I finally got approval for a long trip!!!!!!

Dexter Outdoors

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Cow Town Here I come!
Jul 1, 2008
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Name
Dave
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SD Long Range or Bay Area Day Boats.
Hey guys,
These are my options.....dates ... Trips that leave 12/26..... 14 day plus

Options and my thoughts

Excel.... Schedules not out but trip is sold out and I'm on waiting list.
AA ....lots of history and respect for this operation... Small boat but only 18 anglers
Star .....always liked this crew... Some experience fishing with them....funny story.... Worked for Tims wife in college.... Dropped out for a quarter to work on the RP with Tim.....and others.... Still lots of respect for the operation.
Indy ... Big Boat...never fished it. Would like to try but not sure if this bucket list trip is the time to try them for the first time. Not many spots currently sold? Risky.

So I have done a ton of long range.... From 1 - 10 days including working on the boats.... This is my first chance at the land of the Giants! A chance at my first Ultra Long Range. Based on your experiences what would you suggest. I'm really interested in opinions from guys that have fished long with more than one of these operations.

Thanks!
 
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Steve K

Hey, I'm gettin' bit...
Jan 2, 2005
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Stoked for you Dave! Lighter load is nice. 18 or 20, $4515 or $4295. I hear good things about Royal Star, but you know where I'm fishing. Got a spot on the Angler January '16, Accurate trip, after missing it for a couple of years. Indy load 28? I know it's a big but boat, but 28? No thanks.
 
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alan760

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Dec 7, 2003
518
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Encinitas, CA
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Alan
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American Angler
I'm on the AA trip. PM me if you have questions. This will be my third year on this charter. Very nice group and Calstar is very generous with their donations. Been on the RS and Indy too on the Dec 26 trip. Both have their +'s and -'s. Call each operation and see what they have to say. Both Lori/AA and Tracy/RS are great to deal with.

Hows your cribbage skills?:)
 
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vegasandre

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Aug 20, 2010
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Andre
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Any Boat that I can go on
Congrats Dave on getting admiral clearance Clarence!
Many don't seems to understand how for some of us that is our biggest fishing obstacle.


You will be good on any of those boats. Excel schedule should be out shortly. Good luck on your choice, you cant go wrong.
 
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SlideRight

Been there...
Jul 4, 2008
723
296
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Name
Lew
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ss minnow
Stoked for you Dave! Lighter load is nice. 18 or 20, $4515 or $4295. I hear good things about Royal Star, but you know where I'm fishing. Got a spot on the Angler January '16, Accurate trip, after missing it for a couple of years. Indy load 28? I know it's a big but boat, but 28? No thanks.

Dave, I'd say dittos on the 28 load deal - been there & was a bit crowded especially w/sponsor & overbook add-ons.
However, IOM the Indy boat/crew/operation is every bit on a par with the Excel & so no worries there.
Check the Indy's 15 day limited load (20) in Feb. '16 - pricey, but 'bucket list' qualified I venture.
I'm on it (but please don't let that deter you).
Good luck on what ever you choose!
Lew H.
 
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bbuck

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Dec 20, 2005
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Buck
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sunk
Have been fishing the Excel long range for many years and I can tell you, having fished all the others, the Excel is hard to beat IMO.
Hey guys,
These are my options.....dates ... Trips that leave 12/26..... 14 day plus

Options and my thoughts

Excel.... Schedules not out but trip is sold out and I'm on waiting list.
AA ....lots of history and respect for this operation... Small boat but only 18 anglers
Star .....always liked this crew... Some experience fishing with them....funny story.... Worked for Tims wife in college.... Dropped out for a quarter to work on the RP with Tim.....and others.... Still lots of respect for the operation.
Indy ... Big Boat...never fished it. Would like to try but not sure if this bucket list trip is the time to try them for the first time. Not many spots currently sold? Risky.

So I have done a ton of long range.... From 1 - 10 days including working on the boats.... This is my first chance at the land of the Giants! A chance at my first Ultra Long Range. Based on your experiences what would you suggest. I'm really interested in opinions from guys that have fished long with more than one of these operations.

Thanks!
Have fished the Excel for many years and can tell you it is a hard boat to beat. Unfortunately, it's also hard to get on, especially for the much in demand limited load LR trips. Here is a hot tip!! The Excel is giving serious consideration to adding an ultra-limited load trip (18 or 19) passengers in early February 2016. Give Jason a call at 619-223-7493.
 
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reelconcerned

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Jun 12, 2011
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Santa Rosa, CA
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Paul
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n/a
I lew; I got that video of our trip, real nice. I booked that INDY trip but 'pricey' like you mentioned for a 15 day trip. 20 anglers with (1) over book is nice. I was looking at the EXCEL 17 day mikkelsen trip, 25 anglers departing 4/15/2015, $5400, instead of $5995. I decided to cancel the INDY trip, wish I could do both but not in the cards, plus I didn't want to wait another year, HA!...Paul
 
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SlideRight

Been there...
Jul 4, 2008
723
296
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Name
Lew
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ss minnow
I lew; I got that video of our trip, real nice. I booked that INDY trip but 'pricey' like you mentioned for a 15 day trip. 20 anglers with (1) over book is nice. I was looking at the EXCEL 17 day mikkelsen trip, 25 anglers departing 4/15/2015, $5400, instead of $5995. I decided to cancel the INDY trip, wish I could do both but not in the cards, plus I didn't want to wait another year, HA!...Paul

Hi back Paul, yeah it's steep, but what the heck, should be a good 'un - either way it's all good.

Best to you on that Excel outing!

Got the Indy video too, lots of good stuff there.
Guess I'm not too photogenic though - might have helped had I been hooked up a little more.:nopity:

Anyway Dave, lots of choices.....good luck!
 
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Otis2527

Member
Feb 23, 2014
346
255
Name
Matt
Boat
Excel
Great advice from all.

Over the years, I have been on all the boats you listed at one time or another. You just cant go wrong with any of those boats.

If you try to find out which operation is "better" I believe you will just end up splitting hairs. For me it always comes down to which trip fits in my schedule, then how many passengers. I will always go with the biggest boat I can get on. Thats just my preference as I like the overall comfort of the 100 foot plus boats.

My first option is always the Excel. The Indy has been the next option. Other factors that go into my loyalty to the Excel along with its size come some advantages: bait capacity - on many past trips, we end up giving other boats bait at the end of our trip. Never any negatives with starting the trip with mass quantities of bait AND the ability to store the same amount as the trip goes on.

You are in a win, win situation. You will be happy and you will catch with any of the operations you listed. Have fun on whatever trip you choose.
 
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Steve K

Hey, I'm gettin' bit...
Jan 2, 2005
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18' Bayrunner, but I like the American Angler and the Red Rooster III
I see a very limited load of 18 (limited for Excel, anyway) on Dec 27 this year, but spendy at over $7,000.
 
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Yolo

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May 30, 2006
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Mike
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Relentless
Love to see people who have never ridden any particular boat with 28 on it comment that 28 is too many...LMAO

Lets see, if its a 15 Day trip most people are regulars, bunch of new ones coming in and out of the passenger queue. One regular I know sits in the Galley alot. Goes out when he feels like it. Some sleep, some watch TV and Nap. So lets assume all 28 are standing on a vessel that is what, 112 feet long and 32 feet wide? A bit wider than most boats...so that extra space is in the Galley, side walkways, and staterooms not to mention it carries more bait.

So all 28 people run on the deck.. ten out on the Stern, eight along 112 feet, another four standing around...you have plenty of room. At that level everyone is professional enough to afford it and will go out of their way to help you including the owner operators, office, and deckhands (who are all captains).

I have been on several of the boats you mentioned and always come back to the INDY for the same reason....quality of my experience and vacation.

Congrads! Go down to the Dock and see what they are coming in with now!!!

Just saw a pic of a 220 lbr. Bottom line is most of the boats all talk to each other and fish the same areas so you need to look at quality of experience, food, staterooms that all etc...map to your schedule and budget.

Nothing wrong with Roy Rose on the RP also...what a Great Leader.

m
 
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Workplacesafety

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Jeff Bruner
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14ft Valco, San Diego Long Range Boats
Good luck on whatever you decide Dave. I personally like the Rooster with their long trips at 23 passengers. Plenty of room, private stateroom a real possibility, Andy Cates for a captain, that's what I think. And that's what I did for my first long trip. Again, good luck.
 
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skipjackrobert

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Apr 2, 2013
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The OC
Name
Rob
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The Constitution or Tomahawk with Stan
Hey guys,
These are my options.....dates ... Trips that leave 12/26..... 14 day plus

Options and my thoughts

Excel.... Schedules not out but trip is sold out and I'm on waiting list.
AA ....lots of history and respect for this operation... Small boat but only 18 anglers
Star .....always liked this crew... Some experience fishing with them....funny story.... Worked for Tims wife in college.... Dropped out for a quarter to work on the RP with Tim.....and others.... Still lots of respect for the operation.
Indy ... Big Boat...never fished it. Would like to try but not sure if this bucket list trip is the time to try them for the first time. Not many spots currently sold? Risky.

So I have done a ton of long range.... From 1 - 10 days including working on the boats.... This is my first chance at the land of the Giants! A chance at my first Ultra Long Range. Based on your experiences what would you suggest. I'm really interested in opinions from guys that have fished long with more than one of these operations.

Thanks!
Awesome..who gave u permission?
 
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Sactotuna

I Should Upgrade My Account
Oct 20, 2005
1,767
138
sacramento
Name
jim
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Royal Star
Love the time frame you've selected!
Looking at your list, scratch the Excel because it's full, scratch the Indy because if it doesn't go you may be locked out of the others by then.
AA and RS . . . If both have space, flip a coin, you can't go wrong with either.
I learned LR on the Star, tried all the others over the years, always came back to the Star.
 
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strackle99

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    Todd
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    The AA and the Star are the same hull, so all things equal, 18 on the AA would be nicer than 24 on the Star. I won't vote against the Star, but that 6 is a big difference.

    I like the size of those boats. The Excel, while great when the weather is up, I find almost too big. I feel like I am running down those rails forever. Same with the Indy.

    All those are top notch operations, so go have fun!!!!
     
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    Steve K

    Hey, I'm gettin' bit...
    Jan 2, 2005
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    Todd, take another look at those two boats. The Angler and Royal Star, two of the boats that Dave is considering, both with 14 day trips departing on the 26th. Angler with a load of 18 for $4515 and the Star with a load of 20 for $4295. Those boats fish very well together, by that I mean Captain / Owners working to put us on fish, sharing info to the benefit of the anglers. Been there with Brian on the Angler and Randy on the Star.

    It's funny to hear anglers speak up passionately regarding how a load of 28 is not a factor. Hate to roll the dice on those guarantees of some napping, reading books, watching movies. What about when all the guys fish like their hair's on fire? ;)

    Let's be honest, 32 feet on the stern is only 7 feet wider than 25 feet. Honestly, when we're all fishing, flylining baits and blessed with enough current to run off the stern, 10 more anglers and 7 more feet doesn't work for me.

    I know there's a loyal following of all the boats that fish these longer trips, newer/older longer/shorter and so on. So good to have these choices.
     
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    bluewaterbum

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    Todd, take another look at those two boats. The Angler and Royal Star, two of the boats that Dave is considering, both with 14 day trips departing on the 26th. Angler with a load of 18 for $4515 and the Star with a load of 20 for $4295. Those boats fish very well together, by that I mean Captain / Owners working to put us on fish, sharing info to the benefit of the anglers. Been there with Brian on the Angler and Randy on the Star.

    It's funny to hear anglers speak up passionately regarding how a load of 28 is not a factor. Hate to roll the dice on those guarantees of some napping, reading books, watching movies. What about when all the guys fish like their hair's on fire? ;)

    Let's be honest, 32 feet on the stern is only 7 feet wider than 25 feet. Honestly, when we're all fishing, flylining baits and blessed with enough current to run off the stern, 10 more anglers and 7 more feet doesn't work for me.

    Isn't true that you have to add in extras to those prices....could it be like 15 to 25 a day extra, therefore, check with the operation to see if there's a FSC and other upfront costs... Just saying. There are just a couple of boat that don't have extras added on before the trip. Excel and Intrepid come to mind.
     
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    Fishybuzz

    fishybuzz
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    Todd, take another look at those two boats. The Angler and Royal Star, two of the boats that Dave is considering, both with 14 day trips departing on the 26th. Angler with a load of 18 for $4515 and the Star with a load of 20 for $4295. Those boats fish very well together, by that I mean Captain / Owners working to put us on fish, sharing info to the benefit of the anglers. Been there with Brian on the Angler and Randy on the Star.

    It's funny to hear anglers speak up passionately regarding how a load of 28 is not a factor. Hate to roll the dice on those guarantees of some napping, reading books, watching movies. What about when all the guys fish like their hair's on fire? ;)

    Let's be honest, 32 feet on the stern is only 7 feet wider than 25 feet. Honestly, when we're all fishing, flylining baits and blessed with enough current to run off the stern, 10 more anglers and 7 more feet doesn't work for me.

    I know there's a loyal following of all the boats that fish these longer trips, newer/older longer/shorter and so on. So good to have these choices.

    IMO the biggest difference in a "big" boat like the Excel, Indy, RP or Intrepid and the smaller boats like the AA, RS or Polaris Supreme is bait capacity……the larger boats can carry from 700 to 800 scoops of bait and the smaller boats only 300 to 350 the RRIII is in-between ……on a long 14-17 day trip the ability to chum late in the trip can make a big difference in getting a bite going…….making bait is part of the 14-17 long range fishing experience but if for some reason making bait is a bust having that 400 additional scoops of bait can make a huge difference. All the crews on all the boats are excellent and the skippers are all top of the line.
     
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    rodblder

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    IMO the biggest difference in a "big" boat like the Excel, Indy, RP or Intrepid and the smaller boats like the AA, RS or Polaris Supreme is bait capacity……the larger boats can carry from 700 to 800 scoops of bait and the smaller boats only 300 to 350 the RRIII is in-between ……on a long 14-17 day trip the ability to chum late in the trip can make a big difference in getting a bite going…….making bait is part of the 14-17 long range fishing experience but if for some reason making bait is a bust having that 400 additional scoops of bait can make a huge difference. All the crews on all the boats are excellent and the skippers are all top of the line.
    Another reason for the bigger boats, is capacity to store your fish. I was on a 10 day on the AA years ago, when by day 5, the tanks were full, catch and release from then on, the crew did filet some tuna at the rocks for everybody and put it in one of the upstairs freezer, that won't happen on the big boats...........
     
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    Steve K

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    Jan 2, 2005
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    Wish I had a dollar for every time I have read reports from "big boats" that were plugged. It's the job of captain and crew to assess conditions and decide whether to keep or release fish up to a certain size so as to optimize the total catch for all anglers.

    As I recall, the Qualifier was a pretty big boat. Remember the trip, don't have dates, but prior to '09. They plugged the boat with a bunch of double digit tuna and slowly returned a day or two early. Sone pissed off guys on that big boat.
     
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    screamingreel

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    Jan 14, 2006
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    Dave, congratulations on getting the "green light" to do a longer trip.

    I have done a few of the "day after Christmas" trips. Once on the Royal Star, American Angler and Excel. Enjoyed all of them and the fishing was good! My first choice would be the Royal Star, American Angler second, Excel third and Red Rooster III fourth. They are all very good operations with some variables. My process selection begins with synchronicity of schedules. Customer experience is my primary criteria, followed by fish care (RSW product quality), skipper & crew talent, accomodations (boat) and food. I always look to see how an operation handles customers when things are not going well and if the staterooms/bathrooms/kitchen are clean. On the plus side, traffic is usually light on Christmas day driving from SF Bay to SD and parking is wonderful at the landing!

    Whichever operation you select, enjoy your trip!

    - Jeff Burroughs
     
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    alan760

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    Dave, congratulations on getting the "green light" to do a longer trip.

    I have done a few of the "day after Christmas" trips. Once on the Royal Star, American Angler and Excel. Enjoyed all of them and the fishing was good! My first choice would be the Royal Star, American Angler second, Excel third and Red Rooster III fourth. They are all very good operations with some variables. My process selection begins with synchronicity of schedules. Customer experience is my primary criteria, followed by fish care (RSW product quality), skipper & crew talent, accomodations (boat) and food. I always look to see how an operation handles customers when things are not going well and if the staterooms/bathrooms/kitchen are clean. On the plus side, traffic is usually light on Christmas day driving from SF Bay to SD and parking is wonderful at the landing!

    Whichever operation you select, enjoy your trip!

    - Jeff Burroughs

    I like your list of criteria. I would also add customer service by the front office. Being treated like an inconvenience or annoyance when paying good $$ for a vacation is one of the reasons I went to operations like the AA and RS.
     
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