Slowest trip in 5 years

Dexter Outdoors

afraser

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Apr 20, 2008
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Went on the Red Rooster, great crew, great service, great accommodations. However, the fishing was just sloooooow. Went straight to HB, no stopping along the way, I know a lot prefer that, but with bluefin biting, fish at guadalupe and fish at Alijos, I would have preferred a break in the 4 day drive. So we spent 4 days playing cards, mixing drinks, and slowly putting tackle together. Certainly not a terrible time :). The first day at the bank was not terrible, but not great either. Odd current and wind pattern caused more tangles than I've ever seen. I spent much of my time trying to avoid tangles which often meant taking the bait out of the strike zone. I think we put on 20 tuna and 10 wahoo for the day and we did have one super cow on a live man bait, of course, fishing right beside me, using exactly the same bait. We both get our baits spooked but only his gets taken. Still, nice start to the trip. Next morning was a nice bite on the PL68. I tried the glow flat fall and it did not work when I tried it. All the fish were right off the bottom, maybe 3-4 cranks in and you got bit. If not, drop back down and retry. During the day, however, it was less than a pick bite, so much so that the big draw was watching the sculpin be brought in. After a few days of pick bites, we moved to some other area... Lots of sharks here. We did get a decent wahoo bite, but the tuna were scarce. We finally decide to move on to the lower banks. We put out the kites and add in baits on the helium balloons, which worked pretty well. I was up on the balloon for all of 30 seconds before it got bit. But again, the fishing cooled off. We move to the potato bank for the last day and we did get 5 tuna bites and 2 fish, one large cow and one super cow. Best bet was to fish your mack for 1 minute and then rebait or be on the helium balloon. You had to fish in the crowd at the stern. No fish were hooked on the side. The fish were around but they were awful finicky. Could see them on the sonar all day, but very few biters. I did lose a nice mako that broke the gaff at the boat and then found its freedom.

What worked:
wahoo - silver and blue bombs (never seen this color combo work this well before)
tuna - pl68 in the dark on the bottom, also weighted baits near the bottom
crimped hooks - I think it puts less stress on the line than knots when they are tied, so the line leading to the hook is straighter with crimps. Maybe it made a 10% difference.

What didn't work:
topwater fishing, there literally were no fish caught on top other than kite baits. I think the water was too hot, keeping the bait and the fish down.
Getting your baits away from the boat. Usually this is the ticket, but not really on this trip. A lot of bites in the middle of the crowd, which is highly unusual.
Colored spectra - since there were a lot of tangles, a lot, anyone with colored spectra was a marked nuisance whether it was deserved or not.
Big hooks - everyone was using 4/0 hooks, some were using 3/0s even though the bait was quite good and large. Even saw many people fishing 50 and 60lb fluoro just to get a bite. I dropped to 80 myself for a little while, and of course it worked. Note that at the potato bank, a big fish was lossed on 80lb due to a bite off. If you fish the potato, 130 bite leader at least.
 
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FishRock

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Mar 27, 2013
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Thanks for the quick report. Certainly will be testing the captains judgment with regard to when and where to go on any given trip. Even a fishy boat like the RR3 can have a slow trip.
 
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Bill W

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  • Jan 12, 2006
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    Still something... 2 supers. Seen it so bad we left to fish yellowtail and they were no bueno too...

    And no, I was not on this trip. But nice to hear Mark got a super...
     
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    makomiko

    makomiko
    Jun 25, 2006
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    Sorry you had a fishing trip, and not a catching trip. Still it's nice to get away, and enjoy your time on the water. Sounds like the conditions were not in your favor, was the crew going to bring that mako on board? That would have been interesting, makomiko
     
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    reellady

    I'd rather be catching TUNA
    Aug 26, 2011
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    That's why it is called fishing. I have read this a couple of times and feel that I must comment. Sorry if I offend anyone, but I have been LR fishing for years and can't keep quiet any longer.

    With the new sanction on Clarion Island,the best place for big tuna is Hurricane Bank. As 4 boats left at same time to head to the bank, there was a necessity to get there as soon as possible. There are only 2 good fishing spots there, and if Andy stopped at the rocks, the boat would probably have never got the 2 supers, 4 boats showed at the bank, RR, big X, Indy and the spirit. Andy made the right decision by going straight to the bank, and got the best spot, the fish just weren't there.

    Check these other boats and see what their catch was. You may think this is you worst trip, but the future may hold better ones or worse ones. Be thankful you were on the water with a great boat and great people. It's not the Captain or the boat that did yiu wrong, it was the fish.
     
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    Holi-e-Mackeral

    Holi-e-Mackeral
    Jul 10, 2003
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    AS a wise man once said, you go to enough baseball games, you eventually sit in every seat...

    There are slow trips every year, I have seen much worse that what you reported on more than one trip... I got a 2nd place JP on an 18 day with a 110 # tuna..

    It should make you appreciate the good trips...

    Tight lines,

    Jeff
     
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    ygfatboy

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    Feb 8, 2007
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    That's why it is called fishing. I have read this a couple of times and feel that I must comment. Sorry if I offend anyone, but I have been LR fishing for years and can't keep quiet any longer.

    With the new sanction on Clarion Island,the best place for big tuna is Hurricane Bank. As 4 boats left at same time to head to the bank, there was a necessity to get there as soon as possible. There are only 2 good fishing spots there, and if Andy stopped at the rocks, the boat would probably have never got the 2 supers, 4 boats showed at the bank, RR, big X, Indy and the spirit. Andy made the right decision by going straight to the bank, and got the best spot, the fish just weren't there.

    Check these other boats and see what their catch was. You may think this is you worst trip, but the future may hold better ones or worse ones. Be thankful you were on the water with a great boat and great people. It's not the Captain or the boat that did yiu wrong, it was the fish.
    No spirit it was in point loma
     
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    reellady

    I'd rather be catching TUNA
    Aug 26, 2011
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    Island spirit I think, there were 4 boats at hurricane, and I was on one of them.
     
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    afraser

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    That's why it is called fishing. I have read this a couple of times and feel that I must comment. Sorry if I offend anyone, but I have been LR fishing for years and can't keep quiet any longer.

    With the new sanction on Clarion Island,the best place for big tuna is Hurricane Bank. As 4 boats left at same time to head to the bank, there was a necessity to get there as soon as possible. There are only 2 good fishing spots there, and if Andy stopped at the rocks, the boat would probably have never got the 2 supers, 4 boats showed at the bank, RR, big X, Indy and the spirit. Andy made the right decision by going straight to the bank, and got the best spot, the fish just weren't there.

    Check these other boats and see what their catch was. You may think this is you worst trip, but the future may hold better ones or worse ones. Be thankful you were on the water with a great boat and great people. It's not the Captain or the boat that did yiu wrong, it was the fish.

    Your post, intentionally or not, is very misleading. I was there, so this is how it actually happened. There were 3 boats leaving the same day for the bank. Excel departed SD and arrived first and HB, then the RR3, then the Indy, which is pretty slow comparably. Indy anchored in a spot that basically allowed them to siphon off the fish that had been going to our boat the first day. So in this case, the 3rd boat down actually got the "best" spot. Still, currents change by the day and tide, so to say one or two spots are best for a 4-7 day period is completely incorrect. We passed Alijos by 40 miles, an early adjustment would have meant very little change in time lost to that point. Even a few hours would still allowed up to end up at the bank ahead of the Indy, but as you read before, that didn't matter anyway as the 3rd boat got the best spot for the 3-4 days we were there. Yes, it was the "fish" that didn't show up, but that was somewhat predictable as that was how they left the bank just a week before. Andy likes to fish the big yellowfin to the exclusion of other species and sizes save wahoo, which he did a great job of targeting for parts of this trip. But on a trip with 8 days of fishing, I don't think cannibalizing one of those to fish other, "more likely to catch fish" areas and break up the trip is a bad idea. If anything it improves morale on the trip. If you only want to fish straight big yellowfin, you are better off taking a PV trip for 3.5-4.5 days. Even it was going off at HB, I wouldn't want to sit for 8 days and fish only big YFT. I've done that, on an outstanding trip I might add, and less than 20% of the passengers fished the last day. Many would catch one fish and be done for the day during the last 4-5 days. So clearly, the average LR fisherman doesn't want to catch big fish for 8 days (I've seen it on at least 3 trips). Plus you realistically can only keep 4-5 of these anyway. Also, the two supers were caught in different areas entirely. First one, at HB on a big bait. That is not unlikely, no matter if you first or 4th boat at the bank. If you get a bite on a big bait, you likely get a cow, even a super (except for the 25lb yellowfin that somehow ate a skipjack I was fishing at night). Second super was at Potato. A couple more were hooked, that seemed like heavy fish at Potato, but the fishing was slooooooow. 5 bites all day for the entire boat. Trophy hunting for sure. But again, being "first" at the bank did not affect this fishing. Finally, I believe the new expanded zones include HB, or at least that was what was being discussed. I could be wrong on that but again, that was what we were told was being discussed.
     
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    reellady

    I'd rather be catching TUNA
    Aug 26, 2011
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    I was there too..........opinions are opinions, sorry if I offended you on the location of the 2nd super.
     
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    FishRock

    Still trying to figure it all out
    Mar 27, 2013
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    Wow. Sorry to see another thread turn into an argument. As has been stated many times. Each trip is different and each anglers experience is different. No two anglers are looking for the same experience. On any given LR trip you will have folks looking to fish for trophy sized fish to the complete exclusion of any thing else and others keen to bring home some fresh fish and happy to have a shot at bigger ones as well. So no matter what call the captain makes someone will not be pleased. This is why it makes sense to research the group you will be fishing with and confirm that they have a similar set of expectations.

    Good luck to all on your next trip! However it turns out.
     
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    DMcD

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    Nov 21, 2011
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    the worst trip is when life deals you a health condition and your no longer able to go so quit your complaining and be thankful you still can if I offended anyone tuff

    Where do you get that afraser was complaining? He starts off his post with "great crew, great service, and great accommodations...the fishing was just slooooow." Just seemed like an honest, detailed report on a trip where the boat gave it its best shot, but the fishing just didn't pan out. No whining...just the facts.
     
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    pgangler

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    Jul 25, 2012
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    Your post, intentionally or not, is very misleading. I was there, so this is how it actually happened. There were 3 boats leaving the same day for the bank. Excel departed SD and arrived first and HB, then the RR3, then the Indy, which is pretty slow comparably. Indy anchored in a spot that basically allowed them to siphon off the fish that had been going to our boat the first day. So in this case, the 3rd boat down actually got the "best" spot. Still, currents change by the day and tide, so to say one or two spots are best for a 4-7 day period is completely incorrect. We passed Alijos by 40 miles, an early adjustment would have meant very little change in time lost to that point. Even a few hours would still allowed up to end up at the bank ahead of the Indy, but as you read before, that didn't matter anyway as the 3rd boat got the best spot for the 3-4 days we were there. Yes, it was the "fish" that didn't show up, but that was somewhat predictable as that was how they left the bank just a week before. Andy likes to fish the big yellowfin to the exclusion of other species and sizes save wahoo, which he did a great job of targeting for parts of this trip. But on a trip with 8 days of fishing, I don't think cannibalizing one of those to fish other, "more likely to catch fish" areas and break up the trip is a bad idea. If anything it improves morale on the trip. If you only want to fish straight big yellowfin, you are better off taking a PV trip for 3.5-4.5 days. Even it was going off at HB, I wouldn't want to sit for 8 days and fish only big YFT. I've done that, on an outstanding trip I might add, and less than 20% of the passengers fished the last day. Many would catch one fish and be done for the day during the last 4-5 days. So clearly, the average LR fisherman doesn't want to catch big fish for 8 days (I've seen it on at least 3 trips). Plus you realistically can only keep 4-5 of these anyway. Also, the two supers were caught in different areas entirely. First one, at HB on a big bait. That is not unlikely, no matter if you first or 4th boat at the bank. If you get a bite on a big bait, you likely get a cow, even a super (except for the 25lb yellowfin that somehow ate a skipjack I was fishing at night). Second super was at Potato. A couple more were hooked, that seemed like heavy fish at Potato, but the fishing was slooooooow. 5 bites all day for the entire boat. Trophy hunting for sure. But again, being "first" at the bank did not affect this fishing. Finally, I believe the new expanded zones include HB, or at least that was what was being discussed. I could be wrong on that but again, that was what we were told was being discussed.
    I disagree. Speaking only for myself, I'd happily spend all 8 days hunting for big fish (and in fact did that at Clarion). I think Andy made the right call by getting down there quickly, and my only criticism is that he didn't drop the hammer and spin up his 3 mains to beat the X to the spot. He's getting soft in his old age!
     
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    Bill W

    tunaholic
  • Jan 12, 2006
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    It is something you need to adjust to, fishing for cows. Plugging away and looking for the right bunch. I hang out up in the bridge and sometimes see what I call big gummy worms on the sonar, but many times they do not bite. Frustrating... Yes you can stop on smaller stuff but the big fish skippers know for big fish it’s location, location, location. After time runs out the big thing to do is say we should’a done this or that. Then there are some trips that it happens in the fourth quarter. Hail Mary...
     
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    CaptJgray

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    Jan 23, 2014
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    hell no....
    Andy likes to fish the big yellowfin to the exclusion of other species and sizes save wahoo,



    So why not fish a different boat if you already know the man in charge doesn't have your typical game plan in mind?
     
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    CaptJgray

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    Jan 23, 2014
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    hell no....
    I have a very good friend that went on the Shogun when Norm was running the boat. It was a big fish trip. Now mind you this guy has known Norm and been good friends with him as well as run boats alongside him for many years.

    It was a slow trip and Norm decided to give up on the big fish and go fish the ridge and work up for yellows. when the first sand bass hit the deck my friend put his gear away and took pictures. Never fished another trip with him again...

    Just wasn't what he signed up for, go big or go home...

    or go on lots of 1 1/2 day trips right now...
     
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    spinner

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    when you plan your trip, you pick the boat and the captain that suit your agenda for your trip. pleasure arise with your friends? great/ elephant hunting?great/just plan and pick wisely/ each boat and each captain have there own m/o
    then are you riding with the first ticket or the big gun. what is their m/o. again you have to figure al of these variables into your game plan and what your desires and expectations are.
    the more expectations you have on any fishing trip ,the greater the odds of it being a slow trip/ I like to go fishing and play with my toys and hopefully I get lucky and catch something
     
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    swami 805

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    Mar 9, 2016
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    Been on a dozen 16 day or longer trips and never stopped at alijos. They're big tuna trips. There is an "alpha" spot at HB and normally getting there first is the best plan. Might be singing a different tune if the grandes went off at HB and you were dicking around at alijos. The long trips fish big tuna pretty much, skipper makes the best call and you live with it. Just tough fishing,kept at it and you'll hit that magic day when they chew the paint off the boat.
     
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    canyonman

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    I’ve done the 15 day after thanksgiving for the last 10 years. It’s always been a big fish trip. Basically a go big trip we’ve never pulled the plug and worked our way up the line. This year was no different. We wound up at potato bank trying for a few trophy fish. Didn’t really work out. But Jeff gave his all as he does every year. I’ll be back again next year
     
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    Elitetv1958

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    I was on the Rooster trip too. I thought Andy did a fantastic job. The fish were there, they just weren't hungry. Anyway... Regarding multiple boats at HB. I've always been told that you'd rather not be the third boat in. Yes, there are 2 "good spots" at HB... Ask any captain. But more importantly, the first and second boats in get to choose where they want to set the pick. The third boat in has to anchor up where the other two aren't. Hence, the first two boats have more choices... The third boat locates based on where first two are anchored.... So fewer options. Of course, fish are fish and you never know what or where they'll bite. JMO.
     
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