Just got back from the ringedhooks.com 8 day aboard the Royal Polaris. If you have been following the long range boat reports this summer, you may notice that the captains are luke warm about the bait they have received at the bait barge in San Diego. Of course, the Everingham Brothers spoil us year after year. When we set out on June 30, Frank LoPreste had us stopped at the bait barge for two and a half hours, going from tank to tank until he was satisfied. He actually ended up scooping baits that he had just loaded and dumping them overboard. We ended up with a load of large sardines that looked pretty beat up to my amateur eye. I was favorably impressed with the care that Frank took over that bait, however. During the trip, several of us spent a few hours making large scads, primarily for use on grouper. They proved effective for yellowtail as well. Later, we diverted to Cedros, partly to collect green mackerel. Frank anticipated that the bluefin would strongly prefer greenies. As it happened, based on reports received that day from other boats, he chose to keep only Spanish mackerel for the Bluefin. We were fortunate to be able to get them during daylight, and spend a few hours to collect perhaps 1,200 baits. By the way, I somewhat regretted my bargain basement sabiki rig because I caught so many baits that all the hooks began to straighten! It certainly made them easy to release into the bait tank. We also caught a several nice calicos and numerous exotics on the sabikis. At the Bluefin grounds, we caught our 200 Bluefin on both the sardines and the Spanish mackerel, about a 50-50 split. Some of the top rods used only sardines, and some only mackerel. Several of us tried using sliding sinkers, and most of us started with 60 pound fluorocarbon, but the effective rig proved to be 40 pound fluoro and a fly-lined bait on long soaks. The Bluefin seemed to be line-shy, they never hit any jigs during the day, and only one was caught on a jig at night. What does this all mean? I will leave that to more experienced BD-ers.