Offshore Amazing 1.5 on Fortune out of Fisherman's Landing


  • Aug 17, 2020
    San Diego
    Boat Name
    La Tortuga
    Had an incredible first trip of the year. I was scouting the forums and fish reports from the major landings in San Diego and saw a great string of successes with limits coming in just about every trip. My longest trip so far was last year on an overnight boat so I was incredibly excited for the opportunity to go further out in search of the large blue fin. So many decisions with boats going out but by the time the wife gave the OK the Fortune was about the only ride left and with a limited load (18) seemed like a great chance with less folks.
    How lucky am I, the Fortune turned out to be an absolute first rate boat with a very enthusiastic crew. We were a bit delayed on Friday night as a paying customer was running behind and the boat sat at the dock for about 45 minutes with every one loaded up and waiting for one more. This was quickly forgotten as we left the dock and were headed out into the darkness. Everyone rigged their outfits as the boat left, and I had my 100lb rental setup as well as a heavy duty spinning rod and a small Daiwa Sealine 40 for flyline during the day. I brought my new sleeping pad from REI and it really made a difference. I hit the rack as soon as the boat pulled away and got a good 5 plus hours of sleep as we headed down to Mexico.
    The captain (Jeff Walker) came over the loudspeaker about 12:30 at night to let everyone know he was dropping the sonar and was searching. Amazingly, almost all of the anglers were out on the deck and ready when we hit our first spot. The weather was pretty rough the entire trip and at 1am the seas were heavy but everyone was working together as the captain gave an update...."Large school at 180-250 feet and more down deep around 300'". Minutes later I could hear the first screams "hook up!" and "fish on", all of the sudden we had three to four people hooked up and soon had a nice grade of tuna coming over the rail. It was dark and fairly cool night for Ensenada and the seas were unrelenting - every few minutes a huge roller would come by and everyone would have their rod in one hand and holding on for dear life with the other hand!
    I was lucky and had 2 tuna on the boat within 2 hours of arrival. I had 200-250g flat falls and that is all I used for the night bite. I used a rental 100lb setup with 80lb braid to a 200lb leader that was custom made from Dana Landing. Last year was my first overnight trip and I learned a lot. I really felt the first two tuna I managed pretty well and really put the heat on them and fought them well. My first tuna was my smallest of the trip and I cranked him up to the boat pretty quickly. Unfortunately, there were a number of anglers on the back of the boat near the corner that continually let out hundreds of yards of line and did not move from their spot (did not follow their lines) which made for a holy mess. Of course my tuna after I got him close (and tired) went straight for the tangles! after the deck hands help, I still couldn't get untangled and eventually my line broke. Not wasting time, I immediately tied on another flat fall and went back to work. About 5 minutes later the cook Steve was yelling to ask if I had a white glow free fall, he had somehow taken all the tangled lines and brought my tuna to the boat by hand with the tangles!!! There was my $50 lure and a 50lb tuna to start the trip!
    My second tuna was almost as exciting as it got tangled on the prop and once again the deckhands came to the rescue. They worked with the tangles and prop and somehow again I landed a tuna that I thought was lost for sure. I was really pumped and after the second tuna hit the deck (around 70lbs) it was nearing daylight and the bite slowed a bit. I didn't have another bite the rest of the day and I fished really hard, never stopping except for one bathroom break and a quick breakfast burrito (thanks Steve).
    Fast forward a bunch of hours and Captain Jeff decided to get the kite out. I have never fished the kite before and was really excited to see the entire process unfold. Within 20 minutes of the kite flying we had our first hookup. There were a few younger (teenagers) anglers not he trip and 2 young guns were picked on the first strike. The made quick work and had a 180+ blue fin on the deck!!! As the afternoon went by, numbers were picked and the big tuna were coming over the rail about every 20-30 minutes. At times Captain Jeff would have one tuna on and already have the kite up again for the next lucky angler. Within 2 hours of the kite we had a good number of tuna over but my number had not been called. It was getting close to dark and I was staying positive, waiting with each number called out. Finally, as the light was fading they called my number "8". I was out on the deck and even got to see the tuna strike the yummy. It was a big blow up and soon the line was tight and the deckhands handed off the monster reel. I got down on my knees in the port side back corner and held on for dear life. After about 20 minutes of a fight, I was exhausted and one of the deckhands "cupcake" came over to tag team the beast to the boat. Within 45 minutes we worked the fish to the boat and 3 gaffs were stuck!!
    What an incredible trip! I will definitely be back aboard the Fortune out of Fisherman's Landing in San Diego. The crew was the best I've seen. Every single crew member (including Steve the cook) were not only working hard but truly excited to catch these beautiful fish. We did not stop until the absolute last second as Captain Jeff continued to work hard, even after boating some massive fish.
    Thank you to crew and captain of the Fortune! You guys really made for an incredible trip!

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    I've posted enough I should edit this section
  • Sep 8, 2017
    La Mirada/Whittier
    Boat Name
    Wanting a bigger boat
    Jeff is a close friend of mine, he never fails to exceed pasenger expectations. He is truly something else with that kite. When he ran the tomahawk and then the outrider, he would fly 3 kites and 2 balloons all at the same time and it worked and paid off. Glad you got a trip of a life time. Congrats!
    Upvote 0


    Almost A Member
  • Apr 7, 2018
    Boat Name
    Yes plz
    This report is awesome! I Will be on that boat 5/20 for an extended 1.5, I am very much looking forward to it, Thanks for the info and congrats on the beautiful fish.
    Upvote 0


    Jan 3, 2010
    Thousand Oaks
    Boat Name
    Well there you go now you are spoiled haha
    "every few minutes a huge roller would come by and everyone would have their rod in one hand and holding on for dear life with the other hand!"

    At least you got that kind of a trip out of the way and your next one should be better weather wise!

    Well done and thanks for the trip report.
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    Sep 14, 2017
    San Diego
    Boat Name
    Glad you had a fun trip! I got a trip on the Fortune coming up and was wondering for them do you pick bunks when you check in?
    Thanks for the insight. I will do as you say!
    Upvote 0
    You do get to pick your bunk, at least we did on this 1.5 day. Get there early, I was there at 3pm for 5pm depart and dropped my things off in the line behind the fortune sign, might be goodto ask what earliest is for load in. Parking in the lot is $10 a day and with every penny when you’re dragging your things back and forth.
    Upvote 0

    Steve K

    Hey, I'm gettin' bit...
    Jan 2, 2005
    Boat Name
    18' Bayrunner, but I like the American Angler and the Red Rooster III
    Pretty cool, welcome to big fish fishing!

    Surprised to see openings on the Fortune, half dozen open party trips.
    If you’re thinking about fishing, good time to grab a spot!
    Upvote 0