SAN DIEGO — Brian Kiyohara docked American Angler at Pt. Loma Sportfishing Feb. 2 after a 15-day Avet trip with chartermaster Ben Frazier, who gave away several HX Raptor reels and came back with lot of great big-fish stories, reported Bill Roecker of the Sportfishing Council. Amazingly, there were 27 tuna over 200 pounds in the holds, and three of those were over 300 pounds. Four of the anglers had triples on tuna over 200 pounds. It was the third time the Angler has produced three supercows on a trip, said Kiyohara.
Another major mark was set by Ralph “The Long Ranger” Mikkelsen of Northridge, who fulfilled his lifetime goal of taking six tuna over 300 pounds, which put him back into the all-time lead for that category.
“I’m 39, going on 81 next March,” said Mikkelsen, whose yellowfin weighed 306 on the boat, where all the fish were weighed. “I’ve been waiting for the next 300 pounder to come for 24 years.”
Ralph told dock reporter Bill Roecker he got his special fish on a salami mackerel pinned to a Mustad 9/0 7691 hook under a helium balloon. He said he used 130-pound Izorline, 130-pound Line One spectra, an Avet 50 W reel and a Calstar 770 XXH rod.
“It took about 30 minutes,” remarked Mikkelsen. “He made several runs up high, so I had to keep changing gears, and he came up on the bow.”
Ralph’s other supercows were 321 pounds (1980), 333.8 pounds (then a world record) in 1981, 305 and 317 in 1982, and 308 pounds in 1988.
Dennis Saylors, a long-time angler himself, scored a 320 pounder (good for first place), a 227 and a 205-pound tuna. He fished a salami on a 6/0 ringed Super Mutu hook from Owner on 130-pound Momoi line and 130-pound Line One spectra on a Penn 50 VSX reel tuned by Cal Sheets, and a Calstar 6465 XH rod wrapped by Performance Tackle.
“I’ve been fishing long range for 20 years,” said Saylors. “This one, my first 300 pounder, bit at 150 yards. I knew it was big by the way it felt. The fish took me around the boat twice and fought hard for a half-hour. When he hit the dick I was like, wow! I thank the crew and the office of the American Angler.”
Rookie long ranger Dan Martin of Felton bagged the third supercow, a 312 pound whopper that took a backup rig and then died on the line. It had to be retrieved later, when the boat could move over it. Other anglers said the float on the backup rig was crushed from its sojourn at 70 fathoms.
Martin said he fished a chunk on a 12/0 ringed Super Mutu hook on 130-pound Blackwater fluorocarbon and 130-pound Line One spectra. He used a Penn 50 reel and a two-piece Killwell (New Zealand) six-foot rod.
“He bit 40 feet under the boat,” said Martin, “on a 12/0 ringed Super Mutu hook. “He dived, came up outside, took me around the boat twice, and then we got out the backup outfit, and then he died.”
Jan Howard of Mission Viejo got her best tuna to date, a 286-pound yellowfin that came rather easily (40 minutes) for its size, she remarked. Jan baited a salami on a 10/0 Mustad J hook tied to 130-pound Berkley fluorocarbon, 130-pound Big Game line and 130-pound spectra on a Sheets-treated Penn 50 reel and a Calstar 6455 XXH rod she wrapped herself.
William Leonard of Lake Havasu City got his first cow and best fish ever, a 266 pounder that won second place and ran him five times around the boat. He decked it in 40 minutes, however. He fished a salami on a 9/0 Owner Super Mutu hook tied to 130-pound Blackwater fluorcarbon and 130-pound Line One spectra on a Penn 50 W reel and a Seeker Black Steel six-foot rod.
Galen Steward of Simi Valley also got one at 266 pounds, and it brought along a couple of cow buddies at 210 and 205 pounds. He fished a chunk on a 8/0 ringed Super Mutu on 130-pound Momoi and 130-pound Line One spectra, and used a Penn 50 S reel by Cal Sheets and a Calstar 7465 XH rod wrapped by Bob Sands Tackle.
“I got slammed right away,” he said, “but he came in after 20 minutes.”
Bill Randall (who had over 100 days aboard the American Angler last year) won third place for a 255-pounder, and also had fish of 240 and 228 pounds. He said the big one came on a salami mackerel and a 9/0 Mustad 7691 hook tied to Jin Kai 130 and 130-pound Izorline spectra. He used an Accurate ATD 50 reel and a Super Seeker 2 X 4 rod.
“I also used a backup outfit,” he said. “It took an hour and 15 minutes, and he came up in the starboard corner.”
Robin Lemaster of Brawley tripled with tuna of 240, 232 and 230 pounds. The big one came in 45 minutes, he said, after it bit on a salami and a 9/0 ringed Super Mutu. He fished with 130-pound Blackwater fluorocarbon, 130-pound Line One spectra, an Avet 50 reel and a Super Seeker 2 X 4 rod.
John Metcalf of Hayward pulled a hat trick with tuna of 233, 206 and 203 pounds. He said he fished a sardine on a 6/0 Owner ringed Super Mutu tied to 80-pound Blackwater fluorocarbon and 80-pound Line One spectra on a Tiagra 20 reel and a Calstar 765 H rod.
“The big one was squirrely,” he said. “He seemed to like it up by the bow and the cathead.”
Chartermaster Ben Frazier of Oxnard nabbed tuna of 225 and 209 pounds. He fished salami mackerel on 5/0 Mustad Demon hooks. He used 100-pound Maxima fluorocarbon and 130-pound Line One spectra on an HXWW Avet Raptor reel and a Super Seeker 1 X 3 rod to get the bigger one in 45 minutes.
Steve Leonhart of Murietta whipped a 222 pounder with a salami on an 8/0 ringed Super Mutu on 130-pound Blackwater fluorocarbon and 130-pound Line One spectra. He used an Accurate ATD 50 reel and a Super Seeker 2 X 4 rod.
“It was a piece of cake,” he quipped.
Glenn Bummer of La Crescenta got a 213-pounder with a salami on a Mustad 9/0 7691 hook tied to 130-pound Seaguar premier fluorocarbon and 130-pound Line One spectra. He used an Avet 50 reel and a Calstar 770 XXH rod.
Sam Cornell of Kenai, AK bagged a 208-pound cow with a sardine on a 5/0 Mustad Demon 4X hook on 90-pound Momoi and 100-pound Line One spectra on an Avet HXW reel and a Calstar 770 XXH rod. The fight lasted one hour.
“This is the third time for us to get three 3’s,” said skipper Kiyohara, “But what’s important is we were lucky with our timing and being in The Zone without being bothered by sharks. There’s a lot of sign of big fish.”
Shawn Steward and Ralph Mikkelsen.