5/31/2020 Super Cow


Cristy J
Sep 5, 2004
Robert Jones
Grady White 282 Sailfish
Took my 23’ Parker center console out yesterday with my good friend Ken. We launched at 6am from Shelter Island. No bait needed, we were going to fly the kite. I have had many skunks looking for that one bite I think we all look for offshore. It’s a humbling experience working all day for 12-14hrs, coming home empty staring at that yummy flyer skipping or the dead flyer hanging there-what looks to be a perfect offering with fish moving below the boat. Damn bluefin!

Yesterday was a special day. I often fish alone. However, Saturday evening I was sitting home thinking again about those damn bluefin and decided to ask Ken if he would like to chase the bluefin with me. I had the numbers posted by Billy K, who had found a larger grade of fish the day before in a different area than the Hidden Bank. Wtf...why not go there and try? Billy clearly sets himself apart as a professional bluefin expert on the west coast. I trust his information. Ken was in and I was happy to have someone else on the boat.

The wind was up already, but the water was rolling south/East. Not a bad ride down nearby the 230. Numbers are posted below in photo. We were 2/10’s of a mile from Billy’s coordinates when I decided to stop and prepare the gear: dead flying fish G-flyer, 12/0 Jobu with an Owner 5x treble on 400lb Moimoi leader. Calstar with a Shimano Tiagra 50w loaded with 130lb JB hollowcore. Big gear and ready. As we were preparing the flyer, I looked back at the sonar and there they were. Wolf pack of huge meter marks. Blip, blip, blip- I had never seen this on my boat before. It got “Real” really fast. We had to get the gear in the water now. Ken and I were pumped-up....let’s get the flyer out there. Wind was howling. The Boston Big Game took off like i5 was headed to outer space. We sent it out and slid the rigged G flyer away from the boat...blip, blip, blip. They were still here. The kite was out no more than 10 minutes before the eruption the size of a large jacuzzi happened. At first we both screamed WHOAAAA!!! Then the strike indicator headed for the ocean depths...reel, reel, reel! We were tight. The fish began smoking that 50w. It was crazy- and awesome. We took turns on the fish and kept constant pressure on it. The fish was under the boat multiple times requiring us to maneuver to a better position. If I was alone on this one, I would have never seen this fish. Thankful that Ken was there. We were having a blast as this fish kicked both of our asses. It took about an hour to get it near the boat. We knew it was big, but I admit that I probably shit my pants as it came into view. It was massive.

Now this is where it became more interesting or screwed up. I had a flying gaff and decided to stick it with that first. The flying gaff went into the head, but as the fish felt it strike, he tore away and the gaff came out...oh shit! The big fish took 30 feet of line back and we were - at least I was hoping we would get another chance. It took a couple of minutes, but the fish came back up. It was hit in the head with 2 gaffs. We then tail wrapped it and tied to the boat cleat. The fish was ours. High 5’s, hugs, fist pumps, it all happened. We were stoked! How big is it we asked each other...250? We both have fish in the high 200’s...this one. We couldn’t tell.

Okay, let’s get it in the boat. Four (4) gaffs in the head should work. Let’s do this. We both pulled and strained. The fish wouldn’t pull over the lip of the rail on the outside of my boat...wtf! Again, again, again...shit, we couldn’t get it in the boat. We looked around over and over- not another boat in sight all morning long. We were alone and couldn’t get this damn bluefin in the boat...Seriously?! Wtf are we going to do now? We tried head first, tail first, one side lifted partially, etc...F***, we couldn’t get it in. This was a humbling experience as I would never have believed there was a fish in our local waters that I couldn’t pull into the boat with another buddy...it happened to us.

After an hour of trying everything, I remembered I had one of those 1.5” Ratchet strap used to tie down cargo in my truck. I threw it in my boat a month ago in case I needed to strap down the helium tank tight...I said to Ken - it might be our only chance. He was in...LOL. We laughed as this was all becoming ridiculous!

We put one end around the tail and also tied a rope around the tail with it. The other end was tied to my T-Top. It was not a large tie down. We began wenching it up two inches at a time, then tied the rope off to reset the ratchet and we would lose an inch as the rope stretched from the fish weight...another half hour and finally had the tail about 18” above the rail. The weather was really snotty by now. We had to get this fish in now. Four gaffs in the mouth again. Pull, pull! It want easy even now as we were spent. The head barely made it over the rail -thud! What the hell- look at the girth on that fish we yelled! Stoked and high fives. We need to get out here. We pulled 36” x 72” kill bag to the back and removed the 100lbs of ice. The fish slid in, but the tail stuck out a foot. Holy crap. We emptied a couple of bags of ice, then laid the remaining bags on top. We couldn’t close the bag. We were guessing 250-275? We will just say 250lbs for now. We were pounded on the way home in the center console. Water coming over the rail as it was a quarter swell that was large, with lots of wind. We didn’t care! We were having a day neither of us will ever forget. We were only 39 miles from Point Loma. A super cow within 40 miles?

We arrived to San Diego bay in about 2 1/2hrs. We began calling, but none of the Point Loma based process were open at this time. We called Sportsman’s Seafoods over in Mission bay nearby Seaforth landing. They were open and confirmed they would be there. We rushed over as we wanted this fish weighed and processed. As the manager came out to ask what we had, I was in the boat. I said we have one around 250. He looked and said “I need the forklift” . Ken and I laughed as this seemed to reinforce our thoughts that we had a big fish. I lifted the fish tail-up into the corner of the stern. This is when we realized, how big and tall it was. I’m 6-1 1/2. It was taller than me. We helped tie the fish to the forklift and lift it out. We slid it through the doors towards the scale. It was lifted onto the first one, but it “error” out. The fish was removed, the manager reset the scale. I watched as they put it back on. The scale hit 280, 290, Error. I said that must be a 300 pound scale and the fish is bigger. The manager went in the back and brought out a larger scale. The fish was put on and boom, 316.6 pounds. A fish of a lifetime for two friends. Thanks to Sportsman Seafoods for being so kind to us as we were excited and they were very cool with us.

Numbers were 32.17 / 117.42

Thanks to Billy K. for sharing good info and giving his customers hot bite opportunities and recommendations.

Ken and I will never forget 5/31/20. Appreciate you reading our story.









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Jig Stick

Apr 21, 2008
La Costa
Cabo 216...Sold
Great write up Robert. Not much to add here other than how difficult it was to even high-five after that thing came in the boat! It took longer to get it IN the boat than it took to bring it TO the boat

What a day. I’ll remember it till I can’t remember any longer!

But, I’ll remember this scene for ever...

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I've posted enough I should edit this section
Jan 19, 2016
Jed Venture
the twisted ducker
I knew if i got up at 3:45am i would read something great. So bad ass. Eat well MEN!
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28' Aquasport "Reel Adventure II"
Jul 15, 2005
Poway Ca
28' Aquasport "Reel Adventure II" / PlainJaneRods
WOW super big guy.....Congrats....
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Mar 16, 2020
San Diego
Colin Farrelly
Triumph 195
Wow! Super stoked for you guys. I don’t have the heavy gear yet but have a 20ft CC that can get to the upper hidden. Just need a big game rod/reel and kite setup to get on it. Great job
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