Vagabond 10-day Report Part 2 and conclusion

Dexter Outdoors

nicodemus

Fish, he said softly, aloud. I’ll stay with you...
Apr 10, 2012
690
951
The 505
Name
Nick B
Boat
African Queen
Please see report below titled Vagabond 10-day report for a brief (ha-ha) introduction to this trip reports...

Day 1…

Hurry up and wait. Up at 4, in line 430. Oooh and ahhh at the Shogun and SOA offloads. Ogle the opah. Drool over the cows and supers. Meet some BDers and others. 8 hours later, we're off to the bait barge, then saying bye to SD Bay.
Cap still hasn't decided where we'll start...
Left or right, north or south...???
Hurry up, we're waiting...!!!
.......

It's north! The bluefin fans rejoice! Cap gets on the horn, we're going north to catch some flyers, then out to the banks. Get some sleep (yeah, right...) we'll be there around 4 a.m.

Day 2...

...Which really was just an extension of day 1 with an hour or two of semi sleep...
Out of my room by 3, lights in the distance, boats 9 miles out, bank an hour away.
230 gram nomad buffalo flat fall with Fisherman's Landing Tackle rigged hooks (Great God's of Commerce Almighty, are they proud of that pricey little modification!), on my new custom 2x4 from IronmikeAC and an ancient Penn International 30 blueprinted by Cal Sheets. 100 braid to 100 mono.
Drop and reel. Drop and reel. Drop and reel...damn, this is one heavy setup!
Drop and reel, drop and ree.... wait! What's that? Reel very fast! Fish on!
Starboard stern to starboard bow, over and under, lift and grind, shuffle and grind, remembering to breathe, trying to get comfortable with a 4-pound reel, lift and grind until... my mono topshot appears!
It's onto the rod, coming towards me through the eyes, onto my reel!
"Reel," says the deckhand on my left. "Wind," says the deckhand on my right. They both have gaffs. They lower their gaffs into the water! I reel, I wind, I...have no more weight on my rod! "Freespool," says the deckhand on my right. "Back up," says the deckhand on my left.
I go into freespool and back up, a bluefin hits the deck. Hot damn, my first bf on a flatfall, 2 hours into the first day! "Nice 90 pounder," Mike remarks laconically as he strolls by. (Ended up being 109, which I happily passed on to Shaun at the end of the trip, as he didn’t land one. And, holy moly, my processing bill ended up almost needing a small loan to cover it. Sure didn’t need that second bluefin.)
I think it was only the 3rd fish landed, despite Mike's seemingly nonstop commentary that fish were stacked up under us like pancakes.
Bluefin.
Bluefin being bluefin.
I relish the moment, get a couple pics, note that the hook was seated perfectly in the mouth, no inhalation of the whole lure.
200 lb fluoro leader (okay, okay, Fisherman's Landing tackle did it right, I happily admit), so I'm ready to drop back in. Go with 200 by the way, Shaun lost a good one at the boat that chewed through 130.
No more love for me, as the sun was just up and Mike fired the engines to go looking.
I think only 5 fish were landed.

We scouted about a bit, moved here and there, near and far…. Mike said the daytime kite fish had slowed way down. We moved A LOT. He seemed to want to get away from the fleet, I think we went way west. Over the next several hours, not a lot happening. Word from on high, there’s still a good afternoon/evening bite on the kite, and the Royal Star did well the previous night on FF’s from late evening to about 2 a.m. We did put out the kite at times, there were a couple or three hook ups, a couple landed. Nice fish, no cows.

As evening approached, we approached the fleet again. A flurry of blow-ups on the kite, one or two stuck. Those of us with fish were not in the rotations – fishing has slowed, the goal was to get everyone a bluefin. Shaun came up as a fish was landed. Got a good blow-up but no hook-up.

The setting sun said time to put away the kite, break out the FF’s again. Mike found a spot that looked good, we all dropped at once, and….

…”Hook up!” came the call from up towards the bow! I glanced left, dropping from the starboard stern, then as I returned my attention to my drop…. Something felt off… I couldn’t be to the bottom yet, but there was a bit of slack…

I threw the reel in gear and reeled as fast as I could… Hook up number two!

The fish ran immediately right and out, off the stern… and further off the stern… and didn’t seem to want to stop. We’d set drags at 30% at strike, so 30 pounds for me on 100 lb line, and Mike has said to not go all the way to strike initially. But this fish peeled off a hundred yards or so pretty damn fast. I went to tighten up a bit, but the deckhand said “let it run.”

I let it run. It ran. Win-win? I just kept thinking, “shit, I’m gonna have to reel all that line back in!” The fight worked back toward the bow, the fish staying up, around the bow, down to the port stern, back to the bow, finally starboard bow we got it up and down. This is maybe 30 minutes or so (felt like WAY longer, maybe it was), and my right hand was going numb. I couldn’t turn the freakin’ handle!

So three deckhands were out with gaffs, I’m thinking “How the hell big is this fish?” my hand is numb, Mike shows up, and one deckie says, “Why don’t you have it in low gear?” If I had a third hand, I would have said “Doh!” and smacked myself in the face. I don’t. Have a third hand. So I smacked the handle instead… into low gear. Hot damn! I could reel again!

Gain a turn… fish pulls two turns… gain three… fish two… you know how it goes. Finally, four gaffs grab one pissed off BF, I back up and go into free spool, and wham! 167 pounds of pissed off BF with a flatfall hook… in his EYE! lands on the deck. Yeah, don’t ask me how, but I hooked the thing in the eye. “Here’s lookin’ at you, kid.”

Photos, drooling, checking my leader, shaking feeling back into my hand, wanting to tag out for the night but to adrenaline’d up to quit…

Dropped again once or twice, boat upped and moved, kept moving, fishing called off as we had to head back to port to drop ill passenger. Bummer, but right call at the time. Chose to sack out as it was around 10 pm and already a long (and successful) day. Woke up around 6 am, came out to discover we never docked, were headed south, passenger had recovered!

So, yeah, our total BF count was low and might have gone higher, 10 fish I think, 3 on the kite, biggest around 190. Three jackpot winners for flat fall fish… mine at 166.6 took first. Gotta love those decimal places, as… 166.0 took second and 250-something took third. Ryan, our Phenix rep, actually had a FF fish around 180 or so, but was excluded from the JP. Dude can fish. Two BF for both of us and he killed the wahoo on bombs.

Days 3 and 4

Heigh ho, heigh ho, it’s down to the bank we go…
Alijos bank that is…
Heigh ho, heigh ho…

Day 5

Day 5 starts dark and early. Alijos bank. Two-dark-thirty in the a.m. and we’re gettin’ our macks on. Mackerel, that is…
Make bait, make bait, make bait…
Mike says we need 500 pieces…
Thought we’d make bait, sleep a bit, then bigger fish would eat the littler fish (way of the world), but…
Deckies says after I drop a double into the bait tank… “Go fishing!”
I went fishing. Small rod swapped for 100-lb outfit. Mack on a much bigger hook.
Bit before it hit bottom, new fishing style for me, Mike has to prompt me: “You’ve got a fish on, start reeling!”

This is the kind of YT fishing I’ve associated (from my vast experience reading BD fishing reports) with spring, early summer YT fishing – BIG YT, limit style fishing.
By breakfast most on the boat have near daily limits… “smaller” fish in the low 20’s… most around 30… a few mid- to upper-30s. Damn things were pulling 25 lbs. of drag…
I think I like it… I think that breakfast was the best I’ve ever had, but have no clue what it was… just trust me, it was delicious...

After the bite seems to be over, we pull anchor and start the troll…
I’m on team 2 and swap my dropper loop for my dorado colored MagTrak and clip the now broken in 100 lb. setup onto the rail after team 1 gets blanked…

Not 5 minutes in and…”HOOK UP!!!”…
Yep, dodo-Mag is bit and a screaming run ensues…
In relatively short order, a premium wahoo hits the deck – 44 lbs. Not many others came onboard, don’t really recall, but back to trolling.. this fish was down on the banks where we got the yellows and movement was north toward the rocks…
Nada for a while til we got in sight of those lonely, desolate, awe-inspiring portends of promise…

Ever notice how many faces there are in those rocks? Chris and I noted several, as angles changed and our imaginations churned… Jay Leno is there, a Bali Island princess with hair piled high is there… Godzilla is there in many incarnations… hell, there were even some wahoo there… but also as many sharks!

Most stops this day were not on the troll. Hoo didn’t care for the trolling lures. “Throw some baits, portside…” “Throw some baits starboard, twos and threes…”

This was the recipe for the day, some fish were spotted, chum was thrown, a drift ensued…

We picked at them in this fashion, the sharks picked on us all to frequently, Ryan did his bomb thing, and we ended the day with about 20 fish. I got lucky on bait and got 2 more…

Day 6

The Ridge reports were not to Mike’s liking, we ran back to the bank overnight, wash rinse and repeat on the YT, sans making bait as we apparently made hay as the sun shone (well, actually, it was the moon) enough to last two days…
Some bigguns hit the deck that morning, well into the 40’s… damn those things pull hard!
Wash rinse and repeat on the wahoo fishing as well… maybe another 20 hit the deck… Shaun gets onboard with wahoo on the spinner! Happy camper, he was…

With options limited and the bank fishing for yellows so good, we headed back there for the evening, following morning.

Day 7

Some people stayed up late the previous night… made a little hay… then the bite turned on! Deckhand came down pounding on doors around midnight or 1… maybe 2 a.m., hard to know by that point… Shaun got up, I groaned and turned over… and then woke up around 3:30…

I stumble out on deck, 2 deckhands meandering about, not another fisherman in sight.
“Did I miss the bite?” I naively ask…
“Yes,” Adam proclaims, “We put over 60 yellows onboard.”
“No,” Fluffy says, “You’re just early for the next one.”
Yup. About 10 minutes early. Dropped down, soaked a mack for a few minutes, reeled up for a bait check, dropped again…

Bit. Hooked. Landed… holy crap, did they get BIGGER??? Looks bigger. Mid-30s. Drop, hookup, reel, land, repeat. In 40 minutes max, I had my daily limit of these pig yellows. It was really cool, nobody but me and the deckhand, I concentrated on how to hold that massive reel, the best way to gain line, no worries about tangles, no over-and-under, perfect time to pay attention to the little details.

Sunup, breakfasted up, other passengers up, we did a bit more dropper looping and I think a hoo or two came aboard for the die-hard bombardiers….
Captain says we’re going looking for paddies and what would prove to be the elusive species this trip, those limit-reducing dodo’s, to add variety…
Not one whole helluva lot to be found…

And the word came in that there was something decent out east, ridge town, that is…

Made the slow move that direction, ETA of 4 a.m.

Day 8

As promised, when I rousted myself at 4 a.m. and got out on deck, we were there…
“There” being about 2 or 300 yards away from the Intrepid and Polaris Supreme. WTH? Guess the YF bite was good enough for close company…
Picked at mixed grade fish, picked the requisite numbers of skippies, worked at it through the morning, even picked a few more hoo…

Unlike our previous 7-days down there, there were actually some honest 25-30 lb YF in the mix, maybe a few bigger, plenty of 15’s, and others shy of the tagging mark…
I tag 5 because… well… how can I not? Plans to keep fresh and smoke using a teriyaki brine, drool drool drool…
A move or two, a hoo or two more (and several bite offs on the mono tuna hooks), and we’re putting together a pretty nice finishing touch to the trip…

Shaun even broke bad (again!) and hooks and lands a real nice wahoo on his spinning rod with straight mono to his sardine. Luck favors the prepared! Well, usually….sometimes luck favors, well, the lucky…
Way to go, bro…!!!

Chris would pick off a pig of a wahoo – 60 lbs at the dock – on the troll to pretty much wrap up our fishing…

Days 9 and 10

Weather came up, gear came down, asses handed to us on the grind north… or more like asses handed to our bunks (or vice versa), as wind and waves made sleeping a contact sport… as in, try to stay in contact with the mattress.

We roll on into SD around 8 Monday morning. So nice to be able to stand upright without clinging onto something… offload, oohh-and-aahhh at our collective catch, weigh the JP winners and kite fish, get my pink copy from 5-Star… and… start to do the math…
Uh… note to self: big yellowtail add up… processing cost not the least of it… didn’t budget for a new second freezer… FB friends are relieving me of that worry…

Free-fish-For-All Albuquerque!

12-hour drive home yesterday, major laundry day today, YF brining, 4th cup of coffee required…

Figured I’d hit the internet to find some new recipes for all this fish, YT in particular… found this...

“Dey's uh, yellowtail-kabobs, yellowtail creole, yellowtail gumbo. Pan fried, deep fried, stir-fried. There's pineapple yellowtail, lemon yellowtail, coconut yellowtail, pepper yellowtail, yellowtail soup, yellowtail stew, yellowtail salad, yellowtail and potatoes, yellowtail burger, yellowtail sandwich. That- that's about it.”

Not quite, Bubba, dey’s Hamachi… Hamachi with wasabi, with soy, with spicy mayo… dey’s Hamachi sushi rolls, yellowtail nigiri… Yeah…That -that’s about it.

Speaking of which, I’m going to eat…
 
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woodfish330

I Should Upgrade My Account
  • Aug 14, 2012
    1,469
    2,990
    San Fransisco,CA USA
    Name
    John
    Boat
    Fishead
    Great write up brother!! There are writers that are "elegant" wordsmiths.... that raise their pens every once and a while here on BD.... and I appreciate their skills for sure.

    You my brother.... demonstrate "storytellers" skills.... that make it seem as if we were there with you. I appreciate that even more here... As a fisherman.

    Happy you had a good time.... got fish... saw many new things.... got to try a few...lol. Met many new friends.... laughed and cried with those guys as well. Capt Mike... he's the man. Great crew and cooks as well. Congrats on the JP fish.... now get ready for next year...lol.
     
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    Oldtimer2

    Member
    Jul 29, 2020
    270
    495
    Iowa City Iowa
    Name
    Rob Malone
    Boat
    don't got no boat
    First of all, THANK YOU!!
    For those of us who don't get to go on LR trips anymore, reports like yours are pure GOLD! I fully realize how much time and effort it takes to make a report like you did, and I appreciate it more than I can say. Kudos young fella! The only thing I can say is I wish you were going on more LR trips, so we could get more reports. LOL

    There was a fella, over a decade ago, who liked his LR trips so much , he wanted to share them with the other people on the fishing board, so he'd have to break up his reports into several parts, just like you did. As I remember it, they were accepted pretty well. But, if anything, I think yours are even better.

    If I may, a couple of questions:
    1] I thought you were coming from Alaska. Why did you fly to Albuquerque NM instead of San Diego. I didn't get that part.
    2] Were you going to have 5star fly your fish from SD to Alaska? In the old days, the air freight costs weren't too bad. Are they crazy these days?
    3] Do you fish saltwater in Alaska? If so, how bout some more reports?? (You do good work. )
     
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    nicodemus

    Fish, he said softly, aloud. I’ll stay with you...
    Apr 10, 2012
    690
    951
    The 505
    Name
    Nick B
    Boat
    African Queen
    Thanks guys. I'm a sucker for a good, well-told story myself, glad to hear from everybody that this one worked. It was a fantastic trip, and writing about it is really re-living it in a way...

    Oldtimer2 -

    I live in ABQ these days, still work in AK. I have a long commute. Shaun and I work for the same company, he lives in AK. I used to live in AK. And I'm a San Diego native. That's the geography! lol

    Shaun actually had 5-Star air-freight his fish last trip at a very reasonable price. I didn't think they did that all the way to AK, but they do! Super efficient way to get one's fish.

    I definitely fished AK when I lived there (note the 50-lb ling in my avatar), Continued to fish a couple charters after a work hitch in summer, flying my fish home with me. Then the regs got real tight, less halibut allowed, certain days the charters couldn't target halibut, etc.

    Switched it up to San Diego on a 3.5 day. Oh, yeah, that did it. Did a 7-day next, then 2 more with Shaun, and finally upped it to a 10-day this year. Oh, yeah, I think 10-days is the perfect length for a real fishing vacation.
     
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    IronMikeAC

    Member
    Aug 2, 2013
    916
    1,037
    torrance, ca
    Name
    Mike
    Boat
    Vagabond
    Please see report below titled Vagabond 10-day report for a brief (ha-ha) introduction to this trip reports...

    Day 1…

    Hurry up and wait. Up at 4, in line 430. Oooh and ahhh at the Shogun and SOA offloads. Ogle the opah. Drool over the cows and supers. Meet some BDers and others. 8 hours later, we're off to the bait barge, then saying bye to SD Bay.
    Cap still hasn't decided where we'll start...
    Left or right, north or south...???
    Hurry up, we're waiting...!!!
    .......

    It's north! The bluefin fans rejoice! Cap gets on the horn, we're going north to catch some flyers, then out to the banks. Get some sleep (yeah, right...) we'll be there around 4 a.m.

    Day 2...

    ...Which really was just an extension of day 1 with an hour or two of semi sleep...
    Out of my room by 3, lights in the distance, boats 9 miles out, bank an hour away.
    230 gram nomad buffalo flat fall with Fisherman's Landing Tackle rigged hooks (Great God's of Commerce Almighty, are they proud of that pricey little modification!), on my new custom 2x4 from IronmikeAC and an ancient Penn International 30 blueprinted by Cal Sheets. 100 braid to 100 mono.
    Drop and reel. Drop and reel. Drop and reel...damn, this is one heavy setup!
    Drop and reel, drop and ree.... wait! What's that? Reel very fast! Fish on!
    Starboard stern to starboard bow, over and under, lift and grind, shuffle and grind, remembering to breathe, trying to get comfortable with a 4-pound reel, lift and grind until... my mono topshot appears!
    It's onto the rod, coming towards me through the eyes, onto my reel!
    "Reel," says the deckhand on my left. "Wind," says the deckhand on my right. They both have gaffs. They lower their gaffs into the water! I reel, I wind, I...have no more weight on my rod! "Freespool," says the deckhand on my right. "Back up," says the deckhand on my left.
    I go into freespool and back up, a bluefin hits the deck. Hot damn, my first bf on a flatfall, 2 hours into the first day! "Nice 90 pounder," Mike remarks laconically as he strolls by. (Ended up being 109, which I happily passed on to Shaun at the end of the trip, as he didn’t land one. And, holy moly, my processing bill ended up almost needing a small loan to cover it. Sure didn’t need that second bluefin.)
    I think it was only the 3rd fish landed, despite Mike's seemingly nonstop commentary that fish were stacked up under us like pancakes.
    Bluefin.
    Bluefin being bluefin.
    I relish the moment, get a couple pics, note that the hook was seated perfectly in the mouth, no inhalation of the whole lure.
    200 lb fluoro leader (okay, okay, Fisherman's Landing tackle did it right, I happily admit), so I'm ready to drop back in. Go with 200 by the way, Shaun lost a good one at the boat that chewed through 130.
    No more love for me, as the sun was just up and Mike fired the engines to go looking.
    I think only 5 fish were landed.

    We scouted about a bit, moved here and there, near and far…. Mike said the daytime kite fish had slowed way down. We moved A LOT. He seemed to want to get away from the fleet, I think we went way west. Over the next several hours, not a lot happening. Word from on high, there’s still a good afternoon/evening bite on the kite, and the Royal Star did well the previous night on FF’s from late evening to about 2 a.m. We did put out the kite at times, there were a couple or three hook ups, a couple landed. Nice fish, no cows.

    As evening approached, we approached the fleet again. A flurry of blow-ups on the kite, one or two stuck. Those of us with fish were not in the rotations – fishing has slowed, the goal was to get everyone a bluefin. Shaun came up as a fish was landed. Got a good blow-up but no hook-up.

    The setting sun said time to put away the kite, break out the FF’s again. Mike found a spot that looked good, we all dropped at once, and….

    …”Hook up!” came the call from up towards the bow! I glanced left, dropping from the starboard stern, then as I returned my attention to my drop…. Something felt off… I couldn’t be to the bottom yet, but there was a bit of slack…

    I threw the reel in gear and reeled as fast as I could… Hook up number two!

    The fish ran immediately right and out, off the stern… and further off the stern… and didn’t seem to want to stop. We’d set drags at 30% at strike, so 30 pounds for me on 100 lb line, and Mike has said to not go all the way to strike initially. But this fish peeled off a hundred yards or so pretty damn fast. I went to tighten up a bit, but the deckhand said “let it run.”

    I let it run. It ran. Win-win? I just kept thinking, “shit, I’m gonna have to reel all that line back in!” The fight worked back toward the bow, the fish staying up, around the bow, down to the port stern, back to the bow, finally starboard bow we got it up and down. This is maybe 30 minutes or so (felt like WAY longer, maybe it was), and my right hand was going numb. I couldn’t turn the freakin’ handle!

    So three deckhands were out with gaffs, I’m thinking “How the hell big is this fish?” my hand is numb, Mike shows up, and one deckie says, “Why don’t you have it in low gear?” If I had a third hand, I would have said “Doh!” and smacked myself in the face. I don’t. Have a third hand. So I smacked the handle instead… into low gear. Hot damn! I could reel again!

    Gain a turn… fish pulls two turns… gain three… fish two… you know how it goes. Finally, four gaffs grab one pissed off BF, I back up and go into free spool, and wham! 167 pounds of pissed off BF with a flatfall hook… in his EYE! lands on the deck. Yeah, don’t ask me how, but I hooked the thing in the eye. “Here’s lookin’ at you, kid.”

    Photos, drooling, checking my leader, shaking feeling back into my hand, wanting to tag out for the night but to adrenaline’d up to quit…

    Dropped again once or twice, boat upped and moved, kept moving, fishing called off as we had to head back to port to drop ill passenger. Bummer, but right call at the time. Chose to sack out as it was around 10 pm and already a long (and successful) day. Woke up around 6 am, came out to discover we never docked, were headed south, passenger had recovered!

    So, yeah, our total BF count was low and might have gone higher, 10 fish I think, 3 on the kite, biggest around 190. Three jackpot winners for flat fall fish… mine at 166.6 took first. Gotta love those decimal places, as… 166.0 took second and 250-something took third. Ryan, our Phenix rep, actually had a FF fish around 180 or so, but was excluded from the JP. Dude can fish. Two BF for both of us and he killed the wahoo on bombs.

    Days 3 and 4

    Heigh ho, heigh ho, it’s down to the bank we go…
    Alijos bank that is…
    Heigh ho, heigh ho…

    Day 5

    Day 5 starts dark and early. Alijos bank. Two-dark-thirty in the a.m. and we’re gettin’ our macks on. Mackerel, that is…
    Make bait, make bait, make bait…
    Mike says we need 500 pieces…
    Thought we’d make bait, sleep a bit, then bigger fish would eat the littler fish (way of the world), but…
    Deckies says after I drop a double into the bait tank… “Go fishing!”
    I went fishing. Small rod swapped for 100-lb outfit. Mack on a much bigger hook.
    Bit before it hit bottom, new fishing style for me, Mike has to prompt me: “You’ve got a fish on, start reeling!”

    This is the kind of YT fishing I’ve associated (from my vast experience reading BD fishing reports) with spring, early summer YT fishing – BIG YT, limit style fishing.
    By breakfast most on the boat have near daily limits… “smaller” fish in the low 20’s… most around 30… a few mid- to upper-30s. Damn things were pulling 25 lbs. of drag…
    I think I like it… I think that breakfast was the best I’ve ever had, but have no clue what it was… just trust me, it was delicious...

    After the bite seems to be over, we pull anchor and start the troll…
    I’m on team 2 and swap my dropper loop for my dorado colored MagTrak and clip the now broken in 100 lb. setup onto the rail after team 1 gets blanked…

    Not 5 minutes in and…”HOOK UP!!!”…
    Yep, dodo-Mag is bit and a screaming run ensues…
    In relatively short order, a premium wahoo hits the deck – 44 lbs. Not many others came onboard, don’t really recall, but back to trolling.. this fish was down on the banks where we got the yellows and movement was north toward the rocks…
    Nada for a while til we got in sight of those lonely, desolate, awe-inspiring portends of promise…

    Ever notice how many faces there are in those rocks? Chris and I noted several, as angles changed and our imaginations churned… Jay Leno is there, a Bali Island princess with hair piled high is there… Godzilla is there in many incarnations… hell, there were even some wahoo there… but also as many sharks!

    Most stops this day were not on the troll. Hoo didn’t care for the trolling lures. “Throw some baits, portside…” “Throw some baits starboard, twos and threes…”

    This was the recipe for the day, some fish were spotted, chum was thrown, a drift ensued…

    We picked at them in this fashion, the sharks picked on us all to frequently, Ryan did his bomb thing, and we ended the day with about 20 fish. I got lucky on bait and got 2 more…

    Day 6

    The Ridge reports were not to Mike’s liking, we ran back to the bank overnight, wash rinse and repeat on the YT, sans making bait as we apparently made hay as the sun shone (well, actually, it was the moon) enough to last two days…
    Some bigguns hit the deck that morning, well into the 40’s… damn those things pull hard!
    Wash rinse and repeat on the wahoo fishing as well… maybe another 20 hit the deck… Shaun gets onboard with wahoo on the spinner! Happy camper, he was…

    With options limited and the bank fishing for yellows so good, we headed back there for the evening, following morning.

    Day 7

    Some people stayed up late the previous night… made a little hay… then the bite turned on! Deckhand came down pounding on doors around midnight or 1… maybe 2 a.m., hard to know by that point… Shaun got up, I groaned and turned over… and then woke up around 3:30…

    I stumble out on deck, 2 deckhands meandering about, not another fisherman in sight.
    “Did I miss the bite?” I naively ask…
    “Yes,” Adam proclaims, “We put over 60 yellows onboard.”
    “No,” Fluffy says, “You’re just early for the next one.”
    Yup. About 10 minutes early. Dropped down, soaked a mack for a few minutes, reeled up for a bait check, dropped again…

    Bit. Hooked. Landed… holy crap, did they get BIGGER??? Looks bigger. Mid-30s. Drop, hookup, reel, land, repeat. In 40 minutes max, I had my daily limit of these pig yellows. It was really cool, nobody but me and the deckhand, I concentrated on how to hold that massive reel, the best way to gain line, no worries about tangles, no over-and-under, perfect time to pay attention to the little details.

    Sunup, breakfasted up, other passengers up, we did a bit more dropper looping and I think a hoo or two came aboard for the die-hard bombardiers….
    Captain says we’re going looking for paddies and what would prove to be the elusive species this trip, those limit-reducing dodo’s, to add variety…
    Not one whole helluva lot to be found…

    And the word came in that there was something decent out east, ridge town, that is…

    Made the slow move that direction, ETA of 4 a.m.

    Day 8

    As promised, when I rousted myself at 4 a.m. and got out on deck, we were there…
    “There” being about 2 or 300 yards away from the Intrepid and Polaris Supreme. WTH? Guess the YF bite was good enough for close company…
    Picked at mixed grade fish, picked the requisite numbers of skippies, worked at it through the morning, even picked a few more hoo…

    Unlike our previous 7-days down there, there were actually some honest 25-30 lb YF in the mix, maybe a few bigger, plenty of 15’s, and others shy of the tagging mark…
    I tag 5 because… well… how can I not? Plans to keep fresh and smoke using a teriyaki brine, drool drool drool…
    A move or two, a hoo or two more (and several bite offs on the mono tuna hooks), and we’re putting together a pretty nice finishing touch to the trip…

    Shaun even broke bad (again!) and hooks and lands a real nice wahoo on his spinning rod with straight mono to his sardine. Luck favors the prepared! Well, usually….sometimes luck favors, well, the lucky…
    Way to go, bro…!!!

    Chris would pick off a pig of a wahoo – 60 lbs at the dock – on the troll to pretty much wrap up our fishing…

    Days 9 and 10

    Weather came up, gear came down, asses handed to us on the grind north… or more like asses handed to our bunks (or vice versa), as wind and waves made sleeping a contact sport… as in, try to stay in contact with the mattress.

    We roll on into SD around 8 Monday morning. So nice to be able to stand upright without clinging onto something… offload, oohh-and-aahhh at our collective catch, weigh the JP winners and kite fish, get my pink copy from 5-Star… and… start to do the math…
    Uh… note to self: big yellowtail add up… processing cost not the least of it… didn’t budget for a new second freezer… FB friends are relieving me of that worry…

    Free-fish-For-All Albuquerque!

    12-hour drive home yesterday, major laundry day today, YF brining, 4th cup of coffee required…

    Figured I’d hit the internet to find some new recipes for all this fish, YT in particular… found this...

    “Dey's uh, yellowtail-kabobs, yellowtail creole, yellowtail gumbo. Pan fried, deep fried, stir-fried. There's pineapple yellowtail, lemon yellowtail, coconut yellowtail, pepper yellowtail, yellowtail soup, yellowtail stew, yellowtail salad, yellowtail and potatoes, yellowtail burger, yellowtail sandwich. That- that's about it.”

    Not quite, Bubba, dey’s Hamachi… Hamachi with wasabi, with soy, with spicy mayo… dey’s Hamachi sushi rolls, yellowtail nigiri… Yeah…That -that’s about it.

    Speaking of which, I’m going to eat…
    Great write-up. Still no more pics, even Shaun's? Is there anything more fun than BIG YT?
     
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    nicodemus

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    Apr 10, 2012
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    Great write-up. Still no more pics, even Shaun's? Is there anything more fun than BIG YT?
    I get so caught up in the fishing, I fail to break out my phone and take photos! Shaun did get a bunch. I'll holler at him and get him to post some. My forte is obviously words not pictures! And, yeah, those big yellows are a blast.
     
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    One_Leg

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    In the eye.

    Ouch!!!
    Congrats to you.
     
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    jayyyy

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    Thanks for the report, sounds like you had a great time.
     
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    nicodemus

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    Apr 10, 2012
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    Damn, dude, did you wear that blue Pelagic shirt EVERY day of the trip? I thought it was just your boots stinking up our stateroom. LOL
     
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