Offshore Shogun 3 Day Open Report 8/13-8/16

Brian Tsai

Newbie
Dec 8, 2014
50
56
27
Name
Brian Tsai
Boat
in the future
Story for rainy day....Nevermind, it doesn't rain in sunny San Diego. Forgive me, I am from the East Coast with the desire to relocate to the promise land.

After three years, I finally had time to be in San Diego for two weeks again. I knew I had to get back into the longe range tuna fishing. I called Steve and he recommended the Shogun 3 day as the trip I should look into. We met up for the Catchy Tackle 8 day on the American Angler 3 years ago.

Technically, this was not really a long range trip due to the hot local yellowfin bite. I am in the middle of transitioning out of the Navy and needed some time to forget about fast and future and simply live the moment. I had three goals for this trip and checked off all three. These were not monsters, but it was a fun trip for all involved.

1- land a bluefin- hooked one on my first trip, but got bit off
2- land a yellowtail on surface iron- had boils on my first trip, but never hooked one
3- get a yellowfin to hit topwater- to me, the highest tier of gamefishing

I tried to do a lot of gear prep, especially since I flew in from Maryland. I learned that you really can't plan too hard; trust the advice at the dock and get the right stuff the first time.

I went on a day trip on the San Diego on 8/11 and skunked- so did half the crew. We found fish, but they were being super finicky!

I had a positive impression of the boat after finding out they were loaded up gas and bait prior to picking us up from Fisherman's Landing. We all boarded and settled in 30 minutes later. We were on the hunt sometime 3 hours or leaving the dock. We found fish near the rest of the fleet and started to fish. I noticed that fish don't seem to bite on the first line of drift, but really picked up on my second soak. I used my 6' custom built UC Challenger Extreme Jigging Rod with a Daiwa Saltist 30LD with 100 yds of 25# mono to 40# braid backing. I rigged up a short 25# fluro leader to an Owner No. 2 Mutu Circle. This setup landed 11 schoolie yellowfin for me on the first day. Most anglers did well and a few limited out on that nice 3 hour drift. Some schoolie bluefin were in the mix and hit the same weightless setups. Some guys used sliding sinkers or droppers, I am not sure if that really worked on the bluefin on this trip. I retied my hook after every fish because I feel like 25# fluro is not forgiving with abrasion.

The second day was focused on kelp patties for potential yellowtail. Captain finds one early and we were on fish! I kept throwing the surface iron on my 7' 8" spinning setup rigged with a mint Tady 45. This lure was given to me by another fisherman on the San Diego who told me to get them after I told him of my 3 goals for this trip. Unfortunately, I do not remember his name, but I think I made him proud with that lure. If you are on BD, please PM me. I had several boils, but 0 hookups on this kelp. The rest of the crew were hammering yellowtail from 5-12# pretty hard in the back on sardines. The second kelp was a 0. The third kelp was another winner. After a dozen casts on the surface iron, I landed 2 yellows on the mint Tady 45. Goal 1 is checked off.
68995453_10217620364973845_1436971919801843712_n.jpg


For the afternoon, we went back to the tuna grounds. We got into the same mix of yellowfin and bluefin. It seemed like half of the angler have landed 1 bluefin at this point. Maybe, I will eventually get lucky. I hooked into my first bluefin on a long soak. I saw the mono disappear off my reel and shiny yellow braid starting singing off the spool Other anglers warned me that bluefin were unpredictable during the fight. Sure enough, this fish became dead weight after being hooked. 3 seconds later, it charges at the boat. I cranked in about half of my mono. After being shuffled by the mate to the bow corner, the fish runs again. 2 minutes later, it is straight up and down. I slowly worked it up and the fish decides to run again. With 8# of drag on a single speed with a 6.3:1 gear ratio, I finally realized how hard it is to crank. Sometime 10-15 minutes later, the mate sinks the gaff into the fish and the deed was done. That was my first bluefin! The Owner Mutu hook was slightly bent. I took a bite of the tuna heart and some pics. On the next soak, I landed another yellowfin. I finished that day with 2 bluefin and 2 yellowfin. There was hot bite right before sunset. One of my yellowfins was lost at the gaff and got snagged by another angler. Since he brought it in, I think it belongs to him- I call it a half catch.
Goal 2- check
68534416_10217620364293828_5759138530722840576_n.jpg


69356909_10217622987559408_7718335128908333056_n.jpg


For the last day, we looked for kelp and yellowtail with 0 luck. Three hours of active searching, we returned to targetting tuna. I got lucky and hooked a bluefin on another long soak. This fish took me into 3 tangles and around the boat. Nevertheless, it came home. Most of us limited out in the early afternoon. I got another bluefin. Right before the Captain decided to look for yellowtails again, I starting flinging a metal jig similar to a Colt Sniper. I threw a 2 oz Big Nic Spanish Candy (small lure maker based out of Wilmington, NC). I figured eventually it will land near a boil since the boils were concentrated off the corner. Sure enough, 30 or so casts later, I hooked one. Everyone saw the boil and the hookup. It was just another schoolie, but that was amazing! We went yellowtail hunting with limited success.
Goal 3- check

68420737_10217618870376481_4347593083601289216_n.jpg


As for the jackpot, I didn't put in the money. My 35# gutted and bled would have been in a three way tie for first. I guess I am officially hooked to do this again. I will be back! I somehow managed to land every single fish hooked on the 25# fluro and tiny hook. My jigging rod was pretty parabolic and soft; maybe that helped.... or I got super lucky.

I thought everyone would have been competitive since it was a 3 day versus my last trip being an 8 day, but I was probably the most competitive by nature. The mates definitely enabled me to beat my bluefin on that prolonged vertical cranking due to my lack of experience. Food was solid and everyone was good company.

Final count:
yellowfin limits and donations
3 bluefin
2 yellowtail

Other lessons learned:
sometimes I am just trying too hard- got the bluefin after taking a lunch break

light tackle can land fish, but single speed with high gear ratio is a pain to grind.

ALWAYS go for the jackpot!
 
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TanstaaflSD

Member
  • Dec 3, 2013
    568
    407
    San Diego, CA, USA
    Name
    Tanstaafl
    Boat
    n/a
    Story for rainy day....Nevermind, it doesn't rain in sunny San Diego. Forgive me, I am from the East Coast with the desire to relocate to the promise land.

    After three years, I finally had time to be in San Diego for two weeks again. I knew I had to get back into the longe range tuna fishing. I called Steve and he recommended the Shogun 3 day as the trip I should look into. We met up for the Catchy Tackle 8 day on the American Angler 3 years ago.

    Technically, this was not really a long range trip due to the hot local yellowfin bite. I am in the middle of transitioning out of the Navy and needed some time to forget about fast and future and simply live the moment. I had three goals for this trip and checked off all three. These were not monsters, but it was a fun trip for all involved.

    1- land a bluefin- hooked one on my first trip, but got bit off
    2- land a yellowtail on surface iron- had boils on my first trip, but never hooked one
    3- get a yellowfin to hit topwater- to me, the highest tier of gamefishing

    I tried to do a lot of gear prep, especially since I flew in from Maryland. I learned that you really can't plan too hard; trust the advice at the dock and get the right stuff the first time.

    I went on a day trip on the San Diego on 8/11 and skunked- so did half the crew. We found fish, but they were being super finicky!

    I had a positive impression of the boat after finding out they were loaded up gas and bait prior to picking us up from Fisherman's Landing. We all boarded and settled in 30 minutes later. We were on the hunt sometime 3 hours or leaving the dock. We found fish near the rest of the fleet and started to fish. I noticed that fish don't seem to bite on the first line of drift, but really picked up on my second soak. I used my 6' custom built UC Challenger Extreme Jigging Rod with a Daiwa Saltist 30LD with 100 yds of 25# mono to 40# braid backing. I rigged up a short 25# fluro leader to an Owner No. 2 Mutu Circle. This setup landed 11 schoolie yellowfin for me on the first day. Most anglers did well and a few limited out on that nice 3 hour drift. Some schoolie bluefin were in the mix and hit the same weightless setups. Some guys used sliding sinkers or droppers, I am not sure if that really worked on the bluefin on this trip. I retied my hook after every fish because I feel like 25# fluro is not forgiving with abrasion.

    The second day was focused on kelp patties for potential yellowtail. Captain finds one early and we were on fish! I kept throwing the surface iron on my 7' 8" spinning setup rigged with a mint Tady 45. This lure was given to me by another fisherman on the San Diego who told me to get them after I told him of my 3 goals for this trip. Unfortunately, I do not remember his name, but I think I made him proud with that lure. If you are on BD, please PM me. I had several boils, but 0 hookups on this kelp. The rest of the crew were hammering yellowtail from 5-12# pretty hard in the back on sardines. The second kelp was a 0. The third kelp was another winner. After a dozen casts on the surface iron, I landed 2 yellows on the mint Tady 45. Goal 1 is checked off.
    68995453_10217620364973845_1436971919801843712_n.jpg


    For the afternoon, we went back to the tuna grounds. We got into the same mix of yellowfin and bluefin. It seemed like half of the angler have landed 1 bluefin at this point. Maybe, I will eventually get lucky. I hooked into my first bluefin on a long soak. I saw the mono disappear off my reel and shiny yellow braid starting singing off the spool Other anglers warned me that bluefin were unpredictable during the fight. Sure enough, this fish became dead weight after being hooked. 3 seconds later, it charges at the boat. I cranked in about half of my mono. After being shuffled by the mate to the bow corner, the fish runs again. 2 minutes later, it is straight up and down. I slowly worked it up and the fish decides to run again. With 8# of drag on a single speed with a 6.3:1 gear ratio, I finally realized how hard it is to crank. Sometime 10-15 minutes later, the mate sinks the gaff into the fish and the deed was done. That was my first bluefin! The Owner Mutu hook was slightly bent. I took a bite of the tuna heart and some pics. On the next soak, I landed another yellowfin. I finished that day with 2 bluefin and 2 yellowfin. There was hot bite right before sunset. One of my yellowfins was lost at the gaff and got snagged by another angler. Since he brought it in, I think it belongs to him- I call it a half catch.
    Goal 2- check
    68534416_10217620364293828_5759138530722840576_n.jpg


    69356909_10217622987559408_7718335128908333056_n.jpg


    For the last day, we looked for kelp and yellowtail with 0 luck. Three hours of active searching, we returned to targetting tuna. I got lucky and hooked a bluefin on another long soak. This fish took me into 3 tangles and around the boat. Nevertheless, it came home. Most of us limited out in the early afternoon. I got another bluefin. Right before the Captain decided to look for yellowtails again, I starting flinging a metal jig similar to a Colt Sniper. I threw a 2 oz Big Nic Spanish Candy (small lure maker based out of Wilmington, NC). I figured eventually it will land near a boil since the boils were concentrated off the corner. Sure enough, 30 or so casts later, I hooked one. Everyone saw the boil and the hookup. It was just another schoolie, but that was amazing! We went yellowtail hunting with limited success.
    Goal 3- check

    68420737_10217618870376481_4347593083601289216_n.jpg


    As for the jackpot, I didn't put in the money. My 35# gutted and bled would have been in a three way tie for first. I guess I am officially hooked to do this again. I will be back! I somehow managed to land every single fish hooked on the 25# fluro and tiny hook. My jigging rod was pretty parabolic and soft; maybe that helped.... or I got super lucky.

    I thought everyone would have been competitive since it was a 3 day versus my last trip being an 8 day, but I was probably the most competitive by nature. The mates definitely enabled me to beat my bluefin on that prolonged vertical cranking due to my lack of experience. Food was solid and everyone was good company.

    Final count:
    yellowfin limits and donations
    3 bluefin
    2 yellowtail

    Other lessons learned:
    sometimes I am just trying too hard- got the bluefin after taking a lunch break

    light tackle can land fish, but single speed with high gear ratio is a pain to grind.

    ALWAYS go for the jackpot!


    Brian,
    Great report -- Congrats!!!
    If you come out again and need some gear drop me a line
    USNA'69
     
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    muletrain

    Member
    Sep 9, 2006
    545
    390
    san clemente
    Name
    mark
    Boat
    Carolina skiff for the bay / Hobie Mirage
    Thank you for the great report and your service to our country.

    Would enjoy spending time at the rail having a cold one and grinding on some fish with you
     
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    [email protected]

    Tight Lines
    Sep 12, 2012
    71
    60
    O'Side
    Name
    darryl
    Boat
    Cucamonga
    Great report! I have to say, going on a boat like the Shogun puts you into a different league than the over night boats with every aspect of customer service bar none. Don't get me wrong, I LOVE many of the over night boats(not all), but passengers seem to be the difference. Overnight I have seen too many belligerent a$$holes.

    I only say this to not expect every trip compare to the Shogun....:food-smil
     
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    Brian Tsai

    Newbie
    Dec 8, 2014
    50
    56
    27
    Name
    Brian Tsai
    Boat
    in the future
    Great report! I have to say, going on a boat like the Shogun puts you into a different league than the over night boats with every aspect of customer service bar none. Don't get me wrong, I LOVE many of the over night boats(not all), but passengers seem to be the difference. Overnight I have seen too many belligerent a$$holes.

    I only say this to not expect every trip compare to the Shogun....:food-smil

    I did an 8 day on the American Angler 3 years ago and was told the longer the trip, the more relaxed everyone tends to be. On that trip, I went 1/5 landing tuna fly lining sardines. This trip, I went 21/22(1 fish dropped at gaff, but fell onto the hook of another angler!). The bite was hot the first afternoon and everyone was pretty easy going. People did a decent job of following their lines with the fly lining.

    I was a bit skeptical of why pay an extra couple hundred in comparison to a 3 day on a smaller boat, but it was worth it! I needed 3 days to forgot about the worries of life.
     
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    Sciaenops

    Member
    Nov 23, 2005
    271
    88
    Costa Mesa
    Name
    Keith
    Boat
    Aquasport Explorer 225
    great report and nice to hear you got rewarded. you're obviously goal oriented, which might explain the stress! lol!! always better to chill out a bit and keep the atmosphere light.
     
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