Aztec 11/22-25 No luck on bluefin

Piizzii

🐟
Oct 17, 2020
19
22
30
Moreno Valley, CA
Name
Piizzii
Boat
No
Aztec 11/22-25

Day 1 -Sunday - Travel Day
I woke up excited to fish at 4am(no alarm) and hopped on the road down to San Diego. I showed up to Seaforth about 6am to sign in. Got to choose my bunk and got a number as #3 in the books. Phew made it... Figured it would be nice to show early and beat the crowd and get to know a few of the others. One thing to mention is we are the only boat heading out as the weather forecast isn’t looking great.(More on that later)...

Around 9 am, all 22 passengers have showed up and we board the Aztec with Captain Greg, chef Oat, deckhand Justin and a few whom I’m not too familiar with yet. My buddy Curt and Terry arrive where we catch up and quickly talk gear, have a beer and get excited to be out for the next 3 days on the water. About 2 hours pass and everyone is getting rigged up and doing the small groups thing and slowly getting to know each other. Nice way to start the trip and get into a groove of how we will operate. Capt Greg calls all into the galley where he makes a lengthy brief about only using 80# line or above and having drags set right.. Greg is a story teller! I love it... Chef Oat serves up some amazing fresh steak tacos for lunch and were back to more rigging and double checking the heavy setups.

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Tacos. Perfect light lunch to get us going...

So far we had traveled up to the south tip of San Clemente Island looking for markings but nothing. Capt heads to the island to make some live flying fish for a bit and tells us to enjoy dinner while the crew nets them. Pasta and salad to pass the time.

8pm comes, the raiders lose the football game, and I decide to call it a night. Looks like we’re making the long push to Cortez or Tanner! No fishing on day 1 but we’re all still excited. Greg reminds us this is big bluefin or bust and we won’t be wasting any time looking for anything else. Got it...
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Pasta and meat sauce with a delicious caesar salad.

Day 2 -Monday - Travel & Yellows
5am hits and I’m up. We are still searching up and down for the bluefin. At this time we had made it out to Tanner banks. Up and down, up and down and around we go. Searching for bluefin... that is how today will go... Everyone starts to roll out of bed around 530, recovering from the night before. A few beers to many for some so it’s nice to see everyone up and ready to get started.

The Swell
8-10 Foot seas, 20 knots of wind right on the bow. We are the only boat on the ocean. The boat usually travels about 10 knots, but as we head into it we are going about 4. Traveling 15 miles at what is now about 4 knots is no easy task. Hours passed as we continue to try to make the move. Watching waves lift us 12 feet up and down wasn’t exactly as fun as it looks. Water splashing on the deck and wind pushing us like a sail made everything from using the bathroom to stepping outside a mission on its own. How we were going to fish in this I had no idea. Holding onto everything we could, we battled it out and looked for somewhere to drop anchor for even the slightest break from the madness. Around 930am we made it to the high spot on Tanner, dropped the anchor and fished the high ground.

Fishing
Without the boat moving and only the 8 foot waves pushing us up and down now we felt more capable to fish, granted it still wasn’t what you would call comfortable. A few guys started double dropper loop rigs and the boat got about 20 white fish. After a while of that, the guys started changing it up and landing a handful of yellowtail on the Tady lures. Next up started to fly line where I landed a fat Bonita and then a few others landed more good grade yellowtail. About 3 hours of this went on before the birds came and started pulling every bait and line out of the water and we became frustrated. Having to pull your hook out of a seagull isn’t exactly fishing. Burgers were made for lunch, we lifted anchor and pushed south.

CFB854AC-B644-42FC-BF0D-834C63D68D18.jpeg

Fun sized Bonita caught on a 8 foot Phenix 808XHJ w/Torium 16Hg 50# Mono

We pushed south through the sunset looking for bluefin until dinner. About 7pm the boat dropped the sea anchor. Not much on the fish finder but I jumped up to my Talica 16ii setup and fished the flat-fall. About 30 minutes of nothing so sat down for a chicken and fried rice dinner alongside a carrot cake dessert. Stuffed and tired from working for fish all day, I decided to call it a night. 8pm came and just about everyone did the same. We will see how tomorrow looks where we won’t be battling the heavy wind and 10 foot of sickening swells. Hoping they finally fly the kite.

Day 3 - Tuesday - Target Bluefin
Heading north again... heading south. Heading west, heading east... All day searching and searching. Not much. Capt spotted a few small grade once where we stopped for about 15 minutes. Pulled up a few small grade Bonita and moved on. Back to searching. We searched all day and night and about 11pm came and nothing. Headed back to shore and called it a trip. Only so much ground one boat can cover when searching for these prize bluefin and this time was hard. Capt Greg worked hard for us and never gave up and that’s what counts. That’s fishing.
 
Last edited:

the_tunaman

I've posted enough I should edit this section
Jun 28, 2017
566
651
60
Norco
Name
Roger Nelson
Boat
Ranger Z20
There’s still bluefin, yellowfin and dorado in the counts... fat lady ain’t warmed up yet.

Sucks about the conditions - I bet if it wasn’t snotty you would have a different report to share. At least you were on the right boat with the right guys (Greg, Justin and crew), should things have gone the right way, and I know that Greg worked his ass off the entire trip trying.
 

Piizzii

🐟
Oct 17, 2020
19
22
30
Moreno Valley, CA
Name
Piizzii
Boat
No
There’s still bluefin, yellowfin and dorado in the counts... fat lady ain’t warmed up yet.

Sucks about the conditions - I bet if it wasn’t snotty you would have a different report to share. At least you were on the right boat with the right guys (Greg, Justin and crew), should things have gone the right way, and I know that Greg worked his ass off the entire trip trying.
yes indeed he worked his ass off.Great boat great crew. I will be on the boat again. But weather and conditions really made it difficult for us. I enjoyed the trip regardless.

looking forward to see how the counts from this upcoming weekend turn out....
 
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Oldtimer2

I've posted enough I should edit this section
Jul 29, 2020
277
494
Iowa City Iowa
Name
Rob Malone
Boat
don't got no boat
Great report and even more so, GREAT ATTITUDE!!
You do it right. Congrats.
I'll bet all the captains wish all their passengers had your attitude.
PS-Did you eat your bonito? ;)
 

cwinnes

Newbie
Apr 17, 2012
12
7
Burbank
Name
Chris I
Boat
I wish
Was on an Aztec 3 day last year and experienced the same. The trips before and after us killed it. I’m going on the 3 Day again this Friday hoping the change of weather gives us a better shot at then.

Thanks for the write up!
 
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Piizzii

🐟
Oct 17, 2020
19
22
30
Moreno Valley, CA
Name
Piizzii
Boat
No
Great report and even more so, GREAT ATTITUDE!!
You do it right. Congrats.
I'll bet all the captains wish all their passengers had your attitude.
PS-Did you eat your bonito? ;)
No I didn’t. I did keep it and when it came time to decide to filet I gave it to Terry to use as lobster bait. I only brought my white fish home to make some tacos with.
And yes it can be hard to have a great attitude after a slow time of fishing but how many people actually get to spend 3 days on the ocean eating oats gourmet meals. That’s something on its own to be happy about.
 

Piizzii

🐟
Oct 17, 2020
19
22
30
Moreno Valley, CA
Name
Piizzii
Boat
No
Was on an Aztec 3 day last year and experienced the same. The trips before and after us killed it. I’m going on the 3 Day again this Friday hoping the change of weather gives us a better shot at then.

Thanks for the write up!
I may be going again this Friday as well. If I do then I’ll see ya there! 🐟 🎣
 
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Mar 23, 2020
23
19
53
Menifee
Name
John
Boat
Aztec
Was on Aztec 19-22

Started day 1 at the butterfly saw a ton of Big fish feasting on micro bait boat only landed 1 160lb.

Day 2 stayed same area as day 1 with 0 results, still saw a ton of fish 150-300lb.

Day 3 left butterfly headed to tanner & Cortez traveled all night marking big schools with lock jaw boats landed 1 at 120 & 2 at about 40lb.
 

Piizzii

🐟
Oct 17, 2020
19
22
30
Moreno Valley, CA
Name
Piizzii
Boat
No
Was on Aztec 19-22

Started day 1 at the butterfly saw a ton of Big fish feasting on micro bait boat only landed 1 160lb.

Day 2 stayed same area as day 1 with 0 results, still saw a ton of fish 150-300lb.

Day 3 left butterfly headed to tanner & Cortez traveled all night marking big schools with lock jaw boats landed 1 at 120 & 2 at about 40lb.
At least you saw them. We couldn’t find them for the life of it. Being the only boat out and a day of horrible weather didn’t help with the search either.
 

surfgoose

active geezer
Jul 29, 2010
2,946
4,402
Long Beach, CA, USA
Name
Gary
Boat
whichever has the longest bunk
Bluefin-or-bust trip is always a real Big Game Hunt, and requires that attitude. Anyone who has invested time and money and effort in climbing mountains after a critter only to have a sudden storm smack you will understand what you were feeling. It's an obsession, and it seems perfectly reasonable to me.

Now mountain climbing, just going to the top and coming back down, I don't understand at all.
 
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afraser

I've posted enough I should edit this section
Apr 20, 2008
1,705
1,276
sf, ca
Name
aaron
Boat
NA
they are probably still there, but below sonar with the weather.
 

StetheHookey

Newbie
Sep 23, 2012
8
9
La Verne
Name
terry conklin
Boat
Lil Pup
Aztec not only drove right thru the 30 knot wind and 12' sets, and we were able to actually fish and put some nice fighting 15 to 20 lb. yellowtail. Amazing!!
(12' @ 9 sec and 9' @ 4 seconds)(25 to 30mph winds with stronger gusts) No joke stuff.

Captain Greg and Justin are solid, made us feel safe and relaxed at all times. They keep us informed and updated on the conditions and the fish status. Oat's cuisine and the deckhands Kody and (darn it I forgot the tall guys' name, he is awesome and so cool, someone help me please)). They have it wired. Nicky (also an off-duty deckhand) and his Dad were on the trip and he is a wealth of knowledge and help to everyone. I can't say enough about the skills, experience and great positive vibe on that boat. Starting from the top thru the crew and the experienced sticks.
We knew, if the tuna were gonna bite, we would score.

Funny thing is, no one even filmed the crazy conditions. "It was too crazy, and the yellowtail were biting good. If you could get to the rail with a great bait and get it past the seals and birds. Dropper, Iron, and flyline were all equally bit.

There were a couple of comedy show drunks on board. One was eating live sardines after 20 beers and some whisky. They were cool tho. Kept us amused. Almost got in a fight over nothing too, then made up, classic.

It's always a blast fishing that boat and with Curtis and you, Chris.
See you out on the water on Friday for a "Show up and Blow Up".
I got home with some nice yellowtail fillets and thanks for the Bonita. It never made it to my house tho. I swung by the massage place with it and.... Some of you know the rest of the story.
Keep it reel !!
 
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BrokenBackRebel

GringoJustin
Nov 26, 2005
748
357
35
Somewhere between San Diego and Yelapa
Name
Justin Ryan
Boat
Mi Sueño/Aztec/Apollo
Captain Greg and Justin are solid, made us feel safe and relaxed at all times. They keep us informed and updated on the conditions and the fish status. Oat's cuisine and the deckhands Kody and (darn it I forgot the tall guys' name, he is awesome and so cool, someone help me please)). They have it wired.
Eric. The tall guy is Eric. Thanks for the kind words.
 
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