Skins Along The Way
“As we continued rigging up for the first half of the day,” said the American Angler’s report December 4, “lunchtime called for short pit stop on some wahoo. By no means were they jumping on the boat or anything but we managed to scrape up a nice afternoon and stretch our legs a little bit. With a nice starter kit on the skin we are continuing down to our southern destination. Long range veteran Chris McClary shows off one of the two wahoo he was able to snag on the jig today.”
“We got located early on this morning and got busy in the dark till about 0800,” wrote Independence skipper Jeff DeBuys December 5, “and then things vanished. We made a tour and got relocated for the rest of the day, good scratching on 60 to 130-pound fish, bread ‘n butter fish. 65 tuna. 25 of those were 30 to 50-pounds, and 40 of the better grade fish made up our day. A few wahoo in the mix as well. We are going to keep at it…”
The next day DeBuys wrote, “Today was one of the days that you read about. It all started in the dark and finished in the dark. The morning hit was as good as it gets, everyone fishing had one on, 150 to 260-pound fish for the most part with some 90 to 120-pounders mixed in. 57 tuna for the effort today and three cows at 225, 240, and 260 pounds. We had some breeze today but it cooled us off for the most part. Everyone is really working together quite nicely, and we hope to keep the ball rolling tomorrow.”
Red Rooster III skipper Andy Cates wrote about an unusual experience December 5: “Nice start here this morning with good action on nice fish from 80 up to this fish Charlie got a 240 on the Iron. Hoping to keep picking but slowed down for now.”
“Hailing from the Midwest,” said the report from Royal Polaris December 4, “I can assure you that lightning can indeed strike in the same place twice, but a repeat performance at Alijos of last year’s bite was not in the cards for us today. However, that is not to say there weren’t at least a couple of them to be had. Bob Ramirez, a regular on all the trips I take, started us off by hooking up the first fish of the trip on the troll (a wahoo), but Bob didn’t stop there! We only picked up enough for lunch, and Bob got three of them, catching the other two on iron. The weather was simply spectacular today, and every one enjoyed a break in the ride and a chance to work off some pent up anxiety. Hopefully we’ll find a lot more wahoo farther south when we start fishing for real. Tomorrow we’ll start putting together our heavy tuna gear, making up top shots, and hopefully enjoy another day of good weather and smooth sailing.”
“When we woke up this morning it was already quite warm and tropical, and the wind kicked up today a bit more than we’ve been spoiled by so far. We arrived at the grounds too late to catch the before light bite, but for the first day of fishing we did quite well overall. Tom Neuman started us off by getting the first tuna of the trip, which weighed an estimated 145-pounds, and would be our biggest landed today. Action was decent throughout the day with some tuna caught on the kite, most on bait, and even a few wahoo slipped into the mix. Remarkably there wasn’t a single major tangle, hardly even small ones, and I’d have to say that everyone worked together like a well-oiled machine.”
Royal Star skipper Tim Ekstrom wrote about the ups and downs of his day, posting on December 5: “With yesterday’s measly results to compare to the bar of success was admittedly low. To say we were in need of a little something to get the adrenaline activated is an understatement. Aside from a brief morning flurry, and a mid-day rally for a couple of nice tuna, the four ‘o clock hour rolled around and the outlook was flat bleak – no bites, no sign, no fish. Then the age-old island pattern kicked in. Minutes left in the day, conditions ripe for something, the ones we were are looking for arrived on scene ready to eat. A classic sundowner was the result.
“Well into dark the chosen fifteen or twenty anglers reefed on a majority of 125 to 195-pound yellowfin with a couple of nice deuces in the mix. As always some suffered the inevitable agony of defeat while others lived the glory of success. ‘Textbook islands,’ is how I would describe it. Now to keep the momentum; that down here that is always easier said than done. Challenges aplenty await, but we are prepared. This veteran group of masters knows the score and will get the job done if we hold up our end. Good enough weather and abundant time are definitely in our favor. But that clock ticks fast in these zones.
“Photos today feature long time Royal Star veteran Blaine De Brouwer with a mid-day dandy snared on the troll, and “Rock Cod Rick” Maxa doing Let’s Talk Hookup and Fisherman’s Landing Tackle proud with this sardine-enticed 194. Big fish honors of the day go to Neil Barbour with a 243.”