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Long Range

Long range report: Big tuna absent from cow grounds

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

Guadalupe picks up the slack, wahoo bite still lights out

SAN DIEGO — The long range fleet has begun the new cow campaign focusing on the traditional haunts of the trophy yellowfin tuna, places like the lower banks, the buffer zone and the fabled Hurricane Bank. But there has been one small problem. Nobody told the tuna. In a rare slow start, the fleet has encountered excellent wahoo fishing but the much-sought-after trophy yellowfin have been largely absent. The saving grace has been the excellent fishing at Guadalupe Island and with fishing dicey down below, and the long trips have been starting at the ’Lupe.


Indy prospects


The Independence returned from the Rodgers/ Phenix 15-Day trip. The big sportfisher burned plenty of fuel and made a catch that included spectacular wahoo fishing. The big tuna, however, were few and far between. Capt. Jeff De Buys was at the wheel and sent this wrap of the trip: “Well, all good things must come to an end, as we have had a really nice trip that started out in the wahoo zone for a nice hit and then down to the big fish zone that produced three days of great wahoo and a sample of that big fish-style of fishing. From there it was up to Alijos for a couple of days of trophy yellowtail and excellent wahoo action along with some nice yellowfin thrown in. We finished up on the beach with an action packed day of yellowtail fishing. Very nice weather.”


Star goes long


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A NICE SHOT of the ’Lupe. Photo courtesy of Royal Star Sportfishing


brandowithrsBRANDO WITH A quality Guadalupe Island yellowfin on the Star. Photo courtesy of Royal Star Sportfishing


The Royal Star Was on the Let’s Talk Hook-Up 16-Day and with sketchy reports from below, swung in to Guadalupe to put a few quality fish in the hold. The concern was well-founded as the sportfisher found tough tuna fishing in the southern section. Capt. Tim Ekstrom, on the bridge, filed this report, “Round one of the search below yielded a couple of handfuls of consolation prize “skin” and a couple of dandy dorado. No sign of the big boys yet. In flat calm seas the search will continue tomorrow. “No one said it was going to be easy”. And they were right.”


After a long hunt, the veteran skipper filed this report, “Our band of big tuna anglers is solid in their resolve to complete this voyage with every possible zone checked and/or checked off the list, as are we. Still secure with our catch of beautiful Isla Guadalupe yellowfin resting in the RSW tanks, we have the insurance policy to back the effort. While it would be nice to mix in a little catching (dorado, wahoo, a few more tuna, etc.); this is one of those times when a big play is needed.”


A few days later, with the resolve that makes a great skipper, Ekstrom reported, “A needle in a haystack search that has yet to produce our quarry. Whew! No easy pickings this time. Maybe tomorrow. Scouring the lower zone top to bottom tomorrow looms large as the final test. We’ll either strike it big, or strike out swinging. And I’m ok with that.”


Angler gets ’hooed


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JP WINNERS FROM the Angler. Photo courtesy of American Angler Sportfishing


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TRACTOR FACTOR JOE with a dandy wahoo landed on the Angler. Photo courtesy of American Angler Sportfishing


The American Angler was down on the ridge working the high spots for a wahoo catch on an open 8-day. Capt. Brian Kiyohara was at the controls and forwarded the final results, “Capt. Brian Kiyohara and crew brought home the folks from this open 8-day trip with a very productive catch of wahoo and tuna. Thanks to our regulars and all the new faces who joined us. No more wahoo virgins. Congrats to jp winners: 1st place, Daniel Bell with a 51-pound wahoo, 2nd place, Nolan Mehl with a 43.4-pound wahoo and 3rd place, Erik Mainhart with a 42.4-pound wahoo. Honorable Mention: Jim Gilman with a 42.4-pound wahoo.”


Supreme at the big island


puttingtunapsPUTTING TUNA TO sleep on the Supreme. Photo courtesy of Polaris Supreme Sportfishing


The Polaris Supreme has been on a roll lately at Guadalupe Island. The sportfisher was at the island once again on an OTR charter, putting tuna to sleep. The boat sent this report: “Fishing was good today, it started off at sun up and continued into the dark. It was kind of a steady pick all day, except for a little lull during midday. Our big fish today was around 110 pounds. Most of the other ones were in the 70- to 90-pound range. The hot stick still continues to be 50- or 60-pound Spectra/Mono — some guys are using floral carbon with a 3/0 hooked. The sharks continue to be absent and we don't miss them one bit. Ladies are absolutely killing it today! “


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