Want to take my 8yr old on a 1.5 day

Fullboat

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Apr 12, 2021
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Matt
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Someday...
My 8yr old loves to fish. He’s done plenty of trout fishing, but has only been on a couple of 1/2 day trips, and one 3/4 day trip, on the ocean. He is pretty fishy and has shown good sea legs and the ability to handle a 7-8’ conventional rod/reel setup.

After chatting with guys at the tackle shops, they seem to think he would be ready for a 1.5 day trip. We would both be renting gear, as I haven’t done anything overnight since albacore and my gear shows it. Looking at all the schedules that are filling up, I’ve narrowed it down to the Pegasus, New Lo-an, El Capitan or Legend. They each have mid-week openings that would work for us.

I’m looking for everyone’s thoughts in taking out a kid of this age/experience and also which boats might be more kid/family friendly.

Thanks!!
<‘){{{~<
 
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Cody B

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Feb 21, 2018
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Cody
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I took my then 10 year old son out on his first 1.5 day trip last summer. We were on the Ocean Odyssey out of H&M. Captain Rick Scott was awesome! While we were anchored up out at one of the banks, he spent a legit 3-4 hours showing my son everything about rockfishing and had him doing it all on his own by mid day. My son never wanted to do it himself until the captain started fishing with him. Super grateful for the time the Captain put in with my son.
 
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Hismosa

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  • Oct 15, 2016
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    Glenn
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    Boats n hoes
    I would get a few more 3/4 and full day trips under his belt. Also are we talking rockfishing trips or trips to the islands? The boats you mentioned will likely be BFT fishing which is a whole nother ball game and 8 seems a bit young on a sportboat fishing BFT IMO.
     
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    scott v

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  • Sep 3, 2011
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    Keep wishing
    I have an 8 and 12 year old. Both kids started over night trips at the age of 7. Older one is up to 2.5 days now. If you do take your son, realize you are not going to be doing much fishing. It will be a lot more coaching which is an absolute blast when the kids hook up.

    I want to get my younger one out now but he is going to wait until these bluefin settle in. It is limit style fishing but understand the majority of the fish being caught are in the middle of the night. I don’t see my kids wanting to fish at 0200 hours.

    It’s a gamble but it may be best to wait until summer and hope the yellowfin show. Much more manageable for the younger ones and can be a little more predictable.
     
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    Fullboat
    I hear you on doing more coaching than fishing and I’m totally ok with that. Im more concerned about the night fishing and strength needed for these BFT. And the overall length of time on the water compared to anything he’s experienced.

    Have they been finding YFT within 1.5 day range in recent summers?
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    redsnapper517

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  • May 20, 2009
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    Greg
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    Royal Polaris
    A few years back i took my son on his first 2.5 Day on the Top Gun 80 .
    Scotty took him under his wings , and my son had the Trip of a lifetime .
    Everytime he was hooked up i would walk over and Scotty would tell me get lost dad we got this :)
    Thinking back . I cannot thank the boat and crew for being so awesome to a first timer .
     
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    scott v

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    The yellowfin did not show in the same numbers last year as they typically do. Paddies were loaded with smaller yellowtail which is a blast for the kids. You know your kid the best, if you think he can handle it, go for it.

    My younger one likes to play games at home. I bring card games and a few small board games to pass the time. Other passengers will jump in and play and makes for fun times when slow. Tablet and plenty of snacks can also keep them going.
     
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    Brad I

    Common Sense Isn't Common Enough
    Jun 20, 2015
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    I also started my enthusiastic son off early. We started with day rockfishing trips, then overnight rockfishing trips, then overnight/weekend rockfishing and yellowtail trips to Ensenada/Collonet. The yellowtail got him aquainted with hard fighting fish, using the rail, and the over/under routine.

    Before we went tuna fishing, he had to know how to to put on a sliding sinker, tie on a hook, and swing his bait away from the boat.

    If you son's only experience so far is rockfishing, I would not take him on a bluefin trip. Round the clock fishing is tough for an adult, and he could easily feel lost at night amongst all the grown-ups, chaos, over and under, maybe bad weather, etc. of current bluefin trips. And even a 50# fish can kick his butt, let alone if he hooks a 100#er.

    I'd maybe take him on a couple of mid-week trips on the San Diego and get him used to fishing for pelagics and using the rail first. YMMV.
     
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    Sep 17, 2004
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    Hemet
    Name
    Doug
    Boat Name
    23' Parker
    My 8yr old loves to fish. He’s done plenty of trout fishing, but has only been on a couple of 1/2 day trips, and one 3/4 day trip, on the ocean. He is pretty fishy and has shown good sea legs and the ability to handle a 7-8’ conventional rod/reel setup.

    After chatting with guys at the tackle shops, they seem to think he would be ready for a 1.5 day trip. We would both be renting gear, as I haven’t done anything overnight since albacore and my gear shows it. Looking at all the schedules that are filling up, I’ve narrowed it down to the Pegasus, New Lo-an, El Capitan or Legend. They each have mid-week openings that would work for us.

    I’m looking for everyone’s thoughts in taking out a kid of this age/experience and also which boats might be more kid/family friendly.

    Thanks!!
    <‘){{{~<
    I started taking my son on overnight and 1.5 day trips when he was around 7yr old. You would be surprised how quickly they catch on. Just remember the trip is going to be about him and helping him learn don't expect to fish until he catches something. My son now loves fishing and I ended up taking him on a 5 day on the RR3 to Lupe for his 10th Bday. He couldn't handle the 100 pounders, but got several in 40-50 pound range and finished off the trip with a 43 pound YT.

    Like Scott v said, you know your kid the best. If you think he could handle it take him. Any doubts maybe wait for a YT bite at the islands or if the YFT show up in the fall. BFT fishing can be difficult and frustrating even for adults.
     
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    makairaa

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    May 1, 2005
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    Philip Hunkins
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    17 starcraft
    I started fishing overnight boats at 7, so age wise I see no problem. If he has never done an overnight before I would suggest taking him out on on one of those first. Try a boat like the thunderbird out of daveys that will go to clemente for yellowtail. Two problems I see with a 1.5 day. Currently most of the fish are biting at night so you will be fishing at 2 am. Second one is if the fishing is slow it becomes a very long boat ride. I would wait till august or september for a 1.5 day when yellowfin or dorado might be around.
     
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    lazyfisherman

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  • Nov 28, 2006
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    Take him on a full day trip out of San Diego. See if he can handle pelagics on a full day. Less of a financial hit to the wallet to see if they like the boat ride/offshore fishing.
     
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    Kevin A

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  • Sep 10, 2006
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    I've taken my 8 year on the 5 dayer on the Indy the day after Christmas and HE LOVED IT!! He has been on trips up to 10 days and he's only 13 and he still wants longer trips. I would say your son would be better off on a Long Range Boat than a 1.5 day boats for A LOT of reasons. Take him on one of the boats for 5 days that leave the day after Christmas, You cant beat the price.
     
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    COSDoug

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    Nov 23, 2008
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    Whatever trip you end up deciding on, practicing at home is time well spent. Teaching a few knots ( SD jam, Uni, even the RP ) rigging techniques ( dropper loop, sliding sinker ) and even casting will make your kid have a way better time once on board. Just wait and see when somebody sees him tying his own knot and compliments him for It. It will make him feel like 'one of the guys.'
    Look on the Royal Polaris website. Frank does a lesson on casting. Teach the kid to cast, he'll be a rock star.
     
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    surfgoose

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  • Jul 29, 2010
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    Your fatherly instincts are great! But the absolute best way to do a tuna hunt with an eager, competent 8 year old is to contact a half-dozen of the 6-pack charter boats and tell them that you want to buy two spots on a mid-week trip when the opportunity presents itself. It will happen. And the boat will have the gear already, and in my experience with a fair number of 6-pack trips the other fishermen will be glad to see you showing your son how to tackle bigger fish. He will have a MUCH better chance at getting a biggie to the boat with fewer lines in the water, the chance of a hook&hand is excellent (I especially offer to the young ones, and see many others who do so also) and the lower side rails will be a lot easier on him. Your overall expenses will be not much greater since you won't have to rent gear.
     
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    Fullboat

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    Apr 12, 2021
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    Matt
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    Someday...
    You guys have given some great advice!

    Living in Los Angeles makes it tougher. The fishing here pales in comparison to SD, even 3/4 day trips rarely see any yellowtail. He could cut his teeth on barracuda and throwing plastic for calicos, but even those aren’t consistent anymore around here.

    But, I think some of you are right and a BFT trip is a bit much. I gotta work him up to that point, it’s just harder due to location and logistics.

    I have a 5-day on the PS in July, and he is super jealous. I was just hoping to share a similar experience with him by doing a 1.5 day before then, but my memories of albacore trips seem nothing like today’s fishing and fishing all night in hundreds of feet of water would be miserable for him if he weren’t catching anything.

    Thanks again for everyone’s input!
     
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    Slater

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    Jun 1, 2006
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    Do it!!! Took my boy on his first 2 day when he was 7..... We went from a .5 to a 2.0.....:rolleyes:
    Im a fan of NLA...
     
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    Irishman

    Irishman
  • Jul 20, 2004
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    I always make note of if a young angler on board, first hook up I have will get his name called. Last year had a father son on board on the Old Glory, mid October trip, young mans birthday. First hook up bluefin another angler did it right and called the young man to fight and land the fish, small 20lb fish but it stoked him out. He held court with a bunch of Dodger fans playing cards till late in the night. I was one of five that hooked a fish late night knife rig fishing but he had hit the hay. I was pooped from my fight but next day went into into the galley, undid my belt and gave him my custom wrapped channel lock pliers set with leather holder..it just felt right. His expression of gratitude on his face along with his Dad being so stoked made paying it forward even better….now trying to replace that channel lock set is impossible
     
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    Firefly

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    Sep 24, 2004
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    Santa Cruz
    Name
    Three's a charm
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    Red 5
    I brought one of my sons on the Top Gun for a 2.5 day when he was 8 and he loved it. He loved the adventure, the food, the people, and the attention the crew gave him. As someone above said, the crew was so stoked to help him catch fish and gave him a ton of attention. He knocked down some fish and couldn't wait to go back. It has been a great experience for us. If you think your kid can do it then by all means take him. Watch out for motion sickness, medicate if you need to, but go and have fun!
     
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    MikeC.

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    Jun 22, 2019
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    My 8yr old loves to fish. He’s done plenty of trout fishing, but has only been on a couple of 1/2 day trips, and one 3/4 day trip, on the ocean. He is pretty fishy and has shown good sea legs and the ability to handle a 7-8’ conventional rod/reel setup.

    After chatting with guys at the tackle shops, they seem to think he would be ready for a 1.5 day trip. We would both be renting gear, as I haven’t done anything overnight since albacore and my gear shows it. Looking at all the schedules that are filling up, I’ve narrowed it down to the Pegasus, New Lo-an, El Capitan or Legend. They each have mid-week openings that would work for us.

    I’m looking for everyone’s thoughts in taking out a kid of this age/experience and also which boats might be more kid/family friendly.

    Thanks!!
    <‘){{{~<

    you probably know best. My kid was 8 on his first 1.5 day trip. gave him a sx raptor, medium 7’ rod, he landed at least 10 fish (20-45lbs). I asked all the deck hands if they need his pole tell them when they handed it and not to release it back to him until he said he had it. worked out great
     
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    chilidip

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  • Jul 26, 2006
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    17' Logic CC

    Do it!!! Took my boy on his first 2 day when he was 7..... We went from a .5 to a 2.0.....:rolleyes:
    Im a fan of NLA...
    What Robert said. You’ll have a boat full of guys/gals that want to help out and take him under their wings.. not to mention the pros also (deckhand/captain). The fondest memory we have is when we first went fishing, and the person who taught us how to do it. Most of us want to return that favor to just about anybody.
     
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    scott v

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  • Sep 3, 2011
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    Here is my report from my first trip with my older kid. Hopefully it shows what a good time it is for all.
     
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