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Long Range

Long Range Report: Fleet returns home for the shows

BY GUNDY GUNDERSON/Special to Western Outdoor NewsPublished: Mar 05, 2019

Decent bite on mid-grade fish with a few cows in the mix

SAN DIEGO — The long range fleet returned home for the Fred Hall Show with a tinge of frustration. In a season marked by up and down bites and inconsistent conditions, the grounds have been stingy in giving up cows. Additionally, the bites have been tepid at best. The past several trips have shown a more consistent bite on mid-grade fish but the chances at a cow have been few and far between. The captains are seeing quality fish splashing around the boat, so the hope is that season will be a late bloomer, much like last year’s campaign. The most pleasant surprise thus far has been the consistently good fishing for quality wahoo.


Intrepid wraps up Catchy


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A BOMB WAHOO on the Intrepid. PHOTO COURTESY OF INTREPID SPORTFISHING


comingaboardintCOMING ABOARD THE Intrepid. PHOTO COURTESY OF INTREPID SPORTFISHING


The Intrepid wound up the annual Catchy Tackle 16-Day trip on the Hurricane bank. Capt. Bill Cavanaugh was at the helm and gave this trip-ending report, “We finished the fishing portion of our Catchy Tackle 16-Day trip yesterday. Here is a quick summary: Three days ago we had surprisingly good wahoo fishing with most everyone onboard landing at least a couple of fish, but the tuna fishing was slow. The next day we scratched a little at the wahoo and had a few tuna in the 70- to 100-pound range. Our last morning of fishing we picked up a handful of tuna in the 90- to 130-pound range and had a few wahoo stops before it was time to call it a trip and start heading home.”


The skipper continued, “All in all it was a good trip with a bunch of good people we had the pleasure of fishing with. The highlight of our day yesterday was seeing Jim Broder, who is 90 years old, catch the last wahoo of the trip. Good job Jim! We are currently traveling north in nice weather.”


Angler returns


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JP WINNERS FROM the American Angler Corwin 16-Day. PHOTO COURTESY OF AMERICAN ANGLER SPORTFISHING


The American Angler returned from the annual Ken Corwin 16-Day Trip with a good catch of mid-grade fish. Like much of the fleet in recent weeks cow tuna were hard to come by. A steady plunk bite on yellowfin and good periods of wahoo fishing marked the trip. The boat sent this report: Capt. Ray brought the gang home this morning and the group got busy taking care of dockside business.A heartfelt thank you to Ken Corwin for all of your and Wes’s year-long support and generosity. We can’t wait to fish 2019 together.”


The report continued, “Congrats to jackpot winners, 1st place, Ken Corwin with a 175-pound yellowfin tuna; 2nd place, Gerald Gaughen with a 141-pound yellowfin, and 3rd place, Clyde Wickham with a 138-pound yellowfin.”


Challenging season


This year’s long range campaign has struggled to connect with any consistency. Just as the bites have improved, the conditions — be it current, wind or weather — have knocked down the good fishing. The season began with very slow fishing on the first several trips. The bite improved with a few trips netting double-digit cow caches. Then the bite slowed with fewer and fewer cows in the mix and lots of 80- to 140-pound fish.


Last year saw some of the better trips late in the cow season, extending into spring. The hope is that we may see the same thing this season. The skippers are seeing the better quality fish on the spots, they have just not bit with any zeal. The bright spot of the season has been the good wahoo fishing both on the cow grounds and at the Alijos Rocks en route to them. The bite has been consistent with good quality fish for most of this winter.


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A NICE COW landed on the Rooster. PHOTO COURTESY OF RED ROOSTER SPORTFISHING


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