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Long Range Report: Excel slams lower banks cows

BY GUNDY GUNDERSON/Special to Western Outdoor NewsPublished: Nov 14, 2017

Another 16 cows hit the deck, topped by a 337 super cow; great ‘Lupe bite continues

SAN DIEGO — The Bill Poole-designed Excel picked up the baton from the Intrepid and stuck another 16 cows, topped by a 337-pound super cow, one of two fish over 300 pounds this past week. The two trips marked some of the finest trophy tuna fishing on the lower peninsula in recent memory. Add to this an excellent stretch of Guadalupe Island fishing, topped by a 191-pound fish, and you have the best that long range fishing has to offer. If you plunked your money down on one of these fall trips, you probably bagged a personal-best yellowfin tuna.

Intrepid returns

spoilsof10dayintSPOILS OF A 10-DAY — The Intrepid poses with 17 cows.

The Intrepid returned toPoint Loma with one of the most spectacular catches ever seen on a 10-day trip. The vessel was fishing the lower banks off the southern half of the Baja peninsula and ran headlong into a giant spot of yellowfin tuna. When the smoke cleared, the catch was epic. Capt. Sam Moore was at the wheel and sent this trip wrap-up at the dock, “We returned this morning from our Larry Brown 10-Day Trip and it was a success to say the least. We capitalized on our opportunities and made the best out of the hand we were dealt. We ended our trip with 17 yellowfin tuna over 200 pounds, with 5 of those over 300 pounds. Everyone who caught a big fish this trip shattered their personal-best record. Jackpot winners go as follows: 1st place, Kevin Curtis and Hakeem Milbes with identical 360-pound yellowfin tuna; 2nd place was Larry Brown with a 325-pound yellowfin tuna; and 3rd place was Ron Huth with a 302.6-pound yellowfin.

Rooster’s first long one

TOM ALLAN WITH a 218 on the Rooster.

By week’s end, conditions on the lower banks had changed and the Red RoosterIII made the decision to head for the Hurricane Bank. The sportfisher was on the annual Accurate Fishing Charter 12-Day Trip with Jack Nilsen. The boat got off to a good start, boating two cows right out of the gate. Capt. Andy Cates sent WON this report, “Really nice fishing down here today. Nice grade, with most fish ranging from 120 to 170 pounds with a few smaller and a few bigger. We have 3 fish in the low 200s. There are good conditions with just a bit of sharking going on but not too bad. The kite action has been good with a complete rotation each day.

Indy returns

melton10dayindMELTON 10-DAY jackpot winners on the Indy.

The Independence finished off their Melton 10-Day at Guadalupe Island and experienced some of the year’s best fishing. Capt. Jeff DeBuys ran the trip and sent these final results. “Jackpot winners were 1st place Gabe Garcia with a 191-pound yellowfin tuna; 2nd place was Dan Wasnick with a 165-pound yellowfin tuna; and 3rd place was a tie between Danny Mun and Bob Lucas with twin 144-pound yellowfin tuna. We want to thank everyone who made the trip this year and a huge thanks to Danny Mun from Merton Tackle. It was a most memorable trip in the catching department.”

RP at the ‘Lupe

The Royal Polaris was also down at the ‘Lupe and filed this report after day one, “We pickd up 23 yellowfin tuna and 1 yellowtail today. Most of the yellowfin were over the 100-pound mark. The quality of these fish is outstanding. We landed 27 yellowfin tuna with most fish ranging from 100 to 145 pounds.”

Day two, more good fishing, “Steady as she goes, was the word on deck today. It was a steady bite on quality yellowfin tuna. We did have some heartbreaks, as tackle failure continues to hinder our counts. Most of the fish were in the 100- to 130- pound class, with a few larger ones.”

Angler at the big island

The American Angler has been on a string of successful Guadalupe Island trips and the latest was no different. The boat was on a Ken’s Custom Reels 7-Day and sent this update, “Today we were able to pick at this nice grade again but I must say it was a little slower then yesterday. We still ended the day with 26 of these beautiful fish for the efforts of the gang. It was a little windy today which made things challenging down on deck but we are good with the results and trying it again in the morning.”

BIG X lowers the boom

RON WALKER WITH the jackpot-winning 337-pound supercow caught aboard the Big X.

As the Intrepid turned toward home, the Excel arrived on the grounds and picked up the reigns. The big sportfisher settled in and got to work on big, trophy yellowfin, landing 16 cows with two fish going over 300-pound mark. The boat, with Capt. Justin Fleck at the helm, sent this brief report as the boat experienced Wi-Fi trouble: “With the lower banks absolutely exploding with action on HUGE cows, Capt. Fleck called in to report all of the fish hooked today were in the 250-pound-and-ABOVE range! We've had many heartbreaks at gaff, including losing one that was well over 350 pounds. It stands to reason that if you are hooking 350s, there is a great chance of hooking an even bigger one.”

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