Southern CA Saltwater

Long Range Report: Satellite down; fishing up

BY GUNDY GUNDERSON/Special to Western Outdoor NewsPublished: Dec 06, 2017

Hurricane Bank produces excellent catches; the ’Lupe continues to shine

SAN DIEGO — With three long range boats arriving on the cow grounds this week, the season for trophy yellowfin tuna is well underway. The incredible fishing on the lower banks and two excellent trips to the Hurricane Banks in recent weeks have portended a very good cow season. After a few days down on the banks for the new arrivals, it is safe to say, we are off to a good start. Although, the Wi-Fi satellite for the boats was down, we were able to receive sat phone reports but no photographs.

Indy at Hurricane

The Independence arrived at the Hurricane Bank on the annual Roger Eckhardt's 15-Day Adventure. Unfortunately, the satellite that services the fleet’s Wi-Fi on the southern sojourns was down completely. Through satellite phone, Capt. Jeff DeBuys was able to pass this report to land-based John Collins: “Great fishing. Jeff reports the fishing for the last three days has been very good. The boat is averaging between 30 to 33 large yellowfin per day. The grade of the fish is excellent with most fish ranging from 150 to 230 pounds. At this time, the boat has 8 cows resting comfortably in RSW. DeBuys also reports excellent weather and a bunch of happy campers on the boat. They will give it their best shot for the next few days and will send us a report when possible.”

Big X down below

The Excel, on a Pelagic 16-Day Open Party, was also on the cow grounds down below and experiencing good fishing and bad Wi-Fi. Capt. Mike Ramirez was driving the boat and managed to convey this report, “A quick summary from below… Fishing has been solid on 100- to 150-pound yellowfin tuna with several cows mixed in. Everyone is getting in on the action. Additionally, the wahoo fishing is very good and the weather continues to be pleasant. We hope to send photos and reports soon.”

Star hook-up

The Royal Star was on the annual Let’s Talk Hook-Up 15-Day with Capt. Paul Caramao at the wheel. The boat was also experiencing Wi-Fi trouble on the cow grounds. The skipper called in this report to Capt. Tim Ekstrom via sat phone: “The guys arrived at Hurricane Bank a short while ago after making a nice, productive pit stop along the way. Alijos generated some decent wahoo action and broke up the ride with a half-day of fishing between home and their first fishing destination. The unfortunate news is that satellite communications for all the boats in the far southern zones is spotty at best, non-existent most of the time; hence the lack of direct reports and pictures from Royal Star.”

Two days later, Ekstrom received this report, “Capt. Paul Caramao established contact midday yesterday via Iridium, reporting fine fishing for jumbos in typical Hurricane Bank conditions. Just over thirty fish had made it over the rail in their first two days of fishing with 6 besting the 200-pound mark and the remaining majority between 140 and 190 pounds. Excellent bait, plenty of time, good weather in the forecast, and a highly motivated group of trophy yellowfin aficionados are the perfect combination for continued success. I will keep everyone updated on the boys’ progress when I know.”

RP hits the Rocks, then Guadalupe

A ROCKS WAHOO landed aboard the RP.

A HANDSOME GROUPER taken on the bank on the RP.


A BRACE OF GUADALUPE yellowfin taken on the live sardine aboard the RP.

The Royal Polaris was on the Rowdy Rail 8-Day Trip and decided to jam down to the rocks for a shot at wahoo. The move proved to be a good one as the spot had not been hit for several days. The group found excellent fishing on speedsters up to 50 pounds. The group was able to get this message across, “The Rowdy Boys made the day with variety. We caught, wahoo in good numbers, yellowtail, dorado, yellowfin tuna, and grouper. Our weather is windy and bumpy, but we are making a bee-line for the ’Lupe.”

The move was timed perfectly as the tuna were on the bite. The boat sent this message: “It was an all-day E-ticket ride with the Rowdy Bunch. We had one to four big yellowfin tuna on the line from daylight to dark. Incredible fishing. This evening, the lounge smelled like a locker room. Tiger Balm, Ben Gay and Icy Hot wafted through the air.”

Shogun at the ’Lupe

The Shogun was also at Guadalupe Island on an open party 6-day trip. The boat sent this message after the first two days of action, “Our crossing was as nice as could be and we made great speed. We arrived midday and it didn't take long to locate our first school. We put the anchor down and shortly after we had fish blowing out all around us. It turned out to be quite the busy afternoon as we landed 16 yellowfin from 80 to130 pounds. We made a short move to the bait-making grounds and were rewarded with a couple nice tanks of greenies.”

The report continued, “We stayed put for the night and woke up Sunday to fish around the boat. It didn't take long before we started hanging yellowfin. The fish kept us busy the entire day with 3 to 5 going at a time. By the end of the day, we had totaled 76 yellowfin from 60 to150 pounds. Great fishing. We hope this is a continuing trend.”

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