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CALIFORNIA'S ONLY SPORTSMAN'S NEWS SINCE 1953

Long Range

Long Range Report: Hit and miss fishing

BY GUNDY GUNDERSON/Special to Western Outdoor NewPublished: Feb 11, 2020

Day up, day down on 60- to 150-pound fish with a few standouts

SAN DIEGO — There is an old weather adage that describes changing conditions like this, “If you don’t like the weather, wait five minutes.” This week, the long range fleet can extend that thought by saying, “If you don’t like the fishing, wait 5 minutes.” Despite daily condition changes, the long range boats, through determination and dedicated rail time, put together solid catches of yellowfin tuna and a nice sample of wahoo. Top fish was a 256-pound fish landed on the Big X.


RP finishes up


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A CHUNKY COW on the RP. PHOTO COURTESY OF ROYAL POLARIS SPORTFISHING

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A THICK FISH on the Royal Polaris. PHOTO COURTESY OF ROYAL POLARIS SPORTFISHING


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HOOK FAILURE IS a fact of life with big tuna.PHOTO COURTESY OF ROYAL POLARIS SPORTFISHING


The Royal Polaris finished up an ultra-limited load 16-day trip with just 17 anglers. The trip experienced good fishing on mostly 100-pound class fish with just a handful of cows. With good days and bad, the group put together a nice catch of tuna and a nice sample of wahoo. The boat with Capt. Roy Rose at the wheel, sent this final report, “Well, we departed the area this evening, and we are headed for home. With only 17 passengers on the trip, we caught fish every day. Some days better than others, but that’s fishing. We ended on a good note, the larger yellowfin moved back in, and the wahoo are starting to show. Most of the yellowfin today were all over the 100-pound mark, with the larger ones coming on the kite. The weather is just beautiful, with a slight breeze, sunny, and warm. Since we are back in range, I will be sending a group of photos.”


Intrepid and Soft Steel


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A FATTY ON the Intrepid. PHOTO COURTESY OF INTREPID SPORTFISHING


The Intrepid embarked on the annual Soft Steel 15-Day Trip with Capt. Sam Moore driving the boat and filed this initial report, “We started our day looking for yellowfin but we had a hard time getting them located. We switched gears and went into the wahoo mode. We were able to scratch together a decent day of wahoo fishing but we are still in the hunt for tuna.”


The next day things began looking up, “Our day started with windy conditions and slow fishing. But as the wind backed off the fishing got better. We had a great afternoon on 60- to 120-pound fish. Fly-lined baits with 100-pound test line was the go-to rig. We are going to give it another try in hopes for similar results tomorrow.”


The next day, a different scenario, “We did not have the same conditions we had yesterday but we managed to stay busy for most of the day. The weather keeps on improving but unfortunately the tuna did not cooperate like we wanted. The weather is absolutely beautiful but our conditions were not what we were looking for. We are going to try a different zone tomorrow in hopes for some fish that really want to play.”


As has been the case, another day, another story, “Our conditions ended up improving and we were able to put together a respectable day. Our morning started off slow but as the day progressed so did the fishing. During our slow time of the day we trolled around and scratched at some wahoo. Once we got our anchor back down for the afternoon, conditions had switched and we were able to keep one to two fish going all the time. We still have a lot of time and we are excited for our future fishing days.”


AA begins


The American Angler arrivedon the cow grounds to begin an open 16-day trip. The boat was under the direction of Capt. Ray Lopez hoping the trend toward better quality fish continued, “We had a nice little start to our trip and were able to spend the afternoon picking away on 60- to 100-pound yellowfin tuna. It was never hot and heavy but a perfect warm up pace. Weather is good.”


The following day saw a current change and scratchy fishing. A day later and another change, it was back on track with a nice day on 60- to 150-pound fish. Flat calm weather and happy faces.”

Excel lands cow


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BOB ON THE big X with a 256-pound cow tuna. PHOTO COURTESY OF EXCEL SPORTFISHING.


The Excel also arrived on the grounds but like the other boats, the Wi-Fi was spotty and reports sparse. The boat phoned in this message, “Got a phone call from the boat and everyone is doing great. Fishing has been hit or miss so far but it seems like everybody on board has a fish or two in the sack. The tuna have been mostly ranging from 60 to 100 pounds with a shot at a big one every once in a while. Bob has the biggest tuna so far at 256 pounds. It looks like the Wi-Fi signal is strong for now so we will keep you up to speed the best we can.”


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