Long Range

Long Range Report: Fleet stays on the bluefin

Weather temporarily knocks down bite

BY GUNDY GUNDERSON/Special to Western Outdoor NewsPublished: May 21, 2019

SAN DIEGO — The bluefin tuna did not go anywhere this week. The weather just made them a little hard to get at. The fleet weathered the storm, but stayed at it and managed some good catches of bluefin ranging from 40-to 140-pounds. With the weather up, the catches of cow bluefin were down. Nonetheless anglers were happy with a good catch in less than ideal conditions. The first 8 and 10-day trips are right around the corner.

Intrepid on bluefin

TODD FLAMMER WITH a dandy bluefin landed on the Intrepid.

The Intrepid scheduled a batch of local bluefin trips to take advantage of the plentiful schools moving into local waters. The fish have ranged from 30 to 140 pounds. Capt. Bill Cavanaugh was at the wheel and sent this report after a 3-day, “We returned this morning from another 3-day trip. We had unfavorable weather to begin our trip, very fickle bluefin tuna on our first full day of fishing, and we had some great opportunities on good grade bluefin all-day yesterday. The guys that tried hard and put their time in at the rail were rewarded with some quality fish.”

The report continued, “Our jackpot winners are as follows: third place went to Todd Flammer with a 74.6 pound bluefin, second place went to Joe Odneal with a 75.2 pound bluefin, and first place goes to Dung Nguyen with a 77.9 pound bluefin tuna. Honorable mention goes to Eric Concepcion with a 121.6-pound bluefin tuna that he caught at first light on a flat fall jig.”

Indy on bluefin

The Independence wasalso out on the bluefin grounds and managed to make a catch before the rough conditions. Capt Matt Kaullen was running the big sportfisher and sent this wrap, “Very good day of fishing for us yesterday. A picture perfect dream with biting bluefin and outstanding weather to go with it. We were lucky enough to capture our daily limit and the whole gang is happy. We will try and keep the ball rolling today in search of more delicious tuna.”

Star starts right

ED CARTAYA WITH a hard-earned 140 caught on 40-pound test line aboard the Star.

dennisdewinterrsDENNIS DEWINTER WITH a keeper taken aboard the Royal Star.

The Royal Star also scheduled some local bluefin trips and the first trip was run by veteran skipper Capt. Brian Simms. The trip got off to a good start with a 140 hitting the deck, the boat sent this message through Tim Ekstrom, “The boys are off to a nice start with five on board already up to 140-pounds. The sloppy weather of yesterday has abated leaving a clean slate for the fleet to work upon with light winds and only a residual lumpy swell. Capt. Sims reports that they still have fish on the lines and appear to be established in a long drift. Let's hope it lasts all day.”

The next day was a fun day. Capt. Brian Sims sent this message, “We had an action packed day of tuna fishing. There were spots up and lots of good visuals of feeding tuna. We concentrated on better quality with most of our fish from 60-80 pounds. We also had 5 that were from 130 to140 pounds to keep things interesting. We will be at the dock and back out for 3 days next Friday.”

Angler clutches up

adriancollinswithaaADRIAN COLLINS WITH a 115-pound bluefin tuna landed on the Angler.

stokedonbluefinaaSTOKED ON A bluefin aboard the American Angler.

With short windows of opportunity, the pressure is on to put a catch on the boat. A couple of days of rough weather can be a threat to the success of the trip. The boat sent this report of a last minute catch, “With Capt. Justin at the helm, the guys saw plenty of sign throughout the day but the fish were reluctant to bite. With three fish aboard and very little daylight remaining the boat happened upon a biting school and everyone aboard hooked one. The day ended with 40 bluefin up to 84-pounds. That’s pulling a rabbit out of the hat.”

The next day the weather came up, “We stopped on decent schools of bluefin under less than desirable weather conditions, with a few heartbreaks and a few rewards like Adrian Collins’ 115-pound bluefin tuna.”

Shogun on the bluefin

The Shogun has also been on the bluefin grounds running a series of day and a half trips. With a light load, the boat managed to boat a good catch and sent this description, “The Shogun returned this morning from their 1 ½-day trip with a light load of anglers. We had a total of 18 bluefin tuna ranging from 55-to 85-pounds. The boat leaves again tonight on another 1 ½ -day with another very light load of passengers.”

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