Offshore 8 Days and 1 Hour at Sea

Reefmo

Member
  • Nov 28, 2016
    278
    420
    47
    North OC
    Name
    Matt Skogmo
    Boat
    Trout Sniffer - heavily customized 18.5 tracker targa
    Have you ever done a pb trip like that on a mono-hull? My wife and I are looking to get a bigger (28-32ft) cat and are hopeful that the cat just makes things like offshore better in all ways.
     
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    charliecat

    on a fishin' mission
    Jun 2, 2015
    839
    693
    Name
    charlie cat
    Boat
    14' -50' , bunch of boats
    Even if you step up your game, its going to be a tough bar to beat, Wendell's Kitchen. We did enjoy PBJ several times but on Night 7 we had Polish Hot Dogs, Lobster and Clam Chowder.

    View attachment 1217778

    Sounds like a great trip, congrats on the fish.
    Are those gas cans up against the back of the stove?
    Glad you guys made it in safe thru the fog and everything
     
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    Big Skin

    Member
    Oct 29, 2006
    323
    44
    La Mesa
    www.fishsniffer.com
    Name
    Rick
    Boat
    Grady White Tournament 24 "Get Bent"
    Sounds like a fun trip. Wendell is invited on my boat anytime :-)
     
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    jayyyy

    I Should Upgrade My Account
    Oct 7, 2008
    1,106
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    NorCal
    Name
    jay
    Boat
    '04 Sea Pro 220 WA / 225 Honda
    Great report, you gave us the good the bad and the ugly.
     
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    jsl

    Member
    Oct 8, 2005
    881
    227
    Ontario
    Name
    Scott
    Boat
    none
    8 Days and 1 Hour at Sea
    October 11-18, 2020
    Day One
    Aaron and Troy make the 14 hour, 4 tire burning (needed 4 new tires to go home), 1000+ mile run down from Oregon to Dana Point, towing his World Cat 270EC Catamaran named the Millennium Flounder.
    Load Up: food, gear, gas, ice 20 bags of 20# crushed and 20 bags of 10# block. 600#’s of ice
    We make the run to Avalon around 4PM from DP Harbor.
    While docking we find a mysterious cabin water leak, listing us about 5° to the port side.
    After 3 hours of trial and error the plumbing problem was solved by changing valve shut off switch direction 90°. The seacock valve was plumbed previously incorrectly.
    A nearly trip ending disaster averted. Leaky boat no good.
    Wendell’s homemade tasty pork ribs, rice and sesame dressing drizzled salad for dinner.
    Lights out at midnight
    Day Two
    32 33 119 05
    Left Avalon a bit late. Around 1PM. Gearing up took a little longer than expected. Every rocket launcher on top of the cabin was filled. All 32 of them.
    40+ mile run to Tanner
    Royal Star, Vagabond, Searcher and one more long ranger hanging with us on the bank.
    On the way to the tuna grounds, around the 9, we played with bonito foamers for an hour. One 8-10#er landed on a stickbait.Wishing they were bft foamers…
    To warm up our arms and gear, we drop some iron for a nice Ling, sheephead, whitefish, some reds and too many to count bocaccio’s on the 150’ high spot.
    Warmed up, we get back to the BFT chase. Worked the ledges and drop-offs for no marks. Eventually we run into the big tuna fleet around 5PM, southwest of where they they’ve been working the past few days.
    We kite trolled a Flying fish from sunset to dark. Around 8PM, called it a day.
    12 hour day. Pooped.
    Slept just west of Tanner in 5’-6’ rocking swells among 4 long rangers. Troy’s the only person I know that can slide back and forth outside on a cot all night long like a pinball on a pendulum and still be sound asleep and snoring the whole time too. He’d do the toe test and wake up periodically to make sure we weren’t sinking and that the scuppers weren’t clogged up. He also was the only smart one that slept with a life vest attached to his waist.
    Day 3
    Moved back to Tanner Bank with the Polaris Supreme, RP, Vagabond and Pacific Voyager.
    8 hours of trolling and drifting the flying fish for nada. BFT No Show.
    Polaris Supreme on the 20-30#ers with live bait.
    At 6PM, we called it a day and ran the 60+ mile run back to Avalon for rest and refueling. Took about 2.5 hours with Aaron ripping through the dark on radar at 25-28 mph. Got a little beat up even though the Millennium Flounder was super smooth through the dark. I was outside the cabin and it felt kinda like riding on the back of a motorcycle on the freeway unaware you’re completely worn out.
    Gas $7 per gallon here, ouch.
    Dinner tasty burgers.
    Hand frozen and toes too so r&r time.
    Day Four
    Refuel
    129 gallons $920
    Time to get serious
    Used our own intel and made a call to fish the temp break at Osborn. We looked like geniuses at the start as we moved from 74° to 68.8° 7-8 miles below Osborn. Unexpectedly and unfortunately the temp break was just a small pocket that vanished as we approached the western edge of Osborn and 72° water again. We had made a 40+ mile run for nada so we headed back to where the fleet had been the past few days, on and outside the west end of Tanner. We passed the Pacifica just south of Osborn so they must’ve been fishing that break quietly and successfully for a few days before the change. Around 5:30PM we thought we hit the jackpot because New LoAn, Endeavor, Top Gun 80 and several others were all around us. We were finally in the zone and trolled fresh frozen flying fish until dark. Everything looked perfect but no blowups or biters today. Slept on the boat with 6 Sporties all around us.
    Dinner was reelyricious ribeyes.
    First time I ever saw a red star, Mars at night.
    It was Lake Tanner til early morning then even us in the cabin were rocking back and forth the rest of the night. Began wondering if the four of us were really sane or nuts being on a 27’er, 5’-7’ swells, in the middle of the ocean...
    Day 5
    Woke up at 6AM to a Houdini Show. All 6 boats that were around us disappeared into the morning fog. We fished from 6AM to 7:00PM for a repeat of no BFT yet. Being a captain and finding fish not as easy as it looks. Didn’t want to admit it but by the third day of having the runs and almost embarrassingly exploding, I let the boys know my secret. Fortunately Troy is a PCU/ICU nurse when he’s not fishing. He had a pharmacy in his carry-on . After a couple doses of Loparamide I can say “He saved my butt!”
    Dinner was delicious pasta and meatballs in a marinara sauce.
    Sleeping on glassy Lake Tanner tonight.
    Day 6
    Drifted 4.4 miles at night. 9 hours. .5 mile per hour
    We worked the bank again alone and around 3PM we run into the fleet again.
    32 41 119 08
    Intrepid Thunderbird Freedom Navegante Pacific Islander Game Changer New LoAn Outrider
    Most of the fleet was anchored up so we drifted between them for nada. New LoAn decides to leave the Tanner Party so we do the same and run to the 300’-600’ ledge and start marking tuna. We set out helium balloons rigged with flying fish and we instantly get a teaser blowup 20’ from the boat. Next balloon launches and another teaser blowup next to the boat for nada. Our adrenaline subsides even though we know we’re in the zone so we decide to run a little north of our first drift and we start marking again. Out goes the balloons and Wendell gets blown up again and again and a massive swirl sucks the flying fish under water but no love and no hookset. Aaron retrieves his balloon and flying fish closer to the action and on the second blowup his indicator tape and helium balloon crash into the water as he winds down like a madman until the line tightens and its game on. Troy runs the boat perfectly to keep Aaron in fighting position while Wendell and I are on gaff duty. 20 minutes later we’re at color and I take a swing and miss the first gaff shot. Fortunately Wendell set the gaff deep on the second shot, I set the second gaff and we have our first 110#er on our private boat! Aaron quickly spikes, gills and guts our BFT. Then ceremoniously Aaron and Troy take a bite out of the heart and the deed is official. As we’re celebrating and higher than our kites, we see the Spotter Plane circle not 1X but 6X in an area about 1/4 mile from our drift. We know from a past experience mistake that he’s signaling and telling us that there was a school just ahead. We move quickly to the center of the planes circle trolling our helium balloons and both ff get instantly bit with two massive blow ups. Both balloons crash into the water. A Double! Unfortunately one of the lines braid sliced through a 300# crimped leader hookset like a hot knife through butter. It actually left black burn marks on the 300# Fluoro Seaguar. Then the other hookset was missed by a common mistake and habit, instead of winding down to tight lines it was lifted out of a hookset by our BFT rookie buddy. Non-bluefin habits are hard to overcome in the heat of battle even when you’ve been told what to do. Experience is our best teacher. In our 1 hour of Glory:
    Wendell 5 Blowups 0 BFT
    Aaron 3 Blowups 1 BFT 110#er
    Troy 1 Blowup 0 BFT
    Danny, me, got to witness and be a part of 9 Incredible Blowups. My turn on the next adventure.
    Last 8 miles back to Avalon we’re running through a wall of fog with just a 100 yards of visibility then to 50’ of visibility at 27 mph. Running on radar just like running in the dark. Thank God for radar.
    Left the tuna grounds in perfect timing. Swells around the CAT corner turned nautical. Our 80cf Helium Tank was empty but we were glowing inside and outside the whole 60-70 mile run back to Avalon. I’m still glowing 6-7 days after being on land. Still pumped up that night we try hooping til midnight and get 1 legal lobster after working two sets. Time for zzz…
    Day 7
    Weather and wind too severe for our 27’er on the offshore grounds so we shift gears. YFT seiners working the CAT Channel hard and heard several reports of PB’ers seeing 100#ers in their nets.
    33 22 119 04
    Osborn Bank
    40+ miles
    Porpoise schools flip flopping
    Birds working
    SBI Rockcodding limits
    First time I’ve ever seen a Descender! 90%+ of the bottom fish caught we returned safely back to their home.
    Moored in the SBI lee side.
    Day 8
    SBI
    Rockcodding
    Bonito Foamers put on a show at the 14 Mile Bank.
    Back to land and reality.
    Here’s what I learned:
    1. BE THERE. 8 days seems like a long time to be on the water but when you’re living and surviving the moment, time simply disappears like a drop of water in the ocean.
    2. The most important piece of equipment on the boat is a toilet seat and a 5 gallon bucket especially if Montezuma strikes for 3 days. Silver lining is that I lost 5 pounds for 2 reasons. One makes sense but who’d a thunk playing hide-n-seek with tuna and trying to think like a fish would burn so many calories.
    3. Being a captain and finding fish is much tougher than being an angler and landing them. I have a much deeper appreciation and respect for the disciplined and dedicated salty ones now.
    4. Real time data and intel is necessary in locating the bluefin zone consistently and constantly. It helps to have friends in the game.
    5. Gaffing is a skill. It’s more like sawing wood as opposed to chopping it. Sliding the gaff over or under the neck area then pulling and slicing back smoothly sets the gaff. Chopping doesn’t.
    6. A sense of urgency is critical if you’re 1 or 8 days on the water. That means keying in on the primary zones and not searching every inch of dead water hoping for a miracle. I’ll be much more positive the next time the Captain yells, “reel up!” When you’re in the zone, you can feel the energy in the water.
    7. Radar is not an option offshore, it’s a necessity. Mastering the function and running through the fog and dark like the Daredevil is crucial if you want to make it home. Aaron crushed every danger we faced flying 25-30mph in his Cat.
    8. Unforgettable, 1 out of 9 blowups, 1 fish, 1 memory and moment in 1 hour of Glory and 8 Days at Sea.
    9. You don’t have to win the NBA championship or World Series to hug your friends.
    10. He is good. Something I’m blessed to keep learning…

    View attachment 1217738
    Wow......8 days at sea....you gentlemen are monsters!!!! Congrats on the nice fish and thanks for the awesome report.

    Scott
     
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    dtfisherman

    GONE FISHING
    Nov 9, 2015
    241
    738
    San Juan Capistrano
    Name
    Danny
    Boat
    None
    Epic story and that’s great you guys caught a fish but bro.... I can see open flames about three feet from two gas cans. Come on man...
    Arigato. After 12-18 hour days, adrift offshore for days and surrounded by an endless sea aka fire extinguisher, on a 27' piece of wood, we we're simply beat and hungry. We couldn't see any flames three feet from three, not two, heavy duty gas cans. Come on man...
    Ps The date of the picture is 10.17.2020 at 10:56PM, those three gas containers were empty then. They weren't the previous nights though...
    Pss We averted another potential serious disaster at the fueling station. The rod holder flush mounts opening looks just like the gas cap sealed opening. One of us unknowingly had the fuel dispenser placed perfectly into the flush mount and was ready to start the pump, fortunately the attendant had seen this scene played out before and stopped our friend just in the nick of time. Could've been a very costly mistake...The attendant got a nice "Thank You" tip and I'll end this borrowing a fitting line from a scene in Mulan, we're "One Lucky Bug!"
    Psss Thanks for the concern.
     
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    stormwater

    Almost A Member
    Sep 3, 2009
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    Malibu/CA/USA
    Name
    Red
    Boat
    9' Inflatable
    Arigato. After 12-18 hour days, adrift offshore for days and surrounded by an endless sea aka fire extinguisher, on a 27' piece of wood, we we're simply beat and hungry. We couldn't see any flames three feet from three, not two, heavy duty gas cans. Come on man...
    Ps The date of the picture is 10.17.2020 at 10:56PM, those three gas containers were empty then. They weren't the previous nights though...
    Pss We averted another potential serious disaster at the fueling station. The rod holder flush mounts opening looks just like the gas cap sealed opening. One of us unknowingly had the fuel dispenser placed perfectly into the flush mount and was ready to start the pump, fortunately the attendant had seen this scene played out before and stopped our friend just in the nick of time. Could've been a very costly mistake...The attendant got a nice "Thank You" tip and I'll end this borrowing a fitting line from a scene in Mulan, we're "One Lucky Bug!"
    Psss Thanks for the concern.
    Just looking out man. Otherwise my hats off to you guys. That type of trip is rad and that level dedication is rare. Good stuff
     
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    twotrack

    habitual scopolamine abuser
    Dec 14, 2011
    456
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    San Clemente
    Name
    Scott
    Boat
    Sin Barco
    Great story. Re: Loparemide (shits med), props to the medic. For us squares, we can buy Lomotil in any Mexican pharmacy. Immodium is junk. Keep it in your dopp kit. A real bacon saver.
     
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    Ali

    Master of Nothing
    Admin
    Apr 24, 2003
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    That Guy
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    SeaVee 340Z
    Cool write up. Made me appreciate when they come easy on our boat.
     
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    dtfisherman

    GONE FISHING
    Nov 9, 2015
    241
    738
    San Juan Capistrano
    Name
    Danny
    Boat
    None
    Great story. Re: Loparemide (shits med), props to the medic. For us squares, we can buy Lomotil in any Mexican pharmacy. Immodium is junk. Keep it in your dopp kit. A real bacon saver.
    I was ready to take the Catalina Express home and wish my friends luck but amazingly the loparemide kicked in immediately like a miracle cure. And almost like Lazarus, I was back from the depths and ready to rock after one last residual deposit. Yes, bacon and butt super saver!
     
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    dtfisherman

    GONE FISHING
    Nov 9, 2015
    241
    738
    San Juan Capistrano
    Name
    Danny
    Boat
    None
    Have you ever done a pb trip like that on a mono-hull? My wife and I are looking to get a bigger (28-32ft) cat and are hopeful that the cat just makes things like offshore better in all ways.
    No, I have not.
    I suggest you contact Billy K regarding the 28-32’ cat. I heard that he’s recently acquired one and is known to fish hard. My friend, Aaron, dream boat is a bit bigger cat, than the one he has now. He lives and fishes in Oregon where 5’-6’ swells and 8 sec intervals is a beautiful day on the water.
    My instinct is that your instinct is right!
     
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    Fish Market

    Newbie
    May 6, 2005
    59
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    Newport Beach
    Name
    Frank
    Boat
    Radovcich
    Thanks for the write up. Super entertaining. Glad the trip turned out well. I like to do about 10 kts when traveling at night for safety of everyone onboard.
     
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    PharmDoc

    Master of MyTunaverse
    Aug 27, 2012
    166
    187
    Albany/OR/USA
    Name
    Aaron
    Boat
    World Cat 270EC: The Millennium Flounder
    Nice write up Danny. The next one will be many more great memories.
    Lots of things to learn and the best way is to get out and do it!
    I’ve been driving my boats using instruments for years and I would never tell someone else how to run their boat. I’m extremely comfortable running in the dark and fog; as it’s a daily thing in the North Pacific. Getting good with ones electronics involves a continued commitment to using them daily. Observing the radar screen and its display at a variety of zoom levels, settings, and conditions is paramount to feeling comfortable with them when they’re all you have.
    There is always a chance of striking an object regardless of speed and visibility. The most likely objects are either submerged or partially so, and almost everyone I know has hit one at one time or another, often with no perceivable damage. Nobody I know has ever had a major collision with another boater or obstruction however.
    I run my boat how I’ve grown accustomed to, and my crew and I arrive at port safely every time. The concerns are appreciated, but I know my instruments well, and feel very safe using them. Imo, there are likely more accidents during the daytime from skippers not paying attention than at night when entirely focused in on both what’s going on around you in the actual visual field and also on the data from today’s instruments.
    Tight lines and happy Tuna hunting!
     
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    Azarkon

    I Should Upgrade My Account
    Aug 28, 2015
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    Joe
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    Awesome story and glad you guys connected.

    But how do you sleep on a world cat? Aren’t they center / dual consoles?
     
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    dtfisherman

    GONE FISHING
    Nov 9, 2015
    241
    738
    San Juan Capistrano
    Name
    Danny
    Boat
    None
    Awesome story and glad you guys connected.

    But how do you sleep on a world cat? Aren’t they center / dual consoles?
    You sleep like a rock! Cats actually have more room in their cabins than the mono-hull counterparts. The only problem sleeping is wondering if you can wait til morning or can't to pee. For me, it was tinkle, tinkle little star...
     
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    dtfisherman

    GONE FISHING
    Nov 9, 2015
    241
    738
    San Juan Capistrano
    Name
    Danny
    Boat
    None
    8 Days and 1 Hour at Sea
    October 11-18, 2020
    Day One
    Aaron and Troy make the 14 hour, 4 tire burning (needed 4 new tires to go home), 1000+ mile run down from Oregon to Dana Point, towing his World Cat 270EC Catamaran named the Millennium Flounder.
    Load Up: food, gear, gas, ice 20 bags of 20# crushed and 20 bags of 10# block. 600#’s of ice
    We make the run to Avalon around 4PM from DP Harbor.
    While docking we find a mysterious cabin water leak, listing us about 5° to the port side.
    After 3 hours of trial and error the plumbing problem was solved by changing valve shut off switch direction 90°. The seacock valve was plumbed previously incorrectly.
    A nearly trip ending disaster averted. Leaky boat no good.
    Wendell’s homemade tasty pork ribs, rice and sesame dressing drizzled salad for dinner.
    Lights out at midnight
    Day Two
    32 33 119 05
    Left Avalon a bit late. Around 1PM. Gearing up took a little longer than expected. Every rocket launcher on top of the cabin was filled. All 32 of them.
    40+ mile run to Tanner
    Royal Star, Vagabond, Searcher and one more long ranger hanging with us on the bank.
    On the way to the tuna grounds, around the 9, we played with bonito foamers for an hour. One 8-10#er landed on a stickbait.Wishing they were bft foamers…
    To warm up our arms and gear, we drop some iron for a nice Ling, sheephead, whitefish, some reds and too many to count bocaccio’s on the 150’ high spot.
    Warmed up, we get back to the BFT chase. Worked the ledges and drop-offs for no marks. Eventually we run into the big tuna fleet around 5PM, southwest of where they they’ve been working the past few days.
    We kite trolled a Flying fish from sunset to dark. Around 8PM, called it a day.
    12 hour day. Pooped.
    Slept just west of Tanner in 5’-6’ rocking swells among 4 long rangers. Troy’s the only person I know that can slide back and forth outside on a cot all night long like a pinball on a pendulum and still be sound asleep and snoring the whole time too. He’d do the toe test and wake up periodically to make sure we weren’t sinking and that the scuppers weren’t clogged up. He also was the only smart one that slept with a life vest attached to his waist.
    Day 3
    Moved back to Tanner Bank with the Polaris Supreme, RP, Vagabond and Pacific Voyager.
    8 hours of trolling and drifting the flying fish for nada. BFT No Show.
    Polaris Supreme on the 20-30#ers with live bait.
    At 6PM, we called it a day and ran the 60+ mile run back to Avalon for rest and refueling. Took about 2.5 hours with Aaron ripping through the dark on radar at 25-28 mph. Got a little beat up even though the Millennium Flounder was super smooth through the dark. I was outside the cabin and it felt kinda like riding on the back of a motorcycle on the freeway unaware you’re completely worn out.
    Gas $7 per gallon here, ouch.
    Dinner tasty burgers.
    Hand frozen and toes too so r&r time.
    Day Four
    Refuel
    129 gallons $920
    Time to get serious
    Used our own intel and made a call to fish the temp break at Osborn. We looked like geniuses at the start as we moved from 74° to 68.8° 7-8 miles below Osborn. Unexpectedly and unfortunately the temp break was just a small pocket that vanished as we approached the western edge of Osborn and 72° water again. We had made a 40+ mile run for nada so we headed back to where the fleet had been the past few days, on and outside the west end of Tanner. We passed the Pacifica just south of Osborn so they must’ve been fishing that break quietly and successfully for a few days before the change. Around 5:30PM we thought we hit the jackpot because New LoAn, Endeavor, Top Gun 80 and several others were all around us. We were finally in the zone and trolled fresh frozen flying fish until dark. Everything looked perfect but no blowups or biters today. Slept on the boat with 6 Sporties all around us.
    Dinner was reelyricious ribeyes.
    First time I ever saw a red star, Mars at night.
    It was Lake Tanner til early morning then even us in the cabin were rocking back and forth the rest of the night. Began wondering if the four of us were really sane or nuts being on a 27’er, 5’-7’ swells, in the middle of the ocean...
    Day 5
    Woke up at 6AM to a Houdini Show. All 6 boats that were around us disappeared into the morning fog. We fished from 6AM to 7:00PM for a repeat of no BFT yet. Being a captain and finding fish not as easy as it looks. Didn’t want to admit it but by the third day of having the runs and almost embarrassingly exploding, I let the boys know my secret. Fortunately Troy is a PCU/ICU nurse when he’s not fishing. He had a pharmacy in his carry-on . After a couple doses of Loparamide I can say “He saved my butt!”
    Dinner was delicious pasta and meatballs in a marinara sauce.
    Sleeping on glassy Lake Tanner tonight.
    Day 6
    Drifted 4.4 miles at night. 9 hours. .5 mile per hour
    We worked the bank again alone and around 3PM we run into the fleet again.
    32 41 119 08
    Intrepid Thunderbird Freedom Navegante Pacific Islander Game Changer New LoAn Outrider
    Most of the fleet was anchored up so we drifted between them for nada. New LoAn decides to leave the Tanner Party so we do the same and run to the 300’-600’ ledge and start marking tuna. We set out helium balloons rigged with flying fish and we instantly get a teaser blowup 20’ from the boat. Next balloon launches and another teaser blowup next to the boat for nada. Our adrenaline subsides even though we know we’re in the zone so we decide to run a little north of our first drift and we start marking again. Out goes the balloons and Wendell gets blown up again and again and a massive swirl sucks the flying fish under water but no love and no hookset. Aaron retrieves his balloon and flying fish closer to the action and on the second blowup his indicator tape and helium balloon crash into the water as he winds down like a madman until the line tightens and its game on. Troy runs the boat perfectly to keep Aaron in fighting position while Wendell and I are on gaff duty. 20 minutes later we’re at color and I take a swing and miss the first gaff shot. Fortunately Wendell set the gaff deep on the second shot, I set the second gaff and we have our first 110#er on our private boat! Aaron quickly spikes, gills and guts our BFT. Then ceremoniously Aaron and Troy take a bite out of the heart and the deed is official. As we’re celebrating and higher than our kites, we see the Spotter Plane circle not 1X but 6X in an area about 1/4 mile from our drift. We know from a past experience mistake that he’s signaling and telling us that there was a school just ahead. We move quickly to the center of the planes circle trolling our helium balloons and both ff get instantly bit with two massive blow ups. Both balloons crash into the water. A Double! Unfortunately one of the lines braid sliced through a 300# crimped leader hookset like a hot knife through butter. It actually left black burn marks on the 300# Fluoro Seaguar. Then the other hookset was missed by a common mistake and habit, instead of winding down to tight lines it was lifted out of a hookset by our BFT rookie buddy. Non-bluefin habits are hard to overcome in the heat of battle even when you’ve been told what to do. Experience is our best teacher. In our 1 hour of Glory:
    Wendell 5 Blowups 0 BFT
    Aaron 3 Blowups 1 BFT 110#er
    Troy 1 Blowup 0 BFT
    Danny, me, got to witness and be a part of 9 Incredible Blowups. My turn on the next adventure.
    Last 8 miles back to Avalon we’re running through a wall of fog with just a 100 yards of visibility then to 50’ of visibility at 27 mph. Running on radar just like running in the dark. Thank God for radar.
    Left the tuna grounds in perfect timing. Swells around the CAT corner turned nautical. Our 80cf Helium Tank was empty but we were glowing inside and outside the whole 60-70 mile run back to Avalon. I’m still glowing 6-7 days after being on land. Still pumped up that night we try hooping til midnight and get 1 legal lobster after working two sets. Time for zzz…
    Day 7
    Weather and wind too severe for our 27’er on the offshore grounds so we shift gears. YFT seiners working the CAT Channel hard and heard several reports of PB’ers seeing 100#ers in their nets.
    33 22 119 04
    Osborn Bank
    40+ miles
    Porpoise schools flip flopping
    Birds working
    SBI Rockcodding limits
    First time I’ve ever seen a Descender! 90%+ of the bottom fish caught we returned safely back to their home.
    Moored in the SBI lee side.
    Day 8
    SBI
    Rockcodding
    Bonito Foamers put on a show at the 14 Mile Bank.
    Back to land and reality.
    Here’s what I learned:
    1. BE THERE. 8 days seems like a long time to be on the water but when you’re living and surviving the moment, time simply disappears like a drop of water in the ocean.
    2. The most important piece of equipment on the boat is a toilet seat and a 5 gallon bucket especially if Montezuma strikes for 3 days. Silver lining is that I lost 5 pounds for 2 reasons. One makes sense but who’d a thunk playing hide-n-seek with tuna and trying to think like a fish would burn so many calories.
    3. Being a captain and finding fish is much tougher than being an angler and landing them. I have a much deeper appreciation and respect for the disciplined and dedicated salty ones now.
    4. Real time data and intel is necessary in locating the bluefin zone consistently and constantly. It helps to have friends in the game.
    5. Gaffing is a skill. It’s more like sawing wood as opposed to chopping it. Sliding the gaff over or under the neck area then pulling and slicing back smoothly sets the gaff. Chopping doesn’t.
    6. A sense of urgency is critical if you’re 1 or 8 days on the water. That means keying in on the primary zones and not searching every inch of dead water hoping for a miracle. I’ll be much more positive the next time the Captain yells, “reel up!” When you’re in the zone, you can feel the energy in the water.
    7. Radar is not an option offshore, it’s a necessity. Mastering the function and running through the fog and dark like the Daredevil is crucial if you want to make it home. Aaron crushed every danger we faced flying 25-30mph in his Cat.
    8. Unforgettable, 1 out of 9 blowups, 1 fish, 1 memory and moment in 1 hour of Glory and 8 Days at Sea.
    9. You don’t have to win the NBA championship or World Series to hug your friends.
    10. He is good. Something I’m blessed to keep learning…

    View attachment 1217738

    Here's Aaron's indomitable will to fly a flying fish and our first hook up.
    8 Days and 1 Hour at Sea
    October 11-18, 2020
    Day One
    Aaron and Troy make the 14 hour, 4 tire burning (needed 4 new tires to go home), 1000+ mile run down from Oregon to Dana Point, towing his World Cat 270EC Catamaran named the Millennium Flounder.
    Load Up: food, gear, gas, ice 20 bags of 20# crushed and 20 bags of 10# block. 600#’s of ice
    We make the run to Avalon around 4PM from DP Harbor.
    While docking we find a mysterious cabin water leak, listing us about 5° to the port side.
    After 3 hours of trial and error the plumbing problem was solved by changing valve shut off switch direction 90°. The seacock valve was plumbed previously incorrectly.
    A nearly trip ending disaster averted. Leaky boat no good.
    Wendell’s homemade tasty pork ribs, rice and sesame dressing drizzled salad for dinner.
    Lights out at midnight
    Day Two
    32 33 119 05
    Left Avalon a bit late. Around 1PM. Gearing up took a little longer than expected. Every rocket launcher on top of the cabin was filled. All 32 of them.
    40+ mile run to Tanner
    Royal Star, Vagabond, Searcher and one more long ranger hanging with us on the bank.
    On the way to the tuna grounds, around the 9, we played with bonito foamers for an hour. One 8-10#er landed on a stickbait.Wishing they were bft foamers…
    To warm up our arms and gear, we drop some iron for a nice Ling, sheephead, whitefish, some reds and too many to count bocaccio’s on the 150’ high spot.
    Warmed up, we get back to the BFT chase. Worked the ledges and drop-offs for no marks. Eventually we run into the big tuna fleet around 5PM, southwest of where they they’ve been working the past few days.
    We kite trolled a Flying fish from sunset to dark. Around 8PM, called it a day.
    12 hour day. Pooped.
    Slept just west of Tanner in 5’-6’ rocking swells among 4 long rangers. Troy’s the only person I know that can slide back and forth outside on a cot all night long like a pinball on a pendulum and still be sound asleep and snoring the whole time too. He’d do the toe test and wake up periodically to make sure we weren’t sinking and that the scuppers weren’t clogged up. He also was the only smart one that slept with a life vest attached to his waist.
    Day 3
    Moved back to Tanner Bank with the Polaris Supreme, RP, Vagabond and Pacific Voyager.
    8 hours of trolling and drifting the flying fish for nada. BFT No Show.
    Polaris Supreme on the 20-30#ers with live bait.
    At 6PM, we called it a day and ran the 60+ mile run back to Avalon for rest and refueling. Took about 2.5 hours with Aaron ripping through the dark on radar at 25-28 mph. Got a little beat up even though the Millennium Flounder was super smooth through the dark. I was outside the cabin and it felt kinda like riding on the back of a motorcycle on the freeway unaware you’re completely worn out.
    Gas $7 per gallon here, ouch.
    Dinner tasty burgers.
    Hand frozen and toes too so r&r time.
    Day Four
    Refuel
    129 gallons $920
    Time to get serious
    Used our own intel and made a call to fish the temp break at Osborn. We looked like geniuses at the start as we moved from 74° to 68.8° 7-8 miles below Osborn. Unexpectedly and unfortunately the temp break was just a small pocket that vanished as we approached the western edge of Osborn and 72° water again. We had made a 40+ mile run for nada so we headed back to where the fleet had been the past few days, on and outside the west end of Tanner. We passed the Pacifica just south of Osborn so they must’ve been fishing that break quietly and successfully for a few days before the change. Around 5:30PM we thought we hit the jackpot because New LoAn, Endeavor, Top Gun 80 and several others were all around us. We were finally in the zone and trolled fresh frozen flying fish until dark. Everything looked perfect but no blowups or biters today. Slept on the boat with 6 Sporties all around us.
    Dinner was reelyricious ribeyes.
    First time I ever saw a red star, Mars at night.
    It was Lake Tanner til early morning then even us in the cabin were rocking back and forth the rest of the night. Began wondering if the four of us were really sane or nuts being on a 27’er, 5’-7’ swells, in the middle of the ocean...
    Day 5
    Woke up at 6AM to a Houdini Show. All 6 boats that were around us disappeared into the morning fog. We fished from 6AM to 7:00PM for a repeat of no BFT yet. Being a captain and finding fish not as easy as it looks. Didn’t want to admit it but by the third day of having the runs and almost embarrassingly exploding, I let the boys know my secret. Fortunately Troy is a PCU/ICU nurse when he’s not fishing. He had a pharmacy in his carry-on . After a couple doses of Loparamide I can say “He saved my butt!”
    Dinner was delicious pasta and meatballs in a marinara sauce.
    Sleeping on glassy Lake Tanner tonight.
    Day 6
    Drifted 4.4 miles at night. 9 hours. .5 mile per hour
    We worked the bank again alone and around 3PM we run into the fleet again.
    32 41 119 08
    Intrepid Thunderbird Freedom Navegante Pacific Islander Game Changer New LoAn Outrider
    Most of the fleet was anchored up so we drifted between them for nada. New LoAn decides to leave the Tanner Party so we do the same and run to the 300’-600’ ledge and start marking tuna. We set out helium balloons rigged with flying fish and we instantly get a teaser blowup 20’ from the boat. Next balloon launches and another teaser blowup next to the boat for nada. Our adrenaline subsides even though we know we’re in the zone so we decide to run a little north of our first drift and we start marking again. Out goes the balloons and Wendell gets blown up again and again and a massive swirl sucks the flying fish under water but no love and no hookset. Aaron retrieves his balloon and flying fish closer to the action and on the second blowup his indicator tape and helium balloon crash into the water as he winds down like a madman until the line tightens and its game on. Troy runs the boat perfectly to keep Aaron in fighting position while Wendell and I are on gaff duty. 20 minutes later we’re at color and I take a swing and miss the first gaff shot. Fortunately Wendell set the gaff deep on the second shot, I set the second gaff and we have our first 110#er on our private boat! Aaron quickly spikes, gills and guts our BFT. Then ceremoniously Aaron and Troy take a bite out of the heart and the deed is official. As we’re celebrating and higher than our kites, we see the Spotter Plane circle not 1X but 6X in an area about 1/4 mile from our drift. We know from a past experience mistake that he’s signaling and telling us that there was a school just ahead. We move quickly to the center of the planes circle trolling our helium balloons and both ff get instantly bit with two massive blow ups. Both balloons crash into the water. A Double! Unfortunately one of the lines braid sliced through a 300# crimped leader hookset like a hot knife through butter. It actually left black burn marks on the 300# Fluoro Seaguar. Then the other hookset was missed by a common mistake and habit, instead of winding down to tight lines it was lifted out of a hookset by our BFT rookie buddy. Non-bluefin habits are hard to overcome in the heat of battle even when you’ve been told what to do. Experience is our best teacher. In our 1 hour of Glory:
    Wendell 5 Blowups 0 BFT
    Aaron 3 Blowups 1 BFT 110#er
    Troy 1 Blowup 0 BFT
    Danny, me, got to witness and be a part of 9 Incredible Blowups. My turn on the next adventure.
    Last 8 miles back to Avalon we’re running through a wall of fog with just a 100 yards of visibility then to 50’ of visibility at 27 mph. Running on radar just like running in the dark. Thank God for radar.
    Left the tuna grounds in perfect timing. Swells around the CAT corner turned nautical. Our 80cf Helium Tank was empty but we were glowing inside and outside the whole 60-70 mile run back to Avalon. I’m still glowing 6-7 days after being on land. Still pumped up that night we try hooping til midnight and get 1 legal lobster after working two sets. Time for zzz…
    Day 7
    Weather and wind too severe for our 27’er on the offshore grounds so we shift gears. YFT seiners working the CAT Channel hard and heard several reports of PB’ers seeing 100#ers in their nets.
    33 22 119 04
    Osborn Bank
    40+ miles
    Porpoise schools flip flopping
    Birds working
    SBI Rockcodding limits
    First time I’ve ever seen a Descender! 90%+ of the bottom fish caught we returned safely back to their home.
    Moored in the SBI lee side.
    Day 8
    SBI
    Rockcodding
    Bonito Foamers put on a show at the 14 Mile Bank.
    Back to land and reality.
    Here’s what I learned:
    1. BE THERE. 8 days seems like a long time to be on the water but when you’re living and surviving the moment, time simply disappears like a drop of water in the ocean.
    2. The most important piece of equipment on the boat is a toilet seat and a 5 gallon bucket especially if Montezuma strikes for 3 days. Silver lining is that I lost 5 pounds for 2 reasons. One makes sense but who’d a thunk playing hide-n-seek with tuna and trying to think like a fish would burn so many calories.
    3. Being a captain and finding fish is much tougher than being an angler and landing them. I have a much deeper appreciation and respect for the disciplined and dedicated salty ones now.
    4. Real time data and intel is necessary in locating the bluefin zone consistently and constantly. It helps to have friends in the game.
    5. Gaffing is a skill. It’s more like sawing wood as opposed to chopping it. Sliding the gaff over or under the neck area then pulling and slicing back smoothly sets the gaff. Chopping doesn’t.
    6. A sense of urgency is critical if you’re 1 or 8 days on the water. That means keying in on the primary zones and not searching every inch of dead water hoping for a miracle. I’ll be much more positive the next time the Captain yells, “reel up!” When you’re in the zone, you can feel the energy in the water.
    7. Radar is not an option offshore, it’s a necessity. Mastering the function and running through the fog and dark like the Daredevil is crucial if you want to make it home. Aaron crushed every danger we faced flying 25-30mph in his Cat.
    8. Unforgettable, 1 out of 9 blowups, 1 fish, 1 memory and moment in 1 hour of Glory and 8 Days at Sea.
    9. You don’t have to win the NBA championship or World Series to hug your friends.
    10. He is good. Something I’m blessed to keep learning…

    View attachment 1217738
    Have a few more videos but unable to link them so far. Here's one called, No Shame Begging for a BFT Bite
     
    Upvote 0

    Tunahead

    Long Time Tuna Abused Member
  • Aug 11, 2006
    11,857
    5,498
    Costa Mesa
    Name
    Ron
    Boat
    several
    AWESOME REPORT and pics...GREAT READ!!
    Glad you guys got out in the game, and some fish
    Lot of good Intel there as well. GOOD JOB. LOL
     
    Upvote 0