Offshore Tomahawk 1.5 Day Trip Report BFT May 23-25

PENN

2Rotten

Live in Oregon/Love to Fish San Diego!
Jan 10, 2010
476
1,068
Junction City OR
Name
Rod Lathrop
Boat
24' North River Seahawk Hardtop "Sun Dog"
Short report: 28 POB 21 Big BFT Died. Best fishing close to harbor (30 miles). Night time all on jigs. Read on for more details.

Boarded by 11:00 got a bunch of bait (about half/half 'dines/'chovies; pretty lively). Captain Mike (very hard charger and mission-focused) told everyone while we were waiting to board to bring a Heavy Rig; preferably 100#/minimum 80#. Headed SW of Ensenada based on a single recent report (nobody fishing much week before we left/big ocean storm). Ocean was sloppy/messy with 15 knots steady gusting to 20; fairly large swells on a short period; I have the bruises on my thigh from the rail to prove it...

Get to the zone find the Intrepid and not much else. Rough seas and lots of wind. Intrepid has 1 fish. Look hard/fish hard not much going on. Lines are scoping out really bad even with 300 gram jigs; I try a 500 gram glow flat fall still no love. About midnight I decide to try a bridled jig (aka AFRASER rig). Tied a 12/0 Eagle Claw Laser Sharp Circle hook directly to my 100# fluoro leader. Bridled a 300 gram SK Zebra Glow jig with the hooks/rings removed to the bottom of the hook. The action feels much better (without the heavy bite leader). Third drop with the bridled jig it pauses at 260' and the line angle changes slightly. I come tight to just under Strike and lose about 200 yards of line on the first run. First trip for my new 7'6" UC Viper with a Mak 20 SEa loaded with 700 yards of JB metered braid. I stop the run, slide the lever all the way to Strike (33# of drag) but am having trouble picking up line as the wind is blowing the boat away from the fish. I slap it into low gear and start making progress. The fight is lots of fun, pretty much everything I had imagined (I am pretty new to your style of fishing; my biggest Tuna was previously just 60#; I live in Oregon). When I get the fish within 100' I bump the drag up to 40# (not quite all the way to Full). It goes quicker than I expected, nice coaching/encouragement from Brad (excellent Deck Hand), 2 gaffs go into the fish and all the sudden I am looking at this!
 

2Rotten

Live in Oregon/Love to Fish San Diego!
Jan 10, 2010
476
1,068
Junction City OR
Name
Rod Lathrop
Boat
24' North River Seahawk Hardtop "Sun Dog"
PXL_20210524_074230417.jpg
 

2Rotten

Live in Oregon/Love to Fish San Diego!
Jan 10, 2010
476
1,068
Junction City OR
Name
Rod Lathrop
Boat
24' North River Seahawk Hardtop "Sun Dog"
185# live weight based upon 12% shrinkage due to gutted/gilled by the time it was weighed. 20 minutes start to finish. The circle hook was perfectly seated around the jaw bone, almost no chafing of the leader. Hooray!

More enthusiasm now, but no more bites that night. I stayed up fishing, then searching with Captain Mike as everyone else fell out and fell asleep. At 3:30 Captain Mike told me to get some sleep he was making a move. I didn't think I would sleep; wrong! I was awakened to a call of "Fresh One!". There was a little flurry of activity at 5:10 in the new spot. By the time I got on deck at 5:15 there were 5 rods tight. We killed 4 big fish/1 casualty. Unfortunately, despite a lot of effort and searching there was no more action the rest of the day. Late afternoon Captain Mike says "Lines up" we're making 1 last move. We come most of the way back to port, stop about 30 miles out, big dispersed fleet of Charter Boats and larger Sporties. We finally have a sustained productive drift, what I would call a steady pick bite all on jigs. I'm still fishing the "AFraser" bridled 300 gram SK jig, it stops on the way down and 10 minutes later a 125# BFT hits the deck Fun! I catch one more, this time on the crank up, a 120# model. I then start the "Danny Tanaka" hook-and-hand effort. I hook 1 more BFT, again on the crank.

What worked this trip first off was a hard-charging Captain Mike. He ran all the time, looking everywhere, to save a trip that started with pretty tough conditions. He kept everyone fired up to keep working the rail, and would supplement customer effort with crew (Hook and Hand) when effort flagged which really made the trip for several customers. The SK jigs were consistently strong performers. 1 guy fished nothing but a 200 gram KB jig in Pink Silver (front) with Zebra Glow (back) and caught 2 beautiful fish. KB jigs are knife jigs, similar to the old Black Dog jigs, made by James Kikkawa; I have 4 and really like them. The Crew had good luck with large knife jigs.

What didn't seem to work much on this trip were the all-glow Flat Fall jigs. Also bait; we never hooked a single Tuna on bait. Another thing that didn't work for me was TG; That Guy. TG complained and whined too much. I kept my distance while on the boat; just don't like the vibe.

Captain Mike and Tomahawk are a top-notch operation If you really want to work hard and catch fish. A very competitive, hard-charging operation. I loved it! Here come a few more Bloody Decks/Big Fish pics to help you all get pumped up for your upcoming adventures!
 
Last edited:

watersdeep

I CATCH IT. I KILL IT. I CLEAN IT. I DON'T DELIVER
Jan 19, 2016
2,089
1,884
LB
Name
Jed Venture
Boat
the twisted ducker
So there you have it, DON'T BE THAT GUY!!!
Great report.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Tuna Dreamer
Upvote 0

jmch75

Almost A Member
Apr 28, 2017
154
96
San Diego
Name
Joe Curly
Boat
None
Great read. Thanks for the writeup. I, too, am looking to give the "AFraser" rig a try this season just to experiment and change it up. Seems starting from the mid to late season last year to date, the reports seems to be mostly around the reflective striped varieties of flatfalls. (ie: Zebra). I had some success with the solid glow colors last season, and thought it was more me and the action/technique, but I'm beginning to question if the color/stripe is making enough of a difference, and I just was lucky last season. Who knows. Guess it would be an excuse to spend more money on flat falls.

Also, that second photo... Is it my imagination or is there a gold "tinge" on the reel, which looks to be the lever arm. I don't think MAKs have a gold(ish) colored lever arm unless the reel is gold, which clearly it's not. Almost looks like a Talica. And the rod, is that a custom Viper? I don't think factory Vipers look like that.
 
Last edited:
  • Like
Reactions: Tuna Dreamer
Upvote 0

calbrewguy

Member
Jul 12, 2006
713
299
69
Costa Mesa
Name
Randy
Boat
None
185# live weight based upon 12% shrinkage due to gutted/gilled by the time it was weighed. 20 minutes start to finish. The circle hook was perfectly seated around the jaw bone, almost no chafing of the leader. Hooray!

More enthusiasm now, but no more bites that night. I stayed up fishing, then searching with Captain Mike as everyone else fell out and fell asleep. At 3:30 Captain Mike told me to get some sleep he was making a move. I didn't think I would sleep; wrong! I was awakened to a call of "Fresh One!". There was a little flurry of activity at 5:10 in the new spot. By the time I got on deck at 5:15 there were 5 rods tight. We killed 4 big fish/1 casualty. Unfortunately, despite a lot of effort and searching there was no more action the rest of the day. Late afternoon Captain Mike says "Lines up" we're making 1 last move. We come most of the way back to port, stop about 30 miles out, big dispersed fleet of Charter Boats and larger Sporties. We finally have a sustained productive drift, what I would call a steady pick bite all on jigs. I'm still fishing the "AFraser" bridled 300 gram SK jig, it stops on the way down and 10 minutes later a 125# BFT hits the deck Fun! I catch one more, this time on the crank up, a 120# model. I then start the "Danny Tanaka" hook-and-hand effort. I hook 1 more BFT, again on the crank.

What worked this trip first off was a hard-charging Captain Mike. He ran all the time, looking everywhere, to save a trip that started with pretty tough conditions. He kept everyone fired up to keep working the rail, and would supplement customer effort with crew (Hook and Hand) when effort flagged which really made the trip for several customers. The SK jigs were consistently strong performers. 1 guy fished nothing but a 200 gram KB jig in Pink Silver (front) with Zebra Glow (back) and caught 2 beautiful fish. KB jigs are knife jigs, similar to the old Black Dog jigs, made by James Kikkawa; I have 4 and really like them. The Crew had good luck with large knife jigs.

What didn't seem to work much on this trip were the all-glow Flat Fall jigs. Also bait; we never hooked a single Tuna on bait. Another thing that didn't work for me was TG; That Guy. TG complained and whined too much. I kept my distance while on the boat; just don't like the vibe.

Captain Mike and Tomahawk are a top-notch operation If you really want to work hard and catch fish. A very competitive, hard-charging operation. I loved it! Here come a few more Bloody Decks/Big Fish pics to help you all get pumped up for your upcoming adventures!
Tomahawk rocks! Can't wait to get back aboard
 
  • Like
Reactions: Tuna Dreamer
Upvote 0

2Rotten

Live in Oregon/Love to Fish San Diego!
Jan 10, 2010
476
1,068
Junction City OR
Name
Rod Lathrop
Boat
24' North River Seahawk Hardtop "Sun Dog"
Great read. Thanks for the writeup. I, too, am looking to give the "AFraser" rig a try this season just to experiment and change it up. Seems starting from the mid to late season last year to date, the reports seems to be mostly around the reflective striped varieties of flatfalls. (ie: Zebra). I had some success with the solid glow colors last season, and thought it was more me and the action/technique, but I'm beginning to question if the color/stripe is making enough of a difference, and I just was lucky last season. Who knows. Guess it would be an excuse to spend more money on flat falls.

Also, that second photo... Is it my imagination or is there a gold "tinge" on the reel, which looks to be the lever arm. I don't think MAKs have a gold(ish) colored lever arm unless the reel is gold, which clearly it's not. Almost looks like a Talica. And the rod, is that a custom Viper? I don't think factory Vipers look like that.

The bridled jig was very effective; 4-for-4 on hook-ups. I think there was definitely better action on the jig as well; no heavy bite leader or big hooks impeding the action of the jig . Another advantage which I hadn't thought of until deploying, with no 4' bite leader you can wind the fluoro up into the rod making it much easier to make long casts in tight quarters with the jig (helpful when on a fast drift/reduces line scoping).

The other pics you reference aren't me! Just the first pic. I was the only person I knew on board, and didn't want to disturb anyone else's time at the rail to get action pics of me fighting my fish. So, the poles/reels in the other pics are not my Viper/Mak 20.
 
Last edited:

soopaflyjm1

Member
Nov 6, 2012
262
117
Las Vegas Nv Clark
Name
J Money
Boat
Reel Fun
185# live weight based upon 12% shrinkage due to gutted/gilled by the time it was weighed. 20 minutes start to finish. The circle hook was perfectly seated around the jaw bone, almost no chafing of the leader. Hooray!

More enthusiasm now, but no more bites that night. I stayed up fishing, then searching with Captain Mike as everyone else fell out and fell asleep. At 3:30 Captain Mike told me to get some sleep he was making a move. I didn't think I would sleep; wrong! I was awakened to a call of "Fresh One!". There was a little flurry of activity at 5:10 in the new spot. By the time I got on deck at 5:15 there were 5 rods tight. We killed 4 big fish/1 casualty. Unfortunately, despite a lot of effort and searching there was no more action the rest of the day. Late afternoon Captain Mike says "Lines up" we're making 1 last move. We come most of the way back to port, stop about 30 miles out, big dispersed fleet of Charter Boats and larger Sporties. We finally have a sustained productive drift, what I would call a steady pick bite all on jigs. I'm still fishing the "AFraser" bridled 300 gram SK jig, it stops on the way down and 10 minutes later a 125# BFT hits the deck Fun! I catch one more, this time on the crank up, a 120# model. I then start the "Danny Tanaka" hook-and-hand effort. I hook 1 more BFT, again on the crank.

What worked this trip first off was a hard-charging Captain Mike. He ran all the time, looking everywhere, to save a trip that started with pretty tough conditions. He kept everyone fired up to keep working the rail, and would supplement customer effort with crew (Hook and Hand) when effort flagged which really made the trip for several customers. The SK jigs were consistently strong performers. 1 guy fished nothing but a 200 gram KB jig in Pink Silver (front) with Zebra Glow (back) and caught 2 beautiful fish. KB jigs are knife jigs, similar to the old Black Dog jigs, made by James Kikkawa; I have 4 and really like them. The Crew had good luck with large knife jigs.

What didn't seem to work much on this trip were the all-glow Flat Fall jigs. Also bait; we never hooked a single Tuna on bait. Another thing that didn't work for me was TG; That Guy. TG complained and whined too much. I kept my distance while on the boat; just don't like the vibe.

Captain Mike and Tomahawk are a top-notch operation If you really want to work hard and catch fish. A very competitive, hard-charging operation. I loved it! Here come a few more Bloody Decks/Big Fish pics to help you all get pumped up for your upcoming adventures!
I have the makaira 20 as well and my last trip it seemed like the reels with faster retrieves were getting bit. Did you crank like hell or just slow troll it in?
 
  • Like
Reactions: Tuna Dreamer
Upvote 0

2Rotten

Live in Oregon/Love to Fish San Diego!
Jan 10, 2010
476
1,068
Junction City OR
Name
Rod Lathrop
Boat
24' North River Seahawk Hardtop "Sun Dog"
I have the makaira 20 as well and my last trip it seemed like the reels with faster retrieves were getting bit. Did you crank like hell or just slow troll it in?

2 fish were bites on the drop. 2 were normal speed cranks coming back in. 300 gram SK jig in Zebra Glow (Silver on top; silver/glow bands on bottom). Grey light and night fishing. I used a KB jig in Katy Perry during the day on my UC Zeus 3/Fathom 40 nld2 rig, with several different retrieves (power, fast, slow, yank&crank) but I really don't think there were many hungry Tuna under the boat during the daylight hours (no bites for anyone during the day). We were on a 1.5 day; small sample size; could be totally different by tomorrow :)
 

2Rotten

Live in Oregon/Love to Fish San Diego!
Jan 10, 2010
476
1,068
Junction City OR
Name
Rod Lathrop
Boat
24' North River Seahawk Hardtop "Sun Dog"
Any chance of a post of the "Afrasier" setup? Great report, epic trip, thanks! Gets the juices flowing..

Here you go. Remember, AFraser is The Man; this is my effort to imitate The Man. 200# Spectra, double overhand loop knot on each end. Direct tie hook to fluoro leader (I used 100#/fishing at night). 12/0 Eagle Claw 2004G Hook.

PXL_20210527_151315495.jpg
PXL_20210527_151245054.jpg
 
Last edited:

dtfisherman

GONE FISHING
Nov 9, 2015
231
655
San Juan Capistrano
Name
Danny
Boat
None
Lao Tsu said that if you give a hungry man a fish, you feed him for a day, but if you teach him how to fish, you feed him for a lifetime. I'm pretty sure Lao was a pretty good fisherman and was right next to you smiling when you hooked and handed off your fish. And even though I was on land working, I know for sure that I was on the rail too next to you with my head nodding and smiling, especially on the last fish that you shared. Good job Rod...
 
Upvote 0