10-11 Liberty



Nov 28, 2006
Garden Grove
Cattle Boats
With the quarter ending and job slowing down, I decided I needed to get out and kill some fish. I checked the swell reports for San Diego and saw the forecast for some bigger swells. I thought, might as well go on Monday when it lays down. Well, Wednesday night comes around and my buddy calls me and tells me that it's flat calm out on the water and to come down to fish. Last minute trip, grabbed a couple rods and threw them in the car and went to sleep.

I took 5 setups to cover as many bases as I could.
1. UC CE900xf/Trinidad 14a/25lb live bait
2. UC CE900Monster/Trinidad 14a/ 30lb live bait
3. UC US80Tilefish/Trinidad 16/40lb colt sniper and live bait
4. UC US85Monster/Komodo 471/40 lb popper and stickbait
5. Majorcraft Giant Killing/Andros 5niia/slow pitch jigging

We got the boat loaded and underway pretty quickly. The crew today was Paul and Gerald on deck, Capt Taro driving, and Daniel in the galley. The crew loaded up some primo baits, mainly 4 inch sardines with some bigger ones thrown in. After this, most of the anglers went down to the bunks and took a nap as we had a couple hour boat ride ahead of us. We had an open water troll stop which ended up with 4-5 skipjacks. We continued to head south and finally found a kelp with some fish around 9:30am. It was complete chaos, with lines tangles up left and right. Paul and Taro were on it and were able to save most of the fish. I believe we ended this stop with 20 yft and probably closer to 30 skipjacks. I was able to pull 4 yellowfin and 1 skipjack on this stop.

Then came the lull. We continued heading south, with the occasional troll stop for skipjacks. Around this time, Capt Taro decided we didn't come all this way for skipjack so the decision was made to not stop for skipjacks. We were here to get some yellowfin tuna. Finally, around 1:30-2:00, we found the motherload kelp. As we got closer, you could hear Taro get excited over the loudspeaker as he tells the deckahnds to dump the bait. After this, it was complete chaos. In the beginning, you could see all the yellowtail and skipjack in the water chasing the chum. Soon, it went to straight yellowfin tuna fishing. This was when fishing heavy line made a difference. I was able to bring in another 6 yellowfin quickly. After the bloodbath, Taro called it a trip around 3:00pm as we were 44 miles south and needed to head back up as it was going to be a 4.5 hour boat ride back.

Crew was amazing. Constantly working and always helping. Although the boat had 38 anglers on the boat, it never felt too crowded except for when we were coming up onto a kelp and all 38 people were at the bait tank.
One thing that helped me catch more yellowfin than skipjack was I was able to get my bait out further than anyone else. Using a rod made for throwing small baits was key. The tuna did not want to touch big bait, the smaller and livelier the better. If you can cast it past the skipjack and the sardine takes line, you were almost guaranteed a yellowfin. I nose hooked all my sardines and had no issues.
Another thing I noticed was a lot of people were fishing with super light drag. This made it hard to control the fish, which ended up tangling a lot more people. Especially for the smaller skipjacks. Imagine 4 lines with 2 skipjacks zigzagging back and forth. Now imagine that situation with all spectra and short top shots. Those tangles lasted a lot longer than if you were fishing mostly mono and can just cut your line and not worry about having to tie on another leader.
Also, it was one of those rare trips where lures did not work at all. Colt snipers got some skipjack, but the tuna only wanted live bait, and only small baits.

And for the people who said I caught over limit, I hooked up my buddy Jamal with some tuna as he was only able to get some skipjack and the rest went to the boat to distribute. Capt was very good about making sure limits were observed by everyone. There were several people with more than 5 fish who were able to share the wealth so everyone went home with fish.


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Nov 21, 2015
Those trinis can cast a small bait well and having the right rod actions can make all the difference when small baits are in the tank.
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