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Long Range

Long Range Report: Big wahoo stalk the Ridge

Guadalupe Island continues to produce

BY GUNDY GUNDERSON/Special to Western Outdoor NewsPublished: Sep 04, 2019

SAN DIEGO — Just as the long rangers’ attention turned to Guadalupe Island, a batch of big slug wahoo arrived at the Ridge and the Rocks. A couple of boats were well situated to take advantage of the biting speedsters. Many of the fish have been over that 50-pound mark. Guadalupe Island continued to produce with one caveat. The local shark population has grown more and more aggressive. The sharks can cripple the bite at the island and skippers hope they will back off.

Big X sticks big wahoo


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SLUG WAHOO ON the Big X. PHOTO COURTESY OF EXCEL SPORTFISHING

The Excel was down on the Ridge on an open 10-Day trip with Capt. Justin Fleck at the wheel. The timing was right as the boat encountered a batch of fresh fish, including some better models. The veteran skipper sent this brief report, “Some of these wahoo are massive. We are catching a good variety down here with wahoo, tuna, yellowtail, dorado and grouper all being caught. The wahoo fishing has been very good in the mornings.


Intrepid on the ’hoos


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A NICE STOP on the Intrepid. PHOTO COURTESY OF INTREPID SPORTFISHING

The Intrepid was also down on the high spots and fond some of the same good fishing. Capt. Bill Cavanaugh was at the helm and fired off this report from the annual Angler's Choice 8-Day: “Yesterday was one of those days you dream about. We arrived at our destination around 0900 and had our first strike shortly there after. We picked up 3 wahoo on our first stop — here we go... After spending a little time figuring the place out and locating where the heart of the fish was, we were very steady, with many stops producing 8 to 10 wahoo a stop. Everything worked and we caught fish on bombs, Raider jigs, Salas 6X Jrs and live bait. Our weather was beautiful all day and when the dust had settled we had 82 wahoo, 1 yellowtail, 1 dorado and a handful of small yellowfin tuna. Not bad for the first day.”


Star at the ’lupe


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SAM IRVANI POSES with a 110-pound ’lupe yellowfin on the Star. PHOTO COURTESY OF ROYAL STAR SPORTFISHING

The Royal Star was at Guadalupe Island with Capt. Brian Sims at the controls. The boat found good plunk fishing putting together a good catch each day. The skipper sent this report, “We enjoyed good fishing on quality tuna today. The majority of our fish were 80 to 110 pounds. The weather is very nice and after today everyone onboard has at least one of these nice fish in the RSW tank.”


The following day, more good fishing. “Today, we had good tuna fishing in the morning on mostly 50- to 70-pound yellowfin tuna. We did have a few bigger and a few smaller. In the afternoon the fishing slowed and we went looking for yellowtail. We found some that bit for about an hour. They were 18- to 22-pound fish. Overall we had a very nice day in beautiful weather.”


After wrapping up a good trip, the boat, with Capt. Tim Ekstrom on the bridge, was back on the scene. Unfortunately, so was the man in the gray suit. “Tremendous sign of 50- to 100-pound yellowfin tuna this afternoon. They were a little coy when it came to biting but gave us enough chances to accumulate a respectable start. Of course, the local denizens asserted themselves right from the gates. Expecting the obvious, we immediately kicked into high gear denying them the vast majority of savory delights they sought. As far as we’re concerned, those freeloaders can pimp handouts somewhere else. Lazy slobs.”


RP arrives at the ’lupe


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OVER THE RAIL on the RP. PHOTO COURTESY OF ROYAL POLARIS SPORTFISHING

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A BIG ’LUPE yellowtail landed on the Royal Polaris. PHOTO COURTESY OF ROYAL POLARIS SPORTFISHING


The Royal Polaris was the next boat on the scene and the group got off to a good start with Capt. Roy Rose at the wheel. The boat sent this report, “Just like that, things are looking good for the Royal anglers. This would be our best day yet. The quality of the yellowfin was in the 70- to 120-pound range, with a 120-pound fish being our largest of the trip so far — lucky angler was Butch Brown. Not only can he catch largemouth bass, he’s a very good tuna fisherman.”


The report continued, “We did have some nice yellowtail today to add to our count. It was one of those days that the kite, chunk and the sardine worked about the same. No popper fish yet, but we are trying. Today was all about the quality, because most of the fish were in the 70- to 120-pound range. With most of our passengers using 50-pound test, there were some heavy losses. But then you had the anglers that were using 60- to 100-pound test, and they are the ones that are landing the fish.”


Supreme fishes offshore


The Polaris Supreme was on the Castillo 5-Day Trip and was fishing a warm water bubble loaded with yellowfin, bluefin, yellowtail and dorado. The boat sent this report, “Five days into the Castillo 6-day trip, and there's been great signs of yellowfin tuna in the 18- to 22-pound range and bluefin tuna from 18 to 75 pounds. Signs are good out here and if you get the right school in the morning you can end up drifting all day. The yellowfin tuna are biting mostly lighter line, 20- and 25-pound test has been the best. They really love those ColtSnipers or any thing like them. Guys using those are smoking them. This bluefin has been biting into the night on the Flat-Falls and live bait sinker rigs. Also, make sure you have a good 20- or 25-pound rig for the long drifts.”


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