Offshore TOPGUN 80 EPIC BEAST MODE

PENN

bajaspearo

Member
May 25, 2006
292
217
Corona
Name
Tanner Cortes
Boat
18' Stringari
One of the best reports I've read on this forum ever. You have immense positive energy and through your words I was able to feel it.

Oh and the fishing seemed pretty epic too.
 
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tommyc

Hacker
Jul 30, 2011
342
299
Livermore, CA
Name
Tom
Boat
Beatem N' Eatem
This report is excellent and the trip design is also. Your short trip was the polar opposite of my five day the previous week. All big fish for your trip and almost nothing over 10 lbs on my five day. The TG80 strategy for fishing them was spot on, tell everyone on the boat that the boat is fishing as a team and that all of the fish caught, if any, will be shared equally and then go fishing for the big ones. It doesn't punch the card for anyone's, "I caught this cow", dreams but it sure provided on heck of an experience to all of you. Thanks for the great read.
 
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dtfisherman

GONE FISHING
Nov 9, 2015
231
655
San Juan Capistrano
Name
Danny
Boat
None
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)

Hey Chris,

Thanks! Ditto my friend.

I first met Alvin and you in the H&M parking lot fighting for parking spots; you in a big truck and me in my littler 4 door. I could see that you were not comfortable in the spot you had and was eyeing the spot I was going to slide into. So I motioned and gave you the option to switch spots and we did. I had already unloaded my gear from a 30 minute parking spot and had it on TG80 so I asked Alvin if you guys needed help. You two had did the same so I turned to walk back to the TG80 but I turned back again and asked, "what boat are you going on?" Alvin replied, Topgun 80. That was cool. The not so cool part was that when I asked you if you wanted to switch fish like we did parking spots. You didn't answer me...130#er for a 289.4#er seems fair to me?

Peace

Ps I'm sure if your BFF would've landed that 330-350#er, you'd switch then :-D
 
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dtfisherman

GONE FISHING
Nov 9, 2015
231
655
San Juan Capistrano
Name
Danny
Boat
None
One of the best reports I've read on this forum ever. You have immense positive energy and through your words I was able to feel it.

Oh and the fishing seemed pretty epic too.

I woke up this morning, 3 days later, and still feeling higher than the kite we flew on TG80. Hooked on a feeling...

I know we were fishing but it felt more like a ride, an interactive roller coaster that's out of your control. Best to just scream and enjoy the ride, getting it on deck is icing on the cake. Ask Alvin, he knows...
 
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afraser

I Should Upgrade My Account
Apr 20, 2008
1,753
1,461
sf, ca
Name
aaron
Boat
NA
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.

Thank you again. Great info, and rest assured it’s not proprietary info. Seems like they only used one kite? Just ran two baits off of it. Live or dead flyers? I think I saw you say they were live, but wasn’t sure. I’ve fished fresh dead just bobbing on the surface and they work great. No need to troll. If you watch videos of flyers they will just lay out on the surface with their wings open doing almost nothing. And yes, if we are talking CCC bluefin, I’ve caught a few and lost a few, one about 300 at gaff after 4 hours on 50lb. Still trying to make up for that one. Never caught a super cow. It’s a lot about technique, I watched a 100lb woman bring in 4 cow yft on one trip with the right gear and technique. You have to use different muscle groups at different times in the fight, keep the rod on the rail or hold it with a straight arm only, rest when he runs, that sort of thing, then anyone can do a 2 hour fight. My last semi big bft, 160lb, stayed up on the surface the entire fight, then all those techniques I mentioned didnt work as well. Still with the right gear, 80-100lb line, anything under 160 should be 20-30 minute fish. The 180-250 fish should be 1-1.5 hours unless you are chasing them down, then less. That’s like 90% of fish. Then there are demon fish where a 200lb fish could be 4 hours. Just as often you get a lazy or stupid fish you get to the boat in 5-10 minutes. I had a cow to the boat in 5 minutes at night, the first gaff pulled out twice so it ended up taking 15 minutes, so it does happen.
 
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P

Paddyman1

Those fish are enormous! Enough meat right there to serve up a turkey-sized slab at Thanksgiving!

Congrats on a great experience!
 
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tincanman826

Newbie
Jul 31, 2019
6
7
64
Los Angeles
Name
Rick Molina
Boat
Jason
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
Arigato Brother!
I, on the other hand, had a less than similar experience on the Ranger 85; 1 BFT for 28 anglers on a 1.5 day that came in this morning as well. Yes, it was a "Go Big, or go bust", but it appears your captain had a well thought out Plan B, C, and D. Kudos to you, your mates, and your captain. A question for the audience, when does a captain abandon his plans to provide a monster, and provide an experience of the kind so eloquently portrayed above?
 
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dtfisherman

GONE FISHING
Nov 9, 2015
231
655
San Juan Capistrano
Name
Danny
Boat
None
Great fishing report Danny.This was a epic fishing trip we had looking forward to many more trips with great people.

Hey Shane,

Don't forget to send me a text. I got about 20 pics of you in action. From now on when you google; Baptism By Fire, your pic will show up. You are the only one I know that lands his first tuna then gets to practice and pull on 3-4 more cows. Most times for BFT, if you're bit once during the day, you smile and say, "that's a good day!"

I never saw you rest or take a break...With every fish, your breathing and technique improved. It's good to have young legs and to be running on new batteries.

Peace
 
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stuman

Brawndo the thirst mutilator
Sep 18, 2004
1,674
1,566
Oside
Name
stu
Boat
skiff
A question for the audience, when does a captain abandon his plans to provide a monster, and provide an experience of the kind so eloquently portrayed above?
Please clarify the question, both trips were fishing for big bluefin.
 
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tincanman826

Newbie
Jul 31, 2019
6
7
64
Los Angeles
Name
Rick Molina
Boat
Jason
Please clarify the question, both trips were fishing for big bluefin.
I'd like to respectfully retract my question as it was based on my complete misunderstanding of what it meant to target a specific fish for the entire trip, and I'll admit, a little jealousy after reading the account of what a boat experienced doing the same. With that being said, the captain and crew of the Ranger 85 are to be commended for their efforts, their professionalism and in particular, their grace in defeat. I'll surely be booking a trip with them in the future, as I have in the past. For me? I've learned a
valuable lesson in Big Fish Hunting, and to wait 24 hours.
 
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carcass

Member
Apr 25, 2009
759
327
Cedar City Utah
Name
scott
Boat
None
I'd like to respectfully retract my question as it was based on my complete misunderstanding of what it meant to target a specific fish for the entire trip, and I'll admit, a little jealousy after reading the account of what a boat experienced doing the same. With that being said, the captain and crew of the Ranger 85 are to be commended for their efforts, their professionalism and in particular, their grace in defeat. I'll surely be booking a trip with them in the future, as I have in the past. For me? I've learned a
valuable lesson in Big Fish Hunting, and to wait 24 hours.

All a captain can do is find the fish. He can't make them bite.
 
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dtfisherman

GONE FISHING
Nov 9, 2015
231
655
San Juan Capistrano
Name
Danny
Boat
None
I'd like to respectfully retract my question as it was based on my complete misunderstanding of what it meant to target a specific fish for the entire trip, and I'll admit, a little jealousy after reading the account of what a boat experienced doing the same. With that being said, the captain and crew of the Ranger 85 are to be commended for their efforts, their professionalism and in particular, their grace in defeat. I'll surely be booking a trip with them in the future, as I have in the past. For me? I've learned a
valuable lesson in Big Fish Hunting, and to wait 24 hours.

I read your post last night and didn't know if I should ignore it, kick and shake you or try to help. In fact, I've been sitting here at my computer pondering and praying...then my phone lights up with your post. I know what to do now, I'd shake your hand.
 
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mhanson59hb

Fear No Fish
  • Apr 22, 2013
    2,269
    3,658
    Huntington Beach
    Name
    Mike
    Boat
    2008 Trophy 1802 "Mako My Day"
    Great report and nice fish.

    I was on the Top Gun 80 last October. I got a turn on the kite, but no bites. Another angler got bit on the kite. 20 minutes in, the guy was spent. Handed off to Capt "Quint" who took that fish to the wood shed. No shame in letting "the man" take over.
     
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    negitoro

    Newbie
    Jun 19, 2012
    86
    326
    villa park, ca
    Name
    bruce
    Boat
    ISLANDER, NEW LO-AN
    Hey Danny,
    As usual, a great report from a great fisherman. Obviously, I would have loved to be on that trip with you. But, I was home in the Islands enjoying ridiculous food, golf and surf. I didn't have time to go fishing. It would have been too hard to charter a boat. Looking forward to sharing the rail with you again.
     
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    1steveT

    Member
    Nov 22, 2010
    733
    338
    Carp, CA, USA
    Name
    Steve T.
    Boat
    soon2B
    Good god almighty!
    See that Glenn was with you on the trip, did a lot of Qualifier trips with him, good fisherman.
    Congrats on the toads!
     
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    dtfisherman

    GONE FISHING
    Nov 9, 2015
    231
    655
    San Juan Capistrano
    Name
    Danny
    Boat
    None
    Hey Danny,
    As usual, a great report from a great fisherman. Obviously, I would have loved to be on that trip with you. But, I was home in the Islands enjoying ridiculous food, golf and surf. I didn't have time to go fishing. It would have been too hard to charter a boat. Looking forward to sharing the rail with you again.

    Hey Bruce,
    Welcome home!
    Hopefully this is just the start of the season for the big boys, beasts, CCC"s...
    It'll be a privilege and pleasure to share the rail with you.
    Peace Brother
     
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