Long Range

Long Range Report: Ridge party continues

BY GUNDY GUNDERSON/Special to Western Outdoor NewsPublished: Sep 11, 2018

Yellowfin tuna, wahoo, yellowtail and grouper: All on the bite

SAN DIEGO — The spectacular late-summer fishing on the Ridge continued to impress with dusk-til’-dawn tuna bites that saw 3 to 4 fish going at all times. The quality has also been impressive with the bulk of the tuna weighing from 18 to 38 pounds. Mix in spots of breezing wahoo, big bank grouper and every-drop yellowtail fishing, and you have the makings of an unforgettable long range day of fishing. The bite on big trophy bluefin below San Clemente Island was topped by a 305, so that was also on the radar. The frustration of fishing small bait on light tackle put Guadalupe Island on the back burner, for now.

Indy on the Ridge

A NICE WHACK on chunky school yellowfin, courtesy of the Independence.

The Independence was on the annual Young’s Tackle 7-Day Trip and with the Ridge fishing being on fire. Capt. Matt Kaullen smoke-holed it down to the high spots. As soon as the anchor came tight, it was game on. The young skipper sent this report, “One of those days you read about. Great weather and even better fishing for us today. We were very fortunate to run into these dandy yellowfin tuna. It was a very busy day with tuna, yellowtail and wahoo all mixed in. The tuna were very eager to bite a hook and we like that. We will be trying again tomorrow focusing a little more on the yellowtail and wahoo. All is well out here, other than some the tired fishermen.”

Wahoo took JP honors with 1st place going to Pam Bendorf with a 44.1-pound wahoo, 2nd place was Robert McManigal with a 40.4-pound wahoo and 3rd place, David Solomon with a 37.6-pound skinny.

AA on the Ridge

beachbiscuitaaBEACH BISCUIT TAKEN aboard the Angler.

The American Angler was also on the ridge and experienced the same terrific mixed-bag fishing. The boat sent this report: “An epic day on the tuna grounds for the gang today. Lucky for us, our timing was great and the bites were plentiful with beautiful 15- to 35-pound yellowfin biting just how we like it: FAST! User-friendly action gave everyone the enjoyable tuna experience they deserved and after the dust settled our folks had their big smiles on and we picked it up to start moving up.”

RP gets rowdy

The Royal Polaris was on the annual Rowdy Rail 9-Day Trip and first stop was the Ridge high spots. The boat found excellent action, reporting, “Today we had great fishing tuna with a few wahoo and grouper thrown in. It all started around 0730 and we were able to keep 2 to 5 tuna going up until sun down. The tuna were from 18 to 30 pounds.”

The following day, the boat moved onto the bank for some pure grouper action, “Today we put all our effort into something different and it worked out just fine, We woke up this morning at 0300 to a wide open yellowtail bite that lasted until around 0900, We got all what we needed then we switched all our efforts into fishing for groupers, and by the way, it was good fishing.”

Intrepid starts fast

SAMPLE OF THE quality Ridge yellowfin displayed aboard the Intrepid.

The Intrepid was the latest boat to arrive down below and with Capt. Bill Cavanaugh at the wheel, stepped up to the plate on the Ridge and took a first swing, We are currently experiencing wide open yellowfin tuna fishing and the overall grade of what we are catching today is impressive,” he said. “The fish are averaging 18 to 35 pounds. The weather is flat calm.”

Rooster sticks super cow

The Red Rooster III was on the Charkbait 5-Day and began the trip on the local bluefin grounds. The boat caught a sample of the big local bluefin, reporting, “We started right landing a 305 bluefin at first light, then, had a nice day with good weather and good action on dorado and school-size tuna.”

Searcher sticks boat-best cow

The Searcher was running a series of 3-day trips and the big local bluefin were on the bite. The boat was on a limited load charter with just 13 passengers aboard. The boat sent this report: “We finished our 13-angler, limited-load 3-day trip with awesome fishing for bluefin tuna. I think we landed the biggest bluefin tuna ever on Searcher! Tim S. had an assist from Capt. Mike Todter and landed a 235-pound bluefin tuna. There were several chances at landing large bluefin for the entire group. Ed K. from Nebraska landed a 196-pound and a 110-pound fish. There were other fish in the 50- to 90-pound range too. This was a great finish to our trip.”

Big X on the Ridge high spots

A CATCH OF wahoo landed on the Big X.

The Excel was also plundering the Ridge on the annual Gallagher 8-Day Trip. The boat, with Capt. Justin Fleck at the controls, sent this report, “The Ridge is healthy. Very good fishing today on school-sized tuna and wahoo. Everybody had a blast yanking and cranking on fish today. Timing is everything down here and this trip nailed it. We are now headed out to the Rocks to try for a few more wahoo. Good weather.”

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