My previous article focused on the hot yellowfin tuna bite that was happening. I was saying how boats were going to be focused on catching those yellowfin, so if you wanted a bluefin, you needed to go on a multi-day trip, OR a bluefin-or-bust targeted mission.
The hot yellowfin bite continued this week, but the biggest news was the 345.1-pound bluefin tuna caught aboard Ranger 85 Sportfishing (top). That’s the lucky angler, Joe Roder, in white with the big smile on his face.
Capt. Robert Gray led a group of 27 anglers on a 2.5-day trip. They filled sacks on Day 1 of the trip, cashing in on the hot YFT bite. Day 2 they went big in search of giant bluefin. They only got four, but one was an absolute behemoth! The bite came on their kite setup and kicked off an almost 2 hour ordeal. Joe was celebrating his birthday on this trip and I’m sure this was a gift he’ll remember for a long time. It is the biggest sportboat caught fish of this year. Congratulations to Joe, Capt. Robert and the rest of the crew.
The Kite Setup
You may have been hearing a lot about the kite setup and the “Yummee flyer” lately. For awhile this year, it was the only way these fish were getting caught until they started responding to bait about 2 weeks ago.
I love the whole “MacGyver-ness” of kite fishing, in the creative way it solves two big problems: coaxing a bite from a notoriously finicky fish, and getting that bite on the right gear to land these monsters.
I did some research and found the practice has actually been around for awhile. It originated in Ancient China. It became popular in the modern era as a tactic used by shore anglers in New Zealand (right). From there it found it’s way as an offshore application in Florida. Eventually, it trickled into our long range fleet. Owner/operator, Capt. Shawn Steward of the Aloha Spirit (and formerly of the Excel) told me he first remembers seeing it sometime in the mid-90’s.
The Weekend Outlook
The good news is that if you just want to go out and pull on some fish, there are a lot of options. We had a little weather yesterday that slowed down the counts, but boats still got fish and it’s supposed to lay down today (Friday).
Surprisingly, if you want to get in on the yellowfin bite, there are rides available at this time. I’ll be riding the San Diego on Saturday to get in on it myself. They posted a count of 77 YFT, 68 skipjack, and 2 dorado for 55 anglers in “less than optimal conditions” on Thursday (right).
The boats fishing around Catalina and Clemente have been enjoying good fishing this week with lots of yellowtail and some tuna (bluefin and yellowfin) in the mix. Up north in the 805, a strong yellowtail bite continues.
Technically, summer has come to an end, but fall fishing is one of my favorite times of the year. We’re still riding the crest of the height of offshore fishing, while the crowds on the boats have started to lessen with vacations over and kids back in school. You should really get out and enjoy it.
Good luck if you get out there!