Offshore Bad week to be a Bluefin!

surfgoose

active geezer
  • Jul 29, 2010
    4,030
    7,828
    Long Beach, CA, USA
    Name
    Gary
    Boat Name
    whichever has the longest bunk
    This may be the very start of the 2022 season, but this was a Bad Week to be a Bluefin! The handful of boats that went offshore looking for them did a great job of finding them, and the scores were amazing for the end of March and first part of April.

    I went on the Polaris Supreme on a 3-day out of Seaforth starting Friday morning, and it was slow for the first six hours as we headed south-west down towards the banks offshore from Ensenada. We paid extra to fish in Mexican waters, and it paid off. Capt. Aliyar started marking school after school on the sonar, almost always at 240 feet and below, there must have been a temperature break or something keeping them down there. We would chum and drop lures and try to get them interested, but mostly to no avail.

    But late in the afternoon we started to find schools that wanted to bite. Ones and twos turned into fives and sixes, and seven to ten pound yellowtail also came into the mix. The bluefin were mostly in the mid-twenties, about a third of them double that size, with the occasional biggie going towards sixty pounds. They were line and hook shy for the most part, the crew suggested small hooks like a #2 circle, and thirty to forty pound fluoro. We were mostly flyline, but sometimes a small sinker would help. The sardines were very nice, not too big or too small, and a healthy color and they mostly wanted to swim.

    I had made the decision to spend the first day fishing nothing but lures, even though it soon became apparent that many of the fish were preferring sardines. But with three days in hand, I figured that I could spend the first day getting my lures wet. So I tried this and that and the other thing, and finally got a bluefin on a 100 gm green Colt Sniper. OK! Now I can switch over to bait! And did so, and promptly hooked up and landed a seven pound yellowtail. What was he doing in the middle of a tuna school??? I hooked another fish but never saw it, there was a tangle and in getting out of it there was a bit of slack in the line and he spit the #4 circle hook. So at dark I was two for three hookups and feeling good.

    All evening long Capt. Aliyar kept driving the boat, finding schools down deep, having us drop knife jigs and flatfalls and sinker rigged sardines, and little by little the count kept going up. I could see why his first two trips of the season just a few days ago had been limited-out both times on bluefin, the man is just relentless. I left the youngsters to it and crawled into my stateroom bunk for a few hours sleep, I knew that it would be a long two days more of this.

    The sea was really flat, with an overcast sky, cool enough so that I kept a coat on all weekend, and never used my dark glasses. After seeing a handful of other boats' lights around us on Friday night, by Saturday afternoon we were all alone out there, at least fifty miles west of Ensenada and a bit south of it. We would look for kelp paddies and give them a try, often picking up a few yellowtail, and kept finding deep schools of bluefin. They had a regular highway going North at 240 feet, and I'm feeling good about this coming season for sure!

    There were a lot of very fine fishermen on this run, lots of cooperation, the occasional tangle was easily handled by the excellent crew and nobody got upset. It was a really good group to fish with. I have to call out especially #22 Jonathan Takara, who seemed to be on fire this trip. The man was constantly hooked up, and went a long way towards filling the boat limits on the trip for those of us (like me) who were dealing with various issues and not being as effective as we'd hoped. I was having an issue with my arthritis, and my left hand was mostly numb all weekend, so of necessity I was using my spinning gear. I caught my six bluefin over the weekend, but the fights were longer than if I had been able to use my conventional gear. I got my first tuna on my Penn Baja Special with 40#, and then had to rack it.

    On Sunday we finally found a school that really wanted to bite, and it was an hour and more of at least six going at once. What crazy fun! During that time I decked three bluefin, but at the end of the trip it turned out that two of them never got tagged. I can understand that, the crew were all jumping around like cats in a room full of rocking chairs trying to untangle and gaff and fill the bait wells. But at the dock, when sorting the fish, I was two short and Jonathan had extras so I got a couple from him, Thanks Very Much! They were cookie-cutter bluefin, anyway. I saw several nicer ones taken, the ones needing a second gaff, in the fifty-to-sixty category, but I never got to fight one of those.

    At the end of the trip, I got ten hookups and landed eight of them. A limit of bluefin and a couple of bonus yellowtail. I'm sore all over and my hand is throbbing but at least I can feel it again. And I can't wait to go back out on the Polaris Supreme next November and try it again! I'll upload a few pictures in a little bit.
     

    Tunahead

    Long Time Tuna Abused Member
  • Aug 11, 2006
    17,512
    10,462
    Costa Mesa
    Name
    Ron
    Boat Name
    several
    AWESOME REPORT and info. Glad you got out
    and score some bluefin and yellowtail. Good to
    see both biting early April now too. As for the
    damn Arthritis, I ache all over in the morning. LOL. Got a shot in right eye at 8am today too.
    Hope to get back on tuna soon.
    Getting Old sucks.
     
    Last edited:
    Upvote 0

    surfgoose

    active geezer
  • Jul 29, 2010
    4,030
    7,828
    Long Beach, CA, USA
    Name
    Gary
    Boat Name
    whichever has the longest bunk
    Here are some pix

    DFD6BB6B-0C86-4D97-8382-B02D8B6AD7A1.jpeg


    02AAF832-2742-4381-9C6A-EE0FD2C28991.jpeg


    A908FF83-5EA9-4CA9-8105-7F4F0DDCC2CC.jpeg


    17F9F122-954B-43C7-A2B7-56300703E720.jpeg


    16A34599-1950-4A13-A35C-4BF7CAFCA5CF.jpeg


    68906A0F-5F6C-4558-8A56-FD5C5532C276.jpeg


    60F563F2-8957-4693-8442-7BE08C97D600.jpeg


    0CF33166-4766-4C63-BFE2-AEACA42B37CF.jpeg
     
    Upvote 0

    HoxFish

    Family Crest - My Lure is True
    Jan 17, 2007
    778
    381
    Valle del Sol
    Name
    Aaron
    Boat Name
    Moo
    Awesome report. Glad you got some, even while on cruise control. Thanks for the reminder to pace myself when I head out in a few days!

    Also, I did my first 3 and 5 day on that boat. Even bigger, got the wife out on a few trips on that rig, too, and she's meh about fishing. She had a blast. Lots of great memories. Apart from that mishap last year (?), glad to see the new owner and crew handling business. I had no luck finding openings this year. This won't help :rolleyes:
     
    Upvote 0

    jughead

    Member
    Jun 10, 2006
    698
    591
    72
    Alpine
    Name
    John
    Boat Name
    24 Seaswirl striper
    Way to go surf goose!! Sounds like a really fun trip. I was curious about one thing you mentioned in your report. You said you paid extra to fish in Mexican waters. Could you explain that? Thanks, Jughead
     
    • Like
    Reactions: surfgoose
    surfgoose
    surfgoose
    Above the basic price of the trip, we each paid another chunk (about a hundred bucks each) for fuel surcharge and Mexican permits to fish their territorial waters. Worth it.
    Upvote 0
    Upvote 0

    don o jones

    Newbie
    Jul 12, 2017
    2
    4
    68
    chino valley az
    Name
    donald jones
    Boat Name
    Billy Boat
    This may be the very start of the 2022 season, but this was a Bad Week to be a Bluefin! The handful of boats that went offshore looking for them did a great job of finding them, and the scores were amazing for the end of March and first part of April.

    I went on the Polaris Supreme on a 3-day out of Seaforth starting Friday morning, and it was slow for the first six hours as we headed south-west down towards the banks offshore from Ensenada. We paid extra to fish in Mexican waters, and it paid off. Capt. Aliyar started marking school after school on the sonar, almost always at 240 feet and below, there must have been a temperature break or something keeping them down there. We would chum and drop lures and try to get them interested, but mostly to no avail.

    But late in the afternoon we started to find schools that wanted to bite. Ones and twos turned into fives and sixes, and seven to ten pound yellowtail also came into the mix. The bluefin were mostly in the mid-twenties, about a third of them double that size, with the occasional biggie going towards sixty pounds. They were line and hook shy for the most part, the crew suggested small hooks like a #2 circle, and thirty to forty pound fluoro. We were mostly flyline, but sometimes a small sinker would help. The sardines were very nice, not too big or too small, and a healthy color and they mostly wanted to swim.

    I had made the decision to spend the first day fishing nothing but lures, even though it soon became apparent that many of the fish were preferring sardines. But with three days in hand, I figured that I could spend the first day getting my lures wet. So I tried this and that and the other thing, and finally got a bluefin on a 100 gm green Colt Sniper. OK! Now I can switch over to bait! And did so, and promptly hooked up and landed a seven pound yellowtail. What was he doing in the middle of a tuna school??? I hooked another fish but never saw it, there was a tangle and in getting out of it there was a bit of slack in the line and he spit the #4 circle hook. So at dark I was two for three hookups and feeling good.

    All evening long Capt. Aliyar kept driving the boat, finding schools down deep, having us drop knife jigs and flatfalls and sinker rigged sardines, and little by little the count kept going up. I could see why his first two trips of the season just a few days ago had been limited-out both times on bluefin, the man is just relentless. I left the youngsters to it and crawled into my stateroom bunk for a few hours sleep, I knew that it would be a long two days more of this.

    The sea was really flat, with an overcast sky, cool enough so that I kept a coat on all weekend, and never used my dark glasses. After seeing a handful of other boats' lights around us on Friday night, by Saturday afternoon we were all alone out there, at least fifty miles west of Ensenada and a bit south of it. We would look for kelp paddies and give them a try, often picking up a few yellowtail, and kept finding deep schools of bluefin. They had a regular highway going North at 240 feet, and I'm feeling good about this coming season for sure!

    There were a lot of very fine fishermen on this run, lots of cooperation, the occasional tangle was easily handled by the excellent crew and nobody got upset. It was a really good group to fish with. I have to call out especially #22 Jonathan Takara, who seemed to be on fire this trip. The man was constantly hooked up, and went a long way towards filling the boat limits on the trip for those of us (like me) who were dealing with various issues and not being as effective as we'd hoped. I was having an issue with my arthritis, and my left hand was mostly numb all weekend, so of necessity I was using my spinning gear. I caught my six bluefin over the weekend, but the fights were longer than if I had been able to use my conventional gear. I got my first tuna on my Penn Baja Special with 40#, and then had to rack it.

    On Sunday we finally found a school that really wanted to bite, and it was an hour and more of at least six going at once. What crazy fun! During that time I decked three bluefin, but at the end of the trip it turned out that two of them never got tagged. I can understand that, the crew were all jumping around like cats in a room full of rocking chairs trying to untangle and gaff and fill the bait wells. But at the dock, when sorting the fish, I was two short and Jonathan had extras so I got a couple from him, Thanks Very Much! They were cookie-cutter bluefin, anyway. I saw several nicer ones taken, the ones needing a second gaff, in the fifty-to-sixty category, but I never got to fight one of those.

    At the end of the trip, I got ten hookups and landed eight of them. A limit of bluefin and a couple of bonus yellowtail. I'm sore all over and my hand is throbbing but at least I can feel it again. And I can't wait to go back out on the Polaris Supreme next November and try it again! I'll upload a few pictures in a little bit.
    What fun! I'm getting sore just reading about it!
     
    Upvote 0