Onboard report from the XL/Pelagic 16 day

Tim Turis

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Sep 16, 2004
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Atlanta GA
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Tim Turis
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Just started northbound on the XL/Pelagic 16 day trip.

We have had very good fishing for the last five days on 120-180# grade fish.

With about 10-12 cows onboard and lots of 180-199s, we are about 10-15 fish from being plugged.

Probably the best night time jig fishing that I've ever seen on a long trip.

Fish also bit skipjack and sardine chandeliers/sinkers very well in the dark.

Sardines are small (4-5").

Basil makes the best wind ons in the business!

Great job by Captain Mike Ramirez and the XL crew!

Edited: Revised estimated cow count
 
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Pangamaster

Cow Town Here I come!
Jul 1, 2008
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San Ramon, CA
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Dave
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I'm on this trip next year to Celebrate the big 5 0! Can't wait! Sounds like an awesome trip down there!
 

Steve K

Hey, I'm gettin' bit...
Jan 2, 2005
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Tim, thanks for the report. Can you please go into a little detail on the chandelier rigs. Hook size, how many Sardines and how you pin them on. Saw a pic of you with a good one, congrats!
 

Bad Bart

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Sep 12, 2016
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Eatontown, NJ
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Bart D'Averso
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EXCEL
Hi tim glad to see you had a good trip. Im recovering from another shoulder sug. Might try a cow trip next year. Still stuck on the phenix 10 day. hope to share the rail with you soon.
 

DC61

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Dec 28, 2011
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Dana Point
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Paul L.
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Thanks for the heads up. To add to the questions, what jigs would you recommend?
 

fishordie

I've posted enough I should edit this section
Aug 31, 2005
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Jamie
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2013 Ranger Z521 with 250 Merc.: Now deceased.. Thank goodness
Sounds fantastic Tim.. Night time big and small(?) drop jigs... Just another in a long line of Amazing, Annual Thanksgiving time, Excel Style, long range adventures. Damn, I am salivating.

Jamie
 
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Soda Pop

I've posted enough I should edit this section
Feb 12, 2011
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Fresno, CA
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David Rouse
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Long range fishing
Tim thanks for the report. I spoke with Jim Hart last night via satellite phone he brought on the trip. He was telling me fishing was off the hook. Sure wish I could of made the trip. Next year I will be on it. You folks have a good trip back to San Diego. I bet there will be lots of sleeping to catch up on.
 
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vegasandre

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Aug 20, 2010
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San Diego
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Andre
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thanks for the great report Tim was most of the action at hurricane?
 

Tim Turis

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Sep 16, 2004
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Atlanta GA
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Tim Turis
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To answer the questions:

Jigs: Salas PL-68 or equivalent in some type of glow/squid pattern. Flat Falls worked well to catch skipjack. I suggest rerigging them with heavier assist hooks and fishing them on heavy line. MANY flat fall/jig caught skipjack being caught for bait were eaten while being wound in. I counted 14 partially eaten skipjack in the kill box when we departed this AM. I wish that I had thought to try fishing one of these fresh dead skipjack. Because as I have seen previously (one angler had three cows s in one night), I believe that it would have gotten bitten just fine.

Sardine Chandelier rig: Three or four sardines on an 8/0 or 9/0 Eagle Claw 2004/2005. Start on bow and walk baits back to stern as they descend to bottom; wind in when near stern and repeat as necessary. Sinker size varied with current, but 4-12 ounces was typical. I was using 150# test and was getting bit just fine...
 

Steve K

Hey, I'm gettin' bit...
Jan 2, 2005
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To answer the question

Sardine Chandelier rig: Three or four sardines on an 8/0 or 9/0 Eagle Claw 2004/2005. Start on bow and walk baits back to stern as they descend to bottom; wind in when near stern and repeat as necessary. Sinker size varied with current, but 4-12 ounces was typical. I was using 150# test and was getting bit just fine...
Tim, thanks. Have never fished like this, will give it a try. So, you just pin 'em on and nose hook? Lighter wire hook, EC, easier to thread them on? Use this any time or in the dark? Cool technique.
 

Soda Pop

I've posted enough I should edit this section
Feb 12, 2011
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David Rouse
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Just spoke with a buddy of mine on the Excel. There passing by Cedros Island right now. He gave me a short update. The boat is plugged. They can not put even a Wahoo in the hold. He was telling me he had 14 Tuna up to 214lbs. and 5 Wahoo. He gave a few smaller grade 60-80lbs for the chunk. He was fishing a skipjack when a Cow gobbled it up. The PL68's and the Chandelier rig worked really good. He said the bait was very small so putting 3-4 baits on a rig and going down did the trick. This was his first time on the Excel and he loved the operation. He has already booked another trip on the big X.
 

canyonman

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Dec 2, 2005
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brooklyn
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joe
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Independence
Just got back on the Indy. You guys looked busy. We had pretty much the same fishing. Wound up with 2 cows both on the pl68.
 
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tpeach

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Feb 4, 2007
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Stanley, NC
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Thad Peach
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RR III
Tim, thanks. Have never fished like this, will give it a try. So, you just pin 'em on and nose hook? Lighter wire hook, EC, easier to thread them on? Use this any time or in the dark? Cool technique.
I have done this a couple of times. I think the tuna were tuned in on puffers so if one of those swam by and could be grabbed and send to the bottom it was almost instant bite. Otherwise 3 to 4 sardines pinned through the eyes, no need to try to keep alive, I was using a Mustad perfect circle in 7/0 or 8/0. Definitely at night and heavier gear. Really funny dropping a leaded bait down to the bottom. I then would crank up slowly to keep the ground fish from picking at my offering and would get bit 15 or more feet from the bottom. This at the hurricane bank.