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View Full Version : PELAGIC MAYHEM! 2 Day tuna trip - Pacific Voyager



Hamachi_Kama
09-10-2009, 05:01 AM
The short story - Wide open yellowfin tuna fishing with a good show on the dorado and yellowtail. Fished 80 to 100 southwest of Point Loma on 9/7 and 9/8. 21 anglers ended up with:

210 yellowfin tuna to #40+
85 dorado
23 yellowtail.

The long story: Left the dock @ 10pm. Of course all of us were so keyed up given the incredible fishing that has been taking place over the last several weeks. I was relieved to see that fishing held up....I’d known of my trip for over a month, and counting the days down was enough torture, let alone watching the fish counts daily hoping it doesn’t shut down. As it turned out, things only got better.

We stop at the bait receiver and pick up some good cured ‘dines to augment the 20 or so scoops left over from the previous trip. Worked out great in that the grade of left over bait was on the smallish side, and the new load were good sized 6" inch or better and cured. With high hopes, we cleared the harbor and got all our rigs ready for what was surely to be some epic fishing.

DAY 1 - Everybody is up at grey light ready to throw down. First trolling team gets the gear in the water....no more than 5 minutes later, we get a 3 way jigstrike...and that’s how it began....Throw a bit of chum, and we had the YFT eating the paint off the bottom of the boat. Every bait that hit the water after the jigstrike got bit immediately. Within a minute, we had at least a dozen bait fish hanging, and another half dozen it tangles. We had boils off both corners, bow and upswell.* Again, everyone was so keyed up to slay, and as a result, things got a bit hectic to say the least, but it all worked out. On our first stop, we brought 24 fish to gaff, and we dumped at least 20 fish, but that’s how it usually goes first thing. All YFT from #10 to #25lbs. I personally landed 3 and dumped 2. Here’s a pic of the better of the 3 fish, a nice #20 that I caught on my 20lb set-up (calstar 700xl with an Avet SX):

http://i56.photobucket.com/albums/g188/basegrinder/DSCN1144.jpg

After that stop dryed up, we put the trollers back in, and guess what? Same story....we troll for a few hundred yards and get bit again. This pattern went on until about noon. 1 to 3 fish on the troll, and 10 to 25 baitfish per stop. I also noticed that people were now calming down a bit since everyone has a score on the board. This is good, because the bite that came at 1pm was freaking EPIC! It went something like this - noon found us in a bit of a lull. The jigs had been in the water for a half hour now (longest lull of the entire trip) so every one is eating, drinking, re-rigging, etc.. Capt. Mark comes on the P.A. and says we’ve got solid sonar marks and watch the jigs. Sure enough, we get a 4 way, throw some bait and the YFT charge the boat. Everyone is hooked up and the controlled chaos begins....everybodys yelling and screaming - some because they are STOKED, and some feeling the sting of a lost fish. Literally, there was a point that everyone who was fishing on this stop had fish on. We drifted on this stop for well over an hour and a half, WFO the entire time. I picked up 3 or 4 fish on bait, and then proceeded to do one of my favorite methods of offshore fishing - the yo yo iron. I head toward the bow to join others who had the same idea. I couldnt help but notice they all had fish on as I made my way to join them. I dropped my Salas 6X blue/white iron down about 150' and begin to wind like a madman. Didn’t even get 6 cranks into it before I got hammered. Get this fish to color after about 5 minutes (my yo yo rig is a 6' seeker with a Penn Baja Special with #40) and was stoked to see my first yellowtail come to gaff, a nice #15. Get that fish unhooked, drop down 150' again, wind and just like the last time, instant biter, only this time this nice YFT died:

http://i56.photobucket.com/albums/g188/basegrinder/DSCN1145.jpg


On that particular stop, we got 60+ fish. I lost 2 larger grade fish on the yo-yo iron (pulled hook) And it was the first time on the trip that some dorado showed. The rest of the afternoon went like this - jigstrikes, sonar marks and kelp paddies. I stopped fishing bait, and fished only swimbaits and mega baits on the slide for the rest of the afternoon. Literally, I got bit on those baits EVERY TIME I put em back on the slide.

There was not one time were the fish didn’t come up for us. We ended the day drifting on a tiny kelp that was holding big time....Only about half the boat was fishing that last hour because everyone was pretty much beat down, even though it was wide open. I ended my day with well over 20 fish landed. I stopped keeping fish in the mid afternoon, and helped out some of my newbie friends by putting their tags on the fish I caught.* Dinner that night was a nice prime rib with all the fixins...a great meal to end a great day of fishing. I stayed up long enough to get a few pics of the kill prior to the 5 plus hours of cutting fish that the crew was about to endure:

http://i56.photobucket.com/albums/g188/basegrinder/DSCN1148.jpg



DAY 2 - The day started with one of the highlights of the trip. Around 5am, my buddy Rocket comes down into the stateroom as says “We’ve got tuna and dorado under the boat, and they are biting.” While the sea anchor, the fish thought it would be best to collect under us while we slept.* That’s all I needed to hear. I roll out of my bunk, grab my rod, pin on a bait, pitch it out and FISH ON. I couldn’t help but think that literally 1 minute ago I was sound asleep, and the next I have a nice tuna on.....no coffee, no breakfast, just fish on. There was about 6 of us who got up to fish, but we were rewarded with wide open fishing in the dark. I got 2 or so on bait, and decided that it was the perfect time to try some topwater tuna. I tied on a 7" pencil popper on my #25 set-up, cast out and start working it. Freaking YFT and skipjack are crashing on it left and right, but I couldn’ get one to stick initially. On about the 3rd or 4th cast, I finally get a nice #10 foot-ball shaped YFT to stick. I “bounced” that fish (no gaff, just lift the fish over the rail ) threw out again, and this time a bull dorado took it before I even began to walk it. I felt he cheated himself a bit, so I let him go. We enjoyed this bite for well over 2 hours as people began to stir and get their act together. After the first hour, I’d landed a half dozen or so fish and decided to hang out, gaff fish and coach my newbie buddy, Corey I asked him if he was feeling brave, and he said yes. I whipped out my #17 lb rig, which is essentially a bait rig for stripers (Seeker 12-17 blue lighting series w/ a diawa sealine 10) picked out a larger, hot bait for him, made a cast right on the spot and handed it to him and said, “get ready to get your ass handed to you.” Turns out that was quite the prophetic statement in that he got bit within 30 seconds, on a larger grade of fish. I coached him for over 40 minutes, at times getting on his case(because I could) and other times, simply whispering in his ear, “kill, kill, kill.”* After about 50 minutes, we got his fish to color up in the bow. I grabbed the gaff and proceeded to get a perfect eyeball shot on this 30+ lb dandy of a yellowfin tuna. My newbie came of age. I made sure to let him know what an accomplishment it was to take a 30lb + fish on such light gear.

After Cory got his fish in, Capt. Mark fired up the motors and we proceed to get things going. Just like the day before, we couldnt breath without getting bit. The one difference from the day prior was the overall grade of fish and more dorado. The average on day 2 was 18 to 20 lbs, with many larger models coming over the rail.

Around 9:30, we found a small paddie, but its got nice stringers and there is a tern sitting on it. We make a drift toward it, throw bait, AND ALL HELL BROKE LOOSE! Again, everyone is bent and the carnage ensues. I started off with my #30 set up, and those fish had no problem biting the 30 string. Within 5 miuntes, I have 2 fish on the boat well over 20. I dropped down to my #20 set-up and proceeded to have a blast landing several more on the lighter gear. About a half hour into it, I grab the yo-yo rod and kill several more YFT and another nice 20#+ bull dorado. This last stop of the trip was good for 87 YFT and a 40 or dorado. By 11am, We’d plugged the fish holds (1 ton per hold) and only a handful were fishing. Capt. Mark makes the announcement that were loaded and will be heading home early. I grabbed my #20 rig, and pinned on a 8" ‘dine on a 3/0 circle hook and pitched to the spot. That bait soaked for about a minute, and then got bit. The result was this fish, perhaps the nicest one for me of the trip....a nice way to end things:

http://i56.photobucket.com/albums/g188/basegrinder/DSCN1160.jpg


Overall, this was one of the best, if not the best 2 day trip I’ve ever been on. WFO the entire time, and every set up I brought, I caught multiple fish on ( I brought 7 rigs #17 thru #50) Every technique got bit and farmed fish were at a minimum. Moreover, it was a nice way to make up for my 2 other attempts this season for tuna (1 fish for 2 trips). I’ll be on an Omega 3 diet for months!

Thanks for reading my long winded report. If you have the time, inclination and resource to get down to SD and fish, NOW IS THE TIME.

mike22ca
09-10-2009, 05:08 AM
Wow, awesome report and story! What does something like that cost?

Hamachi_Kama
09-10-2009, 05:19 AM
Wow, awesome report and story!* *What does something like that cost?

As I say to my wife, "its cheap at any cost." ;)

In reality, to get on this particular charter would run you $385. That includes meals and Mex. permits. For me, with all the additional costs (fuel for the drive there and back, term. tackle, etc.) Usually you can tack on an additional $400. But again, it's cheap at any cost.

lawski14
09-10-2009, 08:54 AM
awesome report.

i think u can change ur avatar to that last pic...

thats a toad! :o

Americansteel
09-10-2009, 12:21 PM
WOW!! :o i am at a loss of words from that report

¿¿¿
09-10-2009, 12:44 PM
NICE!

When do we come over for sashimi? ;)

A pic of you with a hamachi would be perfect for your sig. :)

Hamachi_Kama
09-11-2009, 12:11 AM
NICE!

When do we come over for sashimi?* ;)

A pic of you with a hamachi would be perfect for your sig. :)

I was hoping to get a nicer yellowtail (hamachi) but the best I could do is around #15 on this particular trip. A picture worthy hamachi is over #20 imo.

Those smaller hamachi are tasty though :)

Hamachi_Kama
09-11-2009, 01:45 AM
Here are a few more additional pics that didnt make the intial report.

Capt. Mark and I:

http://i56.photobucket.com/albums/g188/basegrinder/DSCN1155.jpg

One of the many smallish dorados that came over the rail. Wished I would have snapped some shots of the better grade bulls, but when its WFO, taking pics is not high on the priority list:

http://i56.photobucket.com/albums/g188/basegrinder/DSCN1153.jpg

A few troll fish. I happen to have the camera in my pocket, and snapped this one before the carnage of bait fishing on this particular stop....nice grade!:

http://i56.photobucket.com/albums/g188/basegrinder/DSCN1147.jpg

Destroyed swimbait after one tuna. Supergluing will not work on these fish:

http://i56.photobucket.com/albums/g188/basegrinder/DSCN1152.jpg

My buddy Rocket with some of his catch:

http://i56.photobucket.com/albums/g188/basegrinder/DSCN1157.jpg

One of my nicer Do-Do's on prior to meeting the knife:

http://i56.photobucket.com/albums/g188/basegrinder/DSCN1150.jpg

Polebrother
09-11-2009, 01:48 AM
Wow...what an outstanding report! Thanks. During the last 3 or 4 years I've casually been thinking about a tuna trip out of San Diego. Now, my hair is on fire to do just that.

Hamachi_Kama
09-11-2009, 01:55 AM
Wow...what an outstanding report!* Thanks.* During the last 3 or 4 years I've casually been thinking about a tuna trip out of San Diego.* Now, my hair is on fire to do just that.*

I'd highly recommend it. For me, all the fishing I do up here in Norcal (delta) is fun and rewarding, but offshore fishing is my true addiction.

I'd like to put together a FISHSNIFFER forum member charter. Capt. Mark and I go way back, and it would be no problem getting some dates from him. If I knew I had at least 20 members who are good for the $$$, I would gladly be a chartermaster. Having done it before, it's a total pain in the ass, but nothing would be more fun than to have you guys out there when it's WFO.

GT
09-11-2009, 04:09 AM
Great report Hamachi_Kama. I've never done an offshore trip and would love to do one in the near future.

Know_Excuses
09-11-2009, 04:32 AM
Wow...what an outstanding report!* Thanks.* During the last 3 or 4 years I've casually been thinking about a tuna trip out of San Diego.* Now, my hair is on fire to do just that.**

I'd highly recommend it. For me, all the fishing I do up here in Norcal (delta) is fun and rewarding, but offshore fishing is my true addiction.

I'd like to put together a FISHSNIFFER forum member charter. Capt. Mark and I go way back, and it would be no problem getting some dates from him. If I knew I had at least 20 members who are good for the $$$, I would gladly be a chartermaster. Having done it before, it's a total pain in the ass, but nothing would be more fun than to have you guys out there when it's WFO.






That sounds like a great idea!!!

Hamachi_Kama
09-11-2009, 04:44 AM
Wow...what an outstanding report!* Thanks.* During the last 3 or 4 years I've casually been thinking about a tuna trip out of San Diego.* Now, my hair is on fire to do just that.**

I'd highly recommend it. For me, all the fishing I do up here in Norcal (delta) is fun and rewarding, but offshore fishing is my true addiction.

I'd like to put together a FISHSNIFFER forum member charter. Capt. Mark and I go way back, and it would be no problem getting some dates from him. If I knew I had at least 20 members who are good for the $$$, I would gladly be a chartermaster. Having done it before, it's a total pain in the ass, but nothing would be more fun than to have you guys out there when it's WFO.






That sounds like a great idea!!!

So Mr. Moderator, would I be breaking any rules if I got a thread going to see if there would be interest in putting together a charter? It's a bit short notice to put something together for the remainder of this season, but I'd like to get something going for next season.

billfish
09-11-2009, 11:15 PM
Great Report! You made the day! A 2- dayer would be fun.
Bill R.

Farrier_Frank
09-11-2009, 11:56 PM
That has to be one of best written, most enjoyable reads this year; maybe ever. And the pictures are primo! [smiley=thumbsup.gif]

I'll be keeping my eye out for your "Sniffer excursion" thread. You look like good crew to fish with. 8-)

Know_Excuses
09-12-2009, 01:11 AM
So Mr. Moderator, would I be breaking any rules if I got a thread going to see if there would be interest in putting together a charter? It's a bit short notice to put something together for the remainder of this season, but I'd like to get something going for next season.


By all means get a thread going, I know a could get 5 or 6 that would wanna go for next season.I think a sign up thread would be super cool!!

Hamachi_Kama
09-12-2009, 03:00 AM
That has to be one of best written, most enjoyable reads this year; maybe ever. And the pictures are primo! [smiley=thumbsup.gif]

I'll be keeping my eye out for your "Sniffer excursion" thread. You look like good crew to fish with. 8-)

Frank - Thank you for the props. In all actuality, it was an easy report to write (steam of conciousness), and honestly, no embellishment took place...in fact, I've understated/summarized. I've been doing this type of fishing most of my life, and I am still amazed at how FREAKING AWESOME it is to me. Very few things in my life provide the thrill, anticipation, comaradrie and sheer rush of offshore tuna fishing.

Granted, it was WFO...and those of you in the know would agree that fishing only half as good would have still been killer.

I'll get a thread going for a trip next year and give Capt. Mark a call for some dates.

clamkin
09-13-2009, 03:00 AM
Stellar report!

I've been thinking about a multi-day for next year out of SD. 2 days is about right for a first trip. I'll watch as the idea progresses.

Hamachi_Kama
09-24-2009, 12:28 AM
UPDATE - Those that have sent me contact info, check your email that was provided to me. For those that may be interested:

Departs: Sat. Aug. 28th @ 10pm

Returns: Tues. Aug 31 @ 2am-5am

This is a TWO AND A 1/2 DAY TRIP. That means 2 FULL (sunup/sundown) days of fishing.

Trip Price:* $505. Includes all meals, mex. permits and FUEL SURCHARGE. Unless something destabilizes oil prices, it's one price. Given what it costs to even do an open party trip these days, I consider this a fantastic deal.

I've been in contact with Cal Kellog - The 'sniffer is going to offer up some cool raffle prizes for this trip.

I've got about 10 spots left. Get yours now! Check out this latest user report from the PacVoy:

http://www.bloodydecks.com/forums/offshore-reports-southern-california-usa/162335-2-day-pacific-voyager-all-albies-30-more.html

¿¿¿
09-24-2009, 05:47 AM
HK, for those that may not be equipped for these long range tuna trips, do they offer gear as well? What do they charge, and what is your take on rental gear?

I'm not quite ready to buy that Avet 2-speed!

A buddy of mine wants to do Alaska, but at $3K I might wanna stock up on sashimi first. ;)

Killer_B
09-24-2009, 07:42 AM
Friggin AWESOME trip and report!!!

Hamachi_Kama
09-24-2009, 08:50 AM
HK, for those that may not be equipped for these long range tuna trips, do they offer gear as well?* What do they charge, and what is your take on rental gear?

I'm not quite ready to buy that Avet 2-speed!

A buddy of mine wants to do Alaska, but at $3K I might wanna stock up on sashimi first.* ;)

A 2 speed reel is not even necessary for this type of fishing. All my avets are single speed.....heck, I took 80% of my fish on an avet SX #20 topshotted rig, including several fish over 30lbs...Worked like a charm!

somebody can do this trip with one #25 live bait rig, and catch as many fish as anyone. The overall grade of the fish on average in the 1 to 3 day range is 10 to 30lbs. On occasion, the better grade show, and thats when its nice to have the #30 and #40 rigs.

You can rent a nice baitstick from the landing. If I remember correctly, I think the baitsticks are jigmaster/seeker combos filled with #25 izorline....pretty good rigs. I think it's like 10 bucks a day, or something like that. With regard to trolling, the boat has rods you can use, and anyone can use my troll rig, no problem.

Again, one rod can do this trip. I, like a lot of other on the boards , am mearly a tackle HOE and bring more than I actually need. Invariably, it's the rig you don't bring that you will NEED :o

¿¿¿
09-24-2009, 08:58 AM
Good info.

At some point, it'd be great to have a list of things you NEED, good to have, bonus items, etc.

I'd love to go, but I'm not going to toss my hat in until I can commit. We shall see! :)

Hamachi_Kama
09-24-2009, 09:34 AM
Below is a piece from the interest thread post, that is sticky posted on "important topics" section of this board:

FISHING GEAR SUGGESTIONS:
This is what I bring:
1@ #20 (live bait)
1@ #25 (live bait;swimbait;light iron)
1@ #30 (heavy live bait; iron)
1@ #40 (yo-iron; heavy live bait)
1 @ #50 (troller)

To add to that, I might bring a lighter #15 live bait set up if smaller grade fish are in the mix. The minimum trolling rig should be #50. Most use #60 to #80 rigs, but this boat doesnt mind* if you use the #50. I fish conventional reels only....spinning rigs are not too conducive to this type of fishin, but some do use the ol' coffee grinders. T

Now I am a self proclaimed tackle hoe....U can do this trip with one #25 bait set-up. Bring the best gear you have/can afford. These pelagics will not only test your skillz, but put your gear to the test as well. In my quiver, you'll see avet/penn/diawa on the reels and Calstar/Seeker/Fenwick on the rods.

TERMINAL GEAR
Hooks - heavy wire live bait hooks are what are used out there. I prefer OWNER and GAMIS. I bring at least a dozen of the following sizes:
1, 2, 4; 1/0, 2/0 3/0.

Mono - I have COMPLETE faith in berkely big game. For the money, I don't think you can find a better mono for this type of fishin. Cheap and good is always good in my book. I like P-line original as well.

Flourocarbon- out of all the types of fishing I do, Flourocarbon leaders for offshore live bait fishing is an absolute MUST. You'll get far more bites. Sometimes, it makes the HUGE difference. I've seen it out there were the guys fishing flouro leaders were the only ones getting bit. spend the money and bring some. I prefer Blackwater, Seaguar and P-line Flourocarbon.

KNOTS
I use a uniknot or palomar to attach terminal tackle. For leader connections, I use the Seaguar or double uni....lately, just the seaguar knot....It's fast and easy to tie, and I've not had one fail yet. Have you ever try to tie a knot in a wide open bite, all shakey handed? Trust me, you want "fast and easy." Have your knots on lock down.

THE FISHING:

Live bait fishing is the staple technique once the fish have been located. Fish are located primarily by trolling, but breaking fish, sonar marks, kelp patties, breezers (fish meandering on the surface) and bird schools are also methods used in locating schools.

The hunt is almost as good as the actual catching. That said, there are times where long lulls occur.
This type of fishing spans the emotional spectrum...one moment you're considering a trip to your bunk, and the very next it's wide open chaos! Whatever happens, it's always an adventure, and depsite having done this type of fishing for 30+ years, I still learn new things and see things that will be ingrained on my memory banks forever.

Those of you interested please consider all these things. If anyone has any questions, post up or hit me through IM.

* *

Bertskiz
09-24-2009, 12:36 PM
You are the man. I went on the Orion for an overnighter and got no love back in August !!!

Thanks for the report and info.!!!

Hamachi_Kama
09-25-2009, 01:11 AM
You are the man.* I went on the Orion for an overnighter and got no love back in August !!!

Thanks for the report and info.!!!

Come fishin with us next year, and it will be nothin but 'sniffer love! And we'll catch some pelagics as well!

The Orion is an exellent overnighter...you must have been fishin on one of those "off" days. Hate when that happens :D