Offshore 2.5 Day on the Cortez

PENN

azbaseball

Member
Apr 2, 2007
595
828
la mesa ca
Name
mike de vito
Boat
20ft nitro
Cortez 2.5 day big fish time

First, I would like to thank my wife and kids for this trip; it was a birthday Christmas gift. Thank you

Blake Wilson-Hames put together a group of the funniest hard-core anglers I had the pleasure to be part of. From the parking lot to collecting, our fish at the end of the trip is was a blast.

We boarded the Cortes out of Seaforth Friday 16OCT2020 1930. We had for our Crew. Captain Jim Hughes a salty dawg for sure. He is a little rough around the edges but he can kill the tunas. Second ticket was Sula. She was as pleasant as they come. Ready to help on deck or in the galley. She was a bright light in a tunnel of male testosterone for sure. On deck, the leader was Jason he ran the deck with an iron hand. He directed you in fighting the fish and keeping you under control. Jon was also on the deck. He helped you with your fish, keeping the boat clean and making sure, you had everything you needed including the hottest baits in the tank. Lastly, we had Jesse in the galley. Jesse not being an angler he could sure cook on the boat. First day eggs potatoes and sausage for breakfast, then burgers with all the fixings for lunch and at night dinner was chicken with rice and veggies with ice cream for dessert. Second day was pancakes, eggs and hash, lunch was roast beef grilled sandwiches with potato salad and fruit. Dinner was a complete prime rib dinner with garlic mash, veggies, garlic cheese bread. Dessert was fresh brownies with ice cream and whip cream Oh My. Snacks during the trip included fresh fruit, chesses, crackers, selection of meats and smoke tuna.

Now to the fishing. We thought we were going south the first day for the smaller grade YFT. Captain said he would not waste our time with those little fish and the crazy Private Boaters running and gunning from paddy to paddy. So north we went. The Cortes and Tanner banks. We arrived at about 0700 and started looking for fish. It was a slow day picking one here and there. First fish on the troll was a 3-pound yellow tail. At that point, it was the pool winner. We kept looking all day. Finally, we move back to the bank and anchored. That is when the tunas came to the boat. Finished day 1 with school size Bluefin tuna. I landed on at 30 plus pounds. I had to go down to 15-pound flouro and a #4 live bait hook on my 400-lexa and phenix black diamond rated 30-60. Blake landed three and Medina had the first day pool winner with a 50-pound blue fin on a sardine. Almost all fish the first day came on live bait.

Day two I started in the dark. We anchored on the bank in about 220 feet of water. I go Sheepshead fishing. I am using cut bait and a single reverse dropper loop with a number 2 circle hook. I start hearing the hooting in the back as a slow pick of school size blue fin and a 25-pound yellowtail hit the deck. I am in the bow filling the milk crate. I had a few others join me but I continued to fill my sack with the best eating Sheepshead from a couple of pounds to two 7-pound models. In the mix were some white fish and rock cods.

When the fishing slowed in the bow, I went to the stern grabbed my lexa with 20 pound and first bait I hooked into a larger 40-pound model. Landed and tagged I went back to the bow to continue to fill my daily limit. Around 1100 the Captain said reel em in; we are going hunting for cows. I notice that Jason and Jon are rigging flying fish. I have never fished with the kite and a flying fish. I am pumped up. Capt. Jim was on top with the kite rod and Sula was working with us on the rod the flying fish attached to. It was not five minutes before you see the tuna that look like a small pickup truck come out of the water and smash the bait. The entire boat is in an uproar each time the fish would hit a bait. Once the fish was on Jon and Sula had another rod ready. At one point, we had five big tunas going. It was crazy. When my turn came the Capt. Asked me “Are you sure you want to pull on one of these” to tell you the truth no I was not sure but I was going to do it anyway. I get the rod and two minutes later Splash it hits. Pulling drag and me to the bow. That is where Medina and I fought this pig. Medina had already landed his fish and wanted more. We fought the fish back and forth. Gain 10 yards lose 20 yards. About 30 minutes into the fight, the fish just allowed us to wind it in. The dead weight and current made it tough. When we get the fish to the side of the boat we notice “NO TAIL FIN”, it seems that Mr. Taxman had to get his piece of my tuna. They taped it out to about 180 pounds. My new personal best for Blue Fin Tuna. That makes three for me for the trip. I believe everyone had a chance on the big fish. There were 8 landed including an 80 pound yellowfin and seven blue fin over 100 pounds with a couple pushing past the 200 pound mark. We ended the day looking for more tuna but they went silent and deep.

To round up the trip there was 54 Bluefin Tuna, 47 Rockfish, 2 Yellowtail, and 1 Yellowfin Tuna caught. I personally had 3 Bluefin up to 180 pounds, 14 Sheepshead (which I gave 4 away to others that wanted one), 4 salmon grouper, 4 rock cod and 8 whitefish for my two days of fishing.

I cannot say enough how helpful the crew of the Cortez was. They made the trip as successfully as it was. Even with the lost fish, they stayed focus to land the next one.

My fellow anglers that I had the pleasure to share the rail with. Thank you all. Cheers

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woodfish330

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  • Aug 14, 2012
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    John
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    Fishead
    Congrats brother! Your report and picts demonstrate the right attitude for fishing with a great group of guys.... and a hard working crew. Your descriptions were dead on.... glad you got the chance to see the deadly nature of the kite on these tuna. I think you should ask for another trip this Christmas. ...good luck.
     
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    Oldtimer2

    Member
    Jul 29, 2020
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    Iowa City Iowa
    Name
    Rob Malone
    Boat
    don't got no boat
    Really nice report! Thank you.
    Two questions:
    1] How long did it take you to get that monster 180 BFT in? After all, you were fishing pretty light line for it.
    2] You said you got 8 WHITEFISH. I'm not exactly sure what you mean by whitefish. Can you show a pic? How big were they? Were they good to eat? I am always interested in learning about a "new" fish.
     
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    azbaseball

    Member
    Apr 2, 2007
    595
    828
    la mesa ca
    Name
    mike de vito
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    20ft nitro
    Really nice report! Thank you.
    Two questions:
    1] How long did it take you to get that monster 180 BFT in? After all, you were fishing pretty light line for it.
    2] You said you got 8 WHITEFISH. I'm not exactly sure what you mean by whitefish. Can you show a pic? How big were they? Were they good to eat? I am always interested in learning about a "new" fish.
    The big tuna was on the 50sw penn used for the kite fishing but it took about 45 minutes to land even after the shark bit its tail off. The ocean white fish is a shallow deep rock type fish. It is usually in about 100-180 feet of water. It has a flaky white meat and is used as fish tacos mostly. Not a strong fishy smell or taste. The white fish are in front of the sheepshead. The avg is about 2 pounds larger ones about 3 pounds

    IMG_8881.JPG
     
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    Oldtimer2

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    Jul 29, 2020
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    Iowa City Iowa
    Name
    Rob Malone
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    don't got no boat
    Thanks for answering the questions. Appreciate it.

    From your pictures, I kept looking on the web. Turns out the whitefish is Caulolatilus princeps:
    1603241761953.png

    And it's found along the entire California and Baja coast. To me, it looks like it is a chunky Yellowtail type fish. They say it's very good to eat.
    • It matures at 3-5 years and can live to 13 years old. [12]
    • Cool waters likely inhibit recruitment success, [12] so spawning and most recruitment generally occur off Baja California, except during warm years when it occurs off Southern California. [2]
    • Its prolonged spawning season lasts from late autumn to early spring. [12]
    • External fertilization, resulting in pelagic eggs and larvae. [1]
    • It shows greater development (e.g., spination) in early life stages than most other ray-finned fish. [1]
    • It is endemic to the Eastern Pacific, from British Columbia to Peru, though most commonly located near offshore islands and banks off the California coast, from Point Conception (Santa Barbara County) to Baja California, Mexico. [2]
    • It has an elongated body, 30.5-38 cm (12-15 inches) in length and usually weighs less than 3.6 kg (8 lbs), but can be up to 102 cm (40 in) long and 6.0 kg (13 lbs). [12]It has a light brown color with white underbelly; turquoise and yellow pectoral fins and yellow dorsal fin.
    I think it's a pretty nice fish. Does it fight like a YT?
     
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    Rabid Fish

    Member
    Jun 27, 2004
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    572
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    Southern California
    Name
    Alex
    Boat
    26'
    Really nice report! Thank you.
    Two questions:
    1] How long did it take you to get that monster 180 BFT in? After all, you were fishing pretty light line for it.
    2] You said you got 8 WHITEFISH. I'm not exactly sure what you mean by whitefish. Can you show a pic? How big were they? Were they good to eat? I am always interested in learning about a "new" fish.
    1603244053143.png

    This is a whitefish.

    Typically found on sand bottom near reefy structure. From Pt. Conception to southern Baja and the northern sea of Cortez. Same family as the "tilefish" they catch off the east coast
     
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    Rabid Fish

    Member
    Jun 27, 2004
    745
    572
    33
    Southern California
    Name
    Alex
    Boat
    26'
    Thanks for answering the questions. Appreciate it.

    From your pictures, I kept looking on the web. Turns out the whitefish is Caulolatilus princeps:
    View attachment 1214333
    And it's found along the entire California and Baja coast. To me, it looks like it is a chunky Yellowtail type fish. They say it's very good to eat.
    • It matures at 3-5 years and can live to 13 years old. [12]
    • Cool waters likely inhibit recruitment success, [12] so spawning and most recruitment generally occur off Baja California, except during warm years when it occurs off Southern California. [2]
    • Its prolonged spawning season lasts from late autumn to early spring. [12]
    • External fertilization, resulting in pelagic eggs and larvae. [1]
    • It shows greater development (e.g., spination) in early life stages than most other ray-finned fish. [1]
    • It is endemic to the Eastern Pacific, from British Columbia to Peru, though most commonly located near offshore islands and banks off the California coast, from Point Conception (Santa Barbara County) to Baja California, Mexico. [2]
    • It has an elongated body, 30.5-38 cm (12-15 inches) in length and usually weighs less than 3.6 kg (8 lbs), but can be up to 102 cm (40 in) long and 6.0 kg (13 lbs). [12]It has a light brown color with white underbelly; turquoise and yellow pectoral fins and yellow dorsal fin.
    I think it's a pretty nice fish. Does it fight like a YT?
    Since most people catch them fishing for rockfish, they're usually not taken on light gear, so generally you just drag them up. I'm sure they'd give a little tussle on light line but they're generally considered a bag filler freezer filler kind of fish. They taste good but (I've heard, never experienced) the occasional fish is nasty, iodine tasting.
     
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    azbaseball

    Member
    Apr 2, 2007
    595
    828
    la mesa ca
    Name
    mike de vito
    Boat
    20ft nitro
    White fish fight the entire water column pound for pound they compare to yellowtail in the fight game the largest I have caught was 9 pounds 8 oz on the new hustler out of Ventura harbor at Santa Rosa island
     
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    yakmandan

    Member
    May 30, 2007
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    917
    AZ.
    Name
    DAN
    Boat
    19ft Bayrunner Baja
    Poor man's yellowtail is what we used to call them
    A big one will put up a good fight but not for as long as a yellow and yellowtail go for structure and kelp. I've never been rocked by a whitefish. Make good tacos but king of bland otherwise.
    That being said
    Nice catch on the BFT and all the other kritters.
     
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    Aug 11, 2018
    65
    41
    Capo Beach
    Name
    ⚓
    Boat
    Row boat
    Cortez 2.5 day big fish time

    First, I would like to thank my wife and kids for this trip; it was a birthday Christmas gift. Thank you

    Blake Wilson-Hames put together a group of the funniest hard-core anglers I had the pleasure to be part of. From the parking lot to collecting, our fish at the end of the trip is was a blast.

    We boarded the Cortes out of Seaforth Friday 16OCT2020 1930. We had for our Crew. Captain Jim Hughes a salty dawg for sure. He is a little rough around the edges but he can kill the tunas. Second ticket was Sula. She was as pleasant as they come. Ready to help on deck or in the galley. She was a bright light in a tunnel of male testosterone for sure. On deck, the leader was Jason he ran the deck with an iron hand. He directed you in fighting the fish and keeping you under control. Jon was also on the deck. He helped you with your fish, keeping the boat clean and making sure, you had everything you needed including the hottest baits in the tank. Lastly, we had Jesse in the galley. Jesse not being an angler he could sure cook on the boat. First day eggs potatoes and sausage for breakfast, then burgers with all the fixings for lunch and at night dinner was chicken with rice and veggies with ice cream for dessert. Second day was pancakes, eggs and hash, lunch was roast beef grilled sandwiches with potato salad and fruit. Dinner was a complete prime rib dinner with garlic mash, veggies, garlic cheese bread. Dessert was fresh brownies with ice cream and whip cream Oh My. Snacks during the trip included fresh fruit, chesses, crackers, selection of meats and smoke tuna.

    Now to the fishing. We thought we were going south the first day for the smaller grade YFT. Captain said he would not waste our time with those little fish and the crazy Private Boaters running and gunning from paddy to paddy. So north we went. The Cortes and Tanner banks. We arrived at about 0700 and started looking for fish. It was a slow day picking one here and there. First fish on the troll was a 3-pound yellow tail. At that point, it was the pool winner. We kept looking all day. Finally, we move back to the bank and anchored. That is when the tunas came to the boat. Finished day 1 with school size Bluefin tuna. I landed on at 30 plus pounds. I had to go down to 15-pound flouro and a #4 live bait hook on my 400-lexa and phenix black diamond rated 30-60. Blake landed three and Medina had the first day pool winner with a 50-pound blue fin on a sardine. Almost all fish the first day came on live bait.

    Day two I started in the dark. We anchored on the bank in about 220 feet of water. I go Sheepshead fishing. I am using cut bait and a single reverse dropper loop with a number 2 circle hook. I start hearing the hooting in the back as a slow pick of school size blue fin and a 25-pound yellowtail hit the deck. I am in the bow filling the milk crate. I had a few others join me but I continued to fill my sack with the best eating Sheepshead from a couple of pounds to two 7-pound models. In the mix were some white fish and rock cods.

    When the fishing slowed in the bow, I went to the stern grabbed my lexa with 20 pound and first bait I hooked into a larger 40-pound model. Landed and tagged I went back to the bow to continue to fill my daily limit. Around 1100 the Captain said reel em in; we are going hunting for cows. I notice that Jason and Jon are rigging flying fish. I have never fished with the kite and a flying fish. I am pumped up. Capt. Jim was on top with the kite rod and Sula was working with us on the rod the flying fish attached to. It was not five minutes before you see the tuna that look like a small pickup truck come out of the water and smash the bait. The entire boat is in an uproar each time the fish would hit a bait. Once the fish was on Jon and Sula had another rod ready. At one point, we had five big tunas going. It was crazy. When my turn came the Capt. Asked me “Are you sure you want to pull on one of these” to tell you the truth no I was not sure but I was going to do it anyway. I get the rod and two minutes later Splash it hits. Pulling drag and me to the bow. That is where Medina and I fought this pig. Medina had already landed his fish and wanted more. We fought the fish back and forth. Gain 10 yards lose 20 yards. About 30 minutes into the fight, the fish just allowed us to wind it in. The dead weight and current made it tough. When we get the fish to the side of the boat we notice “NO TAIL FIN”, it seems that Mr. Taxman had to get his piece of my tuna. They taped it out to about 180 pounds. My new personal best for Blue Fin Tuna. That makes three for me for the trip. I believe everyone had a chance on the big fish. There were 8 landed including an 80 pound yellowfin and seven blue fin over 100 pounds with a couple pushing past the 200 pound mark. We ended the day looking for more tuna but they went silent and deep.

    To round up the trip there was 54 Bluefin Tuna, 47 Rockfish, 2 Yellowtail, and 1 Yellowfin Tuna caught. I personally had 3 Bluefin up to 180 pounds, 14 Sheepshead (which I gave 4 away to others that wanted one), 4 salmon grouper, 4 rock cod and 8 whitefish for my two days of fishing.

    I cannot say enough how helpful the crew of the Cortez was. They made the trip as successfully as it was. Even with the lost fish, they stayed focus to land the next one.

    My fellow anglers that I had the pleasure to share the rail with. Thank you all. Cheers

    View attachment 1214102

    View attachment 1214103

    View attachment 1214104

    View attachment 1214105
    Outstanding!!!
     
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