As we left the Rocks and headed back up the line towards San Diego I knew that I was just part of an amazing wahoo bite. Usually if you get 2 wahoo on a fall trip you’ve have a great catch. Well the last day and a half at the Rocks I landed 5 wahoo and I was near the bottom of wahoo landed on the boat. In years past I’ve caught more than my fair share of the wahoo catch. This year I wanted to enjoy the fishing more and not worry about being the hot stik on the boat.
A couple of other factors have to be mentioned here. First of I don’t like to see fish go to waste. So I only kept what I needed for my personal use and my friends. I gave 2 fish to Terry and the final one was for Tommy and Susan Rothery. I told them if fishing was good I would get them one. I know that those fish were going to “good homes”. Secondly I would have to pay for the fish to be cleaned, filleted and then air shipped to my home. So I really didn’t want to catch a lot of wahoo. When I landed the two 40 lb. plus fish that was all I needed for my needs.
The rest of Monday was a travel day. That gave us plenty of time to re-load our reels with fresh line and repair any reels. I re-loaded by 50 lb. jig reel and then went below for a nap. I woke up our afternoon snack and then took another nap, woke up for dinner, played some cards and then went to sleep for the night a nice and relaxing day.
Tuesday and Wednesday, we were fishing for yellowtails as we traveled up the line. Drew hit various spots and we had some success, but I don’t think many of us had your hearts into it. After catching wahoo, catching yellows was “boring”. LOL… I spent the days trying to hook yellows on lures that I hadn’t used in years. Old school lures that many had heard of but never used. The one that worked the best was a 4 oz. green mackerel painted Crocodile. The best thing about fishing a Crocodile you don’t have to crank it fast. I’d catch one take a break, when we got to the next spot I’d try the Croc again. If it didn’t work there I’d wait for the next spot and try again. By late afternoon I called it a day. Really didn’t need any more yellows and was completely stuffed from the breakfast, lunch and afternoon snacks. By 5 PM I didn’t have any room for dinner so off to my bunk I went.
Wednesday we were further up the line and yellowtail fishing again. Most of today for me was a rest day. Eat a little, nap a little, eat a little, play some cards, nap a little. Didn’t fish much as we still had two more days left to hit the US tuna grounds and I wanted to be ready for that. I did mention that I wasn’t in fishing shape. Getting old and not fishing regularly, I was dragging on Wednesday. The crew did give me grief again but that’s to be expected.
For the past week now I had been eating like a king on the Polaris Supreme. Breakfast to order, wonderful hearty lunches, afternoon snacks to die for and dinners that any restaurant would be proud to serve. The Supreme only carries 24 passengers. Yet there food bill is equal to boats that carry 30 passengers, so you get the best on the Supreme. It not often that you have baby lamb chops for afternoon snacks. All I can say is the food was 5 stars.
Thursday, we are now at Cortez Bank making bait at sunrise. First time all trip were are making bait. The small mackerel were biting full speed as the sun came up. Four hook rig four mackerel, eight hook rig eight mackerel every hook had a mackerel in less than an hour we filled the tanks. Now off to the tuna grounds nearby. The hunt for tuna begins but not much action this morning. A jig strike here and there, then were finally hit a school of YFT’s. These are decent size 18 lbs. and up. Better than what they were catching last week. We continue to fish this area and are rewarded with more stops on YFT. Most of the fish are biting the live mackerel but I am using my old standby jig. Salas 6X Jr. in blue and white. For me it’s more fun to catch them on iron. When the bite slows you can always toss live bait and still get bit. I get a couple of fish on the jig, take a break and then get a couple of bait. Then its first call for lunch. Chef Mike is serving monster burgers for lunch. They look more like steaks than burgers. I know once I sit down I’ll be there for a while, but I got YFTs already and I want that “burger”.
Thursday was great for those who wanted to catch tuna. Even a few Bluefin tuna were landed and we still had another day to go.
Our final day, Friday on the tuna grounds was similar to the day before. Very good Yellowfin tuna strikes on meter marks. At times there were even biting on 50 lb. mono. I landed a couple very quickly on 50 lb. ; Sashimi grade yellowfin tuna in the RSW.
stay tuned for part 4