Very Late Trip Report

Discussion in 'San Diego Long Range fishing Reports' started by FishRock, Aug 17, 2015.

  1. FishRock

    FishRock I've posted enough I should edit this section

    Location:
    Alaska
    Name:
    JAM
    Boat:
    Thunnus - 22' Koffler BayBee (1990)
    • Messages:
      (1,237)
    • Likes Received:
      (1,607)
    Very Late Report

    I am sure someone will let me know if this is too late to be useful but after reading other reports and thinking back on my last 14 day this past January-February I thought it might be worth a read.

    Preface: I have only been on one other 14 day trip before this and I do not own any gear of my own. I have never targeted wahoo either. I used loaner gear from the boat and only brought a handful of terminal gear (hooks, weights etc) After seeing all the posts about good wahoo fishing at the rocks I did take Reellady’s (Donna) recommendation and purchased a pack of pre wired wahoo rigs for fishing live bait. They were the Braid multi strand wire leader type and worked great, Thanks Reellady.

    The story

    Departed San Diego on Jan 23rd (2015) with a good load of sardines and a few mackerel. Sardines were smaller on average compared to the previous year.

    Smooth sailing for two days to Alijos Rocks. Arrived mid-day and started trolling. I have my light rod set up with one of the Braid pre wired bait hooks. Now wahoo fishing is pretty much a free for all once the fish start biting and I am one of those folks that does not want to get in anyone’s way. So I pretty much just stand back and watch the show for the first 20 minutes and what a show it was. Troll strike followed by a flurry of jigs, bombs and irons flying in every direction. 5 – 10 wahoo boated and then we are off again until another troll strike starts the whole show off once again. On the second stop I manage to get a bait into the water and end up reeling in half a sardine. Then I manage to toss off a couple of baits trying to cast out to the speeding wahoo. One of the deckhands grabs my rod. Pins on a bait and lobs it way out there. Just as I get the rod back I am picked up and away we go. Standard 200 yard run at high speed with me cranking as hard as I can, couple minutes later and my first wahoo hits the deck! Over the next few hours this scene is repeated several times. While fighting one of my fish it decides to run under the boat and around the prop or some other item down there. Ray grabs the rod and loosens the drag to see if he can clear the line. No luck. By this time the hoo is already a couple hundred yards away from the boat and trying to gain more ground. Brian grabs the outgoing line with a gaff, manages to stop the wahoo’s progress and then proceeds to wrap the line around his forearm about half a dozen times. I am thinking that this fish in not worth Brian skinning his arm, or worse, to land it. He reassures me that he would be able to safely release the line should the fish take off or a shark was to grab it. While Brian hangs onto the line Ray cuts it, pulls it clear of the gear under the boat and proceeds to quickly splice the line back together. Once this is done I reel up the slack, Brian shakes off the line and I am back in business fighting this fish. With all the crew did to save it I was not going to give it any opportunities to throw the hook. I ground that fella right in and anther one hits the deck. By this time my troll team is up for its first rotation. 5 minutes in I get bit. My first wahoo on the troll with heavy gear. I start grinding and quickly realize that I am pretty much stopping the boat with this fish. He never gets a chance to run with the huge marauder hook buried in his face. I feel kind of bad for the fish but glad it is quickly gaffed and added to the body count. By now I have 4 wahoo in the hold and we are still in them. I take a minute to look around as we start the next troll rotation and what a show the Rocks are putting on. Off in the distance we can see bait fish flying out of the water and the occasional wahoo flying out right behind them. It was probably the best fireworks show I have ever seen. Small boil and flurry of small explosions as the bait get nervous and churn up the surface and then a spectacular explosion as a speeding hoo comes flying into the air snapping at the bait just out of reach. There are whales, seals and all manner of marine life adding to the scene. After a while I get back to the task at hand. Ray sees me about to cast out a bait and grabs my rod to re-tie his splice since it was put in on the fly and he does not trust it. A few minutes later I am hooked up to another silver bullet and a little while later #5 hits the deck. It is day two of a 14 day trip and I have 5 wahoo in the hold that I am concerned they may not do well for 12 days in the RSW so I decide to call 5 my limit. Not long after that Brian says we should probably pick up and head south it we want to get into the zone on schedule. So we leave the rocks with over 100 wahoo in the hold. (Come to find out that Brian ran the RSW a bit cooler than normal with the early wahoo to be sure they would last the whole trip in good condition. They did! Still eating good quality wahoo in the middle of summer.)

    Forecast was for some rough water out at the bank so we head straight to the buffer zone and arrive mid-day on day 4 of the trip. Drove around a little before stating out. I decided that I will fish harder this trip than last and get one of the first baits out. I am picked up in short order and have a 30 pounder on the deck right away. I donate it to the chunk and get back in the water for another small fish that is released. We end the day with a mixed bag of tuna from 30 – 135 lbs. Most everyone tags one tuna just to get the new paint smell off.

    That night we anchor up next to the island and get some sleep. We get up early to make bait and the fishing was pretty good as we end up with a tank or two of caballito (Big eye scad). They are a small grunt of some sort. They have a couple of spines at the base of the pelvic fins and they turned out to be the energizer bunny of baits. When you would pick one up from the bait well it would grunt or rattle in your hand. Once pinned on and cast out they would trot all day long. If you ended up reeling in your bait it was nearly always alive and ready for more action.

    After an early morning of catching bait we head out into the buffer zone again. At gray light things go off and everyone who is able to get a bait out is picked up by a 100# or better model. Fish were coming over the rail so fast they were stacking up on deck. Once the dust settled we had a pile of beautiful big tuna on the deck mostly from 120 -160 with 2 over 200. Bite pretty much ended after sun up and we scratched around for a few wahoo and a handful of smaller tuna. That evening around sun down it went crazy with a dozen or more really big fish hooked in like 5 minutes. Everyone broke off by something. One of the wildest things I have ever seen, a bunch of veteran anglers pulling hard on big fish and then watching as one by one they break off and reel up the frayed end. Bummer!

    Next morning we were up early making bait with less luck. Got out into the buffer zone with good sign of fish around. Ended up putting half a dozen good fish on the deck before daylight and then it was pretty much over for anything of size. Lots of 30-50 lb. fish to release. I kept one or two that were hooked too deep to release. Early morning Brian called it and we headed to the bank.

    Arrived early next morning and anchored up. Scratched away for a handful of fish with 2 over 200 and a very slow pick on 120-180 models. The kite was not producing much with a fish now and then. Sometime close to noon I get the call that my kite number was up and I look around to see that they are putting up a third kite. Since fishing had been so slow (one angler had been in kite jail for nearly 8 hours) I figure I better hit the head and grab a drink of water before I settle into my cell. They set me up in the middle of the back rail and I squeeze in with all the folks flylining bait off the stern. I get comfortable on the rail and start chatting with a patient veteran LR fisher next to me. I ask him what the tuna are doing on such a calm slow day and he says that if you could see them they are just cruising around the bank checking things out and that under these conditions it is a bit of a numbers game. Just have to have a bait available in the right spot when one feels like biting. I ponder this for a second and look up to see how my kite is flying. I follow the line down looking for the balloon and I do not see it I look around a little more and realize that my kite is dropping and it finally dawns on me that I am bit. I don’t say a word because I know if anyone else realizes that I had not been paying attention to my baits that I will get a well-deserved ration of $4it from everyone on the boat. I just dump the reel in gear and grind as fast as I can. About the time the release pops loose and the kite takes off everyone else wakes up and starts yelling for me to wind, wind, wind !!!!!!! I smile to myself because I have gotten away with it and no one else knows what really happened. The fish cooperated and I put him on the deck in 10 minutes with very little fan fair. Turns out to be around 170 lbs. (My best for the trip). The numbers paid off for me.

    Fishing stayed agonizingly slow through the next day with only a handful of 100 lbrs. taken. During our second day at the bank one of the resident whale sharks decides to keep us company for the afternoon. After a few of the crew swim out and ride on him Brian sees me watching and lets me know that it would be OK with him if I wanted to give it a go. Hell ya! I strip down to my shorts and wait on the rail. Lucky for me the shark starts surfing swells right at me from 200 yards out. He is making a bee line to me so I jump in and get right in front of him. As he passes under me I reach out, grab onto his dorsal fin and away we go. At his point I have two objectives. Don’t get hurt and don’t get towed too far from the boat. After a short ride and one handed wave to the folks on board I let go and swim back to the boat. As luck would have it the small swell lifts me up to grab the scupper and I am able to haul myself back over the rail without assistance. Mission accomplished! Fishing stays slow all day for us and the other boats on the bank so Brian decides to head back to the zone. I am happy!

    After running 18 hours we arrive before dawn and look around. Not a lot of sign but we get set up and put some lines out. Very slow morning without much going on. At this point in the trip I have 4 tuna in the hold and am anxious to put a couple more in before the trip is over since we only have today and the next morning to fish. At first call for lunch most everyone reels up and heads in. I grab a fresh bait and get it in the water as the last angler is entering the galley. Bam! I get picked up by a 70 pounder and drop him on the deck quickly. I re-tie my hook and get another bait out. Bam another one around 70. Nothing big but I am happy. Early afternoon Brain is ready to start looking around when Jake picks one up on the chunk. Turns out to be over 300! We are staying. About an hour later Ben releases a small one off the kite and puts it back out. Boom! Another super cow! Two over 300 in less than 2 hours. Wow. Scratch fishing the rest of the day for a nice load of tuna and wahoo.

    About sun set the current started to do a 180. At about 90 degrees I get a bait out to an area no one else is fishing as the current was swinging. Bam! Number seven comes in around 100lbs. Brian is getting ready to take off and I get a nose hooked sardine and small weight out off the bow. Current is taking it way out past the lights and into what I assume will be the zone. I get it way out there and nothing. Knowing that I have been picked up on the retrieve before I start bringing it in slowly. I get it almost back to the boat and away we go! The fish is fighting hard near the boat and then it just takes off toward the stern. I take off after it and as I get to the back of the boat I see a shark blazing in the same direction and just as I hit the back rail my fish puts on the after burners. He is peeling line like mad. I hear the engine revve up and yell to get someone’s attention to let them know I have a fish on. Jeff, a new deck hand, comes over and rides shotgun. My fish is doing some strange things and it is apparent that he is fighting both me and the sharks. At this point I am coming down off the first shot of adrenaline and ask Jeff to crank a little so I can calm down. I really want this fish in the hold and am not too proud to ask for a little help. Once I am settled down I look at Jeff and ask if there is a down side to putting the coals to the fish at this point. He say no so I hammer the drag and get busy. A little while later I have him at color and then at the gaff and on deck. He was only around 120 lbs. but he fought like the devil and had fresh wounds on his tail to prove he had been running from the sharks. That was my trophy from the trip. The engines revved up again and away we went to anchor up for the evening.

    Next morning I was one of the first ones on deck and shared the rail with my cabin mate and one other. After an hour or so my cabin mate asked if I would hang onto his rod while he hit the head. I said sure. A couple of minutes later his line gets picked up and I take my time putting the reel in gear. Line gets tight and away we go. I have the fish on for a few minutes and my cabin mate returns. I hand him his rod and tell him to get busy. He ends up with a nice tuna in the 100 lb. range that was one of if not the last fish of the trip.

    4 days later we are back at Point Loma and I have 5 nice wahoo, 8 tuna (half of which I caught during the last 8 hours of our last full day of fishing) and a whole bunch of new memories to share. Now that I have been on 2 long range trips I can say the following. I still know little if anything about fishing for big tuna. Keeping a positive attitude is critical to catching fish and having a good time. Listen to the crew and do what you are asked to do. (You can always ask questions later.) No two trips will ever be the same. Hope this is worth the read and that I have not board you.
     
    Last edited: Aug 19, 2015
  2. Anglewood

    Anglewood Up to no good...

    Location:
    Culver City, CA
    Name:
    Connor
    Boat:
    Intrepid, New Del Mar
    • Messages:
      (1,244)
    • Likes Received:
      (1,065)
    Nice report! Sounds like it was a heck of a trip.

    -Connor
     
  3. FishRock

    FishRock I've posted enough I should edit this section

    Location:
    Alaska
    Name:
    JAM
    Boat:
    Thunnus - 22' Koffler BayBee (1990)
    • Messages:
      (1,237)
    • Likes Received:
      (1,607)
    Thanks. It was a great trip. Signed up for next year!
     
  4. cow man

    cow man Tuna addict

    Location:
    Glide Or. 97443
    Name:
    Jake Waardenburg
    Boat:
    N/A
    • Messages:
      (2,441)
    • Likes Received:
      (1,537)
    Hey JAM, God its good to relive that trip, thanks for the report we kicked ass, Right/? can't wait till Jan, ready to go again.. you going?? Hope to see you there. Jake..
     
  5. Steve K

    Steve K Hey, I'm gettin' bit...

    Location:
    Bishop
    Name:
    Steve
    Boat:
    18' Bayrunner, but I like the American Angler and the Red Rooster III
    • Messages:
      (10,579)
    • Likes Received:
      (5,538)
    Hey, never too late. Great report. Funny, you never mentioned which boat you were fishing.

    Avet trip, American Angler? Sent you a P.M.
     
  6. FishRock

    FishRock I've posted enough I should edit this section

    Location:
    Alaska
    Name:
    JAM
    Boat:
    Thunnus - 22' Koffler BayBee (1990)
    • Messages:
      (1,237)
    • Likes Received:
      (1,607)
    Jake,

    Deffinitely was a fun trip. I am signed up for 2016 and already getting excited.

    Steve,

    Yes, Avet trip on the AA. Cliche by now but it is a great boat, great crew and great group of anglers.
     
  7. surfgoose

    surfgoose active geezer

    Location:
    Long Beach, CA, USA
    Name:
    Gary
    Boat:
    whichever has the longest bunk
    • Messages:
      (2,501)
    • Likes Received:
      (3,326)
    It is NEVER to late to tell a good story, or to tell the wife you are sorry.
     
    sierraazuel and Bigfishhateme like this.
  8. Steve K

    Steve K Hey, I'm gettin' bit...

    Location:
    Bishop
    Name:
    Steve
    Boat:
    18' Bayrunner, but I like the American Angler and the Red Rooster III
    • Messages:
      (10,579)
    • Likes Received:
      (5,538)
    A friend missed the trip this year but will be back in 2016. Look for Rich Jenkins. If you get into town a day early, come down to the docks on the 24th and watch us unload from the Accurate trip. Big congrats to Jake on the Supercow! If you want a lunker, be a chunker. ;)
     
  9. Soda Pop

    Soda Pop I've posted enough I should edit this section

    Location:
    Fresno, CA
    Name:
    David Rouse
    Boat:
    Long range fishing
    • Messages:
      (2,460)
    • Likes Received:
      (2,830)
    Sounds like you have the fever now... LOL What month were you out? I was out Oct. Nov. Jan. and Feb. The Jan & Feb trips were full open Wahoo fishing. Sounds like you really get into the zone when your fishing.... that's a good thing.... I did the kite thing... where the heck is my marker for the kite.... LOL the line stared to peel off.... I got him... about a 180... But I got crap from my friends... LOL Sounds like you did very good.... only your second trip... Well you were on a great boat... That American Angler had a great crew...
     
  10. FishRock

    FishRock I've posted enough I should edit this section

    Location:
    Alaska
    Name:
    JAM
    Boat:
    Thunnus - 22' Koffler BayBee (1990)
    • Messages:
      (1,237)
    • Likes Received:
      (1,607)
    Steve,

    Jenks was certianly missed. He is a great guy and lots of fun to have around. Hope to see him back in good health in 2016.

    Soda,

    As Steve gussed this was the Jan-Feb, Avet trip on the AA. Since you know Snorkel I should tell you that I was a student of his back in the 80's and heard his stories of LR fishing on the RR. It only took me 30 years but I made it to the promised land. As long as I am healthy and can afford to do it I will likely be a regular on the AA in January.

    Not sure I really get into the zone when fishing as I often take breaks and just watch what is going on and try to learn something. I did hit the rail harder than usual since there were some times when Brian was marking fish around the boat and wanting folks to fish but few were. I figured that I owed it to him to give it a try. First in last out. Jake reminded me that patients pays off when he hooked his 300 on the chunk. Though he had only dropped his chunk in a couple of minutes before he got bit. Go figure.

    I am still chasing my first cow. 180 is my best so far.
     
    Last edited: Aug 17, 2015
  11. dannykl1957

    dannykl1957 Well-Known "Member"

    Location:
    woodland hills,ca
    Name:
    daniel klein
    Boat:
    none
    • Messages:
      (390)
    • Likes Received:
      (413)
    Thanks for sharing your experience with us. Great report.
     
  12. FishRock

    FishRock I've posted enough I should edit this section

    Location:
    Alaska
    Name:
    JAM
    Boat:
    Thunnus - 22' Koffler BayBee (1990)
    • Messages:
      (1,237)
    • Likes Received:
      (1,607)
    IMG_3067.JPG
    My final fish of the trip. Note teeth marks on tail and missing chunk.
     
  13. reellady

    reellady I'd rather be catching TUNA

    Location:
    fresno, ca usa
    Name:
    donna
    Boat:
    reel lady
    • Messages:
      (2,239)
    • Likes Received:
      (989)
    Congrats on your trip. Glad you got into the wahoo. Best tasting fish there is.
     
  14. cow man

    cow man Tuna addict

    Location:
    Glide Or. 97443
    Name:
    Jake Waardenburg
    Boat:
    N/A
    • Messages:
      (2,441)
    • Likes Received:
      (1,537)
    Yeah Baby... thats why "I love this shit" ya never know what's goinna eat ya, been after that 300 for a long time. keep trying...
    Jake..
     
  15. screamingreel

    screamingreel Long Range Fanatic

    Location:
    San Leandro CA
    Name:
    Jeff Burroughs
    Boat:
    Long Range and Private
    • Messages:
      (2,233)
    • Likes Received:
      (1,985)
    Sounds like you had a good trip, JAM. Congrats! The American Angler is a great operation.

    -
    Jeff Burroughs
     
    sierraazuel likes this.
  16. Shooter

    Shooter Member

    Location:
    Goleta, Ca
    • Messages:
      (197)
    • Likes Received:
      (84)
    A good trip report doesn't really have to be timely. Thanks. It sounds like you have it all figured out............................positive attitude.
    Best of luck on your 2016 trip.
     
  17. FishRock

    FishRock I've posted enough I should edit this section

    Location:
    Alaska
    Name:
    JAM
    Boat:
    Thunnus - 22' Koffler BayBee (1990)
    • Messages:
      (1,237)
    • Likes Received:
      (1,607)
    My stealth kite fish. IMG_3050.JPG
     
    Blackfish likes this.
  18. FishRock

    FishRock I've posted enough I should edit this section

    Location:
    Alaska
    Name:
    JAM
    Boat:
    Thunnus - 22' Koffler BayBee (1990)
    • Messages:
      (1,237)
    • Likes Received:
      (1,607)
    DannyK,

    Thanks.

    Donna,

    Thank you as well. Wahoo is great eating. I have really liked it in caviche and sashimi.

    Jeff,

    I have your book. One day I will learn some technique other than just keeping my hook in the water as much as possible.

    Shooter,

    Thanks.
     
    reellady likes this.
  19. wils

    wils lazy-ass well known "member"

    Location:
    not a spoiled bitch from san diego
    Name:
    bill
    Boat:
    I hate boats
    • Messages:
      (8,672)
    • Likes Received:
      (4,580)
    Great report. Heck.....Congrats on being able to remember all of that after 6 months....I have a hard time after just one week. :)

    snoozin' at the rail with the kite ---- that was funny.
     
  20. NaplesJohn

    NaplesJohn Never Forget 343

    Location:
    Port Aransas, TX, USA
    Name:
    John
    Boat:
    Wilderness Systems T-160...and just sold the boat!!!
    • Messages:
      (612)
    • Likes Received:
      (549)
    Thanks for the great report. There has been too few reports lately!
     

Share This Page