Offshore 9/4-6/21 w/ Bight Sportfishing

rmmeyeriv

Member
Sep 12, 2017
39
94
35
Seattle
Name
Mike
Boat
Raider 208
My third year and fourth trip with Bight, all but the first one in 2019 with Wes Pierson. He's a hard working captain who wants to catch fish at least as much as any client does, and he's really good at it. This year we booked three consecutive days on one of their 2820s, Saturday to Monday of Labor Day weekend, with my dad and I as well as my buddy Haris. Our plan was going to be anchoring at Clemente overnight at least the first night and focusing on the big bluefin, with a day of swordfish if we got the tuna early.... but Mother Nature had other plans for us.

We left Los Alamitos at 8am Saturday, and right as we passed the south end of Catalina the wind and chop made it clear that the run to Clemente was going to suck, let alone to Tanner or Cortes where the big fish had been. We decided to turn back in to the island and bounced around a few spots fishing yellows and calicos and did ok on that. Later in the afternoon we decided to make a sword drift and headed out to deeper water. Right as we stopped the engines the wind really started picking up and the chop got pretty annoying. We were drifting over three knots and it was across/almost against the current making a sword drift painful, maybe impossible. We decided to pull back in the island and hit one last spot, and had a wide open bite on calicos at sunset which was awesome. We released those fish and went in to Avalon for dinner and spent the night on a mooring buoy.

The next morning we headed out for a full day of sword fishing, the wind was a lot better around Catalina than the day before but still not great, and the forecast at Clemente and beyond was just as bad as the day before, maybe a little bit worse. Wes worked hard, we made around 6 or 7 drifts in a few different spots, we found pretty good bait in some of them including both surface bait and DSL, but no bites unfortunately. Wes and I both hallucinated a bite on the tip rod, and my buddy and I hallucinated the buoy laying down once but Wes showed us a picture on his phone of what a buoy bite actually looks like and we were clearly wrong hahaha. My dad said he doesn't get what we see in swordfishing and got about five hours of napping haha. We called it at sundown and pulled back in to Avalon for some dinner and got a mooring buoy again, with optimistic thoughts for the morning with a great forecast all day from the coast clear out to Tanner/Cortes and beyond.

We woke up early Monday and made the long run out past Clemente, stopping once to check out some surface sign but it was small fish, bonito or something like that. We arrived in the zone mid-morning and started marking schools, but couldn't get bites off them. There was basically zero wind at this point, so we were fishing one flyer off a balloon and one backpack rig. At 1145 my buddy says "don't worry guys it's going to be an afternoon bite," and 17min later go figure we run over a nice set of marks, send out the balloon bait, and before I can even get the backpack rig out the balloon gets smoked! The fish made a blistering run right at the boat and Haris could barely keep up with it. Between that and a year of cobwebs since last fighting one of these large grade tuna, there was a little bit of a flail with me having to reach down and push the actual line down and away from the boat until Haris could get himself moved up to the rail and into the corner where he needed to be lol. When we got that sorted we decided the safest move was to follow the fish round to the other side instead of turning the boat because the spectra was so close to the motors at that point. I climbed onto the swim step and swung the rod around the motors and handed it back to Haris waiting on the starboard side. He settled in on the rail and brought the fish up pretty quickly, but this one was squirrelly and right as Haris got him to color he raced up to the surface and behind the motors. Haris had to follow him around the motors again, but this time it was easy because the fish was up high and 40-50' back so the line cleared them with no need to go onto the swim step. Haris settled in back in the port rear corner and brought the fish up, but again this fish wasn't on board with the routine and right at the end he raced to the surface again back toward the motors and actually JUMPED!!! No kidding, jumped, everything but the tail out of the water, not that thing where a beaten fish comes a little out of the water when you get their head to the surface and turn them to pull them to gaff. A legit jump I swear, Wes said he'd never seen one do that before, Haris had a GoPro but it was in one of those chest harness things and all you can see is the rod and reel, but I swear it happened. Anyway, after this the fish settled back into the usual circles and Haris brought him up to gaff in another minute or so. This one was 149 gilled/gutted, about 165 live. Picture:


We got back on the hunt, and at this point the wind had picked up enough to fly a kite so we got that out and we were driving around with our bait deployed and ready, cruising around 50' above the water. The fish also came up higher, and we started seeing breezers. We dropped the bait on the first freezer we saw, no biters though, and Wes thought they looked smaller grade. We kept moving around and at 2pm we dropped the bait in front of a nice breezer but they changed direction. We picked it up and got back in front of them and set it down, and this time they cooperated. As soon as the breezer moved under the bait it got smashed and the indicator was down! I wound up tight to that one, another blistering run at the boat that I could hardly keep up with. Once we were solidly tight on that one, with it straight down, Wes turned the boat so it was upwind of us. I got the rod back into the holder and my dad got to cranking on it. This fish fought more normally, just hard runs and some head shakes no weird direction changes and definitely no jumps. It took a bunch of line several times, definitely a bigger fish. When my dad got it close I pulled the rod out of the holder and went to hand it back to him but he said he didn't want to fight it off of the rail and deal with keeping the line off the hull during the circles so I finished it off for the last few minutes, and brought this beautiful fish to gaff. It went 200 gilled and gutted, about 220 live weight, and the best part is it's my dad's first BFT, and a cow! Lucky guy. Pictures:



We started looking around again and set the bait onto another breezer that didn't bite, as well as a couple more meter marks for no bites. As it was getting close to 4pm, when we'd decided we needed to start pulling everything in, we marked a few fish at around 50' so we dropped the bait. Right as we dropped it the meter went nuts, screen totally blocked out by a huge school. I turned from the MFD to look at the bait, and it got blown up. My dad was watching it through gyros, and he and Wes both say they think he missed it. Sure enough indicator doesn't drop. Wes says the fish pulled the bait under in his wake and tells Haris to take about 5 cranks. Right as the bait breaks the surface another blow up and the indicator drops down right away! Haris grinds this one in quick, 5-10min and brings it to gaff. 124 gilled/gutted, ~136 live. Picture:


It was around 4pm so we decided to call it a day, handed our kill bags, ice, and fish off to Jake who was out there in the same zone with the other boat from Bight since he was heading back in to Oceanside so the run for Cameron from Fast and Easy Fish Pickup would be shorter, and made the run back to Los Alamitos arriving just after dark. Thank you Wes, Jake, and Brandon from Bight for an incredible trip like always, and thanks to Cameron from Fast and Easy Fish Pickup and Five Star Fish Processing for taking such great care of our catch. Anyone reading this looking for their chance at these fish of a lifetime I highly recommend Bight, call or text Brandon to set up your trip at 949 212 0719. I'm not affiliated or anything just a loyal/happy customer.
 
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rmmeyeriv

Member
Sep 12, 2017
39
94
35
Seattle
Name
Mike
Boat
Raider 208
The pictures didn't load I'm not sure why, I tried to edit the post and add them and it didn't work again. Sorry, kind of lame without pictures, I'll try again later.

Nevermind I found a work around by inserting links to my google drive, I think they pics are displaying now someone please reply to this telling me if it isn't working.
 
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rmmeyeriv

Member
Sep 12, 2017
39
94
35
Seattle
Name
Mike
Boat
Raider 208
Nice job! Thanks for report, I am itching to get out there. Do you have pics of the "backpack rig"?
1631133627041.jpeg

This isn’t ours I pulled from another post on here, didn’t take pictures of the one Wes rigged. It’s basically a piece of black foam on the back of a flyer to keep it floating. Ours was similar to this one but only a single j hook on the head.
 
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rmmeyeriv

Member
Sep 12, 2017
39
94
35
Seattle
Name
Mike
Boat
Raider 208
Wes is the shit. We had a similar trip with him. Except on that bad ass freeman 8-)
Haha yes, that thing is nice. Jake was driving that so I got to see it up close when we transferred our fish over. The 2820 was nice for us this trip because it has a cabin for my dad to sleep in those two nights on the mooring buoy.
 
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