At Jason's (Lend-A-Fish) request, I will write a Bloodydecks-style report for this trip. I headed out about 7 am and was to pick Scott (wahoo.ch) up from the rental car return. He was coming from Switzerland, so it was the least I could do. I got a call from him just as I was coming down Rosecrans telling me he got a ride from another friend (Casey). OK, just meet me at the landing, I said. I met Scott and Casey, then proceeded to meet Howard...he was easy to spot... . He then introduced me to Ray and Mel. I ran into Kcosca (Kevin) while we were lining up. We all signed in and got our free T-shirts and Intrepid mugs, then boarded by number. Once on the boat, I was impressed by the layout in the galley. The hallway leading into the galley was the widest I have ever seen. We got situated into our staterooms and began socializing on the deck. There I met Don (fishious). 91 year old Joe was already rigging his rods. As the boat pulled away from the landing and headed to the receiver, we had the seminar. Captain Danny was not too optimistic regarding the upcoming trip, but said he'd do his best. Kevin then told us how to rig for the trip. Once we hit the water, we were out there learning knots from each other, talking of trips past, and looking forward to our upcoming adventure, not knowing the great fishing that would await us. We had a great dinner of prime rib that night. The next morning we continued rigging, and doing whatever it is we do on travel days. We continued the next day, then stopped that night to make bait. We slayed the macs and within a couple of hours had our tank full. A few of us stayed up to see if there were any resident fish worth catching. At about 4 am, I got a hit. I pulled up a 10# calico. Corey got a pic of it and then we sent it back swimming away...time for bed. At least I got the first fish of the trip! We travelled again the next day. By the way, those stabilizers are sweet! The boat has the usual up and down pitch, but there is very little side to side sway. We awoke the next morning to the tuna grounds, and it was run and gun on meter marks. We hit a school after dawn but before sunup. I dropped my dine over the side and he swam straight down. Not exactly what I was hoping for, I was thinking, but at least it was not right under the boat. Right then, bam! Game on. I was on my Avet 30w on a 760H, a virgin setup sans rock cod. Got an 80+ pounder to the boat after Danny, Kevin, and Buzz got us out of a 5 way tangle! Only 1 of 5 lost, cudos to the crew. My personal best of 68# was beat in the first hours of the first day of fishing! Sweet. The photos below of the melee of bent rods was taken at this time. Pulled up on another school and I heeded Steve K's advice. I was next to the bait tank and wanted to break in a different setup. This was a TLD30 that I hotrodded per Alan Tani and put in a Tiburon frame. It was on a 760L roller rod with a 50# top shot. Casted out on the slide and it was game on again. Got another 80+ pounder to gaff. Many others were hooked up, as well. We run'ed and gun'ed again, and again were rewarded. This time I had my 60# topshot on a Penn 30S. Slide, drop, and game on! Another 80+ to gaff. My old personal best was a distant memory, by this point. We must've had over 30 fish on board by this point, and it was not yet 9AM on the first day of fishing! We hit a few more stops for the day, for a few more fish. All were in the 60 to 150 class. We then had a wonderful dinner of Alaskan halibut. Tasty! The next morning we got up and I think there were a few fish under the boat. Old Joe Talasy (91 years young) was already at it by 4:30 am. A few fish were caught before sunrise and we run'ed and gun'ed until we found a school and many more souls beat their personal bests. I did not hook up here. We did more running and gunning for the day, but there was nothing else to be found. We drifted for the night and had another wonderful dinner. I think this night was veal chops. I got up to get coffee at about 4 am the next morning and there was a knock at the window. It was 91 year old Joe waving at me! He'd been at it for a half an hour already. That morning, around dawn but before sunrise, we were greeted to another melee of bent rods. These were a bit bigger, as I recall. After they were landed, we headed off just to reposition, and just drifted. Many nice fish were landed this day, but I just cannot remember exactly who and what. Hopefully they will chime in on the thread. I had two fish lost this day. One was on my heaviest outfit, a Penn 50W on a 6455XXXH. As soon as I went to set the hook, my line went slack...I pulled up frayed spectra...wtf? Anyway, I put out my 60# outfit (the only thing I had left) and got a nice pickup. After a blistering initial run, my line again went slack. I pulled up a pigtail, but not a curly-Q. I'm thinking the fish was hooked deeply, and the line broke off at the fish's jaw. Anyway, enough of my woes, many people got fish over 100 and 200# this day. However, I went up on the kite and was in jail for over 4 hours. I did get a break for a nice ciappino lunch, however. I later got "fired" from the kite, which I never heard of and was a bit torqued about. I would be rewarded later, however. Of course, the guy up next on the kite (Bill) gets slammed in 5 minutes. At this point, the kite hates me. Later that evening, Kevin Cleary (2nd mate) yells my name. "Take this thing," he says. I was in for the battle of my life. This thing was big, mean, and really wanted to live. After over an hour, three gaffs were sunk into him, and he came though the gate. My 273# was on board. I was a bit tipsy, and tried to get a picture with him on board, but kept slipping on the fish slime. There were at least another 6 fish over 200 with him on the deck. Corey had his 330 and Tom had his 300 on board, as well. Given the way the cows were beginning to bite, Capt Danny gave us the option of staying for another day, or going inshore to fish yellowtail. 18 to 1 we voted to stay. It would be the right move. That night TJ, Ron, Bryan, Don, and myself stayed up to make squid. We got a lot. That would prove to be key the next day. The next morning we awoke to sunshine. I forgot to mention it had rained the previous two mornings. It was a welcome change. The day was a scratch bite, but those who persevered were welcomed with cows. Scott (wahoo.ch) was bent almost everytime I looked. Howard (modrealtor) and Don (fishious) were close contenders. Casey hooked a couple, as well. Yours truly could not buy a bite. I was about to go take a nap, when Kevin called me up on the kite. "Damn," I thought. The kite hates me. I was on the kite for about an hour, when Kevin came up to me and gave me a pep talk. About 10 minutes later...boil! Wind, wind, wind! It was game on! After I got the line tight, Kevin told me to pull. I did, but then he said, "ok, now put down your purse and PULL!!" I gave it the pull of my life and it pulled right back down. I tried to get into my harness, but said to hell with it. I used the rail and it was my friend. Soon, I was rewarded with a 135# yft. Bill went up on the kite after me. Soon he was on with his pig. He started the fight with the butt of the rod between his legs. Buzz and I were laughing that we both know Urologists, but hope to never need their services. Bill's fish took him up to the bow, where it thankfully settled in for the fight. You all have already seen the pics I have posted on this, but one more will be seen below. That thing was tough! Johnny the deckhand came down to get Capt Danny to say, "This is a big mo...fu..." I want you up here so nothing goes wrong. Every beat of this fish's tail took a slip of drag. The drag later pegged a 56# scale without slipping. Eventually, after over an hour, this thing came to gaff...4 gaffs! It came through the gate, not the over-the-rail "man shit" as Danny frequently espoused. High fives were everywhere. Danny taped this thing three times, then took and inch off of each dimension to try to be conservative. He still came out with 381. We were all pumped! Bill just wanted to know if he had enough freezer bags at home. He had no idea what he had just landed. We had a great dinner that night. I think it was rack of lamb. The next few days were travel days. We stayed another day in the zone, so there would be no yellowtail or rockcod stops. We would already be getting in late. No worries, the boat didn't have another trip scheduled until Dec 26. We were all under the impression for a few days that this would be the biggest pig the landing had seen in 10 years. We all were trying to impress upon Bill the magnitude of what he had caught. The morning we pulled into the harbor, we had to wait at the bait receiver until 10 am, as we were instructed to not return before then. News media, etc. were expected. No worries, Javier cooked us up a nice breakfast and we got our stuff upstairs and out of the staterooms. Danny and the deckhands handily tied our cows up to the stern. The "bycatch" alone would have made a respectable trip. As we pulled into the dock, the news cameras were already there, wanting to interview Bill and Capt Danny. After we got them off to the side, we were able to offload our gear and ourselves, and then make our way up the docks. The first cart to come up was Bill's fish. Anticipation was in the air, as there were more people there at the landing than I have ever seen after returning from a long range trip. Once the fish was in the air, on the scale, I could hear Danny say, "355, what the fuck?!" My heart sunk for him. Not because this was a loss, by any means, but because I know he did everything he could to keep this fish from coming up short at the dock. The news media came out thinking this was the biggest thing in 10 years. I was very happy to see the positive slant they gave the creature. This was a pig, no question. They recognized that. All in all, we had an epic trip. What can one say when the top three jackpot fish are all over 300? I was lucky enough to break my personal best on my first fish, then break that record, and then break it again with a 273#. All the anglers on the trip, BD'ers and non-BD'ers were awesome to fish with. Everyone worked well together and all loved to catch fish, and hang out when we weren't fishing. This was the trip to top all trips. I may never top this trip, but I'll keep trying! Photos are below. I don't know how to mix them into the content. Did you like this version, Jason?