Sorry for the late report, been a struggle catching back up after this trip. Had an opening to jump on my buddy's 2530 with one other friend and could not say no. Leading up to the trip people were fired up to go until we explained to them that this kind of trip would be a huge success if we even got one bite, hopefully a monster. Sonny and I had been foaming over the recent good bites on the Cows out west, so we were like F it, we are going no matter what. We tried to get one or two others to roll but crew were dropping out, apparently the draw of a huge BFT only calls so many. We were able to convince Zinn the hippie to go with us, while his fishing skills aren't great he is tough as an Ox and also not a baby. An avid surfer, he knows the chase is as much a thrill as the success and was all in for a boat ride if that was all that came of it. We had planned on making this a one day trip, but brought gear and supplies for 2 if that what we wanted. By about 10pm on Friday we are on the boat and the anticipation is growing. We think about it and decide to go pickup bait at night to not have to do it in the morning. We arrive at the bait barge at 10:15pm and notice there is a line of several private boats. And then it hit me...its freaking Make a Wish weekend...audible curses are heard from the crew knowing it will be a royal CF out at sea this weekend. After 6 boats, we pick up our bait, a health 2 scoops, that are obviously not cured but good sized and our 80 gallon tank and just the 3 of us figure if half die we will still have plenty. Plus at this point we are thinking trolling the flyer mostly and may not even need a bait all day if that plan holds. Its now 11:30 and we think about the next morning and possible itineraries are posed: Head back to the slip and crash for 2 hours and head out? Head out now, putt out and arrive on the grounds at daybreak? We weigh our options and start heading out. Its clear early that this is what many others have decided as well. The trip out was one of the most uncomfortable slow rides I have had the displeasure of being a part of. The ocean was calm, but the wake from the multitude of other boats was annoying at best and downright shitty at its worst. The ride was also coupled with a couple white knuckle moments like getting way to close to a tiny boat we could hardly see with no lights on just drifting on the 9 in the middle of the night (thank god for radar). We also had one minor boat issue which had us stopped outside the 9 for a few minutes to trouble shoot. While troubleshooting in the pitch black of night we hear splashes all around the boat and meter is lit up like Christmas. There were fish (we surmised bonita, but could have been tuna as well) all around the boat, seals, and a giant ball of bait. It was full of life and a good omen for our trip. We quickly were back underway, with our destination the middle of the San Clemente Ridge, we did not want to mess with 43. We arrive near enough to our numbers are are frankly to tired to meter around for a mark. Its now 3am and we decide to hit the hay for a quick nap with one man up on watch. It was an uneventful night, especially considering the boat traffic. At day break we begin the hunt. Our plan being find a mark and try the flat falls and sinker rig early. Wait for full day to fly the kite. We work our way north up the ridge towards Pyramid head. A few hours of me driving while our boat owner gets some much needed sleep. By about 10am with only minimal marks seen we decide its time to fly the kite, which for us is quite the dog and pony show as its our first time and all the youtube videos in the world couldnt help us look like we knew what the hell we were doing. We get the kite up and the flyer skipping and now change course towards China point. A few hours of this and we find every boat in the SD, OC, LB and SP fleet plunking away. We also start getting massive marks between 80-150'. Not large marks, like blobs of bait, I mean massive worms. We abandon the kite and start plunking away with the fleet making sure to keep a healthy distance. One bait flylined, two on sinkers with one 6oz and one 10oz, each out over 100yards, barely in gear with the clickers on. We keep at this for hours with not much to show other than a ton of meter marks. I try to keep positive saying I've seen this before and this is just how plunking goes, secretly hoping I'm not just full of shit. Either way we are bullshitting and having a good time and the time is going by pretty well although we don't have anything. I'm not sure what time it was at this point but the 6oz torpedo goes off and the clicker is screaming on my little avet MXL raptor. We grab the rod out of the holder and quickly half the line is gone and pushing the drag up to strike is not slowing this fish down. I start to wonder if i had even set the drag right. After another 100 yards the fish slows and we are able to get a couple turns. Then the line goes slack and the fish torpedoes back at us. We get most of our line back and then fish decides to dump our spool again back to having only 150 or yards left on the spool. At this point we are pretty worried and have the engines fired up in case we need to chase. We struggle with this one but are generally winning and after 30 minutes have all our spectra back and are gaining some of the 40lb izor topshot back. I've gotten a ton of tuna and big yellows on this reel before and none of them have been like this. After an hour we can see the fish on the meter straight down at 200' and its a pretty solid red mark. We play the death circle game for a while and finally get color at which point this fish stubbornly refuses to get past the 20' mark, its shining in the sun just out of reach. We cannot make this fish budge. The rod is maxed, the reel is in low and this fish is doing the classic give 1' and take 1' right back. We fight like this, and any time we get it in gaff range it takes another 20' and settles back in and we start the game of inches again. My arms are quivering, my back is sore, my hands are blistered and my knees are bloody from trying to rail it in on the short rails. The low gear on the Avet isnt low enough, every turn of the handle is arduous and every foot of line lost is spirit breaking. This fish is winning. We finally get it just inside gaff range and Sonny lunges in just tagging the fish in the tail which pisses the fish off and nearly drags sonny overboard. Zinn (the big hippy) grabs sonny around the waist to keep him from going over and also hanging on to the fish in doing so. The fish is hot and angry and is thrashing and splashing. Sonny gets back to his feet and Zinn gets another gaff in it and pulls up over the rail. 2 hours on this fish and we are all beat. We estimate it 80-90lb yellowfin, a trophy for anywhere but for San Clemente Island!? Just awesome. We shotgun a celebratory Coors Light and high five several times and point the bow back towards Desperation for another drift. By now the weather is pretty up and we are the only non yacht or sport boat around that we see. As we aproach the fleet we get another massive mark. We get the rigs back in and the avet (which we swore to not use after how badly we got beat on the last fish) is bit agian. This fish takes another long run, but quickly we know its not as big as the other. Within a few minutes a 50lb bluefin hits the deck. We continue this drift but the wind is getting worse, the sun is starting to get low and the calmness of Pyramid is calling. We head in and try and find a spot, the cove is packed and looks more like Lake Havasu than Pyramid Cove. We anchor up in the mud in 70' of water and throw out the squid light for shits and giggles, not expecting much. After a few hours the wind lays down and the stars are out and there are maybe 20-30 pieces of squid interested in the light, but not interested in the snagger. We crash out hard completely beat from the long day and the sleepless night the night before. 5am the next morning we pull the hook and head out to see that the majority of the party boats are on the hook on Desperation. I've seen a few boats here, but not 50 before. It was a sight. We setup outside, drifting since don't have the tackle or the backs (no windless yet) to anchor. Around 7am one of the flylined dines gets bit and a nice 30lb yellowfin is welcomed aboard and quickly bled. The blood attracts a 10' hammerhead who has a handful of other 25-30lb yellowfin harassing him. We quickly put 2 more 30lb yellowfin on and decide our kill bag is plugged and the wind is up early. We point the bow for home and easily making 30kts heading downswell back to Point Loma. Big thanks to Sonny at Exotics Fishing, that rig is just a sick fishing platform. Also big thanks to Zinn for being a trooper, we'll get a pig on the kite soon. And two thumbs up to Sportsmen's Seafood!