CALIFORNIA'S ONLY SPORTSMAN'S NEWS SINCE 1953

Long Range

Long Range Report: Bank yellowtail bite explodes

Big tankers to 45-pounds on the bite

BY GUNDY GUNDERSON/Special to Western Outdoor NewsPublished: Jun 18, 2019

SAN DIEGO — After a month or more of tedious bluefin bites, the long range fleet was happy to engage in a ripper bite of quality bank yellowtail. The big slugs are mounted up on the high spots that make up the Ridge. Once the pick is down and the rope comes tight it has been game on as the big bruisers have been walking up the chum line and blowing up on bait all around the boat. The bait soakers and the jig fishers have been scoring fish well into the 40-pound class with the average at about 25- to 30-pounds. No plunking here.

Indy goes yellow


comingatyouIndyCOMING AT YOU on the Independence. PHOTO COURTESY OF THE INDEPENDENCE


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A SLUG YELLOWTAIL taken on the Indy. PHOTO COURTESY OF THE INDEPENDENCE


The Independence was on the annual West Coast Marketing Avet/Graftech/Raider 7 Day Trip looking for bank yellowtail. The boat was under the guidance ofCapt. Matt Kaullen who sent this report after a good start, Lots of fun tugging on big yellowtail today. The 30- to 40- pound average yellowtail made their way aboard. The fishing has been really something to remember. Lots of personal best catches and plenty of happy faces. We are going to give it a few hours in the morning before heading up looking for tuna. We are all in good spirits and have high hopes for tomorrow.”


The bluefin, however did not cooperate, “We traveled up the line yesterday to put ourselves in position for the notorious bluefin tuna. Pretty frustrating day of watching these beauties jump around and not bite. We did end on a good note capturing a few of the 60-to 70- pound grade. We are headed for the barn now and feel very fortunate for our catch.”


Intrepid on yellow


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JP WINNING 45-pound yellowtail caught by Ryan Holta aboard the Intrepid. PHOTO COURTESY OF THE INTREPID

The Intrepid was on the annual JRI 7-Day Trip with Capt. Bill Cavanaugh at the wheel. The boat was also on the banks down below and filed this report, “Yesterday was another great day of yellowtail fishing for us. We had steady action on 18- to 30- pound fish all morning long before it was time to pick it up and begin working north. The day before was also epic as we ended up with our daily limits of yellowtail up to 42 pounds and all of our fish came on either the fly-line sardine of the surface iron. Super fun surface action and the hot jigs were the JRI #2 and #7 surface iron. Our host, Jerry Guzman, was putting on a clinic sight casting the JRI surface iron on yellows boiling in the chum and ended up catching one fish that will go well over 30s. Everyone had a blast and we ended a great day of fishing. Our jackpot winners for the trip are as follows: third place jackpot went to Jimmy Clidaras with a 34.2-pound yellowtail, second place went to Fred Ray with a 37.4-pound yellowtail, and first place goes to Ryan Holta with a 45.6-pound yellowtail. Strong work men! Honorable mention goes to Jerry Guzman with a 33.9 pound yellowtail that he landed fishing the long rod and a JRI surface iron.”


Angler on yellows


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A DANDY YELLOWTAIL caught on the Angler. PHOTO COURTESY OF THE AMERICAN ANGLER

The American Angler was also on the yellowtail bonanza on the Ridge. Capt Ray Lopez was driving the boat and filed this report, “After a small pit stop on the way down, today we arrived at our main destination and boy did it pay off. Not only was it an all day affair but the quality was about as good as it gets. These beautiful 18- to 45-pound yellows were the gift that kept on giving and we cherished every single one of them. We are going to savor the moment.”


The boat finished the trip on the bluefin grounds, “After a full day of traveling up the line yesterday, we finally made it to the tuna grounds with what ended up being great timing. Shortly after entering the zone, we managed to find a school of 60- to 89-pound bluefin that wanted to play a little. It was an all-day affair and bites were hard to come by. But as we all know, these plunkers are 90 percent mental. When you're are at the rail, keeping the right mind set is very important and with a little bit of luck thrown into the mix, good things are bound to happen.”


RP on yellows


bendorpBENDO ABOARD THE RP. PHOTO COURTESY OF THE ROYAL POLARIS

The Royal Polaris was back on the fishing grounds after a short stint in the yard. The boat was eager to get going with the big yellowtail biting on the banks below. The boat sent this message after a good start, “We arrived to our first destination at 07:30 hours, did some looking around, then dropped the anchor. It didn’t take long for the yellowtail to start biting. Most of the fish were in the 22- to 30-pound range, with a few larger ones. After lunch, the bite had slowed down to a very slow pick. So it was time to pick up the anchor and make a move.”


The move was the right one as the boat went bendo on a better grade, “We didn’t move very far and it was game on. The jumbo yellowtail were on the bite. Most of the fish were in the 30- to 40-pound range, with a few larger ones. The bite was steady, with the jumbos, we had some heavy loses, but all in all, we had a good day of yellowtail fishing. We did have a few personal bests today, but with the weather being a bit chilly, no showers today. With the larger baits today, dropper-loop was the key."


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