Long Range

Long Range Report: Yellowtail / bluefin combo

BY GUNDY GUNDERSON/Special to Western Outdoor NewsPublished: Jun 25, 2019

Start with the yellows, finish with the bluefin

SAN DIEGO — It is a winning combination, the current program executed by the long range fleet. The 7- and 8-day trips begin by targeting quality yellowtail on the high spots that make up the Ridge. The boats have been moving around based on current and water quality but, overall, have found excellent bites on fish ranging from 25 to 35 pounds. The better models have been in the 40-pound class. Fly-line, dropper loop, surface and yo-yo iron have all been working. The yellowtail bite has been the most consistent bite the fleet has seen in a while. After a shot at the yellows, the boats have been coming up the line and filling out the jackpots with chunky bluefin tuna. Plunk bites, but the fish that have hit the deck have been good ones.

Indy finishes up


youngfionaindyYOUNG FIONA VOGL with a tanker yellowtail caught on the Independence. PHOTO COURTESY OF THE INDEPENDENCE

The Independence finished up the Avet/Graftech/Raider 7-Day trip with a shot at the local bluefin tuna. The highlight of the trip, however, was the yellowtail fishing. The boat sent this final report, “Here is a little recap on the trip. We have had excellent fishing on yellowtail this trip. Everyone was yanking and cranking and having lots of fun. Left the yellowtail area on Thursday and headed north to bluefin territory. We will be finishing off the trip here tomorrow.”

The jackpot winners were 1st place, Jeff Vogl with a 75.9-pound bluefin, 2nd place Gary Atkins with a 69.8-pound bluefin and 3rd place, Nick Kane with a 46.8-pound yellowtail.

Intrepid on the yellows

The Intrepid was also down on the Ridge on the Jim’s Custom Rods 8-Day Trip. After a tepid start, the yellows got with it. Capt. Sam Moore was at the wheel and sent this report, “We had a day yesterday scratching away at excellent grade yellowtail. Most of our fish were 28 to 35 pounds with a few in the 40-pound range. We had a lot of casualties due to the power of these fish and the sharp structure on the bottom.”

The boat also finished upon the bluefin grounds, “We returned home this morning from our Jims Custom Rods 8-Day with a nice catch of beautiful grade yellowtail and we topped it off with a few nice bluefin. Jackpot winners go as follow, 1st Place, Eric Thomas with a 76.9-pound bluefin tuna, 2nd Place, Jim Williams with a 76.8-pound bluefin tuna and 3rd Place, Daniel Arsenault with a 71.2-pound bluefin tuna.

Angler wraps up


The American Angler returned from theannual Kadota 8-Day Trip with a fine catch of quality yellowtail and bluefin tuna. The boat sent this report, The boat returned this morning from the 8-day trip with a beautiful catch of yellowtail, bluefin and yellowfin tuna. The average size of the yellowtail dockside was very impressive as was the handfuls of bluefin. A huge thanks to Danny Kadota for all he does for his every year. Congrats to JP winners, 1st place Rick Kramer with a 95-pound bluefin, 2nd place, John Arndt with an 89-pound bluefin and 3rd place, Michael "Duffy" Sciacca with an 87.4-pound bluefin.

RP catches yellows


The Royal Polaris was another boat on the Ridge that found terrific yellowtail action. The boat with Capt. Roy Rose at the helm sent this report, “Well, the weather is coming down, and the bite continues on. We had good yellowtail fishing, with quality being the number one ticket today. The anglers that could withstand the chill in the air last night were rewarded with tanker yellowtail. Once the sun came up, things slowed down for about two hours, then things would start up again.”

The report continued, “With the larger baits today, dropper loop was the key. Most of the yellowtail were in the 22- to 30-pound range, with a few going over 40 pounds. After lunch, the bite would slow down considerably.

The next day it was a lunchtime bite. “It was first call for lunch, and the yellowtail must have heard the cook say ‘First Call For Lunch.’ The bite was on. We would have 4 to 6 fish going most of the afternoon. Most of the yellowtail were in the 18- to 25-pound range, with few going over 30. The bite lasted for about 5 hours, but we lost some horsepower before that time. It was good, clean fishing for quality yellowtail.”

Star finishes with bluefin

PHIL “AZUL” BELL with an 80-pound bluefin tuna on the Star. PHOTO COURTESY OF THE ROYAL STAR

The Royal Star was winding down an 8-Day trip on the bluefin grounds and the fish did not cooperate until the very last of it. Capt. Tim Ekstrom was at the wheel and described the finish like this, “Another signature, 11th-hour, strong finish with good action on this beautiful, 60- to 90-pound class bluefin ’til the last fishing minute. Grateful as hell that these bastards finally gave it up. This catch did not come without more than our share of trials. A lot of water was covered during this voyage and a lot of fish were seen. But that didn’t necessarily translate into a banner catch. An inexplicable amount of what we found just wasn’t ready to bite. Rest assured that they will be in a big way soon coming. And we will be there to mete out justice.”

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