Offshore New Lo-An "Second Shot!"

dtfisherman

GONE FISHING
Nov 9, 2015
238
694
San Juan Capistrano
Name
Danny
Boat
None
For those of you that are the accountants and don’t like to read, here’s the short story. NLA 1.5 08.10-08.12.2021. Captain Adam, with crew Co-Captain Sean, Matt’s twin-like brother and just as sharp Ben, half-fish Ivan and wild cook Raoul. 26 Anglers. Limits for boat and crew. 62 BFT and 35 YFT. 30#ers average.

We had our first charter and shot in May that ended with a ninth inning walk off victory. This one was game over in the third inning with boat limits bled, gilled, gutted and cooled down in 32 degrees water by 9AM. We left Point Loma at 6PM pre-baited and were in the bite zone by 10:30 PM and by 11:00 PM made our first drop. From 11:00 PM to 3AM, 22 BFT found their way to our deck. Most of us were armed with KB’s, Kikkawa Brothers knife jigs, so most of the 22 were caught by them. The “Hot Stick” Kenny hooked and landed or handed off six using KB’s and even bested our celebrity guest James Kikkawa’s five. James is the owner of KB’s and pioneer with his brother Mike of the newest phenomena and technique, west coast mechanical and free-fall knife jigging for the BFT. Several were luckily able to tap his shoulder and in-person learn this new deadly and highly effective technique. Even though NLA has a “No Jackpot Policy”, all 25 of us still hit the jackpot, everyone onboard received a prototype version of a 150, 200 or 350g rigged KB. One boat in the fleet rents them out for $30 per day. The next zone was a 90 minute run to the slide off CAT. For about another hour we pluck away in the dark still jigging then at grey we switch to flylining and its game on. 40# fluoro or mono worked in the grey but as soon as the sunlight touched the water the BFT became line shy. And these three actions became key: 1. 30# fluoro 2. #4 or close in size circle hook and 3. Well-hooked hot sardine. If you fished with 40# or greater, you had a little or a small chance of getting bit. If you fished with a 2/0 or larger hook then you didn’t get bit at all. Amazingly 80% of the dines were well-cured and hot but if you foul or miss-hooked (killed really) the dine or picked one of the 20%, you also didn’t get bit even in a wide open bite. The Hot Stick ended with 6 BFT, 3 YFT and 8 handoffs and 1 cutoff, which is 18 total since none of you reading this far down are accountants. Two or three of us had 10+ but Kenny was on fire! If he didn’t waste an hour throwing poppers and snipers he’d have had 20+ notches on the board. Now it’s a real problem what to do when you have limits by 9 on a 1.5. It’s a good problem but still a problem. Cap Adam’s solution was to chase YFT when I’d thought it’ll be cool to search the backside of SCI for Cows and Super Cows that have been MIA mostly this season. It’s his boat and he made the right call by moving us up into the channel inside the east end of CAT. The schools were mixed with blues and yellows. Randy battled and won by putting the biggest tuna on deck, a 40-45#er YFT that took him 45 minutes to land. Pretty sure he was cheating and fishing 25# that’s why he was being punished with the penalty per minute pulling, tugging and praying per pound. By 2PM we had 35 YFT on and then under deck. What’s crazy though is not finally seeing my first YFT this season but what it took to see one. While we were in this zone, I had 3 BFT cutoff in the 50# range to catch 1 YFT. Every time one of us had our fish to color we’d peer and wait like we were in Vegas at the roulette betting not on red or black but to see if it was yellow or blue, when we saw the white anal fin, so blue, we’d say dejectedly “dang!” My friend Xiao, had his 60#er and another larger 60-70#er cut off and he said something in Chinese that sounded like “double dang!” Unofficially 20+ BFT were caught and released. That’s a first for me especially since there’s been days I’d pray that if it’s okay He’d just let me get bit...Some love to fish catch and release style but I am definitely not a member. Dang!

Some of the highlights of our trip. Chris caught his first BFT and happily bit into the heart. See pic. Wild Cuban chef Raoul made a ham, pineapple, grilled veggie sandwich that we thought was the bomb but he said it’s not the bomb but smiled and proudly said its better, “Pearl Harbor”. I only agreed because it’s common sense not to argue with the cook even though I was born in Japan. Sherwin who looks like he was built by Shrek and also matched his avocado green most of the trip is crowned the Comeback Kid. He caught his two BFT limit and had the biggest and brightest smile when he saw land and the landing. Not sure he’ll go on our next charter though. Steve and another angler had one of those Sadie Hawkins weddings. They had their lines get tangled so Sean untangles, cuts and reties so each is free to wind in the slack. Steve winds in slowly while the other angler winds in quickly anxious to get back in the water but Sean or Raoul had spliced Steve’s line and the others together. Marriage didn’t last long because Steve told the other guy that he wanted all of his braid back! One of our anglers, regular on the water, went ground hog and stayed in his bunk the whole trip. He’d pop up randomly to go to the potty and looked good but went right back to the bunk. He looked better than me at the landing imho so the only thing I can figure is that he saw his shadow, didn’t like it and went back to hibernate. 25/26 got to pull on fish. It’s a blessing to share the rail with new friends, good friends and especially my old friends. Special thanks to Ben and Alan who drove the 8 hours from the Bay area to join our second shot. I kinda teased and pricked Ben to throwback his cookie cutter 30#er, saying it was too small because the last time we shared the rail he put a 180#er on the deck. Sorry my brother...

Lastly, in the wise words of Hamilton, “I am not throwing away my shot!” Cap Adam says everyone on the NLA has taken theirs and so have I. Hoping you have as well. He is “dang” good.

NLA CHRIS' FIRST BITE RITUAL .jpg


NLA CHRIS' INITIATIATION SMILE.jpg


NLA SHERWIN AKA SHREK.jpg


NLA SHOMA BENT.jpg


NLA BRENDON BENT IN A PAINTING PERFECT SETTING.jpg


NLA MICHAEL'S GOOD PAIN.jpeg


NLA JOE's CREW.jpg


NLA DA BOYS.jpg


NLA BFT AND YFT LINE UP .jpg
 

mongoose969

Member
Jun 29, 2008
385
249
Los Angeles
Name
Al
Boat
GB
Nicely written and detailed story, it was good fishing with you Danny. Fun times
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SkipJack Boats
SkipJack Boats
Great report and amazing pictures. I don't go out on party boats often and when I do only the new Lo-An. Always a well run boat and crew and I have gone on it about 40 years ago the first time.
Every ti I go out on boats out of San Diego it's always been 25 great guys and 5 idiots that ruin it. Not the case ever on the New Lo-An because great directions from the crew.
Captain Marcus is a fantastic captain.
BigMike
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TOTW

Time On The Water
Dec 23, 2005
1,351
2,098
San Diego
Name
Chris L
Boat
Leo's
Sounds like good times, for sure. Saw you guys at the landing before departure and was able to thank Alan Tani in person for all he’s contributed to my reel repair capabilities.
 
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Dbado1

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  • Jul 17, 2020
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    Robert D Bado
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    Toyota tundra
    Is there a video or tutorial of this killer technique?
    I recently slayed them using the "pause" technique....drop it in to the zone, reel fast for five or so winds, pause for a ten count, repeat. All of them hit on the pause.
     
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    Cubeye

    I Post A Lot But I Can't Edit This
    Jan 26, 2007
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    17' Gregor
    Great write up.
    So.............would you care to let us in on the technique used while jigging these KB knife jigs?
     
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    dtfisherman

    GONE FISHING
    Nov 9, 2015
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    San Juan Capistrano
    Name
    Danny
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    None
    Is there a video or tutorial of this killer technique?
    I recently slayed them using the "pause" technique....drop it in to the zone, reel fast for five or so winds, pause for a ten count, repeat. All of them hit on the pause.
    If you read my post on May 11. Double A Vaccine "First Shot" there's a video posted and good info to absorb and adopt.

    Hot Stick Kenny loves the pause technique as well but his secret is varying the count and finding a rhythm that works: 3-5-7-5-3-7. He sings and plays guitar in a family band so he has an advantage over most of us :-D
     
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    Slater

    cuss on Monday,pray on Sunday,dream about one day
    Jun 1, 2006
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    Lakeside
    Name
    Rob
    Boat
    sold! / cattle boat
    Danny
    Appreciate you taking the time with all the small important details.
    Trips as of recent have been scratch / hit & miss...
    My private 2 day charter with Markus & Adam is on the 27th & hoping to mirror your results with lots of praying involved....

    You mentioned number 4 circle hooks. Do you know what brand you guys were fishing and what series?
    Hoping to get some and not have to drive all the way down to the Landing…
    Number fours Seem tiny when it comes to a circle! Were talking #4 not 4/0 right??
    Assuming typical 5 to 6 inch sardines? Or were they smaller firecracker dines???

    What’s the technique that you’re talking about in your post, I heard one guy say key for him was he was getting bit on the pause, Just letting it sit stationary.
    Also I would imagine you fish them on the heavy rope just like you would have a flat fall. line size didn’t matter, use the heavy gear w/ knife jig.
    Sorry for all the questions, I fish one trip a year and want to get it all right as there’s no time to figure it out.

    Thanks again!!!
    Rob
     
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    dtfisherman

    GONE FISHING
    Nov 9, 2015
    238
    694
    San Juan Capistrano
    Name
    Danny
    Boat
    None
    Danny
    Appreciate you taking the time with all the small important details.
    Trips as of recent have been scratch / hit & miss...
    My private 2 day charter with Markus & Adam is on the 27th & hoping to mirror your results with lots of praying nvolved....

    You mentioned number 4 circle hooks. Do you know what brand you guys were fishing and what series?
    Hoping to get some and not have to drive all the way down to the Landing…
    Number fours Seem tiny when it comes to a circle! Were talking #4 not 4/0 right??
    Assuming typical 5 to 6 inch sardines? Or were they smaller firecracker dines???

    What’s the technique that you’re talking about in your post, I heard one guy say key for him was he was getting bit on the pause, Just letting it sit stationary.
    Also I would imagine you fish them on the heavy rope just like you would have a flat fall. line size didn’t matter, use the heavy gear w/ knife jig.
    Sorry for all the questions, I fish one trip a year and want to get it all right as there’s no time to figure it out.

    Thanks again!!!
    Rob
    Hi Rob,

    Excellent questions and it is the details that make all the difference in a bite, especially when chasing the bluefin.

    Yes, #4 circle hooks not 4/0. I'm not a believer of the old school saying of matching the hook to the size of the bait. If the baitwell has 4", 6" or even 8" dines, I don't care as long as they've been cured and can run like Forest upwind. I am a believer in matching the hook size to the line size you're fishing. It is true that the larger 4/0 will get you a better hook-set than the #4 but if the blues are line shy, they're also hook shy. So if I'm fishing fluoro topshots from 20#-25#-30#-35#, I'm tying a #4 Owner Mutu with a laser welded stainless steel "o" ring or my favorite ringed Charlie Brown from Quick Rig 1/0's. Owners run big like some shoe brands so my 1/0 CB's are slightly bigger but are an hand forged alloy metal so they run lighter which allows the bait to run faster and longer. Same small detail as in horse racing where horses are handicapped by weights. If its a plunker bite and the bite zone is 100 yards from the rail, the first bait there is the one most times that's bit, running lighter is the reason unless your dine is related to Sea Biscuit, Secretariat or Winning Brew. If I'm next to you on the rail and I'm bent, now you know why. Mustad's Demon Offset Circles run small too as well as Gamakatsu's ringed Nautilus.

    If you read my post from May 11, Double a Vaccine "First Shot", there's a video attached in the response to a similar question as yours and ideas to adopt and absorb that may help you imho. When fishing in the dark, you're looking for strictly a reaction bite so 80#,100#, 130#, 200# aka rope will get bit. The key to landing a knife jig bite is to 1. pump with force and violence to secure the hook-set. Up to 10X is a good practice to adopt. If you just pump once and fight, there's a 80-90% chance you'll be unbuttoned. 2. Many times the KB bite is more like a bump or tap like a calico bass so it helps to always have your finger on the spool to feel the bite. Do not be shy about pushing your lever to strike and pumping. The worst thing that can happen is there's no bite. One of my good friends who fishes in tournaments complained that he couldn't get bit on his KB's fishing right next to me. During the day, I looked at his KB's and every single one had paint peeling and teeth marks on them. I won't mention his name but it starts with F. Everyone is built different so you should find a rhythm and technique that works for you. During the day though, I'd fish 60#-80# with the KB's. KB's work best without crimped leaders so tie good knots and pull hard!

    Hope this answers your questions.

    Ps Most powerful force in the universe is prayer. From my experience it doesn't always help when chasing the bluefin but it doesn't hurt either to let Him hear your heart...
     
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