Offshore TR: Outrider 6/4 - 6/7

PENN

Sakana Seeker

Newbie
Jul 4, 2020
4
52
California
Name
Koji
Boat
Hobie Revo 13
From NorCal so I don’t post much here, but wanted to share, so here it goes!

TLDR, incredible trip on the Outrider 2.5 day out of Fisherman’s Landing June 4-7. It was my first time on an overnight trip, and the 9 of us caught 14 BFT, 2 over 200 pounds, 3 just under 200, 7 @ 100-130 pounds, and 2 @ 60-70 pounds. Many PBs, including for me. The big ones were all caught on the kite, while most of the others were on sardines. Just one or two on the jig. The crew was a well-oiled machine, with Captain Jeff Walker at the helm, second Captain Salazar, master chef/deckhand Chapo, and deckhand Teddy always on the move, tying knots, throwing bait, helping the clients out, and providing lots of laughs and stories. I’ve never met TG, so not sure what he looks like, but he may have been on the boat. No more about that!



Here’s the detailed report: The Outrider is a 50’ Delta constructed in 1976 designed to handle the rough seas of the PNW. We didn’t come close to testing her fiberglass strength, however, since the weekend was spent on Lake Ensenada in near perfect weather. She had plenty of room for the 9 of us on the rail and her 2 large bait tanks provided all the sardines we would need. Chef Chapo provided some amazing meals out of the tiny galley. If you’re looking for white linen and red wine to toast with, this may not be the boat for you. But if you’re looking to fish hard while taking a bite out of a bomb-ass bacon cheeseburger, you’ll be stoked. Everything else on board was great – cold drinks and snacks, 2 telephone booth sized bathrooms, and A/C in the bunks.

CA4A9C6A-5654-4CF8-AAAE-1152FB5779A0.jpeg


3F26B6C1-549F-4C1C-9D8F-8A55F9774273.jpeg


We left Friday night and after getting bait and an orientation from the captain, we made our way south. We were 40 miles off the coast of Ensenada when we were awoken at 4am to start flat-falling for BFT! What a dream come true, I had been waiting for this moment for months! Our first hook up was a ~100 pounder on the jig and it came over the rail in no time. An hour or so went by, and as dawn broke, the captain suggested we switch to sinker rigs. I put a sardine on a 2/0 ringed mutu circle hook on 80 pound fluro tied to my 80 pound braid with the Alberto knot. I was using my new Penn Fathom 60ld2 paired to an Okuma PCH 741 XXH 60-100# rod. This style of fishing was new to me but I found the similarities to mooching for salmon amusing and as I was pondering this, the line pulled hard and the rod tip dove towards the water. I was on!! I increased the drag methodically to “strike” as the fish ran, but even at ~20 pounds of drag, it kept running! Finally coming to a stop after ~500 feet, it was my turn to get line back, and with Chapo’s coaching, put the rod on the rail and went to work. I cranked steadily, keeping the rod tip bent. All morning, we were doing the over-under do-si-do dance well, and we walked up and down the rail, and around the boat a couple of times to fight the fish. But like a play out of bluefin tuna school 101 “how to avoid the deck”, the tuna took a wide turn and managed to snag all 8 of the other lines.

Soon, the ugliest tangled bird nest of a mess emerged from the water. Captain Jeff, Teddy, and Chapo went to work – full concentration and working as a team to do what they could to free my line from the others and get everyone else back to fishing. I felt helpless just watching and my heart sank knowing that it was just a matter of time before this fish would be lost due to the lack of tension on the line. It was clear that this was not good and I heard the captain make the difficult call – let’s cut it. Like a surgeon in the operating room cutting and tying life carrying blood vessels, Captain Jeff was calm and collected as he directed his team through the procedure – magically, my line was cut and spliced back together freeing itself from the tangles, all while managing to keep the fish on the line and my rod was handed back to me to continue the fight! Being pretty physically and emotionally drained at this point, Chapo offered his help, and together we brought it on board – my second BFT ever and weighing in at 116 pounds bled!

12CC9C54-6016-4D7F-91BF-887DF4EBD5AE.jpeg


The rest of the morning was a plunker bite with a few more 100 pounders that kept things interesting. In the afternoon, we flew the kite and things went off. Blow up after blow up and the big ones rolled in. The first one was gigantic. I saw the fish attack the bait and it was like a silver refrigerator jumped out of the water. When it came on deck, we passengers were guessing over 280 pounds (we turned out to be off by about 80 pounds, but it was still a huge fish!). All told, 4 cow-sized tunas were caught, one was lost, and we had several misses. Kite fishing is so exciting when the bite is on! As night came, we feasted on carne asada tacos as we re-rigged our gear for the night. We tried several spots but the jigs weren’t hitting and we all got a couple of hours of sleep in between stops. Sleep is an interesting thing on these trips – I probably slept 6 hours combined over the first two nights but it didn’t matter at all, we were there to fish!

In the morning, I was lucky enough for my turn to be called on the kite. I didn’t see the blow up, but I saw the result – the fish took off like a pissed off rhinoceros and even as Chapo slowly inched up the drag on the gigantic Penn International, there was no slowing it down. I was nervous trying to handle such a beast! But the big fish may have tuckered itself out. For 20-30 minutes, it was really well behaved as I fought it mostly from one corner of the boat and steadily gained back line. It was hard work with the heavy rod and reel. My arms and legs were trembling, but no matter, I was going to land this beast! Towards the end, however, the fish woke up and started to get pissed. An aggressive head shake made me think it might have gotten tail wrapped, and it also took an aggressive angle under the boat where the line could rub on the hull and snap. I didn’t want to lose this fish to either scenario. Captain Sal was there to offer his help and put the wood on the fish to get it up and turned the right way for the gaff. OMG. Took three gaffs to put it on deck, a legit cow at 200 pounds!

A15EA580-B2FF-4F9E-BDB8-48C9CC6838E1.jpeg


3B9C6E19-FB00-46BE-9E42-AE2D80940EAA.jpeg


The rest of the day ended up a bit slower than the first. That was the last big fish. We had a couple more smaller ones landed and a few more chances, but as midnight approached, our trip was done. I am really grateful for the crew and the passengers that came together on this trip. Cannot say enough positive things about the Captain and crew, would not hesitate to go again!

Of course the fish I brought home are amazing, and they will feed my family as well as the families of my friends that I share it with. And one of these photos may be on a wall in my house someday. But what I hope I remember most from this trip is the camaraderie and the united community of fishermen (and fisherwoman) that came together on this boat. No one asked me what I did for a living and I didn’t ask anyone else because it didn’t matter one bit. We were there united as fishermen and we fished hard and we traded stories and we joked and we bantered. And when the captain would stop the boat and tell us there were fish underneath, we all sprang to action – the crew launching bait into the air all around us, the rigged flying fish skimming out across the water to meet its fate, and all of us grabbing our rods and sinkers and jigs and manning our own battle stations to work the bait and fish with our hearts. It was a phenomenal experience to be a part of that group, and what I hope that I remember most from this trip is that sense of community and belonging and that sense of unity that we found while hunting for the bluefin.

58FF000F-C2F1-4B73-A5EA-6D13B1A48166.jpeg


B69CD7C4-24F0-423D-A168-3EDEEB38B81A.jpeg
 
Last edited:
S
sheepheadslayer
Great write up. Had fun sharing the rail with you. I think that is some of my spectra on your fish. Lol
Upvote 0

Wasitrytofish

Member
May 1, 2012
914
1,109
Monrovia ca united states
Name
Glen Mitchell
Boat
Sea Fox 248 Commander
By buddy went out the following night with them. On the day and 1/2 trip. They got skunked! The whole boat, not one fish.
Congrats to you being in the right place at the right time.
Never fished the boat but have only heard great things as of late.
 
Upvote 0

Senko888

Newbie
Dec 8, 2020
40
40
San francisco
Name
Scott
Boat
Hobie outback
Epic trip! Great to see other ncka folks jumping in on the incredible bft fishing. It’s a lot different than halibut and salmon fishing.
Have you contemplated kayak fishing la jolla or a mothership trip?
 
  • Like
Reactions: Tuna Dreamer
Upvote 0

Sakana Seeker

Newbie
Jul 4, 2020
4
52
California
Name
Koji
Boat
Hobie Revo 13
Epic trip! Great to see other ncka folks jumping in on the incredible bft fishing. It’s a lot different than halibut and salmon fishing.
Have you contemplated kayak fishing la jolla or a mothership trip?
I fished la jolla off the kayak last September. What a beautiful fishery. I skunked on YT but ran into a WFO bonito bite that was a lot of fun. I didn’t keep any but my buddy was stoked since it supplied his bait for the lobster opener. Looking to YT hunting this summer/fall again. DM me if you’d like to meet up!
 
  • Like
Reactions: Senko888
Upvote 0

1toughfish

Newbie
Mar 11, 2013
85
66
San Francisco/Los Angeles
Name
Young
Boat
none
Epic trip! Great to see other ncka folks jumping in on the incredible bft fishing. It’s a lot different than halibut and salmon fishing.
Have you contemplated kayak fishing la jolla or a mothership trip?
Nice job and great report! Sounds like a damn good time. I was supposed to be on the 1.5 tribute but it got canceled due to wind. Got the call as I got on the 5..

I'm not active on ncka but I kayak fish Pacifica, hmb, Monterey, and the bay! Lmk if you the are ever down.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Tuna Dreamer
Upvote 0

G-DUB

Catalinakook
Nov 3, 2006
70
58
HUNT BCH
Name
GREGG WARREN
Boat
256 sea fox
I fished that boat last week, Great boat solid crew Teddy is amazing so helpful , funny as hell. I would definitely recommend that boat. Very fishy boat
 
  • Like
Reactions: Tuna Dreamer
Upvote 0