RP 10/2-12 Finale

Lake

I Should Upgrade My Account
Mar 31, 2003
2,450
3,015
Visalia, CA
Name
Blaine Lake
Boat
none
I'd like to try to finish this off tonight as it seems to be dragging on forever. Sorry.

We make it to San Pablo where there have been ups and downs. We have beautiful weather, but no current, which would follow us for the next 2 days. I was determined to only fish surface iron and after a short time at the high spot I guess we had only put about 5 fish on the boat. I didn't see them as I was on the bow and didn't realize that anything was caught. I guess these were a decent grade too. Conditions just weren't conducive so we moved on. After a few more spots with no more fish we headed up the line towards Natividad. I was happy to see Natividad since I thought that was included in the Cedros biosphere. Apparently I was wrong. We got to the south side of the island and got some fish to show, getting a few handfuls of 10-15# fish. Not stellar but something to catch. I got a couple, on bait. A few guys got some on different irons but no real pattern, One guy was on something heavy on a 6X jr for a while, only to have a 100# class black pop up. Still with no current it never broke open and we kept moving up the line, with maybe 40 fish for the day. We were heading for a coastal spot they've been fishing since the Cedros closure where they've gotten small yellows and some white sea bass.

We anchored up around 2:30 AM and a lot of us got up to fish. We were running out of time and some guys still didn't have many tags on fish. I started with a swimbait that was wrecked my first cast on a bonito. I got a few other assorted 3B's but it didn't really produce well on the plastic. Other guys were fishing chunks, megabaits, etc... so I tried a megabait I think it was 60 gm. If you could get it below the bonito you were rewarded with a nice to very nice calico. I caught dozens, with several in the 5# range, all released. John caught a couple of 7-8 pounders, and Greg caught and released one of similar size. Some started keeping several of these fish and soon we had some large stringers of quality calicos going into the well. We also started collecting some for the next day's lunch. One of the crew, Doug, caught a couple of 8-12# white sea bass, but that was all of them we saw. As daylight came we made a short move to try for yellowtail. We had a spot where they came up boiling and had a little flurry and caught several before the calicos took over and the yellows stopped biting. Another spot did the same. Most came on bait but a few were caught on the iron, small yo yos mostly. We tried drifting a small bay that Frank said he'd never been in for halibut. A small one was caught but with no current or wind we hardly drifted so we moved up the line.

We hit another ridge where the yellows came up again and several were caught, some on jigs being dragged behind the boat while we set up a chumline and set anchor. We had a good bite for a short time until the barracuda took over and bit everything. Several guys sent a half barracuda down on the dropper loops, with some heavy fish hooked but not landed. We tried once or twice again but that was it. I ended up with a couple more, on bait, and I think the boat caught about 40 again. The lack of current those two days probably did us in. You could see glimpses of good fishing but nothing sustained. It was time to move north. We would try for dorado on kelps before heading in to Ensenada.

I'm not fond of paddy hopping for several reasons, all of them evident today. We were outside San Quentin in beautiful weather, with the water slightly dirty and a temp of 69.5 or so. There was no difficulty finding paddies, some huge. Early on we hit a kelp that was full of small yellows, skippies, and yellowfins. Not our target so we moved on. Frank had suggested we use a mackeral so the skippies would leave it alone. I sent out a medium sized mack that I'm pretty sure swallowed a small skippy and made him take the hook. I couldn't believe how small it was compared to the bait. Shortly we find other paddies, some would be boat stoppers. On one huge kelp Wayne gets a 20ish# bull but no other fish came up. Frank decided to move it further up the line until the water conditions were better so we motored up for a while. We didn't find as many, or as big of paddies but we started finding some with dorado. As we approached you'd have the typical line at the bait tank with mostly the same guys getting baits out first and connecting. After a few dorado the small tuna and skippies would take over. I probably hooked 15-18 fish today, each time after hooking up hoping to see the fish jump, then releasing a small tuna or skippy. Several guys were starting to keep these small tuna, saying they didn't have enough. This baffled me as you could have tagged many times your limit at the ridge on slightly better fish. One of the crew spotted a floating dead sea lion with birds sitting around it a few miles away. Although it was good seeing a dead sea lion, it wasn't holding so on we moved. After one stop Frank said we had 21 more minutes to fish then we had to quit. Five minutes later we're on another paddy that had good numbers of dorado. I cast my bait out, saw it taken by a dorado but I missed the hook set. It dropped the bait but I saw another take it and knew it was the right kind. It also never jumped but at least I tagged a 13# hen. I was hoping for one more but all I got was small tuna. When that kelp dried up Frank said we had 9 minutes left, and sure enough, he found one more paddy holding. A few of us were waiting in line at the bait tank as one guy reaches around Matt and grabs a bait-the same guy that had his bomb tangled in Matt's trolling rig after a short bite. Matt said "you do realize there's a line of people waiting?" He just shrugged it off, threw out his bait and caught another dorado. At that we were done and headed in. We had water ski conditions with a beautiful sunset all the way to Ensenada. Home to US customs at 4:30 AM and at the dock before 6.

The boat had discussed fish processing early in the trip- colored tags for Fisherman's, white for others or to take your fish home. Frank said good things about both 5 Star and Fisherman's, and the boat even helped start the paperwork for both on the way in. I was a little worried as only 14 people signed up for Fisherman's and 3 for 5 Star so I was worried we'd have too many carts to push and not enough pushers. I was wrong as we actually waited in line to push carts. Nice surprise! Also surprising were the fish kept. Besides the calicos which I don't blame them for there were bonito, barracuda, skippies, whitefish, sheepshead, and tiny yellowtail that Greg jokingly asked if was a scad.

The boat is great. It's Frank's pride and joy and any issue is immediately addressed. He was on the phone ordering parts and needed supplies to take care of things. I was #14 boarding and actually got my SKB up on one of the shelves. That was a first for me, although it wasn't as primo as I'd hoped since people were always sitting on the bench in front of it and I'd still have difficulty accessing it. I was in room 19 with 1 other guy. It's a 4 person room so we had a lot of space, which I needed as I embarrassingly brought far too much stuff. The only downside with this room was the small bathroom right next to it. Guys would leave it and not close the door completely which would start banging against ours, until we'd get up and latch it. Frank addressed this two nights in a row which minimized the issue. He also ordered new signage for it to remind people to latch it, and promised it would be fixed at haul out this year. Across the hall from us, room 20, had a worse problem because the smell from the head started wafting into their room. It was disgustingly bad. Once again Frank addressed it as quickly and well as possible and it was improved after that. That's another issue he promised would be remedied this off season.

The crew is fantastic, very experienced and helpful. With Chris you feel like he's your best friend. I also really like fishing with Greg- just a quiet, mellow personality. Tommie, Doug, and Eddie are also top of the line, helpful and fun. All are hard working and do a great job. The galley team of Cory and Dave were exceptional. Food was great. They are pleasant and accommodating. Fishing with Frank was a real treat, and his experience paid off for us in less than optimal conditions.

I would definitely fish this trip again, but the schedule makes me take 2 weeks off from work for it so I'll be trying something different next year, but I highly recommend this boat.

Royal Polaris 227.JPG Royal Polaris 240.JPG Royal Polaris 242.JPG Royal Polaris 243.JPG Royal Polaris 246.JPG Royal Polaris 257.JPG Royal Polaris 259.JPG Royal Polaris 278.JPG Royal Polaris 279.JPG Royal Polaris 286.JPG Royal Polaris 290.JPG Royal Polaris 295.JPG Royal Polaris 298.JPG Royal Polaris 301.JPG Royal Polaris 314.JPG
 
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SD2600

Opinions aren’t constitutional- they are earned
Apr 13, 2017
666
542
40
San diego
Name
Dustin
Boat
26' sea swirl
Thank you for the informative description of your trip... it takes time and effort to share your passion and it’s appreciated.
 
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Lake

I Should Upgrade My Account
Mar 31, 2003
2,450
3,015
Visalia, CA
Name
Blaine Lake
Boat
none
I meant to give a shout out to Chris Garcia who took all of these pictures, posted most on the reports page, then sold a scan disk to us for cost($10).
 
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freegaff2

Member
Aug 31, 2014
863
1,496
74
Name
Craig Simcox
Boat
none
why can't one of the boats take one for the team and setup a "that guy" only charter...free trip for the biggest asshole ;) Thanks for the report, well written and hit all the marks :D
 
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NaplesJohn

Never Forget 343
Jun 9, 2010
702
767
Port Aransas, TX, USA
Name
John
Boat
Wilderness Systems T-160...and just sold the boat!!!
And so ends another trip, one that as readers can enjoy, and learn from. Thanks for taking the time to put together another enjoyable report!
 
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Soda Pop

I Post A Lot But I Can't Edit This
Feb 12, 2011
2,802
4,928
Fresno, CA
Name
David Rouse
Boat
Long range fishing
Lake,
Thank you for taking the time for this great write up. Not only did I enjoy it the others enjoy it in what they said. Again a BIG THANKS. See you at the rail sometime again.
 
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Fishybuzz

fishybuzz
Apr 4, 2003
8,677
8,811
Tucson
Visit site
Name
David Tang
Boat
Intrepid
My Greatest Disappointment and Complaint about Long Range fishing is seemingly the TOTAL LACK of Confrontation between the skippers/deckhands of the vessel/s addressing the disrespectful behaviors of certain passengers...as a "Perfect Example", the reach-a-round bait ASSHOLE!!!
The deckhand should have told the ASSHOLE...."HEY!!!...YOU ARE NOT FISHING THAT BAIT....GET IN THE BACK OF THE LINE!!!"
Seems the skippers and deckhands are SO AFRAID of losing a possible return customer that NO ACTIONS are TAKEN....
ALL to the DETERMENT of the affected passengers!!!
With the closure of Clarion Island and the increased limited Mexican Water areas to fish...
The vessel owners/skippers/deckh ands BETTER eliminate the ASSHOLES or fisherman such as myself and possible like-minded fisherman will be spending their hard earned collective dollars elsewhere!!!


Long Range fishing ( 5 days or more) is a service industry ....... just like a restaurant..... you go for the service, food and ambiance ....if it is loud and there are rude pushy patrons that the management doesn't control would you return no matter how good the food was? I wouldn't.....

The deckhands need to be empowered by the captain and trained to control all aspects of the deck......it could prevent potential altercations and improve safety......IMO it starts with the Captain. the crew will follow his/her lead.....getting the long range dollars are going to be increasing competitive IMO the boats that provide superior service, a clean efficient good riding boat, good food and a knowledgable polite crew, with a Captain who knows how to fish and has great people skills and attempts to insure everyone has a positive experience where ALL anglers are welcome will succeed. JMO


Thanks for the super report....I know it takes a lot of time and effort.
 
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Lake

I Should Upgrade My Account
Mar 31, 2003
2,450
3,015
Visalia, CA
Name
Blaine Lake
Boat
none
Long Range fishing ( 5 days or more) is a service industry ....... just like a restaurant..... you go for the service, food and ambiance ....if it is loud and there are rude pushy patrons that the management doesn't control would you return no matter how good the food was? I wouldn't.....

The deckhands need to be empowered by the captain and trained to control all aspects of the deck......it could prevent potential altercations and improve safety......IMO it starts with the Captain. the crew will follow his/her lead.....getting the long range dollars are going to be increasing competitive IMO the boats that provide superior service, a clean efficient good riding boat, good food and a knowledgable polite crew, with a Captain who knows how to fish and has great people skills and attempts to insure everyone has a positive experience where ALL anglers are welcome will succeed. JMO


Thanks for the super report....I know it takes a lot of time and effort.
I've never been on a long range trip where this didn't happen to some extent. I didn't intend to highlight it on this one. I've sure seen it far worse, and not returned to that trip or boat. Frank actually did call out one guy for trying to bait up too early and it was accepted appropriately. I'd fish with these guys again.
 
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Chrisben

Almost A Member
Sep 6, 2009
181
205
Las Vegas
Name
chris
Boat
none
Thanks for the great reports Blaine!! Looks like another good trip! Really bummed I couldn't make it this year. You are a really great guy to fish with!! I'm glad you got some good popper action going!!
Chris
 
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gb58

Almost A Member
Nov 10, 2006
165
157
vista,ca
Name
greg braun
Boat
none
I'd like to try to finish this off tonight as it seems to be dragging on forever. Sorry.

We make it to San Pablo where there have been ups and downs. We have beautiful weather, but no current, which would follow us for the next 2 days. I was determined to only fish surface iron and after a short time at the high spot I guess we had only put about 5 fish on the boat. I didn't see them as I was on the bow and didn't realize that anything was caught. I guess these were a decent grade too. Conditions just weren't conducive so we moved on. After a few more spots with no more fish we headed up the line towards Natividad. I was happy to see Natividad since I thought that was included in the Cedros biosphere. Apparently I was wrong. We got to the south side of the island and got some fish to show, getting a few handfuls of 10-15# fish. Not stellar but something to catch. I got a couple, on bait. A few guys got some on different irons but no real pattern, One guy was on something heavy on a 6X jr for a while, only to have a 100# class black pop up. Still with no current it never broke open and we kept moving up the line, with maybe 40 fish for the day. We were heading for a coastal spot they've been fishing since the Cedros closure where they've gotten small yellows and some white sea bass.

We anchored up around 2:30 AM and a lot of us got up to fish. We were running out of time and some guys still didn't have many tags on fish. I started with a swimbait that was wrecked my first cast on a bonito. I got a few other assorted 3B's but it didn't really produce well on the plastic. Other guys were fishing chunks, megabaits, etc... so I tried a megabait I think it was 60 gm. If you could get it below the bonito you were rewarded with a nice to very nice calico. I caught dozens, with several in the 5# range, all released. John caught a couple of 7-8 pounders, and Greg caught and released one of similar size. Some started keeping several of these fish and soon we had some large stringers of quality calicos going into the well. We also started collecting some for the next day's lunch. One of the crew, Doug, caught a couple of 8-12# white sea bass, but that was all of them we saw. As daylight came we made a short move to try for yellowtail. We had a spot where they came up boiling and had a little flurry and caught several before the calicos took over and the yellows stopped biting. Another spot did the same. Most came on bait but a few were caught on the iron, small yo yos mostly. We tried drifting a small bay that Frank said he'd never been in for halibut. A small one was caught but with no current or wind we hardly drifted so we moved up the line.

We hit another ridge where the yellows came up again and several were caught, some on jigs being dragged behind the boat while we set up a chumline and set anchor. We had a good bite for a short time until the barracuda took over and bit everything. Several guys sent a half barracuda down on the dropper loops, with some heavy fish hooked but not landed. We tried once or twice again but that was it. I ended up with a couple more, on bait, and I think the boat caught about 40 again. The lack of current those two days probably did us in. You could see glimpses of good fishing but nothing sustained. It was time to move north. We would try for dorado on kelps before heading in to Ensenada.

I'm not fond of paddy hopping for several reasons, all of them evident today. We were outside San Quentin in beautiful weather, with the water slightly dirty and a temp of 69.5 or so. There was no difficulty finding paddies, some huge. Early on we hit a kelp that was full of small yellows, skippies, and yellowfins. Not our target so we moved on. Frank had suggested we use a mackeral so the skippies would leave it alone. I sent out a medium sized mack that I'm pretty sure swallowed a small skippy and made him take the hook. I couldn't believe how small it was compared to the bait. Shortly we find other paddies, some would be boat stoppers. On one huge kelp Wayne gets a 20ish# bull but no other fish came up. Frank decided to move it further up the line until the water conditions were better so we motored up for a while. We didn't find as many, or as big of paddies but we started finding some with dorado. As we approached you'd have the typical line at the bait tank with mostly the same guys getting baits out first and connecting. After a few dorado the small tuna and skippies would take over. I probably hooked 15-18 fish today, each time after hooking up hoping to see the fish jump, then releasing a small tuna or skippy. Several guys were starting to keep these small tuna, saying they didn't have enough. This baffled me as you could have tagged many times your limit at the ridge on slightly better fish. One of the crew spotted a floating dead sea lion with birds sitting around it a few miles away. Although it was good seeing a dead sea lion, it wasn't holding so on we moved. After one stop Frank said we had 21 more minutes to fish then we had to quit. Five minutes later we're on another paddy that had good numbers of dorado. I cast my bait out, saw it taken by a dorado but I missed the hook set. It dropped the bait but I saw another take it and knew it was the right kind. It also never jumped but at least I tagged a 13# hen. I was hoping for one more but all I got was small tuna. When that kelp dried up Frank said we had 9 minutes left, and sure enough, he found one more paddy holding. A few of us were waiting in line at the bait tank as one guy reaches around Matt and grabs a bait-the same guy that had his bomb tangled in Matt's trolling rig after a short bite. Matt said "you do realize there's a line of people waiting?" He just shrugged it off, threw out his bait and caught another dorado. At that we were done and headed in. We had water ski conditions with a beautiful sunset all the way to Ensenada. Home to US customs at 4:30 AM and at the dock before 6.

The boat had discussed fish processing early in the trip- colored tags for Fisherman's, white for others or to take your fish home. Frank said good things about both 5 Star and Fisherman's, and the boat even helped start the paperwork for both on the way in. I was a little worried as only 14 people signed up for Fisherman's and 3 for 5 Star so I was worried we'd have too many carts to push and not enough pushers. I was wrong as we actually waited in line to push carts. Nice surprise! Also surprising were the fish kept. Besides the calicos which I don't blame them for there were bonito, barracuda, skippies, whitefish, sheepshead, and tiny yellowtail that Greg jokingly asked if was a scad.

The boat is great. It's Frank's pride and joy and any issue is immediately addressed. He was on the phone ordering parts and needed supplies to take care of things. I was #14 boarding and actually got my SKB up on one of the shelves. That was a first for me, although it wasn't as primo as I'd hoped since people were always sitting on the bench in front of it and I'd still have difficulty accessing it. I was in room 19 with 1 other guy. It's a 4 person room so we had a lot of space, which I needed as I embarrassingly brought far too much stuff. The only downside with this room was the small bathroom right next to it. Guys would leave it and not close the door completely which would start banging against ours, until we'd get up and latch it. Frank addressed this two nights in a row which minimized the issue. He also ordered new signage for it to remind people to latch it, and promised it would be fixed at haul out this year. Across the hall from us, room 20, had a worse problem because the smell from the head started wafting into their room. It was disgustingly bad. Once again Frank addressed it as quickly and well as possible and it was improved after that. That's another issue he promised would be remedied this off season.

The crew is fantastic, very experienced and helpful. With Chris you feel like he's your best friend. I also really like fishing with Greg- just a quiet, mellow personality. Tommie, Doug, and Eddie are also top of the line, helpful and fun. All are hard working and do a great job. The galley team of Cory and Dave were exceptional. Food was great. They are pleasant and accommodating. Fishing with Frank was a real treat, and his experience paid off for us in less than optimal conditions.

I would definitely fish this trip again, but the schedule makes me take 2 weeks off from work for it so I'll be trying something different next year, but I highly recommend this boat.

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Great report Blaine, thanks man!!
Blaine
great write up
here are my observations of the techniques of the "hot sticks"
do not listen to the captain or crew. what do they know
toss your bait in the middle of the stern. pay no attention to the other 15 people already there
if people are fishing jigs forward of the bait tank make sure to cast your bait mid-ship so they can bring you in or better yet they have to stop reeling to let you by
let as much line out as possible. don't worry that your bait is under the boat
when reeling in your bait after a 30 minute soak keep your rod tip as low as possible so you can wrap up 8-10 lines. deck hands will sort it out
when bit focus on putting your rod in your rod belt and stick you butt out as far as possible to create a zone around yourself nobody can get around
when fighting your fish focus on that fish. it's all about you
when trolling for wahoo toss your jig off the stern as soon as there is a hook-up. if they lose their fish it's not your problem
 
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Lake

I Should Upgrade My Account
Mar 31, 2003
2,450
3,015
Visalia, CA
Name
Blaine Lake
Boat
none
Blaine
great write up
here are my observations of the techniques of the "hot sticks"
do not listen to the captain or crew. what do they know
toss your bait in the middle of the stern. pay no attention to the other 15 people already there
if people are fishing jigs forward of the bait tank make sure to cast your bait mid-ship so they can bring you in or better yet they have to stop reeling to let you by
let as much line out as possible. don't worry that your bait is under the boat
when reeling in your bait after a 30 minute soak keep your rod tip as low as possible so you can wrap up 8-10 lines. deck hands will sort it out
when bit focus on putting your rod in your rod belt and stick you butt out as far as possible to create a zone around yourself nobody can get around
when fighting your fish focus on that fish. it's all about you
when trolling for wahoo toss your jig off the stern as soon as there is a hook-up. if they lose their fish it's not your problem
I think that about describes it
 
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Mar 18, 2011
973
1,892
SoCal
Name
Doug
Boat
Royal Polaris
Long Range fishing ( 5 days or more) is a service industry ....... just like a restaurant..... you go for the service, food and ambiance ....if it is loud and there are rude pushy patrons that the management doesn't control would you return no matter how good the food was? I wouldn't.....

The deckhands need to be empowered by the captain and trained to control all aspects of the deck......it could prevent potential altercations and improve safety......IMO it starts with the Captain. the crew will follow his/her lead.....getting the long range dollars are going to be increasing competitive IMO the boats that provide superior service, a clean efficient good riding boat, good food and a knowledgable polite crew, with a Captain who knows how to fish and has great people skills and attempts to insure everyone has a positive experience where ALL anglers are welcome will succeed. JMO


Thanks for the super report....I know it takes a lot of time and effort.

Blaine - thanks for the detailed report and for sharing your trip and RP experience.

Fishy - Agreed and exactly why our group moved over to the RP. Like you said..it's a service industry, much like a restaurant and it starts with the Captain and Crew. The level of personal service from the Owners and Crew on the RP is nothing short of outstanding. The entire crew and office mgmt. staff go out of their way to ensure that our group is well taken care of on every single trip. IMHO.....the RP is one of the best operations in the fleet (w/ AA, RR3, Vagabond) with a well tenured and experienced crew.
 
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Cubeye

I Post A Lot But I Can't Edit This
Jan 26, 2007
3,859
2,977
Los Angeles
Name
Kub
Boat
17' Gregor
"The Independence as the vessel I'd want to be aboard if caught in a Hurricane...."

Captain Jeff and others in the fleet would never put their passengers at risk like that.
 
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Cubeye

I Post A Lot But I Can't Edit This
Jan 26, 2007
3,859
2,977
Los Angeles
Name
Kub
Boat
17' Gregor
The above quoted statement was a comparative.

You might want to look up the situation/s the vessel The Intrepid found itself in , on what I believe were 2 different situations .
When I said "others in the fleet" the Intrepid was not included. I was on the AA during that hurricane and we were safely far away from it.
 
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