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CALIFORNIA'S ONLY SPORTSMAN'S NEWS SINCE 1953

Southern CA Saltwater

Long Range Report: Ridge / Guadalupe combo in the cards for long rangers

BY GUNDY GUNDERSON/Special to Western Outdoor NewsPublished: Oct 17, 2017

Boats find excellent fishing on the Ridge, rounded out with a Guadalupe finish

SAN DIEGO — This week the long range fleet was in a nice situation. The fall fishing on the ridge has been spectacular with catches of quality yellowfin, slug wahoo, yellowtail, dorado, grouper, and even pargo. Guadalupe Island has been challenging but fruitful in putting trophy jackpot-winning yellowfin on the deck. On 8- and 10-day trips, the skippers have begun down on the ridge, and with holds nearly full, finished off the trip with a couple of days at the big island. It would be hard to find a better trip anywhere in saltwater fishing.


Angler finishes at the ‘lupe


The American Angler began their Open 8-Day trip down on the ridge experiencing the good wahoo and tuna action. But to decide the jackpot, the boat choose to finish up at Guadalupe. After the first day, the boat sent this report, “We arrived just before lunch here — the weather is beautiful and the quality fish wanted to bite a little bit. We landed 10 fish from 85 to 141 pounds, most of which were over the 100-pound mark, with another day tomorrow before we have to bounce out of here — so hoping to end the trip with a bang.”


Rooster 8-Day


The Red Rooster III was also fishing a Ridge and Guadalupe combo trip on the Seaguar/ Hayabusa 8-Day. Capt. Andy Cates was at the wheel and described the last day on the Ridge: “We had a few wahoo this morning with very poor conditions. The afternoon, however, brought really nice fishing on school-grade tuna with a nice evening bingo on wahoo.


“The trip finished up at Guadalupe, but the sharks ground down the participants. The veteran skipper filed this terse report: “Guadalupe was tough today with a little shot on yellows in the morning and a fight through the sharks in the afternoon. We had quite a few bites, but were just shut down by the sharks.”


RP and Shimano


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OVER THE RAIL on the Royal Polaris.


The Royal Polaris was also doing the Ridge/Guadalupe combo on the annual Shimano 10-Day. The boat began with some good fishing on the Ridge, describing it this way: “If you could draw up a good day of fishing, you would come up with our day. We had good fishing on yellowfin, wahoo and dorado. Now this is what the doctor ordered. The wahoo were in the 30- to 50-pound range, the yellowfin were in the 18- to 30-pound range, and the dorado were in the 12- to 20-pound range. We also had a few personal best wahoo and dorado today.”


The boat slid up to Guada­lupe to finish up on some quality tuna. The boat described the day like this: “Tuna fishing was a bit tough today, with only a few hook-ups, and even fewer than that landed. Some of our anglers went in under-gunned, but learned a quick lesson: ‘Don’t go down in line size to get a bite.’ The yellowfin landed today were in the 110- to 120-pound range with a few larger ones lost at color. The grade of the yellowtail was excellent, with most of the fish in the 25- to 45-pound range.”


Star at the ’Lupe


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MATT BOWLAND WITH a 155 Guadalupe yellowfin on the Star.


The Royal Star was on a Bight magazine charter and choose to duke it out at the Guadalupe for the whole trip. Capt. Tim Ekstrom was driving the boat and sent this insightful report: “The bigger they are, the harder they pull, and the longer they take to wrestle in. That’s not necessarily a good thing when the pain patrol is ready and waiting to take advantage of the situation. But there are ways to mitigate the losses, namely using heavy tackle and pulling like one’s life depends on it, and it does. In the end today we came out of the fray bruised but successful. A dozen of these beauties now reside in our RSW tank along with a handful of dandy yellowtail.”


The skipper continued, “Big gear and 100-pound fluoro­carbon at a minimum — 130-pound is better — is the first element of success. One can break out the lighter outfits and hope, and a few will come aboard by luck and chance, but the bigger gear absolutely swings the odds in our favor by a wide margin. Not to say the big gear comes with a guarantee either, as the local enforcers and inevitable tackle failures still account for some heart-breaking losses, but the percentage of success is much higher with heavier outfits.”


Indy on the Ridge


morningcoffeeindMORNING COFFEE WITH a few skinny friends aboard the Indy.


The Independence was on the Indy Shootout 10-Day Trip Fishing the Ridge and found some better-sized yellowfin to go along with a catch of wahoo. Capt. Matt Kaullen was on the bridge and sent this report on the excellent fishing: “We had another epic day of fishing down here for wahoo and beautiful-grade tuna. We spent the day trolling around as well as drifting up these slug yellowfin. Our weather continues to be stellar and we hope to be on them again in the morning.”

The following morning there was more of the same: “We had a fun day today chasing down wahoo and a beautiful grade of yellowfin tuna. We pounded at it all day and ended up with a decent catch of 25- to 30-pound tuna and a couple handfuls of skinnies.


Intrepid tuna bite


The Intrepid was also down on the Ridge and experiencing the same mixed-bag fishing. Capt. Bill Cavanaugh was driving the boat and filed this report: “We awoke this morning to calm seas and a gorgeous sunrise. Just after sunrise we hooked our first tuna, a 35-pound yellowfin. For the next few hours, we were busy with one to six fish hooked the entire time. Most of the fish were 20 to 30 pounds and a few that were close to 40. Impressive grade of yellowfin for this place. The best bet today was a 30- or 40-pound fluorocarbon and a 2/0 J hook like an Eagle Claw 118 or a Mustad 94150. Finesse worked best today — smaller profile hooks and fluorocarbon. All of the little things in your technique made a difference today. We spent midday catching some wahoo and had a little sundowner on 25- to 30-pound tuna. All in all it was a great day.”




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