Suggestions/Advice for a newbie on his first long-range trip

Discussion in 'San Diego Long Range fishing Reports' started by nicodemus, Jul 12, 2012.

  1. nicodemus

    nicodemus Member

    Location:
    ALBUQUERQUE
    Name:
    Nicholas Bronson
    Boat:
    themodcatfish
    • Messages:
      (182)
    • Likes Received:
      (214)
    Okay, so I've gotten some real good feedback to my few posts here. I'm doing my first long-range trip, a 7-day'er on the Royal Star mid-September. I'm happy to see it as a "learning" trip, but on the other hand, want to maximize my shot at plenty of catching. Nothing like being well-prepared, first trip or not.

    So.... I'm open to any and all thoughts from all you long-rangers regarding fishing tips, what to bring, what NOT to bring, questions to ask onboard, etc, etc. Really, anything you have to toss out there about any aspect of a trip like this will be well-received.

    Thanks in advance, though I'll be thanking and asking further questions I'm sure!

    Nick
     
  2. nicodemus

    nicodemus Member

    Location:
    ALBUQUERQUE
    Name:
    Nicholas Bronson
    Boat:
    themodcatfish
    • Messages:
      (182)
    • Likes Received:
      (214)
    Oh, and I'll be using boat gear, though it was strongly advised I pick up some fluorocarbon leader line, so thoughts on boat gear and line would also be welcome.
     
  3. 1000clowns

    1000clowns Newbie

    Location:
    SF Bay Area
    Name:
    Jay Orbon
    Boat:
    none
    • Messages:
      (42)
    • Likes Received:
      (0)
    I depends on the boat gear. Do you know what they will have? I realize this stuff is expensive but I would build 1 40# set up.

    On my first trip my friend lent me 3 setups including a 20#. We got on the albacore and I caught 5 on the light line. I drove home and bought a 30#, a 40# and a 60#. Never looked back.
     
  4. Abaco

    Abaco Member

    Location:
    Sacramento
    Name:
    Dave
    Boat:
    The Organ
    • Messages:
      (815)
    • Likes Received:
      (175)
    Warning! This hobby is highly addictive. There's really nothing else like it. I'm going on my 3rd LR trip on the same boat right after you. I still feel like a noob in terms of the learning curve. There is a lot to learn. However, if you pay attention, learn how to stay out of people's way (learn the dance of "over-under" when people are fighting fish at the rail), you'll do just fine. Nothing wrong with starting with the boat's gear, either. That's how I got started and it's a good idea to learn before you start forking over dough for gear. On my first trip, it was very rough and so many people got sick that I'm sure many have decided to never go LR fishing again (I know two of them...sissies).
     
  5. johndtuttle

    johndtuttle Angler/Client

    Location:
    Carmel, CA
    Name:
    john
    Boat:
    not crazy enough yet
    • Messages:
      (5,569)
    • Likes Received:
      (1,711)
    The key to the trip is going to be a "40lb" set up which typically is actually 50lb solid braid to 40lb top shot/leader (mono/fluoro). This is what you will use for 90% of the fishing. The other is a dropper loop rig. Typically this is an 80lb setup for fishing near the bottom (actually the top of the pinnacles) of the structure the boats park over offshore.

    Learning to cast the 40lb set up is pretty key. It's not uber hard but ideally you would get practice before you go if you are at all a newbie with this rig.

    After that it's all about keeping your bait swimming.

    What level of experience do you have with that?
     
  6. nicodemus

    nicodemus Member

    Location:
    ALBUQUERQUE
    Name:
    Nicholas Bronson
    Boat:
    themodcatfish
    • Messages:
      (182)
    • Likes Received:
      (214)
    Well, I don't get seasick, been on all types of boats in pretty hairy weather, so no worries there. And I've done the over/under thing with salmon and halibut and multiple people hooked up, so should be able to adapt to that fairly quickly.

    As far as gear, I'm not sure I can swing my own gear yet. The charter boss/captain (not of the boat, but the guy sponsoring the trip) said he had a sweet setup he'd be happy to bring, so I'll definitely talk to him more and the folks with the boat to get a feel for the gear.

    The bottom fishing I'm familiar with if it's at all similar to halibut and/or lingcod, using either bait or jigs...I love jig fishing myself.

    As far as flylining sardines on 40-lb. gear, I'll certainly need some practice. I fished albacore years ago, but other than that.... And keeping the bait at its best and swimming, I'm sure, requires some degree of finesse. That'll also be a learning curve. Any tips in these areas that don't require simply experience?
     
  7. johndtuttle

    johndtuttle Angler/Client

    Location:
    Carmel, CA
    Name:
    john
    Boat:
    not crazy enough yet
    • Messages:
      (5,569)
    • Likes Received:
      (1,711)
    Hard to say much that the time on the boat won't help but a couple of things.

    Somehow, some way you gotta practice conventional casting. Ideally with the same rig you would use on the trip you cast with a clothes pin to practice casting a sardine. You don't have to go far. If you make 10 yards you are in the game. The issue here is that your bait wants to hide, and the best place for it to hide is up tight to the hull under the boat. Tuna will be reluctant to hit it there for fear of injuring themselves. If you can't get your bait away from the boat you won't get bit much.

    If you get it out 10 yards it will swim away from the pressure you are putting on it. The next part is pretty simple in practice but hard to explain. You have to "goose" your bait to get it to keep moving. You do this by "back pedaling" on the reel in free spool to gently snug up to the bait. When it feels the light tug it will again run away from the pressure, if it gets total slack it will swim more randomly or not much and either way can cause tangles with others and not attract fish. Back pedaling looks like this:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    You can see Gary and Willie are using their fingers to kind of feather the spool to take up the slack to goose their bait to keep it moving. When done right that frisky sardine can get 50, 75, even 100 yards from the boat and into the zone where the fish will bite. You will see everyone doing it an pick it up quick but the real masters are the ones getting bit the most. When you do it right and the bait is fresh when you come tight the line will suddenly shoot away as the sardine runs again. This is exactly what you want to trigger a tuna to pick it up. Any time the bait is actively taking line off of your reel in free spool you are about to get bit. If it is just sitting there, barely alive, it has minimal attraction to the fish. Either goose it and get it moving or if it refuses, change baits.

    Other than that well, quite a bit to talk about as to where and how you get in the water. The Jig stops offshore can be really hectic as everyone rushes to get a bait in the water. Don't stress as a newbie as this is a time to really get in a cluster if you rush. DON'T. When you finally get to Alijos or the Ridge the fishing will be way more relaxed and the vast majority of fall trips land so much tonnage you hardly know what to do with it all. Use the start of the trip to watch and learn. You actually will pick up more NOT fishing and more watching then, put what you have learned into practice.

    Plenty more to talk about with live bait fishing (where to put a bait in the water ie stern, side or bow, how and where to hook a bait and why, how to avoid tangles, how to read how the boat is swinging, where the current is coming from), many important considerations to get in the best zone where the fish are actually feeding. Maybe others will chime in.


    salute
     
  8. Abaco

    Abaco Member

    Location:
    Sacramento
    Name:
    Dave
    Boat:
    The Organ
    • Messages:
      (815)
    • Likes Received:
      (175)
    Yeah, you're lining it all up well. Yer gonna be fine. I only got hit with seasickness once - in severe and foggy seas, and it was minor for me. But, it was enough to know that I didn't want to mess with it. From what I've seen, it's rarely an issue on these trips.

    My own tradition...I take one or more bottles of wine with me. After we finish it after a dinner I have a prewritten note that I double ziplock, stuff in a bottle and toss over the transome. Haven't heard back yet (after two) but I understand such bottles have been found on the other side of the Pacific.

    Oh, and get ready to eat like a king on the trip, if it's anything like my two trips on the RP.
     
  9. peterc

    peterc Member

    Location:
    capo beach
    Name:
    peter
    Boat:
    Grady 263 Chase
    • Messages:
      (217)
    • Likes Received:
      (51)
    I've done my only two trips longer than 2 days on the Royal Star. The boat gear is all shimano stuff. I used some of it on both trips. It looks used but works perfectly.

    My biggest advice is listen to the crew. They are awesome. They know what they are talking about, and want to help you catch fish. You will do fine. What trip are you on?
     
  10. HermosaJoe

    HermosaJoe Well-Known "Member"

    Location:
    Hermosa CA
    • Messages:
      (1,267)
    • Likes Received:
      (124)
    Read and reread what John wrote in post #7. You might even wanna print it out and read it again after your first fill day fishing. It will be 'theoretical' right now, but gospel later.

    Gear: boat gear is usually pretty good. But I have some stories, even from one of the top boats, about marginal gear and losing a fish of a lifetime. So, although it's not absolutely necessary, take your friend up on borrowing that quality 40lb outfit he offered. Even the boat's gear is good, then you'll have two set-ups for 40lb, in case you backlash (you will) or bust off during a hot bite. [Oh, I just read the previous post...posted while I was writing mine. Shimano gear? You are gonna be in great shape. The last thing Shimano wants are stories of tackle failure on their loaner gear. The whole purpose is to get you to buy their product!] :rofl:

    And don't worry. I'm sure there are exceptions, but I've never heard of anyone coming back from a 7-day September trip on the Royal Star without plenty of fish.

    If you drink, bringing a nice bottle of wine for each night is the bomb. Or hard liquor, if that's your thing. Some guys bring their own favorite brand of beer. Strikes me as a bit tacky, since they sell beer on the boat, but if ya leave a nice tip, whatever.

    A Kindle or laptop to read or watch movies in your stateroom during travel time. Earplugs to help you sleep better.

    Hmm...in addition to the fluorocarbon, bring some Salas 6x Jr jigs (one blue and white, one scrambled egg). You said you like jigs and you might have fun yo-yoing for yellows at the islands.

    Oh, one last thing, especially as a newbie: bring a case of Red Bull on the boat, find a friendly deckhand, hand it to him and say, "This is my first time long-range fishing. You can have this, if you'll teach me how to fish." :)
     
  11. saltwaterfish

    saltwaterfish Well-Known "Member"

    Location:
    Los Alamitos, CA
    Name:
    Jason
    Boat:
    looking for new one
    • Messages:
      (2,257)
    • Likes Received:
      (187)
    Probably fishing the rocks bring plenty of salas irons Yoyo is fun
     
  12. Sactotuna

    Sactotuna Well-Known "Member"

    Location:
    sacramento
    Name:
    jim
    Boat:
    Royal Star
    • Messages:
      (1,768)
    • Likes Received:
      (136)
    Royal Star boat gear is well maintained. You will need fluoro leaders. Call the office and talk to Tim/Randy/or Brian directly. I ALWAYS recommend getting info straight from the horse's mouth. These are the guys who're on the water all the time. They're very happy to talk at length about what you'll really need (and not) as a first timer.

    Best advice is to also talk with the capt and crew as soon as you're out of port and ask for pointers . . . it's not rocket science, you just have to ask. Everyone likes helping a newbie, you're the lifeblood of LR fishing!

    Good luck, you'll have sooooo much fun.
     
  13. egarratt

    egarratt Well-Known "Member"

    Location:
    San Diego
    Name:
    Eddie G
    Boat:
    None
    • Messages:
      (595)
    • Likes Received:
      (359)
    Do what John wrote. That was good stuff.
     
  14. malanx

    malanx Royal Star 200# Club

    Location:
    Mountain View
    Name:
    Jonny
    Boat:
    SD landings
    • Messages:
      (160)
    • Likes Received:
      (48)
    I'll reiterate listen to the crew! My first long range trip was on the royal star and the deckhands will all go out of their way to help you. When you get on the boat, just let them know you are new.

    Regardless of which captain is on that trip, brian, tim or randy, they all really know their stuff. I would also suggest calling up Tracy in the office and have her put you in touch with one of the captains, and ask they directly what gear/ supplied they recommend for that specific trip. I would talk to them once (or more now) and then call up again about a week before your trip and get an update on expected destinations, etc.


    As far as questions to ask --- pretty much anything fishing related, regardless of how stupid it might sound. Long range fishing is about everyone doing well. almost all good anglers will gladly help you out, as this will keep you out of tangle, hooking fish, and keeping schools near the boat.

    Suggestions of stuff to bring ---

    Make sure your boots are comfortable!
    wet wipes
    mesh bag for laundry
    beverages to enjoy with the world class dinners you will get

    warnings - as mentioned above, once you go, you can't stop.... after my first ten day, im now booked on a 6 day in august and a 12 day in december, and eyeing a 15 day and or the cliperton adventure.... $$$$$$$$$$$$$$

    Enjoy, and please feel free to ask me anything about the RS specifically.

    ~j
     
  15. OFN

    OFN COB

    Location:
    Leona Valley
    Name:
    Nat
    Boat:
    Striper 2150, Indie
    • Messages:
      (1,404)
    • Likes Received:
      (29)
    Lots of great advice above. A couple of things in addition to learning from the crew. Bring plenty of money for two important things that I have not seen mentioned. Tip the crew well, 20% of the cost of the trip is not unreasonable more if you can afford it. As you are a newbie these guys are going to spend extra time helping you. The second is make sure you have plenty of money to get your fish processed. Not unusual to spend $300 to $500 or more to get fish processed at the end of a trip. It is well worth the money to get the wonderful resource you will be catching vacuum packed and flash frozen. Cutting your own fish just gets crazy stupid, and discarding the carcases is problematic. If you do not have a lot of freezer room consider doing some catch and release (let the crew know) as it is easy to come home with hundreds of pounds of fillets after processing. You are going to have a great time, the boat you are going on is excellent with a great crew.
     
  16. nicodemus

    nicodemus Member

    Location:
    ALBUQUERQUE
    Name:
    Nicholas Bronson
    Boat:
    themodcatfish
    • Messages:
      (182)
    • Likes Received:
      (214)
    Thanks to everyone for the posts! Although it's only "theoretical" to read the style of working the bait, I can visualize it pretty good. I'll do as suggested and get in good with at least one deckhand and I'm never shy about asking questions or taking advice from those with the experience. And I'll return to John's post as suggested.

    I'll see what I can come up with to practice the clothespin flip with. Anyone know anyone in the Albuquerque area that does these trips and has gear?

    I'll also give the office a call and get in touch with one of the skippers to get their input.

    And, I've already been in touch with the folks at Fisherman's Processing; I've filleted up my share of fish and packaged them, but I have plenty of respect and experience using a good processor - hard to beat.
     
  17. nicodemus

    nicodemus Member

    Location:
    ALBUQUERQUE
    Name:
    Nicholas Bronson
    Boat:
    themodcatfish
    • Messages:
      (182)
    • Likes Received:
      (214)
    I'll also talk with the office about jig types and bring along a few of those. Love, love, love jig fishing.
     
  18. nicodemus

    nicodemus Member

    Location:
    ALBUQUERQUE
    Name:
    Nicholas Bronson
    Boat:
    themodcatfish
    • Messages:
      (182)
    • Likes Received:
      (214)
    Oh, and as far as simply observing as a learning technique...I couldn't agree more. But damn if it won't be hard to stand back while fish are busting loose!
     
  19. Antares

    Antares The popcorn police

    Location:
    San Diego/Maui
    Name:
    Drew
    Boat:
    29'
    • Messages:
      (1,372)
    • Likes Received:
      (38)
    Start saving for your second trip.
     
  20. johndtuttle

    johndtuttle Angler/Client

    Location:
    Carmel, CA
    Name:
    john
    Boat:
    not crazy enough yet
    • Messages:
      (5,569)
    • Likes Received:
      (1,711)
    Here's a photo of text book form for casting. This is Frank LoPreste, owner of the RP and Shogun and Fisherman's Landing and Fisherman's Processing etc. Total SD Long Range Legend. If this isn't good enough after 40-50 years on the water I don't know what is.

    You want to use your whole shoulder with pretty much zero wrist or elbow. If you do the clothes pin thing to practice just use a bit of scotch tape to attach it. That way you get a sense of how gentle you have to be to not damage the sardine. Especially important if you are butt or back hooking rather than through the tougher nose cartilage:

    [​IMG]

    This way you also are in control of your bait (and more importantly your hook) when casting around others. Take your time, and another reason to use circle hooks to maybe spare someone if you screw up.

    ps. Not *really* saying don't fish on the way down just take a deep breath and maybe not be the first guy at the bait tank. At the start of the trip people will be all hyper cause they haven't pulled on a fish in awhile etc. but it is rarely worth it. Now, it is certainly true the old maxim that "the first bait in the water is often the one to get bit" on a jig stop but that is really for the 3-5 day trips that have a scratch bite the whole time to stress. On a 7-8 day you are gonna be dealing with tonnage at least in yellowtail, so there is no need to foam at the mouth like you'll see guys do the first/second day. Trust me, at the end of 7 days everyone will have a ton a fish in the RSW and people will be chillin'. That's when I will finally make an effort to be one of the first in the water quicker just for fun as it's less hectic.


    salute
     

Share This Page