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As projected the Bluefin zone today expanded into something completely different - the real deal;
different size classes of fish and a staggering abundance that so often manifests in the face of classic
Bluefin conditions. Full moon soon coming combined with an approaching stretch of flat calm means only
one thing - float time; the bottom comes up and what were various scattered spots only a few days prior
become something much, much more.
The guys on the grounds today were in the thick of them stopping and going all day long. Production was
strong and potential was tremendous; even with the inevitable, sickening arrival of the "flying circus".
The bottom line is this: it is time to go fishing, and time to take note of the time of year in reference
to future voyages - if one enjoys catching Bluefin tuna. It is so regular, enough so that it is common;
this time of the year coincides with the arrival, or accessibility, of the offshore Bluefin, albacore,
and even yellowfin in some warmer seasons.
It is time to go fishing. We have space on the final June 24th - June 30th six day and will be
scheduling one what appears will be a 2 1/2 day departing Thursday June 14th at 6:00 p.m. returning
Sunday June 17th at 7:00 a.m. If either of these voyages fit the bill give Tracy a call. Today Bluefin
were seen jumping, albeit in small numbers, as close as 100 miles from San Diego. But this is how it
begins. Take our results only three days prior as an example: a few fish seen and caught one day led to
the real deal, in the same area, only two days later. Get ready anglers - here they come.
Rest assured that the real fisherman, the fishing mad man Capt. Toussaint, will be taking full advantage
of the opportunity on tomorrow's upcoming eight day voyage sponsored by Baja Fish Gear. Our favorite So.
Cal. tackle store Ed, Sam, and all the main guys at the shop in Lomita are among the elite, the best of
the best, when it comes to our style of fishing. If these guys get on the fish it will only mean one
thing - bad news for the Bluefin. And I am confident with Capt. Toussaint behind the helm, and the coming
combination of ideal conditions, that they will be on the fish. And I hope with the signs offshore
rapidly developing that any and all able anglers will be too.
Today's photos feature anglers Duke Dixon and Cody Bivatson in Bluefin fishing heaven during the last
couple of go around's on our final stop of the trip. Look for Capt. Toussaint's reports to continue after
my final contribution tomorrow.
Wow!, but first I have to admit that as the 4:00 p.m. hour rolled past and we were still sitting on a
sole 22 pound Bluefin landed while drifting at daylight my confidence was slightly shaken. Not that we
felt the fish were gone and never to be found; it was simply a matter of time; of the clock ticking away
opportunity as we bumbled around in search of the proverbial needle in a haystack.
Fortunately, and this is a big point, we called in the cavalry yesterday and they arrived today to join
the search. This is key to consistent offshore success. Obviously off the main vein early the three of us
spread out in full search mode combining our efforts toward collective success. And when we received the
call at 3:45 that our colleague was on them ten miles distant we dropped the hammer giving these brand
new Caterpillar C-18's a good run.
For an hour we crashed and smashed our way toward the glory missed so far. It was worth it. Upon arrival
we found a spot in no time and got down to business. Eighteen of the sixty to seventy five pound beauties
came aboard from our first attempt that wound down in rather short order leaving us in the classic
position Captains wrangle with so often. With an hour and a half of daylight, loads of fish under and
around us, do we wait them out and hope for the sun downer? Or do we leave this spot behind in search of
a fresh school and a big finish? Those anglers who have fished with us before know our decision process
by now. We just don't, we can't, settle for the certain few if our gut tells us there is a shot at a big
hit; we'll leave those last few, those crashing around not biting bastards, in our wake every time.
And though it doesn't always work in our favor, the majority of the time, when we are firing on all
cylinders, it does. After departing our first stop in full confidence that it was the right move for the
occasion I wasn't so certain as the sun dipped within inches of the horizon. Wringing my hands and
cussing the Bluefin the bridge dialogue was classic - Randy, Sean, and I cruising along feeling the noose
tightening when I stated something to the effect of " expletive, we are in the right water now, this is
right where they should be". No sooner did I say it, the words were literally coming out of my mouth,
when the sonar light up directly on our bow. Randy didn't even skip a beat. "And there they are" he said,
then grabbed his gear and headed below to broadcast tickets to the show; and a show it was.
It was a blast from the past, moments of the incredible nineties before Armageddon purse seining of these
beautiful Bluefin began. It was the real deal. Twenty more of the dandies came on board in short order as
our group of anglers, now well schooled, put the wood to them. For the final two and a half hours of our
fishless full day we landed thirty eight total with the largest coming in at 100.2 pounds.
It was a fitting end to the day and the trip. Satisfied with the fruit of our labors we took off for home
at dark planning to drag the jigs and do some early morning scouting before officially calling it.
Photos for the day feature "The First" one hundred pound Bluefin tuna of our summer, 2012 season. Angler
Joe Baker receives full honors for his 106 pound beauty that he amazingly landed using a Shimano Talica
8, 40 pound fluorocarbon, and a Terez rod in very sloppy sea conditions. This catch was a testament to
both Joe as an angler and the forgiving action of the Terez series rods that make a huge difference in
this exact scenario.
Photo number two features Royal Star and long range veteran Steve Hogan who landed his 100.2 pound trophy
amidst the hot and heavy action of our first afternoon go around. Photo number three features another
Royal Star veteran whom some may recognize from the Bill Roecker calendar with a near identical Bluefin
two years past. L.A. fireman Keith Bridges (with crewman Blake Wasano) handily dispatched this seventy
five pound dandy along with four or five others during the past two days; a job well done!
Feast your eyes on today's photos and reminisce about days of old; the days when we targeted vast
quantities of quality offshore Bluefin less the flying circus that has annihilated the fishery since.
Today there were no boats, no pens, no planes, just us and a whole sea of opportunity to ourselves. We
didn't score big in numbers but in significance and relative proportion we made a big score.
Far off the beaten track, in the face of difficult working weather, we chose the difficult route upon
departure from Alijos yesterday. Recognizing the obvious fact that finding fish offshore would only
happen if we were there we forged into the crucible unable to resist a zone that has been nagging at us
since our departure. We made a fishing move; like fishermen; as anglers who choose Royal Star for their
long range voyages would expect us to; as our nature compels us.
The result of our efforts was 24 Bluefin from two different stops the best of which produced a dozen. The
first stop caught more than a few anglers off guard as the size range of today's fish was 60 - 75 pounds
with one that came in at 106. Between the difficult weather, the larger fish, the typical, head shaking
Bluefin behavior that tears loose an amazing number of hooks, and the necessary acclimation to better
size fish that always costs a beginning few, the fishing during the first go around was way better than
the catching. After that though we got in the groove.
So now it is a matter of seeing just how much there is to it. Needless to say the red alert was
transmitted over the wire and at least a couple of our colleagues will join us tomorrow to expand on what
we found. The one thing I will offer with confidence is that when the weather calms down and more eyes
and sonar's join the search, there is a one hundred percent certainty that more, and better numbers, of
these Bluefin will be caught in this zone. It is simply a matter of time and conditions.
Of course on this note I again have to mention that we have one six day voyage with plenty of room to
accommodate those of you that have been waiting for signs to develop departing Sunday June 24th returning
Saturday June 30th. This voyage is lined up perfectly to target offshore Bluefin, yellowfin(did I mention
that we caught one 25 pounder yesterday?), and albacore as well as mix in an island or day on the coast
if the occasion calls for it. But offshore tuna is the main idea, and will be pursued first and foremost.
Now we know they are here; and this is only the beginning; mark my words.
Photos today feature Shimano master angler John Kuch who earned the coveted title landing "The First"
beautiful offshore Bluefin of the 2012 summer season. Let's hope that many like this will be filling
sport anglers sushi platters from this point on. Photo number two features first time long range angler
James Haiber kneeling in triumph next to a rack of 60 - 75 pounders dressed and ready for storage in the
RSW tank. Can you imagine? Perfect, fat seventy pound Bluefin in the RSW tank at thirty degrees for only
two days; a sushi lovers dream no doubt, and the finest quality product one will ever find. I can't wait
to catch more. This is what we live for.