Chief 04.17-04.19.19 BLUFLU OUTBREAK! Captain Rick, Co-Cap Steve, Crew: Daniel, Andrew, Blake and Jonathan the Chef. 49 Bluefin Bluefin outbreak! Normally, I only fish the Pre, New and Post New Moon Bite for the Bluefin but just couldn’t fight the fever. Counts and weather were finally favorable so I was the first to sign up for this trip. Measel-like 32 more caught the same viral blue bug in less than 48 hours. We got to the tuna grounds, about an 85 mile run, just above Colonet around 5AM but unfortunately no sonar schools were metered in the dark. Flatfalls and my giant squid rig were crossed off the list on this hunt. Sunrise was around 6 and just around 8 we went on an 8 hour steady electrical pick drift. Most of the fish were in the beautiful blue butterball 60-80# range while jackpot winner, Mitch from LaCrescenta, had 5Star on land weigh his and it was his personal best beast at 125#’s gilled and bled. Mitch and I went 3 for 4, 40# and 35# fluoro and 2/0 J for Mitch while a 2/0 circle for me. Jonny went 3 for 9, 1/0 3X circle and 35# Fluoro (Tatsu, Japan Seaguar). Hai went 3 for 6 or 7, 1/0 circle and switched between 30-40# fluoro top shot. Worth mentioning is Flyfisherman Phil who went 1 for 8, #2 VMC J hook on 30# fluoro. Smaller hook size was important today but getting a hotbait is every day critical on the water. Jonny is hyper, so he’ll tell you that his habit and pattern is to pin on 20 dines before he’s happy with one. My blueprint is to go thru about 5 but spend an extra 30 seconds picking, palming and pinning the one that escapes everyone else. If that doesn’t work then I’ll ask the deckhand to scoop me out a fresh hotbait from the main tank. 3 out 4 of my bites were long soaks and the pattern was the same for most except on the first drop of the day. What’s most surprising this season is the average time it takes to land these meaner and leaner bluefin. 45-60 minutes is the average time. Jeremy a 6’ 3”(+) fit 270#er, fishing 30# fluoro, took 150 minutes, 2.5 hours, to land his 60# fish. I had a 100#er to color twice after 1.5+ hours but dancing thru 32 other lines and multiple tangles my fluoro failed at the hook. Primarily cuz it was me hardheadedly fishing with my favorite 25# fluoro...My friend, Young, said its good he got away because the meat would’ve been too hot and not very tasty. Don’t know if what he says is true but it did make me feel better hearing his wicked tuna wisdom. McKenzie a young angler, in the AM looked like he was the lead zombie in the Night of the Living Dead. Rescuer and Medic Angler Steve gave McKenzie two ginger pills and it worked like magic. He’s pictured here in full recovery and smiling with his personal best big blue. Jonathan made sure none of us lost any weight on this trip. After almost 12 hours on the rail, I was planning on going straight to bed and passing on dinner. I’m happy that I changed my mind and listened to my belly. Ribs and dessert were awesome. Captain Rick didn’t smile a lot but every time he hooked and handed off a blue to someone new to the game and not bent, that made all of us smile. Daniel, Blake and Andrew did a great job under the circumstances and chaos of catering to 33 crazy people all with sticks and hooks in their hand. One warning, these fish are exceptionally lean and mean so be prepared for a battle. The 60#ers think they’re 100#ers and fight like them. Days later, I’m still sore from fingers to forearm to biceps to rod bruised ribs. Second warning, don’t use the light bait hooks J or Circle. These fish tend to like the water and have no desire to hang with you on the deck. They will bend and pull any and all light hooks unless they are rated 2X-3X or even 4X. See pic of Ken’s light hook courtesy of another freed big bluefin. Best Attitude Award goes to Ken. First 8 hour drift he worked the rail hard without getting bit a single time. On the second drift he’s bit and after an hour plus battle he finds a bent light hook at the end of his line. And instead of throwing his rod and reel into the water he simply says “that was a thrill!” He went back to the bait tank and ended the day going 1 for 3 and going home with a cooler full of sashimi. Beaten and sore but thankful, blessed and humbled by His Almighty majesty. Just wondering though if Steve has another type of magic pill so I’ll be in full recovery for the 100#+ boys that are on the way. PM me Steve. I’ll take some Advil for now... Happy Easter Brothers, He is risen!