Royal Star 6/20-6/27 Larry Brown 7-day Report

Peg North

I've posted enough I should edit this section
May 22, 2009
312
265
West Sacramento CA
Name
"Buggywhip"
Boat
Slow Poke
This was my first long range trip, and first trip aboard the Royal Star. I had been invited into the charter by two guys I had fished with last year, but neither of them could make it due to Covid, etc. Lacking co-morbidities in myself and my household, being in great health, and come hell or high water, yeah, I went by myself.

My niece dropped me at the landing at about 7am for a 10am departure. There was one guy in line, Mike, who was very nice and friendly right off the bat. He was soon joined by his friend. I wandered off to get a coffee and breakfast sandwich. The carts filled in, I signed in with the wonderful and efficient Tracy, and we loaded up.

Already, I am experiencing happiness and relaxation, which as most who will read this know, is a rarity during the boarding process. Everyone was so chill and helpful to each other, not just the crew and red shirts, but the other passengers. You can tell a lot about a group from moments of excitement and stress, and this boarding and initial settle-in told me all about this great group of guys from the very beginning.

So we put up our tackle - I never did see a real crummy spot on the boat - put up our rods in their numbered places, plopped our stuff down below, and cast lines. The guys had already loaded bait and fuel, so we cleared the point way before noon, headed south. Randy Touissant was driving, and he let us know that we would be trying for fun size bluefin later in the afternoon. We readied our setups, and slipped our way south in a mixed swell
 

Peg North

I've posted enough I should edit this section
May 22, 2009
312
265
West Sacramento CA
Name
"Buggywhip"
Boat
Slow Poke
Larry had about a hundred giveaways, raffle prizes, and such, many of which we put to use on the trip. I didn't join in the raffle, but the grand prize was an Avet reel. Sweet. And speaking of sweet, lunch was grilled crab and cheddar sandwiches. Wowza. The first of many excellent naps followed.


Randy looked and looked and set up on, as he said it, Giant schools of non-biting fish into the evening hours. One guy got a small bft on the troll, on a Nomad. We would drift in the area that night, and try again the next morning in the same spot. Maybe it would be a grey light bite. Yesterday, they hit everything. Huh. Weird.

Dinner was rack of lamb with a pesto sauce on the side, asparagus and mashed potato. Dessert was apple pie and ice cream. I quietly congratulated myself on bringing my eatin' pants.

SUNDAY 6/21/20

After a nice night and some looking, we began fishing at about 05:30. I believe we were in the general area west of San Quintin, but don't take that to the bank. No grey light bite; we put out the trollers at about 7am. 2 more bft bit on the Nomads (!), as did a few yt, and then it was only large bonitas for the rest of the morning. Randy turned up the screws and we headed to Alijos Rocks.
 

Peg North

I've posted enough I should edit this section
May 22, 2009
312
265
West Sacramento CA
Name
"Buggywhip"
Boat
Slow Poke
We had a very special dinner of scallops. It being Father's Day, I had brought a nice bottle of Matanzas Creek Sauvignon Blanc to share, in honor of my dad who passed on two years ago. No one loved scallops, and great wine, as much as my dad, so it was a sweet moment to honor him with a toast, and with stories around the salon of great dads.


MONDAY 6/22/20

Travel day, rigging, fussing over hooks, getting my rent rods from the boat (100# and 50#) set up, daydreaming, bird watching, visiting with passengers and crew, organizing my bunk just so, eating, naps, more eating, and more naps. Lovely downswell seas.

TUESDAY 6/23/20

Well, this day started almost immediately, as we were at am, or near the Rocks and making bait at 02:30. I actually enjoy making bait, so I already had my jeans on and was ready to hop out of the rack and get crackin'. Here was my blunder: Why oh why did I not put on my boots? Did I not remember that, uh, the deck is really wet and fishy, and chilly, when your dumbass Topsiders fill up in the first 5 minutes. Oh well. Still fun.

The weather was rough and windy. We were parked next to the Shogun; looked like they were all still sleeping. All the guys were good sports and caught bait. These were some trophy baits - Spanish and regular makerals. Were we actually going to fish with these?... I thought maybe we were going to use these for kite fishing.
 

Peg North

I've posted enough I should edit this section
May 22, 2009
312
265
West Sacramento CA
Name
"Buggywhip"
Boat
Slow Poke
Nope. Starting about 4am in the dark, and until about 10;30 am, we dropper looped the mega macks and everyone got railed by reef donkeys. I was fishing the 100# setup. I just could not believe what we were catching! Never in my life had I seen so many gigante jurels come over the rail! And each time...THUD onto the deck. Just beautiful. We caught 142 in that morning sesh with the biggest at 42#. I had 7 of those toads, all over 20# and a few solidly in the 30# class.


We had chile rellenos for breakfast. With poached eggs on top! I thought, I'm never leaving... unless it's to go to Target for bigger pants.

We made a move to get closer to the Rocks, and it was just beyond exciting to finally see them. Like a lot of folks, this has been a longtime goal, to get here and to experience the scenery, the seas, and the incredible yt bite. I felt so lucky.

We anchored on a high spot, and the afternoon was a pretty steady pattern of lulls and flurries. I tried the 4-5 oz. egg sinker and realised I needed more practice at this technique before I felt comfortable with it. Blanked on that technique, I switched to yo yo-ing one of the Jr heavies from Larry's raffle (minty fresh). After working hard at it for a while, I got tired and switched back to the trusty ol' Bait on a Rope technique, which worked out great. I boated a few, busted one off midway up the column, and enjoyed a quick trip to Zing-Pow Reef.
 

Peg North

I've posted enough I should edit this section
May 22, 2009
312
265
West Sacramento CA
Name
"Buggywhip"
Boat
Slow Poke
So, I was fishing a large Makaira at strike, with the drag set and checked by the crew. I stayed just a little bit up from the rocks, like 5 or 7 turns, then working the lower column up and down a bit. When these donkeys hit, I actually had to hold on to the inside of the sideplates with my thumbs, both sides, to keep from getting rocked. Wow! Just outstanding challenges to boat them.


We enjoyed flank brisket with mashed potatoes and fresh steamed broccoli for dinner, along with great recaps of the day.

WEDNESDAY 6/24/20

We had moved and had anchored at the makeral honey hole during the night, and the Wakey-Wakey call came at 02:00. We made bait again with the jumbo macks, and then began fishing at 3am. I got a nice one, and decided I'd caught all the delicious hamachi we could use at my home. I had a leisurely breakfast, about the best coffee in the entire world, chatted up other anglers, etc. I went upstairs and watched grown men getting cornholed until the bite died down, again around 10am I think.

We pulled anchor and put our the trollers, and had double hookups on the Nomads. Wahoo! I have watched hundreds of videos of this, but this was the first time I had seen the wahoo hit, be chased around at full speed, and then boated. "Watch the wahoo!" So friken excellent. I successfully (well, no hookup, but no birdsnest!) threw out a gold and pink Raider jig really far, and one of the guys taught me how to do that technique of letting it sink to 45 degrees then burn it back. So fun. I'll get one someday.
 

Peg North

I've posted enough I should edit this section
May 22, 2009
312
265
West Sacramento CA
Name
"Buggywhip"
Boat
Slow Poke
We started north at about 10am, with a long travel and a hope for the bluefin bite to materialize once we got up the line to the spot we'd tried earlier.


THURSDAY 6/25


Travel day. Seas came down nicely for the uphill ride. We stopped on a school of small bft, and boated about 10.

One of the guys, who was likewise so generous with his gear and hooks (about 15 minutes into the trip he offered to let me use his very nice two speed setup), brought abalone steaks for everyone! Wow! Those steaks were about an inch thick. They were made so perfectly. It almost made me cry they were so good. I haven't had abalone since I was like 19 years old.

FRIDAY 6/26

Last day of fishing, and we were on that classic style plunker drift for bft. I started out with 30#, but dropped to 20#. I switched out my hooks many times, but like 6 hours went by without a bite. Now, I'm no expert but I've done pretty well for someone with kind of crappy old gear, so I was feeling...well...let's say out of sorts. Larry and a couple of the guys offered hook-and-hands, but I was stubborn and silly about it. Finally, I hustled up to the bow with a bait, would up and let go and I don't know what the heck happened but I hit the bottom of the wheelhouse, the bait went I don't know where, and I about brained super nice Sid who was fishing next to me. Sid took it well as I apologized and then said, "Well I have just @*&^ing had it!" Brian Sims made a move to help out, but yeah, I had hit the wall. Our exchange was pretty funny even then, but even moreso later.
 

Peg North

I've posted enough I should edit this section
May 22, 2009
312
265
West Sacramento CA
Name
"Buggywhip"
Boat
Slow Poke
I went downstairs, changed all my clothes, brushed my teeth, fixed my hair, put on fresh deorderant and sunscreen, picked a new facemask, and went back up on deck. I grabbed my buggywhip 20# outfit, pinned on a squiggly bait, pitched it out and was bitten in about 20 seconds. Hilarious. I boated a few after that, including a couple of handoffs from some excellent sportsmen, and lost a couple, and thanked Larry and the other guys for all the tips they gave me so I could be more successful in the future.


Others caught pretty steadily all day, using floro tied straight to braid and small hooks, hot baits. I saw many Phenix rods in the mix, and Avets. ( Guys were using a lot of Makairas on the larger yt earlier in the trip.)

So we had outstanding prime rib for dinner, and enjoyed a final evening together, travelling north in nice seas, breaking down gear and packing up for departure. Offloading was smooth and man, was I discombobulated after those 7 days. What an airhead. Duh...where's my tackle box?...where are my buggywhips and broomsticks?...


I was able to give my lifelong friend a few jumbos and a bft for his family. The rest went right into the slush bin for Fishermans Processing. I broiled some up on Monday, it omigod it was like buttah. Just outstanding. Perfect care from catch to vaccumn seal.

This was the trip of a lifetime for me. Thanks to Randy and Tracy for running such a professional and successful operation. Thanks to the crew and to Brian, who I think never slept and was always cracking me up and helping me be a better fisherman. And Nestor and Cameron, holy smokes. I never ate so well. Larry, you put together such a wonderful, mellow, amicable group on this trip. It was great to spend time with you. Hope we meet again.
 

pgangler

12Wt
Jul 25, 2012
434
442
Pacific Grove, Calif
Name
Ron
Boat
Was Cabo35, now RR3
Makes me wish I was there! Brian did me a solid - fished my gear until "I" got bit. Never will forget that. Will be back on the Star this fall for Jurassic Park, part 2.
 
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egarratt

I've posted enough I should edit this section
Aug 11, 2005
666
454
San Diego
Name
Eddie G
Boat
None
Welcome to the best thing about longranging, A Larry Brown charter on the Royal Star. Now, where are the pictures?
 
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Steve K

Hey, I'm gettin' bit...
Jan 2, 2005
11,189
6,565
Bishop
Name
Steve
Boat
18' Bayrunner, but I like the American Angler and the Red Rooster III
Great trip, thanks for taking the time for those of us who really enjoy a fishing report. Nice Yellahs!
 
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thecuban1040

Member
Apr 9, 2015
42
35
Name
Lu
Boat
Freedom Boat Club
Top quality writing. Made me feel like I was right there with ya! Also really gives me the itch to get on my first long range, if anything just for the food!
 

Tom Honaker

I've posted enough I should edit this section
Sep 27, 2015
922
1,481
62
Hotchkiss Colorado
Name
Tom Honaker
Boat
Royal Star
I went downstairs, changed all my clothes, brushed my teeth, fixed my hair, put on fresh deorderant and sunscreen, picked a new facemask, and went back up on deck. I grabbed my buggywhip 20# outfit, pinned on a squiggly bait, pitched it out and was bitten in about 20 seconds. Hilarious. I boated a few after that, including a couple of handoffs from some excellent sportsmen, and lost a couple, and thanked Larry and the other guys for all the tips they gave me so I could be more successful in the future.


Others caught pretty steadily all day, using floro tied straight to braid and small hooks, hot baits. I saw many Phenix rods in the mix, and Avets. ( Guys were using a lot of Makairas on the larger yt earlier in the trip.)

So we had outstanding prime rib for dinner, and enjoyed a final evening together, travelling north in nice seas, breaking down gear and packing up for departure. Offloading was smooth and man, was I discombobulated after those 7 days. What an airhead. Duh...where's my tackle box?...where are my buggywhips and broomsticks?...


I was able to give my lifelong friend a few jumbos and a bft for his family. The rest went right into the slush bin for Fishermans Processing. I broiled some up on Monday, it omigod it was like buttah. Just outstanding. Perfect care from catch to vaccumn seal.

This was the trip of a lifetime for me. Thanks to Randy and Tracy for running such a professional and successful operation. Thanks to the crew and to Brian, who I think never slept and was always cracking me up and helping me be a better fisherman. And Nestor and Cameron, holy smokes. I never ate so well. Larry, you put together such a wonderful, mellow, amicable group on this trip. It was great to spend time with you. Hope we meet again.
Glad you had a wonderful trip!! It's always a great experience on the Royal star! Randy, Tim and Brian are as good as they get! From the photos it looks like the food was stellar as well! They run a top notch operation from top to bottom, from the moment you call Tracy, until you get home and enjoy the superb RSW quality fillets! Getting to fish alijos on the early trips is outstanding too, every dropper loop mackeral or yoyo jig drop is a potential 60 # + yellowtail! My first trip there in the 80's , I caught a 63 # yellow on surface iron! Glad you got to experience a great big yellowtail bite there!
 
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