American Angler 8-day Oct. 1-9

scotth

Almost A Member
Feb 28, 2006
117
87
Forks, WA
Name
Scott Horton
Boat
21' - Silver Streak - Petrel
Three of us were roommates on this trip, myself from the northern Washington coast, friend Kevin from western Montana, and my brother Craig from LA. We were polled about the extra expenses for going to Guadalupe Island a while before the trip and then notified we would be going there a few days before the trip left. That was nice, I left my wahoo stuff at home and saved space/weight.

Day 1 - Departed Friday morning, already baited up, Captain Ray Lopez had us buy 2-day CA licenses because we were going after bluefin at Tanner Bank first. Ray was excited, he told us that the Pacific Queen was headed in to unload after their first day of a 3-day because they were full of jumbos, then they were coming back out for the rest of their trip! We got to the zone about 10:30 pm and started deep dropping, it was a bit breezy and choppy and it looked to me like we got about a dozen hookups, landing 4 including a 200+. Look at the reports on the AA website >> https://www.americananglersportfishing.com/reports.php << with some really nice pictures from the trip. It was clear that the good anglers were getting most of the bites. We worked at it til well after midnight but the action was early, then we anchored on Tanner Bank for the rest of the night.

Day 2 - We fished at anchor with 25 - 40# and small hooks for bluefin mostly 20 - 40# and a few yellowtail, maybe one plus around for the boat. There were lots of boats, sportfishers, private yachts and small boats - at least 50 or 60 scattered over several square miles. Then at dark we moved off the bank into the big fish zone. It was after dinner and many of us were resting below when Ray came on the PA, excited - get up here, they’re biting! All you had to do was drop down 200’ and you were hooked up. I think we landed 20, 120 - 200+ pounds. It was 45 minutes of controlled pandemonium, for a while there were 6 - 8 big fish on in a pile of anglers, deckhands, and Captain all jammed in the port bow - some of the lines even tangled with fish hooked up on the Pacific Voyager with which we ended up drifting too close. Plenty of other tangles and races around the boat but the crew is great and very few fish were lost to tangles or getting under the boat. My brother Craig and I used boat gear, Avet 50, Calstar 6465xh, 100# mono topshot to knife jig on heavy leader. That handled the 120# class fish we hooked very well but the leader broke on my brother’s fish at the gaff. Kevin’s fish dragged him up and down the port side, into and out of a tangle with the PV and the cluster at the bow, he was pulling hard for a long time with heavy gear and I thought for sure it was a giant fish but it turned into another 120# that was hooked perfectly in the butthole so he had to pull it in backwards. The big Mustad assist hook did it’s job. We left after that hot bite, we were rolling for Ensenada by 10:30 pm and the whole boat was buzzing. Ray told us that was one of the three best big fish bites he has experienced.
night bite 1.JPG

night bite 3.JPG


night bite 2.JPG


night bite 4.JPG


Day 3 - checked in at Ensenada and traveled to Guadalupe.

Day 4 - got to the island around 9 am and had the anchor down and fishing not long after that. Good fishing for yellowfin 35 - 75# and yellowtail 20 - 50# flylining sardines mostly on 40 and 50# with small hooks. Seemed like everyone caught at least one nice fish, some were on fire. Sharks were present but although they ate a few fish they were more exciting than a nuisance. As I remember, we stayed on anchor through the night there, 10 miles or so up the lee side of the island.
GI 1.JPG


Day 5 - started with a little pod of 10 - 15# dorado, then turned into a pretty hot yellowtail bite with yellowfin mixed in. We probably caught 50 nice yellows, they backed off but the tuna were still biting. I had an epic white shark taxation, the ~50# fish was 30’ down, dogging and I was doing my best in low with 40#, Fathom 25, CS 6480 - suddenly the fish came up and I knew it was running from the shark which bit the fish’s tail off, I cranked fast and the front half of the fish was at the surface, making a wake as I pulled it towards me - the shark came up behind it about 20’ away, just like the Jaws poster with its mouth open, big white teeth showing, you could see the red at the back of its throat - then it chomped down on the fish and took off while I thumbed down and broke it off - it thrashed the back half of its body and tail at the surface then. That got a rise out of the crowd. Later that day we were visited by a 25’ whale shark that swam peacefully right at the back of the boat. It was so close and slow that you could have petted it if we were lower to the water - awesome sight in the clear Guadalupe water. That night we moved down the island to Outer Rock and fished for bait, that went well.
G! 2.JPG

GI 3.JPG


Day 6 - after a quick look around we headed back up to our honey hole but it wasn’t happening there so we came back down to Outer Rock. Ray said this was the land of the 100-pounders so fish 80# if possible. It was possible to get bit on 80#, we ended up with over 20 big yellowfin and some yellows fishing on the anchor right next to the spectacular east wall of the rock. There were no white sharks.
GI 5.JPG

We spent the night right there. In the morning we gave the tuna guts and some sodas to lobster fishermen in a panga loaded with traps.
GI 4.JPG


Day 7 - we couldn’t get them going on the anchor so we went looking in the vicinity of Outer Rock, Ray spotted a small group of black bottlenose dolphin milling about and slowly motored into them. That started a great day of drift fishing on 100# class yellowfin in the spectacular scenery just outside Outer Rock in flat calm weather. We ended up with another 20+ big yellowfin on sardines and mackerel, mostly on 80#. We had no white sharks but were visited again by whale sharks, over 10 miles from the other sighting - this time I believe there were two different animals, one had little spots and the other seemed to have a different pattern. Again they swam slowly at the surface along the stern giving everyone a great view. We left for Ensenada in the late afternoon when the bite died down. We were among 4 or 5 long range boats checking in to Mexico and US Customs and Ray wanted to get a good place in line.
GI 6.JPG

GI 8.JPG

one of Kevin's 100-pound yellowfin
GI 7.JPG

my 100# yft
GI 9.JPG

Craig's 50# yellow

Day 8 - travel to Ensenada, check out, travel to San Diego, anchored in the bay before midnight.

Trip over - check in with US Customs at 5:30 am. Unload, fish to 5-Star, visited with local friends while my brother’s same-day was processed. Kevin and I picked ours up frozen the next morning, packed it in three 130 qt coolers with extra insulation and dry ice. It was frozen hard at home after our 24+ hour drives.

What a trip! My dream before the trip was a hundred pound bluefin and yellowfin, and to not bring back too much fish - I did all that but I may have jinxed myself with the not too much fish thing as I didn’t get as many bites as I wanted/thought I should. Still I, and most everyone caught quality fish every day and all took home plenty (well over 100# of filets for me, more like 200# for Kevin). The good anglers were hooking up regularly. I would classify one-third of the anglers as expert, and most were skillful enough that tangles were rarely too bad even all day on the anchor. Everyone was nice, the crew, operation, food, etc. was great. I asked several people and I think all would agree, the non-fishing stuff (remoteness, scenery, calm, sleep on anchor, white sharks, whale sharks) of itself was worth the approximately $500 extra Guadalupe permit costs. You never know where a fall 8-day will go but they have always been good to us. We and many others signed up for next year before the boat hit the dock.
 
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Steve K

Hey, I'm gettin' bit...
Jan 2, 2005
11,816
8,111
Bishop
Name
Steve
Boat
18' Bayrunner, but I like the American Angler and the Red Rooster III
Scott, stoked for you and the rest of the guys and I’m sure the crew is stoked as well. Kambiz shared his report on Facebook and it sounded great. Yours confirms that and more. Great report and pics. No food pics, I like that you concentrated on the anglet’s, crew and the fishing. Thanks for taking us along with you.
 
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Tunahead

Long Time Tuna Abused Member
  • Aug 11, 2006
    11,711
    5,340
    Costa Mesa
    Name
    Ron
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    several
    GREAT Report/info/pics Scott! What a trip.
    Nice load of fish. AA is a solid operation.
    Glad you all had a great trip out there!
     
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    Soda Pop

    I Post A Lot But I Can't Edit This
    Feb 12, 2011
    2,857
    5,394
    Fresno, CA
    Name
    David Rouse
    Boat
    Long range fishing
    Great report... I truly enjoyed the read...... sometimes the view and what lives in the water at the Lupe is better than catching a fish.... One time the whale shark was on the port side of the Rooster and I got one of the deck brooms they scrub the deck with and everyone was taking that deck brush and scrubbing the whale shark and he loved it... sat next to the boat for about a half an hour wanting more of his back scrubbed. And the sharks can really put on a amazing show.... and I love fishing the Lupe because it's a great challenge for my fishing skills. Was at the Lupe a couple of months ago and fishing was really good... I hooked up 9 my first day and 10 the next day... handed half of my fish off both days.... just a great place to go... be back in Dec. on the Excel and can't wait. Again thanks for the report I really enjoyed it.
     
    scotth
    scotth
    great idea, the deck brush - wish I had thought of that
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    bigreddog

    Get off of my lawn
    Jul 18, 2005
    445
    401
    On a river
    Name
    Cliff
    Boat
    Long Range
    What an awesome trip you guys had. The AA hustled and capitalized on that BFT bite when others did not. The Royal Star, Shogun, and AA were at the island at the same time but in different areas and each had different conditions and grades of fish!
     
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    Montaukmaniac

    Thats my son, not me.
    Feb 8, 2011
    925
    867
    Westchester NY
    Name
    Steve
    Boat
    miss ion/fish on, "Wish on"
    Very well written report! Good pix too!
    Epic BFT bite to have experienced!!!
    Sounds like a classic SDLR adventure!
    Thanks for taking the time & effort.
     
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    FishRock

    Still trying to figure it all out
    Mar 27, 2013
    2,147
    3,090
    Alaska
    Name
    JAM
    Boat
    Thunnus - 22' Koffler BayBee (1990)
    Great report. Decent weather, Good crew and some fish to work with. Cannot ask for much more. Hot bite on big fish will quickly tell you how good the crew is. AA gets it done.

    When Josh comes out on deck to help gaff fish you know things are hopping.
     
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    Cubeye

    I Post A Lot But I Can't Edit This
    Jan 26, 2007
    3,977
    3,166
    Los Angeles
    Name
    Kub
    Boat
    17' Gregor
    Great report. Decent weather, Good crew and some fish to work with. Cannot ask for much more. Hot bite on big fish will quickly tell you how good the crew is. AA gets it done.

    When Josh comes out on deck to help gaff fish you know things are hopping.
    Another credit for the crew and Josh. He comes out to help when needed.

    I've seen some cooks that never leave their office. No matter how busy the crew is. Same goes for the cooks assistant.
     
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    GaffnLaff

    Rum is Tackle
    Dec 3, 2003
    641
    267
    Bay Park
    Visit site
    Name
    Dave Cairncross
    Boat
    Currently looking for a new Ho'ing opportunity
    great write up and pics thanks for taking the time
     
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    Tom Honaker

    I Should Upgrade My Account
    Sep 27, 2015
    1,202
    2,075
    63
    Hotchkiss Colorado
    Name
    Tom Honaker
    Boat
    Royal Star
    what was the BF meat like after sitting in the hole for six days?.
    That RSW fish is spectacular, 6 days is nothing. I'm sure they check the water temp every couple hours like the rest of the long range fleet. Dorado is a different story. Great trip Brother! I'm kinda concerned, my 10 day leaves on the 3rd, hopefully you guys didn't harvest all the biguns!
     
    FishRock
    FishRock
    The main reason I go LR fishing is for the fish. The first 14 day trip I was on the AA we hit wahoo at the rocks on day 2. I boated 4 wahoo and stopped fishing as I was concerned that 12 days in the RSW would not be kind to the fish. They made it home in fine shape and provided good eats.

    I decided to fish the AA after asking one of the processors who delivered the highest quality fish on a regular basis.
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    Kevin123

    Newbie
    Jun 3, 2017
    1
    1
    65
    Montana
    Name
    kevin mckelvey
    Boat
    Silver streak
    Whale sharks were worth the price of admission, at least as far as I was concerned. Catching multiple 100 # yellowfin, well that’s icing on the marvelous cake that is Guadalupe
     
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