CALIFORNIA'S ONLY SPORTSMAN'S NEWS SINCE 1953

Long Range

Long Range Report: Tanker yellows surprise

BY GUNDY GUNDERSON/Special to Western Outdoor NewsPublished: Mar 03, 2020

Cow grounds a bust; poor conditions on Hurricane Bank

SAN DIEGO — Sometimes long range trips deliver in an unexpected way. When fishing is at its lowest, suddenly, a move swings the favors of fortune in your direction. After departing the cow grounds, Intrepid’s anglers probably figured the trip was done. The group on the Catchy Tackle 16-Day had a tough go, scratching at smaller yellowfin with a few better 100-pound class fish in the mix. The wahoo fishing was decent but mostly a scratch. With tail between the legs, the big sportfisher plotted a course for coastal Baja in search of a yellowtail bite to round out the trip. Well, that yellowtail bite delivered in a big way as most anglers experienced the best yellowtail fishing they had ever seen.


Intrepid slams big yellows


lastlightbiteint
LAST LIGHT BITE on the Intrepid. One of the better models. PHOTO COURTESY OF INTREPID SPORTFISHING


mossbackyellowint
A MOSSBACK YELLOW taken on a scrambled egg yo-yo iron. PHOTO COURTESY OF INTREPID SPORTFISHING


anotherbigtankerintANOTHER BIG TANKER on the Intrepid. PHOTO COURTESY OF INTREPID SPORTFISHING


The big sportfisher struggled to find a bite on the cow grounds, moving from the bank to the buffer zone and back again. Poor conditions and tough fishing actually got worse as the trip progressed. Veteran skipper Capt. Bill Cavanaugh, realizing it wasn’t going to improve made a move for the coast looking for a few good mornings of yellowtail fishing. The move proved brilliant as the big sportfisher found a better grade of fish that wanted to bite. The skipper began his reports this way, “We finished up our time down below and we are now heading up the line. Overall, very tough fishing for us, scratching mostly smaller tuna and wahoo each day. We had high hopes that our conditions would improve for the better during this trip but they actually deteriorated. We have ourselves in position to fish a little on the way up with a really good weather forecast. The food has been exceptional and everyone is in high spirits.”


As fate would have it, the group was sailing into the best bite of the trip, the species, big, tanker yellowtail. Cavanaugh sent this report, “Trophy yellows. We fished for yellowtail yesterday afternoon and had solid fishing on 30- to 50-pound fish. To go with some good fishing, our weather was flat calm all day. Jeff Bruner took big fish honors with a yellow that was right at the 50-pound mark. We are going to try our luck on these yellows again this morning.”


The following morning, the boat stayed on the yellow grounds. “We fished the same zone as yesterday in hopes of picking up some more nice yellows. After making a couple tanks of mackerel after dinner the night before, we were ready. We were hoping for a night bite, but we never caught a fish in the dark after numerous attempts. At around 0630 things changed for the better. We started getting steady bites and we kept 1 to 3 fish hooked most of the time. Mid-morning was the best action and at one point we had everyone at the rail hooked up at the same time. The incredible aspect of our fishing yesterday was that every fish was over 30 pounds. Every last one. I would say the average was 35 pounds and with at least 2 fish over 50 pounds. Lots of 40-plus-pound fish. Every fish that came over the rail was met with hoots and hollers. 8 of our anglers caught their personal best yellowtail yesterday. We caught our daily limits of yellowtail by noon and it was time to start our way north. A day that none of us will soon forget. Our weather continues to be nice and we will try our luck fishing the coast for a few hours today.”


• • • • •

We hope you enjoyed this article on our no-charge website wonews.com. Of course, this site contains only a small fraction of the stories that Western Outdoor Publications produces each week in its two northern and southern editions and its special supplements. You can subscribe to the print issue that is mailed weekly and includes the easy flip-page full-color digital issues, or you can purchase a digital only subscription. Click here to see the choice.




IZORLINE
Advertise with Western Outdoor News