Offshore Aztec 2 day. PB YFT 11/4/19 - 11/6/19

PENN

Mark C.

Almost A Member
Jul 20, 2005
242
519
Murrieta
Name
Mark
Boat
1802 Trophy WA
On this trip we had Justin behind the wheel, Ryan in the galley, with Harry, Trevor, and Oat on deck. We loaded up with very nice 4-6” sardines, a bit healthier than the beat up bait we’ve been receiving lately. Man this boat holds a lot of bait, between the aft tanks, bow tank, and slammer there’s plenty of bait at your disposal. Captain Justin gave us an incredible briefing on what was to be expected on this trip. In short, big bluefin or bust! Use the proper gear, 2 speed with at least 400 yards braid backing with 50-60lb fluoro leader, and 1/0-2/0 circle hooks. Have 40lb setup with size 2 circle on standby. No spinning gear, no bass reels. Pick a healthy bait, butt hook, short soaks changing them out every minute tops.

This was a reverse 2 day leaving at 9am. We got underway and in the afternoon we stopped about 20 miles short of our intial destination where the Aztec had done very well the previous trip, to find out that other sportboats in that area weren’t finding anything. So we zigged and zagged trying to locate these bluefin. Was greeted with a humpback whale putting on a sweet aerial show, as well as one of the largest pods of porpoise I have seen. In which we trolled through and stopped ahead of and dropped bait for nada. Stopped on a couple meter marks as well only to have a few fish boil on our chum, but no hookups. 0 fish landed on day one, very humbling considering how the past days had gone. But tomorrow is a new day.

I fell asleep pretty early as I was beat from not sleeping much the night before so I’m not 100% sure what happened that night. But eventually we did end up making the move further west to where we initially had planned to start. Captain Justin was in communication with a few other sportboats and they game planned to spread out and look for signs of life.

We finally stop on some decent meter marks and unload some chum and have some big fish boiling way back in our chum line. These were big girls. First guy gets bit on you guessed it, a spinning setup. I believe it was a 20 size Saragosa on a Phenix rod, 65lb braid to 60lb leader. Second guy hooked up is an older gentleman who held his own but was given assistance from the crew. Third was a more experienced angler, using 40lb and used the rail and put the wood to the fish and landed it in I believe around 45mins or so. Fourth guy was in for a relentless battle using a Fathom 40 two speed, must have seen him do a dozen laps around the boat. Fifth guy hooks up on Trini 20A on 40lb, no bueno. These fish were friggin mean! Second and third guy both land their fish, meanwhile spinner is still fighting his, and with the assistance of the crew finally gets it on board after what seemed like two and half hours or so. Fourth guy eventually landed his after a 2+ hour battle as well. Leaving the fifth guy still battling his, struggling to make any headway. By this time we had lost the school so captain made the call to chase this fish down, crew members got some fresh arms on it to put some pressure on this fish and kill it. All 5 fish landed were beautiful 100-120lb class fish. On that stop there was several casualties as well, straightened hooks, broken connection knots, very important to use the right gear and check your connections.

We made a short move to relocate the school and captain says he’s seeing big fish down around 20-30 fathoms. I drop a sardine down on a 5oz sinker rig using a Makaira 15T on UC 80 Predator with 50lb and when I get down about 150ft I get picked up on the drop. Fought this fish for a good 20-30mins, this thing just didn’t want to die. Every time I’d get it near the surface it would make a 30 yard run back down. Finally started to tire it out and finished it off in low gear. To my surprise not a Bluefin, but my personal best Yellowfin about 60lbs! Although not what I’m after I’m stoked.

Make my way to the back of the boat to see it had turned into a wide open sun downer Yellowfin bite. Grab my 40lb setup Makaira 10 on UC 80 Tilefish and went to work on the yft landing 13 or 14 in a row, mostly 15-25lb class fish, with a few pushing 40. These yft were hitting anything that touched the water and seemingly wanted to die. They also bit well into the pitch black darkness on flyline, sinker rig, and small flat falls. Never really witnessed them biting full speed in the dark before. Doing the over/under dance with 15 guys hooked up in the back in complete darkness is an experience in itself, fun!

We then transitioned to trying to locate the big bft again, this time with flat falls. Stopped on a few meter marks and grinded away. One guy got sawed off on stock hooks on a flat fall, other than that I don’t believe any other bluefin were hooked. The writing was on the wall that it just wasn’t going to happen for us so we called it a trip. A little tougher on the bft for us compared to days past, but that’s typical bft behavior for you. They were around the boat, just tough to hook.

No complaints... experienced an epic sun downer bite where 178 yft hit the deck in short succession, witnessed big bft hooked, fought, and landed, and came away with my PB yft. And the crew of the Aztec was fantastic! These guys worked their asses off to make something happen for us when things were looking bleak. Can’t wait to do it again.

C301A3BC-C33A-4388-B13E-1AA89866C0F4.jpeg
430A14B9-88F7-419E-B7D3-44332F7B883D.jpeg
8066AB53-6E0B-4EA6-838E-0062913E57AD.jpeg
EFEA42D0-E30F-4382-A003-F02CC92114F6.jpeg
FAE09F15-4710-493C-9C88-764F38ED6F06.jpeg
5E68C177-79F3-441B-BC3C-2CEF019D300F.jpeg
38342969-3D72-42EF-BE95-8ACBFDC6498B.jpeg
41B74C81-D47C-49C3-9509-A9840FA52AC4.jpeg
1E1A11A5-38D1-4473-8BA8-A2EA65629011.jpeg
AC745E38-5162-492B-8774-A7499A7DADD3.jpeg
 
Upvote 0

soopaflyjm1

Member
Nov 6, 2012
262
117
Las Vegas Nv Clark
Name
J Money
Boat
Reel Fun
On this trip we had Justin behind the wheel, Ryan in the galley, with Harry, Trevor, and Oat on deck. We loaded up with very nice 4-6” sardines, a bit healthier than the beat up bait we’ve been receiving lately. Man this boat holds a lot of bait, between the aft tanks, bow tank, and slammer there’s plenty of bait at your disposal. Captain Justin gave us an incredible briefing on what was to be expected on this trip. In short, big bluefin or bust! Use the proper gear, 2 speed with at least 400 yards braid backing with 50-60lb fluoro leader, and 1/0-2/0 circle hooks. Have 40lb setup with size 2 circle on standby. No spinning gear, no bass reels. Pick a healthy bait, butt hook, short soaks changing them out every minute tops.

This was a reverse 2 day leaving at 9am. We got underway and in the afternoon we stopped about 20 miles short of our intial destination where the Aztec had done very well the previous trip, to find out that other sportboats in that area weren’t finding anything. So we zigged and zagged trying to locate these bluefin. Was greeted with a humpback whale putting on a sweet aerial show, as well as one of the largest pods of porpoise I have seen. In which we trolled through and stopped ahead of and dropped bait for nada. Stopped on a couple meter marks as well only to have a few fish boil on our chum, but no hookups. 0 fish landed on day one, very humbling considering how the past days had gone. But tomorrow is a new day.

I fell asleep pretty early as I was beat from not sleeping much the night before so I’m not 100% sure what happened that night. But eventually we did end up making the move further west to where we initially had planned to start. Captain Justin was in communication with a few other sportboats and they game planned to spread out and look for signs of life.

We finally stop on some decent meter marks and unload some chum and have some big fish boiling way back in our chum line. These were big girls. First guy gets bit on you guessed it, a spinning setup. I believe it was a 20 size Saragosa on a Phenix rod, 65lb braid to 60lb leader. Second guy hooked up is an older gentleman who held his own but was given assistance from the crew. Third was a more experienced angler, using 40lb and used the rail and put the wood to the fish and landed it in I believe around 45mins or so. Fourth guy was in for a relentless battle using a Fathom 40 two speed, must have seen him do a dozen laps around the boat. Fifth guy hooks up on Trini 20A on 40lb, no bueno. These fish were friggin mean! Second and third guy both land their fish, meanwhile spinner is still fighting his, and with the assistance of the crew finally gets it on board after what seemed like two and half hours or so. Fourth guy eventually landed his after a 2+ hour battle as well. Leaving the fifth guy still battling his, struggling to make any headway. By this time we had lost the school so captain made the call to chase this fish down, crew members got some fresh arms on it to put some pressure on this fish and kill it. All 5 fish landed were beautiful 100-120lb class fish. On that stop there was several casualties as well, straightened hooks, broken connection knots, very important to use the right gear and check your connections.

We made a short move to relocate the school and captain says he’s seeing big fish down around 20-30 fathoms. I drop a sardine down on a 5oz sinker rig using a Makaira 15T on UC 80 Predator with 50lb and when I get down about 150ft I get picked up on the drop. Fought this fish for a good 20-30mins, this thing just didn’t want to die. Every time I’d get it near the surface it would make a 30 yard run back down. Finally started to tire it out and finished it off in low gear. To my surprise not a Bluefin, but my personal best Yellowfin about 60lbs! Although not what I’m after I’m stoked.

Make my way to the back of the boat to see it had turned into a wide open sun downer Yellowfin bite. Grab my 40lb setup Makaira 10 on UC 80 Tilefish and went to work on the yft landing 13 or 14 in a row, mostly 15-25lb class fish, with a few pushing 40. These yft were hitting anything that touched the water and seemingly wanted to die. They also bit well into the pitch black darkness on flyline, sinker rig, and small flat falls. Never really witnessed them biting full speed in the dark before. Doing the over/under dance with 15 guys hooked up in the back in complete darkness is an experience in itself, fun!

We then transitioned to trying to locate the big bft again, this time with flat falls. Stopped on a few meter marks and grinded away. One guy got sawed off on stock hooks on a flat fall, other than that I don’t believe any other bluefin were hooked. The writing was on the wall that it just wasn’t going to happen for us so we called it a trip. A little tougher on the bft for us compared to days past, but that’s typical bft behavior for you. They were around the boat, just tough to hook.

No complaints... experienced an epic sun downer bite where 178 yft hit the deck in short succession, witnessed big bft hooked, fought, and landed, and came away with my PB yft. And the crew of the Aztec was fantastic! These guys worked their asses off to make something happen for us when things were looking bleak. Can’t wait to do it again.

View attachment 1086972View attachment 1086971 View attachment 1086973 View attachment 1086974 View attachment 1086976View attachment 1086980 View attachment 1086977 View attachment 1086979View attachment 1086975 View attachment 1086978
Excellent report, headed out Tuesday with my mak15t and predator as well. Thanks for the info. Did you ever fish anything lighter than 40?
 
  • Like
Reactions: Mark C.
Upvote 0

Ricky808maui

Newbie
May 16, 2012
2
2
Temecula
Name
Ricky808Maui
Boat
None
Awesome report I’m going out Sunday morning on the Aztec. I waited all year for some epic fall fishing bluefin action. Thanks for the info Mark
 
  • Like
Reactions: Mark C.
Upvote 0

Mark C.

Almost A Member
Jul 20, 2005
242
519
Murrieta
Name
Mark
Boat
1802 Trophy WA
Justin da man but pretty sure its because he's really more fish than er man. I learned a lot from him. Didn't matter if he was behind the wheel, in the galley or on the deck, he knows the water.

Justin was incredibly informative throughout the entire trip. You can tell right away that he’s extremely passionate about what he does, and it gave me the sense that if we didn’t catch them this trip it certainly wouldn’t be for a lack of effort on his part.
 
Upvote 0

Mark C.

Almost A Member
Jul 20, 2005
242
519
Murrieta
Name
Mark
Boat
1802 Trophy WA
Excellent report, headed out Tuesday with my mak15t and predator as well. Thanks for the info. Did you ever fish anything lighter than 40?

Perfect setup for this kind of fishing, this combo can cast a sardine surprisingly well. After seeing a few of these guys get wrecked on 40 for hours on end, and seeing that these were all 100+lb fish I didn’t even bother with 30lb and single speed. It’s a tough call because yeah the odds of getting bit may increase, but what happened with the guy with the Trini 20A was he fought the fish for so long he held up the boat. We literally became spectators, just watching and waiting for him to land his fish as the remaining hours of sunlight dwindled. I didn’t want to be “that guy” but it’s always a judgement call.

Personally, in hindsight, if I fished the same conditions again I would’ve went straight to 40lb and size 4 Mutu circle instead of starting with 50lb and bigger hook.
 
  • Like
Reactions: soopaflyjm1
Upvote 0

Mark C.

Almost A Member
Jul 20, 2005
242
519
Murrieta
Name
Mark
Boat
1802 Trophy WA
Awesome report I’m going out Sunday morning on the Aztec. I waited all year for some epic fall fishing bluefin action. Thanks for the info Mark

Sounds like they’re on a wide open yft bite today! The fishing is so much fun this time of year. Hope you have an epic trip, Ricky.
 
Upvote 0

soopaflyjm1

Member
Nov 6, 2012
262
117
Las Vegas Nv Clark
Name
J Money
Boat
Reel Fun
Perfect setup for this kind of fishing, this combo can cast a sardine surprisingly well. After seeing a few of these guys get wrecked on 40 for hours on end, and seeing that these were all 100+lb fish I didn’t even bother with 30lb and single speed. It’s a tough call because yeah the odds of getting bit may increase, but what happened with the guy with the Trini 20A was he fought the fish for so long he held up the boat. We literally became spectators, just watching and waiting for him to land his fish as the remaining hours of sunlight dwindled. I didn’t want to be “that guy” but it’s always a judgement call.

Personally, in hindsight, if I fished the same conditions again I would’ve went straight to 40lb and size 4 Mutu circle instead of starting with 50lb and bigger hook.
Appreciate the insight
 
  • Like
Reactions: Mark C.
Upvote 0

909fishslayer

Almost A Member
Sep 2, 2018
112
76
Riverside
Name
Travis
Boat
None
That experienced fisherman on 40# test. landed his 115lber in not 45 min but 20 I was watching his technique. He is no stranger to triple digits as Ive seen him before on them. Trip was pretty cool food was amazing but one negative if any is better job on kite. I heard 5 bites on kite witnessed 2 with zero hookups. Last boat i was on was 3 for 3 no misses. By looks of report today I am only assuming there on that kite good for those 3 cows. Didnt look like anyone was manning it to take up slack when they blew up on it.

That darn disappearing act day 1 was very humbling thank god for the wide open yellowfin bite 26 hours into the trip with almost no stops. I’ve never gone that long with no fish on boat but not crews fault by any means. Ill definitely fish this boat again cook was pretty awesome and 100% customer service oriented ensuring all guests were completely satisfied.

congrats on your trophy yellowfin that thing was a beast coming over the rail. That nightime wide open bite and over under dance was ridiculous. Don’t know if I've seen 178 yellowfin come over rail in an hour or so with so little fisherman. One more note on the gear. Saw two big bluefin lost on light flatfall leaders. I dont know why the crew was telling people to tie them to 60-80# test in complete darkness no reason not to go 200#. Both those bites came right as grey turned to dark punching threw the yellowfin to get down deep for the big guys

I will say Justin and the crew worked their butts off for us and I did not witness one time any lack of customer service Greg should be proud of his crew. Had a great time.
 
Last edited:
Upvote 0

Mark C.

Almost A Member
Jul 20, 2005
242
519
Murrieta
Name
Mark
Boat
1802 Trophy WA
That experienced fisherman on 40# test. landed his 115lber in not 45 min but 20 i watched him. George is no stranger to triple digits as Ive seen him before on them. Trip was pretty cool food was amazing but one negatove if any is better job on kite. I heard 5 bites on kite with zero hookups. Last boat i was on was 3 for 3 no misses. Didnt look like anyone was manning it to take up slack. That darn disappearing act day 1 was very humbling thank god for the wide open yellowfin bite 26 hours into the trip with almost no stops. Ill definitely fish this boat again cook was pretty awesome and 100% customer service oriented.congrats on your trophy yellowfin that thing was a beast coming over the rail

You’re likely correct, it was probably 20 minutes. I was too focused on trying to buy a bite that it’s hard to keep track of all the hooked fish. Landing that fish in 20 minutes makes it even more impressive, I don’t know George but I could tell right away he knew how to put the wood to the fish.

Yeah man, the trip got off to a rough start for sure. Bluefin are notorious for playing hide and seek. Second day signs of life looked much better. We had very large fish boiling around the boat for a good portion of the afternoon, just tough to get one to eat a bait with a hook in it. That 4th quarter yft bite was a blast. There’s no doubt we could’ve done serious damage on the yft had we spent any time targeting them.

Speaking of kite fish, kind of hurts to hear the Aztec landed a 330, 315, and 290lb bft today! The trip before ours killed the bft, and the trip after lands super cows, go figure. All good, that’s fishing. Gotta get back out there..
 
Upvote 0

Surfersteve79

Almost A Member
Aug 13, 2018
249
323
San Diego
Name
Steven
Boat
Aztec
Great Report! Greg has a great number 2 running the boat. Stoked you had a great trip. The 3 day that’s offshore right now is absolutely slaying it. Might be one of the best trips the Aztec might end up having. At the rate it’s going they might not have room for any fish in the hold!
 
Upvote 0

soopaflyjm1

Member
Nov 6, 2012
262
117
Las Vegas Nv Clark
Name
J Money
Boat
Reel Fun
That experienced fisherman on 40# test. landed his 115lber in not 45 min but 20 I was watching his technique. He is no stranger to triple digits as Ive seen him before on them. Trip was pretty cool food was amazing but one negative if any is better job on kite. I heard 5 bites on kite witnessed 2 with zero hookups. Last boat i was on was 3 for 3 no misses. By looks of report today I am only assuming there on that kite good for those 3 cows. Didnt look like anyone was manning it to take up slack when they blew up on it.

That darn disappearing act day 1 was very humbling thank god for the wide open yellowfin bite 26 hours into the trip with almost no stops. I’ve never gone that long with no fish on boat but not crews fault by any means. Ill definitely fish this boat again cook was pretty awesome and 100% customer service oriented ensuring all guests were completely satisfied.

congrats on your trophy yellowfin that thing was a beast coming over the rail. That nightime wide open bite and over under dance was ridiculous. Don’t know if I've seen 178 yellowfin come over rail in an hour or so with so little fisherman. One more note on the gear. Saw two big bluefin lost on light flatfall leaders. I dont know why the crew was telling people to tie them to 60-80# test in complete darkness no reason not to go 200#. Both those bites came right as grey turned to dark punching threw the yellowfin to get down deep for the big guys

I will say Justin and the crew worked their butts off for us and I did not witness one time any lack of customer service Greg should be proud of his crew. Had a great time.
The makaira 20 and Viper will have 200 on it! Any specific flat falls they were liking?
 
Upvote 0

909fishslayer

Almost A Member
Sep 2, 2018
112
76
Riverside
Name
Travis
Boat
None
The makaira 20 and Viper will have 200 on it! Any specific flat falls they were liking?

My dad had a wide open yft bite in all glow knife jigs like 125-150gram with stock stingers on bottom. I saw 2 bft hooked up on 250gram glow flat falls same time frame right at full dark just as the yft started to go away allowing the bft to eat. Both chewed off. One chewed through rope on hook one chewed through 80# leader

a bout a month ago i got 2 50lbers on the same 125-150gram all glow knife jig around 330-430am. These are the knock off ones for like 8$ on ebay. Wouldnt trust hooks on 100lbers
 
Upvote 0

Mark C.

Almost A Member
Jul 20, 2005
242
519
Murrieta
Name
Mark
Boat
1802 Trophy WA
Great Report! Greg has a great number 2 running the boat. Stoked you had a great trip. The 3 day that’s offshore right now is absolutely slaying it. Might be one of the best trips the Aztec might end up having. At the rate it’s going they might not have room for any fish in the hold!

Rub it in some more why don’t you :Bawling_e kidding man. Yep, they’re definitely putting in work! On our trip during the game plan briefing Justin let it be known that we would not be stopping on yft, and that we would drive straight through yft schools to get to searching for the big bft. We very likely could’ve done significantly more damage on the yft, especially with the amount of quality bait we had on board. But the 3 cows they have on board already is pretty damn epic. I’m hesitant to look at the the final count later for fear I will book a redemption trip!
 
Upvote 0

Tunahead

Long Time Tuna Abused Member
Aug 11, 2006
8,587
2,619
Costa Mesa
Name
Ron
Boat
several
Great report and pics Mark...and nice fish all! That boat is fishy
Yeah tuna bite in the dark, often feed under a near/full moon.
I've been on wide open Albacore/YF bites that started just before
dinner and lasted til midnight. Cold dinner to Microwave. LOL
 
  • Like
Reactions: Mark C.
Upvote 0

Mark C.

Almost A Member
Jul 20, 2005
242
519
Murrieta
Name
Mark
Boat
1802 Trophy WA
Hahahah that should of been us!!!!

Haha... not gonna lie I’m salty as hell! You know you had a good trip when the local news is reporting about it. So tempted to book another trip next weekend, but with my luck the bite will shut down post full moon.
 
Upvote 0