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Long Range

Long Range Report: Star hammers big island yellowtail

Rooster crows up a wahoo catch

BY GUNDY GUNDERSON/Special to Western Outdoor NewsPublished: Jul 09, 2019

SAN DIEGO — When Guadalupe Island has not seen a long range boat in ages, it always raises the question of, “How is the fishing going to be?” The notoriously hot and cold island is always a question mark until some reel time data is collected. The Royal Star was the vessel to kick off the island campaign and, hopefully answer some questions.

With an 8-Day window in hand, the boat was able to take a good look and found excellent fishing on trophy yellowtail and several spots 40- to 60-pound yellowfin tuna. The big mossbacks ranged from 40 to 55 pounds, a tough fish near the reef. Most anglers logged their largest yellowtail ever and the island showed good signs overall.


Star at the ’lupe


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MATT BISORCA WITH the 51-pound ’lupe yellowtail landed on the Star. PHOTO COURTESY OF THE ROYAL STAR

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JONNY HARRINGTON WITH a 52.2-pound yellowtail, one of two 50-pound class fish caught on the surface iron with a spinning reel. PHOTO COURTESY OF THE ROYAL STAR

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RUSS UNG WITH an early season Guadalupe yellowfin tuna. PHOTO COURTESY OF THE ROYAL STAR


The Royal Star kicked off the Guadalupe Island campaign with the 21st annual Barking Spiders 8-Day Trip. The boat set a course straight for Guadalupe Island, a fishing ground that has seen few boats in recent weeks, if not months. The island did not disappoint, producing catches of big trophy forktails. Just a few handfuls of yellowfin came to gaff but that did not bother anyone with the quality of the yellowtail. Capt. Brian Sims was at the wheel and filed this first report, “Today we started off with some pretty good quality yellowtail. They were between 40 and 51 pounds. Then we had a pretty good showing of yellowfin for about an hour. They didn’t bite very well, but we managed to put a few on board. Our weather remains nice.”


The next day, another shot at big yellows: “We had a stellar morning of yellowtail action. It was great visuals, with yellows free swimming around the boat in crystal clear water and blowing out on baits right next to the boat. When the action was over, we went looking for tuna. We got a couple of spots of them to react to our bait and boil up, but bites were hard to come by.”


Another day at the island and fishing continued to improve. Sims filed this report: “Our fishing continues to improve down here. We started with the jumbo yellows and they showed up as expected. We were ready for them today and landed a much higher percentage. In the afternoon we hit a school of 40- to 60-pound yellowfin tuna, then settled in on the anchor. The tuna were hard to hook, but we managed a cool dozen.”


The last day saw more big yellowtail with two fish over 50 pounds on the surface iron. The skipper sent this report, “We had another good day of quality fish today. Yellowtail from 42 to 52 pounds and some 50-pound tuna. Of special note today, Jonny Harrington had an amazing day with two yellows over 50 pounds on the surface iron — a 50.0 and a 52.4. Congratulations.”


Indy returns


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LADY ANGLER WITH a trophy bluefin on the Indy. PHOTO COURTESY OF THE INDEPENDENCE

The Independence was on a Melton Tackle 5-Day Trip that targeted bluefin tuna. The last day of the trip was a scratch despite the amount of fish encountered. The boat sent this wrap, “We had plenty to look at yesterday but it was really tough to get one to go. We scratched up a few yellowfin for our efforts but the fish just didn’t want to cooperate. The volume of fish out here is insane, it’s just a matter of finding the right school. The jackpot winners were 1st place, Art Ng with an 84.2-pound Bluefin tuna, 2nd place, Danny Mun with an 80.4-pound bluefin and 3rd place Ramon Diaz with an 80.1-pound bluefin.”


Rooster returns


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A NICE WHACK on the wahoo aboard the Rooster. PHOTO COURTESY OF THE RED ROOSTER

The Red Rooster returned to San Diego with a good catch of yellowtail, a few wahoo and a handful of bluefin tuna. The boat was on the annual Jorge Nicafore 8-Day Trip. The jackpot reflected the diversity of the catch: 1st place jack pot went to Tim Ivy with a 40.5-pound wahoo, 2nd place jackpot went to Ben Ivy with a 38-pound bluefin tuna and 3rd place went to Peter Novotny with a 37-pound yellowtail.


Intrepid returns


The Intrepid returned from the Avet 7-Day Trip with an excellent catch of bank yellowtail and a whiff on the bluefin. Capt. Sam Moore wrapped it up this way, “We returned this morning with a beautiful load of yellowtail but unfortunately we did not connect offshore yesterday. We had a successful yellowtail trip and there was times we had wide open action. Jackpot Winners go as follow: 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 with Leslie Moy and Jeff Glese landing a 32.1-pound yellow.”


RP strokes yellowtail


The Royal Polaris was down on the Ridge on the annual John Collins 8-Day and found an all-day lollipop in the yellowtail fishing. The boat sent this report, “Well today was a very good day. From sun up to sun down, we had excellent yellowtail fishing. Most of the fish were in the 22- to 35-pound range, just beautiful fish. The bite was very good in the early morning hours — the best way to get bit today was with the surface iron and fly-lined sardine.”


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