Offshore TOPGUN 80 EPIC BEAST MODE

PENN

dtfisherman

GONE FISHING
Nov 9, 2015
231
655
San Juan Capistrano
Name
Danny
Boat
None
TOP GUN 80 EPIC BEAST MODE

August 5, 2019 8PM Departure

TG80 took 20 of us on a magical experience of a lifetime. TG80 Captain Scotty will remind you at first glance of Captain Quint in Jaws. You see in him eyes that love to kill fish especially while he’s singing a song only salty dogs remember. Nate, Tree or Trevor before, Pat and Julio are his top-notch and crackerjack crew. For the accountants, here’s the numbers: 20 Anglers, 1.5 days, 84.5, 85, 130, 254, 258, 278, 280, 289.4, and 290.4. 9 BFT. 6 Cows.

I call H&M first thing at 8:36AM hoping to jump on the TG80 and fish SCI for Big BFT. I ask the landing rep if TG80 is targeting Yellowtail down south like 90% of the fleet or running the Go Big or Go Bust BFT bus. To my disheartenment he was guessing they’re heading south for the surer Tails bite but he wasn’t 100% sure. Down but not out I ask when they would know for sure. In my mind, I’m very sick and likely incurable like my friend Tony with BFT Fever and began silently saying to myself just like him that “I’d rather play ping pong” than chase Tails down south. The rep tells me to call back between 2-3PM and the captain will tell the landing what they will be targeting. Hope is floating and in the air. Like a kid that can’t wait til Christmas morning, I can’t wait and call back at 12:41PM to now heartening news, TG80 fishing US waters! Which is code for Big BFT to my ears. I still have to drive my daughter to Irvine at 3:30PM, reschedule tomorrows work and run a few errands so I’m guessing I’m 80% sure I’ll make it to SD on time. I share my problem with my Clipper Nation friend and he texts me two encouraging words back, Speed up! I do and surprisingly get to H&M by 7PM and sign up as #20 the last lucky angler. 19 more stories to tell but I’ll share only 3 more here because I know this is supposed to be an f I s h I n g only website. Opposite of me, two former standout college football players, Sunny and Adrian signed on hoping to chase Tails. Devin and his wife drove from Missouri 1600 miles and 24 hours so Devin could go fishing and he brought one rod. Shane drove from Northern Cal on Friday with his girlfriend and his girlfriend’s Mom to fish for BFT. At the time of his decision and reservation, H&M was not a sure go and was a for sure maybe for BFT. Shane worked on boats that fished for Spot Prawns and Crab on commercial boats out of the bay area. He knows there’s many a reason boats stay at the dock so it definitely wasn’t his logical left brain force that got him to head south. Did I mention that Devin brought one rod, well Shane didn’t even bring a rod. The magnetic force that got Shane all the way here and many more I believe is hope and faith. Last story is about thread. The one common thread I saw in 20 lottery ticket winning anglers, Crusty Captain Quint, oops Scotty and Crew have and behold is a fathomless love for fishing.

August 6, Tuesday, 3AM, half a dozen of us like trained seals wake up as soon as the engine shuts off. On deck we’re in Pyramid Cove and welcomed by a half dozen squid boats lit up and working in a single line. All of us drop our lines dreaming of a WSB or Tails if it wants to play but the seals are a nightmare that even after 90 minutes of trying won’t go away… Beaten, skunked-sealed, we head back to the galley to initiate our Plan B, breakfast. Luckily Captain Scotty’s Plan B, was B-FT so we headed out. First stop 30-50#ers were metered below with no reaction to our chum but we still go into attack mode with sinker rigs, FF’s, flyline dines, knife jigs, iron…for 30 minutes of unbent rods. We go into search mode again and within 30 minutes were on a school of bigger units, 60-80-100#ers and blowups on the chum line start popping like popcorn. We’re all excited and go into attack mode again with the same repertoire of WMD’s but Bluefin go into their typical anti-social, all show and no go, lockjaw mode and sink out. Seeing that this school was in no mood to play we moved on up the backside of SCI along a temperature break X miles from shore and the Y fathom line. X and Y not available for print at the moment, sorry but if you monitor marinetraffic.com you may be able to figure it out. Anyway this third school goes on and on and on on the captains meter and she’s estimated to be 500 tons of 80-300#ers. We shut down and go into drift, kite and attack mode instantly and simultaneously. First two rotations go by with a few blowup teasers but no bent rods. While there’s 20 guys on the rail fishing hard but no biters below. Third rotation, they randomly call my # 20, and Second Cap Pat’s bit, winds down, line tightens, rod bends and it’s game on. I tag team with Gary and 30-40 minutes later my 130#er hits the deck. Second kite rod goes off and Chris is up. This one locked onto the TG80 like a torpedo launched from a sub so I thought it was a smaller unit with no fight in it. After seeing the hull, it woke up and took off, finally realizing he was hooked. But after 55 minutes it floated to the surface and to all’s surprise this was a massive beast and almost guarantee JP fish at 289.4 pounds after bleeding. Shane was up in the next rotation and after a good one hour battle he decked his first Bluefin, an 84.5#er. Boy was smiling and I’ll bet anybody a Benji that he’s still smiling right now. I don’t know how it’s possible for 500 tons of BFT to just disappear and vanish without a trace but it happened so we went into search mode again. Moving up north east along the backside the meter lights up again but this time these are even bigger units 200-300#ers. The schools estimated volume is 300 tons! These beasts we affectionately called and coined as CCC for Cookie Cutter Cows. From 1PM to 7PM we were in Beast Mode and went on a 6 hour ,6 mile drift over CCC’s! 5 more 250+#ers came onto TG80’s deck and a baby 85#er at sunset. We went 9 for 12 on this magical and epic day. Alvin’s fish we had at Scotty’s Playhouse which is the bow, took 3+ hours of intense battling by a dozen of us, and looked significantly bigger than his BFF”s(Best Fishing Friend) 289.4#er. We estimated it a 330-350#er, sadly the hook pulled at color with 6 gaffs at ready…

Kite fishing on the TG80 is really a total team mindset where 3-12 guys with “fresh hands” rotate and pull till you cramp up or can’t breathe. Best Sixth Man Onboard Award goes to two people, Brian and Sal. Neither one was blessed with a fish but both went home with plenty in their coolers and our blessing, respect and gratitude. Fastest CCC Caught Trophy appropriately and expectedly went to the combined weight of 550#’s duo of 260# USC running back Sunny and 290# SDSU Defensive End Adrian record of 55 minutes plus or minus 3 seconds. Amazingly Sunny who wanted to catch Yellowtail won the JP too by a single pound, 290.4 vs 289.4. Most Inspirational Award is a tie to two Father–Son teams. One is Christopher and Trevin of the Capitan Grande Indians and Kumeyaay Nation. It took two plus hours but Shane made sure and a few others that their tribe was going to get their first taste of fresh caught CCC Bluefin. The other is Joe and Jason whom I’m confident will both be sore the rest of this week and parts of next. Honorable Mention goes to Tall Paul who did his best to help others and in the ninth inning landed the last fish and his personal best 85#er.

No more cutting fish onboard is allowed. So many of us chose Sportsman Seafood aka Mario’s. They charged 85 cents a pound to cut and vacuum seal our fish. We compared and appreciate that Alfonso and his crew did great work at a competitive price.

I’ve been out a dozen times kite flying on PB’s for nada. Today, TG80 has flipped me 360 on its deadly performance ability and effectiveness especially for the beasts. All I can say is Wow and Thank You to TG80 for enabling us to witness and be the anglers in an unbelievably magical experience of a lifetime. Truly in awe and humbled by His presence, providence and protection. He is good.

And now these three graces remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love. 1 Corinthians 13:13

TG80 BFF's FIRST COW.jpg TG80 BLOODY DECKS.jpg TG80 FIVE GAFFER.jpg TG80 GROUP PIC.jpg TG80 ADRIAN AND SUNNY CCC.jpg TG80 CHRISTOPHER AND TREVIN CCC.jpg TG80 DEVIN's CCC.jpg TG80 SHANE's FIRST BFT.png TG80 JOE AND JASON CCC.jpg TG80 TALL PAUL AND GARY.jpg TG80 CAPTAIN QUINT AND ME.png
 
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tunacraze

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  • Nov 27, 2006
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    Santee
    Name
    Steve Brunton
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    The Big Ones
    Boom! Great report and Great enthusiasm! Trip of lifetime right there! It's one thing to watch them, but you picked the right day and caught 'em! Some great stories behind that trip!
     
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    gunmax

    Newbie
    Jul 8, 2013
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    Alvin
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    who cares
    Incredible story Danny, it was a pleasure fishing right beside you and the rest of the crew aboard that day. They can still be biting right now and we are home or work and probably sore from the CCCs. It was sad to lose the 3 hr battle, there’s no other person I’d rather have the sword than Capt scotty in his favorite kill zone. These fish are huge for a reason and we were fortunate to see 6 of them. Let’s try to hit another trip again this year!

    Alvin
     
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    PaDDy Killer'

    I Should Upgrade My Account
    May 9, 2008
    2,017
    517
    Santa Clarita
    Name
    Patrick
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    Parker 2520 & 17' Whaler
    Killer report! Glad to see many pigs decked. Were you guys flying real flying fish off the kites, yummys or double trouble rig?
     
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    dtfisherman

    GONE FISHING
    Nov 9, 2015
    231
    655
    San Juan Capistrano
    Name
    Danny
    Boat
    None
    Incredible story Danny, it was a pleasure fishing right beside you and the rest of the crew aboard that day. They can still be biting right now and we are home or work and probably sore from the CCCs. It was sad to lose the 3 hr battle, there’s no other person I’d rather have the sword than Capt scotty in his favorite kill zone. These fish are huge for a reason and we were fortunate to see 6 of them. Let’s try to hit another trip again this year!

    Alvin
    Thanks Alvin,
    Yes, epic CCC's!
    You got my number, expecting your call as soon as my arms and legs stop hurting.
    Peace
     
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    dtfisherman

    GONE FISHING
    Nov 9, 2015
    231
    655
    San Juan Capistrano
    Name
    Danny
    Boat
    None
    Killer report! Glad to see many pigs decked. Were you guys flying real flying fish off the kites, yummys or double trouble rig?

    TG80 fished-netted SCI flying fish a couple nights before our 1.5. Julio and Scotty said they were up til 2AM harvesting them. We had a tandem system going, one kite/balloon and two flying fish bait rods. Avet 50/2 with custom 3X or 4X rods. Yummy's and double trouble was not used at all.
     
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    dtfisherman

    GONE FISHING
    Nov 9, 2015
    231
    655
    San Juan Capistrano
    Name
    Danny
    Boat
    None
    Jeff asked me some questions and I'll post it here for all.

    Hi Jeff,

    Thanks.

    I believe in timing and grace.

    Sharing the fight is optional.

    Yes, I found it strange at first to hand off too but learned very quickly it's reasoning. Every kite fish from whatever angle you look at it is really a boat fish. It's their boat, spot, rod, reel, kite, line, hooks, bait, cast, setup, system, intel... they even hookset and hand off at the start. JP or jackpot when kite fishing is more about luck and fun than it is skill. You do learn though how to and how not to pull on the the Big Boys too. Which is a great skill to have in your pocket. Plus it's normally or should be imho an automatic tip to the Captain and Crew for their hard work (if they did). So if you fight your fish yourself for 2+/- hours then you're one and done or spent for the day. The team concept is to put everybody's fish on the deck, not just the one you get on your rotation. If you're a good angler or someone with "fresh hands" which was yelled out all day you'll be pulling on 5-6 or even more if your body doesn't shut down. That's how we were able to put 9 fish, almost 10, on the deck when other boats might get 2-3. Many of us have been on boats with one guy fighting his fish for two hours while the rest of us are trying to stay awake for the next move. The guy can barely turn the handle after two hours and finally hands off, 5 minutes later the fish is at color and on the deck. If it's a non-kite fish and my rod, my gear and feels like it's a world record on the line, I'm not handing off unless I can't breathe or my muscles freeze. Not a world record, I'm ok with handing off as long as the guy can fish with my left-handed reels.
     
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    afraser

    I Should Upgrade My Account
    Apr 20, 2008
    1,753
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    sf, ca
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    aaron
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    NA
    Awesome, just awesome. Going out on a 3.5 day on 15, I pray we don’t have yellowtail on the menu. You said you had 2 bait rods for flying fish, how are these fished? I personally hate the idea of a handoff but I understand it. Then everyone gets to fight these brutes instead of chasing yellowtail. Were there any bites on anything but kite baits?
     
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    tom cindric

    Tom-broke-off
    Jun 17, 2015
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    Lake elsinore
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    all she's got
    Boat
    22 key largo / 2670 Glacier Bay
    Great story! Normally long reports loose my interest in the first 30 seconds. Your report had me glued to my phone until the end. Sounds like and excellent trip for all on board.
     
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    dtfisherman

    GONE FISHING
    Nov 9, 2015
    231
    655
    San Juan Capistrano
    Name
    Danny
    Boat
    None
    Awesome, just awesome. Going out on a 3.5 day on 15, I pray we don’t have yellowtail on the menu. You said you had 2 bait rods for flying fish, how are these fished? I personally hate the idea of a handoff but I understand it. Then everyone gets to fight these brutes instead of chasing yellowtail. Were there any bites on anything but kite baits?

    I've attached here what it kinda looks like. I didn't take pics on the TG80 and even if I did I wouldn't post it here just to protect possibly their proprietary system. Even though none of us signed a NDA I'll share what I think they'd approve of. Yes, two baited flying fish rods, one on the upper deck with the electric reeled kite rod and one at the bow. They are fished with the flying fish dangling on the surface or skipping up and down. Some boats have the anglers watch the rods and others have one of the crew man it. Aaron, I don't know how many 250#+ CCC's you've pulled on but if your heart and legs can endure a 10 mile run at 8-10 minute clip and you can sprint the last quarter mile, then you familiarize yourself with their gears drag, rod strength and bend, reel settings, line capacity and setup; then you might not need to hand off. These beasts don't ask but demand respect. The cool and possibly semi-secret thing about the TG80 is that on one occasion we had 5 bait rods all bent at the same time! Hope TG80 still let's me fish with them after sharing this...Now you know why some of us, tired, beaten and bruised from head to toe, we're still too excited to even sleep all the way back to the harbor.

    Were there any bites on anything but kite baits? NO

    Good Luck on your 3.5! 15th is the Full Moon Bite so unless it's cloudy, it'll be a sunrise to sunset bite.
     

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    Jul 18, 2012
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    2
    Indio, Ca
    Name
    Chris
    Boat
    Unknown
    Danny

    Wow, what a great post! It was an honor and pleasure to fish besides great men on the TG80! It was truly a trip of a lifetime and definitely memorable. The crew on TG80 definitely made the trip epic and I’m truly grateful for everyone’s hard work! Looking forward to another trip real soon.

    Chris
    (#289.4 winner)
     

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