Offshore One stop shopping for BFT limits Tomahawk 4/18

doncatfish

Member
Dec 21, 2006
492
1,641
San Clemente
Name
Don
Boat
30' Albemarle
Short version - stopped on a nice school of bluefin at 7:45 am, they stayed with us biting and boiling around the boat until we left with boat limits at 6:45 pm. Range was 30 - 90 pounds, but larger fish were hooked and lost.

Longer version - had a full boat of 28 anglers with a lot of talented anglers on board, great group. I recognized 5 anglers I’ve fished with before, good to fish with some very experienced folks. We started off the day in the same zone they’ve been fishing and the first trolling rotation started. As we wondered if trolling for bluefin was an exercise in futility, the rod with the pink jet head went off, and the only small 20 lb bluefin of the day was soon on board.

At 7:45 we metered a school that immediately reacted to the chum. They would stay with us all day putting on an 11 hour show of boiling and jumping. We had one to 5 fish hanging the entire time as we picked away.

Captain Mike was very clear that no one was to throw anything less than 40, which was good advice. After an hour of no bites for me, I was finally picked up on 40 and the beast ripped 950 feet off my reel before he bite through. Doh! Another guy was spooled, a high line capacity reel is a good thing to use. The morning fish were all a nice 50 - 90 pound grade, lots of casualties. Guys and gals were using 40 - 60 with fluorocarbon for their hookups. Around noon a smaller grade of fish in the 30 - 40 lb range came in, Captain gave the go ahead to drop to 30. I got a couple of the smaller units then, but later was picked up by an absolute beast that kicked my ass. After an hour on 30, and it was still 150 feet from the boat, it chewed through. To catch our 56 bluefin we must have had 120+ hookups. Though most were using small circle hooks to match to 5” - 6” sardines, they’d suck the bait in so hard it was difficult to hook them in the corner so many a fish was lost to sharp teeth.

What worked was a small 1/0 circle hook flylined. I had all 5 of my hookups via butt hooking, but one guy, Jeff the hot stick, hooked 13 bluefin via nose hooking the baits. What worked was letting a sardine out 300+ feet from the boat, if not bit changing it out, and staying optimistic.

With the exception of the trolled fish, everything was caught on the flyline. What didn’t work were sinkers, colt snipers, surface irons, knife jigs or flat falls. Tried them all, the fish were so keyed in on the chum on the surface they showed no interest in other offerings. No need to bring a bring tackle box loaded with stuff, would have done fine with one package of circle hooks and fluro leader.

An unexpected bonus during our 13 mile drift was the arrival of a kelp paddy. All of a sudden we started hooking up with fire cracker yellowtail, it was nice to have the paddie come right to us and for 11 of them to hit the deck.

Mike the Captain and the entire crew were on top of things all day. Every hooked fish had a crew member supervising and doing a great job preventing or dealing with tangles. They had good people skills and worked their asses off, I’d ride with this crew again.

I didn’t take many photos as I was focused on keeping a hooked bait in the zone, hope this report helps for those heading out tonight. The photo of the guy holding the nice tuna without the tail had the aid of a mako, wish that Mako had helped me!

2nd BFT.jpg BFT morning.jpg BFT tail less.jpg First BFT.jpg SD Moonrise.jpg
 
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5-20

Poseidon Group's Back Up Trident Thrower
Jan 20, 2011
933
472
San Diego
Name
5-20
Boat
L2 Fish
Great report. Thanks.

Good luck to all of you guys jumping on one of the many trips heading out today or this evening!
 
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kuyamonster

I only wishes to catch some fishes...
May 14, 2009
763
686
San Diego/Tacoma USA
Name
Marcel
Boat
Limited load cattle car
Great job, great haul, great crew, and great boat. My boy, Scottie Nguyen from Brother's Sportfishing was on this trip! Hoping to jump on before I fly back to Seattle...
 
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P

Paddyman1

Nice, Don! Nothing wrong with an 11 hour plunker bite!

I think you found a new avatar photo!
 
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DennisV

I Should Upgrade My Account
Jan 4, 2017
1,023
1,653
63
Paloma, CA
Name
Dennis Vagt
Boat
Just a NuCanoe Frontier now.
Outstanding.

Did anybody check stomach contents to see what they had been feeding on ?
 
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r8rs4lf

I Should Upgrade My Account
Jun 17, 2017
2,187
1,312
49
Tree Juan ho
Name
Al
Boat
Salty AF
Nice write up!

Anyone throw a popper?
 
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Deepsea Warrant

No Status Required
May 5, 2018
323
284
Panama City Beach via Imperial Beach
Name
Ray
Boat
None
Great report but one thing I contently read on here is "the Captain said no one can use"...I am not paying to ride the boat just to bolster the boats catch reports. I am paying to have fun regardless of the outcome. If I chose to dump 500 yards of "my" line, or break off every fish I hang so be it. I have been a licensed guide for over 35 years and the one inevitable fact is we are here for the customers enjoyment, not the other way around. Without customers there is no industry. Fish whatever, however you choose. Now if they want to let me ride for free, then hell yes.
 
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SouthBayKiller

I Post A Lot But I Can't Edit This
Mar 27, 2003
7,664
8,217
40
Formerly Long Beach, now Fort Lauderdale area
Name
Robert
Boat
none
Great report but one thing I contently read on here is "the Captain said no one can use"...I am not paying to ride the boat just to bolster the boats catch reports. I am paying to have fun regardless of the outcome. If I chose to dump 500 yards of "my" line, or break off every fish I hang so be it. I have been a licensed guide for over 35 years and the one inevitable fact is we are here for the customers enjoyment, not the other way around. Without customers there is no industry. Fish whatever, however you choose. Now if they want to let me ride for free, then hell yes.
They generally don't care if you want to use a barbie rod so long as you do not tangle and/or cut-off others, or get hung pulling on a fish with the wrong tackle, while everyone else is just standing around waiting on you while the boat wants to be moving on to the next spot.

Its recommended tackle because that is what the captain and crew (aka the people who know best) feel will give you the best shot to hook and land fish.
 
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Deepsea Warrant

No Status Required
May 5, 2018
323
284
Panama City Beach via Imperial Beach
Name
Ray
Boat
None
They generally don't care if you want to use a barbie rod so long as you do not tangle and/or cut-off others, or get hung pulling on a fish with the wrong tackle, while everyone else is just standing around waiting on you while the boat wants to be moving on to the next spot.

Its recommended tackle because that is what the captain and crew (aka the people who know best) feel will give you the best shot to hook and land fish.

Completely agree with that. My experience is "most" folks that shell out $2 or $3 thousand bucks for a trip know what they are doing and usually make good choices. Recommendations are good and usually well received. If it is obvious someone is struggling by all means the crew should come along side and offer advice and/or help. Help folks fish, don't tell them how.
 
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doncatfish

Member
Dec 21, 2006
492
1,641
San Clemente
Name
Don
Boat
30' Albemarle
Outstanding.

Did anybody check stomach contents to see what they had been feeding on ?
I asked the Captain about what they’ve been seeing in the stomachs and he said a little bit of red crab, but mostly empty or full of their chum. Not the answer I expected I’m so used to seeing fish spit up red crab this year.
 
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