Searcher 7-Day Report, 9/26-10/3, Guadalupe Is

Kevin J.

Kevin J.
Feb 3, 2011
14
68
Huntington Beach, CA USA
Name
Kevin
Boat
None
308D6880-8C00-42BE-8A51-A8CBD57B85AF.jpeg


I just returned from the Searcher 7-Day trip to Guadalupe Island. We had a great time catching a good number of quality Yellowfin Tuna and Yellowtail.

I am always apprehensive when going to Guadalupe, knowing how difficult it can be to fish at this beautiful Island. It has a challenging environment, which usually includes good-sized fish and a lot of ways to lose them (pulled hooks, Great White Sharks, tangles, structure, etc.). In addition, a lot of people say that the fish at the Island fight harder than similar fish in other environments. I don’t know if this is true, but it sure seemed to be.

After loading the boat, getting bait and completing the check-in in Ensenada six hours later, we headed to the Island and arrived on the second day at 1:30 p.m. The first three and a half days of fishing were spent at the northeastern portion of the Island and Captain Mike put us on the Tuna. It was usually a pick bite, with one or two hooked at a time. The Yellowfin were mostly 50-80 pounds and occasionally a Yellowtail would swim through with the Tuna. My first day’s catch included a 50 pound Yellowfin, 36 pound Yellowtail and a Shark bit Yellowtail that weighed 31 pounds without the bottom third.

We were using 60 and 80 pound line with 2/0 or 3/0 circle hooks. My favorite is a ringed Owner Mutu and my go to rod/reel combination is a Graftech GOF78XH rod and Penn Fathom 40 reel with 65# spectra and a short 60# fluorocarbon leader.

E8190FE9-D61E-4FB1-85A7-86C400C905E5.jpeg


03F055D9-5DD3-4610-B0C6-246EF84274C6.jpeg


As far as paying the proverbial Tax Man, we often had Great White Sharks under the boat and at one point we had four of them, which made landing fish nearly impossible. This also resulted in a lot of pulled hooks as anglers tried desperately to get their fish in quickly past the Sharks. I would add that there are few feelings like fighting a large Tuna for 40 minutes, only to see it devoured by a 15 foot Great White just below the surface.

The fishing on the second day was similar to the first and I landed two fish, a 30 pound Yellowfin and a 91 pounder. The larger Tuna was second in the jackpot, with first being 94 pounds and third 87 pounds. We also experienced some amazing things, like a Great White missing a gaffed Tuna and ramming the side of the boat. We saw one leap completely out of the water two times while chasing a Sea Lion. I didn’t know a 2,000 pound fish could do this!

F9118A77-7D1A-48CA-BE3B-697733C48DE0.jpeg

A4694A59-F711-4BFF-B4B2-28B2127B8E09.jpeg


Days 3 and 4 were a little less productive and although I hooked fish, I didn’t managed to land any. Our final day was spent on the outside of the Island, trying various spots from north to south while looking for Yellowtail. Some Tuna were also caught swimming through the chum line and I landed two, a 30 and a 50 pounder. The final spot at the south end of the Island provided good fishing for quality Yellowtail, with fish mostly above 25 pounds. The two biggest were 48 and 50 pounds. A majority were caught on dropper loops and yo-yo jigs, and a few came on flylined Mackerel. The most popular jig color was mint and I caught one of my three Yellowtail with a Tady 4/0 in blue/white. The others were caught flylining. The day ended nicely with good fishing and a beautiful sunset, followed by a delicious panko encrusted Yellowtail dinner. After this we headed to Ensenada and then back to the landing, a 21 hour trip.

Overall I was pleased with my 10 fish, knowing that Guadalupe is more about quality than quantity or variety. My 91 pound Yellowfin Tuna was a personal best and I have much appreciation for Captain Ryan coaching me through a number of complications during a long fight (going over/under the anchor cord numerous times, tangles, fish swimming under the boat, etc.).

Of course no fish report would be complete without a shout out to the owners and crew of the Searcher. Owners Celia Condit and Art Taylor run an outstanding operation, which I have enjoyed annually for 19 years. Erin in the office is nice and very helpful. Captain Mike is talented, determined, friendly and successful in consistently finding fish. The crew on deck, Captains Armando, Ryan, Sean and Deckhand Shane, provide a fun atmosphere and I owe them a BIG thanks for all of the great advice and guidance on hooking and landing fish. Finally, Chefs Dan and Mike provide great meals, snacks and appetizers and their seared Ahi dinner was fantastic! I’ve signed up for the same trip next year and look forward to another great time onboard the Searcher.
 

Tunahead

Long Time Tuna Abused Member
  • Aug 11, 2006
    11,889
    5,528
    Costa Mesa
    Name
    Ron
    Boat
    several
    Great report/info/pics and NICE FISH
    At least you got the 2/3'rds Meat left of that one tail chomped off Yellowtail. The tax man has always been a contest there over years.
     
    • Like
    Reactions: jiggermyster
    Upvote 0

    bdogie1

    Member
  • May 27, 2015
    585
    688
    Name
    Brandon
    Boat
    getsome
    Great report thank you! Well written my friend!
     
    Upvote 0

    CMYSIX

    Member
  • Aug 22, 2020
    328
    293
    63
    Opelika al
    Name
    Quinn L Chenelle
    Boat
    Independence
    No pics of the food? don't tell me I gotta call BS on this trip report too.
     
    Upvote 0

    kevina

    I Post A Lot But I Can't Edit This
  • Sep 10, 2006
    3,093
    2,699
    94
    redondo beach
    Name
    kev
    Boat
    25' aqua sport
    No pics of the food? don't tell me I gotta call BS on this trip report too.
    I gotta call B.S with no pics of the 2000lb Great White going airborne after the seal, Just kidding, ;). But I would love to have a good picture of a great white going after a seal and both are airborne. I'd blow that picture and display it proudly. :D
     
    Upvote 0

    Kevin J.

    Kevin J.
    Feb 3, 2011
    14
    68
    Huntington Beach, CA USA
    Name
    Kevin
    Boat
    None
    Thank you for the report and congratulations on your PB YFT!

    How was the night bite? Any action?
    Good question. The days were pretty long, so there wasn’t much effort at night. We tried a little with no luck. However, the daytime action usually started shortly after dawn. I hooked one on my first cast, which Captain Mike described as “probably a hundred pounder”, fought it for an hour and then lost it!
    I gotta call B.S with no pics of the 2000lb Great White going airborne after the seal, Just kidding, ;). But I would love to have a good picture of a great white going after a seal and both are airborne. I'd blow that picture and display it proudly. :D
    I would also like such a picture, but it happened quickly and none of the dozen or so people watching had a camera ready. We were fishing!
     
    • Like
    Reactions: lastcast619
    Upvote 0

    terryc.

    Member
    Mar 12, 2006
    923
    498
    Chatsworth
    Name
    Terry
    Boat
    20 ft. Marlin cc
    Great report !!! My son and I were chillin at dusk on the Rooster and we saw a GW shoot straight out of the water completely vertical, amazing.
     
    Upvote 0

    Yellowtail Dan

    I Post A Lot But I Can't Edit This
  • Apr 10, 2006
    3,899
    4,645
    54
    Roseville Ca
    Name
    Dan
    Boat
    Excel, American Angler
    Has anyone else seen the big Mako at the Lupe with the bite mark scar on its side? It’s a BIG shark to and isn’t shy about taking your tuna
     
    Upvote 0

    Soda Pop

    I Post A Lot But I Can't Edit This
    Feb 12, 2011
    2,857
    5,414
    Fresno, CA
    Name
    David Rouse
    Boat
    Long range fishing
    Thank you for the report and congrats are in order on your great fishing adventure. I just love fishing the Lupe. I have seen many great whites get air like a rocket being launched from under the water. It's an amazing sight.
     
    Upvote 0

    mmsblee

    I Pity The Fool
    Apr 3, 2012
    129
    135
    So Cal
    Name
    marshall
    Boat
    Boatless
    Thanks for the report. This is getting me excited for my trip to the Island in 4 weeks. This is going to be my second trip there this year and I need a tax refund from the great whites!
     
    • Like
    Reactions: Soda Pop
    Upvote 0

    ZZZZZ

    Best fishermen in the world
    Dec 11, 2003
    8,495
    11,187
    Costa Rica
    Name
    Brad Baron
    Boat
    Royal Polaris
    Stellar report and wtg on a personal best and one of the big fish for the trip. The bite and challenge of the bite is the best part, so at least the landlord can't take that away.

    Great to see the big yellowtail. Worth going just for the yellowtail fishing right now.

    I had one almost land on me (one of the top biggest thrills of my life). If I had a go pro on my head recording. Would had got the shot. Mouth wide open in roar mode and made eye contact in the air. Full air half boat length and got splashed with water. Like shamoo. The shuffle was going starboard corner to port. I started 4 feet up starboard corner fishing the (spot) casting overhand (short soak 1 minute bait or less) and was the only person on the starboard side when it happened
     
    Last edited:
    Upvote 0

    djennings

    Almost A Member
  • Jun 17, 2006
    159
    234
    53
    Huntington beach
    Name
    David Jennings
    Boat
    Arima sea angler 19 "NEW DAY RISING"
    I was on the Royal Polaris anchored next to you guys for a few days. Tough scratchy bite. Only had 1 shark sighting, but we had 6 seals causing havoc for us for most of the time there. You guys did better than we did. I had 1 bite and 1 70# YFT for 4 days of fishing.
     
    Upvote 0

    Tom Honaker

    I Should Upgrade My Account
    Sep 27, 2015
    1,211
    2,085
    63
    Hotchkiss Colorado
    Name
    Tom Honaker
    Boat
    Royal Star
    Thanks for the report. This is getting me excited for my trip to the Island in 4 weeks. This is going to be my second trip there this year and I need a tax refund from the great whites!
    If you're leaving in a month, you probably won't have shark issues. I've been on a November trip every year since Guadalupe opened up after being closed to long range boats for many years. Once the elephant seals have gave birth to the youngins, and mama has nursed them, the great whites leave. It's usually around the first of November. November and December can be excellent fishing at Guadalupe. At least that's been my experience.
     
    Upvote 0