It is my PB, I assisted in catching a 162 pound Bluefin last year on a kite, which I consider a boat fish. Hooking your own and landing your own PB is the ultimate!Wow! All can say is wow, and wow again.
Great job and congrats.
By the way, this may be a stupid question, but is this your personal best?
Can't change my avatar, too unique, and I could not replace as the software is history!Congratulations Cory! Great write up as usual.
You've been paying your dues and it paid off. Way to go.
But it leaves you with a tough decision: does the pig green ling in your avatar get retired? As good a picture as it is, I vote yes! Fly that PB Toro hog with pride.
118 lbs way to go Cory awesome!!ImpressiveDeparture Monday 07-24-17.
I got a call from a buddy that Bluefin went off at San Clemente Island today and he suggested I hop on the Toronado with special pricing if you mentioned Terrence's website at $125. And BTW they had a light load of just 15 reservations, although the word got out and we left the dock with 24, still a decent load for a 75’ boat.
The boat was scheduled to leave at 10pm and I arrived at Pierpoint landing at 8:15 pm. There were plenty of anglers waiting to board. I paid $3 for parking and got spot # 17 close by.
The boat loaded at 9:20 pm and we left the dock on time, with the last angler arriving at 9:55 pm. Gad why do they have to cut it so close and besides the Captain was itching to get going as the best bite was in the wee hours like before 4am.
We stopped for bait at Nachos, loading up with very healthy Sardines. The word was that Glow in the dark Flatfalls were the e-ticket and nothing less than 60 pound line. Of course there were numerous on the boat that did not bring heavy gear, as they thought they were fishing the island for Yellowtail and Bass?
I hit the bunk at 10:30 and quickly fell asleep. The ride out was extremely pleasant.
The bunk lights came on at 3:30 am and I poured myself a fresh cup of coffee. The seas were very calm, and we were just passing Pyramid Head. Off in the distance, Desperation Reef was looking like a small city of boats.
Captain Ray with second ticket Dan stopped the boat on a good meter mark and we drifted. Not five minutes into the drift there were three hook ups. All on Flatfalls. I got bumped and missed the hook set, darn. A 30 pound and a 40 pound Bluefin were quickly landed. The third fish was lost. Another hookup and then another, these were bigger fish and the anglers were not prepared, as after long runs and a tenacious fight, both the bigger fish were lost.
At 4:15am, my 300G Glow in the Dark lure was bumped again and I put the reel in gear and began to wind, three cranks later I’m on, Fresh One! I was using a Talica 12 2 speed loaded with 80 pound Spectra, a 30 foot top shot of 80 pound CXXX and a 150 LB. Flouro Leader. I had heard that the bigger Bluefin were swallowing the lure and in a long fight chewed through the line.
I worked the fish up from the 250 foot depth when the fish decided this isn’t what I want to do and made a run from the bow to the stern and out another 150 yards. Didn’t think it was ever going to stop? I began the slow pump back to the boat, when it did the Kamikaze on me. I wound like hell and caught up to it, and so it made another nice run, then repeated the Kamikaze. I got it straight up and down and it ran to the bow, of course through all the lines and at least two other Hook Ups. So much fun in the dark, when it is so difficult to see your line and all the others. The crew was on it like glue, and we waded through the mess and the big fish settled in the bow. About 12 minutes into the fight I had color. I knew I was close when the mono top shot came on the reel.
I worked the huge Bluefin close to gaff range, but it wanted no part of the boat. Took a 30 foot plunge straight down, and crossed under the bow to the other side. Again the crew got me around the pulpit and we repeated this process three times. Finally I gained a few feet every short pump and it circled right into a waiting gaff. It took three to haul it over the side. I guessed 120 pounds and it taped out at 118, a good guess!
A 60 pound Bluefin was landed and a few big ones were into an hour of fighting. The anglers all requested assistance from the crew to bring these beasts to the gaff. The crew assisted Bluefin taped out to 133 and 148, which I think was the biggest?
At 8:30 am we had six fish on the boat, and more than that lost. We made a move after the four drift and found another school. We hooked and landed another 100 pound fish on bait and two more on the Flatfalls. All took nearly an hour to land. Frank landed the eventual 133 pound jackpot after a monster fight on 50 pound line. He must have went around the boat 6 to 8 times.
There were more heart breaks on long fought fish. It was obvious on several, which even with using the correct tackle and 60 pound line, their drags were not set well and made it too easy on the fish to take line. You simply have to put pressure on these big monsters constantly and fish a tight drag. Too many bad things can happen when a fish is on that long.
Three crew members took turns fighting a nasty Bluefin, which found about 20 lines to entangle itself in. It was a miracle they landed the fish.
I had switched to my 50 pound outfit and a 200G lure, as my arm was cramping up from the constant winding of the bigger lure on heavy tackle. At 10:30 am I was bit on the full crank half way up from about 250 feet. It took its first run straight down and I held on for dear life. It stopped and I could barely budge it, a few minutes later it unbuttoned. No doubt it was another big boy!
All the boats had scattered and we metered fish very sporadically. I believe we hooked our last fish near noon. None between my hook up and the last one. It was a very short fight as the angler was not skilled and put no pressure on the fish and it quickly unbuttoned.
We headed home at 3pm with an 8:15 pm ETA at the dock. What a day to see such huge fish caught so close to the island. The 118 pound Bluefin is my personal best although I assisted in landing a boat fish on the kite last year that went 162 pounds.
The crew and Captain were heads up on everything, saving fish that would not have made it on board without their help. Although the losses were painful, all anglers knew they were given every chance to land their fish as the crew got them out of one mess after another in these long hour+ fights. Cook Kevin made outstanding Breakfast Burritos and a mega bacon, mushroom cheeseburger!
I enjoyed the trip immensely, and met some fine new folks. Captain Ray and second ticket Dan worked their tails off to keep us on the fish. Thank you so much for your help, a comfortable boat, and dedication to finding biting fish!
Hook up! Cory
View attachment 853616 View attachment 853617 View attachment 853618 View attachment 853619 View attachment 853620 View attachment 853621 View attachment 853622 View attachment 853623 View attachment 853624 View attachment 853625