Independence 15 day Hurricane Bank

Other Big Ed

Big Ed
Aug 28, 2007
72
45
Baldwin Park
Name
Big Ed
Boat
Champion 200Elite
Well… words just cannot describe the experience of this awesome adventure aboard the sportfishing vessel Independence. I just came back from a 15 day Savon Tackle sponsored trip to the Hurricane Bank. We departed the day after Thanksgiving and returned Saturday Dec 10th with a load of fish that was mind boggling. The entire trip was amazing from the passengers on board this annual extravaganza to the incredible culinary expertise of Chef Ed Lacombe and the polite and professional crew of the Independence who are trained to perfection under the careful watch of veteran Captain Jeff Debuys.

Let me tell you, this is one fine oiled operation who works together as a team. Every fish caught is immediately spiked, gilled and bled out to ensure freshness moments after it clears the rail.



We had 14 fish over 200lbs. I lost two fish just barely out of gaff range that were easy 250lbs. Both fish ate through the 100lb fluorocarbon line. Yes they would break your heart, but to know you had the opportunity to meet them and love them was good enough for me... Much better to love and lost than never loved. I didn't make it to the 'big dance' but I'm happy for my fellow anglers and freinds who did.



I turned in an extreme amount of tuna to the cannery, 350lbs for processing, 60lbs for smoke and jerky and a couple of hundred lbs to charity. Keep in mind I released everything I caught under 80-90lbs. I would call the everage grade of fish, not only for me but the entire group, a solid 130lbs-190lbs. We had a couple of lulls and times when they did not bite for a while but for the most part we had between two to four going as a regular rule of thumb. For me I had one fish tilt the scale at 193lbs, 185lbs, and several fish in the 160-170's. I really couldn't tell you how many between 130-160, I just don't remember, but it was a good number. I released the fish I did not want to have processed. It took some consideration before catching them and figuring what would arrive to the dock frozen and what would be RSW?






We traveled four days to the Hurricane Bank. It was a long haul, but with seminars on landing giant tuna on every kind of rig and tackle imaginable it made for a nice ride with weather you could only dream of. That allowed us seven full days down on the HB with another four days of travel home. Gary Soto and Jerry Brown would have been happy to see everybody at their spectra stations splicing, weaving, fingering, glueing, crimping to their hearts delight not only for hours, but days on end on the way down. Basil Pappas took excellent care of me with my pre-made top shots and wound on fluorocarbon loop to loop leaders. Tony Pena also would have been proud on his spectra to floro connections that never failed once.



It was just ridiculous. This trip is what every man should have on their bucket list. From catching giant tuna at night on glow jig PL68's to placing a well caught evening 8-12lb skipjack on a 12/O-14/O hook for a chance at giant. It was full circle fishing from morning to night however you wanted to play. I'm sorry but here is just to much to tell about this trip that cannot be told without making it sound worse than the experience of being there...







What was not photographed is the quality of the men and the passengers, which really made this trip a treat. This group has been together for years and now Im lucky enough to join them. I am blessed to have a strong family core at home and the opportunity to be with these men and also to have the ability to share in this type of experience at this point in my life, it really is a lot more that just fishing, its really the ability to enjoy life and experience something that is extra ordinary...

My fish corner... embarrassing huh?



Fishermans processing is the cleanest operation I have ever witnessed in my years fishing out of SD. The courteousness of every employee would be enough to really give you an idea of how nice these people really are. Its almost like they are blowing smoke up your ass, but they are'nt.

Owner/Operator Shawn really is that nice and so are his people. The quality and care they provided us on this trip with our catch is amazing. I know I keep using that word, but please don't let it cheapen the experience because that is what it was, amazing. Talk about the iceing on the cake after a trip that couldn't get any better. Well thanks to Shawn at Fisherman's processing it did!






Man oh man.... I'm already thinking about next year's trip....

Later; Big Ed!
 

JSR

I've posted enough I should edit this section
Sep 5, 2005
1,320
10
67
Irvine
Name
John
Boat
n/a
3 boats at the bank
3 boats at the island

we all have the same story to tell
it was like i was there
wait a minute,
i was :)
thx for the deja vu' Ed
Nice trip..........
 

nick17yz

TUNA TOKER
Nov 6, 2008
1,561
99
40
SEEKER RODS
Name
Nick Rekrut
Boat
Longrange
awesome!!! cant wait to get me some in 2 weeks!!!!
 

Steve K

Hey, I'm gettin' bit...
Jan 2, 2005
11,170
6,486
Bishop
Name
Steve
Boat
18' Bayrunner, but I like the American Angler and the Red Rooster III
Wow, sure sounds like the trip of a lifetime for you, (so far) ;) Your next one might even top this!

Love everything about that big fish fishery down there at both the Bank and at the Buffer Zone. Just under 4 weeks before I get to venture forth and looking forward to it immensely. Time will fly by and before you know, I'll be at Point Loma on the morning of the 6th, meeting up with guys from last year's trip, meeting new ones, watching the Angler and the Intrepid unload their catches and getting the latest dope from those guys. Almost there, but not time to count the "sleeps"
 

migelito

I've posted enough I should edit this section
May 12, 2010
584
195
So Cal.
Name
Mike
Boat
Indy
Big Ed,
That was an awsome trip. I have to say you were a good roommate. Sorry if I woke you up in the midle of the night comming in late. I have no concept of time when there are fish to be cought...lol
 

brn2fis

I've posted enough I should edit this section
Jul 6, 2005
277
7
78
Glendale
Name
Richard Jenkins
Boat
none
Big Ed sounds like a great trip. To bad about your losing the two fish just out of gaff range. But it seems like you made up for it. How many cases of tuna did you end up with?
 

bajapaddyhopper

I've posted enough I should edit this section
Jul 14, 2007
443
454
Montebello
Name
Sherm
Boat
INDEPENDENCE
Ed, it's great to see you had such a wonderful time without me!:finger:

Seriously though, it's hard to have a bad experience on the INDY.

Hope everything is well. I miss you my old friend.:hali_olutta:
 

Other Big Ed

Big Ed
Aug 28, 2007
72
45
Baldwin Park
Name
Big Ed
Boat
Champion 200Elite
Big Ed sounds like a great trip. To bad about your losing the two fish just out of gaff range. But it seems like you made up for it. How many cases of tuna did you end up with?
Jenks cannot tell you how many cans... too many... want sum?

Sherm I miss u man, dont think I forgot about your WhiteStripes CD!

Rick there are two types of glow PL68: Heavy and Light. The heavy for giant tuna in the lower water column from half way down and lower. Almost instant if you fish it starting a few minutes after the sun sets beyond the horizon, its plenty dark by then.. simple YoYo techniques best on a 50SDS.

Light PL68 for skip jack ("man bait"). Fish the 'man bait', you wont be sorry. Wait until after dinner to start, shoulder hook your bait with 7691 and let out 50-75yds behind the boat in the dark water and fish it in gear with clicker ON and put the rod in the trolling clips. Have a seat on a chair with a stiff coctail and start telling lies... before you know it you're bit!

Big Ed!
 

fdengine13

I've posted enough I should edit this section
Jun 5, 2004
249
1
55
Dana Point
Name
Paul
Boat
30' Skipjack
Ed,
Great information. Thank you. A couple of follow up questions for you.
1. PL68 light - how and when did you fish it? What was the best method to catch skipjack? Were you able to catch them all day?
 

Other Big Ed

Big Ed
Aug 28, 2007
72
45
Baldwin Park
Name
Big Ed
Boat
Champion 200Elite
Ed,
Great information. Thank you. A couple of follow up questions for you.
1. PL68 light - how and when did you fish it? What was the best method to catch skipjack? Were you able to catch them all day?
On the Bank you could easily catch a skipjack at anytime after dark using a small jig, salas 6XJr or smaller, even if it didnt have glow paint. Glow paint is preferred but by casting out to the upper column of water and a steady retrieve you would hang a skippy or quickly find out that they are NOT up. Dropping straight down and a YoYo technique would get you bit quite easily in the dark. They were avaialable every single day without fail after dark. By morning they would be so thick along w rainbow runners it pissed you off.

Have your rod ready with min 130lb and a big hook straight fly line. Same rig as your chunk outfit minus the swivel. Hold on, but be prepared to put in an hour to three hours for a shot a fish of a lifetime. Change 'man baits' every hour because the the 120's-140's will try and eat them and kill them. My roomate kept me up at night by coming in and out of the stateroom until the third or fourth night when he got his giant YFT. After that we slept pretty good, I wish I joined him cuz there were plenty of big ones swimming around but Mike put in his time and was rewarded accordingly.

The cooks asst hung a skippy one night around 10:30 on a small PL68 and got spectra tangled on the retrieve about 25 feet from the boat..... can you guess what happened next?

Yep, a friken stupid YFT ate the skip jack and the jig, he was jiigin 50lb test for the skippies so lets just say it was a long battle, very long, it straightened out his tangle rather quickly. He needed so much help with this fish it was three drunk passengers who finaly gaffed the fish on the second try. Fist try a guy realized after sinking a steel spike into a huge YFT they get pretty pissed off and swim away with or without a gaff in their side. Thankfuly the gaff surfaced about five minutes later right next to the boat.

I could go on but I wont. Fish the 'man bait' you wont be sorry!

Big Ed!
 

hydro

I've posted enough I should edit this section
Nov 10, 2010
235
41
In the mountains
Name
Dan
Boat
I wish
On the Bank you could easily catch a skipjack at anytime after dark using a small jig, salas 6XJr or smaller, even if it didnt have glow paint. Glow paint is preferred but by casting out to the upper column of water and a steady retrieve you would hang a skippy or quickly find out that they are NOT up. Dropping straight down and a YoYo technique would get you bit quite easily in the dark. They were avaialable every single day without fail after dark. By morning they would be so thick along w rainbow runners it pissed you off.

Have your rod ready with min 130lb and a big hook straight fly line. Same rig as your chunk outfit minus the swivel. Hold on, but be prepared to put in an hour to three hours for a shot a fish of a lifetime. Change 'man baits' every hour because the the 120's-140's will try and eat them and kill them. My roomate kept me up at night by coming in and out of the stateroom until the third or fourth night when he got his giant YFT. After that we slept pretty good, I wish I joined him cuz there were plenty of big ones swimming around but Mike put in his time and was rewarded accordingly.
That is the coolest thing I have read in awhile. Live lining skipjacks for cows
sounds bad-ass. Thanks for sharing these great stories Big Ed, glad you had an awesome trip.
 

DV4701

I've posted enough I should edit this section
Sep 16, 2010
168
7
San Bernardino County
There are a couple of things to remember fishing skippy's. Don't bounce the fish, hand-line the fish aboard. Turn the skippy onto it's back, it will stop wiggling for a while so you can remove jig and place 12/0 J hook behind head/shoulder. Reel in free-spool and toss over the side, keep pressure on spool to prevent back lash.

Every few minutes retrieve bait to boat and let swim back out.

p.s. this process usually requires 2 people to accomplish.
 

Steve K

Hey, I'm gettin' bit...
Jan 2, 2005
11,170
6,486
Bishop
Name
Steve
Boat
18' Bayrunner, but I like the American Angler and the Red Rooster III
Ed, the jig fishing is something I want to try as well as fishing the "Man Bait"

Tell me, what was the bait for Kite fishing? Were you using a Double Trouble rig with Sardines or a big bait like a Flyer or a Salami?
 

ifish42na

No Bad Days
Oct 23, 2004
938
1,641
Harrington Park, NJ
www.bhptackle.com
Name
Basil
Boat
Friends With Boats
Were you using a Double Trouble rig with Sardines or a big bait like a Flyer or a Salami?

All of the above; substitute squid for salami at HB. We even slow trolled rubber flyers on the kite and got bit.
 

Other Big Ed

Big Ed
Aug 28, 2007
72
45
Baldwin Park
Name
Big Ed
Boat
Champion 200Elite
Thanks for the props guys...

It was an outstanding trip and I just wish I would have taken more worthy photos to share with you all. I'm literally hooked on this big fish fishing.

I had several PM's asking about flylining a sardine with heavy line.. and quite a few about fishing the 'man bait".

You wouldn't believe it, but most of the big fish on this trip all came by way of the Avet HX Raptor reel and the Avet T-rex both regular and wide versions. These extremely small reels are easily cabable of 40lbs of drag at strike and still allow the super free unengaged spool at high drag settings. These small reels have such an amazing 'super free' spin to the reel it allows your small sardine to get out in the zone with ease and allows your sardine to swim freely even on 100lb-130lb test. That was definatly the ticket to getting bit in addition to using smaller diameter solid core spectra that would cut through the water with ease as it sunk out behind your bait. Seems as though the more buoyant hollow spectra's would float so much the swell would take your line to the left and to the right as the boat slowly swayed instead of right behind the bait as it swam out to die. On 100lb test the 100lb solid spectra made it out to the zone much more effectivly that the larger size hollow.

My Penn International reels did not provide that type of a super free release. Yes, they have been blueprinted and re worked by Cal Sheets but they almost needed me to strip line behind them to be super free. These Avet HX Raptor reels are superb right out of the box and when you only need 25-27lbs at strike it will perform like a champ still giving you near 50lbs of drag at full lever down. I didnt have any on this trip but I guarantee I will for next year.

Thanks again: Big Ed!