Bluefins R US...AZTEC 1.5 Day 6.12 to 6.14

Discussion in 'Southern California Offshore Fishing Reports' started by skang357, Jun 14, 2019.

  1. skang357

    skang357 Newbie

    Location:
    Long Beach
    Name:
    Sam
    Boat:
    The Kangsta
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    My my my what a difference a few days make.

    After getting skunked, i mean not even a bite the last two outings, I decided the time is now. And, I decided I didn't want to mess around anymore and went for the weekday with less traffic and also a known rainmaker, Captain Greg. He killed it when I went on the Pride every time a few years back.

    Got to the landing at 6 pm. Boat was out getting bait. Full load of 30 passengers.

    Boarded the boat, and since my rig was already tied a few days ago, just put the rods in the holder, got to my bunk, and signed into the manifest.

    Tip #1.. I believe Seaforth reserves bunks by phone prior to the trip. They need to make those aware when you buy your ticket online. I did not know this. They told me I get one of the floor bunks even though I was #21 out of #30 to arrive because the other ones were reserved already. I was like whatever. Turned out my bunk was like this weird floor bunk in between the four bunks in these semi private staterooms that basically look like they shouldn't be there. Anyways..

    The Aztec has bunks, with the exception of the two floor bunks that are perpendicular to the length of the boat. This is a first for me and makes a ton of sense. Boats tend to rock side to side and when you are perpendicular you have less of the right to left movement when you sleep. Of course my bunk wasn't like this, but just saying. It's a good design plan.

    Speaking of design plans, I would say the biggest flaw of the Aztec is that the bunks/staterooms are literally on the other side of the shell of the boat if you know what I mean. There is no insulation. So when you sleep you hear every splash of a wave hitting the boat. This makes it sort of hard to sleep. Had to plug my ears with TP both nights and still didn't get a good nights sleep.

    Other than that the Aztec is a kick ass boat. Very wide platform, seating for 24 in side the salon/galley, and overall a comfortable boat. 30 anglers is very doable on the boat. I just didn't like the wave thing. Oh and they need to replace all the old loose rod rack holder thingies with new ones. Many of them are very loose and I was worried that the rods would come out during rough seas.

    Oh and the Aztec offers a $60 meal plan/JP. Or just $45 for the meal plan if you don't wan't JP Doesn't come with drinks or snacks. I went for meal plan/JP.

    Now on to the fishing.

    Checked my phone gps at 3 am. We are about 80 miles southwest of Pt Loma/Quivera. Roughly the same spot as when I fished the El Cap. Went outside, didn't see a single light 360 degrees in either direction. With the exception of one boat that was following us.

    By 5:30 am we are in the zone. Looking at my phone we were roughly 90 miles south west and I would say around 40 miles southwest of Ensenada.

    Weather wise, it was snotty. Overcast cloudy, windy, choppy, and cold. If we were fishing for YT or YFT I'm it would have been bad. Water temp was 64.8.

    We get our first jig strike at 6:30 cruising next to a paddy. It's a 15 lb yellowtail. We stop the boat, and we fish the slide. I was the only one to hook a bait fish.

    I'm guessing it's a roughly 20 lb yellowtail. Anyways, I'm tangled by 3 lines as the guys are all rusty first thing in the morning forgetting to keep their lines tight. Deckhand comes into to untangle, yanks my rod back not knowing I was fishing with 25 lb, and the fish breaks free as the line breaks near the hook. Bummer but it was a good way to start the trip and my first bite in 3 trips this year.

    That was that and we begin to troll again. Not 30 minutes pass and we stop on a sonar mark. Captain says to through out bait big time. We do and stop. I retie the 25 lb and throw out expecting a 20 to 30 lb bft. Wrong.

    I get picked up and line sings out non-stop. I am about to get spooled. Put my thumb on the spool... pap. Others hook up. What ensues is about a 1 hour stop and we boated a handful of BFT. These are the 70 to 80 lb models. I am impressed. Things slow down and the skipper wants to find a new school.

    This guy is a bluefin magnet. Within 30 minutes another school is located, I fish 40 lb this time using a Daiwa jigstick and a Penn Squall 25n. I had Metaloids with me but the Squall was the only outfit I had that had a 40lb braid attached to a mono top shot. As I read from another poster here that the BFT wanted the braid to mono to flouro connection as opposed to just braid to flouro.

    I hook another fish and it runs hard. Within 10 seconds it takes out all the mono and as soon as it gets to the spectra... pap, breaks off. Bummer.

    By this time we boated roughly 17 BFT. I was starting to get worried.

    Have no fear, we are in a bite for the ages. Skipper looks for another school and within 30 minutes we find another one.

    Here is a tip. Both my hookups so far were flylined. These BFT for sight fish you can tell when they move in and boil on your bait. They come in packs and unless they do this, your bait is just out there swimming.

    I'm guessing in the middle of the water column is where the greatest volume of fish is held. So what you see is really tip of the iceberg. Rather than fish for packs that rise to the surface with a flylined bait, better to fish for the general population with a weight in the middle of the water column.

    I switch to a 2 oz sinker rig. I hook another one and fight for 2 hours on the Squall. I will never fish single speed for big BFT ever again. I gained almost to color and the fish took out half the spool back and forth roughly 10 times. These fish do not tire out. Many times it just let me reel it in without a fight only at color to take off as if nothing happened. It was just resting.

    Final color the line snaps. Oh no. It was probably around 4 pm by then. I was thinking oh great I have to go another trip.

    Without even being able to lift my left arm, I retie the sinker rig and do it again. Another bite about 10 minutes later on a long soak. I"m using the rail to fight this fish. After 1 hour I bring it up. It's gaffed. PB BFT and jackpot of the trip 91 lbs. On a Penn Squall single speed star drag with a number 1 Habayusa J hook and a rubber band sinker rig attached to the tag line between mono and flouro.

    Whoo hoo the skunk is off and my mission is accomplished. No more checking counts and planning my next trip hunting for that elusive bluefin. I don't think I will chase BFT till they move up to the Tanner or Clemente and I go on the Freedom or Eldo.

    Anyways I tip the crew my JP and want to thank Captain Greg for being bad ass captain he is and the rest of the crew on the Aztec. The crew worked real hard and really devoted their efforts to ensure we got fish. I loved how Greg kept coaching us throughout the trip along with giving us updates as he saw them on what we were getting into. We had 42 BFT. We probably hooked 100 fish I'm guessing. 8 of the fish were on a kite. Thanks for the Aztec hooking many fish on the kite and handing off the rig to those who didnt get a fish as not everyone hooked and landed their own fish.

    I think I got the most bites. 5 bites in total including the YT. The 40 lb helps. The sinker rig helps. I even think the J hook helps as circle hooks lose baits, kills baits more are hard to use and just weird imo. But mostly, it was just being on the right boat at the right time. I never ever seen such a wide open BFT bite before. We had fish jumping out all over the place literally 30 feet in front of the boat. These fish wanted to play yesterday and we were there to experience it.

    Oh and everyone on the trip kney they were on one of the best trips of their life. Smiles and hi fives all around and everyone was talking to everyone being good buddies. On other trips with less fish, long faces and reservedness abounds. Not this trip.

    I have callouses all over my hands, my left arm is bruised from leaning against the rail, my back is hurting, and my right knee all banged up from kneeling. But it was worth it all at the end. Thank you all for reading, and I hope some of you got some tips out of this. Will post any excursions later on future trips.

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    Last edited: Jun 14, 2019
  2. 2tuna

    2tuna Member

    Location:
    Salinas/CA/USA
    Name:
    Craig H
    Boat:
    le barge
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    Holy shit, I'm exhausted just reading that. Busting off three of those fish - late game - man, I would have been weaving myself a noose of loose spectra.

    Good on you for getting it done. Beautiful fish.
     
  3. slayerjr

    slayerjr Newbie

    Location:
    Mission Viejo CA USA
    Name:
    Roy
    Boat:
    Friends boat
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    upload_2019-6-14_17-4-7.gif

    This should be good.
     
    Peg North, BT3Steve, finsane and 6 others like this.
  4. skang357

    skang357 Newbie

    Location:
    Long Beach
    Name:
    Sam
    Boat:
    The Kangsta
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    Oh I forgot to talk about the food. Im going to guess the chef has a culinary background. Choice of breakfast from biscuits and gravy to french toast a breakfast plate etc. I had a breakfast burrito. Lunch was burgers with the good old potato salad. However the potatoes were not First Street and made from scratch or maybe whole foods lol. The burger had a knife stuck in it and the patties were restaurant style if you will on a sportboat. Dinner was tri tip with mash potatoes or a veggie risotto. Also raspberry cheesecake for desert although I didnt try that. The chef definitely watches the food network im guessing. Lol. Overall satisfying and the average guy would be impressed i think.
     
    embo, kbray001, fishin_kid and 2 others like this.
  5. bdubs73

    bdubs73 Well-Known "Member"

    Location:
    San Diego
    Name:
    Brian
    Boat:
    none
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    Way to hang in there and keep fishing! Congratulations on a beautiful fish.
     
  6. mrkrabs

    mrkrabs I've posted enough I should edit this section

    Location:
    Santee/ca/usa
    Name:
    Marty
    Boat:
    Lard ass
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    :D

    FOOD.gif
     
    Reel_Brew likes this.
  7. Paul Ward

    Paul Ward Well-Known "Member"

    Location:
    Costa Mesa
    Name:
    wooddog
    Boat:
    Boaty
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    Great pile of fish. We are thinking of running out there with a 26 Skippy but worried about the weather.Any weather reports from others ?
     
  8. lougio

    lougio Capt Lou

    Location:
    La Mesa, CA
    Name:
    Lou
    Boat:
    '03 Parker 2520 Louie-Lui II
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    Great report, thx!
     
  9. bobsled

    bobsled Consumer

    Location:
    Los Angeles area
    Name:
    Robert
    Boat:
    N/A
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    Nice fish. Great report too.
     
  10. Abusaade

    Abusaade Member

    Location:
    Compton, Ca
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  11. dctalk523

    dctalk523 I've posted enough I should edit this section

    Location:
    City of Angels
    Name:
    ChoeMan
    Boat:
    Never
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  12. Mario62692

    Mario62692 Newbie

    Location:
    Baldwin Park
    Name:
    Mario
    Boat:
    OneDay
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    Excellent report Sam. What's the gear ratio on the Squall 25n you used?
     
  13. Blue Frontier

    Blue Frontier Well-Known "Member"

    Location:
    Corona, CA USA
    Name:
    Ton
    Boat:
    USS Enterprise
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    Great report. Really enjoy reading it.
     
  14. skang357

    skang357 Newbie

    Location:
    Long Beach
    Name:
    Sam
    Boat:
    The Kangsta
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    6 to 1. Its a yellowtail/bass reel. Suprisingly the drags held up for 3 hours of bruiser size bluefin action. But the torque on the reel is just not meant for them unless you enjoy punishment
     
  15. Mario62692

    Mario62692 Newbie

    Location:
    Baldwin Park
    Name:
    Mario
    Boat:
    OneDay
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    I have a Penn Fathom 30 Star Drag with 4.8:1 gear ratio. Your catch gives me hope and inspiration.
     
  16. bloodfart

    bloodfart gentleman asshole

    Location:
    san di egg oh (translation: a whale's vagina)
    Name:
    BF
    Boat:
    yours
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    great read.
     
  17. jiggyn

    jiggyn Do you even fish?

    Location:
    Torrance
    Name:
    Jerr
    Boat:
    That boat!
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    I look at pics than read
    This Time I read and was able to visualize it
     
  18. invictus

    invictus AVD

    Location:
    Orange County
    Name:
    Jason
    Boat:
    Tiara 2000 Cuddy
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    I cannot recall a boat where the bunks are at the waterline, where you don’t hear the wake/wave action.

    Sounds like a great trip.
     
  19. Wandering Blues

    Wandering Blues I've posted enough I should edit this section

    Location:
    The Land of Entrapment
    Name:
    Curtis
    Boat:
    A Pair of Simms G3 Waders
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    I called you out on the El Cap post. Far as I’m concerned, this post puts you even, especially taking JP and making sure the crew was taken care of. Those big bruisers are a team effort and it’s great you showed them some love.
     
  20. mahyar

    mahyar Member

    Location:
    rancho santa margarita ca
    Name:
    mahyar
    Boat:
    no
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    Congrats on your PB. enjoyed reading your report.
     

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