QUICK REPORT, PENN Fishing University: Searcher 3-day trip September 17-20, 2021

tunanorth

I Post A Lot But I Can't Edit This
Dec 4, 2005
6,668
5,581
By the lake
Name
Tunanorth
Boat
Bass Tracker 16
Just a quick overview on our 3-day PENN Fishing University 3-day adventure that returned this morning.
I encourage anyone who was aboard to also post their experiences and photos on this thread.
I'll post some pics later.

Departed Friday around lunchtime in perfect weather, arrived on the grounds at Tanner Bank at 11:30 PM. the group worked hard on the jigs, with decent results on better grade tuna between 100 and 220 pounds. Somewhat random on the jig colors, but it was important to get down deep, with most bites coming at about 300 feet, which means 250-400 gram jigs. Needless to say on fish of this size range, some casualties happened.
The next day saw us chasing the schools of "medium size" tuna around in beautiful weather, with mixed sizes mostly 30-40 pounds, but a few 20 pounders coming aboard, and enough 60-90 pounders to make 40-pound tackle the minimum, with a #2 Owner Mutu being the hook of choice. Again, some casualties happened when a bigger fish was hooked on 30-pound gear.
Action was not wide-open, but changing baits often was rewarded. Only one of the daytime fish was caught on a jig, an 80-gram blue/silver Williamson Gomame.
The weather came up substantially in the evening, making the night time jigging action tougher, and only one 100-pound class tuna to show for it.
Sunday morning dawned on continuing blustery conditions, and an attempt was made to anchor on top of Tanner Bank. Only three yellowtail made it to gaff in a couple of hours, all on flylined sardines.
The decision was made to make a 10-mile move to where some bigger models were biting on the kite. While waiting for a kite bite, a nice [tail wrapped] 158 pounder was landed on a sinker rig. The kite action was far from red-hot, but after a couple missed blowups on the flying fish, a big one of around 215 pounds ended up being the last fish of the trip.
As always, the crew and food on the Searcher were exemplary. Many thanks to Captain Mike Todter, along with Kenny, Ryan, Sean, Shane, Dan, and Mike. Of course the Searcher's "shore crew" consisting of Celia and Erin is second to none.
 
Last edited:

IronMikeAC

Member
Aug 2, 2013
967
1,076
torrance, ca
Name
Mike
Boat
Vagabond
Steve. Wish I had been there. My buddy got the JP fish on a jig I gave him. Made by lingcodsjugs.com. Its their "Katy Perry" version. They said your loaner gear was great. Was it VISX for the bigger reels? Heard about the interesting story of a private boater that got away with a Searched cow.

Screenshot_20210920-141321_eBay.jpg
 
  • Like
Reactions: woodfish330
Upvote 0

Tugboat64

I've posted enough I should edit this section
  • Sep 8, 2017
    1,087
    1,304
    La Mirada/Whittier
    Name
    Logan
    Boat
    Wanting a bigger boat
    Just got home from our Annual Penn 3 day trip aboard the Searcher. This trip was sure different then the ones years prior. From weather to just unexpected events, you just never know what your going to see.
    Day 1: Left my house at 4:30 Friday morning and began the 2 hour adventure down to Fisherman's Landing, San Diego. Got down to the Landing about 6:15. When we got down there, we met up with Steve Carson-Penn Pro Staffer. On top of that, we got to see the Searcher's offload of their 3.5 day trip that had just gotten in no more than an hour prior. After seeing the results of their trips and our hopes high, we waited for more passengers to show up. After a quick check-in with Celia, we began the boarding process. We were off the dock just after 11:00. While loading up with bait, Captain Mike gave us a run down of the trip. We would be making the 10 hour run to the Tanner and Cortez Banks. The nighttime bite on the big 100-250lb bluefin had been good. On top of that, the daytime Kite and plunk bites had been excellent. Our guys on deck would be him of course, with Ryan, Kenny, Shawn, and Shane. In the galley we had Chef Mike and Dan. After Mike's game plan rundown, Steve gave us his famous "Seminar", and went over some of the fishing. After that he went over the "Prizes" and "Giveaways" he would be giving throughout the trip. He would be rewarding 3 Penn Fathoms, 1 for Jackpot, 1 for largest yellowtail, and 1 for Largest bonus species. Other prizes included a set of pliers, a tackle tray filled with "Specialty" jigs, and a raffle, one for a goodie bag full of about 200$ in terminal tackle, and 1 for a brand new Penn Rod. After he was done talking to us, we proceeded to get ready for the nighttime flat falling.
    Day 1/2: After a 10 hour boat ride, we got to the zone and within minutes found our first school of bluefin. For this first school, there were only a handful of us fishing until my buddy Frank had the first hook up of the trip. His set up was a Penn international 20 VISX, loaded with 100lb braid with a 100lb topshot, tied to a premade cow-ready Nomad Streaker Pink and Glow jig. After a little while of fighting the fish, I took over for him. After 15 more minutes of reeling the fish reached color and we were able to stick 3 gaffs in the fish. After landing the fish, we made a few more moves throughout the night to end up with approximately 11 fish 100-208lbs. After fishing through the whole night and morning, and being up since 4:30 the morning prior, I took an extended nap at 11am and woke back up at 2:00 to be greeted by a plunk bite on 30-80lb BFT. The go-to set up was a Penn fathom/torque 15ld2/25LD2 with a 40lb leader and 1/0 mutu circle hook. I personally fished 40lb seagar gold label and experienced more bites then most. To me this leaderline feels smaller in diameter then others resulting in better bites fishing heavier line. Between my dad, uncle and I, we had a total of 7 fish off the one drift, smallest at 39lbs and largest at 72lbs. By about 7:30 the weather had picked up. The weather originally was scheduled to get bad about 5:00 Sunday night but rolled in about a day early. Unfortunately the wind and swell combination made it overly difficult to flat fall that night. Even with these difficult conditions, we still put up a good effort until midnight for no takers. After that, Mike told us we would be on anchor for the rest of the night and ride out the conditions. I believe total fish count for the day was over 40 fish, with many more lost.
    Day 3: After such long nights the prior 2 days, I decided to sleep in until 6am, not a lot of extra time but just enough where I felt recovered and recouped from the long nights. When I got up, it had been 2nd call for breakfast. Today's breakfast was a little more on the carbs side, hashbrowns with toast and eggs, perfect breakfast for those not feeling the greatest. For whatever reason the weather on the third day of this trip for the past 4 years has always been snotty and unwelcomed. When I got out on deck, we were still on anchor picking away at an assortment of bottom fish. After 3 hours of fishing on anchor, I believe we only got 3 yellowtail for our efforts. Soon after the last fish was pulled, Mike got a call from Mike Lackey of the Vagabond regarding a good kite bite about 14 miles from our current location. We hauled anchor and started the journey over to the Vagabond with everyone rigging up their big equipment. Upon arriving in the zone, Mike tells us nothing lighter than 80lb flyline, you know it's big when you have to do that. It took us a while but by 1:30 that afternoon I was finally able to hook up. My rig was a Penn Carnage rod, with an International VISX 12 I had requested from Steve to try out. I had the reel loaded with 80lb braid, to 80lb mono, to 100lb floro with a 2/0 circle hook on a sinker rig. After about 25 minutes of wrestling the fish up and down the rail, the fish made a final run up to the surface where we found out it was tail wrapped in the 100lb line. Once on the surface, I popped the reel in low gear and just started to crank and winch it in with it being so close to the boat. Thankfully, Mike was able to stick it with a gaff, followed by Ryan and Shane. Unfortunately that was the last fish until later that night hooked on the kite. Throughout the day, I had one more bite but pulled the hook, and a sinker bite. Other then the 212lb kite fish, my 165lb fish, and the YT, there was not much else the day offered for us.
    Overall we could not have asked for any better of a trip. The opportunity was there, it was up to the angler to make it happen; whether it meant switching your bait more often, or staying up an extra hour putting in the time to hook a flat fall fish. From the food, to the cleanliness of the boat, to the skills of the crew, was outstanding as expected. The Crew of the Searcher was amazing as always, I have fished the boat many times now and they impress me everytime. Even going through and asking some of the guys new to the boat they all had nothing but great things to say. The biggest thing I heard was how amazing it was having the guys right by yourside as soon as you were hooked up. "It was like having a personal coach on these fish." Is what I got from someone on the trip.
    Thanks
    -Logan
    IMG_5572.JPG
    6E39B20B-507D-4BA7-BBCB-727008BB2C62.jpeg
    6B887950-E429-4681-A09F-4D6881A876DB.jpeg
    E501445C-572C-476C-8B66-D6E9D489124D.jpeg
    82ED6EA0-275E-4DF8-A92A-D6720C5C9C04.jpeg
    1217567F-CC51-4B24-B3A2-630D98F4E322.jpeg
    0641DA1D-C346-48BA-B0AB-5B5AE9FEA3A2.jpeg
    11D31361-7A07-4AC0-933B-BCE81F0BDA83.jpeg
    2BC26276-7321-4269-9B82-BF0AFAAC5CB1.jpeg
    288CE04C-40CD-49B7-B797-E517778C4DF0.jpeg
    8221128F-3433-486D-8F9E-CA70563C7DF0.jpeg
    D71FB742-D815-4A7B-A8EC-FA4915A0B38D.jpeg
    CF9DF007-AD92-41A7-80D3-3EF59DAEE3BB.jpeg
    47623F80-53F0-4AB6-AAE7-4993DE6E11F5.jpeg
    09541B00-3A76-409A-9898-39375E23CFAB.jpeg
    2FA230E6-153C-4109-8E83-5BB362E2F436.jpeg
    B5CE877C-5444-4823-A534-DA5471571202.jpeg
    ADC13882-5D7E-4612-9952-3F9F30C19C31.jpeg
    39C1EB5E-8A9F-480A-BD16-5365DDE5F97E.jpeg
    FFF8BC09-C2C4-471F-88FF-0659E8B311CE.jpeg
    8F8ACA7E-683F-4C41-B00E-0A79E40438A1.jpeg
    8EA2A9B7-43EA-4437-B20A-132669FAAE27.jpeg
    71F5D3E6-00E9-471E-AE1C-38B5D181B17A.jpeg
    E421A884-EABD-4BEF-A33B-BB7FF6E35B51.jpeg
     
    Upvote 0

    lougio

    Capt Lou
  • Jul 19, 2014
    2,300
    2,931
    57
    San Diego, CA
    Name
    Lou
    Boat
    '03 Parker 2520 Louie-Lui II
    I picked up a ticket for this trip here on BD as one of the regulars couldn't make it and as a nice gesture posted it up here. Steve Carson is a "Madman" supplying loaner rigs for all class of fish. The swag was great and it was fun listening to his historical perspectives on the fishery and the local fleet. The crew was very attentive and would seek you out to make sure you were rigged up right.
    IMG_20210917_093907479.jpg


    I had two light setups that I wasn't sure about-FTH15XNLD2 and a TAC10II setup with 20# and 25# respectively. I asked Steve what he thought and he immediately said I wouldn't need 20 and 25 and to put on a 30# top shot. The Searcher crew rigged me up with new 30# top shot of mono on both setups. I gave the deckhand that rigged me up a nice Montecristo Robusto cigar for his efforts. When I asked him if he smoked cigars he said yes and when I gave it to him he said he was going to have it with some whiskey when he got home.. very sophisticated the deckhands are these days. We went from this..
    IMG_20210917_151636610.jpg


    To this..
    VID_20210919_112835853_exported_64986.jpg

    Let me just say that fishing the heavy jigs in the dark sucks! I had one hookup on the Mak16 and Phenix Axis X3H but it came undone while we rocked and rolled in the heavy 6-8ft swell. I did manage a couple BFT(30# and 70#) during Saturdays plunker bite. The 30# class came on the FTH15XN 30# mono to fluoro and belly hooked Sardine flylined on #2 owner circle. and the 70# came on FTH40N 80# mono to fluoro sinker rig and 1/0 owner circle hook. The Yellowtail came during Sundays beat the hell out of you weather day while we were on the hook. Sea Lions were a problem. I got my Yellowtail on FTH25N 40#mono to fluoro on Axis 8'2" XH and reverse dropper loop rig with a Sardine on #2 circle hook. Also got a small Sheephead on that setup.
    IMG_20210919_081914787.jpg

    Shitty weather made for tough fishing, excellent crew and Steve went out of his way to supply whatever he had to help out. Couldn't sleep well during the heavy swell for fear of rolling out of my bunk. Slept like a baby on the way home.
    IMG_20210917_100306928.jpg




    IMG_20210920_092730824~2.jpg
     
    Last edited:
    Upvote 0

    IronMikeAC

    Member
    Aug 2, 2013
    967
    1,076
    torrance, ca
    Name
    Mike
    Boat
    Vagabond
    Just got home from our Annual Penn 3 day trip aboard the Searcher. This trip was sure different then the ones years prior. From weather to just unexpected events, you just never know what your going to see.
    Day 1: Left my house at 4:30 Friday morning and began the 2 hour adventure down to Fisherman's Landing, San Diego. Got down to the Landing about 6:15. When we got down there, we met up with Steve Carson-Penn Pro Staffer. On top of that, we got to see the Searcher's offload of their 3.5 day trip that had just gotten in no more than an hour prior. After seeing the results of their trips and our hopes high, we waited for more passengers to show up. After a quick check-in with Celia, we began the boarding process. We were off the dock just after 11:00. While loading up with bait, Captain Mike gave us a run down of the trip. We would be making the 10 hour run to the Tanner and Cortez Banks. The nighttime bite on the big 100-250lb bluefin had been good. On top of that, the daytime Kite and plunk bites had been excellent. Our guys on deck would be him of course, with Ryan, Kenny, Shawn, and Shane. In the galley we had Chef Mike and Dan. After Mike's game plan rundown, Steve gave us his famous "Seminar", and went over some of the fishing. After that he went over the "Prizes" and "Giveaways" he would be giving throughout the trip. He would be rewarding 3 Penn Fathoms, 1 for Jackpot, 1 for largest yellowtail, and 1 for Largest bonus species. Other prizes included a set of pliers, a tackle tray filled with "Specialty" jigs, and a raffle, one for a goodie bag full of about 200$ in terminal tackle, and 1 for a brand new Penn Rod. After he was done talking to us, we proceeded to get ready for the nighttime flat falling.
    Day 1/2: After a 10 hour boat ride, we got to the zone and within minutes found our first school of bluefin. For this first school, there were only a handful of us fishing until my buddy Frank had the first hook up of the trip. His set up was a Penn international 20 VISX, loaded with 100lb braid with a 100lb topshot, tied to a premade cow-ready Nomad Streaker Pink and Glow jig. After a little while of fighting the fish, I took over for him. After 15 more minutes of reeling the fish reached color and we were able to stick 3 gaffs in the fish. After landing the fish, we made a few more moves throughout the night to end up with approximately 11 fish 100-208lbs. After fishing through the whole night and morning, and being up since 4:30 the morning prior, I took an extended nap at 11am and woke back up at 2:00 to be greeted by a plunk bite on 30-80lb BFT. The go-to set up was a Penn fathom/torque 15ld2/25LD2 with a 40lb leader and 1/0 mutu circle hook. I personally fished 40lb seagar gold label and experienced more bites then most. To me this leaderline feels smaller in diameter then others resulting in better bites fishing heavier line. Between my dad, uncle and I, we had a total of 7 fish off the one drift, smallest at 39lbs and largest at 72lbs. By about 7:30 the weather had picked up. The weather originally was scheduled to get bad about 5:00 Sunday night but rolled in about a day early. Unfortunately the wind and swell combination made it overly difficult to flat fall that night. Even with these difficult conditions, we still put up a good effort until midnight for no takers. After that, Mike told us we would be on anchor for the rest of the night and ride out the conditions. I believe total fish count for the day was over 40 fish, with many more lost.
    Day 3: After such long nights the prior 2 days, I decided to sleep in until 6am, not a lot of extra time but just enough where I felt recovered and recouped from the long nights. When I got up, it had been 2nd call for breakfast. Today's breakfast was a little more on the carbs side, hashbrowns with toast and eggs, perfect breakfast for those not feeling the greatest. For whatever reason the weather on the third day of this trip for the past 4 years has always been snotty and unwelcomed. When I got out on deck, we were still on anchor picking away at an assortment of bottom fish. After 3 hours of fishing on anchor, I believe we only got 3 yellowtail for our efforts. Soon after the last fish was pulled, Mike got a call from Mike Lackey of the Vagabond regarding a good kite bite about 14 miles from our current location. We hauled anchor and started the journey over to the Vagabond with everyone rigging up their big equipment. Upon arriving in the zone, Mike tells us nothing lighter than 80lb flyline, you know it's big when you have to do that. It took us a while but by 1:30 that afternoon I was finally able to hook up. My rig was a Penn Carnage rod, with an International VISX 12 I had requested from Steve to try out. I had the reel loaded with 80lb braid, to 80lb mono, to 100lb floro with a 2/0 circle hook on a sinker rig. After about 25 minutes of wrestling the fish up and down the rail, the fish made a final run up to the surface where we found out it was tail wrapped in the 100lb line. Once on the surface, I popped the reel in low gear and just started to crank and winch it in with it being so close to the boat. Thankfully, Mike was able to stick it with a gaff, followed by Ryan and Shane. Unfortunately that was the last fish until later that night hooked on the kite. Throughout the day, I had one more bite but pulled the hook, and a sinker bite. Other then the 212lb kite fish, my 165lb fish, and the YT, there was not much else the day offered for us.
    Overall we could not have asked for any better of a trip. The opportunity was there, it was up to the angler to make it happen; whether it meant switching your bait more often, or staying up an extra hour putting in the time to hook a flat fall fish. From the food, to the cleanliness of the boat, to the skills of the crew, was outstanding as expected. The Crew of the Searcher was amazing as always, I have fished the boat many times now and they impress me everytime. Even going through and asking some of the guys new to the boat they all had nothing but great things to say. The biggest thing I heard was how amazing it was having the guys right by yourside as soon as you were hooked up. "It was like having a personal coach on these fish." Is what I got from someone on the trip.
    Thanks
    -Logan
    View attachment 1320230View attachment 1320231View attachment 1320232View attachment 1320233View attachment 1320234View attachment 1320235View attachment 1320236View attachment 1320237View attachment 1320238View attachment 1320239View attachment 1320241View attachment 1320242View attachment 1320243View attachment 1320244View attachment 1320245View attachment 1320246View attachment 1320247View attachment 1320248View attachment 1320249View attachment 1320250View attachment 1320251View attachment 1320255View attachment 1320256View attachment 1320257
    Great report, but please stop posting all the great food pics. Makes me want to chow down.
     
    • Haha
    Reactions: Tugboat64
    Upvote 0