Cow Noob No More! Royal Star 15-Day Report

Dexter Outdoors

SemperFishing

Member
Apr 26, 2007
589
101
Austin, TX
Name
Dave
Boat
Prefer Long Range or skiffs (great if combined!)
(Heheheh, It wasnt my intention of posting this big ass photo of me...but photobucket has a mind of its own...)

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We just got back from the Royal Star 15 Day BraidTrip. The fishing was excellent as we spent 7 days in the lower zone andclobbered the Tuna. Being my first Cow trip, I had previously posted a requestfor help thread titled “Cow Fishing for Noobs” and I wanted to thank everyonefor providing tips and advice (listed are just some of the great BD folks whohelped me out: SactoTuna, RubberHook, WahooDad, Garabaldi, screamingreel, JSR, Fishbone24,Starman, Bill W, fishholc, fishordie, riceman1011).

SactoTuna and a bunch of folks on the trip and of course theRoyal Star crew were of great help to me on this lifelong dream. A roll up ofthe action goes as follows.

After 3 days of travel, we set up near the Red Rooster IIIand American Angler and hooked up fish immediately. A few 60-100lbers are landed and Jan gets ourfirst cow on the Kite at 213lbs. (NOTE:Names, Fish Weights, etc may not be exact, as it’s all a big haze when you havethis much fun). Trip Cow Total: 1.

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After making salami baitafter dinner, we woke up at 3am with Tuna underneath us and proceeded hookinggood fish. Our first morning was a great hit, a bunch of 100lbers and 4 Cowswere landed for a 17 fish total. Salamis were the ticket, but lobbing them outlike horseshoes took patience as they often swam right back under the boat.Kohei gets one at 218lbs fish. By 530 am, the bite had stalled. SactoTuna walkson deck and I greet him with “Dude, are you just waking up?” He had decided tosleep in and his face showed the classic Homer Simpson look of “Doooooooooh!”(love yah man!) With fishing this good, our Captain Tim Ekstrom sets a 100lbcut off to make save room for our remaining fishing days, and we proceed to catchand release dozens of dozens tuna between 40-80lbs. The 8am-11am was a goodsteady fishing on tuna ranging from schoolies 40-80lbers with 15-20 fish from130-180lbs. A shot at a Cow occurred every few hours. The sundowner bite was nearlynon-existent. This sets the tone for the rest of the trip. Trip Cow Total: 5.

Day 3: Had the fish biting at 345am-530am. Kohei getshis 2<sup>nd</sup> Cow of the trip at 252lbs. Today had the fish biting steady all day, with1-3 going at all times. Larry fished the chunk and got the biggest cow of thetrip at 285.4lbs.

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Larry has fished and hunted with Bill Poole during the goldendays of long range, and he showed his skill in kicking that big fish’s butt.

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<font size="3"><font face="Calibri">Wahoo started showing upand sawed off our baits, hooks, with the occasional one hooked. We checked inwith the Mexican Navy in the afternoon. Long Range new comer Marc fromWashington State had spent his first day in Kite Jail, but makes up for it bycatching his 1<sup>st</sup> and 2<sup>nd</sup> Yellowfintuna EVER: 25 lbs AND239 lbs. He then catches his first wahoo. I get a ‘hoo on the 7X in bird poo color and then a 42lber on bait. Trip Cow Total: 9.<?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com
p><font size=

Day 4: More and MORE fish! The tuna were eating up ourleaders as we released so many. Where else in the world would you consider an85lb Yellowfin a “small fish?” Larry keeps his streak going, landing a 272lberin addition to his 285 the previous day. Talk about skill! The sharks got on ustoday, eating the chunk especially. SactoTuna redeems his 2<sup>nd</sup> dayignonimity, getting a 207lb cow on the sardine.

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Floyd, catches up to his wifeJan with a 219lber. Todd from Oregon on his 2<sup>nd</sup> ever long range triplands his first cow at 205lbs. Again, at sundown, the bite slowed to a halt. Wemake bait and get ready for the morning bite. Trip Cow Total: 13.

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Day 5: The big morning hit comes as usual but therewere only 3 more cows this round, with a couple 180lbers for the day. SactoTuna,satisfied with his cow, takes the time to jig his PL68 and lands a fewschoolies to 80lbs. The morning is a pick bite. Kohei, who has been fishing LRboats since the 70s, gets his THIRD Cow of the trip. Captain Tim sets the cutoff to 120lbs. Trip Cow Total: 16.

Day 6: The bite slows down considerably. We hook plenty ofschoolies and released those, but fish over 100lbs were hard to come by. SactoTuna keeps his PL68 streak going and lands a few more schoolies. I copy him andget a few on the PL68. This day I started to screw around more than I usuallydid and fished my 16 VSX with 80lb. Fun to fish after carrying a 50 and a 30all day. The Xcel arrives as the Red Rooster III and American Angler departs. Mariusfrom South Africa is on his 2<sup>nd</sup> Braid 15 day and gets one of the twoCows that hit the deck that day at 209lbs. Trip Cow Total: 18.<o:p></o:p>
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Day 7: This fishing picks back up with a short morninghit but lots more biters throughout the day. The anglers are getting tired, 6days of great fishing wears you down eventually! However, the Tuna were notthere to appease our weary muscles. I proceed to hook a belligerent Yellowfinthat just HANDS ME MY A**. Up and down and around the rails on 100lb with my brand new ATD-30 on the setting of “M”.
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I get to the bowwhere it’s a Mexican standoff for about 20 minutes. Finally, I put my hand onthe spool to keep it from slipping and bring in the fish. Man! I’ve read aboutthe demon 150-190lbers, and this one proved it! Ironically, I was asking myselfthat morning for a demon fish to work me over, and as they say, be careful whatyou wish for.
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No cows are landed today. Tim decides to stay the final morning.With the fish hitting most of the mornings, it made sense to give it one moretry. The previous two Braid Trips had last morning big hits, so it was naturalto attempt to carry on the tradition. Trip Cow Total: 18 (again).<o:p></o:p>

Day8: 9<sup>th</sup> inning. 4<sup>th</sup> Qtr. At the buzzer, the 18<sup>th</sup>round, whatever you want to call it, the end of the trip had arrived and wewere chomping at the bit for the last hit to break our 20<sup>th</sup> cowmark. We were hoping for the morning bite trend to last one more day. The bighits were absent the past 2 days, and like the previous trips, we wanted to maintain the roll on morning hits. Salamis were out, the chunkline going, and we were fishing. Except me. My 180lbr had left my handsstrained and sore, so I was content to watch. But certain things trigger yourfishing instinct quickly, for instance, a Captain’s voice over the PAannouncing “There’s fish underneath the boat…”

Heck, I may be feeling sore fromfishing, but heck if I didn’t feel the need try out a new stick for my nextrail rod, specifically a 770XXH. I wanted to hang a fish on it to get a feelfor the way it handled. So, with small schoolies being the usual fish landed onJigs all the past 7 mornings, I burrowed a passenger’s rod (Jeff) that had100lb and a PL68 tied to it. We were slowly starting to hook fish while Idropped the jig and ticked off the feet in my head…50 ft…100ft…150ft…STOP.Crank! Crank! Crank! Crank!YEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEAAAAAARRRHHHH!

HAHAHAHAHHAAAAAAAAAAAH! The jig jolted and jerked and pulled!

I maintain thepressure and thought to myself, it’s about an 80 pounder. Just what I wanted!The fish dove and took line. A lot of line. And then MORE line. It thenproceeded to drag me up the bow. I got a haul back and felt the weight. Irealized at that point that this was a lot bigger than an 80pounder and thought“Awww….Sh*t.”
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I fought and pulled and cranked and gritted my teethto gain line. Other anglers were hooked up but I paid them little attention, Iwas getting worked over by this dang fish and it was letting me know who hadwho. I attempted to pump and gain line, but it was turning into a game ofinches. After 20 minutes, I made it to the stern, around the stern, and back upto the bow. Gripping the spool like I did the previous 180lb fish, I started togain a few feet. But just like yesterday, everything I gained, the fish wouldtake back within seconds. After 30 mins, we bumped up the drag setting to maxand I was back at the stern and continuing to crank hard, but to no avail. DeckhandSteve placed his hand on the spool so I can concentrate on keeping the rod fromslipping on the rail. A few more agonizing minutes passed as the fish roundedin wide 30 ft. circles. Anglers held their rods high to avoid the tuna as itpassed their lines. The last 50 ft was near, the Tuna nearly beaten and Iplaced my hand on the spool with Steve’s to apply maximum pressure. 50 feet…circle pass…40 feet…circle pass…30feet…Gaffs surrounded me, and “LIFT! LIFT! LIFT!"
GOT HIM! The fish was vanquished, a prize fighter on thefloor and I was the victor. It wasn’t elation that came over me, nor joy, butstraight relief. The elation came over me as the fish came over the rail, itwas a COW! On the PL68 JIG!!!
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We weighed it in at 225lbs and I sat back and put Jeff’s rigaway and thanked him for letting me borrow it. The other anglers continue tohook up and fight their fish and it was clear that these were nice ones. Waynefrom Washington was on his first long range trip and held on for dear lifewhile cranking on his 3<sup>rd</sup> hooked big fish. He had his hook pull on acow at the beginning of the trip, been sawed off on the anchor in the middle ofthe trip on another cow, and caught schoolies in-between. The cow came up, andthe gaffs went down once again.
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Wayne,who had only caught 20-35lb albacore in Washington before this, lands a 280lbcow. Freddy, who had not landed a cow that trip, gets his big’un at the lastbell at 285lbs even. Jeff, on his 4<sup>th</sup> or 5<sup>th</sup> long rangetrip, finally gets his first cow at 215lbs. And we did it! The boat breaks its20<sup>th</sup> cow by landing its 22<sup>nd</sup> Cow of the trip. The last cow hits the deck and it’s just before 8am.Captain Tim fires up the engines and we take off for home.

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What an incredible trip. The Long Range Standard ofexcellence was met and exceeded on the Royal Star and damn if we got ‘em good! Thefellow fishermen and lady were first class to fish with and made daily fishinga smile filled affair. Four other anglers along with me landed our first cowfish and possibly the fish of a lifetime. My previous big fish was a Yellowfin of only 80 pounds. For 15 years, I pursued a fish that would weigh more than me (a150lb goal), and this trip delivered on that with the help of fellow BDer’sadvice. A great many thanks to you all. <o:p></o:p>

I got 3 tuna over 100lbs: 130lb (est), 140lb (est), 180lb, and3 tuna over 200lbs: 211lbs, 220lbs, 225lbs. Damn fine results for a 1<sup>st</sup>Cow trip. :hali_olutta:

'TILL THE NEXT CAST!

"Fishing is free in Heaven, spend your money now!" ~ Todd Stephens
































 

nick17yz

TUNA TOKER
Nov 6, 2008
1,561
99
41
SEEKER RODS
Name
Nick Rekrut
Boat
Longrange
way to go on the cows!!! thanks for the report!!
 

johndtuttle

Angler/Client
Mar 20, 2008
5,574
1,760
Carmel, CA
Name
john
Boat
not crazy enough yet
strong work young man. thx for posting. :)
 

fishordie

I Should Upgrade My Account
Aug 31, 2005
2,101
1,381
65
Calabasas CA
Name
Jamie
Boat
2013 Ranger Z521 with 250 Merc.: Now deceased.. Thank goodness
Maaan,

Your story brings a tear to my eye. Just one. But it is a good one. I LOVE
hearing stories like yours especially when they are told so well. The bad news is you are Addicted Hook, line and sinker. Oh Wait.... That is good news. Great Job Dave.

Jamie
 

SemperFishing

Member
Apr 26, 2007
589
101
Austin, TX
Name
Dave
Boat
Prefer Long Range or skiffs (great if combined!)
Maaan,

Your story brings a tear to my eye. Just one. But it is a good one. I LOVE
hearing stories like yours especially when they are told so well. The bad news is you are Addicted Hook, line and sinker. Oh Wait.... That is good news. Great Job Dave.

Jamie

Thanks for the help on info Jamie! I culled 2-3 years of posts off BD and built a 40 page long "Cow Fishing Manifesto" for the trip. The other anglers saw it and were impressed. It paid off well!

And damn if Im not addicted! I was itching to go back fishing 2 days after I got back! Not sure when my next trip is, but I'm already eyeing that 665XH! (I used a 770XXH on that 225...no thanks! :rofl:)
 

Garibaldi

Member
Nov 18, 2011
292
2
Orange County
Name
G
Boat
50' Modutech: Reel Estate
Awesome job Dave, and a cow on the PL-68 makes us jig fisherman of the world proud! Very happy for you, and it looks like all your homework and your positive attitude paid off well.

Tight lines!
 

Sactotuna

I Should Upgrade My Account
Oct 20, 2005
1,767
137
sacramento
Name
jim
Boat
Royal Star
It was a pleasure adding you to our Braid group David.
Your enthusiasm was boundless, and is well reflected in your report.
Maybe next year . . . if you can get away from your new career in San Antonio Thai food!
Good luck on your new venture, may we share the rail of the Royal Star again someday.
 

hydro

Almost A Member
Nov 10, 2010
235
41
In the mountains
Name
Dan
Boat
I wish
Great report and awesome trip! Wow three cows is bad-ass, especially with one on the jig. Way to go dude! Thanks for sharing. I guess your gonna have to go on a lot more cow trips.....:hali_olutta:

I'm curious about your take on the Calstar 770XXH?
 

Salmonater

Member
Oct 10, 2008
827
620
Tacoma,Wa US
Name
Jeff Norwood
Boat
31' North River Walkaround, Salmonater
Great report Dave, It was a pleasure fishing with you. We've got to do it again. By the way, that was a 765xxh that you got that fish on.
 

Steve K

Hey, I'm gettin' bit...
Jan 2, 2005
11,418
7,023
Bishop
Name
Steve
Boat
18' Bayrunner, but I like the American Angler and the Red Rooster III
Great report Dave, It was a pleasure fishing with you. We've got to do it again. By the way, that was a 765xxh that you got that fish on.

Right on Dave! Jeff, congrats on the trip and I'm curious as well about the rod, too stiff?
 

screamingreel

Long Range Fanatic
Jan 14, 2006
2,447
2,866
Walnut Creek CA
longrangesportfishingsandiego.com
Name
Jeff Burroughs
Boat
Long Range and Private
Absolutely spectacular, Dave! Congratulations!! The Royal Star is a fantastic operation. See what happens when preparation and opportunity meet? A cow on the jig is excellent.

Welcome to the addiction!! Now you know what we are talking about...

- Jeff Burroughs
 

spike

I Post A Lot But I Can't Edit This
Mar 6, 2006
8,598
45
San Clemente CA
Name
Spike Ivins
Boat
any chance I get
Congrats Dave, awesome trip and 5 star trip report!

By the way this picture is killer! Maybe Paul Sweeny could take a lesson.



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SemperFishing

Member
Apr 26, 2007
589
101
Austin, TX
Name
Dave
Boat
Prefer Long Range or skiffs (great if combined!)
Jim, pleaure to fish with you too! Jeff, thanks again for letting me borrow the rod! (it was really a 665? I swore I thought it was a 770). And of course, a big thanks for letting me keep the jig! I hope to make it up there to fish the NW with you guys soon.

My take on the XXH (whether it was 665 or 770) was that it was too stiff. I felt that the fish was lifting me on the striaght up and down and that it didnt give enough. I had a real hard time lifting the fish and moving the rod. The action reminds me a lot of the 2 X4 and lots of people like those rods. Keep in mind, I'm 5'6 and 150 lbs (when dressed in wet clouthes) so its relative. Before, I was under the impresion that the extra lengh would help me clear the rail (as I caught the preivous cows and a tough 180 on 6 ft rods), but as I fought the 225, I thought the length was working against me with the stiffness.

I went to charkbait afterwards and tested out the 665XH and 665XXH, I was very impressed with both. The XH seems to be optimum for rail fighter like me. I used a custom BTG6460XH (I think thats the model) and the action was great, but b/c I place my reel so high on the rod that I didnt clear the rail as far as I would like. Also, the talica rod on my first 2 cows was a 6ft and acted alot like a calstar of H or XH stiffness (Also a tad too short). I didnt get the chance to try the harness, though I pulled on the rail with it on and liked it. I'll try it when I hook a big 'un that runs out to the horizon.
 

Steve K

Hey, I'm gettin' bit...
Jan 2, 2005
11,418
7,023
Bishop
Name
Steve
Boat
18' Bayrunner, but I like the American Angler and the Red Rooster III
Jim, pleaure to fish with you too! Jeff, thanks again for letting me borrow the rod! (it was really a 665? I swore I thought it was a 770). And of course, a big thanks for letting me keep the jig! I hope to make it up there to fish the NW with you guys soon.

My take on the XXH (whether it was 665 or 770) was that it was too stiff. I felt that the fish was lifting me on the striaght up and down and that it didnt give enough. I had a real hard time lifting the fish and moving the rod. The action reminds me a lot of the 2 X4 and lots of people like those rods. Keep in mind, I'm 5'6 and 150 lbs (when dressed in wet clouthes) so its relative. Before, I was under the impresion that the extra lengh would help me clear the rail (as I caught the preivous cows and a tough 180 on 6 ft rods), but as I fought the 225, I thought the length was working against me with the stiffness.

I went to charkbait afterwards and tested out the 665XH and 665XXH, I was very impressed with both. The XH seems to be optimum for rail fighter like me. I used a custom BTG6460XH (I think thats the model) and the action was great, but b/c I place my reel so high on the rod that I didnt clear the rail as far as I would like. Also, the talica rod on my first 2 cows was a 6ft and acted alot like a calstar of H or XH stiffness (Also a tad too short). I didnt get the chance to try the harness, though I pulled on the rail with it on and liked it. I'll try it when I hook a big 'un that runs out to the horizon.

Dave, sounds to me like you need to try to make it to one of the Fred Hall shows and tour both the Calstar and Seeker booths. Calstar rail rods, 770XXH and 770XXXH are both 7' and I like 'em for 100-130 lb or 130-150 lb. The 765XXH is a different animal, stiffer tip and the 765XXXH is a real pool cue. I borrowed that 765XXXH from the Accurate quiver of loaner rods on our 11 day last year on the Angler; paired it with a Penn 50S, fishing 150 lb topshots in the grey, fising the Salami. I liked it as you can really put the pressure on the fish. But, I'm 5'9" and weigh in at 195.

Seekers, other than the 2 X 4, are 6463XXXH and 6463XXXH for rail rods. These are great as well. Seeker is also coming out with some affordably priced, (under $400) rail rods in the Classic Series which are E-Glass. I believe they're call Rail Boss and the actions might be alittle more forgiving and just what you're looking for. I think they are 6470XXXH and 6470XXXXH.

Sounds to me also, like you might benefit from a custom rod for this type of fishing. Properly fitted with the exact length butt grips and foregrips would make you smile a lot. ;) Check with Saltydawg on that and he can get you all fixed up.

Numbers are very confusing. Easy to get all messed up.
 

Rubberhook2

Local Bluefin
Jan 19, 2007
5,234
899
San Clemente
Name
Tim
Boat
None
Great report! Glad you had a stellar trip.

A cow on the iron? Who woulda thunk...LOL

Congrats!
 

shajcl

I Should Upgrade My Account
Oct 16, 2005
1,246
178
Alameda
Name
JL
Boat
n/a
Excellent report, and congrats on the cow with a jig. There is no feeling better than when a YFT hits your jig. What reel were you using on that jig fish?

JL