Long Range

Long Range Report: Guadalupe Island bite ends the year nicely

BY GUNDY GUNDERSON/Special to Western Outdoor NewsPublished: Jan 02, 2019

Coastal yellowtail fill holds on holiday trips

SAN DIEGO — The excellent fall bite at Guadalupe Island has turned the corner into winter no worse for the wear. The fishing remains steady with lots of quality fish coming over the rail. Right now, the 50-pound rig is king, light enough to get a bite, yet heavy enough to land a bigger yellowfin. Coastal yelllowtail were on the bite off the Baja coast to go with a beautiful mix of rockfish. Just what the doctor ordered on the short winter trips.

Star at the big island

TheRoyal Star was on the last trip of the year, an Open 7-day trip skippered by Capt. Paul Carramao. The boat has put together a string of good trips lately at the fabled Guadalupe Island. The young captain filed this report after a first day, “Pretty darn good fishing here today. Picked up fifteen 50- to 110-pound yellowfin tuna right as the sun was going down. Good sign of fish and we’re stoked to have a good opportunity on this voyage. The 50-pound fly-line gear was most effective.”

The following day, conditions changed. “Definitely some tricky fishing conditions out here today — lots of wind and zero current. Despite the tough cards we were dealt, we made a nice day of fishing. We landed 27 more tuna going from 50 to 140 pounds. It would have been an epic day if the fish would have showed again at sundown, but as fish do, they never make it easy. We’re going to hunker down for the night and see what tomorrow brings.”

The next day brought more of the same, “Today was an almost identical day as yesterday. Same amount of fish, same grade, just different bite times. We are very excited to close out the year with this caliber of fishing. We will be hanging tight and hopefully the fish are too.”

Intrepid Christmas 3-Day



The Intrepid was on a Christmas 3-day trip looking for coastal yellowtail. The rare 3-day trip is a good way to sample the long range experience. The boat with veteran Capt. Bill Cavanaugh at the helm, sent this report from the Baja coast: “Hoping everyone is enjoying this holiday season. Yesterday was our first fishing day of our after Christmas 3-Day Trip. We fished the coast all day and it was very productive. We had periods of good yellowtail fishing with most of the fish in the 14- to 20-pound class. The best technique for the yellows seemed to be the yo-yo jig but we did catch a fair amount of fish on the fly-lined sardine as well. To go with our good yellowtail fishing, we also caught reds, lingcod, calico bass, sand bass, whitefish, sheephead, bonito, one black seabass and one halibut. It was a day full of action and everyone had a blast. One of our highlights today was getting to watch Emmory Mostellar catch his first-ever yellowtail. Good job Emmory! Our weather was good all day with not much wind and very little sea.”

Upon returning to port, the boat sent this wrap, “We returned home this morning at 0730 from our after Christmas 3-Day Trip. Yesterday was another good day of fishing for yellowtail and a wide assortment of inshore fish. Our weather was good all trip and everyone had a good time. Our jackpot winners are as follows: 3rd place went to Patrick Hachisu with a 18.4-pound yellowtail, 2nd place went to Randy Mosteller with a 19.8-pound yellowtail, and 1st place goes to Oliver De La Cruz with a 22.6-pound yellowtail. Strong work, men! We are at the dock doing some maintenance projects until our next scheduled trip, which is our Silent Jim's 15-day.”

Indy Christmas 5-Day


The Independence was also on a shorter trip, an after-Christmas 5-day. Capt. Matt Kaullen was at the wheel and sent this report, “We departed yesterday on the after Christmas 5-day with a great load of bait and pointed it south. We arrived this morning in the bluefin zone to a little chop and breeze but eventually located the blue devils late in the day. We didn’t get the response we had hoped for but enough to keep us licking our chops. We are gonna give it another go in the a.m. Weather is coming down nicely and we are hoping for a little cooperation.”

The following morning, the bluefin were down so the skipper pointed the boat into the beach. The boat filed this report, “We woke up to a lot better weather today but the bluefin pulled a no show... We managed to troll up a few school-grade yellowfin for our day putting in a bunch of effort. We are going to head towards the beach for tomorrow looking for yellowtail, etc. We are hoping for lots of action for our eager bunch of anglers.”

The move paid off as the yellowtail cooperated, “Fun day today yellowtailin’. We made a good catch on some nice yellows. The guys were hard at work on the yo-yo jigs and dropper loops. We also made a few drifts for some beautiful rockfish. The weather was a bit chilly but it didn’t keep the guys off the rail. We are moving up looking for more of the same tomorrow.”

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