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Long Range

Long Range Report: Steady yellowtail action; bluefin plunk

Boats split time between Ridge and bluefin grounds

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

SAN DIEGO — When all is said and done, the long range boats are arriving at the dock with an excellent catch of slug yellowtail and chunky bluefin tuna. How that catch comes may vary, depending on the state of the bite. If the bluefin are going, the boats will begin the trip there. If not, they will steam down to the Ridge and start on the solid yellowtail fishing, then finish off on the northern bluefin. However it may be sliced, it has been a good sandwich for the long range fleet. Increasing schools of yellowfin tuna are also starting to show with the bluefin tuna. As a side note, the commercial jig boat fleet has located albacore 600-miles southwest of San Diego. But these offshore fish are unlikely to move into the warm coastal waters turning up the coast with cooler water temps.

Intrepid and Avet


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A LIT-UP yellowtail on the Intrepid. PHOTO COURTESY OF INTREPID SPORTFISHING


The Intrepid was down on the Ridge on an Avet sponsored 7-Day trip looking for biting yellowtail. Capt. Sam Moore was at the wheel and sent this report after the first day, “We made it to our first destination and we were greeted by hungry yellowtail. It was really fun fishing with all the quality fish splashing around on the surface but it ended shortly. We ended up losing our conditions and our current died. We are going to make a slight adjustment and try again tomorrow.”


The slight adjustment paid off in spades. Moore sent this message, “We made our way to a new destination and it paid off. We have had excellent yellowtail fishing the past few days. Lots of fish boiling around on the surface made it fun jig and fly-line fishing. We were able to keep steady fishing for the majority of the time we spent on the anchor. The fish were all nice size with about a 22-pound average. We are going to be traveling for the rest of the day and tomorrow to get to our next destination. We will check in later.”


When the boat hit the dock, the JP winners were as follows, 1st Place, John Ferris with a 34.1-pound yellowtail, 2nd place, Bart D'averso with a 32.3-pound yellowtail and a 3rd place Tie, Leslie Moy and Jeff Glese with 32.1-pound yellowtail.


Independence and Seeker 8-Day


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A MOTHER AND son team on the Independence. PHOTO COURTESY OF INDEPENDENCE SPORTFISHING

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BENDO on the Indy. PHOTO COURTESY OF INDEPENDENCE SPORTFISHING


The Indy smoke-holed it down to the Ridge to get on the good yellowtail bite. Capt. Matt Kaullen was at the helm and sent this report, “We had good action today fishing for yellowtail. It got hot and heavy for a bit just like we like it. We worked hard at it all-day covering lots of area until we finally got a school to stick. We have been seeing lots of sign of fish but most are reluctant to bite. We are staying put and hoping for good conditions and biting fish in the morning.”


Big X on bluefin


The Excel was honoring the memory of a boat builder and sportfishing icon on the annual Bill Poole Memorial Trip. The boat took a swing at the local bluefin, “We are out on our annual Bill Poole Memorial 3-day Trip. Even though there was still incredible sign of these bluefin around today, it was very hard to get a bite. We managed to capture eight of these beauties. We'll see if they change their attitude for tomorrow.”


RP on bluefin


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AN RP DODO taken on the Ridge. PHOTO COURTESY OF ROYAL POLARIS SPORTFISHING

The RP was on an 8-day trip and was finishing up on the bluefin grounds after some red-hot yellowtail action. The boat sent this report, “Well, this felt like the longest day of the year, until we found some biting fish. After drifting last night, with only a handful of fish going under the boat, it looked a bit bleak. But once the sun came up the bite was on. We had 50- to 80- pound bluefin around the boat. With this type of fishing, it takes time and lots of bait. They would put on a great show, and it took time for them to go.”


The report continued, “We had a few anglers get their personal best and their first bluefin tuna. The afternoon bite was not as good as the morning, but the quality of the fish was very good, with most in the 70- to 90- pound range. We did lose some of the larger-size bluefin. The key ticket to getting one was the Flat-Fall, Colt Sniper, 4-ounce sinker rig, and the fly line sardine.


Star on blues


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ROB ANDERSON WITH a 90-pound bluefin landed on the Star. PHOTO COURTESY OF ROYAL STAR SPORTFISHING

The Royal Star was also on the bluefin grounds with Capt. Randy Toussaint at the controls. The veteran skipper poked a little fun at his long-time boat partner, “Even Tim doesn’t have enough words to describe the amount of bluefin tuna we saw today in local waters. Various stops produced 22 for us, 9 of which were 70 to 90 pounds, the rest were 25 to 40. We also had a few yellowfin mixed in. We are sitting tight in flat calm weather, tomorrow is our final day.”


Rooster returns


The Red Rooster III finished up the Mahoney and McVey 8-Day “Tuna and Tails” trip with an excellent catch of yellowtail and chunky bluefin tuna. Capt. Andy Cates was running the boat and sent this final report. “The jackpot winners were 1stplace Michael McVey with a 41-pound bluefin tuna, 2nd place, Randall Ladd with a 36-pound bluefin tuna and 3rd place, Patrick Zukowski with a 35-pound bluefin.”


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