SAN DIEGO — The last round of long trips to the Hurricane Bank and Clarion Island found decent to good wahoo fishing, but an end to the “slam dunk” big yellowfin fishing like that of the trips before.
Bill Roecker checked in the last two boats to return, as both the Red Rooster III and Royal Polaris kept kicking away at Clarion.
The amount of fish under 100 pounds has been almost a nuisance, but weeding through the small fish has produced cows. The Red Rooster III had 7 fish that taped out over 200 pounds as of Sunday.
Five-year long ranger Andy Pulido of Long Beach had a little story for Roecker after getting off the Royal Star: “I was first up on the kite, on our first day of fishing. I had a squid on a boat outfit and I saw the balloon marker go down. Forty-five minutes later, I got him on the deck.”
Pulido’s tuna weighed 246 pounds on the Royal Star’s boat scales, and he posed with it for Roecker’s camera Feb. 18 at Fisherman’s Landing.
Tim Ziegler of Rancho Palos Verdes won second place for a 220 pounder he got on the kite with a mackerel and a 20/0 Mustad hook tied to 130-pound Seaguar Premier fluorocarbon and 130-pound Izorline Spectra. He used an Accurate ATD 50 reel and a 2 X 4 Super Seeker rod, along with a backup rig to get it all back. The fish fought for an hour, he said. He also got a 202 pounder.
Cliff Hamaishi of Pleasant Hill won third place for a 210 pounder he got with the boat’s rig and a squid under the kite. He said the squish was on a 20/0 Mustad circle hook tied to 130-pound Blackwater fluorocarbon and 130-pound Izorline Spectra on a Peen 80 W reel and a Shimano six-foot rod.
“It’s my first cow,” he said. “I was very fortunate; I got two! The other one weighed 207 pounds.”
Randy Toussaint skippered the 14-day trip with 17 anglers, and took them to the Buffer Zone and Hurricane Bank.
“The water was about 75 to 76 degrees,” he noted, “and the good bait seemed to be flylined mackerel. We had some good wahoo fishing, too.”
American Angler arrived Feb. 18 with 19 anglers from the annual Ken’s Custom Reels (Oceanside) trip of 15 days. Chartermaster Ken’s regular customer Zeke Harloff of Oceanside won the jackpot for his best tuna ever, a 262.5 pounder.
Zeke’s been fishing long range for five years, he said, “… and this makes seven cows. It was Devine intervention, because it was at the last minute, and I was up on the bow. He took me around the anchor twice and around the whole boat twice.”
Zeke used a mackerel on a 10/0 Mustad 7691 hook tied to 130-pound Izorline and 130-pound Izorline Spectra on a Tiburon SST 50 reel and a Calstar 770 XXXH rod.
Kambiz Moradi of West Covina bagged a 211 pounder on a mackerel and an 11/0 Gamakatsu hook to take second place. He used 130-pound Blackwater fluorocarbon and 130-pound Line One Spectra on a Penn 50 VSX treated by Cal Sheets, and a Calstar 770 XXH rod to bring it in after 20 minutes.
Jack Esson of Arleta won third place for a 202.5 pounder. He got it with a sardine at three a.m. He fished with a 9/.0 ringed Owner Super Mutu hook on 130-Blackwater fluorocarbon and 130-pound Line One Spectra, and he used a Triton 50 W reel and a Calstar 770 XXH rod.
Don Bilteau of San Mateo rounded up the cow catchers with a 220 he got on the kite with the boat’s rig and a double trouble pair of sardines dangling.
“We had good wahoo fishing,” commented skipper Sam Patella, “and a scratch on the big ones.”
The Royal Star takes off or Clipperton Atoll this week with Tim Ekstrom at the helm. It will be interesting to see what happens.
CUSTOM COW — Ken Corwin of Ken’s Custom Reel in Oceanside (non-bearded man) and Zeke Harloff (bearded man) pose with Harloff’s 262.5-pound jackpot winning yellowfin. It was Harloff’s seventh yellowfin over the deuce mark. He credits it to the custom treatment he gets at Ken’s, of course….