Offshore Pacific Queen 3 Day Trip report

bdubs73

Member
Feb 7, 2008
757
1,251
San Diego
Name
Brian
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none
Howdy all,
Just got off a 3 day charter yesterday and wanted to give a quick report. Overall and outstanding trip, not much I am going to add will be new intel at this point.
Day 1: plan was to head off SCI to look for BFT for the evening and adjust accordingly the 2nd day. Gavin let us know that the crew would sleep on the way out, and we should do the same as we would be fishing all night. 3 hours into my nap I hear the engine shut down, rush up stairs to see my buddy jumping on the bait tank and a kelp holding dorado right off the port side with hardly anyone on deck. Gavin (the only person awake) rushed down and jump on the tank as 8-12 of us got in the water. Kind of comical 20 minutes as we landed 20-30 dorado, no one to gaff them until the last 10 minutes and most of the anglers not knowing how bounce fish. Great start to the trip. Gavin let us know he was going to keep going the rest of the way, because they had a couple of dorado kelps marked, and we needed to make better time. We passed a monstrous open water school on the way out an hour later. At that time a few people were grumbling, but having fished with the PQ quite a bit, I trusted the process.
We hit the zone late evening, and looked hard until about 4:00AM for 6 BFT around 60lbs. at that point we opted to make the 22 mile run to the marked kelps in order to hit them right at dawn.
Day 2: Got on the first marked kelp at 6:30 AM or so, we drifted with the Pacifica on it and an uninvited private boat. Started hooking 1-3 and then they woke up. When the dust settled we had around 60 more Dorado on board, most ranging from 6-14lbs with a few standouts. We made our way to the second kelp, and while en route had a triple jig strike and got rushed by an open water school. It was wide open. Literally hundreds off fish waiting at the stern, at one point I fished 80lb just to see if they would bite it-they did. We left that school with around 200 fish or so.
We also had a jig strike on a smaller school of mixed BFT/YFT in the 15-40lb range, I got a nice YFT somewhere between 30-40 with several small BFT on this stop. We bagged around 20 fish here.
Gavin let us know that the BFT zone was quiet, and the wind would be a pain, so we were headed just below Ensenada for YFT that just began to get with the program the day before.
Day 3: Repeat of day two with the dorado. We had a kelp stop that produced somewhere close to 70 fish. Not clear on the numbers here, but I know that when we finished the trip we had a bit over 300 dorado. We had a few stops on the small grade YFT, totalling about 40 fish, then found a breezer mid day that went wide open for about 90 minutes, we landed 140 fish here, range was 8-25lbs. They bit everything you threw at them. The trip ended with a classic sundowner in the same zone, landing around 40-50 fish until Gavin called it.

I tagged my limits on Dorado and as much YFT as I wanted, handed some off, and some untagged for others to take home.

Gear: Nothing fancy happening here. 25-40 lb test on your favorite 30 lb bait stick with J hooks, or size 4 circle hooks did just fine. You didn't need to go below 30 unless you couldn't stand the idea of not getting an instant bite in 20 seconds. Poppers, Snipers and other surface jigs produced but they really wanted the bait.
Boat/Crew: if you know the operation, you know the drill. They are filled with private charters for a reason.

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Last edited:

Spoons

USCG Master
  • Oct 21, 2004
    1,761
    1,438
    San Diego/SF Bay
    Name
    Capt. Erik
    Boat Name
    23' Center Console
    What an epic trip!!

    Side question: how do limits work if you started making US limits for dorado one day or one part of the day and end up in Mexico the remainder of the trip?

    Not trying to stir shit at all it’s legitimate question since I’ve caught my Mexican limit before then proceeded to catch a few more in CA on the same day and always wondered if i could take 10 or 12.
     
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    bdubs73

    Member
    Feb 7, 2008
    757
    1,251
    San Diego
    Name
    Brian
    Boat Name
    none
    What an epic trip!!

    Side question: how do limits work if you started making US limits for dorado one day or one part of the day and end up in Mexico the remainder of the trip?

    Not trying to stir shit at all it’s legitimate question since I’ve caught my Mexican limit before then proceeded to catch a few more in CA on the same day and always wondered if i could take 10 or 12.
    That's a great question, I honestly wondered the same myself. If I had to guess, I would say that it depends on what days you have US vs Mex. permits? But that leaves the question of how the boat differentiates between what fish were caught where and when...? Maybe someone else can weigh in here. Whatever it was, I can say that the PQ is not a boat that carelessly runs over limits. I've had many trips where they stop at boat limits and spread out the fish evenly among anglers.
     
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    luckyfisher7

    Almost A Member
    Jun 20, 2007
    151
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    Dudeport Beach
    Name
    Chris
    Boat Name
    18 whaler "Nishimaru"
    I hate paddy poachers as much as the next guy but if those guys are beaconing the wide open kelps in our local waters they are fair game to anyone in my opinion. They shouldn’t be protective of the kelp if they are going to do that.
     
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    surfgoose

    active geezer
  • Jul 29, 2010
    4,093
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    Long Beach, CA, USA
    Name
    Gary
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    whichever has the longest bunk
    I hate paddy poachers as much as the next guy but if those guys are beaconing the wide open kelps in our local waters they are fair game to anyone in my opinion. They shouldn’t be protective of the kelp if they are going to do that.
    It's not about being protective or claiming ownership. It's about trying to find it again the next trip. And if they come back to it and another boat or six is on it, OK, hopefully there are still plenty of fish in that general vicinity. All of the captains know that nobody owns a drifting kelp.
     
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    bdubs73

    Member
    Feb 7, 2008
    757
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    Name
    Brian
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    I hate paddy poachers as much as the next guy but if those guys are beaconing the wide open kelps in our local waters they are fair game to anyone in my opinion. They shouldn’t be protective of the kelp if they are going to do that.
    I don't have any strong opinion about it either, but I will say that they came right in-between both boats and stop right on the kelp.
     
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    Phat Boat

    I Should Upgrade My Account
    Apr 18, 2004
    2,222
    1,253
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    Name
    Jon
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    Grady White Marlin 300
    That's a lot of dorado to be driving around Mexico with.
     
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    surfgoose

    active geezer
  • Jul 29, 2010
    4,093
    8,027
    Long Beach, CA, USA
    Name
    Gary
    Boat Name
    whichever has the longest bunk
    That's a lot of dorado to be driving around Mexico with.
    You are right, if they had been down near the tuna pens they would have been in big trouble. Offshore past twelve miles, starting the multi-day in American waters like the post said, no problem. The Pac Queen and a lot of other American sportfishers fish both sides of the international border all of the time and know the rules.
     
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    GarytheCPA

    Member
    Jun 13, 2011
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    334
    Costa Mesa/California/USA
    Name
    Gary Craig
    Boat Name
    36 BHM
    I hate paddy poachers as much as the next guy but if those guys are beaconing the wide open kelps in our local waters they are fair game to anyone in my opinion. They shouldn’t be protective of the kelp if they are going to do that.
    If you find an abandoned beacon out there make sure you take it with you and see if you can return it to the rightful owner.
     
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