Outstanding trip and report. Thanks for taking the time to post it.Hey Guys,
Jumped on the Freedom out of 22nd St. Landing Mon night. Full boat with Mr Tino at the wheel. Blair and Gary on deck. Jeff driving us at night, and sorry for forgetting, but I think it was Chris in the galley. Before we boarded, there was a "Misfortune" on the Fortune and their charter canceled. Luckily for us and the Amigo, they were nice enough to let us have each have 2 tanks of their nice live squid. With that we set off on a nice long ride to the island for hopefully some good yellowtailnfishing among other things. On the way out. Tino gave a very good talk about how the conditions would be (ripping current) and more importantly, how to work together in proper rotation fishing the stern. (Starting your cast up the side and sliding down and around to center stern before winding in and starting over) Tino even went so far as to say. "If I see anyone go to the back and cast over a bunch of peoples lines, I'm gonna pull you out and sit you down !" So good to hear that. We had a bunch of experienced anglers on the boat too which would make things better when the pandemonium started. The suggested setup was 25/30 lb with flyline sardine or 1/2 slider with live squid. We hit the bunks and around 5:30 we were approaching the island where several boats were scattered around.View attachment 1303265 One of Tino's friends was on his numbers and after a short talk, he pulled anchor and we slid in to the spot. Lines went out and soon the yellows started to pop. A few were hooked and they were all a sardines. Soon they started hitting the deck. View attachment 1303266I got lucky enough after awhile to hook up and get my fish to the boat after a nice fight. These were a little bigger grade fish than last week with lots of 20lbers hitting the deck. After getting my fish in the box. Blair spots what we thought was a school of bluefin boiling right off the bow. Tino tells Gary and whoever else has an iron on to get up there. Gary and I are first to let fly. I threw a backlash well short of the school with my dry line (insert donkey noise here). Gary get two cranks in and is bit as the school sinks out for everyone else and my second cast. Soon the fish is gaffed and on the deck !View attachment 1303268View attachment 1303317
Meanwhile, in the back of the boat, the yellows were on the chew. A lively bait back in the current (which was ripping) was rewarded with a taker. Many multiple hook ups at the same time. Landing them was a different matter. There was the reef, a gauntlet of seals, and of course your friendly neighborhood Spiderman spinning tangles of spectra here and there. Also, these were bigger fish. If that wasn't enough, the Black Seabass came out to play and ate several fish including my next hook up. Tino pulled one up just to prove that our fish were not being pulled away by an underwater tractor. View attachment 1303326Needless to say. Casualties were high. However, there were so many fish biting that it didn't seem to matter. Some of the hot sticks were already coming up on their 3rd and 4th fish. I was sitting on 1 for 3 after being burned off on my 3rd hookup. I grabbed another set up (30lb) and spotted a boil on the starboard side. I tossed out a dine an it got hit instantly! Got the fish coming in shaking his head. Then he just took off away from the boat peeling line so fast I thought my drag was loose. Got him stopped and quick pull of the drag verified that it was fine. Must be a nice fish. Then the fish took off again. I was worried about the reef out there so I really put the brakes on his and got him turned. After awhile, I got him to the boat and doing deep circles ( had no idea of water depth). Slowly worked him up with short pumps as other lines got wrapped around mine and had Tino in my ear telling me that I had to finish this fish through all the tangles as there was nothing else he could do. Thank God I was able to reel through the tangles and get the fish up. Couldn't see it until the last circle from under the boat and to the gaff. In the boat and what do ya know ! Blind squirrel found a nut again !View attachment 1303327
Hi fives around and I asked Tino how deep we were. 60 feet he said ! I've caught tuna close to the islands before but never this shallow !
The bite and current slowed down to nothing and around 9:45 Tino took off for the bag fillers. By the way, the weather was absolutely beautiful! First we passed off some deans to the Amigo which was on a 1.5 day.View attachment 1303335View attachment 1303336View attachment 1303337
While we were filling the bags, Tino noticed that the current had picked up again but now In the opposite direction. He decided that instead of going straight to rockfishing and finishing up the day that we would try to hit the yellowtail again as conditions were looking good. "We gotta at least have a look" he said.
We get to the spot, throw some chum and up come the yellows to play. Drop the hook and Tino yells out " The whole side of the boat is yellows ! The meter is lit up! " They start slashing the surface and Blair fires a surface iron from the bow. He gets bit and goes down the side. I run up with my jig stick and get a good cast off this time. I get to watch my jig wiggle and then get torpedoed ! I'm on 40lb and pull hard to keep the fish away from the reef. Soon he's on the deck.View attachment 1303347
The back of the boat is stacked with the bait guys hooking multiple fish and the hot sticks going to work.ThisView attachment 1303350
This is his second fish in about 5 min back to back.View attachment 1303351
I stayed in the bow throwing iron and had a few more followers but no takers. The dust settled and we headed home with about 45 nice yellows. View attachment 1303352View attachment 1303354View attachment 1303355View attachment 1303356View attachment 1303357View attachment 1303353View attachment 1303359
After we cut off all our gear and put our rods away for the ride home, Tino spots a couple of beautiful paddies. We scramble to tie on hooks and jigs as we approach. View attachment 1303360
He marks some fish but no takers so we head for home. Kudos to Tino for taking a chace on fish and staying late. View attachment 1303389View attachment 1303390
We made a stop at the fuel dock on the way back but nobody cared cause we had a great day ! Plus we got to see the cool squid eating Dock Cats.View attachment 1303392View attachment 1303393View attachment 1303394View attachment 1303395
So what worked was 25-30lb line and flyline sardines. Only a few yellows were caught on squid. 1/2oz sliding sinkers helped for people who were nose hooking to keep the bait down and away from the birds. (Cormorants were still a problem as they can dive deep). Having proper drag setting, tying good knots, and knowing how to pull on yellows to keep them out of structure was key today.
Crew was great as usual and worked their butts off. The two times Blair and Gary tossed an iron was at Tinos direction. They each killed their fish quick and got right back to work. Hot stick got 9 I believe and several guys got 4 or more. All of the hot sticks handed off fish to others also so there was plenty of shots for everyone. As far as size, the blue fin was 21.3lbs gillled and gutted. My yellows were 20.20 and 18.12 also GG.
Take care guys
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