Got in yesterday from my one trip a year. After my disappointing trip to Guadalupe last year where I was a special needs fisherman I didn't want to do a "Lupe or bust trip" but I did want to keep the option open for a possible chance at redemption. With that in mind I chose this Shimano sponsored trip and had to keep watching the website so I could snag a spot when one opened. Like every year the trip seemed far in the distance then jumped up on me, although this year I was doing little things putting my tackle together for several weeks so I didn't have any rush at the end. Arrived at the Landing early in the morning and got my parking spot. It's quite nice being the only boat leaving that day. Watched the unload from the 6 day trip prior to us and talked with some of the returning anglers. One guy in particular told me that long(he said 150 yards) soaks would get bit but he lost 3 of 4 hookups to the sharks. Met a lot of the other guys for my trip and wondered how it was going to be spending 10 days with some of them. Was very happy to see a couple of women on the trip. I think that keeps down some(a little anyway) of the things I'd rather avoid, like old men in tighty whiteys walking to the showers. I was a bit worried about where I'd store my rods since I brought a 9 and 10 footer. Snagged a rocket launcher for my new UC Del Mar and took the rest upstairs, figuring I'd rig up a few at a time depending on what we were fishing for that day. When we loaded I was a little surprised that having number 16 all tackle box spots on all racks were filled, since this boat fishes 35 during the summer, but found a corner for my box and explored the boat. This was my first time on the RP and I really like the boat. This boat has my favorite bathrooms of any I've fished. My stateroom had a window to the outside which was nice, and the galley could pretty much seat everyone at a single sitting. I'd heard a lot about Roy Rose and was hoping for a chance to fish with him, knowing that Jonathan usually runs this trip. We had Jonathan again and I have to say I think he's already one of the best skippers in the fleet. Everything he did was the absolute right call. He put us on fish like crazy, and worked constantly to get more, even when most passengers were done for the day. He kept us informed of what was going on with the other boats at other locations. The RRIII had spent 2 days at Alijos for 26 wahoo, and most of the other boats were getting less than that at the ridge. We were going to start around Hipolito or San Pablo for yellows but the bite was a bit slow because of no current. We would be starting there, heading down the ridge, hit the rocks, then spend about two days at Guadalupe. He obviously was tired of feeding great whites. This plan was what I was hoping for on this trip. Even though things sounded pretty slow everywhere we all know how things change, so I was very happy. The crew loaded bait when they fueled up so we boarded on time and left. As mentioned the plan was to travel the 2 days to San Pablo but while en route Jonathan said no one has been to Canoas for awhile and since we would be arriving to San Pablo at night we might as well give it a try. We fished it hard for a few hours. Lack of current hurt. We got one fish for the boat. The thing I liked is he gave it a try. We arrived to San Pablo to the same lack of current. We fished hard for the day and came up with around 30 fish, on bait and yo yo jigs. It was a tough bite. I got one then we had a few boils around the boat. I threw out my new Del Mar and second cast hooked a fish on a 7X. It spit the hook but it was nice to get bit. I broke off another on bait. I was grateful for what I got. Some guys had a couple, but others got none. That night at dinner Jonathan came down to discuss plans and told us the SoA got 30 some wahoo, as well as some better grade(20-30 pounds) tuna at the 38. We were heading down there and would be the only boat on the ridge. Sometimes it's really nice to be lucky. We were going to be south of the 38, at Thetis to explore, then work our way up. We started off at Thetis to basically nothing, and worked our way up to the next couple of high spots for nothing. Finally we get to the 38 and after 20-30 minutes hit our first bingo on wahoo for 8 or 10. I got one early which really takes the pressure off. We worked at them for a few hours, getting 2 to 10 a stop before they shut off. They bit the bombs and raiders pretty well. I only had one other solid biter that didn't hang, then had a few followers that gave a quick nip right at the boat. After they shut off we dropped anchor and the tuna came on us. Most were the smaller 5-10 pounders, mixed with similar grade yellows and skipjack, so you had to weed through a ton of small fish to get a tagger. I went through about 40 plus fish to tag 2 20 pounders. I also got a decent dorado. Some guys got quite a bit more up to 30ish. I wasn't hoping to fill my tags here so I stepped back and relaxed, screwed around with poppers for nothing, tossed some more bombs. A few wahoo came on the anchor but none for me. Chris, I think it's chrisbiens on these boards, threw a popper for a lot more fish. He's one of the coolest guys you could fish with, and one of the best fisherman on the boat. He fishes a lot of butterfly jigs and poppers. I told him he's about 10 years ahead of most of us with his knife jigs etc... He had never wahoo fished before this trip, so had never caught one before. That changed this trip. The next morning we woke up on the same spot and continued what we were doing, although we were sharing the spot with another boat. At graylight I tried throwing an orange Jimmy bomb as one wahoo had already been caught. I got an early hit that had me excited for a second until I realized it was no wahoo. Released a 10 pound yellow and kept at it. Another hit felt right. Saw the water crashing from my fish, and thought I lucked out until I saw its bill. Twenty minutes later they had my little marlin billed so they could retrieve my Jimmy bomb. I'm pretty impressed with my new Tranx that I bought as an afterthought. It's basically cheating for wahoo, and landing a marlin from an anchored boat shows it's capable. Another round of wahoo fishing added another 20 some fish, bringing our total to around 60. At this point Jonathan put guys up with no wahoo to make sure everyone got one, and all did! Except one guy who wouldn't take a mercy fish. I got another, a real wild one that basically tail walked for 30 yards or so, ran right at me twice, and made a total ruckus off the stern for a bit. Most of our wahoo were in the 30-50 pound range, so decent grade. Mine were both 30's. We anchored for the same tuna as the day before. I stopped after awhile since I was only a skipjack magnet. We pulled anchor to head to the rocks that hadn't been fished for a few days. Jonathan said we'd be looking for kelps on the way. Our second kelp he sounded excited on the PA. We slide up to it and it's mayhem on 14-16 pound dorado. Two baits, two fish tagged for me so I got out of the way and watched it all from up top. I watched four guys in their excitement try to get baits out. None of them got their baits out more than 10 feet and all four crossed at least two lines, all smacking their baits down hard. I had been taking videos but I wasn't with them. After it died off we approached the paddy again but they were a no go on the second pass so we moved on. At least three boats on the ridge were calling for numbers on the kelp since they'd been having tough trips. The next morning at the rocks we trolled all over the place for nothing. Trolling team #5 really sucked, starting from the day before. We stopped for a drift and they came at the boat. Free swimmers, followers, quite a few biters. When it cleared it was amazing how few fish we caught out of that. I had a few followers and biters. Had one on that was running, then swimming at me, then spit the bomb. Bummer. I thought that one would be tagged. I think we finished with less than 10 Alijos wahoo. Chris got 3, for a total of 6 on the trip. That guy can fish. When that dried up we tried again to no avail so we moved over to a ridge about 2 miles from the rocks and started dropper looping. First drift, before most could get a bait in the water Chris on the butterfly and another guy on bait were bringing up fat yellowtail. These drifts really produced. Everybody got fish, many guys got several. I think pretty much everybody got a grouper. I had a hard time getting a yo yo to the bottom so I finally relented. Dropper looped a few baits for a smallish grouper I thought would go 10 pounds, was 17 at 5 Star. A lot of 30ish pound grouper and slug yellowtail came from these drifts. Quite good fishing. Later we moved back to see if the wahoo would go after it again. Team #5 actually got bit. Reeled up a marauder with both hooks missing. No more fish so we started the move north to Guadalupe. The crossing uphill to Guadalupe was amazing. I actually got up from a nap to see if we were still moving. We had decent weather the whole trip but it really improved from here on. Arrived at the island around 9:30 PM and spent a whole hour making bait. It bit really well. We anchored for the night. Some guys fished for not much, but one guy apparently hooked a manta ray? Never stopped or slowed or acted like it was hooked. Jonathan started moving the boat around 3:30 AM to set us up for yellowtail. Apparently the tuna is an afternoon thing. After trying a couple of spots we hit the mother load. Guadalupe yellows in biting mode. Dropper loops, 2 oz sliding sinkers with macs, yo yo jigs all produced. I even got one on the surface iron. These fish were slugs, 25-40+ pounds. Casualties were high as you'd get rocked almost as often as you landed one. It was excellent fishing, and when the dust settled we had tagged 130 of them. Apparently a skipper of a boat that was at the island when we arrived, and was still there when we left, was a little miffed since that spot was in his plan to fish. We went to the tuna area and there was very little sign, and no boils on any chum. We set up and hoped they'd build on us. Remembering what the guy at the dock told me about long soaks, I sent out a horse sardine(the sardines were great this year) on a short topshot of 80# fluoro on a Mak 16 with a Phenix 760 2XH, and a 6/0 Super Mutu. This was a great bait and I soaked it like I've never done before. There was minimal current and/or wind and my bait was about 100 plus yards straight off the bow. I swear I was soaking this bait for over an hour, but I was till feeling it swim when it was exploded on. Several of us saw the boil. The fish was swimming towards the boat when it hit. I put it in gear and reeled as fast as I could but couldn't catch up and it was tight for a second then spit it. It was a bummer but, last year it took me a long time to even get a bite and here I got one early on during a very slow bite so I was encouraged. Another several baits till I could find one that would swim away and about 30-40 minutes into the soak I get bit again and hook it. I had this one on awhile, around the boat a few times, swimming at me, head shaking, then it was gone. The line was frayed and cut. At first I thought it was sharked but the skipper said it looked like a chew off. This fish really put the hurt on me. I've been fairly sedentary this past year, definitely weaker than normal, overweight and a lot less stamina and it showed. We got a few more hookups on the boat. The youngest kid hooked a 100 pounder that a large mako took the tail off of and he got the rest of the fish in. All others were lost due to tackle failures or sharks. A former pro baseball player also got 2 bites, one on 60 that he couldn't do anything with, and another on 80 that brutalized him before he lost it. We both felt like we'd been mugged. That day Jonathan told us the Searcher got a 205 pounder. Last year at the island you'd occasionally see a quick glimpse of the sharks. This year you'd frequently see them swimming around the boat. We pretty much had at least 5 of them around at any given time. A little before dusk Jonathan moved the boat away and anchored at where we made bait the night before. Everybody was fishing and a couple of guys on the dropper loops got 40 pound yellows. After dinner we made bait. It took a little longer than the previous night, but it was earlier. No one bothered fishing that night. There was no need after the day before. We were on the yellowtail spot the following morning. The two other boats at the island were near us. It took a bit but the fish got with it again. They stayed deep and losses to the rocks were significant. You'd get bit, get tight, and get rocked in the same instant. Guys were using 130 and still losing fish. Patrick was fishing the yo yo and using 80 and tagged 5 fish and donated another one to the galley. I think the fish this day were larger on average than the previous day. Once the current died the bite slowed. We made a few moves and had another spot get with it for a short time, again with major losses. I was actually laying back this day because I was still sore from my previous day. I also had only planned on tagging 6 or 8 fish and was over that. Plus I was saving myself for the rematch I was hoping for. Mostly casting the surface iron, losing a couple in the rocks, and donating a yo yo to the rocks I didn't scratch this morning. We made a move to the tuna grounds earlier today, our last day of fishing. I can't even describe how nice the weather was at Guadalupe, both sides of the island. You could waterski the water we had, just don't fall. I think the Apollo got there today also and as we were arriving he was setting on a small school of fish. We were about the same place as the day before and started seeing fish, set up a chumline, and dropped anchor. We started seeing boils soon after. There weren't a lot of fish showing but there were some. As we settled in they did start building on us. Soon people starting hooking up. I think everybody had a shot at them today. Even guys you thought wouldn't were getting bites. It doesn't mean we were landing much. The sharks were feasting. Guys on the bow said they'd look down and see five at a time. After a long soak I got bit and hooked up again, again on my 80# outfit. This fish worked me over royally. Multiple times around the boat, scorching runs. Jonathan took it around the anchor and I told him to take some wraps for me. It was like watching an artist up there working the fish. I learned just by watching for a bit. Finally, moving down the rail it was on the surface about 20 feet out. A guy made a cast that went sideways and wrapped my line. As Jonathan was going to clear his line he got bit and sawed me off. Pretty bad timing. Jonathan was pretty upset and he ran to the stern to settle down. He was more upset losing that fish than me. That fish beat me and deserved his freedom. I got a drink and put another bait out, this time on my 100# rig. The kite had been up, with the first two getting hooked up. I was third so he called me over to take over the kite rod. I had my Mak 30 with 130 spectra and a double trouble ready but he was already putting out a boat rod. The kite gets bit there but it takes awhile. After a couple of hours I got boiled on, but it knocked a bait off. After seeing if it would come back we reeled in to set out new baits. With the sun shifting and the kite and boat swinging you couldn't see the baits for a bit. We brought it in to re-bait as dusk was setting in. I was resting my hands from holding the kite rod for about 4 hours at this point. I asked the crewman if he'd get bit on the way out so I wouldn't have to reel it in as far. Sure enough he's bit and comes tight. I'm feeling better on this fish, with 200# gear. One other guy is hooked up, straight down in the port corner, so that's where my fish heads. I hand off my fish to the crew as does the other guy and we let them do their magic for about 10 minutes to clear us out. My fish then moves up the side of the boat then takes a long run out and the spectra breaks. Strike three for me. The other guy gets his fish straight down again then reels up a carcass of a 125+ fish that's been destroyed by sharks. While I was in kite jail we did keep getting bit. The interesting part is the skipper said that people could try the chunk. Several guys did and hooked up. The chunk was getting bit very well. It's something those going out later may want to try. We had guys lose their fish to broken hooks, line and connection failures, and sharks of course. Something else that's happening there, and what they think happened with my kite fish, is that with so many sharks hanging around lines are rubbing them and getting damaged. Not a lot you can do about it. Just keep it in mind and constantly check and monitor your line. I saw the coolest thing while hooked up one time. This giant shark came swimming out from under the boat close enough to see the pilot fish and remora on it. I wish I had a video of it. It's getting dark, most guys are stopping. I'm still fishing my 100# gear. No more good baits were in the well so I sent a nice chunk out. Shortly after, I'm bit again but it feels slower and not very tuna-ish. I came tight for a minute before the fish came off. I said it was shark. Just then a big shark comes to the surface where my line was and makes this aggressive tail slash at us. Guadalupe is a special place. We landed 8 or 9 tuna total. I don't lament losing my fish because they beat me. If and when I get better I'll get some. I'm actually pretty satisfied since I was able to get bit okay, and it's tough to get a bite there. I'm certain had I not been in kite jail I could have gotten more chances. We ate dinner on the anchor then made the crossing to Ensenada in calm seas. I consider this trip extremely successful. I wanted fall variety with a bonus shot a bigger fish. I got it all. I was planning to only bring home 6 or 7 fish, but ended up with almost double that. I've been on trips where I brought home much more, but my attitude has changed. I caught tuna, wahoo, yellowtail, dorado, grouper, and marlin. I tried a new(to me) boat and have already signed on it again for next year. If it's not already this trip will be sold out very soon. Next year I hope to be back on my water skiing regime which should leave me better prepared to give battle. Thanks to the RP, Jonathan, Greg, Daryl, Doug, Eddie, Chris, Joe and Joe in the galley, Monica in the office-what a sweetheart. John from Shimano was cool. A couple of guys got new rods, a couple of new reels, everybody got a few large Flat Falls and a hat.