Excel 2.5 Day Teport

Surfersteve79

I've posted enough I should edit this section
Aug 13, 2018
233
310
San Diego
Name
Steven
Boat
Aztec
Was looking very forward to my first sport boat trip of the year but wasn’t looking forward to the weather forecast. Neither did the fishing nor the weather veer from forecast. Full load of 32 on the big Excel and we pushed off Friday night 6/12. Had some delicious clam chowder and grilled cheese for dinner. Intel was all fish were being caught with sinker rigs so planned accordingly. Avet SX Raptor w/ 50 braid 40 gold label (love that combo), Mak 15t w/ 80lb braid & 50lb premier fluro, and an Avet HX w/ 100lb braid 80lb blue label fluro.

The fishing was pretty steady but the weather was shit! Building 8-9’+ seas through the day with 25knt+ winds gusting to 30knts. Waves were washing over the stern and rail. Frequent cold showers @ the bait tank made pinning dines tough. Knowing the weather forecast I grabbed 10-12-16oz torpedoes before boarding and they were all used! Bait was healthy and consistent 5-6” sardines but rare bigger and hardly any macs.

Classic plunker style BFT fishing all day. The school we had stuck around all day. Came and went in waves of 2-3 biters with long lulls. One larger wolf pack moved in two fish got to the deck at 136 & 142 pounds. Only one guy caught fish on jigs. A yo-yo and a flat fall I believe. I went 3/5 on fish largest an 80lber (took a photo of my smallest and first tuna below weather too shitty to snap my 80lb butterball) Lost one due to line frayed and the other was right at dusk. Damn rouge wave hit me as I was bit and accidentally pushed my drag up to quick and pulled the bait & hook outa him. My technique is always to freespool then apply pressure, pop it into gear, then let him run while slowly slidIng up the drag as the fish runs.

It got so sloppy the Captain made the call to run back to the Coronados and seek refuge on the east side so everyone could get a good nights rest then play the weather game tomorrow morning.

The current changed from yesterday and so did the fish’s mood. Anchored about 1/4 mike south of South Island and scratched 7 yellowtail over the rail. Calicos started biting well and I caught my first about a 6-7lb fish on a live free lined sardine. Also, hooked a rockfish, a Bonita, and a barracuda. Someone pulled in the biggest whitefish I ever saw as well at least a 15lb fish probably closer to 20lb.

Captain pulled anchor at 11am and We motored back into the Upper Hidden Bank or Bluefin Bank as of now. School we set up shop on was not in a biting mood as the one we previously had the day prior though slightly larger grade. Yesterday 90% of hooked fished were killed but our second day the fish won. Still we caught maybe another 7-8+ Bluefin but lots of casualties. Towards the end of the day a few 30lb yellowfins showed up as well. Tangles, broken lines, popped leaders were the culprits. Weather was much nicer but still good sized swells out there. All fish were sinker rigs with nothing on the kite. We tried one attempt on the night bite after sunset with flat falls and sinker rigs but no go. Rest of the fleet also reported the fish sank down deep so Captain didn’t want to look for another school and we headed into the barn to be first in line to the processors.

My advice is to NOT fish with anything lighter than 40# and if you do make sure you have at least 400yds on it. Super small hooks like last year are not a great idea right now. All these fish are sinker rigs which allow you to get away with heavier line. All my Bluefin except one were on ringed 1/0-2/0 sized circle hooks. If you can find a boat with a lower rail closer to the water that will increase your odds landing big fish as well. Most of my fights were 30-40 minutes. I’m definitely considering a 3 speed or my have Cal Sheets drop some of my reels down to a 1:1 low gear ratio.

it’s going to be an epic season! Hit that gym you’re gonna need it!
 
Last edited:

Tugboat64

150lb tuna club
Sep 8, 2017
456
335
La Mirada/Whittier
Name
Logan
Boat
Wanting a bigger boat
Thanks for the info, I’m heading out on an 8 on Friday so all the insight I can get is great. Any chance you know how deep you were fishing the sinker rigs? And was it rubber band sinkers?
 

afraser

I've posted enough I should edit this section
Apr 20, 2008
1,610
1,123
sf, ca
Name
aaron
Boat
NA
What’s your favorite way to fish sinker rigs? Let line out, hold for x seconds, ? I have no good solution which is why I ask.
 

Tugboat64

150lb tuna club
Sep 8, 2017
456
335
La Mirada/Whittier
Name
Logan
Boat
Wanting a bigger boat
What’s your favorite way to fish sinker rigs? Let line out, hold for x seconds, ? I have no good solution which is why I ask.
Before your trip and go through and make a mark like every x amount of feet. I like to do it every 50 ft up to 400 so I know what my depth is and I just let my bait sit at the depth
 

Surfersteve79

I've posted enough I should edit this section
Aug 13, 2018
233
310
San Diego
Name
Steven
Boat
Aztec
Yes I was using a rubber band sinker rig as was the rest of the boat. My bites came at around 175-275 feet down. Normally marking your line is a great way to know your depth. This trip due to the seas and current we were moving so fast it was impossible to stay at that depth. You would have needed a 20oz lead! I lost all my heavy weight on day one but I was the only one besides 1 other I believe who had more than 3 fish hooked same day. I had 5 I think he had close to that. He was using 80lb I think but he wouldn’t soak a bait longer than 6-7 minutes I’d soak mine up to 15 minutes. I kept my torpedo up about 4-5’ from the hook and well below the line/leader knot.
 
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Saponi73

Desert Fisherman
Dec 27, 2015
134
49
Phoenix,Az
Name
Drew
Boat
None
The fish were 150-300 feet deep all day. Saw a few people do well letting out an estimated 70 feet at a time and waiting 30 sec. or so before letting more 70' line out. I would go down to about 400 feet (remember the scope), then reel back in about 70 feet and wait 30 sec. and move back up the water column.

Thanks for the info, I’m heading out on an 8 on Friday so all the insight I can get is great. Any chance you know how deep you were fishing the sinker rigs? And was it rubber band sinkers?
 

Tom123

I've posted enough I should edit this section
Jan 31, 2020
235
158
LA
Name
Tom Furukawa
Boat
None
Got rewarded for fighting through the unrelenting weather. Awesome report!
 
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Surfersteve79

I've posted enough I should edit this section
Aug 13, 2018
233
310
San Diego
Name
Steven
Boat
Aztec
How did the Excel handle dinner seating with 32 passengers?
3 open calls for dinner and 1 open call for snacks in-between. The Chef was new to the boat and the Captain called in a favor to have the Original Excel Chef fly in from VA to assist the new guy. The boss deck Tim was outstanding and both Vance & Mike were very helpful. They are transitioning to a new crew on the Excel right now and doing their best to conform to the new Covid-19 Regulations.
 
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spinner

I've posted enough I should edit this section
Dec 2, 2007
916
491
irvine
Name
mikegooing
Boat
none
how did they mange social distancing with that many people on the boat?any problems in the stern with the 6foot rule?
 

Surfersteve79

I've posted enough I should edit this section
Aug 13, 2018
233
310
San Diego
Name
Steven
Boat
Aztec
I’m not going on BD to say what the Excel or any other sport boat is or isn’t doing. I will just say I personally feel a lot safer being on a sport boat than many other places I have to go to with others. They have great protocols in place.
 

spinner

I've posted enough I should edit this section
Dec 2, 2007
916
491
irvine
Name
mikegooing
Boat
none
would hate to go on the boat and step into an open spot and be that guy because of the 6ft rule