Offshore Blake Wilson Hamas Cortez 2.5 day tuna hunters

azbaseball

Member
Apr 2, 2007
953
3,103
la mesa ca
Name
mike de vito
Boat Name
20ft nitro
The Annual Cortez 2.5 day tuna trip

First I would like to thank my wife and kids for giving this trip again.

This is an annul trip setup by Blake Wilson Hames on the Cortez captained by Jim Rambo Hughes. Crew members include Jeff, Tyler, Brandon and Chicho in the galley. We left from Seaforth with 17 hungry tuna killers. We thought at first we were heading south to the yellowfin grounds. Rambo mentioned during our breifi9ng in the galley that the tuna had move south about 160 miles and is pretty much out of reach for our trip. We headed to the Banks. Most of us under gunned as we believed we would be chasing 20-50 pound yellow fin and DOO DOOs.

We wakeup to the smell of fresh coffee and BACON. Chicho was busy making biscuits and gravy with eggs, bacon and links. It was great and filling. So much food you or I could not finish the plate. So we are on the hunt. About 12 boats in the area around us. All looking for that one school of bluefin. Rambo finds a school at 30 fathoms. I drop my new 280 gm squish jig from Evike down. I did not know how deep it was do to the current and wind. I used the method of 10 feet per second on the free fall. I counted down to 20 to adjust for the drift. Well low and behold I hit bottom. WTF I did not realize we were on the edge of the bank. Two cranks off the bottom boom small rock fish released. Drop back down boom second rockfish about 2 pounds the deckhand wanted for lunch we kept it. I move to the bow away from all the bait fishermen. Drop back down and boom another larger size about 5 pound chucklehead. Rambo is looking out the window telling me I am fishing too deep. Okay I have 3 fish to everyone’s ZERO. I ended the day with 5 rockfish which I only kept the larger model.

It was a tough day to say the least. We worked hard every stop. Rambo put out the kite with the flying fish. Blake was first up. It lasted about 30 seconds when this tank broke he water and ripped the flyer from the kite. Blake headed to the bow with this beast. After about 45 minutes it is a 3 gaffer. The fish taped out to over 230 pounds. It was an awesome site to behold. The next 4 kite fish did not stick. The flyers were being demolished by the tunas but we could not get one to take the hook.

We stopped on school after school of tunas but since we were under gunned and these fish would only hit 20 flouro the 5 fish we hooked on bait did not stick around very long. We ended the day with 6 total rockfish and the one huge Bluefin.

Lunch was a great boat burger loaded with everything you wanted. Dinner was chicken cutlets with pasta, Very nice for the old fat Italian.

Day two we find ourselves deep in Mexican waters. Day break brought eggs, potatoes, bacon and links with an English muffin. Hit the spot and then some. We start the troll on the hunt for the yellowfin at 0700. We troll past some kelps for micro yellowtail and medium (8-12 pound) DOO DOOs. It was a tough pick all day. We hit one paddy that held hundreds of DOO DOOs. We stopped and threw bait for about 50 fish. The first pass I lost 3 and landed one. The second pass I caught one of the three that were caught. It was a site to see. All the anticipation being built up over the last 36 hours had the fisher man forgetting it is only a fishing trip. Tangles and yelling. I kept to the bow as much as possible as I did not want to be one of those guys causing anther to lose a fish.

We continue to troll and just when you think it is over Rambo telling us to reel in the trollers. He headed for a school of Dolphins. We drop the trollers back in and instant hook up. All four of the trolling rods go off. I wait as again the craziness of the fish tunas was attacking everyone’s common sense. I toss a jig and get bit. It ends up in a tangle and opps gone. We get back on the troll. This time when the trollers get hit I drop a hot dean on the slide 15 seconds later fresh one. I work it to the bow and fight it from there. Landed in about 10 minutes mid thirties yellowfin. From the bow I could her all the casualties in the stern. Reel em in from the bridge lets get back on them.

We put the trollers out and boom hook up I picked a white Spanish mackerel from the live well and pinned it on my Tranx 500 with a 20 pound flouro top shot and a #4 ringed circle hook and dropped it in on the slide. Before we started trolling Richie asked me how I hooked that fish so fast. I explained to him how to fish the slide. He was ready. MY bait was first in on the slide as the trollers went off. Richie was right behind me. I get bit in a matter of seconds. It is pulling hard for Asia. Richie is looking at me wondering why his bait did not get picked up. I told him reel you line is slack. Bang he is on. His first slide fish. We fight our fish in the bow and land both. Mine was a better grade about 45 pounds. There was six of us in the bow and only Richie and I landed our fish. These fish were hot and did not want to play nice. Mario was next to Richie when Mario’s rod exploded. By now it is getting dark and we finish off the trip in style.

The crew is pulling the fish from the RSW and weights the fish Number 4 jackpot winner for day two. Oh wait that was me again. I was the winner of both days. I usually do not get into the jackpots but on these trips I do as there is never any drama.

Dinner was steak and it was welcomed by all. Again so much food you could hardly finish.

What worked. Light line small hooks and a fresh bait. If you are in the water 30 seconds and did not get bit change your bait.

The Boat Cortez 60-65 foot fishing machine. It was perfect for the 16-17 fishermen on this trip. Big bait tanks, Bunks are large and bunk room is air conditioned. So much I had to get inside my sleeping bag. 2 heads and 1 shower that was refreshing at the end of the day. Galley roomy on the port side there are two booths that seat 6 people. On the starboard side there is one booth that seats 4 people.

Bow is very roomy you could have 4-6 people throwing jigs easily. The stern is fairly wide and very roomy around the bait tank. Tackle storage is questionable if you bring the big rolling boxes. The shelves on the cabin are setup for smaller bags. The platform by the bait tank will hold 3-4 tackle bags. Rod storage is fine along the cabin on both sides.

The boat supplied the trolling gear.

Crew: Top shelf. Brandon, Tyler Jeff worked the deck hard I probably would not have landed my fish without their assistance. With several fish going at one time, they always seemed to be there when you need them. One shot gaffing. They looked at your gear adjusted your drag setting and helped with your knot tying. You really do not realize how much a talented crew adds to your success on the water. They never get enough praise and thanks but for sure get blasted by the fishermen that do not listen or take the advise and instructions from the crew.

Galley: what can I say Chicho kept us feed and laughing he was a delight to be around. Never a bad word or frown. He was always smiling and asking if you wanted more.



Captain:

Rambo is a fish killer. This is my second year on the Cortez with captain Rambo. He works hard and finds you the fish. Think about this we traveled from behind San Clemente Island on the Tanner bank down to below Ensenada looking for fish. Many captains would have just stuck it out and not spent the fuel to travel and hunt. They could have just said there was no fish below the boarder and we need to find the fish here. I know first hand as I have been on those trips. Rambo could have saved hundreds of dollars in fuel costs and we would not have known the difference. Difference is Rambo puts his customers first and will go the extra 70-100 miles to find the fish.

So many of you are wondering what did he do with the winnings from days of the jackpot. I learned from my father and grandfathers that sometimes what you have means more to someone else than to you. So, like I always do I gave the entire jackpot (I do not know how much but probably 300 or so dollars) to the crew.

In conclusion this was another great trip. Two days on the water finished my book Tom Clancy’s op-center sting of the Wasp. No phone calls, no emails just relaxation and fish killing.

I have to thank everyone on the trip You all made this trip a memory I will keep until next years trip and we do it all over again.
 
Last edited:
Upvote 0

Tunahead

Long Time Tuna Abused Member
  • Aug 11, 2006
    16,623
    9,747
    Costa Mesa
    Name
    Ron
    Boat Name
    several
    Great report/info/read. What a finish.
    Can't beat those yellowfin sundowners!!!
    Like being there all over again. Glad you
    all got some tuna in the end. Solid Work!
     
    • Like
    Reactions: Tuna Dreamer
    Upvote 0

    Kevin A

    I Post A Lot But I Can't Edit This
  • Sep 10, 2006
    3,567
    3,275
    95
    redondo beach
    Name
    kev
    Boat Name
    25' aqua sport
    Your 100% correct on boats that will go to "Let's say tanner" on the first day and stay in the general area because they don't want to burn the Extra Fuel for a few 30-40lb YFT'S 80 miles down from tanner, The "Cortez" along with a few other 1-3 day trip boats that will go that extra mile for the passengers, Willing to sacrifice Money and Time and fuel for that little handful of fish. Also you mentioned the large portions and the quality food that was served to you and passengers, That you couldn't finish all your meals. Those two Items (Plus a great crew) I mentioned is what makes for a great trip, Even if fishing was on the slow side, At least they gave everybody a 110% effort!!!! Hat's off to the Cortez.
     
    Last edited:
    Upvote 0

    chilidip

    I Should Upgrade My Account
  • Jul 26, 2006
    1,227
    1,302
    North OC
    Name
    David
    Boat Name
    17' Logic CC
    The Annual Cortez 2.5 day tuna trip

    First I would like to thank my wife and kids for giving this trip again.

    This is an annul trip setup by Blake Wilson Hames on the Cortez captained by Jim Rambo Hughes. Crew members include Jeff, Tyler, Brandon and Chicho in the galley. We left from Seaforth with 17 hungry tuna killers. We thought at first we were heading south to the yellowfin grounds. Rambo mentioned during our breifi9ng in the galley that the tuna had move south about 160 miles and is pretty much out of reach for our trip. We headed to the Banks. Most of us under gunned as we believed we would be chasing 20-50 pound yellow fin and DOO DOOs.

    We wakeup to the smell of fresh coffee and BACON. Chicho was busy making biscuits and gravy with eggs, bacon and links. It was great and filling. So much food you or I could not finish the plate. So we are on the hunt. About 12 boats in the area around us. All looking for that one school of bluefin. Rambo finds a school at 30 fathoms. I drop my new 280 gm squish jig from Evike down. I did not know how deep it was do to the current and wind. I used the method of 10 feet per second on the free fall. I counted down to 20 to adjust for the drift. Well low and behold I hit bottom. WTF I did not realize we were on the edge of the bank. Two cranks off the bottom boom small rock fish released. Drop back down boom second rockfish about 2 pounds the deckhand wanted for lunch we kept it. I move to the bow away from all the bait fishermen. Drop back down and boom another larger size about 5 pound chucklehead. Rambo is looking out the window telling me I am fishing too deep. Okay I have 3 fish to everyone’s ZERO. I ended the day with 5 rockfish which I only kept the larger model.

    It was a tough day to say the least. We worked hard every stop. Rambo put out the kite with the flying fish. Blake was first up. It lasted about 30 seconds when this tank broke he water and ripped the flyer from the kite. Blake headed to the bow with this beast. After about 45 minutes it is a 3 gaffer. The fish taped out to over 230 pounds. It was an awesome site to behold. The next 4 kite fish did not stick. The flyers were being demolished by the tunas but we could not get one to take the hook.

    We stopped on school after school of tunas but since we were under gunned and these fish would only hit 20 flouro the 5 fish we hooked on bait did not stick around very long. We ended the day with 6 total rockfish and the one huge Bluefin.

    Lunch was a great boat burger loaded with everything you wanted. Dinner was chicken cutlets with pasta, Very nice for the old fat Italian.

    Day two we find ourselves deep in Mexican waters. Day break brought eggs, potatoes, bacon and links with an English muffin. Hit the spot and then some. We start the troll on the hunt for the yellowfin at 0700. We troll past some kelps for micro yellowtail and medium (8-12 pound) DOO DOOs. It was a tough pick all day. We hit one paddy that held hundreds of DOO DOOs. We stopped and threw bait for about 50 fish. The first pass I lost 3 and landed one. The second pass I caught one of the three that were caught. It was a site to see. All the anticipation being built up over the last 36 hours had the fisher man forgetting it is only a fishing trip. Tangles and yelling. I kept to the bow as much as possible as I did not want to be one of those guys causing anther to lose a fish.

    We continue to troll and just when you think it is over Rambo telling us to reel in the trollers. He headed for a school of Dolphins. We drop the trollers back in and instant hook up. All four of the trolling rods go off. I wait as again the craziness of the fish tunas was attacking everyone’s common sense. I toss a jig and get bit. It ends up in a tangle and opps gone. We get back on the troll. This time when the trollers get hit I drop a hot dean on the slide 15 seconds later fresh one. I work it to the bow and fight it from there. Landed in about 10 minutes mid thirties yellowfin. From the bow I could her all the casualties in the stern. Reel em in from the bridge lets get back on them.

    We put the trollers out and boom hook up I picked a white Spanish mackerel from the live well and pinned it on my Tranx 500 with a 20 pound flouro top shot and a #4 ringed circle hook and dropped it in on the slide. Before we started trolling Richie asked me how I hooked that fish so fast. I explained to him how to fish the slide. He was ready. MY bait was first in on the slide as the trollers went off. Richie was right behind me. I get bit in a matter of seconds. It is pulling hard for Asia. Richie is looking at me wondering why his bait did not get picked up. I told him reel you line is slack. Bang he is on. His first slide fish. We fight our fish in the bow and land both. Mine was a better grade about 45 pounds. There was six of us in the bow and only Richie and I landed our fish. These fish were hot and did not want to play nice. Mario was next to Richie when Mario’s rod exploded. By now it is getting dark and we finish off the trip in style.

    The crew is pulling the fish from the RSW and weights the fish Number 4 jackpot winner for day two. Oh wait that was me again. I was the winner of both days. I usually do not get into the jackpots but on these trips I do as there is never any drama.

    Dinner was steak and it was welcomed by all. Again so much food you could hardly finish.

    What worked. Light line small hooks and a fresh bait. If you are in the water 30 seconds and did not get bit change your bait.

    The Boat Cortez 60-65 foot fishing machine. It was perfect for the 16-17 fishermen on this trip. Big bait tanks, Bunks are large and bunk room is air conditioned. So much I had to get inside my sleeping bag. 2 heads and 1 shower that was refreshing at the end of the day. Galley roomy on the port side there are two booths that seat 6 people. On the starboard side there is one booth that seats 4 people.

    Bow is very roomy you could have 4-6 people throwing jigs easily. The stern is fairly wide and very roomy around the bait tank. Tackle storage is questionable if you bring the big rolling boxes. The shelves on the cabin are setup for smaller bags. The platform by the bait tank will hold 3-4 tackle bags. Rod storage is fine along the cabin on both sides.

    The boat supplied the trolling gear.

    Crew: Top shelf. Brandon, Tyler Jeff worked the deck hard I probably would not have landed my fish without their assistance. With several fish going at one time, they always seemed to be there when you need them. One shot gaffing. They looked at your gear adjusted your drag setting and helped with your knot tying. You really do not realize how much a talented crew adds to your success on the water. They never get enough praise and thanks but for sure get blasted by the fishermen that do not listen or take the advise and instructions from the crew.

    Galley: what can I say Chicho kept us feed and laughing he was a delight to be around. Never a bad word or frown. He was always smiling and asking if you wanted more.



    Captain:

    Rambo is a fish killer. This is my second year on the Cortez with captain Rambo. He works hard and finds you the fish. Think about this we traveled from behind San Clemente Island on the Tanner bank down to below Ensenada looking for fish. Many captains would have just stuck it out and not spent the fuel to travel and hunt. They could have just said there was no fish below the boarder and we need to find the fish here. I know first hand as I have been on those trips. Rambo could have saved hundreds of dollars in fuel costs and we would not have known the difference. Difference is Rambo puts his customers first and will go the extra 70-100 miles to find the fish.

    So many of you are wondering what did he do with the winnings from days of the jackpot. I learned from my father and grandfathers that sometimes what you have means more to someone else than to you. So, like I always do I gave the entire jackpot (I do not know how much but probably 300 or so dollars) to the crew.

    In conclusion this was another great trip. Two days on the water finished my book Tom Clancy’s op-center sting of the Wasp. No phone calls, no emails just relaxation and fish killing.

    I have to thank everyone on the trip You all made this trip a memory I will keep until next years trip and we do it all over again.

    Nice write up. And lol on the rockfish at Tanner, that was me on the NLA last year when the BFT bite shut down.

    Had my late July charter on the Cortez get cancelled due to winds. Would love to fish with Rambo and crew someday.
     
    • Like
    Reactions: Tuna Dreamer
    Upvote 0