Off We Go... Excel 17-day

Rodless_Jim

I've posted enough I should edit this section
Apr 3, 2008
2,794
1,961
Mexico, DF, Mexico
Name
Jim
Boat
Strictly a Rider
So I am not going to promise to send a report every day, but I'll try to keep you all posted.

For now, we loaded up as you would expect, got a VERY nice load of bait, and headed out. The 'dines are big fat, and well-cured. With any luck, the tuna will like them.

The weather seems pretty nice to me. The boat is rolling a LITTLE bit, but I didn't really notice. Some other folks feel like it could be smoother, but I don't see how. It's a little cool, though. My after dinner cigar on the sun deck definitely required a sweatshirt...

This is an INTERESTING group. I like them a lot, and I think this will be a fun and fantastic trip. Still, they ARE different...

No word yet on where we're going. Story is, the Royal Polaris had a very good night last night, and that will probably affect our decision. Guess we'll see how the conditions shape up. If I had to guess, I'd say we'll head straight for the Hurricane Bank, but it's a decision that Justin will make a little farther South.

Yes, I am pretty pumped!

It's late now, though, especially since I am still on Mexico City (i.e. Central) time. Even though I had a nice nap this afternoon, I'll be headed to bed soon.

Talk to you all when there's something to tell...
 

Soda Pop

I've posted enough I should edit this section
Feb 12, 2011
2,560
3,494
Fresno, CA
Name
David Rouse
Boat
Long range fishing
Jim soon you will be in the zone. I will look for the reports and have a fun and safe trip.
 

vegasandre

I've posted enough I should edit this section
Aug 20, 2010
1,875
1,864
San Diego
Name
Andre
Boat
Any Boat that I can go on
With the great fishing the RP had past two days - it seems like this trip is timed perfectly. Good luck and get your sleep now- with the current night bite happening
 

fishordie

I've posted enough I should edit this section
Aug 31, 2005
2,101
1,363
65
Calabasas CA
Name
Jamie
Boat
2013 Ranger Z521 with 250 Merc.: Now deceased.. Thank goodness
Please give Pat Gallagher a kiss for me....

Jamie
 

titan05

Pelagic Terminator
Apr 7, 2004
3,723
3,205
San Diego North County
Name
Jim
Boat
Chelsea Rae
tight lines and screaming drags

got cow?

Get some Jim
 

Rodless_Jim

I've posted enough I should edit this section
Apr 3, 2008
2,794
1,961
Mexico, DF, Mexico
Name
Jim
Boat
Strictly a Rider
Thanks all! Not much happening...we had a dart tournament, and I lost.

Great group of guys, with their own "flavor." The food is good, and the reports coming from the RP are encouraging.

I am making wind ons, wahoo bait leaders, etc. We stopped for squid, but all we managed to scare up is one damned big Humboldt. I imagine we'll stop again tomorrow

As for me and my cow, I think we have a date for Tuesday at Hurricane!

Bill, I am NOT slacking...there just isn't an awful lot going on yet.

;)
 

fyermn

I've posted enough I should edit this section
Sep 2, 2005
536
137
71
Utah
Name
Dan
Boat
LONG RANGE fishing
So I am not going to promise to send a report every day, but I'll try to keep you all posted.

For now, we loaded up as you would expect, got a VERY nice load of bait, and headed out. The 'dines are big fat, and well-cured. With any luck, the tuna will like them.

The weather seems pretty nice to me. The boat is rolling a LITTLE bit, but I didn't really notice. Some other folks feel like it could be smoother, but I don't see how. It's a little cool, though. My after dinner cigar on the sun deck definitely required a sweatshirt...

This is an INTERESTING group. I like them a lot, and I think this will be a fun and fantastic trip. Still, they ARE different...

No word yet on where we're going. Story is, the Royal Polaris had a very good night last night, and that will probably affect our decision. Guess we'll see how the conditions shape up. If I had to guess, I'd say we'll head straight for the Hurricane Bank, but it's a decision that Justin will make a little farther South.

Yes, I am pretty pumped!

It's late now, though, especially since I am still on Mexico City (i.e. Central) time. Even though I had a nice nap this afternoon, I'll be headed to bed soon.

Talk to you all when there's something to tell...
Jim, I am on the May 9th trip, so I am really interested in how you do on this trip, what gear you are using, and when(time of day) the fish bite. I am getting all my gear together right now. Thanks for the reports.
 

Soda Pop

I've posted enough I should edit this section
Feb 12, 2011
2,560
3,494
Fresno, CA
Name
David Rouse
Boat
Long range fishing
Jim looks like you will be in the zone tomorrow. Enjoy the ride down and get ready for those fat Tuna and fast Wahoo on the prowl. Keep us posted. I leave May 11 on a 15 day myself.
 

Rodless_Jim

I've posted enough I should edit this section
Apr 3, 2008
2,794
1,961
Mexico, DF, Mexico
Name
Jim
Boat
Strictly a Rider
OK, so dinner on Day 3 is in the books. Baked chicken with Pomegranate-Molasses glaze. Pretty darned good. Jason can cook, boys. I have been very moderate in my eating habits, but every meal has been tasty at the least, and couple of them have been pretty memorable. I am going to have to watch myself.

This charter, as many have commented, is a different animal. There are events...like the dart tournament...that are distinctly different than what you find on other charters. I do not always enjoy such events, especially with people I don't know well. Even so, I am going with the flow. It does pass the time, anyway. I will be happy when we get to the fishing, though.

I went ahead and put my reels on today. We don't start fishing until probably 10:00 Wednesday morning, but I was too impatient. Besides, we'll put on top shots and test drags tomorrow, so this afternoon was as good a time as any. I still need to make up a few more top shots and some kite leaders. Otherwise, though, I'm in good shape.

My arsenal:

* ATD 50W + UC Gladiator
* Makaira 50II + GF770XXXH
* Makaira 50II + GF770XXXH
* Avet Pro 30W + SS6463XXXH
* Makaira 20II SEa + GF770XXH
* Makaira 20II SEa + SS 2x4
* Tiagra 30W LRS + CS Troller (don't know the model)
* Saltist 35 2-speed + UC Wahoo
* Saltist 35 2-speed + GUSA (now UC) Predator
* Saltist 35 2-speed + GF700XH
* Saltiga 50 2-speed + SS6470XH
* Saltiga 50 2-speed + OC Rods Special Jig Stick

By God, if that won't get it done, I don't know what will.

Justin gave his tuna seminar today. He was up front recommending smaller hooks than I expected. Truth is, he recommended smaller hooks than I have...at least I don't have a whole lot of 5/0 and 6/0 Super Mutus and Sea Demons. I do have some, though, and some 6/0 Offshores. I also have 4/0 and 5/0 Gorillas, so I may have to use those. I guess we'll see.

Word on the boat is that Royal Polaris had a big day today. Not sure how much truth is in that, but spirits here are high. One more long day of traveling and rigging, and one short night of the last gasp. Then we fish.

I'll let you all know when and as we can.

One caveat: I will be Goddamned if I will stop fishing to come inside and type. A nerd I may be, but not THAT much of nerd. I'll come on when I can. That's the best I can promise.

;)
 

Longshot_Scott

I've posted enough I should edit this section
Feb 25, 2013
441
16
Snohomish, WA, USA
Name
Scott
Boat
Intrepid
Thanks for the info, Jim and we'll wait with "baited" breath - sorry, couldn't resist. In any case, best of wishes for a stellar trip with you and the gang down there, Jim! Can't wait to hear more.

Stay safe,
LongShot_Scott
 

Paul Dennis

I've posted enough I should edit this section
Sep 30, 2008
353
78
Veneta,Oregon
Name
Paul Dennis
Boat
26 ft Boulton
I was on the last trip. Food was awesome and I gained like 9 pounds. Was already fat. Think about asking for half portions. Good luck to you guys. The dines were very good and I caught a couple of medium tunas on the ron Z.
 

Workplacesafety

Reducing workplace injuries and illnesses
Feb 20, 2010
3,318
2,580
Long Beach Ca.
Name
Jeff Bruner
Boat
14ft Valco, San Diego Long Range Boats
OK, so dinner on Day 3 is in the books. Baked chicken with Pomegranate-Molasses glaze. Pretty darned good. Jason can cook, boys. I have been very moderate in my eating habits, but every meal has been tasty at the least, and couple of them have been pretty memorable. I am going to have to watch myself.

This charter, as many have commented, is a different animal. There are events...like the dart tournament...that are distinctly different than what you find on other charters. I do not always enjoy such events, especially with people I don't know well. Even so, I am going with the flow. It does pass the time, anyway. I will be happy when we get to the fishing, though.

I went ahead and put my reels on today. We don't start fishing until probably 10:00 Wednesday morning, but I was too impatient. Besides, we'll put on top shots and test drags tomorrow, so this afternoon was as good a time as any. I still need to make up a few more top shots and some kite leaders. Otherwise, though, I'm in good shape.

My arsenal:

* ATD 50W + UC Gladiator
* Makaira 50II + GF770XXXH
* Makaira 50II + GF770XXXH
* Avet Pro 30W + SS6463XXXH
* Makaira 20II SEa + GF770XXH
* Makaira 20II SEa + SS 2x4
* Tiagra 30W LRS + CS Troller (don't know the model)
* Saltist 35 2-speed + UC Wahoo
* Saltist 35 2-speed + GUSA (now UC) Predator
* Saltist 35 2-speed + GF700XH
* Saltiga 50 2-speed + SS6470XH
* Saltiga 50 2-speed + OC Rods Special Jig Stick

By God, if that won't get it done, I don't know what will.

Justin gave his tuna seminar today. He was up front recommending smaller hooks than I expected. Truth is, he recommended smaller hooks than I have...at least I don't have a whole lot of 5/0 and 6/0 Super Mutus and Sea Demons. I do have some, though, and some 6/0 Offshores. I also have 4/0 and 5/0 Gorillas, so I may have to use those. I guess we'll see.

Word on the boat is that Royal Polaris had a big day today. Not sure how much truth is in that, but spirits here are high. One more long day of traveling and rigging, and one short night of the last gasp. Then we fish.

I'll let you all know when and as we can.

One caveat: I will be Goddamned if I will stop fishing to come inside and type. A nerd I may be, but not THAT much of nerd. I'll come on when I can. That's the best I can promise.

;)

Pretty obvious you are no longer "Rodless", that's a nice quiver of gear. Give them hell Jim. Don't be afraid to pick up one of those wahoo outfits when things slow down on the anchor. That's when I do my best work on those things, couple of guys come up bait bit in half, let the hard iron fly and watch what happens.

Good luck and keep the reports coming, I enjoy your gifted writing. Also I've caught a lot of big fish on 3/0-5/0 gorillas, my go to hook.
 

Rodless_Jim

I've posted enough I should edit this section
Apr 3, 2008
2,794
1,961
Mexico, DF, Mexico
Name
Jim
Boat
Strictly a Rider
Day four has already ended. It is after midnight, and we are expecting to arrive at Clarion around 4:00. I really need to be asleep, because we'll try to make bait as soon as we arrive. But the boat is hot tonight, and so is our stateroom. Took a shower, but I am already sweating again. Good fishing weather, but not so great for sleeping.

Yes, I said Clarion. The Royal Polaris and the Polaris Supreme are both out at the Hurricane Bank, so we are going to the island instead. Personally, I LIKE Clarion, so I am not complaining. We are all excited to arrive, and also a little concerned about the potential for sharks. I guess we'll have to see how it shakes out.

The good thing about this trip is that we are out here for 9 days of fishing. We have time to make one move, maybe even two, with no problem. For now, all is optimism here.
 

Rodless_Jim

I've posted enough I should edit this section
Apr 3, 2008
2,794
1,961
Mexico, DF, Mexico
Name
Jim
Boat
Strictly a Rider
Hi Min! Welcome home!

We tried to make bait, but the tuna showed up and started eating our macks right off the sabikis. Nothing too big, basically 40-100, with maybe only one or two close to 100. We had a good pre-dawn hit, though, with probably 16-18 tuna. I got one 40lber that I gave to the galley.

Later in the morning we had another hit on a school we found and chummed up. I guess we got another 6 or 7 there. I got about a 60lber that time, and put it in the freezer to be smoked when we return. During the course of the day, we picked at tuna. After about noon, it really dried up, as we had been told it might. One angler (Bob Buckland) got a really nice fish on the balloon...I'm guessing 160+, but that's just my untrained eyeball.

We trolled for wahoo and we got some. Mostly it was one fish on the troll and nothing more. A couple of times it was two fish on the troll, with maybe a bait fish to follow. Twice we had better stops, with maybe 3-5 fish coming in along with the troll fish. The grade is good! 40lb+ and a couple bigger than that. Nothing wide open yet, though, and wired jigs aren't getting bit much.

I had no wahoo today. I was only on one trolling rotation, and didn't get bit. I had a hit on an unwired Raider, though. I got bit on the sink, with no chance to do anything about it. Happily, the 'hoo only cut one of my doubled lines and I got the jig back, but the fish was gone before I got my reel in gear. I also hooked one on bait, only to have a shark eat it almost right away. He didn't just bite the wahoo either...all it left me was the head.

Sharks were BAD. I lost 6-7 hooks in a short period of time, and decided to wait out the onslaught. From about noon onwards, they were a serious problem, though getting outside and drifting kept it within reason. Anchoring up in the daylight was just ringing the dinner bell.

What worked: sardines on a sinker rig. Nighttime 4oz with a long let out and then a slow retrieve. Many bites on the retrieve. Daytime (morning) 1oz just to keep the 'dine blow the surface. Doesn't matter if the sardine is big or small (we have mixed), as long as it's fresh and hot. Sluggish baits catch only sharks.

I have a feeling that a fly lined sardine will be productive in the right circumstances, if the sharks will only back off.

We will make bait later tonight, then fish right through to about 10:00. There has been really good sign of fish, including some really big ones, but getting them to bite has been harder. Anyway, the RP is leaving the Bank tonight, and the Polaris Supreme is scheduled to take off at dark tomorrow, so we're planning to boogie at 10:00 tomorrow to get the best spot on the Bank and fish there. Of course, Clarion may suddenly decide to give generously, so we may end up staying after all. But the weather is supposed to be nice, and the RP has done well with the cows, so the current plan is to go on out there.

For what it's worth, small hooks work to get bites, but we had a few pulls today. There's definitely a trade off. I did well personally, in that I didn't lose any hooked tuna, but I didn't exactly hook up a lot, nor were my fish especially large. Very few of the fish WERE large, though, so I guess I am doing as well as most.

Funny story, Ralph Mikkelsen, 82 years old and going strong, hooked a really nice tuna on the kite, on a double trouble set up. Moments later, a shark came and ate the remaining sardine, so he had both a tuna and a shark on at the same time. That's a story that always ends up in tragedy, but it was amazing to see.

Time to get some rest...making bait at 1:30 am. Night all!