RP 12-8 to 12-15 - a brief post with lessons learned.

Dexter Outdoors

locvetter

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  • Mar 24, 2015
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    Loc Vetter
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    Loc Vetter Casting
    So a few notes from my long planned-for 7 day.

    1) Better anglers are successful, not lucky. Illustrations:
    • When walking from the Vagabond Inn to Fishermans early the day of departure I was looking at the stacks of fish from another boat just offloading. Stack #24 was really an outlier. Bigger yellowtail, more Wahoo, more tuna. Thought to myself I like to have a chat with that angler. Just a bit later was again walking from the Inn and noticed a cart filled with well used gear. Something was tagged #24. There was a Covid masked fisherman leaning over the cart. I bent to see, yes it was John Collins. I thanked him for his videos and his knot.
    • We went first to out near Tanner bank, as the boat had limited two days prior on nice bluefin in that area. There was a semi hot bite in the early morning - 6 fish, about 40 to about 120. Of note: Three of them by one guy, Gil! I felt very fortunate to be one of only four guys with fish (18 anglers on the trip). Gil was good. You could tell by his bait selection. How effortlessly he pinned his sardines, his placing them a bit further from the boat and just the way he held his setup. He got his three, to everyone else's one or none, because of attention to detail executed smoothly. When asked he reinforces that he thinks the key is biggest greenest sardine - he nose hooks them all, 2/0 (smallish) Mutu, and allowing the bait to look natural.
    • I been at this a while -- caught first yellowtail in 1962, age 12. Have watched and listened to a lot of good anglers. Lurked on blogs. Noted that alan Tani's nice one recently was on a 2/0 ringed fliliner on 30 lb. I went with 40 lb fluoro with a 1/0 ringed flyliner, my Grabowski Wahoo Special and Talica 12, butt hooked a nice big green one and bingo had my nice bluefin. Loved it! I am NOT putting myself in the class of the others in this section, but this one time it was clearly the attention to details learned from them and others before.
    • Later in the trip - inshore fishing. everybody was sorting through less desirable stuff to get at the yellowtail. Dave, the chef-for-three-years-spoert-boat-guy-for-40, came on deck. Picked up his jig stick - blue and white TADY 45 heavy, 50 yard 60lb mono topshot, smooth long casting and sink time a bit longer than needed to clear the little loose loops on the reel - and caught 6 yellows in a row, calmly filleted them for the next nights dinner.
    Yep, it ain't just luck!

    2) Remember being told to load your reels with the spectra under tension? Do it. Case in point:
    I was in kite jail - actually not so slow to call it jail, but was on the bow with my kite setup, hoping and watching. Came to pass that Chuck generally on my left and Gerard mostly on the right, were both on nicer fish. Both on 40 lb setups, so needed to be careful. Suffice it to say that when Captain Roy came to help Chuck, his words were wincingly colorful when making his assessment of the teen tackle shop employee who had loaded Chucks beautiful Accurate reel. the line was digging in horribly. Gil was very skilled at trying to cushion the lost smooth function. Over an hour - slowed by this simple detail, before he lost his fish at color. Gerard's setup worked perfectly, and his fish was about 120:

    Gerard with nice bluefin12-9.JPG


    This will be a relatively short report, as I have avoided negativity, as possible, in my 570 posts to date.

    The decision was made to leave the bluefin grounds, but not head for Alijos or other offshore options, but rather head to the inshore spots. No real hope for tuna or wahoo or ... . Rather we would pursue inshore species. While I would have enjoyed catching perhaps a white seabass, or a big halibut, (none were caught) I really signed on for this trip to seek offshore species and had planned and equipped/packed for those. The schedule had even been lengthened from 6 to 7 days to allow time for Alijos. (The original Guadalupe destination is a Covid/Political no go.) Anyway, we fished for about 4 1/2 days for the same stuff I sought as a kid on half day boats. Later, I did talk to Roy about the decision, and understand his rationale, and it is his call.

    Happy Holidays, everyone.
     
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    flickfish

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    FWIW - I was on the 10 day trip before yours. We went to the rocks and it was devoid of Wahoo. Just 3 for 2 days. We did get some decent numbers of nice-sized yellowtail. We boogied out early. The Ridge was loaded with peanut YFT (lucky to get a 15#) and some better wahoo numbers (everyone got at least one) but it was 3 days of work to get those. The inshore spots had very productive 12-18# yellowtail fishing, sheepshead, and other species. I can see why he might have made the decisions he did given you had only 7 days and what was seen in the trip prior. I feel like for a 7 day trip, you really need to be sure that you're going to hit the jackpot to travel almost 40 hours one way. Regardless, I always trust Roy to make the right decision.
     
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    TOTW

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    Glad you were able to capitalize on the opportunity out west, Loc! I imagine weather was also a factor with leaving the outside banks, too. In any event, thanks for sharing, and hoping you have another adventure planned so we can get another report--and see what you have cooking next in that woodshop of yours!
     
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    afraser

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    Ugh, 4 days of inshore fishing. Might have been a mutiny on some boats :). But if that's all there is... no choice. My biggest problem is pursuing those 5-10lb YFT when there is a chance at bigger BFT or even any bigger tuna. We did a BFT or bust trip late this year and we got 3 big ones on the last day with the kite. Turns out that sometimes, just sitting in the zone and flying the kites works better than trying to find a biting school. Another boat, the game changer, had 11 or 12 big BFT during the same period just sitting still and waiting for the bite.
     
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    Bill W

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    Game was small on my last 8 day. I really did not care, I was on the water. I do understand where you are coming from though. Lots of skipjack and small yellowfin on the Ridge. I got my 150# ATD-50 and used the skippies with clipped tails to fish for big grouper. Got bit but it wasn’t a grouper, a thousand pound marlin shook his head out of water and then lost it. Worth every penny. Did get a wahoo and a dozen nice yellows. Just nice to be on the water...
     
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    flickfish

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    Ugh, 4 days of inshore fishing. Might have been a mutiny on some boats :). But if that's all there is... no choice. My biggest problem is pursuing those 5-10lb YFT when there is a chance at bigger BFT or even any bigger tuna. We did a BFT or bust trip late this year and we got 3 big ones on the last day with the kite. Turns out that sometimes, just sitting in the zone and flying the kites works better than trying to find a biting school. Another boat, the game changer, had 11 or 12 big BFT during the same period just sitting still and waiting for the bite.

    That doesn't work for every charter though. I personally would rather not fish for days to watch 3-6 guys catch a big fish when there are 20 other guys that get nothing.
     
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    locvetter

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    Game was small on my last 8 day. I really did not care, I was on the water. I do understand where you are coming from though. Lots of skipjack and small yellowfin on the Ridge. I got my 150# ATD-50 and used the skippies with clipped tails to fish for big grouper. Got bit but it wasn’t a grouper, a thousand pound marlin shook his head out of water and then lost it. Worth every penny. Did get a wahoo and a dozen nice yellows. Just nice to be on the water...
    Bill, you have a great attitude. Glad we did not lose you to a heart attack when you saw that marlin!
     
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    Bill W

    tunaholic
  • Jan 12, 2006
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    Bill, you have a great attitude. Glad we did not lose you to a heart attack when you saw that marlin!

    The trip the next year did get in to some nice grouper, have to think that a few of them wanted some of that big fish action on skippies. Did not bother me one bit, that big fish deserved to live...
     
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    Oldtimer2

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    Jul 29, 2020
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    don't got no boat
    Thank you for your post about your trip. It's alway nice to read about fishing.

    On my modest number of LR trips (8), I have always wanted to fish "offshore" type species, YFT, BFT, YT, Wahoo, etc. Like you, I really had no great desire to fish for bottom fish.

    The average person signs up for a LR trip about a year in advance and dreams and prepares for it the entire year. If you are lucky, you get to go LR once a year, or maybe only once every two years. I would have been sad if several days of the trip were devoted to bottom fish and/or halibut. I would have rather tried for offshore type fish and failed, than inshore and got some.

    I think your attitude, however, is outstanding. Kudos.
     
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    2Rotten

    Live in Oregon/Love to Fish San Diego!
    Jan 10, 2010
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    You're back! Good job Loc, glad your hand healed up. I'm with you on wishing for more offshore, not inshore. The anticipation of Mr. Big always keeps me focused and happy at the rail!
     
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    caballo del mar

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    The other passengers on the 10 day you saw on the RP before you left had there fish processed by 5 Star. They picked up their fish from the boat and put them in bins. 90 percent of the passengers didn’t have a pile at all. Some just had small piles because that’s the fish they were going to keep. A 10 day would give a better shot down below. I was on a 7 day in October and did a trip similar trip to yours. The bluefin are way bigger than Ridge yellowfin. The only big tuna available is on the Lower Banks and those are hard to come by. Glad I don’t have to make the call because I guarantee not everyone will be satisfied with the decision.
     
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    locvetter

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    The other passengers on the 10 day you saw on the RP before you left had there fish processed by 5 Star. They picked up their fish from the boat and put them in bins. 90 percent of the passengers didn’t have a pile at all. Some just had small piles because that’s the fish they were going to keep.
    It was the piles from the Vagabond I was viewing. I am well aware of the wonderful convenience of the processing coming off the RP. I used it myself. Do other boats have that arrangement?
     
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    locvetter

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    Just to mention: Gerard's fish was beatiful pictured above. About an hour after I finished my Kite rotation I was back fly lining and chatting when FOUR crew members, each with a gaff in his fish ceremoniously down the starboard side and hefted it in unison over the rail. Gerard's setup was a Talica 10 (tiny looking) with 40lb Cigar Pink floor topshot and brand of spectra lost to time, on a Phoenix Talus rod.

    My fish, unfortunately, was just a bit large for star deck Trevon to do a cheat hold photo - (holding it out with wide angle lens), so it is what it is. My setup included my old Super Seeker 6470-H Dan Grabowski Wahoo Special with my Talica 12 - which looks huge compared to Gerard's setup. Of late I have more UC rods, but this old one always makes my quiver and adds a bit of tried-and-true confidence when I use it.

    I used Blackwater fluoro leader about 20 feet long. I still use a loop to loop whenever possible. Of interest to me was that when I discussed spectra to fluoro knots with apex captain Roy, his preference is still the older fashioned Albright. (Which I think of as having evolved to a more standardized RP/John Collins.) There might have been an FC knot on the boat, but I did not see one.

    Bluefin from 12-10-20 RP.JPG
     
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    Mar 18, 2011
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    So a few notes from my long planned-for 7 day.

    1) Better anglers are successful, not lucky. Illustrations:
    • When walking from the Vagabond Inn to Fishermans early the day of departure I was looking at the stacks of fish from another boat just offloading. Stack #24 was really an outlier. Bigger yellowtail, more Wahoo, more tuna. Thought to myself I like to have a chat with that angler. Just a bit later was again walking from the Inn and noticed a cart filled with well used gear. Something was tagged #24. There was a Covid masked fisherman leaning over the cart. I bent to see, yes it was John Collins. I thanked him for his videos and his knot.
    • We went first to out near Tanner bank, as the boat had limited two days prior on nice bluefin in that area. There was a semi hot bite in the early morning - 6 fish, about 40 to about 120. Of note: Three of them by one guy, Gil! I felt very fortunate to be one of only four guys with fish (18 anglers on the trip). Gil was good. You could tell by his bait selection. How effortlessly he pinned his sardines, his placing them a bit further from the boat and just the way he held his setup. He got his three, to everyone else's one or none, because of attention to detail executed smoothly. When asked he reinforces that he thinks the key is biggest greenest sardine - he nose hooks them all, 2/0 (smallish) Mutu, and allowing the bait to look natural.
    • I been at this a while -- caught first yellowtail in 1962, age 12. Have watched and listened to a lot of good anglers. Lurked on blogs. Noted that alan Tani's nice one recently was on a 2/0 ringed fliliner on 30 lb. I went with 40 lb fluoro with a 1/0 ringed flyliner, my Grabowski Wahoo Special and Talica 12, butt hooked a nice big green one and bingo had my nice bluefin. Loved it! I am NOT putting myself in the class of the others in this section, but this one time it was clearly the attention to details learned from them and others before.
    • Later in the trip - inshore fishing. everybody was sorting through less desirable stuff to get at the yellowtail. Dave, the chef-for-three-years-spoert-boat-guy-for-40, came on deck. Picked up his jig stick - blue and white TADY 45 heavy, 50 yard 60lb mono topshot, smooth long casting and sink time a bit longer than needed to clear the little loose loops on the reel - and caught 6 yellows in a row, calmly filleted them for the next nights dinner.
    Yep, it ain't just luck!

    2) Remember being told to load your reels with the spectra under tension? Do it. Case in point:
    I was in kite jail - actually not so slow to call it jail, but was on the bow with my kite setup, hoping and watching. Came to pass that Chuck generally on my left and Gerard mostly on the right, were both on nicer fish. Both on 40 lb setups, so needed to be careful. Suffice it to say that when Captain Roy came to help Chuck, his words were wincingly colorful when making his assessment of the teen tackle shop employee who had loaded Chucks beautiful Accurate reel. the line was digging in horribly. Gil was very skilled at trying to cushion the lost smooth function. Over an hour - slowed by this simple detail, before he lost his fish at color. Gerard's setup worked perfectly, and his fish was about 120:

    View attachment 1234631

    This will be a relatively short report, as I have avoided negativity, as possible, in my 570 posts to date.

    The decision was made to leave the bluefin grounds, but not head for Alijos or other offshore options, but rather head to the inshore spots. No real hope for tuna or wahoo or ... . Rather we would pursue inshore species. While I would have enjoyed catching perhaps a white seabass, or a big halibut, (none were caught) I really signed on for this trip to seek offshore species and had planned and equipped/packed for those. The schedule had even been lengthened from 6 to 7 days to allow time for Alijos. (The original Guadalupe destination is a Covid/Political no go.) Anyway, we fished for about 4 1/2 days for the same stuff I sought as a kid on half day boats. Later, I did talk to Roy about the decision, and understand his rationale, and it is his call.

    Happy Holidays, everyone.

    Hey Loc - thanks for the write up. BTW - I was on the 10 day trip aboard the RP that returned on 12/08. As FlickFish mentioned, we had outstanding BFT fishing at Tanner on 12/07 and unbelievable YT fishing at Hippolito on 12/05. Capt. Roy is the best in the business and his ability to make the right move at the right time is why he is legendary. Going to Tanner was the right call, as there were massive schools of BFT in the area. A few of us did very well with a small circle hook (size 2 & 4) and a 10' 40lb topshot with a big shoulder hooked sardine.

    Now back to the inshore fishing move.......since you spent a day at Tanner, that now takes Alijos and Hippolito out of the equation due to the distance and travel time. Knowing Roy well, he hates burning up days travelling (500 miles each way) when the trip is limited to a certain amount of days. All factors included (ie weather) most likely played into his decisions. Sure you guys could have steamed to Alijos, but you would of had maybe 1 - 1.5 days or less before you needed to come back up the line due to the weather forecast. Which means you would of only had about 2 days of fishing on a 7 day.....that would have been a tough pill to swallow. Instead your group had 4.5 days of fishing....I like the odds.

    Look at it this way, at least you weren't stuck at home in front of a computer like the majority of us! Just getting out on the water and away from land is the best way to hit your "reset" button and to clear the mind of stress. Happy Holidays!
     
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    locvetter

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  • Mar 24, 2015
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    Loc Vetter
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    Hey Loc - thanks for the write up. BTW - I was on the 10 day trip aboard the RP that returned on 12/08. As FlickFish mentioned, we had outstanding BFT fishing at Tanner on 12/07 and unbelievable YT fishing at Hippolito on 12/05. Capt. Roy is the best in the business and his ability to make the right move at the right time is why he is legendary. Going to Tanner was the right call, as there were massive schools of BFT in the area. A few of us did very well with a small circle hook (size 2 & 4) and a 10' 40lb topshot with a big shoulder hooked sardine.

    Now back to the inshore fishing move.......since you spent a day at Tanner, that now takes Alijos and Hippolito out of the equation due to the distance and travel time. Knowing Roy well, he hates burning up days travelling (500 miles each way) when the trip is limited to a certain amount of days. All factors included (ie weather) most likely played into his decisions. Sure you guys could have steamed to Alijos, but you would of had maybe 1 - 1.5 days or less before you needed to come back up the line due to the weather forecast. Which means you would of only had about 2 days of fishing on a 7 day.....that would have been a tough pill to swallow. Instead your group had 4.5 days of fishing....I like the odds.

    Look at it this way, at least you weren't stuck at home in front of a computer like the majority of us! Just getting out on the water and away from land is the best way to hit your "reset" button and to clear the mind of stress. Happy Holidays!
    Of course you are absolutely correct. Roy is Apex. The boat is fine if mature. ROY’s decision to go where we went was the best one, all things considered. I do enjoy time on the water (though would have preferred smoother water for the last five days.
    It was at that point that you couldn’t drift off for fear of being thrown from your bunk.)
    Thank you for your carefully considered response to my post. I must say that fishing forEven the school blue fin that we caught with size 2 and four hooks would require Excellent sphincter tone.
    Thanks again.
     
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    Lake

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    Mar 31, 2003
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    What's the best time to go to Alijos? September or October?
    Both times are good. It varies year to year and week to week which is best. If I'm hoping for the rocks I try to see how many boats are out at that time with time to fish the rocks. For wahoo two's a crowd there.
     
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    Mar 18, 2011
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    Doug
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    Royal Polaris
    Of course you are absolutely correct. Roy is Apex. The boat is fine if mature. ROY’s decision to go where we went was the best one, all things considered. I do enjoy time on the water (though would have preferred smoother water for the last five days.
    It was at that point that you couldn’t drift off for fear of being thrown from your bunk.)
    Thank you for your carefully considered response to my post. I must say that fishing forEven the school blue fin that we caught with size 2 and four hooks would require Excellent sphincter tone.
    Thanks again.

    Hey Loc - hahaha....sphincter tone, I like that!!!! You would be surprised what those little size 2 & 4 hooks can hold on to! I always used those Gamakatsu Nautilus circles, but at times they would bend out. Then Ken Corwin turned me onto those tiny #2 & 4 Owner Mutu's and that's my "go to" hook up to 60lb. Take care and Happy Holidays!
     
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