Offshore El Capitan 1.5 day 6/4


Almost A Member
Sep 17, 2010
Huntington Beach,CA,USA
First attempt at a fishing report. I always enjoy reading others so here goes nothing…

been watching the insane counts and pictures for awhile and decided to call my pops and see what he had to say about jumping on a trip if there were still openings. He seems pretty passive about going and my mom hears in the background saying get your ass out there and give it a try. So he replies find a boat and book it. I look up all the landings and the only boat that has openings is the El Capitan and T bird out of Point Loma. Call up the landing and book the El Capitan and get the last two spots out of 18.
Now comes the prep and over thinking for the next few days of prepping and remembering how fickle these bluefin are no matter how good the counts seem to be. Took out all the gear and decided to re rig and crimp flat falls

Next up I have all the gear out and trying to figure out reels and rod match ups. How many to bring and if I should bring lighter gear. Long story short I decide on 8 set ups, 4 a piece for my pops and I. I had 2 Talica 12 with 40 2 Talica 16 with 60 a Talica 20 with 80 a Talica 25 with 100 a visx 30 with 130 a visx 50 with 130. Alright feeling good about my set ups and heavy gear in case those cows roll through. I dropped off my reels at Aloha Tackle with Rob and he puts fresh line on each reel and I grabbed some Charlie Brown hooks 1/0 and 2/0.

I get off work at 1 on Friday and all the gear is packed and ready already and I am itching to get on the road and get to the landing early and get some food at Mitch’s before we board the El Capitan. Well that never happened as we run around his house looking for the belts and boots as he has misplaced his stuff. We end up leaving the house around 3:30 with a typical 90 minute drive to the landing. Hit traffic and we end up arriving to park at 6:10 with a 7pm departure. We check in and they tell us we are the last to board and once we do they should be pulling away. Great no dinner at Mitch’s as the line is out the door. We board the boat and with in 15 minutes we have our bunks and checked in and the boat is pulling away from the dock.
The next hour or two everyone is on deck rigging and asking what colors and style of flat falls to use. The deck hands have recommended to use knife style jig as they seem to be keying on bait that look like little eels and knife style have been bit better then flat falls. Also let us know that we should arrive at the grounds at 1-2 am and will start fishing and to pace ourselves as we will fish for 20 hours straight or so. Everyone hits the rack


The ride out is very smooth and calm and the forecast looks great almost too good. We begin fishing about 1:30 and the captain let’s us know the fish are under the boat about 250-300 feet. Everyone drops flat falls and begins to drop and wind waiting for that first bite. About 20 minutes or so later a guy is bit and the fight begins. Deck hands assist in clearing tangles as this fish is not going out without a fight. A short while later the fish comes to gaff and hits the deck and everyone is in awe of a fish about a 100 pounds. The next few hours were spent winding dropping and trying out sinker rigs to no luck. As the grey light comes up and breakfast is being pumped out of the galley the captain decides to be on the move and look for another school. I fill up on some pancakes sausage and eggs before giving it another go when we stop and the captain says give it another try fish are under the boat about 200 feet. Sinker rigs have become more popular on the rail as everyone is getting tired of winding the jigs. A short while later “FRESH ONE” rings out as we have in going and it is taking line and seems to be the right size we are looking for. A few minutes later another biter and now we got two going. Things seems to be looking up and everyone is now working hard to be the next biter. One fish hits the deck and then another bother appear to be just under 100. Captain says fish are still around and keep working. We are surrounded by boats on all sides with other sporties and price boaters all within a 1/4 mile seems we all must be seeing something if no one is moving and just a matter of time. Few minutes later my pops is on and working through the stern over and under as his fish goes up the rail. After a while he is tiring out after winding flat falls for hours. He hollers for me to come and help him and he hands me the rod. I grab the rod and make my way to the bow with fish using the rail to get this fish in. I can tell this is a big fish but not a giant. About 20 minutes later I am on starboard bow and someone says they can see deep color. Fish moves down the rail as two gaffs meet him and high fives are shared. My pops is elated as the fish appears to be about 80 pounds or so.

I head to the galley grab some water re tie that set up and begin to fish again. Just as I get out there my pops is on again. Everyone is asking his what he is doing and second guessing what they are doing. Short while later he is tired again and hands the rod off to me again. So here we go again working the fish and using the rail for leverage. As I am fighting the fish a guy to my left is bit on the sinker rig and then another one. We got three going now. I work the fish up to the bow and I am struggling to gain any line I can feel this is bigger then the first. The fish decides to make a run and the captain is yelling I gotta go. I am running down the rail and finally catch up to him in the corner where he settles down. A short while later two more gaffs sink into him and comes over the rail just as I thought a bit bigger maybe this one will hit a 100 pounds.

A few more fish are caught and we are up to 7 for the boat and it is now about 9am. captain decides to go on the hunt as the fish under the boat have thinned out. Next hours are so are spent running around stopping on breezing fish and jumping tuna. I get hooked up twice and land these fish in decent short order and now my pops and I both have our limit with only 9 tuna for the boat. The rest of the day we could never get the tuna to bite again. We saw plenty of fish boil around the boat and stopped on a few kelps for a handful of 10-12 pound yellowtail. Around 11pm captain tells us that is it for the day as we have to make our way back up the line as we are about 70 miles ways from home. We arrive back to the dock about 5:30 and we are one of the first boats back in. I meet Sean from fisherman’s and get our processing all set up.

we get our fish same day and loaded and make the trip back home. It was tough fishing for the boat but the crew and passengers were all great and worked well together. One guy did get spooled out there. All our fish were caught fly lined sardines on Talica 16ii with 80 pound spectra to 60 Pound izor and 60 pound fluro 4-5 foot with a 2/0 Charlie Brown circle hook. They were long soaks with good swimming sardines that got out and away from the boat. Only one fish was caught on a jig and it was a Williamson knife jig in a reddish color.



I Should Upgrade My Account
  • Aug 14, 2004
    San Diego
    3rd world country panga fleet
    Excellent report, thank you. Sounds like you had the right gear and were prepared from the start. Love those Charlie Brown hooks, light and strong. How long were your soaks? Im headed out tonight on the Top Gun. Hope my trip is as good as yours was.
    Soaks were similar to fishing the Guadalupe island where you have to get your bait sometimes 100-150 yards away from the bait for 10-15 minutes
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    I Should Upgrade My Account
    Dec 17, 2003
    San Diego
    Visit site
    32' Blackman Sportfisher "Riley"
    Awsome report! Congratulations on the fish.
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    Live in Oregon/Love to Fish San Diego!
    Jan 10, 2010
    Junction City OR
    Rod Lathrop
    24' North River Seahawk Hardtop "Sun Dog"
    Great job! Way to be prepared, fresh line, and Yes! I like the Charlie Brown C-Hooks a lot!
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    Wandering Blues

    I Should Upgrade My Account
    Oct 19, 2008
    The Land of Entrapment
    A Pair of Simms G3 Waders
    Nice trip! And props to your mom for kicking his ass out of the house. That’s a sure sign of a couple who’ve been married a long time.
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    active geezer
  • Jul 29, 2010
    Long Beach, CA, USA
    whichever has the longest bunk
    Great report! But make sure that your dad's will is up to date if your mom keeps encouraging him to go play with Bluefin tuna. Tell him that he now has to buy and wear an "Old Guys Rule" t-shirt.
    • Like
    Reactions: mhanson59hb
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    Long Time Tuna Abused Member
  • Aug 11, 2006
    Costa Mesa
    GREAT REPORT and did good. NOW rotate some of those pics. I now have a 45 degree KINK in my neck. LOL LOL
    Glad you all had a great trip. That boat always been "fishy"
    • Haha
    Reactions: dougbenc
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    Jul 18, 2007
    Which one? Too many....
    Great report! Your 60 mono topshot on the long soak is a nice bit of data.

    "Alan Tani was running the boat"

    You probably mean Alan Fay.

    Alan Tani is certainly very talented at other things.... :-)
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    I Pity The Fool
    Apr 3, 2012
    So Cal
    Wow what a great report and the best early Father's Day present and great memory’s. I wish we all could have a trip like that with our dads.
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    Reactions: LEC
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    Since 2009
    May 27, 2009
    SAM P
    60ft, rubber raft, "SINKER"
    Damn!!!! That was a badass report, a really well written report with killer info!!!!...And major accolades to you & your Pops!
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