Offshore Trip Report - Top Gun 80 3.5 Day

John McNulty

Newbie
Mar 25, 2019
2
27
61
San Diego
Name
John McNluty
Boat Name
no
Top Gun 80 3.5 Day (10/24-10/28)

23 anglers on a charter of mainly old friends that have fished together for 15+ years. I was a new comer who joined the group when an opening posted on FB ten days before departure. The group was mainly pretty experienced anglers and everyone had a great attitude with lots of stories and laughter from dock to dock. I could see why some of these guys had been friends for 40 years!

We left about 5:30 p.m. on Monday night and made a run to the south end of SCI but only got there with a couple of hours of darkness to drop the knife jigs (and sinker jigs) for BFT and it wasn’t super productive. Sun came up much faster than any of us wanted…

Spent a good chunk of the day up there with modest success on flyline and sinker rigs for BFT up to about 45 pounds before the weather rolled in and forced us to make the long trek south to calmer weather/waters. Maybe 10 BFT +- were landed up north.

We motored South 120 miles or so and spent a couple of days well south of Ensenada searching for kelp and schools of YFT and/or dorado. The fishing was pretty slow overall with nothing home at most kelps and surprisingly picky schools, but thankfully both evenings we got into good schools of schoolie size YFT and each stop we brought 80 or so over the rail in the 10-15 pound range. Combined with much less productive stops throughout the day we probably ended up with 10-15 BFT from SCI area and 200 or so YFT and 5 DODOs from down south. 80% of the YFT were on flyline 25-40 lb with the rest coming on colt snipers (dropped) and trollers (cedar plug, green feather, green rapala).

After reading some recent posts about the Top Gun captain and crew, I was looking forward (with some hesitation) to fish with Bob Taft - but he wasn’t on the trip – instead Scott was captain with Julio, Dave and Mike also assisting. Some but not all of the crew lived up to it’s reputation of being pretty gruff with passengers. Some took it in stride and others were pretty put off and swore off the boat/crew in the future. They also had people tag their own fish when the bite was pretty hot. None of the fish (not even BFT) were either spiked, bled, flushed, gilled or gutted.

The food was so-so but we certainly couldn’t complain given the circumstances…. On our second night, Eddie the cook began showing signs of distress and long story short he had a heart attack and passed away in the galley despite receiving assistance from some medical professionals in our group. Reportedly he was 80+ years old with previous heart problems and he was out on the water doing what he loved. The coast guard took almost two hours to get a chopper to the boat and dropped a medic and basket and flew Eddie’s body back to San Diego. Everyone on the boat was devastated and we weren’t certain whether to return to the dock or continue the trip. Our hearts go out to Eddie’s family, friends and loved ones. The captain, crew and others insisted Eddie would want us to continue fishing in his honor so that was what was decided. It was very hard not being able to reach out to family and loved ones to tell them how much we love them – which is the strong instinct when a loss like this occurs.

So pick your boat and crew based on whatever cost/variables/services are important to you, but be sure to kiss your loved ones and tell them how much you love them because many things are more important than the number of BFT you catch!

Sorry no pics !
 

ChoeMan

I Post A Lot But I Can't Edit This
Dec 28, 2007
6,250
4,851
OC
Name
ChoeMan
Boat Name
Never
Oh My God Wow GIF by reactionseditor
 
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Mr. DRE

I Should Upgrade My Account
  • Sep 23, 2019
    2,409
    3,158
    West Hills, CA
    Name
    Andre
    Boat Name
    Private
    Good report under the circumstances. I was on the water on the same days and stoped by to say hello to the crew of the TG before you guys left. When I heard the news on the way back Thurs night I could not believe it. RIP Eddie
     
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    C-4 Fishing

    Member
    Feb 4, 2014
    617
    1,030
    41
    Name
    Dave
    Boat Name
    Kayak
    Typed a few things and have deleted them.

    All I can say is wow, and thanks for the info on the boat and operation.

    Wow
     
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    Steve Francis

    Member
    Sep 11, 2006
    475
    719
    --
    Name
    StephenKatSea
    Boat Name
    .--.
    Anyone else wonder if Eddie had seen or heard about the recent complaints, by a few, about the food on the TG 80? I have wondered and I sure hope he hadn't.
     
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    skiingtab

    Newbie
    Oct 13, 2008
    5
    2
    Walnut Creek
    Name
    Tim
    Boat Name
    none
    Top Gun 80 3.5 Day (10/24-10/28)

    23 anglers on a charter of mainly old friends that have fished together for 15+ years. I was a new comer who joined the group when an opening posted on FB ten days before departure. The group was mainly pretty experienced anglers and everyone had a great attitude with lots of stories and laughter from dock to dock. I could see why some of these guys had been friends for 40 years!

    We left about 5:30 p.m. on Monday night and made a run to the south end of SCI but only got there with a couple of hours of darkness to drop the knife jigs (and sinker jigs) for BFT and it wasn’t super productive. Sun came up much faster than any of us wanted…

    Spent a good chunk of the day up there with modest success on flyline and sinker rigs for BFT up to about 45 pounds before the weather rolled in and forced us to make the long trek south to calmer weather/waters. Maybe 10 BFT +- were landed up north.

    We motored South 120 miles or so and spent a couple of days well south of Ensenada searching for kelp and schools of YFT and/or dorado. The fishing was pretty slow overall with nothing home at most kelps and surprisingly picky schools, but thankfully both evenings we got into good schools of schoolie size YFT and each stop we brought 80 or so over the rail in the 10-15 pound range. Combined with much less productive stops throughout the day we probably ended up with 10-15 BFT from SCI area and 200 or so YFT and 5 DODOs from down south. 80% of the YFT were on flyline 25-40 lb with the rest coming on colt snipers (dropped) and trollers (cedar plug, green feather, green rapala).

    After reading some recent posts about the Top Gun captain and crew, I was looking forward (with some hesitation) to fish with Bob Taft - but he wasn’t on the trip – instead Scott was captain with Julio, Dave and Mike also assisting. Some but not all of the crew lived up to it’s reputation of being pretty gruff with passengers. Some took it in stride and others were pretty put off and swore off the boat/crew in the future. They also had people tag their own fish when the bite was pretty hot. None of the fish (not even BFT) were either spiked, bled, flushed, gilled or gutted.

    The food was so-so but we certainly couldn’t complain given the circumstances…. On our second night, Eddie the cook began showing signs of distress and long story short he had a heart attack and passed away in the galley despite receiving assistance from some medical professionals in our group. Reportedly he was 80+ years old with previous heart problems and he was out on the water doing what he loved. The coast guard took almost two hours to get a chopper to the boat and dropped a medic and basket and flew Eddie’s body back to San Diego. Everyone on the boat was devastated and we weren’t certain whether to return to the dock or continue the trip. Our hearts go out to Eddie’s family, friends and loved ones. The captain, crew and others insisted Eddie would want us to continue fishing in his honor so that was what was decided. It was very hard not being able to reach out to family and loved ones to tell them how much we love them – which is the strong instinct when a loss like this occurs.

    So pick your boat and crew based on whatever cost/variables/services are important to you, but be sure to kiss your loved ones and tell them how much you love them because many things are more important than the number of BFT you catch!

    Sorry no pics !
    RIP Eddie

    I have fished with the TOP GUN 80 crew for two 3.5 day trips the past two years and if you are interested in catching fish they are highly recommended. The entire crew will work to get you to the fishing grounds and they find the fish if they are there. We caught bluefin, yellowfin, yellowtail, dorado, and quality bass on our Labor Day trip and that awesome trip was made possible by the hardworking TOP GUN 80 crew. I look forward to fishing with them again next year.
     
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