Rpt.-04-19-19 A 1.5 day Relentless Bluefin Tuna Slam!

Tunaslam

I've posted enough I should edit this section
Apr 25, 2003
20,691
6,536
73
Diamond Bar, Ca 91765
Name
Cory Visser
Boat
N/A
1.5 Day Bluefin Tuna fishing trip on the Relentless-ending Sunday 04-20-19



Departure Friday 04-18-19.



I left my office in San Bernardino at 3:00 pm and headed south to Point Loma in San Diego; arriving at 5:50 pm. There was heavy traffic most of the way. The Parking area had a sign up “Full” 30 minute parking only, I pulled my ticket and turned the corner and there was a spot open, yee ha!



The boat was scheduled to leave at 8pm; and when I got on the boat and the bunk selection was excellent, choosing a starboard side middle bunk. I said hello to Captain Mikey, cook Kyle, crew Michael and Nate and the second ticket Dave, all a great crew.



Captain Mikey left the dock with 19 anxious anglers at a few minutes after 8. We stopped for bait with smaller 4-5 inch sardines as bait and some anchovies for chum. We cleared the Point around 9:15 with an 80 mile drive down to our starting area. The seas were a bit lumpy, but not bad with an 8-10 knot breeze.



Day 1 Saturday-04-19-19



I was up at 5:15 am with the smell of fresh coffee brewing drawing me into the galley. It was a little bit breezy out, but no whitecaps and only 2-3 foot seas. Better than forecasted, strange, and the 15 to 20 knot winds never appeared throughout the entire day?



Captain Mikey slowed down a bit at 7:30am reaching the desired starting area. He metered Tuna off and on; however, they remained deep despite throwing out a scoop of bait until around 9am. Then Captain Mikey got real excited, hollering there is a huge school underneath us, throw several scoops. Within 30 seconds there were boils in the stern, then there boils all around us. Finally the sound we all love to hear “Fresh One”.



It was hooked on one of only two fish caught on Flat falls today, about a 25 pounder. It was a real slow pick on the Tuna; you had to have the perfect bait at the perfect time. I spent the first hour of the drift in total frustration. A few picked baits, but no hookups. Patience is a virtue, as I finally had a solid hookup on 30 pound, with a #1 circle hook on a butt hooked sardine. The crew was constantly preaching small hooks, but suggested 40 pound as minimum, due to the size of recent fish caught in the area.



I put quick work to a dink, about 20 pounds, but the skunk is off and life is good! I had originally started with 50 pound, then dropped to 40 and then down to 30 hoping some the huge boils around didn’t decide to choose my bait. About ten minutes later was hooked up again and landed a 25 pounder, we were all safe with this size fish, however, a few anglers got bit on light line and paid the price. Although several fish over 50 pounds were landed, while experiencing long battles.

1.5 Relentless-04-19-19 2019-04-20 001 (578x1024).jpg 1.5 Relentless-04-19-19 2019-04-20 002 (768x1024).jpg

Another 20 baits cast and I hooked number three. This was obviously a bigger fish, after taking a long first run. The Bluefin did make a critical mistake and did the kamikaze straight back to the boat, allowing me to gain valuable line back. A few deep circles and a 35 pounder was boated. At high noon the bite died and the tuna disappeared. At this time we had landed 17 Tuna for the 19 anglers. I was feeling very satisfied.



Captain Mickey put us on top of another school within about 30 minutes, but this school had better size to it and he hollered no light line. A few didn’t listen and got spooled, or had very long fights, only to get chewed off or hooks pulled. A few landed fish on the lighter line, but needed crew help after going around the boat a number of times. I switched to 40 pound with Flouro, always, and a number one hook. No bites in the stern for me on this rig. I saw the size of the fish being landed and decided to go to 50 pound reducing the size of the hook to a #2.



I decided to toss my bait off the bow, as few others got fresh hookups up there. My first and second bait were both picked, amazing how fish this size can simply grab a bait and pull it off the hook, although that is what happens with butt hooked baits? On my third cast I was hammered within ten seconds, and the initial run was at least 150 yards, it was a big one. I pulled hard for about ten minutes, then the big Tuna sounded and I had to put the rod on the rail to hold on. Then the hook pulled, darn.



I tossed another bait and got picked again, and the next bait was bit almost instantly. This one stuck and sounded immediately, a good thing there was no bottom, because it went straight down a long ways. About ten minutes into the battle, hollered deep color. I got the brute to within ten feet of the gaff, but it was one those tough guys, that would not give up. I would gain a crank, and it would take it right back.



Now reaching an age of 72 next month and having spent some 7 hours at the rail and having already fought five Bluefin, my arms cramped up and then I got a serious knot in my calf muscle. I told Captain Mickey next to me, you have got to take this or I might drop my rod, screw the fish, I didn’t want to lose a $500+ outfit. Even after Captain Mikey took over the feisty Tuna took him to the stern, back up to the bow and around to the other side before being gaffed. This is was the only first time ever I have handed off a fish I couldn’t land? The old gray mare just ain’t what she used to be? I was done for the day. This is a 40+ pound Bluefin.

P3.png P4.png

It was 2:30 and I had double limits, enough is enough. BTW the extra fish would go to crew or any unlucky anglers. We now had 21 Bluefin on board, a couple to 75 pounds with many casualties.



We spent the next four hours scratching a fish here and there, with a few more anglers getting spooled and all the fish landed over 50 pounds and closer to 60. At 6:30 pm Captain Mikey came across a huge school and it was utter chaos. There were boils everywhere and way too many hooking fish at the same time. All these Bluefin were big. I watched the Malay, and was sad not to participate, but life was still good, I rested my bruised body, quite happy to watch others strain and tire.



It was one of those epic sundowner bites that saved the day for many who had not been fortunate to land their limit. The bite lasted well into the dark and the final Talley was 46 Bluefin Tuna, limits for passengers and crew. JP was about 75 pounds as several 85-90 pound Bluefin required crew assistance and thus were disqualified.



When Captain Mickey punched the boat for home, we were 86 miles from the Point.



Cook Kyle was busy cooking up delicious Breakfast Burritos and Bacon Cheeseburgers, Turkey, Ham or BLT sandwiches for lunch, and Pork Loin with Carrots and mashed potatoes for dinner. Desert was ice cream and cake. He also assisted on many a gaff and hand offs from exhausted anglers on big fish.



Sunday-04-20-19-Easter Sunday



The crew woke us up at 4:15am to take pictures. Due to the late bite and the need to let the latest caught tuna cool, the fish cleaning would commence shortly. I enjoyed some coffee and took a few pictures.

1.5 Relentless-04-19-19 2019-04-20 004 (866x1024).jpg 1.5 Relentless-04-19-19 2019-04-20 005 (768x1024).jpg 1.5 Relentless-04-19-19 2019-04-20 007 (768x1024).jpg 1.5 Relentless-04-19-19 2019-04-20 008 (1024x782).jpg 1.5 Relentless-04-19-19 2019-04-20 009 (677x1024).jpg P1.png P2.png P5.png P6.png P7.png


We docked at 7:30am and I was on the road to Diamond Bar by 7:50am, arriving home shortly after 9:35am. The wife was anxious and ready to go to Easter Service, I showered and we just made it on time for the first hymn.

Captain Mikey thank you so much for your attention to detail, great crew, comfortable boat, and dedication to finding biting fish!



Hook up! Cory
 
Last edited:

jughead

I've posted enough I should edit this section
Jun 10, 2006
546
366
70
Alpine
Name
John
Boat
24 Seaswirl striper
Outstanding report old timer. What an epic trip. Congrats on getting on this epic bite of 2019. Happy Easter!!!!
 
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seadancer

I've posted enough I should edit this section
Jul 2, 2007
183
163
Westminster, CA
Name
Craig Gilbert
Boat
none
Great report Cory. My only surprise is that you didn’t catch the jackpot.

Your report reminds me of once in Cabo where I had a 45’ Trojan.
We were were thick in a school of 25-30# YFT. I put on a 12oz sinker to go deep fast to get below the smaller fish to the bigger fish below. I hooked a big YFT on live mac & handed off to a 65-70 year old guest. I figured it was maybe a 40-50#. After 30 minutes I was thinking maybe 75#. After 60 minutes maybe 100#. His arms & hands were cramping up. He finally handed me the rod and said “take over”, I can’t hold it any longer. This is where it gets funny. He handed me the rod and the fish immediately took me to the rail. I could hardly manage the fish pinned to the rail and my 65-70 year old guest was able to hold the rod off the rail the whole time for 1 hour. His hands were stuck in the same cramped position for a while. Finally landed a 175# fish. I don’t like catching big fish any more following my share of tuna to 250# & blue marlin to 450# in Cabo.
I’ll settle for a 30# Yellowtail or YFT at this point. Or a 25# BFT.
Thanks again for your excellent report.
 

surfgoose

active geezer
Jul 29, 2010
2,771
3,951
Long Beach, CA, USA
Name
Gary
Boat
whichever has the longest bunk
Outstanding as always! You are tougher than me although a bit younger, I've been sharing hard fighting fish for several years now. Next step -- realizing that the first five minutes of the fight, the pickup and hookup and first run, is 90% of the fun. I get a lot of pleasure and satisfaction from handing-off once I have a couple of tagged fish. And there is always someone who wants to take over.

I set the crew tip money aside before I get onto the boat, and don't get into the jackpot anymore. It takes a lot of pressure off.
 

Cbaldwin

A whales vagina
Jul 14, 2016
187
675
La Mesa
Name
Connor Baldwin
Boat
yes
I hope when i am 72 i can pull on fish as hard as you did and do! Super bummed i couldnt take work off this week and get in on that bite. Cheers you had a hot stick. Jonesing to get on the h2o real soon. Well done, Aloha
 
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lkatdpelicanfly

Lizard Fish Slayer
Jun 23, 2009
2,223
836
sou cal
Name
Frank
Boat
Kayak
Nice report..sounds difficult fishing that grade of fish with such small hooks. Then there's Scotty... Kind of like Waldo...you never know what boat he'll pop up on.
 
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Tunaslam

I've posted enough I should edit this section
Apr 25, 2003
20,691
6,536
73
Diamond Bar, Ca 91765
Name
Cory Visser
Boat
N/A
Great report Cory. My only surprise is that you didn’t catch the jackpot.

Your report reminds me of once in Cabo where I had a 45’ Trojan.
We were were thick in a school of 25-30# YFT. I put on a 12oz sinker to go deep fast to get below the smaller fish to the bigger fish below. I hooked a big YFT on live mac & handed off to a 65-70 year old guest. I figured it was maybe a 40-50#. After 30 minutes I was thinking maybe 75#. After 60 minutes maybe 100#. His arms & hands were cramping up. He finally handed me the rod and said “take over”, I can’t hold it any longer. This is where it gets funny. He handed me the rod and the fish immediately took me to the rail. I could hardly manage the fish pinned to the rail and my 65-70 year old guest was able to hold the rod off the rail the whole time for 1 hour. His hands were stuck in the same cramped position for a while. Finally landed a 175# fish. I don’t like catching big fish any more following my share of tuna to 250# & blue marlin to 450# in Cabo.
I’ll settle for a 30# Yellowtail or YFT at this point. Or a 25# BFT.
Thanks again for your excellent report.
I avoided the temptation to throw a bait during the wide open bite knowing how big the fish were and how sore my body was. At this age you have a bit more common sense, there are no promises for tomorrow, live for today!
 

doncatfish

I've posted enough I should edit this section
Dec 21, 2006
465
1,173
San Clemente
Name
Don
Boat
30' Albemarle
Nicely done Cory and great report once again. There is no shame in handing a fish off at the right moment, it’s shows your wisdom. Congratulations on a great trip!!!!
 
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sueno

Go Fishing!
Jun 3, 2003
2,516
2,691
San Diego
Name
Doug
Boat
Parker 2310
Congratulations!!! Great report! You should get a free membership for life with your fishing reporting!
See you on the water!
 
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mike82

I've posted enough I should edit this section
Aug 19, 2013
911
617
west coast
Name
mike
Boat
a fish killing center console
Outstanding red team! Outstanding! Getcha a case of beer for that one...
 
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fishfish

I've posted enough I should edit this section
Jun 21, 2006
2,665
749
54
Santee
Name
Gerry
Boat
Sold and Gone!!!
Cory,
You got 20 years on my 52 but I am sure you'd kick my ass on the rail any day of the year !!! I am not surprised you did so well.
Keep on killin 'em....