a lot, and no occasion for colossal celebration, but we are thrilled nevertheless; in light of
the conditions and none that we landed yesterday this was a pleasant change. Ten of the hearty, 50 - 80
pound yellowfin were boated and a couple of others that came in at 33 and 45 pounds. Between that, the
inevitable ones that got away, and steady yellowtail fishing to fill in the gaps it was another fine day
of fishing and catching.
Needless to say we are settled in for now planning to make one more go of it before beginning the
necessary push north to scour the offshore grounds. If the weather cooperates we're feeling optimisitc
about our chosen area of searching. If not we'll charge and endure but implement "plan B" accordingly.
Photos today first feature long time Royal Star angler Bob Furman who nailed two of these fine tuna
today, one under the kite, and one on the traditional flyline. Photo number two features another long
time Royal Star friend and veteran Mike Norenberg, a.k.a. "Alaska Mike", pulling on an Alijos bruiser
that ultimately earned his freedom by shaking the hook. Regardless Mike gave the dirty dog a good run
using the Shimano Trinidad 16, 40# flurocarbon, and a trusty "Terez" rod.
It is definitely no slam dunk, and conditions are less than ideal, but after an unsettling
beginning we straightened up our act landing on a cooperating bunch of yellowtail.
Uncharacteristic of this place a fair amount of "sorting" was necessary at first but then
the bigger, 20 - 35# models took over pushing the "shrimps" back to the shallows from which
As for the tuna I can not offer tangible evidence to ignite big enthusiasm. The occasional
30 - 50 pounder crashes around way back, and a few much closer, but none climbed on the
lines that we know of yielding to the voracious yellowtail that ultimately stole the show.
Based on what we feel is the main factor - that being 64.2 degree Fahrenheit sea surface
temperature, a significant hit on yellowfin tuna is not expected. Though we have made some
incredible catches here in that temperature and less those few times were the exception.
Our sentiment is that this place needs to warm up a bit before good tuna fishing is likely
to happen; at least another couple of degrees.
Ironically the water forty five miles to the north of Alijos was 67.5 and primo blue. All
it will take is a slight shift and the picture here is certain to change. For now though we
are plenty satisfied with the excellent fishing we enjoyed throughout the afternoon that
provided consistent action, production, and fun. As this is an official Shimano sponsored
voyage the incredible selection of equipment provided made good on the opportunity. From
the "Terez" rods to "Curado" reels, "Talica's, "Trinidad's", "Stella's", and "Thunnus'"
anglers yanked and cranked on all Shimano's latest and greatest test driving the best of
the best in the ultimate environment.
For this reason alone these Shimano sponsored voyages stand alone among our scheduled list
of long range excursions. I have offered the opinion before, and I gladly reaffirm, that no
other tackle/equipment manufacturer does it better. The quantity and variety of equipment,
that includes a vast selection of lures and terminal tackle as well (the wax wings slayed
'em today),is astounding in comparison to any and all previous sponsored charters I have
seen. And the Shimano representatives that join these excursions are sincere, experienced,
helpful, and enthusiastic about fishing with all the Shimano gear. Angler/Shimano
representative John Kuch was like the kid in a candy store today demonstrating and
encouraging everyone to try this rig and that one as the heated action opened the door for
all gear types and sizes.
Closing out the day pleased with the results we stayed put hoping for a break in the
weather forecast to come. Affixed to the bottom the ride was plenty civil but it certainly
could be better. We'll give it another shot here tomorrow secure in the knowledge that
there are at least some better grade yellowfin, and mucho yellowtail, to be targeted in
Photo today features long time Royal Star veteran Kerry Krueger who master several chunky
Alijos yellows today using the Terez/Curado/Wax Wing combo. A gruff looking dude in these
images Kerry is actually the exact opposite; his boisterous enthusiasm for fishing adds a
lot of color on deck and inevitably draws fellow anglers into the fun.
We observed a lot of white today, and not the desired white of shearwater bellies and terns; steep, white
capped "razor backs", white frothing collapsing wave crests, and long, snaking streaks of wind blown
foam. While not the ideal offshore looking conditions by any standard we took the unfavorable condition
in stride rolling and yawing on the long downwind tack unperturbed, and actually entertained, by Nature's
But for trolling jigs dragging, sonars clicking, and our eyeballs ever scanning the tumultuous blue plane
little more could be accomplished in the way of fishing; though we did not end the day skunked. One lone
eight pound yellowtail pounced on a jig as we cruised by his miniature kelp haven hitching a quick ride
to the rail to then be released encumbered with alien tales from above.
Otherwise the day passed without incident chewing up hours and miles enroute to the far away stones
below. As I suggested yesterday our offshore plans are on the back burner for now as we focus on anchored
production first while maintaining a close watch on the forecast wind and sea conditions. When it breaks
so will we heading out in search mode motivated by the prospects unknown. Tomorrow will introduce many of
our group new to long range the majesty and enigma of Alijos Rocks. Perhaps some fine fishing will round
out the equation.
And in we plunge with wild news rampant and raging on the waterfront distracting no more; we are out, we
are fishing, we are focused, and mighty glad of all three. And the best immediate news is that the
forecast butt kicking we were braced for did not occur. For certain there was some rockin' and rolling,
but far less than expected, and nothing more than what we take as a matter of course.
Following departure and a quick, easy baiting we set a heading for the famed Alijos rocks with grand
designs of being "The One"; that is the one to break the ice with the first significant offshore
tuna/albacore catch of the 2012 summer season. One isn't going to do it, far from it in fact, but even
one we'll take hoping that it leads to many others.
With a rather unpleasant weather forecast tomorrow I suspect the fishing effort will be limited to a set
course line favoring downwind. If we run across them along the way we'll make good on the opportunity,
otherwise we'll bid our time waiting for a more favorable weather picture later in the trip to prospect
offshore. At the very least there are some interesting zones on the water charts and encouraging overall
structure. As this is the transitional time of year anything can happen. Daily, from the bridge reports
A fine scenic selection of the ominous Isla San Benedicto and another of our beloved Royal Star doing what she was designed/destined for. To round out the day's images I pulled this shot of my good old friend Bob Palatella pulling on a dandy at the "Big C" several years prior. Soon, very soon we will be back out plying the waters in search of clues as to what this season holds in store. Rest assured that we will be hot on it reporting anything and everything we find, for better or worse, along the way; two days and counting.
As the beginning of our season draws nearer a couple of promo points are in order. We are still comtemplating at least one, if not two or three shorter, day and a half or two day voyages in June to be announced. If you are interested in joining an already growing list for these prospective voyages give Tracy a call in the office. Whether or not these trips, that will not occur before June 15th, are scheduled will be based on current conditions, and our gut feeling as to the prospects for fishing success.
One voyage in late June I also want to mention is the Accurate sponsored six day departing Sunday June 24 returning Saturday June 30th. Choosing a more ideal voyage to target offshore Bluefin and Albacore as well as island and coastal variety and yellowtail is impossible. Between the days of the week, the moon phase, the time of the year, and historical success during this time frame this voyage was scheduled accordingly. As of now the group is very light, and the projections favor one of those ultra limited load settings. If you are on the fence waiting to pull the trigger this is a good one to consider.
Otherwise photos today feature a few random scenic selections in addition to a couple of action moments. Roca Partida, always dramatic in its prehistoric grandeur, is both eerie and fascinating when viewed at close range. The third photo is one I snapped while diving near Royal Star when a last few big fish were coming in on one of the Revilla tagging voyages a few years ago. Partially obscured by bubbles this is still a pretty cool image of a big fish, one that was around two eighty if I recall correctly, during the final round of battle. And last but not least the moment of truth from another angle rounds out the morning.
As I scrolled through the photos today I came upon three of the best shots of our amazingly dedicated crewmen I have ever seen. Taken at Isla Clarion in February 2008 and shared by long time Royal Star veteran Jack West these fantastic images feature Captain Gregg Tanji, and crewmen Blake Wasano and Steve Gregonis in that order. As individual crewmen, and as a crew collectively, there are not enough accolades available to assign proper credit to effort these men apply to our success; the overall success of Royal Star and every individual angler who chooses our vessel for their long range voyage. These men are so reliable, so confident, so capable, and so pivotal to our achievements on Royal Star since 2004 that we are forever grateful and indebted.
And best of all the feeling is mutual; the bonds we have formed through the thousands of days at sea we have spent together are an unshakable foundation that promises Royal Star anglers professional peformance at a level no other operation can offer. Gregg, Steve, Blake, Sean and Paul and Chef's Drew Rivera and Jeff Grant (not pictured today), Randy, Brian, and I are a team dedicated to one another and the collective success of Royal Star. When anglers arrive for their Royal Star voyage they can be confident that their excursion will be lead by this team of highly experienced, confidence inspiring, pleasingly familiar professionals. Look for these men this upcoming season and beyond. This is the finest testament to the internal success of an offshore fishing vessel one can find.
Photo number one today features a sorry result of one's effort while pulling on a big cow, but is fascinating, almost mesmerizing in study. There are many details in this shot that can get in a divers head for certain; a fisherman too; for a completely different set of reasons. Photo number two features crewman Blake Wasano and Rodney Sharp (whom we have not fished with for some time now) on the bow at Clarion pulling on one of numerous big ones Rodney landed during the February 2008 tagging adventure at Clarion.
And the last shot features two long time Royal Star favorites that forged a friendship on Royal Star enduring and endearing. Youngsters Tom Cahillane and Leonard Cunningham have accumulated so much time on Royal Star, and acheived so many fishing accomplishments, that I could take up pages writing of their fishing feats alone. But to me the finest result of their many years of fishing on Royal Star is the genuine friendship formed between them. True friendships do not come easy in this world, and the one in ten thousand that occasionally come along strike a chord of respect and admiration in my world. One look at these two gentlemen, at these two Royal Star legends, tells a story as old and new as time. Life is good with friends to share in it; life is good.
Photo number one is among my favorite Revilla scenic shots featuring the northern approach to Isla Socorro on what can only be described as a glorious day in the sub tropics. Photos two and three were captured the same day at Socorro and feature Doug Hall grinding away at a jumbo in the skiff with Royal Star working in the background, and the trophy he ultimately subdued (220?) seconds before the conquest.
On the business front Tracy is back in action mopping up all the trouble Capt. Brian Sims and I caused in the office while she was out. And we continue to wait and fiddle around on Royal Star reworking our propellors to better match the new Cat C-18 main engines and installing a brand spanking new A/C unit downstairs to back up our already arctic producing unit presently in service. While this is all great, and advances the cause, we'd rather be fishing - still.
It's going to be a walk down memory lane over the next week for readers that allow me to indulge in a little nostalgia. As I mentioned yesterday the archive of photos I opened unleashed a wave of amazement as I scolled through hundreds and hundreds of classics from our six years of tagging tuna and Wahoo in the Revillagigedos. For the next week I will continue posting from this treasure chest to both entertain readers/viewers and appease my need to remain current.
Photo number one features Dr. Dave Hall and Justin Greenberg doing the "Tuna Tango" during a sundown ripper in February 2007 on 120's - 220's at Socorro. Photo two features a duo of tuna that after being tagged paired up and swam around the boat while we continued to catch and release their buddies one after another. Photo three features Cabo San Lucas resident Mike McHatton and I in the skiff with what I recall was a tuna around 150 or 160. This was Mike's first voyage to the Revillas. He made all but one of the subsequent Revilla tagging trips following the off the scale scenery and fishing we experienced during this run. As it turned out it was a good call; this was only the tip of the ice berg!
While searching through my archive of photos to satisfy another project I could not resist sharing some of these dandies from among the original Revilla Tagging voyages back in 2006 and 2007. It's a blast from the past but why not? Nice scenery and a unique perspective make these images worthy of sharing - if one appreciates Royal Star and fishing. Tracy soon resumes command of her office as Brian, Randy, and I nit pick and fuss with the boat waiting impatiently for the season to come; now only seven more days and counting. It is time.
The final photos from our tremendously successful April 2012 fly down/fly back feature Chris Pauly in fine form, and an image shared with us by master veteran Doug Taylor, who barely captured a flying Wahoo at the perfect moment. As for the future of the April fly down voyage I again want to mention that the 2013 run is already pushing capacity but does have at least a couple of spots open as of Friday. Today, or at least this week, would be the perfect time to call if this time frame and voyage format fits your schedule. Reference the "printable schedule" section of our website to see the exact dates that have changed slightly from the printed 2011-2012 brochure. Captain Brian Sims is still manning the office ready and waiting to answer any calls. Have a great week!
Some nice shots today of Kevin Leong subduing a giant in easy form on the bow, Kevin and Robert "Hot Bobby" Hirsch with a pair of fat deuces on our first big day during the most recent voyage, and finally a nice example of the angler's eye view at the moment prior to their trophy yellowfin being gaffed. Otherwise a reminder that I will join hosts Pete Gray and Rick Maxa on Let's Talk Hookup tomorrow as the featured guest. To say that I am looking forward to the opportunity is an understatement; I am always honored and incredibly enthusiastic in my support of Pete, Ricky, and our community. Tune in tomorrow and certainly give us a call if you have a question to advance the dialouge. Have a fine weekend!
Well today's selections are either going to take us down a notch in viewers opinion, or raise us into a new category of humor. I'll let the photos speak for themselves along with the quote we received from Dr. Stuart Exall when he shared these "priceless" selections: " Hey again Tim- The next two are great shots, but made much better by the background. Check out Blaine's face closely. These are priceless. The fish in the pic with the 'Full Moon' was the 246.2, the one with Blaine in the background was the notorious 'jerky fish' at about 180#."
Apparently Stuart has such a warm disposition, and a penchant for commerating nearly every fish he lands on camera, that others can not resist the temptation to share in his glory. Today's shots are a couple of out takes that didn't make the main showing. Enjoy, and put your dark glasses on to prepare for the blinding glare in the first image. There's a lot more I could say but why? I hope your laughing after viewing these classics. We still are. Back to the serious side again tomorrow - a little of this stuff goes a long way!
A few more victorious moments as anglers Bob “Turbo” Ryan and Dave Sazegar rejoice with their trophies all but in the bag, and Kevin Leong and Billy Messler in a classic sunrise at the rail, pulling on big tuna, long range moment. Capt. Brian Sims and I continue to man the office phones as time toward the beginning of our new season slowly ticks by. Honestly, we’d rather be fishing; in the meantime we’re counting on any and all readers’ calls to, at the very least, talk fishing. In all our cases, when land locked, it’s the next best thing. Enjoy your day!
A few great calls in the office today as anglers are priming up for the 2012 summer season awaiting news from the offshore grounds. While it is still way too early to tell, I’ll at least pitch the conditions again. Good water, plentiful life, signs of bluefin spread across a broad area – all these are positive indications of a summer tuna season developing. Also, conditions around Alijos rocks are very good with water temperatures already favoring early summer tuna.
One can be certain that this topic and many others will be discussed between Pete Gray, Rick Maxa, yours truly, and callers when I join the Mother’s Day (Sunday, May 13th) show from 7:00 to 9:00 a.m. as the featured guest. By a wide margin I consider “Let’s Talk Hookup” the finest broadcast representing our fishery with Pete and Ricky at the top of my list in the categories of both fishing and character. A little over a week ago I shared some ideas about “fishing with fishermen”. In every respect Pete and Ricky qualify as “Fishermen” driven by a passion far beyond superficial. I look forward to the Sunday show.
Photos today feature one repeat of Garry ‘Big Fish’ Sato pulling on a jumbo on the bow that I couldn’t resist at full resolution, and a great fishing moment captured as Chris Pauly rejoices with crew and friends Dave Sazegar and Bob Ryan when his third deuce of the day came over the rail.
A few nice shots today first featuring Garry "Big Fish" Sato shortly following this "icebreaker", first deuce (230) of the trip. Photos two and three feature previously mentioned master angler Jack West reefing on a big one for real on the bow, then posing with his prize. Capt. Brian "Gerbie" Sims will be back in the office today manning the phones and administrative duties for the remainder of the week. If you have questions regarding any upcoming voyages, or fishing in general, please take us up on the offer to call and "talk shop". For those of you who know Capt. Sims you are well aware that there is nothing he likes to do more than B.S. about fishing. Enjoy the day!
We made a few schedule changes worthy of mention next year adapting our Winter/Spring itinerary to accommodate new requested dates. More than anything we simply shifted the April fly down/fly back a few days forward and changed the May fly down that bombed out this year into a 12/15 chartered by long range veteran Chris Yamada. Also, the February 14 day will now accommodate the famed “Las Rocas” Group, and will also follow the 12/15 format with a drop off in Cabo San Lucas to save anglers the time and rigor of a three or four day ride up the line. Finally, the April fly down voyage will proudly carry the sponsorship of “Let’s Talk Hookup” with confirmed rumors of Pete Gray himself joining us on the run.
Photos for the day feature perhaps the finest all around giant yellowfin tuna fisherman I know. With history, experience, and ability in his favor Stas Vellonakis projects the earned confidence of consistent results. And with all the experience Stas boasts, he wastes no time boasting - his love affair is with fishing, not himself. I am greatly entertained by this dynamic as I have observed the rise and fall, the peaks and valleys, of various long range legends by their own claims. Stas was there in the beginning, the middle, and obviously still is, doing what he does with poise and precision - catching giant yellowfin using live bait with an ease that reveals a union of experience and genuine savvy. Respect best sums up my sentiment toward Stas – of the highest order.
Capt. Brian Sims and I have been holding down the fort in the Royal Star office during the past couple of days. With the exception of one or two days next week we will both be available to “talk shop” and/or provide advice and opinion for any potential anglers considering a long range voyage.
After going through our books to determine availability, there are several opportunities for individuals and groups to jump on a Royal Star voyage in June, August, and November. While I suppose that many anglers are waiting to determine the status of fishing before committing to the June time frame, I want to offer my encouragement for this time of the year.
Every year is different with one season traditionally having no bearing on the next. Countless times I have seen angler confidence in a certain voyage or time of year fail due to slow fishing only to be refuted by outrageous fishing the following year. The best strategy by far is to book the voyage that best fits your schedule in advance, then let the chips fall as they may.
One can tailor the species list by season; that is about the only control over the voyage outcome anglers can exercise, but the catching itself is dictated by the Laws of Nature. That of course is the essence of fishing itself; and will never be triangulated upon or perfectly predicted. If you are considering an upcoming voyage I urge you to give Capt. Sims or yours truly a call in the Royal Star office next week. At the very least we can B.S. a little and perhaps provide some solid direction toward your decision.
Photos for the day feature first time long trip angler Bryan Sherman who performed well beyond his own expectations on the last run. First it was one over two hundred, then it was two, then it was three, then it was four! What a first trip down below! What a personal success! Fine job to Bryan all around who demonstrated that he is no Pilgrim when it comes to fishing. Because after all fishing is fishing; no matter what the target species is.
And after so many years, so many incredible hauls of big fish unloaded, the sight of them all at once, the sheer labor and reward, is thrilling and gratifying beyond measure. All of us, in the face of the extreme physical effort required to accomplish our goal, wore huge smiles; grins from ear to ear as energy poured forth from the endless source of winning. That sense of accomplishment, of achieving something beyond ordinary, was transmitted by one and all – even those who were not part of the voyage itself.
The winning spirit is contagious on the waterfront - just like a baseball or football game, or any competitive sporting event; when the home team wins everyone wins; in everyone is instilled a piece of the accomplishment. And as bold as the comment may be make no mistake about it, around Fisherman’s Landing anyway, we are the home team. Twenty five years of venturing forth and returning safe with magnificent catches on board account for something more than superficial; far more than the flavor of the month or year. We are glad of it; proud even. Time has not proven us wrong.
But voyages such as our latest are a win for everyone. Such incredible fishing for us merely indicates that the opportunity was, and still is, there for all vessels and anglers. The end result, in the form of premium quality RSW stored fish, is unique to Royal Star - no other vessel produces the consistent, superior level of quality as our operation, but the catching, the production, is available to one and all; or better said, available to the fishermen.
As I mentioned earlier I will continue the daily narrative over the next few weeks with plenty more information to share. Things are beginning to ramp up as the 2012 summer season dawns upon us. Photos for the day feature a fine sequence of “Turbo” Bob Ryan in action on one of his three deuces landed during the latest run. The victor and the vanquished, photos two and three feature the defeated beast just prior to being lifted on board, and hanging in the ultimate moment.
A whole lot of pent up energy here, that's for sure, as the final day passes in sublime tranquility - a sea reformed, waiting, for the next enrage to come. Though now that doesn't matter; we pass through jubilant, cognizant, and vigilant wringing every ounce of serenity, every moment of comfort, from a sea passive and becalmed.
I suspect this extended calm will elicit a result offshore and coastal very different this year than the relentless north westerlies and screaming California current of 2011. It is a little early to be projecting or prophesising but at least the prevailing conditions are far from what occurred last season. Whether this bodes well or otherwise is yet to be seen.
For now though I will offer encouragement in the form of various signs of small bluefin tuna offshore as well as big bonita and a few yellowtail around kelps. It isn't much, but it is something. And for this time of year something is enough.
But we are shutting down again for a few weeks, out of the picture, shore bound. That is of course unless something, anything, shows up in numbers sufficient for us to schedule an impromptu shorter voyage. For those of you who have expressed interest in this idea keep a sharp eye on our website. As of now it appears that there may be at least one Royal Star 1
1/2 day in the next month or two, maybe more. While we are in I will continue to post full resolution photos from this voyage as well as pertinent information that comes along.
Captain Brian Sims and I will be taking the office helm as Tracy steps out for a little R and R with R.
Photo for the day features another long range legend with many years, many voyages, and many giant yellowfin to show for his invested time. Don Louchios, here with crewman Blake Wasano, and Kevin Leong(who jumped in for me as I switched to photo mode)is rightfully pleased after landing his first ever giant, this hearty 238, while fishing with a chunk.
Traditionally a live bait enthusiast, Don has now expanded his long range portfolio to include the title of "Chunk Master". From the look of everyone in today's photo the end was well worth the means.
A comment I offered a few days prior has really been at the forefront of my thinking as we
cruise up the line. And I do mean cruise as this is one of the more pleasant passages north
in my recent memory. No bump, no jump, just sweet sliding and gliding in calm winds and a
gentle rolling swell. As such, for those with plans to meet Royal Star on Wednesday, we are
presently on schedule for a 0800 arrival at U.S. Customs, then 0900 at Fisherman's Landing
providing our Nation's finest are punctual.
"Fishing with fisherman" was the comment I made while traveling toward Cabo. In every
aspect of our operation, from the anglers who choose Royal Star, to every crewman we
employ, and certainly all three of us who divide time behind the helm, we are here of our
passion for fishing. And for us(Randy, Brian, and I)and our crew it is even more - it is a
calling satisfied, an intrinsic component of our constitution; it is our nature.
While this idea may seem a bit obvious for prolonged thought it should certainly factor
into to one's decision when considering a long range voyage. We are not the only fishermen
out here, that is fact, but we are top of our game among them, and eons beyond those who
are not. The foundation of our operation is fishing, professionally executed in a standard
competitors strive for; it starts and ends there. Everything else - customer service,
cuisine, fish handling and processing, vessel amenities and maintenance project the same
standard; we are not to be out shined in these categories either, but fishing is our
identity. We are proud of it.
Randy and I were taught this at a young age by respected veteran's from years past. But,
aside from learning the fundamentals of current, tide, wind, water and navigation
themselves, we were simply adhering to our instincts; it couldn't have been any other way.
It is what we are here to do. As compelling as this notion is to me I wonder about all of
you reading along. Drivel or depth? At the very least it could be a good story line...
Photos for the day feature another friend from days of old Bill Currie with his 228 on
deck, who I recall made his first Royal Star voyage with me as Captain back in April 1993.
It was a particularly memorable voyage as we landed 24 over the two hundred mark, the best
ever by a long shot for Royal Star at the time. It took some real doing to make such
catches back then. A few years older and a mite slower, Bill is no less passionate in his
approach to fishing. Fond memories and fishing with like minded friends keeps him coming
back; no greater testimonial can be found.
Photo number two is an action angle of Blaine DeBrouwer (sorry for the earlier mis
spelling) reefing on a big one that tragically escaped, but gave him a good run for the
effort nevertheless. I set Blaine up with one of the Shimano Talica 50's we have on board
and suffice to say he will never be the same. The winch like torque of the Talica 50,
combined with the Herculean strength of Blaine, was an almost ridiculous mis match against
even the largest of tunas. But such torque is directed by the Talica 50 whether Hercules is
on the handle or a fraction thereof; such is the beauty of this reel. In my opinion it is
on the "must have" list by far; and after this voyage, in Blaine's too.