Offshore 1.5 on the Independence, 5/3-5/22

Feb 28, 2016
844
870
sb
Name
Jose Caballero
Boat Name
"Reveille" 17' arima sea chaser
TLDR: easy limits of BFT in less than 9 hours, 25# average. no pics. independence is one heck of a boat.

I don't really fish on the LR boats very often, but I know the Indy doesn't really do 1.5's and I know their reputation and my friends and I wanted to do a little dry-run for our October 3-day... so a few months ago we pulled the trigger... and as the date approached the tuna showed up and the reports got crazy and the sizes started to go up... and we were all fired up and we went fishing so here's the report.

drove down from SB, myself, two buddies, one of their sons, and my dad, met a few more friends at the dock, SO PREPARED: all the gear, all the dope, all the hype... smooth check-in process, lurked around the lot, boarded at 5.30pm, powered away before 6. baits were maybe half old and sad, half fresh and fierce, med-lg sardines and some big macs mixed in. pretty encouraging, especially since we were planning to ignore the bait and the do the nighttime thing anyway. got rigged up within a few minutes, galley meeting, quick tour of the boat (indy's a nice big boat, bithcin galley, epic staterooms, all the things you've heard are true. it's a REALLY nice boat), and went to sleep by 8.30.

night bite (400gr knife jigs on 100# gear, my whole crew loves the KB jigs!)
around 12:30 captain matt says "we're in the warmer water now so it shouldn't be long" and a few minutes later he says "we're on a good school, 240-300', let's give it a shot" and i jump outta my bunk and almost straddle my dad who's jumping out of his lower bunk. so it's 1:10am and we fumble and tumble out to the back deck and within 30 seconds we drop lures in the water and within a couple depth markers we're bit! mine came to color first but was lost at the gaff, my dad landed the first fish for the boat after a little walk around the stern rail (and it was his first drop on his first day of his first tuna trip; lucky bastard). not many people were awake but we got maybe 20-25 fish on that stop, all small (like 20-25#). then another stop with a few fish, a hair bigger. one more stop with a few more fish, a little bigger. but slowing down. my dad, my buddies, the kid, and I, we all boated a few... plus a couple other dudes doing their duty. by sunrise we had maybe 35 on board, maybe one or two in the high 30's but i would say 25# average. most of us were fishing 80-100# on modern fancy gear, so there wasn't much action, just overwhelming brutal force brought to bear on these hapless hungry little guppies. and the fish really were hungry, so much so that a lot of us hung up our rigs so as not to waste our tags on the little ones.

morning bite (flylined med sardines with 1-1/0 circle hooks on 30# gear, couple guys caught with flat-falls and colt snipers)
i was awake into the first few daylight stops, but the morning fish didn't seem too hungry or too interesting... and i really like sleeping... and i was dreaming of bigger battles in the night to come, so i took a quick little nap... and woke up to a bunch of hooting and hollering and 54 tick marks on the board (plus 6 clips; all in that same 25# avg). i half-heartedly tickled some sardines but i was secretly hoping the fish would go away so we could make better decisions when the sun went down... but the little fish kept jumping on board and everyone was having a blast and we hit boat+crew limits around 10am so i hung my head in shame and stuck my second tag on some unwanted ugly duckling and called it a trip. it was smaller than a couple i'd given away earlier, but i knew what i was gambling when i gambled so i had to accept the outcome. the fish were thrown below and the deck was washed by 10.30am. people started drinking and cleaning up gear, the captain started scouting for YT (which we never located), and i just ate (pancakes eggs bacon)/napped/ate (spaghetti w meat sauce and garlic bread)/napped/ate (so many potstickers)/napped/ate (half a chicken w mushroom gravy and broccoli on yellow rice and tiramisu)/napped all day long until we hit san diego by dark and tied up to the bait barge until 5:30 dock time.

the crew was cool, the captain was cool, the boat was unbelievable, the food was solid and plentiful, and good times were had by all. a handful of first-timers had easy success, some old-timers watched it all go down but as best I could tell didn’t fish at all, and i really wanted a bigger fight but i know you can't complain about an easy limit of tuna. at the docks we saw some other boats unloading fat fish from that same night bite, made me EXTRA chapped… our jackpot fish were 44/41/39 (give or take some guts) but the runners up were not very close… but then i took some smiling pictures of my dad and realized it was an absolutely awesome trip. five stars.

i got home, rinsed and washed and put stuff away, butchered my little guys (Gills out, guts still in; stomachs were EMPTY!) and put 26.5 pounds of clean fish in the fridge, plus a couple cups of little poke trimmings. bed time.
 
Last edited:

Koyote

Hooked
Oct 18, 2018
388
311
Menifee
Name
Z.
Boat Name
Yours
I regret not booking another trip on the Indy for this year, Awsome boat! Congrats to your Dad on his Success!!! Thanks for the report.
 
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wkk

Member
Apr 10, 2007
671
443
so cal
www.socalfishingdynamics.com
Name
will
Boat Name
Edge Water 188CC/
I thought this was pretty funny. Years ago people would be happy to catch 25-30 lb tuna. Now anything less than 40 is annoying like catching big ass mackeral. Little guppies wasting bait.
Great job getting out there. I hope you deck some bigger ones later in the season. :cheers:
 
Jose Caballero
Jose Caballero
you're totally right, and I'm embarrassed to be that way. we coulda plugged the boat before dark, guaranteed; and we had the luxury of hanging back, choosing our moment, handing off fish... there's this really unhealthy thing about instagram culture and objectifying those big fish and I kinda hate myself for getting sucked into it.
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tommyc

Hacker
Jul 30, 2011
352
310
Livermore, CA
Name
Tom
Boat Name
Beatem N' Eatem
I thought this was pretty funny. Years ago people would be happy to catch 25-30 lb tuna. Now anything less than 40 is annoying like catching big ass mackeral. Little guppies wasting bait.
Great job getting out there. I hope you deck some bigger ones later in the season. :cheers:
Years ago we kept 5-10 fish on these trips, bluefin or not. I am 100% for saving the fishery with stict limits and am very grateful that we still get to catch them at all, but there is no comparison between a 2 fish limit and what we did years ago.
 
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wkk

Member
Apr 10, 2007
671
443
so cal
www.socalfishingdynamics.com
Name
will
Boat Name
Edge Water 188CC/
I think the 2 fish limit is plenty for BFT. The fish are big and that's a lot of meat they pull off of them.

30 years ago I hated when i'd go fishing with me dad and we would bring back a lot of fish b/c he would make me clean them all at home. I always let them go when he wasn't looking so that I wouldn't have to clean them later :p
 
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May 13, 2004
922
1,303
75
Long Beach and points due west
Name
Bob Ballew
Boat Name
2520 Parker with twin 200 Yamahas
My son works on the Independence as a deck hand...Based on his stories, those fellows earn every penny in tips they are given...damn.tough way to earn a living...
 
Jose Caballero
Jose Caballero
the crew had a lot of hustle. if you said "color" they were over your shoulder in under thirty seconds, WITHOUT FAIL. hardworking crew, no doubt, appreciated all of them.
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Steve K
Steve K
So you’re the guy, gave him that name! Really enjoyed being on the boat with your son and the rest of the crew last year. Looking forward to fishing on the Independence again at the end of September.
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Tunahead

Long Time Tuna Abused Member
  • Aug 11, 2006
    17,354
    10,352
    Costa Mesa
    Name
    Ron
    Boat Name
    several
    Great report and Info Jose. Fishing with pop tops! Frankly, those 25-30lb Bluefin are the
    best eating....less time winding them in! Glad
    you, pop, and friends got some. Nice trip!
     
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