Legend 3 day 7/25 and rookie questions

Dexter Outdoors

unionguynw

Newbie
May 4, 2009
3
7
Vancouver,WA
Name
David
Boat
19ft Thunderjet
Flying down from Washington State for a 3 day on the Legend, 7/25-7/28. Did several overnights and day trips when Joel Ralston ran it 25 years ago. Been up here salmon fishing ever since.

Looking for some tips on gear to buy. Will be renting rods based on recommendations as we get closer.
Any tips on what to bring as far clothing and other gear are appreciated!

Hotel booked for night before the trip and night after. Will use a processor and hopefully check a couple boxes of frozen fish.

Gracias and hope to meet at least a couple of you on this trip!
 

matt fe2o3

Newbie
Dec 23, 2020
54
83
San Leandro
Name
Matt
Boat
BT 101
Well my son and I just did our first Tuna trip on the Excel. We fish ocean Salmon so this was new territory.

We did have AFTCO harnesses and Clarion belts. Did not need them, fished the rail and the big belt plates we had were too big. The guys that did have them used smaller ones.These will go up on Ebay. Good for private/6pac boats, not for big boats with good rail.

We used the Excel's rods (three sizes) and they were fine. What we used:

200# leaders with snap rings/swivel configuration. Runs about 10 bucks per each. This is for the big rod. Get them locally from the boat or the landing. They know what you need. I got mine at Bob Sands in LA as it was on my way from SF.

For smaller rigs have some 30# fluorocarbon or buy it from the boat for leaders. I did not have any, but the boat did. They should be able to make up what you need. Excel prices were reasonable as tackle shops.

Hooks and assist hooks. Simple and accurate guidance here: .

We re-rigged some of our flatfall lures with good assist hooks. The experienced guys fishing on the boat will tell you straight up what original hooks are trash.

Split ring pliers and split rings. A must. Also some weight, not much but for live bait 6 to 10 oz torpedo sinkers (eye on each end) have a few of each. Regular pliers as well in a belt sheath.

Check your leader after every fish. You will see why. We burned two of our four heavy leaders we brought as well as the ones the heavy rods came with as well as a few fluorocarbon ones on the lighter and medium. This means almost every fish took a leader out in abrasion.

Lures, I brought 9 flatfalls from 300 to 400 grams. This one my son caught a 118# on.

1624456007829.jpeg

1624456121452.jpeg


Having leaders, and leader material, flatfalls, hooks weights, etc., will keep you from needing the deckhands when things get busy - and you can change up yourself when things are slower. This improves everyone's rail time and keep the hands handling fighters.

Rubber bands - bring a good handful. We used at least 6 ourselves and have maybe 20 or so - folks needed them in a hurry and it was a simple favor return for great guidance.

Many other guys on the trip offered to help on various rigging and we gratefully accepted - so have the stuff.

Gloves were also good. Tape for your fingers. Motrin - your shoulders and legs will get a workout - LOL.

So this is my noob opinion. The experts will chime in. We came over-prepared and I am not an expert. This was what we did, YMMV - and it worked.

We caught 6 nice fish, two over 100# and the other four very nice abs 60/50/50/20# range. We only stopped because we caught more than enough for ourselves.

I was really impressed by the professionalism and experience of the boat and crew as well as the other passengers. Already booked the same trip for next year.

Have a good time.
 
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2Rotten

Live in Oregon/Love to Fish San Diego!
Jan 10, 2010
484
1,093
Junction City OR
Name
Rod Lathrop
Boat
24' North River Seahawk Hardtop "Sun Dog"
Fun! I live in Oregon/Arizona, but have been doing 1.5 - 3 day trips this past 4 years now.

Clothing, my first trip out of San Diego I made the mistake of thinking it would be warm all the time. Nope! Be sure to bring at least a sweatshirt. I bring fishing light weight water proof bibs & top. And my deck boots.

Fluoro leaders 25, 30, 40, 60, 80 and possibly 100. I am partial to Okuma Fluoro-stretch because the knot strength (for me) is much better than the other brands of fluoro I tested.

Circle hooks sizes 2, 1, 2/0, 3/0 and 6/0. The smaller sizes are for sardines, the 6/0 for mackerel. I like the ringed Charlie Brown circle hooks; more stealthy than the Super Mutu hooks, hand forged strong, no off-set which always seems to get corner jaw hook-sets for me (no sawing off leader on the teeth of BFT). Bring some "J" hooks too, in case you find Yellowtail or schoolie-sized YFT. Sizes 4, 2, 1. You will also need some rubber bands (size 32 works well) and some torpedo sinkers; 3, 4, 6 and 12 ounce. For Sinker Rigs.


You will need some jigs. They are in very high demand right now/my favorites are virtually not available anywhere even online. 80 and 100 gram Colt Snipers in Pink/Blue are good. Daiwa SK jigs 170 grams and 300 grams, in Sardine and Zebra Glow. Review this recent posting by TunaNorth for some similar but different jigs that may be more readily available.


Most of the jigs will need to have the hooks upgraded. More info than I can pack into a simple posting. "Search" will provide what you are looking for.

If you have a strong Albacore rig it will likely do for your 30# class rod. Supplement this with good rent rods (reserve in advance) for 40/50# and 80/100#. The happy challenge we are facing this year is that you don't know whether your trip will find 20# fish or 200#+ sized fish. The Legend will have excellent sonar; the Captain will tell you which line class to fish, and it may change by the hour based on what size fish he is seeing under the boat. On my trip on Tomahawk last month Captain Mike Loust warned everyone before boarding to bring a "Heavy"; 80# minimum/preferably 100#. For a quick read on what was working last month read my Fishing Report (spoiler alert - there IS a Happy Ending!).


Good luck!
 
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pooahl

Paul
Jun 9, 2009
65
121
Sacramento
Name
Paul
Boat
usually long range
Wouldn't hurt to have a waterproof or at least water repellant jacket. On my last trip there was a super heavy mist that was soaking everything one night. Haven't usually needed it for rain, but I'm glad I had it that night.

Bring a plastic clothes hanger for drying your towel and extra trash bags for dirty clothes and footwear. Flip flops for the shower. Ear plugs for the snorer. MP3s on your phone, since you'll likely be out of tower range. Deck of cards. Your own beer if that's your thing (boat tab can get crazy).

I would let the processor know ahead of time that you need the fish frozen solid the next morning. I've learned that it helps to be clear about this up front. They can totally do this.
 
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Senko888

Newbie
Dec 8, 2020
40
40
San francisco
Name
Scott
Boat
Hobie outback
Fishy boat. I was considering the same trip, but booked the 2.5 day a week earlier.

A few boat specifics:

On the way out, the crew will make crimped leaders for your jigs for a few bucks.

I noticed the crew prefers setting drag on the light side. There’s a spring scale available at the stern rail if you want to set your own drag. I prefer heavier, 30% line rating for the larger fish. A bit more control when the fish is nearing the boat. Expect tangles and wrapped lines.

If you catch a big one, request crew to gill and gut prior to dropping it in the rsw.

For rentals: 100lb setup, 80lb, then 40-60lb. I think h&m offers avets, but you can check other landings if you want talicas or fathoms. Depending on how many outfits you want to rent, i would say 100lb is mandatory, you can go with a lighter topshot of flouro on a medium sized reel.

tackle: Don’t skimp. Here’s some to the big ticket items.

40-80lb flourocarbon for topshot

150g to 300g flatfalls and knife jigs
250g is what i have the most of. Lean towards heavier as lighter jigs may not be able to get to the strike zone when conditions are rougher. Smaller fish will still bite the larger jigs.

4oz to 12oz torpedo sinkers, rubber bands
When fish aren’t biting the jigs.

1/0, 2/0 circle hooks

optional
Coltsnipers, pink blue color
Bridled jigs for the larger fish
 
Last edited:
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dsl

I Should Upgrade My Account
  • Nov 20, 2017
    1,286
    567
    California
    Name
    Larry S
    Boat
    Landlover
    Well my son and I just did our first Tuna trip on the Excel. We fish ocean Salmon so this was new territory.

    We did have AFTCO harnesses and Clarion belts. Did not need them, fished the rail and the big belt plates we had were too big. The guys that did have them used smaller ones.These will go up on Ebay. Good for private/6pac boats, not for big boats with good rail.

    We used the Excel's rods (three sizes) and they were fine. What we used:

    200# leaders with snap rings/swivel configuration. Runs about 10 bucks per each. This is for the big rod. Get them locally from the boat or the landing. They know what you need. I got mine at Bob Sands in LA as it was on my way from SF.

    For smaller rigs have some 30# fluorocarbon or buy it from the boat for leaders. I did not have any, but the boat did. They should be able to make up what you need. Excel prices were reasonable as tackle shops.

    Hooks and assist hooks. Simple and accurate guidance here: .

    We re-rigged some of our flatfall lures with good assist hooks. The experienced guys fishing on the boat will tell you straight up what original hooks are trash.

    Split ring pliers and split rings. A must. Also some weight, not much but for live bait 6 to 10 oz torpedo sinkers (eye on each end) have a few of each. Regular pliers as well in a belt sheath.

    Check your leader after every fish. You will see why. We burned two of our four heavy leaders we brought as well as the ones the heavy rods came with as well as a few fluorocarbon ones on the lighter and medium. This means almost every fish took a leader out in abrasion.

    Lures, I brought 9 flatfalls from 300 to 400 grams. This one my son caught a 118# on.

    View attachment 1292457
    View attachment 1292458

    Having leaders, and leader material, flatfalls, hooks weights, etc., will keep you from needing the deckhands when things get busy - and you can change up yourself when things are slower. This improves everyone's rail time and keep the hands handling fighters.

    Rubber bands - bring a good handful. We used at least 6 ourselves and have maybe 20 or so - folks needed them in a hurry and it was a simple favor return for great guidance.

    Many other guys on the trip offered to help on various rigging and we gratefully accepted - so have the stuff.

    Gloves were also good. Tape for your fingers. Motrin - your shoulders and legs will get a workout - LOL.

    So this is my noob opinion. The experts will chime in. We came over-prepared and I am not an expert. This was what we did, YMMV - and it worked.

    We caught 6 nice fish, two over 100# and the other four very nice abs 60/50/50/20# range. We only stopped because we caught more than enough for ourselves.

    I was really impressed by the professionalism and experience of the boat and crew as well as the other passengers. Already booked the same trip for next year.

    Have a good time.
    Nice instructive video. Thank you!
     
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    kuyamonster

    I only wishes to catch some fishes...
    May 14, 2009
    751
    670
    San Diego/Tacoma USA
    Name
    Marcel
    Boat
    Limited load cattle car
    Relocated to the PNW years ago but I still consider San Diego home. (Go PADRES! 😜) Still fly down 3-4 times each year to fish. Feel free to PM if any ???'s. Great boat choice, fished with Steve Taft a few times after he took over the boat from his Dad, Chuck. Captain's a cool cat and knows his stuff. He'll keep you informed on conditions and what's working, listen to his guidelines and you'll catch fish. (Plus his personality isn't as "old n salty" like his Pops on the Excalibur! 😂) I'm on her for the 1.75 day on July 6th. Boat has great storage for tackle bags. Ample room amidship gunnels is nice when fighting a fish. Stable beam platform and open bow area. You'll either love or hate the mini bench seating up front. (My shins don't like it when tossing iron.) Choose a mid bunk close to the ladders, I slept better and was easy to get out quick when the bite's on. As mentioned above, current tackle has been covered well. Minimum 3 rigs each if you're renting from H & M. 2 speed combo with 80/100 for heavy jigs, 30/40 lb live bait, 40-60 lb sinker rig/medium weight jigs. The landing's rental rods utilize Avet lever drags, Steve's deckhands want to help get you on fish too, so interact. Have them set your drags and show you how to use the lever drags if you're unfamiliar with them. Plus those guys are working for you, no such thing as a dumb question. Wear layers of clothing, it's actually been hotter here in Washington the last week or so. Eat at Mitch's or Miguel's Cocina before your trip. (if you want spice in your life, try Suppanee House of Thai) All super close to the docks. Most of all have fun and enjoy the outing! These bad boys pull much harder than a big Chinook or a toad longfin. I wish you tight lines, bent rods, and big smiles. Sky's the limit! (But when you catch bluefin it's only 2 per day 😜) Go gettum! 🐟

    PS: If you fly Alaska Airlines or Southwest, check into their air cargo rates. Usually cheaper than having the processors ship it...
     
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    dsl

    I Should Upgrade My Account
  • Nov 20, 2017
    1,286
    567
    California
    Name
    Larry S
    Boat
    Landlover
    PS: If you fly Alaska Airlines or Southwest, check into their air cargo rates. Usually cheaper than having the processors ship it...
    Hey thank you, for that info! 👍
     
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    nicodemus

    Fish, he said softly, aloud. I’ll stay with you...
    Apr 10, 2012
    696
    959
    The 505
    Name
    Nick B
    Boat
    African Queen
    5-Star, at least, does ship via Southwest and Alaska air cargo. Buddy had a box shipped to Alaska last year for just over $100 (about 90lbs of fish).
     
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    kuyamonster

    I only wishes to catch some fishes...
    May 14, 2009
    751
    670
    San Diego/Tacoma USA
    Name
    Marcel
    Boat
    Limited load cattle car
    Yeah. A tad more than the going rate for SWA but the neat thing is if shipped through Air Cargo yourself, it gets there the same day as your return flight. I love flying Southwest now. My rod tube AND tackle bag count towards one of my two free luggages. On the flight back, I check my Yeti cooler bag as a 2nd free luggage and can bring up to 50 lbs of fish back. Or you can box it up in a styrofoam shipper and put that inside of a cardboard box then check it as 2nd free luggage. (Don't try to ship styrofoam exposed, they'll reject it) Easy peasy and it's not cheating really! 🤪
     
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    Senko888

    Newbie
    Dec 8, 2020
    40
    40
    San francisco
    Name
    Scott
    Boat
    Hobie outback
    Yeah. A tad more than the going rate for SWA but the neat thing is if shipped through Air Cargo yourself, it gets there the same day as your return flight. I love flying Southwest now. My rod tube AND tackle bag count towards one of my two free luggages. On the flight back, I check my Yeti cooler bag as a 2nd free luggage and can bring up to 50 lbs of fish back. Or you can box it up in a styrofoam shipper and put that inside of a cardboard box then check it as 2nd free luggage. (Don't try to ship styrofoam exposed, they'll reject it) Easy peasy and it's not cheating really! 🤪
    I should start flying to SD instead of making the drive from SF.

    What rod tube are you using?
    How do you get to the landing from the airport?
     
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    Tunahead

    Long Time Tuna Abused Member
  • Aug 11, 2006
    9,385
    3,297
    Costa Mesa
    Name
    Ron
    Boat
    several
    Flying down from Washington State for a 3 day on the Legend, 7/25-7/28. Did several overnights and day trips when Joel Ralston ran it 25 years ago. Been up here salmon fishing ever since.

    Looking for some tips on gear to buy. Will be renting rods based on recommendations as we get closer.
    Any tips on what to bring as far clothing and other gear are appreciated!

    Hotel booked for night before the trip and night after. Will use a processor and hopefully check a couple boxes of frozen fish.

    Gracias and hope to meet at least a couple of you on this trip!
    WELL GOOD LUCK ON YOUR TRIP, WATCH FOR MANY TIPS FROM THOSE RECENTLY FISHING
    I did a LOT of Trips on Legend in the many Albacore Years LOL
     
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    kuyamonster
    kuyamonster
    Gotta come up here for AYCE longfins now. One of the many reasons I split time between both states. Last time I caught a fat Albert AND a bigeye out of San Diego was the 2005 Make-A-Wish Tuna Challenge tourney...😜
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    kuyamonster

    I only wishes to catch some fishes...
    May 14, 2009
    751
    670
    San Diego/Tacoma USA
    Name
    Marcel
    Boat
    Limited load cattle car
    Cheaper to fly to SD from SF! (9 hour drive one way with gear?!?) I use 3 or 4 inch PVC pipes with endcaps to haul my sticks. My goal over the last few seasons was to travel lighter. I can now fish 99% of my trips out of SD with only 4-5 rods. I usually use UBER when I'm in town. (Contrary to popular belief, 8-9 foot rods will fit in a Prius. 😜) If you fish south often, one option I highly recommend is to contact Mike Morris, owner of Big Fish Transport in SD. Popular with the long range community. He offers gear shipping/storage as well as pick up to and from the airport. Check his website or call him at #760-805-0824...
     
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    Senko888

    Newbie
    Dec 8, 2020
    40
    40
    San francisco
    Name
    Scott
    Boat
    Hobie outback
    Cheaper to fly to SD from SF! (9 hour drive one way with gear?!?) I use 3 or 4 inch PVC pipes with endcaps to haul my sticks. My goal over the last few seasons was to travel lighter. I can now fish 99% of my trips out of SD with only 4-5 rods. I usually use UBER when I'm in town. (Contrary to popular belief, 8-9 foot rods will fit in a Prius. 😜) If you fish south often, one option I highly recommend is to contact Mike Morris, owner of Big Fish Transport in SD. Popular with the long range community. He offers gear shipping/storage as well as pick up to and from the airport. Check his website or call him at #760-805-0824...
    Wow thanks for the invaluable information.

    So far, the drive is long but It’s kinda relaxing. I usually spend a day at rincon on the way there and stop by LA to drop off fish on the way back. Also have a kayak parked in LA to fish la jolla etc.

    I know there’s going to be instances in the future where the bite is hot and i book a trip spontaneously. Plane ride would be a major time saver.
     
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    kuyamonster
    kuyamonster
    I hear you. You don't know how bad I've wanted to be down there over the last few weeks! Can't wait, I'm on a plane come July 1st...
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    tingo777

    Newbie
    Jul 6, 2017
    35
    35
    Bozeman, MT
    Name
    Matthew
    Boat
    Driftboat
    Jumping in here to second kuyamonster's recommendation of Mike Morris. He's great. I was just talking to him this week, and making arrangements for my upcoming trip next month. Very nice to ship your stuff and get picked up at the airport with all of it in Mike's truck vs. trying to shepherd it all through the check in process/will it get there, etc. I did my first LR trip a couple years ago, and using Mike's service took a lot of the stress out. $0.02
     
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    egarratt

    Member
  • Aug 11, 2005
    749
    624
    San Diego
    Name
    Eddie G
    Boat
    None
    Travel light. If you took half the gear recommended here you would have enough. Look at Long Range Boat websites (Excel, Royal Polaris, Royal Star) for their recommendations for trips (most are outdated but have some suggestions). I think if you use the search feature here you will find many lists.
     
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    Senko888

    Newbie
    Dec 8, 2020
    40
    40
    San francisco
    Name
    Scott
    Boat
    Hobie outback
    Travel light. If you took half the gear recommended here you would have enough. Look at Long Range Boat websites (Excel, Royal Polaris, Royal Star) for their recommendations for trips (most are outdated but have some suggestions). I think if you use the search feature here you will find many lists.
    3 day trip with flight and lodging is no small commitment. Spend the few hundred more on necessary tackle.

    Posted everywhere: jigs, leaders, hooks.

    Not so obvious:
    Get some finger tape or gloves so you don’t get cut up by the braid, earplugs, anti-motion sickness stuff.
     
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    stuman

    Brawndo the thirst mutilator
    Sep 18, 2004
    1,689
    1,646
    Oside
    Name
    stu
    Boat
    skiff
    I just fished the Legend last week. Similar to you it has been a long time. Joel and Tim Linski were running the boat last time I was aboard. It felt familiar but different. It still fishes well - nice parallel drifts - slightly stern first.

    Bring a towel, sleeping bag and pillow. On the Legend the bunk room air conditioning was set at 65 degrees below deck. It's cooler near the vents.
    If it matters to you, the emergency exit is on the left/port side of the bunk room. It's open seating - first come first serve for bunks.
     
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