Off We Go... Excel 17-day

Longshot_Scott

I've posted enough I should edit this section
Feb 25, 2013
441
16
Snohomish, WA, USA
Name
Scott
Boat
Intrepid
Great write up, Rodless - and congrats on getting some good fish onboard! Keep up the great work and thanks for taking time to include us all in your fun vicariously.

More tight lines to you in the coming days there,
-LongShot_Scott
 

JohnTFT

Insomniac
Feb 11, 2007
944
2,466
The "718"
Name
John
Boat
A big Steel One
Jim,

Report when you can. It looks like rail time and thinking out of the box is what its going to take to continue to be productive.

Catchem up!
 

Soda Pop

I've posted enough I should edit this section
Feb 12, 2011
2,560
3,495
Fresno, CA
Name
David Rouse
Boat
Long range fishing
Thanks for the report Jim. I knew you would get a few in the box. Nice job. Keep it up and have a fun trip.
 

harddrive

Wish I Was Fishing!
Sep 9, 2004
1,982
803
West LA
Name
Min
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None
Good deal Jim, sounds like at least your getting bit. Get some 80 Fluoro from someone and tie a Tony Pena knot. It's fine.
 

Fishybuzz

fishybuzz
Apr 4, 2003
8,469
8,073
Tucson
Visit site
Name
David Tang
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Intrepid
Nice!!!

Great to see you keeping your head in the game......the big fish will come ....trust me on that....be ready.
 

reellady

I'd rather be catching TUNA
Aug 26, 2011
2,273
1,051
fresno, ca usa
Name
donna
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reel lady
woohoo, now you keep on that roll............good job
 

backlashjack

Scallywag
May 14, 2007
1,816
735
Alta Loma, CA
Name
Jackson
Boat
Sold the boat, now I just rent a stateroom on the EXCEL
Good deal Jim, sounds like at least your getting bit. Get some 80 Fluoro from someone and tie a Tony Pena knot. It's fine.
They carry all the #'s of Premier on board, have one of the decks hook you up.
Glad to see you got some.
 

REK

I've posted enough I should edit this section
Oct 21, 2006
693
94
Oasis
Name
Ron
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rowboat
Most awesome on the water wifi real time report I've ever seen. Keep plugging away Jim.
 

Rodless_Jim

I've posted enough I should edit this section
Apr 3, 2008
2,798
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Mexico, DF, Mexico
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Jim
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Strictly a Rider
Lunch time and we have signal, but nothing much happening. Maybe 10-12 wahoo aboard, none for me. I've had plenty of hits on my Raiders, but nothing sticks.

I'll try again later.

Fishy, I've got a 50' top shot of the Momoi Smoke Blue on one of my 100lb setups. I am going to put on some 80 later.
 

Outhouse

I've posted enough I should edit this section
Feb 13, 2007
2,643
564
Germantown, TN
Name
Jon Scobey
Boat
Titanic
Jim, when you say bring lots of lead, how much is a lot? Also, what sizes? I've got 10# of 2 and 4 oz and figured I would pick up the heavier lead in SD.
 

johndtuttle

Angler/Client
Mar 20, 2008
5,569
1,732
Carmel, CA
Name
john
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not crazy enough yet
Strong work Rodless! keep putting in the time, it's the only way. :D
 

shajcl

I've posted enough I should edit this section
Oct 16, 2005
1,247
178
Alameda
Name
JL
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n/a
Jim, when you say bring lots of lead, how much is a lot? Also, what sizes? I've got 10# of 2 and 4 oz and figured I would pick up the heavier lead in SD.
The current was ripping in one night and 16oz was used. The next night you could get away with 10-12oz.

Jeff
 

The Bushman

The Bushman
Mar 5, 2005
3,172
336
60
El Cajon
Name
Ken Bush
Boat
everyone elses
Way to keep plugging away there Jim.... I knew it would pay off. Just a mattter of time. Glad to hear you broke in the Gladiator....that thing is a beast isnt it! Can't wait to hear about the next round. Have fun!!
 

Rodless_Jim

I've posted enough I should edit this section
Apr 3, 2008
2,798
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Mexico, DF, Mexico
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Jim
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Strictly a Rider
Excel is under way, but not far. We're headed to the shallows where we hope the crew can make LOTS of puffers and fliers. Still, I have a signal...

I have no fish in the well since last night. I have wahoo hitting my Raiders, but not even long enough to try the Rick Ozaki "set the hook" trick. The boat has caught some tuna today, as there was a morning bite. I've caught a couple of skippies (and fished one to death), some small YFT that have become chunks, and a few Rainbow Runners. I haven't had a bite from a "real" tuna all day, and most of what we put on the deck during the day was in the 60-80lb range. Late in the afternoon the kite turned on again, and there were some NICE fish that came on in. One looks like it might break the 200lb mark, others are in the 170-180 range.

Bad news is that the after dinner bite never really happened, except for the kite. I didn't see anyone at all hook up on bait. I only dropped back one sardine, and got wrapped immediately. Oh well. I still think that after 10:00 we'll see the big ones come to play, and I plan to be ready. Time will tell. It will be a big plus if we can scoop some puffers!

Jim, when you say bring lots of lead, how much is a lot? Also, what sizes? I've got 10# of 2 and 4 oz and figured I would pick up the heavier lead in SD.
Jon, I have lots lead in weights I'm not using. What has been good for us this trip has been 8oz, 10oz, 12oz, and 16oz. It all depends on the current. This is for night drop fishing. Unless the current is really slack, you won't use 6oz, or even 8oz. I think you want to have quite a few 10oz and 12oz. Maybe eight of each. Another four or five 16oz. And yes, buy it in San Diego. And don't forget rubber bands!

During the day, I highly recommend using 1-2oz when fishing sardines. I haven't done that enough myself. It can really help you keep your line straight. It may not keep you out of all the tangles, but it helps a lot, and it seems that baits with light sinkers are hit every bit as well as straight fly lined sardines. Our bite has been so picky, it's hard to say for sure. 2oz may be even better than 1oz, especially if the current is moving.

One thing to to keep in mind, you'll want some good swivels. You don't need to spend a fortune, but some well-made, 200lb+ swivels are good for several applications. Get the ball bearing ones if you can. I brought 18 with me, and I am down to just a couple now. I am pretty sure I have enough for the rest of the trip, but next time (whenever that may be), I will bring at least 20.

And as Fishy says, bring some mono in 80, 100, and 130.

OK, the boat is getting ready to drop anchor to make bait. I will probably lose my signal in a minute. I will try to check in again if I can connect.
 

harddrive

Wish I Was Fishing!
Sep 9, 2004
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West LA
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Min
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Get them Jim. It's a tough bite, but it's worth it and better then being at home or even worse going to work. Ughhhhhhh. :)

If the boat is swinging, try to time the swing so you drop on the opposite side as the boat swings away. Drop the bait down and then slowly retrieve up about 75 foot and then drop down really slowly to the bottom and do it again. A dead puffer gets bit just as well as a live puffer. Remember to deflate the sucker. So that it can't puff up. Sometimes you have to deflate them a few times to make sure it doesn't puff up. That will make it sink and retrieve faster.
 

2amguns

I've posted enough I should edit this section
Oct 6, 2011
599
3
Springfield, Missouri
Name
Tom Younce
Boat
Intrepid
Thank you so very much for the updates.

I now know what Lead to buy when I hit S.D on the 9th.,

Keep hammering away at the rail and you will be rewarded. Good luck Rodless.
 

Rodless_Jim

I've posted enough I should edit this section
Apr 3, 2008
2,798
1,974
Mexico, DF, Mexico
Name
Jim
Boat
Strictly a Rider
Wow, my last report was TWO DAYS ago? Oooops...

I have one thing to say to begin: spectra failure. That will be my nightmare for a while.

Back to yesterday. It was SLOW. I don't know what Excel put up on its website or Facebook page, but the fish just didn't want to bite. I went 0-fer. Yes, I caught some skippies and some smaller tuna for chunks, but nothing went in the well.

The boat caught SOME fish, of course, but as far as I can tell, nothing better than that 80lb grade we have gotten off and on the whole trip. The counts don't mean much. It wasn't a great day at the Banks, and that's all there is to it. I think a few people have done well on the wahoo.

I DID do something right, though: I went to bed after dinner, and slept through. I was tired and beat up, and I needed the rest. Turned out I was smart, because the night bite didn't materialize last night. Maybe one tuna for 80lbs is what I was told. For the whole trip, I think we have one or two fish that MIGHT crack 200lbs. Maybe none at all. But we still have a couple of days left...three I think.

Today was a bit better. We caught a lot more wahoo, which is always good. I caught one on a Raider in the morning (finally!), and later on I got another one on my 80lb tuna setup (no wire). That's lucky, and also the first time I have ever gotten a wahoo on a bare hook with no wire. Unwired jigs, sure, but never on a J-hook. Both my 'hoo today were pretty good grade, so I was happy. But other people got a lot more skinny fish. There are people who had six or seven apiece today, and others who had three, four, or even five. I am stuck on just three for the whole trip. But I feel like my time is coming.

And then we come to tonight.

Let me start by saying that I got a nice fish in the 140lb range. It fought like Hell, and I was happy to get it. It is resting comfortably in the RSW as we speak.

After that fish, I check my line for nicks and such. I found that there were some, enough so that it was time to change the entire top shot. So I did. It was a bit of a time consuming process, because I needed to not only splice on a new top shot and retie the hook, I also needed to cut off five feet of the fluoro and put a swivel there, then tie the five feet back on to lead to the hook. I took my time and did a good job. Everything was finally shipshape. Then I got a rubber band, and pulled fresh sinker out of my tackle bag, got rigged up, and finally went back for another puffer fish.

The current was ripping, so I dropped in right off the bow, and "walked" my sinking puffer back towards the stern. I was only down to about 70 or 80 feet when I got bit...like a FREIGHT TRAIN. I put the reel in gear, but only bout halfway to strike. The line came tight, the tip of the rod took on an INCREDIBLE bend...and POP. The spectra broke, above the splice. The fish was already ripping line, and like I said, the rod REALLY loaded up. There must have been a weak spot there.

I have no way to be sure of anything when it comes to that fish. For all I know, it could have been that same 140-180 grade of fish. They do pull hard! But this one felt like it was much, MUCH bigger. All I can say is RATS!!!!

Anyway, I re-rigged, but the bite has died. I came in to make a quick report, and while I have been in here, another 165lb fish hit the deck, this one on the chunk. I'm pretty tired, but maybe I have the energy to drop a sardine back and see what happens...

By the way, forget what I said about lead...you need TWICE as much as I suggested before. I am down to my last 16oz torpedo...
 

harddrive

Wish I Was Fishing!
Sep 9, 2004
1,982
803
West LA
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Min
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Good to hear Jim. I told you that sinkers were going to be like gold. :)

That freight train sounds like a good size fish. Full head of steam just cruising.
 

JohnTFT

Insomniac
Feb 11, 2007
944
2,466
The "718"
Name
John
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A big Steel One
Jim,

It sounds like you are fishing in the Northeast Canyons not the Pacific.

Night bite, heavy lead, ripping current.

Keep at it.

Spectra failures suck. If you dont get them you aint fishing.
 

vegasandre

I've posted enough I should edit this section
Aug 20, 2010
1,882
1,908
San Diego
Name
Andre
Boat
Any Boat that I can go on
Great report Jim.
Is there anyway you can describe the typical night bite rig you are using including details on line, length of leader and particular knots for each connection

thanks for the great report good luck today!