ISLANDER hunts for Bluefin

Discussion in 'Southern California Offshore Fishing Reports' started by surfgoose, Jul 13, 2016.

  1. surfgoose

    surfgoose active geezer

    Location:
    Long Beach, CA, USA
    Name:
    Gary
    Boat:
    whichever has the longest bunk
    • Messages:
      (2,438)
    • Likes Received:
      (3,177)
    We just got in this dawn from a 2.5-day hunt for Bluefin on the ISLANDER out of Fisherman's Landing. The boat left the dock with just 16 of us including Norm Fujimoto from Izorline, who sponsored the open trip. One of the main reasons that I like to ride the ISLANDER is Capt. John Coniff, who has the kind of attitude that I like in a skipper, a burning desire to give his passengers the best chance possible to have a memorable trip. The first evening in the safety meeting before leaving the dock he told us that we had two choices, we could go south and quite likely find some ten-pound yellowfin and small-to-medium yellowtail to play with, or we could head more to the west and hunt for the bigger Bluefin. We all smiled and told him to go get them! He warned us that these were very strong fish, if we didn't have an 80-pound rig we should go up to the landing office and rent one, and several people did just that. Plus Norm had brought bulk 80-pound Izorline, and offered to spool-up anyone who wanted to modify their outfits for big game. Then Norm pulled our tag numbers at random from the hat and each of us got to go up to his gear spread out on the table and pick a new lure like a Tady 4/0 or A2 plus fluoro or finger wrap tape and some 2/0 ringed hooks and gloves, etc. Really nice, everyone got twenty or thirty dollars worth of good stuff before even leaving the dock!

    We woke up and started fishing about 5:30am, and dropping Flat-Fall type jigs began to score. Within a half-hour we had a couple of nice 60 to 80 pound Bluefin on the deck, and as the morning continued about every hour a fat fish in that size range would be caught, and about every fourth fish hooked would be lost. The crew was ON IT, if you got bit a couple were at your side for the whole fight, keeping other people out of your way up and down the rail and dealing with the inevitable tangles, and two gaffs reached for the fish at the end. So we actually had a really good percentage of fish landed. My buddy Earl Johnson turned out to have the lucky hand of the trip, he got bit three times while retrieving his Flat-Fall, and I got to fight one of his fish for a few minutes while he took a brief break to get his composure back. It seems that I'm not the only one who sometimes is concentrating so hard on the fight that I forget to breathe!

    It never went wide-open, it was the usual drive-you-crazy tuna hunt, trying to get close to foamers and having them sink out, watching them pass under the boat and ignoring everything you are trying to tempt them with, having your carefully selected sardine on a long soak with a rubber-banded sinker get cut in half as if by a pair of scissors, without any idea of the culprit. At the end of the first day there were 12 nice Bluefin in the RSW hold, and at dinner we agreed to stay where we were instead of hitting the beach for maybe some small stuff, but try again for the bigger models. And all day Tuesday we drove around looking for and finding schools again, but this time they just did not want to play hardly at all. One was tempted by a mackerel, and I don't know what the other one came on, but at the dock today we had 14 so somebody got lucky in the end. Other than getting my sardine cut in half by the Mystery Fish, I never got a bite. I had a moment of hope as my line started jumping off my reel, but within twenty seconds it was clear that it was a tangle caused by another persons' fish, so I stayed completely passive and in about ten minutes the fight came to the up-and-down at the bow stage and the crew were able to get my line free and get gaffs into the nice tuna, one of the bigger ones.

    The meals were excellent, as always, Chef Rick knows his stuff, and the staterooms are exceptional, very comfortable. It is really nice to be able to open a sliding window in the galley and get some fresh air, too many boats are all sealed up. It was fun to watch Dave and Peter and Ken and Carter fly the kite and try both twin sardines and a flying-fish lure, although nothing came of it. I put my tricked-out Halco in the troll three times, and nothing came of it, which surprised me as I usually get bit. But nothing was interested in anything on the troll.

    So I'm back home with empty ice chests, nothing got to wear my tag, but it was a gorgeous couple of days on the water and the fish are beautiful, it is always fun to see them even when they drive you crazy. Next Time, Tuna!

    P7110002.JPG P7110003.JPG P7110004.JPG P7110006.JPG P7110008.JPG P7120009.JPG P7120010.JPG
     
  2. Shark Meat

    Shark Meat Diehard/Determined CAPT

    Location:
    San Diego, CA
    Name:
    Mike
    Boat:
    Glacier Bay 2670 Isle Runner - Shark Meat II
    • Messages:
      (2,041)
    • Likes Received:
      (495)
    Nice outing. I like it!
     
    surfgoose likes this.
  3. strackle99

    strackle99 I've posted enough I should edit this section

    Location:
    Allied Gardens
    Name:
    Todd
    Boat:
    The one on the fish
    • Messages:
      (2,522)
    • Likes Received:
      (1,420)
    Nice tuna.

    It looks like you spotted a silver backed mullet. Very rare in these waters.
     
  4. amsuarez86

    amsuarez86 Newbie

    Location:
    Alpine, CA, USA
    Name:
    Andrew
    Boat:
    No boat
    • Messages:
      (45)
    • Likes Received:
      (25)
    I literally was thinking; "Fuck the fish, check out that guys mop." Cant believe his old lady lets him outta the house like that. For fucks sake.
     
  5. caballo del mar

    caballo del mar Well-Known "Member"

    Location:
    San Diego,CA
    Name:
    Doug
    Boat:
    32' Amato cabin
    • Messages:
      (823)
    • Likes Received:
      (490)
    Sounds like wahoo cutting the bait in half.
     
  6. Jigslinger

    Jigslinger Fishing is an incurable disease

    Location:
    Orange County, CA
    Name:
    Greg
    Boat:
    Big ones with hot burgers and cold drinks
    • Messages:
      (1,933)
    • Likes Received:
      (1,049)
    You didn't get your buddy's extra fish? Limit is 2. Or any fillets? I'd get a new buddy. Haha

    Nice trip!
     
  7. Lotsa Luck

    Lotsa Luck Member

    Location:
    Hyatt Marina Mission Bay
    Name:
    Don Luckenbach, 100 Ton Capt.
    Boat:
    35' Cabo Express, Lotsa Luck II
    • Messages:
      (235)
    • Likes Received:
      (66)
    Very nice positive report, they can't all be plugged days but we keep hoping.
     
    surfgoose likes this.
  8. Paddyman1

    Paddyman1 I love pangas

    Location:
    Left Coast
    Name:
    Steve
    Boat:
    N/A
    • Messages:
      (4,886)
    • Likes Received:
      (3,231)
    Great report! That's fishing but you'll get'm next time!
     
    surfgoose likes this.
  9. alglaser

    alglaser Member

    Location:
    San Diego, Ca
    Name:
    Alan Glaser
    Boat:
    30' Proline
    • Messages:
      (160)
    • Likes Received:
      (98)
    I love the Islander! Took my 10 year old son on an over nighter and the crew couldn't have been any more helpful! Great attitude and a great time!
     
    surfgoose likes this.
  10. tommyc

    tommyc Hacker

    Location:
    Livermore, CA
    Name:
    Tom
    Boat:
    Beatem N' Eatem
    • Messages:
      (319)
    • Likes Received:
      (271)
    The limit was 4 on this trip, but I agree that I can't believe no one shared with Gary. These trips are going to be more and more frequent, with a group of fishermen deciding to chase the big fish but not succeeding at getting one per person. If it's me getting bit three times then I hand number three off and do some coaching. I also like to see everyone go home with something if there is enough to go around. 14 fish over 50 lbs for 16 guys, there certainly was enough to go around. Everybody's different though and some even think that their flatfall was bit because they are a better fisherman, even when everyone else is doing exactly the same thing that they are. Bluefin "wolfpack" bites are almost as random as it comes in my experience, although you do need to have a bait in the zone when they drive by.

    Gary, congratulations for your great attitude and I hope that you are the hot stick on your next trip. John, Jason and they guys on the Islander are great to fish with too, and I'm glad that you had the experience.
     
    surfgoose and Jigslinger like this.
  11. Mojo1

    Mojo1 Well-Known "Member"

    Location:
    Ca
    Name:
    None
    Boat:
    None
    • Messages:
      (333)
    • Likes Received:
      (353)
    Funny you must be a hair stylist?
     
    surfgoose likes this.
  12. obfishslayer

    obfishslayer Newbie

    Location:
    san diego
    Name:
    Brendan
    Boat:
    85 17' invader cc
    • Messages:
      (36)
    • Likes Received:
      (22)
    Great boat, love the islander, just got off my company's 1 1/2 day charter. We chased yt and dodos as only two or three guys were set up for big fish. John runs a great operation and Rick serves up great meals every year!
     
    surfgoose likes this.
  13. Tunahead

    Tunahead Long Time Tuna Abused Member

    Location:
    Costa Mesa
    Name:
    Ron
    Boat:
    several
    • Messages:
      (7,797)
    • Likes Received:
      (1,840)
    Great report and pics Gary. At least you got
    out again for the thrill of the hunt. Damn bluefin. LOL
     
    surfgoose likes this.
  14. negitoro

    negitoro Well-Known "Member"

    Location:
    villa park, ca
    Name:
    bruce
    Boat:
    ISLANDER, NEW LO-AN
    • Messages:
      (79)
    • Likes Received:
      (298)
    Hey Gary,

    Great report and better attitude. I tried to get on the Islander last Wednesday. But, they had to cancel as only 6 signed up. I was very disappointed. I noticed that the New Lo-an was listed as will run and had only 2 on board. My buddy and I Jumped on that. I guess a few more saw that too. We left with 17. Markus had us up fishing in the wee hours of the morning. We had 4 on deck before the sun even started to turn it into gray light! We spent the rest of the day running and gunning for nada. As the sun started to set we found the right school. We landed 8 beautiful fish. I scored a 60 pounder. Quite happy I started to stow my gear. Markus told all of us to work hard into the night. Lots of big fish. I grabbed my heavy rig and dropped the flat fall and got bit on the retrieve. I have no idea how long I was on this fish but Markus never left my side as it got closer. Without him I would have lost the fish at least 3 times. I couldn't even turn the crank. When we got it to color I found enough strength to make a few turns and a couple of good pulls. I saw Markus stick the fish and call for the THIRD gaff. They hauled it to the rail and the whole boat stopped. When it flopped on the deck, I couldn't believe what I had caught. Back at the dock it weighed 195lbs

    John and Markus were shaking Intel. Markus told John to use Powerbait!!! Since I walked onto the New Lo-an with all my Islander gear, Markus said I have to wear the New Lo-an shirt the next time I step on the Islander! I think John will understand. I'm really looking forward to the next trip on either boat I'm trying to fit in a trip by the end of this month. image.jpeg
     
  15. surfgoose

    surfgoose active geezer

    Location:
    Long Beach, CA, USA
    Name:
    Gary
    Boat:
    whichever has the longest bunk
    • Messages:
      (2,438)
    • Likes Received:
      (3,177)
    Thanks for the great comments, everyone! There was a really easy attitude among the entire group, a third of whom had never fished for tuna of any size before. One person who got two fish gave one to the boat, and everyone enjoyed poke and sashimi in the galley in the afternoon. And my friend Earl brought some fresh tuna for me after he got it processed. I've still got some yellowfin in the freezer from last fall, and several whitefront geese, and in September we'll be hip-deep in elk steaks, so maybe I didn't have the fire in my eyes to HAVE to get one and that may have made the difference. It was a fun trip.
     
  16. jiggyn

    jiggyn Do you even fish?

    Location:
    Torrance
    Name:
    Jerr
    Boat:
    That boat!
    • Messages:
      (5,449)
    • Likes Received:
      (2,511)
    Nice report
    I just want to braid and pet that ever so sweet mullet
     
    surfgoose likes this.
  17. johndtuttle

    johndtuttle Angler/Client

    Location:
    Carmel, CA
    Name:
    john
    Boat:
    not crazy enough yet
    • Messages:
      (5,570)
    • Likes Received:
      (1,699)
    Thanks for the report Gary and sorry you didn't score!

    Pick bites are like that and sometimes they just don't see your hook first. :(
     
    surfgoose likes this.
  18. mcdewey

    mcdewey Newbie

    Location:
    san diego
    Name:
    sean mcgee
    Boat:
    36,uniflite,Tara 3
    • Messages:
      (3)
    • Likes Received:
      (2)
     
  19. mcdewey

    mcdewey Newbie

    Location:
    san diego
    Name:
    sean mcgee
    Boat:
    36,uniflite,Tara 3
    • Messages:
      (3)
    • Likes Received:
      (2)
    I wash the islander on the next trip, a day and half, and I agree 100 percent. I am a captain with over twenty years experience working on long range sport fishers and private yachts . I love the way John fished. He didn't waste anytime at all. The crew was outstanding , never getting excited , and was hard working and helpful all day. Rick , the chef , was first rate, I loved everything he made. The boat is great to fish as there is plenty of room , my fish came out perfect. I would highly recommend this boat and I will defiantly fish it,again
     
    bparker1225 and surfgoose like this.
  20. amsuarez86

    amsuarez86 Newbie

    Location:
    Alpine, CA, USA
    Name:
    Andrew
    Boat:
    No boat
    • Messages:
      (45)
    • Likes Received:
      (25)
    Nope, just got two eyes that work and a sense of decency.
     
    twotrack likes this.

Share This Page