Offshore Drew Ford Charter 2 Day Fish Report on the New Lo-An

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cuss on Monday,pray on Sunday,dream about one day
Jun 1, 2006
sold! / cattle boat
This weekend marked the annual Drew Ford overnight charter which, for those of you who know me well, can attest that I stress about planning every year. This year will be our third with Captain Markus on the New Lo-An. Once again, his professionalism and experience have come through for us. I can honestly say this year's charter was the best of the six years I have been involved.

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P><P><FONT color=black><FONT face=Verdana>About a week before the trip, Markus reaches out to me to work out the final details. He begins by expressing some concerns about an overnight being less than ideal for a successful trip and it turning into a boat ride. His recommendation was to convince everyone a 2-day was our best bet as there had been good quantities of biting fish at 130 miles. Times are still tough for many, and like myself, I know everyone has family considerations. My initial feeling about convincing 21-some-odd people last minute to pony up the extra money and extend the trip by a day wasn't very positive. To my surprise, one phone call after another was a YES! <SPAN style=
as the excitement grew over what great potential we hoped to gain by extending the trip.</SPAN>

Friday evening rolls around and the landing is buzzing with activity as several boats were returning and preparing to head back out. We spoke with a few people who had returned from 1.5-day trips with mixed results, certainly nothing to get excited about. It seemed as though many scratched away at fish all day long but had nothing stellar to report. Markus soon arrives at the docks and I reluctantly ask him how he did. His response was that he was ready to get the bad taste out of his mouth, which later I come to find out means his previous overnight trip coming back with 8 fish for 32 people. I've got mixed feelings at this point, glad we've gone from overnight to a 2-day but are the fish really going to be there for us even with the extra day? At this point, all I can do is hope for the best. In the meantime, I'm dealing with the landing on the logistics, gathering the gear and yelling at Shannon to get on her phone and look up the counts for the day. Needless to say, none of them had any updates which further increased my concerns about the overall success of the trip.
With all passengers accounted for, the bait tanks full and everyone settled, Markus gave us a quick run-down on what to expect over the next two days. This included the long run to 135-150 miles overnight which would extend well into the morning hours. He also informed us that we would be ignoring the kelp patties along the way until we reached our destination, which he estimated would be approximately 10:30 AM. This means we will be giving up the possibility of hooking up on the grey-light bite. Before departing, I informed Markus that we had a half-a-dozen people who had never fished before in our group. As we get into ~135 mile range, Markus slows the boat to trolling speed and comes down to give a short seminar on the basics as the deck hands begin preparing for our day. The troll rods hit the water about 10:30 AM and after a couple of hours of what seemed like endless trolling we are seeing no activity whatsoever. At this point I'm really starting to get that sinking feeling in my stomach and am hoping I haven't just arranged for us to be a 2-day boat ride!
Around noon, without warning Markus hits the throttles and announces that he's received a report from the First String who is a couple miles away on a nice school of Bluefin. Everyone is excited by the news and begins checking their gear, not knowing what to expect when we arrive. After a short ride, but what seemed like an eternity, we arrive at the scene where the First String and a private boat were camped out. We all began to speculate as we struggle to see what was going on in the distance while Markus positions the boat. I'm not seeing huge boils or any free swimmers, which has me concerned that maybe the school is moving on or the bite is shutting off. No sooner does the thought cross my mind and Markus gives us the order to drop in. Everyone quickly baits up and races to the rail, Shannon and Matt were the first to get picked up, and literally within seconds, everyone is hooked up yelling and shuffling. Fish after fish are hitting the deck ... all three of the deck hands and Markus were running around responding to calls for "GAFF!!!" happening in stereo from all sides of the boat. Christophe, the cook, is covered in blood (as was everyone else at this point) and was sporting what looked like some kind of blood red war paint all over his face as he frantically tries to tag the fish that are piling up at his feet much faster than he could process them even if he were twins. Markus did a great job of supervising the chaos keeping an especially close eye on the less experienced group and quickly dealing with any tangles. The fish were insane and would bite anything you dropped in the water. Shannon tells me her second bait hadn't even hit the water when a YFT literally jumped and grabbed it just as it was about to break the surface. Matt, the young kid from Long Beach was throwing a jig and not even having to work it before getting picked up time and time again. I lost count of how many fish I had in the boat and actually put my rod down at one point and helped the crew gaff at least 10 fish before starting up fishing again. This went on for literally an hour and a half before the bite began to subside. We were still picking off YFT one by one, but we had to go down in line size. Regardless, everyone was pretty exhausted at this point and for good reason. Overall, come to find out we had boated 155 YFT and 16 BFT!! What an awesome way to start the day! Markus decides to make the call to move on and try to find a little more variety to finish out our day. This will also give us some much needed lunch (which is now at least two hours overdue) and replenish ourselves as we search for more fish.
The rest of the day was filled with a troll fish here and there but none would go on the bait. As the sun begins to dip into the water on the horizon we're all talking about what a great day this turned out to be, even if it was just one furious bite and then scratching after that. Little did we know, this was just the calm before the storm as all four of the trollers hook up almost simultaneously. The boat is once again furious with activity, as those who had gone below to take a nap were swarming out of the bunks and racing to get into the action. Before joining in on the fun, Markus returned the favor and radioed the First String with our position. At one point we were literally fishing within jig throwing distance from each other and you could hear the yells of excitement echoing between the two boats as not a rod was without a fish, or more accurately multiple fish! The bite was so insane that I caught Markus up at the stern with a trolling feather literally hooking and bouncing fish onto the deck!! We continued to fish, or rather CATCH well into the dark of night and ended up leaving them biting. Everyone was literally exhausted after two absolutely crazy wide open bites that just wouldn't quit! We ended day one limiting out on YFT and also had our share of a few BFT as well.
It was truly an awesome trip! I can imagine especially for the first time anglers who were able to experience such an epic bite on their very first time out on the water. The food was awesome as always, prepared by Christophe. Tiny, Kristina, Tristan our faithful deckies worked extra hard on our trip and kept great attitudes even in the heat of the moment, which really showcases their professionalism and experience ... and of course Markus, a top notch Captain who once again has come through for the Drew Crew, buy encouraging us to take a leap of faith and paying off with limits of fish!!
TOTALS: 1 Dorado, 16 Bluefin, 240 Yellowfin Tuna

Finally, I'd like to extend a special thank you to the Drew Family for supporting the Drew Ford Charter tradition for well over 30 years. Tight lines and great fishing for many years to come ....<o:p></o:p>


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Upvote 0


Dead Magic
Aug 23, 2004
San Diego
The one im on
NICE - what a trip! Congrats, so happy for Marcus. Looks like he is full for days (the New Lo Ann). This man deserves it. So mellow and respectful to his customers.
Upvote 0


I Post A Lot But I Can't Edit This
Apr 25, 2003
Diamond Bar, Ca 91765
Cory Visser
Now that's a serious report, and those are definitely bloody decks, way to go guys!
Upvote 0


cuss on Monday,pray on Sunday,dream about one day
Jun 1, 2006
sold! / cattle boat
Follow your fish Rob!!!

kick ass trip and report...........................

Ya Buddy, ive been told that a time or two...
"ZANEGLER" was on this trip too & was a way cool guy to fish with, & will add some more pics to the report...
Shannon gets all the credit for this write-up..
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did you say FISHING ???
Feb 24, 2003
East-a-La-Mesa, baby!
starts with an "M".....
#1 boat scrubber - Team Madrugador
Nice! :appl:

Miss Chevious needs longer arms! :D
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May 10, 2003
Mika Tan
Good Lord!!!!!!!!!!

That deck looked like you'd invited OJ Simpson to tag along!

Outstanding slayfest!
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tuna macker

Nov 18, 2008
Apple Valley
Outstanding. That's quintessential Marcus.
Every time I've fished the New lo-an, it has turned out to be amazing.

Markus hooked my avatar fish on the kite and handed it off to me.

Congrats on a trip to remember.:hali_olutta:
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  • Nov 29, 2004
    San Diego
    everyone elses
    Right on Rob and Shannon (BKII) :D
    Glad you guys had such a great trip. I like to see good things happen to good people.:loverz:
    Upvote 0


    Bomboy Lures Are Money!
    Jun 24, 2008
    Skipjack 20 Flybridge, Cruel Intentions
    Here's some quick pics. I want to express my gratitude to Rob and his charter for the warm welcome, to Markus for being the greatest fisherman i know, and finally to the First String for calling us in an the first bite. This trip was epic beyond belief. I will post some more details later.


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