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Feature Article: WON-Faith Charter

WON 2-day trip on six-pack Faith bags tuna despite tough fishing

BY BOB SEMERAU/WON Staff WriterPublished: Aug 28, 2019

SAN DIEGO — The recent Western Outdoor News six-pack charter trip aboard the 58-foot sportfisher, Faith, gave all aboard a chance at yellowfin action, some for the very first time.

Numismatist Ira Goldberg, co-owner of Ira & Larry Coins and Collectibles in West Los Angeles, had come out with his three grandsons, Marley Goldberg, Max Goldberg, and Devon Selzer. The charter was Devon’s first-ever tuna run but the young man quickly got the hang of hanging tuna.

"We saw the trip in Western Outdoor News, and I thought it would be a great opportunity for us all to get together to catch some tuna,” beamed grandpa Goldberg.

WON CHARTER MEMBERS, left to right, Max Goldberg, Devon Selzer, Grandpa Ira Goldberg, hot-stick Marley Goldberg, Jimmy Burton and Nick Ramirez all found ways to get tuna over the rail and into the kill bag on WON-Faith charter.

But before the foursome could hit the rails for yellowfin, each of them made a pretty good haul in the swagfest of prizes given out courtesy of the trip sponsors, as did Jimmy Burton and Nick Ramirez. the other anglers aboard.

Turner’s Outdoorsman sent along four of their $50 gift cards, and Daiwa provided a 3,000-yard spool of blue 55-pound J-braid so everyone could re-spool their gear. A pair of Daiwa SK jigs in the jumbo size for big tuna were given to all charter members as was a couple of packs of VMC hooks. A large spool of soft and supple Sufix Monofilament in 20-pound test and small spools of Yo-Zuri pink fluorocarbon were shared as well. Special Western Outdoor News embroidered logo patches had been made up just for the charter anglers on this trip.

When the 7 p.m. scheduled time to depart H&M Landing arrived, all charter members were checked in and ready to go, but with tuna just 25-to-30-miles offshore, the boat cruised over to load fresh sardines and held station at the bait receiver until 2 a.m. At the appointed hour, the boat moved off and out of the harbor, setting up the initial trolling rigs at the first signs of gray light.

During the first few hours of trolling, some large-sized 8- to 10-pound bonito took the jigs and the boat kept moving on up the line in search of tuna. Occasional paddy stops proved fruitless as all the fishing pressure of recent days had stripped the kelps clean.

At last as midday approached, sonar marks showed a spot of fish below and baits were fly-lined, jigs were tossed and rubber band weights were added to lines.

cousinsmaxandCOUSINS MAX AND MARLEY GOLDBERG (left to right) loaded up on yellowfin over the two-day trip while fishing along with cousin Devon Selzer and Grandpa Ira Goldberg.

First up came 12-year-old Marley Goldberg of Pasadena to break the ice, showing ample skill for one so young. Marley boated the fish in short order and the 22-pound yellowfin was dropped into the kill bag at the stern.

Right away, a bit of a frenzy bite got started with Jimmy Burton of Seattle and Nick Ramirez from Yucaipa, joining Devon Selzer of San Francisco battling three fish at once. All three fish were landed and bagged, setting the pace for the rest of the trip. Not a single fish would be lost due to tangles during the trip and the few fish that were lost fell away at the gaff or simply came unbuttoned.

Cousin Max Goldberg, 14-years-old from Boseman, Montana, and this reporter were quick to follow suit and get on the boards.

The brand-new Daiwa Proteus WN810F 8’-10” casting rod and Lexa WN400HS reel gave tremendous distance to jigs being cast out and several of the fish taken during the two days at sea were on the new casting rig.

Which was a good thing when the bait tank pump decided to quit working and all bait was transferred quickly into one tank. Despite the fast action, overnight the bait took a severe hit and just a few dozen pieces remained viable for catching fish.

Chunking dead baits to use as chum led to fishing with the chunks, which did manage to get bit. During the first day’s late afternoon continuation of one several-hour-long drifts, the chum and the jigs along with the remaining active baits helped to build the numbers in the day’s catch. The day’s catch for six anglers was a total of 24 yellowfin and 5 bonito in the coolers.

TUNA FOR NICK RAMIREZ, left, all looked alike, averaging around 23 pounds or more, displayed here by Faith deckhand.

While the day rolled on, Lori Singer, an experienced cook on sportboats around Southern California, worked hard to serve up breakfast burritos, lunchtime burgers and grilled steaks for dinner.

Seattle angler Jimmy Burton worked up a competition with young Pasadena angler Marley Goldberg and the two were head-to-head on fish at the end of day one. Marley, despite his youth, has all the earmarks of a seasoned angler and in the end was hot-stick for the trip.

Late on day-one the sun began to fall off and so did the bite, but the decision to wait out the night here on the tuna grounds would have the boat ready for action the next day.

Following a quiet night’s rest in light winds and only small seas, the crew came on deck just about 6:30 a.m. The skipper, owner/operator John Guess, decided to give it a shot where we were, but no biters. After an hour working the chunk baits and using the few sardines still active in the tank, Faith made the run back the seven miles covered during the overnight drift to put us where we had found fish the previous day.

To say we had a slow day of it would be putting it very lightly. A couple of boats decided not to help out with a few scoops of fresh bait, but at last, around 1:00 p.m., only a few hours before time to head for home, a call came from Captain Frank on the Producer.

Within just a few minutes the Producer pulled up to Faith and transferred scoops of fresh sardines to deckhand Mike “Peanut” Belli and we were back in the game.

Fly-lined baits were running hard and an occasional take led to only another few fish coming over the rails during those remaining hours.

Reports of boats loading up on tuna in the days prior kept spirits high throughout the trip, and the final count of 30 yellowfin and a half dozen bonito gave everyone some fillets to take home for their efforts.

jimmyburtonretiredJIMMY BURTON, RETIRED airline pilot, kept the competition keen with several schoolie yellowfin on day one.

swagfestforgoldbergsSWAGFEST FOR GOLDBERGS, Ira Goldberg and grandson Devon Selzer show off some of the great swag given to charter members for the recent six-pack.

sharingsardinesSHARING SARDINES, deckhand Mike “Peanut” Belli receives a scoop of fresh sardines through the kindness of Captain Frank of the Producer when Faith’s bait tank pump malfunctioned during the first day of the charter.

LORI SINGER, COOK on the WON 6-pack charter, serves up some chilled shrimp and cocktail sauce as an afternoon snack.

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