Long Range fishing: Observations after 1st Trip

woodfish330

I'm to smart to figure out how to edit this.
  • Aug 14, 2012
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    John
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    Amadeus... brother... you said it! Been there... done that. I remember Fishing the "oil rigs" with DONNY BROCKMAN on the FREELANCE... 52 anglers.... waiting for the current. When it would go off..... I remember fishing from the "Third Row" on the Stern.... and getting fish... eventually. It was a rude awakening.... but the more you do it.... the better you get! Learning to survive..... then thrive while "combat" fishing... helped build my LR skills considerably. Like basic training Brothers.
     
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    canyonman

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  • Dec 2, 2005
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    joe
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    Started long range in 05. Biggest thing I found is the long trips with limited load work the best for me. I’ve been doing the same charter for 15 years. It’s a long trip with a core group of about 10 guys/gals. Being from the east coast I came into it with open ears and eyes. Any info I could absorb I did and asked lots of questions. I learn something new every trip. There’s a difference between offshore fishing on both coasts but I’ve applied tactics successfully that translates to both. Biggest deal for me is just hanging with good friends for two weeks every year and hopefully hanging a big one
     
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    JohnTFT

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    Biggest deal for me is just hanging with good friends for two weeks every year and hopefully hanging a big on
    Me and Canyonman grew up in the same neighborhood working and fishing on the head boats of Sheepshead Bay Brooklyn NY.

    My boss thought a good night of fishing had zero to do with catching fish. He would tell us he was fishing for dead presidents and proceed to put 75 people on the boat night bluefishing.

    Add some alcohol and gambling - combat fishing no. It was war!

    We have been fishing LR for the same amount of time. The lessons learned in the canyons of the NE prepared me and Joe for being able to rig our terminal really well.

    We look at conditions and can apply techniques like Wahoodad mentioned. Start fishing off the bow work your way to the stern to avoid the inevitable tangles a crowded stern creates.

    Flyling a sardine - still learning. Watch guys like Steve Lindsay, Jim Beck, Tim Turis and you will figure it out.

    For me this point of my LR fishing experience is friends and the boat ride! I love travel days. When you work as much as I do - downtime is really appreciated.

    The challenge of big fish from an anchored boat for me is a drug. I cant get enough of it and keep coming back for more.
     
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    wahoodad

    Yaddah X3
    Apr 27, 2003
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    LOL

    "Combat" evolves with the conditions. The examples of 48 anglers on the Blackjack and 68 on the Q105...could make the argument that's analogous to WWI trench warfare (which reappeared in the more recent Iran-Iraq war).

    28 other people concurrently tossing live bait and lures on the stern may not be on the same level as 48 or 68, but not exactly a-walk-in-the-park either to a first-timer or others.
    Back in the day, wandering the big 3 docks as they were loading up, ran into a buddy who worked on the Q105- he says, “ hey, wanna go fishing?”
    I looked at the boat, and asked. how many people onboard- he replies, right at a hundred!
    Thanks, but no thanks! 🤣
     

    Bill W

    tunaholic
  • Jan 12, 2006
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    When I worked the 1/2 and 3/4 day boats used to hate weekends but loved the weekday crowds. We had the regulars for each week day. Monday-Friday I would know each day who would be there. Poker games exc… we saved the primo rock cod and bass spots for the week day.
     
    JohnTFT
    JohnTFT
    Bill,

    That part of the business is universal.

    Putting rods on the holders for the regulars in the stern or the bow - was part of the process to get a better tip.

    Night bluefishing Friday - Sunday was savage. It was nothing short of mayhem.
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    af dreamer

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    Apr 16, 2007
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    My first long range trip was in 1958!7 day trip to the Island,14 years old,knew no one on the boat,cold showers.Sportfisher IV Lee Palm boat.Have been doing some LR over the years.I only go on trips now if going with a friend or two.At my age I dont have patience for all the traveling.In the last 10 years or so I have chosen to fly to destinations I have not fished,charter a great guide and fish with a couple life long friends and take 5 day trips and eat at diff restaurants everynight and sleep in a quiet non moving bed.Over catching 100 lb plus tuna.
    If the right trip came up with a friend like Steve Carson I always consider 7-8 day trips.FWIW,Tom
     
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    jer dog

    Fishing is life
    Jun 22, 2006
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    My first long range trip was in 1958!7 day trip to the Island,14 years old,knew no one on the boat,cold showers.Sportfisher IV Lee Palm boat.Have been doing some LR over the years.I only go on trips now if going with a friend or two.At my age I dont have patience for all the traveling.In the last 10 years or so I have chosen to fly to destinations I have not fished,charter a great guide and fish with a couple life long friends and take 5 day trips and eat at diff restaurants everynight and sleep in a quiet non moving bed.Over catching 100 lb plus tuna.
    If the right trip came up with a friend like Steve Carson I always consider 7-8 day trips.FWIW,Tom
    I did my first LR Trip in 1985 , and one of my Friends has been with this Charter on 105 for years, when A spot opened up he got me on it , so I felt like A guest , because they were mostly all old Firemen and Cops, and I was just 24 years old at the time,
    and what help me the most , was my Parents always said too
    respect my Elders, and 99 % of them treated me like
    I was there kid, after that Trip I was hooked for Life .
     
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    Yellowtail Dan

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  • Apr 10, 2006
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    Combat fishing to me was the over night albacore trips back when they were running and you had all the one time wonders and boats were packed. I've never been on a LR trip that was anything close to that. There are always a couple folks you'd rather not fish with again but the cost and time investment keeps most of the kooks away
     
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    canyonman

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  • Dec 2, 2005
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    Ahh night blue fishing. Literal combat at times One thing I am always amazed at is the minimal amount of fish lost to tangles. Fishing 23 24 guys on a big boat is a dream. East coast party boat tuna fishing it’s a given lots of fish will lost to tangles
     
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    Bill W

    tunaholic
  • Jan 12, 2006
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    Combat fishing to me was the over night albacore trips back when they were running and you had all the one time wonders and boats were packed. I've never been on a LR trip that was anything close to that. There are always a couple folks you'd rather not fish with again but the cost and time investment keeps most of the kooks away
    I would go down to San Diego without a reservation and go from landings and find the lowest passenger listed. 25 bucks for Coronados, 35 bucks for albacore. If they were biting I would put my fish on ice at Point Loma Seafood and go out again. Steve Giffin on the Holiday would give me one free ride for every paid trip. Funny… do not remember any “combat” fishing, but do remember the crew telling me to breath through my nose with a fish on.
    Albacore was all about getting 2 fish on a stop, my goal. Normal line was 25# Ande but first fish may be with 40# and second fish was on 15#. Get the first fish in pronto and relax on the second. When the boat stopped sliding it was time for the light stuff. Had some primo troll feathers, commercial jap heads that cost only 2 bucks at San Pedro commercial fishing store. Always stopped the boat with them. That first troll fish up quick really gets the fish biting.

    Really miss fishing albies. But seems when one thing leaves another takes it’s place.
     
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    mike garrahan

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    Sep 7, 2007
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    Unless you are at least 70 years old you can't imagine what it was like on an albacore boat back in the 60's. When I first started as an 11 year old kid the trips were $20 and another $4 if you wanted a bunk. If all the boats were sold out you just walked up and down the dock until you found a charter trip that would take a couple of extra people. Often times there would be 35 or 40 people on a 65' boat. When somebody yelled hook up it was utter chaos. Guys would be knocking into you trying to get to the bait tank, guys casting in every direction and people pushing and shoving trying to get into the corner. Your fish went into a dirty gunny sack where they stayed for the entire trip and you ate homemade egg salad sandwiches.

    Today you get on a beautiful 100' boat with 24 or 26 people. You have your own 2 person air conditioned stateroom, they serve steak and prime rib for dinner and after dinner you sit around and drink wine while you finish your dessert. If you have a nice fish on the guys around you will often reel in to get out of your way and there will be a deckhand standing right next to you to help with any problems. What you have today is a far cry from combat fishing like we had back in the 1960's.
     
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    Mickeyfin

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    Me and Canyonman grew up in the same neighborhood working and fishing on the head boats of Sheepshead Bay Brooklyn NY.

    My boss thought a good night of fishing had zero to do with catching fish. He would tell us he was fishing for dead presidents and proceed to put 75 people on the boat night bluefishing.

    Add some alchohol and gambling - combat fishing no. It was war!

    We have been fishing LR for the same amount of time. The lessons learned in the canyons of the NE prepared me and Joe for being able to rig our terminal really well.

    We look at conditions and can apply techniques like Wahoodad mentioned. Start fishing off the bow work your way to the stern to avoid the inevitable tangles a crowded stern creates.

    Flyling a sardine - still learning. Watch guys like Steve Lindsay, Jim Beck, Tim Turis and you will figure it out.

    For me this point of my LR fishing experience is friends and the boat ride! I love travel days. When you work as much as I do - downtime is really appreciated.

    The challenge of big fish from an anchored boat for me is a drug. I cant get enough of it and keep coming back for more.
    Back in the ‘70’s I went on a few night trips for bluefish in Sheepshead Bay. Distinctly recall passengers flopping on the decks as much as the fish.
     
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    JTE

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    Nov 20, 2017
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    Wow, just WOW! The stories this thread started - you guys are amazing and really have some history to relate. Thinking back about the fishing experiences I had with my dad, when I was a kid (back in the 50s and 60s), makes me feel really fortunate to have been thru and experienced what i have. Keep the great stories coming!
     
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    Rubberhook2

    Local Bluefin
    Jan 19, 2007
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    1st long trip when Frank still had hair. 7 day on the RP was $455. Check circular plastic fish tags...

    Scanned Photos 120A.jpg
    Scanned Photos 119A.jpg
    Scanned Photos 118A.jpg
     
    M
    mike garrahan
    I see the milkcrate in the corner. Back then all the boats ran boat lines with parachute cord, a 5lb sinker, 200lb mono and a baldy or feather. The crew got to keep the boat fish. It was a lot of fun pulling the fish in by hand.
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    Rubberhook2
    Rubberhook2
    It was not only albacore those boat lines were used for. I have seen many wahoo caught within 20 feet of the stern right in the prop wash using those boat lines. Those fish were very hot when they hit the deck...
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    Bill W
    Bill W
    When we get limits of wahoo down below the crew plays with a short boat line tied forward of the stern, lure a few feet just off the stern. Kick to see fish straight down off the stern attack.
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    Fishybuzz

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    My first San Diego salt water trip was a 3/4 day in 1959 it was the first time seeing the ocean as I lived in Arizona...... i was 11 years old with 65 other people on a boat as I remember called the Mission Queen????? quite a saga...my dad got sea sick as soon as we left the dock...so i was on my own with a rented fishing outfit....didn't know a thing about salt water fishing finally a deck hand got me on the right side of the boat and baited me up and I actually hooked a fish....had no idea about following my fish or angles or no tangles...I got tangled with a guy who reached up and cut my line with his dykes...I was upset needless to say and a deckie asked what what was the matter and he took me under his wing and I ended up with two YT a skippy and two barracuda........left a bad taste in me for party boat fishing so I didn't go on another party boat till 1989/90 with a bunch of people I met on the Allcoast fishing site.... but up till then fished all over the globe on crusiers and pangas....I still will not go on a LR trip without knowing some of the passengers
     
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    dtf

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    Apr 16, 2004
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    Fishybuzz, think I meant you on the RP a long time ago. Not sure but you were telling me a story about when you and the wife were on a cruise boat. You were anchored and the wife decided to go ashore, you had decided to stay on the boat.
    When she was returning on the shore boat she hear some other passengers talking to each other about some fool who appeared to be fishing with a little kids fishing pole out the porthole window from about the fourth level.
    Could that be you. ???
     
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    Fishybuzz

    fishybuzz
    Apr 4, 2003
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    Fishybuzz, think I meant you on the RP a long time ago. Not sure but you were telling me a story about when you and the wife were on a cruise boat. You were anchored and the wife decided to go ashore, you had decided to stay on the boat.
    When she was returning on the shore boat she hear some other passengers talking to each other about some fool who appeared to be fishing with a little kids fishing pole out the porthole window from about the fourth level.
    Could that be you. ???
    Sounds like me but it wasn't ,,,,closest I came to that was on a windjammer cruise in Tahiti my wife and I went to 5 different islands and I took a rod and reel some jigs and hooks...every night after dinner i would join the engine crew who were from India and the Phillipines on the fantail and fish for long nosed grouper, trigger fish and lots of fish i had never seen before.....when we left I gave all my gear to my engine room friends....it was awesome fishing with them.
     
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    Bob Sands

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    OK, went on my 1st Long Range trip recently and had a good time. Flew from Florida for an 11 day trip, brought my own rod/reel setups and tackle. I'm 69 years old (almost 70), have been fishing for my entire life, have fished a lot of places around the world, everything from freshwater bream to 350lb mako. Some observations:

    - The terminology you westcoaster/long rangers use is different than what I'm used to but I was able to get that sorted out (mostly).
    - The conventions you guys have for topshots/leader use is different than what I'm used to.
    -To me, a topshot is a long piece of mono line, tied or spliced on top of the main braid line - it would usually be at least 100' long, but could be longer. Never heard of using a top shot of less pound test than the main line. Purpose is to add some stretch into the "string" and to reduce visibility (to the fish) of the line.
    - A leader is a piece of wire, mono, or flourocarbon line, or a combination - usually 35' or less in length. Can be spliced, tied, or attached with a swivel/snap to the main line. Purposes multiple: prevent bite off, more abrasion resistant than main line (or top shot), reduce visibility. Never heard of using a leader of less pound test than the main line and don't see any rationale for doing so.

    Why use a topshot or leader of less pound test rating than the main line? If the fish are leader shy and you need smaller/less visible, drop down the pound test rating of the entire setup. The "string" is only as strong as it's weakest link. Doesn't make sense to fish an 80lb setup with a 50lb floro leader (I see this convention mentioned often) - you can only apply so much drag to the weakest link. In the case of 50lb leader, if you can land the fish with 15lb of drag, use a 50lb setup - the 50lb setup will be lighter and easier to handle than an 80.

    When I come back out for another long range trip, I'll bring probably 6 setups, as follows (and really don't see reason for more):
    - 30 or 40 lb, conventional (Fathom narrow 30 2 speed) or spinning reel, on 7' rod, for making bait and small school yellowfin.
    - 50lb, big spinner (BG8000) on 8' rod, for throwing wahoo bombs/jigs.
    - 50lb, conventional (Fathom narrow 30 2 speed), on 7' rod, for school yellowfin up to 80lb.
    - 65lb, conventional (Fathom narrow 40 2 speed) on 7' rail rod, for yellowfin up to 150lb and bottom fishing.
    - 80 or 100lb (probably 100), conventional (MK20IISEa) on 7' rail rod, for yellowfin up to 350lb and bottom fishing.
    - extra ?lb setup, for ?
    - Floro in 30, 50, 60, 80 and 130 lb test.
    - No top shots on reels, long floro leaders (at least 8'), rated at at least main line rating.
    - good 4X hooks, all size ranges.

    Fishing, either live bait or throwing lures, off the transom of a 30' wide boat with 28 other guys is tough fishing, something I'm not used to. Can be a clusterfXXk.

    Long range fishing trips involve alot (many hours) of "boat riding". "Boat riding" can get boring. Just a comment.

    Being confined to a small floating island, for many days, works out better if the group is compatible. (see comment above). Any way to confirm/address probable compatibility before booking a trip? Don't get me wrong, some real nice guys on the trip I was on.

    The wife an I are really enjoying the 150 lbs of yellowfin and wahoo I shipped back. Somehow the one yellowtail I caught didn't make it into the processors shipping box, oh well.

    More to come, JTE
    Hi JTE,

    Welcome to the world of West Coast, Long Range Fishing.. It sounds like you enjoyed it enough to consider trying Long Ranging again.. I believe You will find that you have made a great choice should you follow thru with hopefully coming back..

    In truth, getting older should only be attempted by the Young as it really does hurt. However, long range fishing is for the rest of us, regardless of age, who want to up the odds of finding like minded folks to chat/hang with or those of us who just find the act of getting older more enjoyable being on or near a fishing situation and of course, catching some great fish.. The more days the better regardless of our age..Finding ways to get thru the travel days may not be as tough as you think.. Or maybe they are for some.

    For me, who has been doing this West Coast Pelagic thing for around 6 decades, I find real peace just being on a fishing boat, River, lake, etc. or any environment where fishing has the possibility to be an option.. The more days and nights, where I have the potential to catch fish, the happier and more at peace I am.. Heck, I try, every day on the water, to find some alone time, on the upper deck, just to ponder nature and how lucky I am to be where I am. Yes, this often involves a Cigar and Drink but sometimes just staring out at the amazing scenery, sounds and sights is enough to invoke a wonderful and peaceful response. The world can seem really right just taking it all in. Sometimes, that time alone can be a highlight of the day.... Even should the fishing and camaraderie be really good.

    I always enjoy getting new perspectives from new comers to West Coast Long Ranging regardless of their past fishing experiences.. Thank You for writing up your thoughts as I felt your post was a very good and honest one.. Your take aways from the trip are fair and reasonable based on your experience and perception of the event....Undoubtedly, your insights from your first experience here on the West Coast, represent many others who have felt similarly depending on how their first trip went.

    As in all things fishing, regardless of what coast or continent one finds oneself, some trips will be fair to middling, some trips will be amazing and some trips will kind of suck..But maaan, when we experience a Great trip, those great experiences tend to stay on the top of our memory banks for ever while the crappy or middling trips only stay for short periods or until the great one comes along.. Even as senility approaches, which sometimes can be a good thing, these great memories find a way of finding their way to the surface.

    In West Coast Long ranging the overall crappy trips tends to be few and far between as the industry has come a long way regarding customer service, boat/crew quality, food and even passenger behaviors towards each other on and off the boat. These are the things we are in control of while Mother Nature is in charge of Wind, Weather and fish deciding to eat. The more you do this long range thing the better the chances are of having a combination of great boat, great crew, great passengers and great fishing all rolled into one trip.. This is true in all things in life including posting on Bloody Decks... Sometimes, you might even get some great answers to questions You might not have known you had while enduring some responses that might not Strike your fancy.. LOL..

    As far as your thoughts for what you might do in the future regarding boat choice, charter choice, gear choice for given situations, etc. there are always circumstances or discussions that might change or reinforce a few of your thoughts... Or not... In truth, this industry, as do all out-doors type activities, needs more folks, of all ages, participating, having a good or great time, having the best chance to catch fish, which brings the person back for more trips, for the industry to survive. Getting the most out of each trip is what brings us back for more. I and others, both on and off this site, hope to help others shorten that learning curve.

    If you are interested, it would be my absolute pleasure, if you PM me with your phone number or request mine, we can chat by phone to discuss anything West Coast Long Range fishing related you would like.. Or anything fishing related. It is something I do most everyday with fisher-folks from all over the world as most folks do not have a West Coast Long Range knowledge-able shop near them to obtain advice, share your thoughts or just run some of your thoughts up the flag pole .. Most every time, the person on the other end of the phone gets something of value from me and often times I learn something from them.. As a note: There is never an obligation, regardless how much time I spend with you, to purchase anything from us.. I just really enjoy helping folks get more out of this industry or just chatting with like minded people...

    Regardless of your decision, have a wonderful 2022 season and Happy New Year..

    Respectfully,

    Jamie
     
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    vegasandre

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    Aug 20, 2010
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    Ahh night blue fishing. Literal combat at times One thing I am always amazed at is the minimal amount of fish lost to tangles. Fishing 23 24 guys on a big boat is a dream. East coast party boat tuna fishing it’s a given lots of fish will lost to tangles
    fun times were to be had working those fri and sat night trips to Shrewbury Rocks or 17 fath bank in NJ we would have 70- 80 people on a 80 ft boat. Captain may be on his 2nd 6 pack /1st 8 ball by the time we got anchored up. total pandemonium. but memorable..
     
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