Offshore 4/24/19 1.5 day Topgun80 Small but fun grade bft

PENN

spongehead

"ONE FISH AT A TIME"
Sep 12, 2010
704
739
garden grove, ca
Name
David
Boat
Maria
Left HM dock a little earlier @ 630pm after last angler showed up. Full load of 25 for 1.5 day trip on an 80footer incl. meals for 375? No brainer.. First time for Bruce and me.

Captain bob/scott deckhands nathan & jacob, cook Tree-vor(he tall).

Wow what an excellent boat layout for any sportfisher in san diego. Staterooms with doors great AC and a sink in each room. Most are 3 man rooms, only two are 2 man near front bow. Pick rooms when u checkin @ landing but looks like someone reserves the 2 man rooms before that. 2 mens and 1 women's bathrooms each with their own showers. Big galley seats 16. Lots of spots for tackle boxes and 2 extra shelves for bags with rocket launchers against bait tank. The 2 visible bait tanks was worrisome at first but theres an extra bait tank below deck. Plenty of bait though bait was mainly 4-6" with few 7". Only gripe is the runway port/starboard sides are a bit tight and would be dificult with larger people on board. On our trip it was fine. Kitchen bunkrooms bathrooms the whole boat was well kept and clean. Nice to have dial soap dispensers, good tp and some bathrooms stocked with paper towels. Plenty of hot water for showers.

Fish report. Yeah we were periodically checking wednesdays fish report before we left the dock and it looked bleak only 9 bft on the tribute(no size reported means small grade) and yt galore on other boats(babies). Oh well its called fishing! I hate those trips that were catching limits the day before and you get skunked the next day. Our lives as internet fishermen which is probably the majority of us, fess up boys u do it once means ur an internet fisherman like the rest of us. Lol. Yes i have my set charters booked already too. But at least we knew fishing was slower already so no expectations made for a much better day. My motto "fish is fish" means i really don't care as much of catching(didnt give a crap Jacob missed a gaff). Its more important for me to go clear my head and heart on God's beautiful ocean and any catching is GG Grace Gravey!

Everyone settled in and rigged up. We saw Jacob and i related a recent story (tuesdays 1.5day) that a previous angler, Matthew mentioned on a facebook post that when his cord grip unraveled, Jacob took the time to rewrap it. Mitchell was super impressed for the "full service". Jacob laughed that news of it got around so fast. Jacob actually spent an extra hour helping many anglers who lined up to get their drags set. One guy needed his 100lb setup, talica 20 super seeker 6463xxh drags set so i asked Jacob what he would set 100lb at strike. 30lbs! Heck yeah my kinda fishing! Come up or Come Off! Jacobs says that's what capt scotty teaches. Im really liking the crew by now.

Off to bed and bout 2 am(id say 50-60miles south from PL) capt calls down to start a chum line. Most of the anglers got up to start flatfalling. I held out till 330am before i couldn't sleep anymore might as well begin the painful grind. We all yoyo'd for about an hour as one by one started to rack their heavy setups and head back to sleep or rest in the galley. Me being a lazy bastard, I am and my arms burning decided to go rubberband sinker rig. Chopped off the nomad and fg knotted 20ft of 80lb seaguar fluoro onto my 80lb braid. Using a fathom40nld2 and super seeker 6470xh. I dropped slowly a "this is capt Bwwwobbb" from the Fortune style of rubber banding a 6oz sinker(glow) parrelling the line and in a way once a fish hits and runs the line will break the rubber band and sinker off. I used single and double deans on my 3/0 mutu. Bout 430 am i get bit on my 4th slow drop about 150ft down(capt reported fish swimming at 200ft earlier) a fellow angler asked if i was bit i told him SHHHHHH! I wind and walked to the galley window where my depressed and sleeping buddy (missin his kids especially with the bad fishing reports hes all 'bout catchin) i knocked 4 times until he finally woke up and saw me pulling on a fish and ran outta the galley as if on fire. Love that slow sleepy arms raised look to full wide open eyed "kid in a candy store" surprise on his face. I handed the rod to him and went to grab my phone for a pic. Now everyones up by now scrambling to pin a bait or rubberband a sinker. I grabbed my 80lbs setup from Bruce and pinned a dean flylined it out on my 2nd attempt it gets picked up and another 25lber hits the deck. Fun stuff. These ealry season bluefin are pretty strong and fiesty. I cant imagine what the bigger grade fought like. Total of only 7 came on deck before they all dissappeared in a 20minuit stretch. So skunks off for us who caught fish and hope for others for the rest of the day Oh Yeah all my homies for the last 2 weeks were boasting that they limited by 930am or 1030am.. try limiting out before the sun comes up ie 5am... Lol.

Yup so we whale watched for the next 12hours with 3 baby yt to show for it. 5pm rolls around after zig zagging north and south yes we hit the 32/117 spot for nada(no signs of bft) and back north then a bit south again. Till capt sees a 30ft yacht drifting. He kept his distance off the starboard side to investigate and bam throw bait throw bait! Thanks private boaters great find! Mayhem as usual but with only 25 guys not to bad of tangles. Lots lost to light line small hooks. Some were using Jhooks and getting chewed off like the one i passed off to the young angler #2 owner flyliner on 20lb blackwater. Didnt set hook fast enough. After that loss, i used ringed #2 circles. 30 and 40lb setup didnt matter if u had a hot bait in the stern itll get bit, most were short soaks a couple of long soaks. One on slow retrieve. Capt Bob Taft made a rare appearance hooked and handed 2 and went back up to his lofty perch. Just keep changing out bait or just wait for those new ones. I handed 2 off and landed 2. I made sure the young angler got another chance he went 1 for 3 and thanked me. Its grace overflowing in my life. God sometimes gives me an over abundance and i get to pass it on. One of my favorite things to do on trips is to share His gifts.

Food was pretty good the usuall fare Tree_vor is new and learning fast. Only gripe(besides narrowsides) is for one of the top boats in the fleet and for 25 guys i would like to see 3 deckhands helping out. Trevor is too new to help on deck(he caught a bft) and kept busy in the kitchen. Scotty is great on the bait tank and overseeing things. But tangles and multiple hookups kept Nathan and Jacob way too busy to spike any fish (they do not spike, gut/gill, cooldown like new loan/pac queen/or tribute which ive appreciated gratefully) i had to remove my own hooks while fish is dangerously slapping about (all my fish were green and i normally dont bring a spike on a sportie), staple numbers and throw into the kill box. I have absolutely no problems with doing that but really believe its an accident waiting to happen. Hence i would think a 3rd deckie would've helped a lot. I would also humbly ask for a little more care for the bluefin and its valuable meat would go a long way too. All 3 of my fish and my bruces 3 fish were belly or loin shots and our 2 dawn bite fish were "dropped unceremoniously" into the rsw and came out with one cracked spine(meat) and most of the 7 early fish looked smashed by the other fish. Dont get me wrong Jacob and Nathan did an excellent job for the most part just seemed a bit much for only 2 DHs.

Final count 22bft(22-30lbs) and 3 baby yt.
Small #2 circle hooks 20-40lb fluoro worked well. Heavy setup for jigs and sinker rig.

With that what a blessed trip cleared my heart and mind and lots of Gravey Grace included. No idea where the bigger grade went but if ur looking for 20 25 30 lb bluefin they are there and biting at dawn and dusk.

Peace!

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gettingbentwithbo

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Mar 7, 2009
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I mean those are not jumbo's but I wouldn't call them small either. Those class of BFT are great fun to catch and excellent eating!
 
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Tar Pit

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  • Mar 7, 2006
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    Great report from a grateful servant.

    Jesus broke with God’s long tradition of employing shepherds and chose fishermen instead.
     
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    spongehead

    "ONE FISH AT A TIME"
    Sep 12, 2010
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    garden grove, ca
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    David
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    Maria
    I mean those are not jumbo's but I wouldn't call them small either. Those class of BFT are great fun to catch and excellent eating!

    Bo you are absolutely right. I admit ive done the baby yellowtail and football yellowfin fishing in the past. This grade especially early season ones worked me good. Ill enjoy some poke later and humble pie. Thank you.
     
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    spongehead

    "ONE FISH AT A TIME"
    Sep 12, 2010
    704
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    garden grove, ca
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    David
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    That's really too bad that you're only catching 22-30# BFT in April......or at any time. :rofl::rofl::rofl:
    I know i know. Wanted to go on the Chief last wednesday and fight 70 to 130lbers but the boat was too full. oh well. Im appreciative of this trip met some very cool fishermen from Camarillo(my old stomping grounds) and an Argentinean Korean! Pretty awesome time.
     
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    spongehead

    "ONE FISH AT A TIME"
    Sep 12, 2010
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    garden grove, ca
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    Sponge head, what a wonderful report. The older I get, the more I love to hand off. I’m on the TG80 for a 5.5 right around Labor Day. Can’t wait! Thanks for pics. Tight lines and Blessings!
    God Bless! I only really got into fishing in 2007 fishing on the Aztec with captain Mikey(relentess now). My good charter master buddy taught me from the beginning to share your graces with others. From then ive always tried to share fish. Love the guys who come back to me to ask for my tag number, i respond bro i didnt catch the fish, you did, please tag ur own number. Just passing it on especially to the younger generation and new to saltwater fishermen or some just down on themselves that particular day. Grace overflowing and in the end it was never me to begin with. Have an awesome Labor day trip i would definitely be on the TG80 in the future.
     
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    spongehead

    "ONE FISH AT A TIME"
    Sep 12, 2010
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    David
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    Maria
    Good report. I'm glad you caught fish or I'm sure more negative comments on your trip. The Top Gun 80 is a cool ride with a good crew.
    If i didnt catch fish then i definitely couldn't complain bout belly/loin gaffs nor having to remove hooks, tag my fish, throw into kill box all my green tuna slapping the crap out of my hands with sharp teeth and gill plates without spiking them first. Oh and i threw away at least 5lbs of premium meat due to contusions and gaff entry and exit points. If i actually cared bout eating fish i wouldve just called the landing and complain instead of writing a bd report, but i didnt because actually Jacob and Nathan were very good deckhands and went the extra mile to help those who needed help. Just a little more attention to the fish would've been nice. I write this on the forum cause i know he'll get wind of it and hopefully improve. If i had his number i wouldve called him directly. We had an excellent raport and shared some good stories. Next time i head down there ill look for him.

    Constructive criticism not destructive my friends. Theyre not big enough issues where i would never go back onboard. Fish is fish!
     
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    Ballew.J

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    Oct 9, 2018
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    I got skunked on that trip, but still left satisfied. What an awesome trip with some awesome people, and Jacob is such a classic character. I had two layers on the majority of the trip and he was in a t shirt the entire time. Good on ya for handing a couple of your fish off.
     
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    Steve Francis

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    Sep 11, 2006
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    "Capt Bob Taft returned to his lofty perch". I assume you realize most everything you liked about the TopGun 80 is because of years of forethought and the efforts of Bob Taft. Hooking and handing is a noble unrequired act by a caring Capt. Do you think he may be in his lofty perch electronically monitoring, side scan sonors etc, in an effort for you to catch fish? Bob is one hell of a fishy guy. He learned from one of the best, his Dad - Spike Taft. Your chances of catching fish on a great boat are better with Bob Taft than with many others. Glad you got em.
     
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    spongehead

    "ONE FISH AT A TIME"
    Sep 12, 2010
    704
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    garden grove, ca
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    David
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    Maria
    "Capt Bob Taft returned to his lofty perch". I assume you realize most everything you liked about the TopGun 80 is because of years of forethought and the efforts of Bob Taft. Hooking and handing is a noble unrequired act by a caring Capt. Do you think he may be in his lofty perch electronically monitoring, side scan sonors etc, in an effort for you to catch fish? Bob is one hell of a fishy guy. He learned from one of the best, his Dad - Spike Taft. Your chances of catching fish on a great boat are better with Bob Taft than with many others. Glad you got em.
    I apologise my recounting definitely was not intended to be a complaint bout Capt Bob it was super cool of him to take his eyes off the wheel and electronics to come down and help some of the anglers. I just wish i had a chance to shake his hand and thank him personally for such a great operation as the tg80. I chatted a little with him from his upper window. All in all i had an awesome time. Sorry if it came off that i did not.
     
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    spongehead

    "ONE FISH AT A TIME"
    Sep 12, 2010
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    garden grove, ca
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    David
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    Maria
    I got skunked on that trip, but still left satisfied. What an awesome trip with some awesome people, and Jacob is such a classic character. I had two layers on the majority of the trip and he was in a t shirt the entire time. Good on ya for handing a couple of your fish off.
    Good fishin with you Justin. Ya little bit of mayhem with all the pent up adrenaline running bout waiting so long for the dusk bite.
     
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    wils

    lazy-ass well known "member"
    May 31, 2003
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    I hate boats
    hooks are cheap. break them off and you were going to cut off 5' of line and re-tie anyway. right?
    Then use your dikes and cut a couple of gill rakers for the bleed out.
    gaff shots this early in the season are sketchy at best...especially on a hot fish Offer a fiver for a head shot. it works. ;)
     
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    ZZZZZ

    I Post A Lot But I Can't Edit This
    Dec 11, 2003
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    Departed early :chestram2 Top Gun 80 looking good. Mr.Taft is one of the best and I don't know him personally. Would like to fish the boat

    Good biting fish. Stoked you got some. Nice

    That's just how hot bites work. Be your own crew to a point

    Gaffing a orange in the harbor in the beginning of the season.

    If a head shot is important. Try letting the crew know you would prefer a head shot and if the fish is lost no worries.

    If the fish can't be laid out gracefully and the fish gets away, no problem

    Depending on the type of bite and gear being used. Just get the fish on the boat :D Thanks :)
     
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    spongehead

    "ONE FISH AT A TIME"
    Sep 12, 2010
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    garden grove, ca
    Name
    David
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    Maria
    hooks are cheap. break them off and you were going to cut off 5' of line and re-tie anyway. right?
    Then use your dikes and cut a couple of gill rakers for the bleed out.
    gaff shots this early in the season are sketchy at best...especially on a hot fish Offer a fiver for a head shot. it works. ;)
    Perfect. Actually caught multiples on same hook. Only retied once after 20lb fluoro chew through. But yeah ill bring a spike onboard next trip.
    Was on a 2day tbird trip last summer new deckie young kid, cameron?, was moving all the rockfish from the killbox to a bucket to dump into the front rsw. He used a short hand gaff and was spiking the fish in the middle of the meat to transfer. Cole yells at him to stop it and spike the head. He ignored Cole kept doing it till Ricco shoulder slams him into the baittank then he got the message. Thats just rockfish not even tuna or yellowtail. Am i spoiled? Maybe with multiple trips on the New Loan, Pac queen, prowler aztec and Tribute who apologise if they gaff anything besides the head, spiked as it hits the deck, gut and gill and shove a hose into the body cavity to cool the tuna down. Just some little practices i wish more boats do. Oh yeah and they get tipped very very well as my thanks.
     
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    ZZZZZ

    I Post A Lot But I Can't Edit This
    Dec 11, 2003
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    That's ultra light gear, fun, sporting, and more bites :) not re tying after multiple small grade bft on 20# fluoro and a small hook. Your fluoro probably degraded to 10#. Yah your fish are getting gaffed asap if I was on the killstick LOL

    I'm a fan of light line small tunas. Makes them bigger :D big tunas I like heavy line

    If I know big tuna are mixed in, I fish heavy. Straight schoolies I go light

    Schoolies have a small head target and are wild
     
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    Steve K

    Hey, I'm gettin' bit...
    Jan 2, 2005
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    18' Bayrunner, but I like the American Angler and the Red Rooster III
    Was it a full tank of water for RSW, or a spray? With a total of only 22 Bluefin, seems like there was time to properly care for the fish. So spoiled by the crew of my favorite boat, the Angler, where they do an excellent job caring for the catch.
     
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