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Southern CA Saltwater

Point Loma: New Lo-An taps into bluefin bonanza

BY MIKE STEVENS/WON Staff Writer Published: Nov 06, 2019

POINT LOMA — On a 2.5-day offshore charter, the New Lo-An let the world know there are still cow bluefin to be caught by steaming home to Point Loma Sportfishing with a pair of 300 pounders. She came home with nine bluefin for 17 anglers, and none fell short of triple digits.

The biggest of the big taped out at 317 pounds and was caught by Rudy Long, and next up was the tanker winched in by Erik Knickerbocker that went about 300 even. Both hail from Henderson, Nevada, and were part of a buddies charter put together by Bryan Simons, also from Henderson. If that name rings a bell, it’s because Simons is the current back-to-back champion of the WON Lake Havasu Striper Derby.


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THE TALE OF the tape put this bluefin caught by Rudy Long aboard the New Lo-An at 317 pounds. Chartermaster Bryan Simons had a hand in gaffing both super cows landed on the trip. A total of 9 bluefin, all over 100 pounds, were landed.

“The morning started slow with a lot of looking around for the right school,” said Simons. “Then we went on a kite rotation, and the first name called was Rudy Long, who was only on his third ocean-fishing trip, and this was the first tuna he’d ever caught.”


So, not only did Long set the bar unreasonably high for himself, but his super cow was likely the largest ever decked by the New Lo-An. He was using the right stuff: Penn International 50w with 200-pound Spectra to a 200-pound wind-on and a 500-pound mono leader connected to a pair of 12/0 Mustad hooks.


That was the first fish of the day, and the second was Knickerbocker’s 300-pound kite fish that was brought aboard after a two-hour battle. He was on his fifth tuna trip, and his previous personal best tuna was a 50 pounder.


“On our third drift, the kite bite went off,” Simons said. “We had over 15 blow-ups in a four-hour drift with seven connections. The flyers couldn’t make it very far from the boat before they were decimated, resulting in either a beat-up flyer or a big bluefin.”


The chartermaster stuck a 160 pounder on the trip, but the former San Diego-fleet deckhand couldn’t resist grabbing a gaff and lending a hand pulling the cows over the rail of the New Lo-An. Simons also told WON the group committed to a bluefin-or-bust-style trip on the backside of San Clemente island with no intention of chasing local yellowfin, and he said other tactics employed on this trip included frozen flyers on the kite, Flat-Falls, ColtSnipers and mackerel.


One of those macks drew a bite for Erik Nakamura, whose rod snapped during the fight, but Captain Adam Williams was able to splice the line to a boat rod for the clutch save.


On the second day of the trip, the wind was not co-operating and the fishing took a hit, but there’s no doubt this group was stoked with how things went.


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THE NEW LO-AN came home from a 2.5-day charter with 9 bluefin — all over 100 pounds — including a pair of super cows. This one was caught by Erik Knickerbocker, front, of Henderson, Nevada, and it taped out at an even 300.


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