The Bluefin Tuna Are Here

Dear Anglers,

The Bluefin Tuna are Here!!!!!!!!.  And they are biting!!!!!!  Congrats to Tim and the crew on the Royal Star for finding them and calling in the fleet.  I wanted to wait a few days to hype this just to make sure it wasn't a single small school or a fluke, but this is clearly the real deal with massive volumes of gorgeous blue fin tuna visiting the west coast fishing grounds.  I have pasted the Royal Star's trip reports for the last 3 days below so you can read for yourself and get your juices flowing.  It's time to hop on a boat and go fishing.  I have spots open on a couple trips - see attached schedule - but more importantly just call your favorite boat and go fishing.  The Royal Star may be scheduling a special 2.5 day trip June 14 - 17, so call Tracy at 619/224-4764 to get in on the action.  This is awesome news.  Let's go get some.

Happy Fishing......Larry B

Read snippets from:


Posted: 11:46:50


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.

Tim Ekstrom

Photo Here...
Photo Here...


Posted: 08:55:10


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! 

Tim Ekstrom

Photo Here...

Photo Here...

Photo Here...


Posted: 08:28:20


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.

Tim Ekstrom

Photo Here...

Photo Here...

Media contact info:

Larry & Marie Brown
7020 Earldom Ave
Playa Del Rey, CA 90293
This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Fred Hall Show March 7-11

The annual Fred Hall Show is happening at the Long Beach Convention center this year from March 7-11, 2012. This is the perfect opportunity to spend the day, doing what you like best... looking at FISHING TOYS!!!!


Anglers Required To Obtain Visa To Fish Mexican Waters

Recently an article from the Log caught our attention. It's related to anglers now required to acquire a visa to fish on Mexican waters. Below is a copy of the article. For more details, please visit

Anglers Now Need a Visa to Fish Mexican Waters

By: Taylor Hill

A new immigration law in Mexico comes with a price for U.S. anglers to pay, as all U.S. citizens fishing in Mexican waters -- whether at sea or on land -- are now required to obtain a visa.

The law was enacted May 25, 2011 by Mexico’s immigration department (INAMI) “in order to create in our country a framework of guarantees to protect the rights of the individuals in our country, facilitate and manage the migratory flows to and from Mexico, favoring the protection and respect of human rights of Mexicans and foreigners, regardless of their origin, nationality, gender, ethnicity, age and immigration status,” INAMI stated in a release.

According to INAMI, Articles 33, 44, 46, 50, 153 and 154 of the new immigration law require that all foreigners entering Mexican territory -- which includes Mexican territorial waters and contiguous waters 24 miles from shore -- must have a visa.

The cost will be added on top of the $11 Mexican fishing license fee U.S. anglers already pay when heading into Mexican waters for fishing.

Enforcement began Jan. 1, and anglers have been given several options to obtain the visas -- which will cost from $33 for a three-day visa up to $250 for a FM3 work visa good for one year.

Option 1
: For anglers fishing aboard Sportfishing Association of California (SAC) member vessels, FMM visas can be obtained through a program sanctioned by INAMI that is being administered at five sportfishing landings in San Diego: Fisherman’s Landing, 2838 Garrison St.; H&M Sportfishing, 2803 Emerson St.; Point Loma Sportfishing, 1403 Scott St.; Seaforth Sportfishing, 1717 Quivira Road; and Dana Landing, 2580 Ingraham St.

SAC represents more than 200 commercial passenger fishing boats in Southern California from San Diego to Ventura and has been working with MX Tour Assist -- a Tijuana-based company created to administer the new visa program -- since the law’s implementation.

All anglers going out aboard San Diego’s sportfishing fleet vessels will be responsible for purchasing a visa on top of their regular charter fare, if that boat goes across the border.

Option 2:
Private boaters can go through the visa process at Dana Landing, which has purchased three-day visas from MX Tour Assist for distribution to private anglers. Dana Landing is the only location currently offering visas to private boaters.

John White of Dana Landing said the three-day visas cost $35.

Troy Williams, MX Tour Assist liaison to the United States, said that Fisherman’s Landing has also been involved in discussions about offering the visas, and it may sell private boater visas in the future.

Option 3
: Boaters can report to the Port of Ensenada point of entry and contact the INAMI office to obtain a visa there. The cost for a visa obtained at Ensenada is $21, since there are no handling fees.

Entry points along the U.S./Mexico border will only be able to issue “land” stamps to the FMM visa, which will not be accepted while fishing in Mexican waters.

“Sea” stamps are required on all visas administered by Mexico’s immigration office for fishing in Mexican waters, and they will be processed by MX Tour Assist. The turnaround time for a sea-stamped visa is expected to be about three days from the date of purchase. It will be issued to boaters upon arrival at the landings. A form of identification is required upon issuance of the visa, but a passport is not required.

An option for anglers who choose to go out on a last-minute fishing trip without getting a stamp is to start the visa process prior to leaving. They will be issued a stamp upon return.

“That was included for rare occurrences when someone decides to go fishing last-minute, and doesn’t have time to complete the process,” Williams said. “It’s not expected to be a part of the normal operation.”

Williams said MX Tour Assist will look into creating more ways for private boaters to gain access to visa applications, but wanted to give the San Diego sportfishing industry the first opportunity.

“If the landings want to issue them to the public, then we’ll let them do that -- but if they choose not to, then we’ll start doing it ourselves,” Williams said. He added that online or mail applications could be future options for MX Tour Assist.

The added cost of the visa will mean increased costs for charter boat trips and private boat trips into waters south of San Diego. Enforcement of Mexico’s new visa requirement began on the same day that the South Coast Marine Protected Areas closed 15 percent of California’s coastal waters to fishing.

The new rules laid out by INAMI include:

* All U.S. or international tourists traveling to Mexico must have a visa to enter, called an FMM permit. This permit must go through a different process, depending on whether visitors are entering by land or by sea.

* INAMI has authorized a third-party organization (MX Tour Assist) to initiate the water entry visa process at five San Diego landings for tourists with passage on any SAC member vessel.

* The cost of the visa will vary depending on the length of the trip and the value of the Mexican peso.

* INAMI will monitor the border and execute random inspections of all vessels crossing into Mexican territorial waters, including monitoring the private marine recreational sector.

* If a visiting boat is boarded by INAMI, they will ask for a national ID and a Mexican visa.

* The visa must be processed and paid for ahead of time.

* All FMM visas are to be returned within 24 hours upon return to the U.S.

* Vessels traveling through the territorial waters of Mexico, not engaging in activities, but seeking only “innocent passage” while en route to international waters, will not be required to have a visa.

* Crewmembers will be required to have an FM3, which can be obtained through the third-party company or in an INAMI office.

The price of a visa (FMM permit) is based on peso value and will be adjusted on the first of every month. Visas will be issued per trip, with three tiers: one- to three-day trips, four- to nine-day trips and trips from 10 to 30 days.

Prices for January per person: Three days or less: $28; Four to nine days: $33.06; 10-plus days: $38.06.

Prices for February per person: Three days or less: $33.06; Four to nine days: $38.06; 10-plus days: $43.06.

Crewmembers will have to have an FM3 work visa, which can be obtained through MX Tour Assist for $250.

According to Williams, the FM3 permit “trumps” the FMM permit, so anglers who already have an FM3 permit will not need to apply for an FMM permit.

For more information, contact MX Tour Assist representative Troy Williams at (619) 318-3118 or email This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

To view this article, please click here.

Let's Catch a Super Cow

So you wanna try your luck in catching a cow? The thought of possibly catching a cow or even a supercow can be very exciting and extensive but sometimes the prize is worth all the effort. Just recently our friends at the Royal Star had a remarkable day fishing on a 10 day trip. The big tuna were reported on the Lower Baja Banks.

Royal Star Trip

Courtesy of Royal Star

It's trips like the ones that are mentioned on the Royal Star's current conditions section that make it all worth while. On one of their trips it was reported that Herb Jenson from Alaska caught a 225# beast. Think about that? Can you imagine the epic battle that goes on when you are fighting with a 200-300# cow? The sweat, the sore arms, the adrenaline rush, the balancing act, and the sense of victory once that big cow is in the boat. It can be very refreshing and one of the most memorable vacation's ever!

So you're hooked and now getting ready for your trip. There's alot of planning and plenty of checklists to cross off to make sure you have all the necessary gear. Here's a few tips from the gang at the shop that you might find helpful:

Let's start with tackle:


Plenty of the long range fishing boat website's have a terminal tackle list. We recommend you visit some of them to get a feel for the tackle of choice.

The staff here at the shop are fans of the:

  • Super Mutu (Steve's personal favorite for long-range)
    Size 4/0, 5/0, 6/0
  • Offshore (One of Sam's favorite for long-range)
    Size 5/0, 6/0, 7/0
  • Gorilla (Ed's favorite)
    Size 6/0
  • Mustad Sea Demon Hooks (Allan's personal favorite)
    One of the reasons why this is a favorite is because it has a small wire diameter. They are XXX strong, forged, and have a knife edge long point.
    Size 7/0, 8/0, 9/0, 10/0

Owner - Offshore Hooks
Owner - Super MUTU™ Circle Hooks
Ringed MUTU™ Hooks
MUTU™ Circle Hooks
Ball Bearing Swiveled Super MUTU™Hooks


Our staff member, Allan, recommends the Seaguar Fluoro Premier. I asked him why he likes it so much and his simple statement, "because it works!"

Recommended fluorocarbon to carry in your bag 50#, 60#, 80#, 100#, and 130#.


Pull out the reels you are going to take on your trip and look over them. Get them serviced ahead of time so you can guarantee your gear is working flawlessly. Don't start checking your gear a few days before the trip, do this several weeks ahead to make sure your gear is worked on properly.

Some of the more popular reels for long range are the 30W, and 50's from AVET and Accurate. The Shimano Talica II TAC20II, TAC25II, TAC50II are also a trustworthy option.

The Okuma Makaira 20II and 30 Special Edition has been a big hit here at the shop. It doesn't hurt that this reel is backed up by a 5 year warranty. The folks at Okuma are pretty confidant about the design and durability of this reel.



Choosing the right rod can be tricky due to the many factors in fishing conditions. Generally the Calstar 7' Tuna 770 Series are a good choice. One factors you may want to consider before buying a rod is how much recoil does the rod have? This is important if you are going to be fishing the rail. You want to look for a rod that is going to have plenty of backbone and help you in not working so hard to get that cow in the boat.

We recommend coming down to the shop and having one of our staff member custom fit you with the right rig. If you already own a few rods, come down and we can help you in figuring out which one would be best for your trip.


If your reels already have existing line, look over and inspect the line and the spectra. When should you replace your line? Much of it depends on how much exposure it has had to the saltwater elements and how well you maintained them. If you fish and never wash your reels after use, then more than likely the spectra will last about 2 years. If the spectra is maintained and thoroughly washed after use, it can last up to 10 years.

With mono it's a bit trickier. As soon as the mono has been exposed to the saltwater elements it starts to decay. Combine that with a minimum of maintenance and the salt starts drying on the spool causing oxidation. It is always recommended to wash down your reel after each use. If you are getting ready for a big trip and you've had mono on the line for some time, don't be cheap. Change your line. You don't want to spend all this money on your fishing trip and have gear that won't bring in the big cow.

Additional Tips

Practice Makes Perfect

Now remember with all this gear, you are going for BIGGER fish, therefore your gear is going to be BIGGER. You might regularly go out on local boats and be a great caster, but with the bigger gear you will need to adjust.

A tip from Sam at the shop is to get familiar with the tackle. Take out your gear in the backyard and practice casting and walking around with the bigger gear. Imagine yourself in the middle of the battle and start practicing. The more you are familiar with your gear, the better chance you will have in catching the super cow. It's amazing how much heavier super cow gear vs our everyday fishing gear can be. Don't be that guy, that's hurting right at the beginning of the battle.

Downtime on The Trip

Don't forget this is a vacation and it's all about having a great time, getting away from the rat race and getting refreshed to do it all over again.

Bring some of those comfortable items. Sam at the shop has a few essentials for the downtime:

  • iPod/iPad loaded with your favorite movies and tunes.
  • Small fold-able chair to enjoy on the sun deck.

Other items:

  • Favorite book.
  • Cards
  • Your favorite micro brew or something something to keep you warm at night.
    Might we recommend a nice bottle of 1942 Don Julio to sip with and enjoy the sunset? Live it up, live it up!

More Articles...

Page 3 of 4