500 mile drive for a 1.5 day shot at bluefin mini-cows on Aztec

Discussion in 'San Diego Long Range fishing Reports' started by afraser, Oct 31, 2017.

  1. BrokenBackRebel

    BrokenBackRebel Deckhand/Fish Addict

    Location:
    Somewhere between San Diego and Yelapa
    Name:
    Justin Ryan
    Boat:
    17’ CC, Aztec and Apollo
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    I still like my big tuna popping and jigging conventional.

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  2. afraser

    afraser I've posted enough I should edit this section

    Location:
    sf, ca
    Name:
    aaron
    Boat:
    NA
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    Popperfest! No bluefin, but the topwater action on the 40-60lb yellowfin was outstanding. No love on metal, even though they were eating anchovies. Cast into the porpoise, the tuna will find your popper or stickbait. Contrary to what Andre said, I was EXPECTING there to be tuna with the ponies :), and there were. When we ran up on the first pod, I cast very early, too early. As soon as I got my lure to the boat, the yellowfin exploded off the bow, for all of 10 seconds. Andre hooked up first, I got a second cast in and hooked up before they sounded. How did I get the runt at 30lb or so while Andre gets a 7 ??? Plenty of 100+ pound fish in the school, they were sighted but didn't bite (they were also full of squid- hint hint). Second time we get near a pod of porpoise, the captain hasn't even stopped the boat and I cast early again. This time I'm rewarded with a great show. Blow up, hooked up, dropped, blown up 4 more times, then finally a solid hookup. And I didn't bring my go pro... Fortunately, one of the crew filmed the bite which is supposed to be uploaded on the Aztec facebook page. So Andre and I have 4 fish total, the rest of the boat has maybe 4. Next stop the bow is corroded with poppers <sigh>. Fortunately, everyone is good at managing the cast and move technique (especially when the boat is moving, you cast and move down the side 5-6 feet so the next person can cast). They were all careful about calling out each cast too, nice! No accidental hookups. One angler caught 3 or 4 in short order on blue popper. Mine were on a blue sardine stickbait (like an orca), and a pink/white stickbait. We then had a lull and a lot of no bites on ponies on the poppers. Some of the anglers returned to bait fishing. At some point, the crew put up the yummy on the kite (behind the boat???) and as soon as we went over another pod, 5-6 blowups and then a hookup, but the same size yellowfin. As the sun went down, still gray light, only Andre and I remained on the bow. He suggested we try bait on the next one and I said if we can see the porpoise, I'm casting topwaters. Sure enough, even in low light, we get to one more pod. I cast out and one pull on the lure and kaboom, another explosion! Fish comes out of the water to eat the lure. Andre hooks up on the popper too! This time, I had a much better fish. Sounds on 15lb of drag several times. Finally got him to the boat, he's just out of gaffing range, looks to be in the 60-70lb range, sounds again. I get him once more to the surface, he dives again and wins his freedom. Pulled out of 2 5/0 treble hooks! (I had this lure set up for the big tuna). The last fish took the deckhand about a minute with pliers to get the hooks out, so I don't know how this one got away. I ended up with just 3, but many, many blowups. I did try some experimenting with new lures, so the final tally is lower than it might have been. 4 anglers didn't have a fish, so I gave mine away. Honestly, I have plenty of yellowfin still from earlier trips and I have a long range trip in 3 weeks, so one loin was all I needed. Glad I didn't listen to Justin (one of the boat's crew) and not take the popping rod :) (yeah, right, like that was going to happen). He did own up to it afterwards, so fair is fair. I didn't have my 10-20lb 10' rod because I was encouraged to pare down my gear, but that would have been awesome too. We didn't know the bluefin wouldn't show, so I hardly used the 60, 80 and 100lb gear. The 2 popping rods were obviously heavily used, and I tried the 40lb bait rod a few times after a couple of popper casts, but no luck on bait at all. It was a super quick bite and you might get 2 casts in.

    As for the crew, outstanding job. Very communicative and helpful. Didn't let people get stuck with bad gear, gave them new gear to use if needed. Seaforth landing did not do them any favors though. I showed up 3 hours early and requested a larger bunk, plenty were left as only a few people had signed in. Seaforth says all the bunks are the same size (they aren't, and its not even close - have they even seen the boat???). I get on the boat and I swear my bunk is 16 inches wide. No way. I ask to switch and the boat is full, so there is only one other bunk, its 18 inches wide. I guess I'll take it. Fortunately its a calm trip, so no falling out of the bunk, but definitely not without some uneasiness. Most bunks are normal width (maybe 22-24" wide), but there are many double width bunks (maybe 8?). Reserve your bunk and don't take bunk Q or its twin on the other side of the boat in second from the bow staterooms. Trip was not as expected, but a blast nonetheless. 4 of us that were casting poppers had maybe 15-16 of the 52 fish with 28 anglers on board, so if you fish the porpoise.... Would definitely recommend the Aztec.
     
  3. makairaa

    makairaa I've posted enough I should edit this section

    Location:
    Tustin CA
    Name:
    Philip Hunkins
    Boat:
    17 starcraft
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    No yellowfin on flatfalls or coltsnipers?
     
  4. BrokenBackRebel

    BrokenBackRebel Deckhand/Fish Addict

    Location:
    Somewhere between San Diego and Yelapa
    Name:
    Justin Ryan
    Boat:
    17’ CC, Aztec and Apollo
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      (699)
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      (256)
    finally posted it. Too large for BD.
     
  5. vegasandre

    vegasandre I've posted enough I should edit this section

    Location:
    San Diego
    Name:
    Andre
    Boat:
    Any Boat that I can go on
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    thank you Justin , cool video!

     
    BrokenBackRebel likes this.

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