Offshore 1.5 Day On the Polaris Supreme 4/5 - the “Unicorn” Trip

Tuna Dreamer

Jul 14, 2019
San Diego
Jim Berghauser
Headed out from Seaforth landing a little after 6 PM. Captain Aliyar and crew already loaded up the boat with bait. Captain said the schools moved into U.S. waters and we were heading out to the Butterfly bank, about a 65 mile run. Arrived on the scene before midnight and saw at least 10 other boats including the American Angler.

Shortly after midnight Captain Aliyar put the boat over a school of mid-40 lb grade bluefin. Only about 10 guys came up on deck when the boat went into idle. Couple of deckhands were working flat falls with the clients. Had three 35-40lb class tuna on the decks in the first 10 minutes. I was fishing a 200 g chartreuse Shimano FF with two Mustad 10/0 stinger hooks on 150lb leader. Bumped twice, once on the drop and again on a slow retrieve. Guy to my right fishing the same 200 g rig setup was also getting bumps at the same time. Guy on his right fishing a 130 g Katy Perry pattern with an Owner 5/0 single stinger and a 60 lb fluro leader got the hookup. Observation made.

When the last hooked tuna was gaffed, Captain Aliyar said the school moved on so we reeled in and started to motor around. I took advantage of the downtime and I re-tied a smaller generic FF in pink/ silver and blue to my Speedmaster12ii - specs are 80 lb power pro white braid with a 50 yd top shot of clear 50lb mono and 5ft of 60lb fluro Leader tied to generic flat fall with a single 3/0 Owner stingerhook.

During this time we hadn’t moved but maybe 500 yards when we were on another scool. As the engines went to idle a few more fishermen came up from their bunks and the action was on for about 18 of us. All the action I could see was on flat fall style jigs and a couple of Daiwa SK jigs.... the lighter (100-130-160g) jigs in Katy Perry, chartreuse, and glow were getting ripped. My observation was 50-50 between getting picked up on the drop or on a slow retrieve through the column. Tuna were holding between 30-40 fathoms.

On my first drop with the revised setup I went through the column by an additional 100 feet and started my slow retrieve. At roughly 35 fathoms on the jigging retrieve I suddenly felt “bump, bump, hook up!“ Crazy the adrenaline rush I still get to this day.... The tuna put up a strong fight, making 3 or 4 runs when it got close and saw the boat lights. The crew did a stellar job staying with each hooked fish, clearing other lines and coaching as needed. Landed a nice 52 lb BFT in about 20 minutes. But the action was still happening. I re-tied and got right back into the game. I can’t stress enough that with this grade of tuna fishing switching to smaller hooks, lighter line, and smaller jigs meant more bites on this trip.

So the nighttime just got more epic as the hours passed. For those of us engaged it was like pulling a college all-nighter well into the morning hours. The boat would put 5 tuna on board then move; grab a dozen more and move; then 10 more over there. It was gun and run fishing. Before we realized, it was almost 5:00 A.M. and we were only 6 fish short of our BFT limits (48).

With about 30 minutes before first light, Captain Aliyrar came on the loudspeaker and said that he wanted to look once more for another school before the BFT go silent for the morning. (While I would like to say I felt sorry for the people who stayed in their bunks and slept all night missing some of the best BFT action imaginable, I really am not). Boat made a move onto a smaller school with only a couple of biters.

By morning light we had 44 BFT in the hold. Most all of our pre-dawn fish were 45-55lb grade attacking small circle hooks (#2‘s up to Mustad 1/0’s) on fluorocarbon leaders ranging from 80# down to some guy risking fish on 30# leaders. Needless to say there were several lost BFT - for multiple reasons.

With about four fish left to make BFT limits for the 24 passengers aboard, Captain Aliyar decided to chase down paddies while keeping an eye out for tuna marks. All of the guys on this trip were knowledgeable, respectful and helpful. Shout out to the guys from the Outcast Fishing club of San Diego for keeping the mood light and engaging. I hope to fish with these guys again some day . Also, the PS deck crew are AAA plus. Very experienced and love to interact with the customers. All of our meals were above grade as well. Amazing what they can put out of that little kitchen for 24 passengers and the 8 or 9 crew. Captain Aliyar worked the waters nonstop looking for schools like a man possessed.

Most of the day was spent running down the line south by southeast about 100 miles paddie hopping. Not much luck with only a dozen YT for the long day. Sometime around 2:00 P.M. or so Captain Aliyat came on the loudspeaker saying he marked a big school of BFT. Told the crew on the bait tank to “unload” bait all around the boat and for guys to drop flylined baits or small colt snipers into the water. Then just like that juvenile BFT started crashing the bait going airborne and foaming on our chum. Everyone on the stern without exception hooked up. It was pure chaos with tangles and fresh hookups. I lost 2 in the foray getting sawed off on loose lines or having the hook thrown.

10 minutes later the school took off and it was time to move on. We were at passenger limits for BFT and even had a couple for the crew to take. Dusk was approaching quickly but the Captain was still intent on finding a paddie that was holding. I had not noticed until now but most of the fleet that was with us in the morning had also moved south along the same line all fishing for yellowtail. We wrapped up the day with a fine dinner aboard the Polaris Supreme, lots of stories about the day and new found fishing friendships.

The boat ride home during the night was unbelievably smooth. In fact all day there was barely a breeze on a 1 to 2 foot swell. So yeah, fishing at midnight, catching near limits before daybreak, and havig superior weather conditions really was a “unicorn“ fishing trip. PM me if I left out any details....
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Brett Wells

Almost A Member
May 3, 2015
Los Alamitos
Now that’s a report. The poker saying goes if you can’t spot the fish at the table then you’re it. Same with fishing, if you don’t make the adjustments like the guys that are getting bit then just buy fish at ralphs.
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Rum is Tackle
Dec 3, 2003
Bay Park
Visit site
Dave Cairncross
Currently looking for a new Ho'ing opportunity
Wow, you write a great report! Really sounds like a fine boat captain and crew operation. I can't wait till June 26 trip on this boat
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Fear No Fish
  • Apr 22, 2013
    Huntington Beach
    2008 Trophy 1802 "Mako My Day"
    Only one word to say: Awesome! :D
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    Oncorhynchus tshawytscha
    Jan 29, 2009
    ORCA 31'
    It was an awesome night! Boats were busy cheering on other boats and vice versa never seen that crazy in such close proximity. Pics were taken from the Indy while were in the middle of the fleet and the bite was hot!
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    Subscribe to my YouTube Channel!
    Mar 7, 2009
    16' Starcraft SF SS
    Damn that is one hell of a trip! The only thing that would have made this report better would be some pictures!
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