The Fish Sniffer - Long-Range Adventurers Battle Yellowtail And Bluefin Tuna
Long-Range Adventurers Battle Yellowtail And Bluefin Tuna

Written By: Bill Roecker, September 1, 2014
Species: Tuna
Location: San Diego,

We started our yellowtail adventure where the fleet left off a week ago with great fishing. Having done this a few times before, we were apprehensive about conditions being the same. Unfortunately we were right about being apprehensive as there was next to no sign of fish where they had been. Starting from ground zero, it took us ‘til lunchtime to get them located and with luck on our side we ended up having a great day. Most of our fish were on the yoyo jigs but the bait guys also did some damage and it was a godsend that we stayed busy.” 

Independence skipper Jeff DeBuys posted August 23: “The Indy returned this morning with a great catch of bluefin tuna, yellowfin tuna and yellowtail. The jackpot winners are as follows:

1st place, Tina Rudolics with a 44-pound bluefin tuna

2nd place, Bill Sullivan with a 40-pound bluefin

3rd place, Doug Townsend with a 39-pound bluefin tuna.

Many thanks to Harry Alajajyan for all the reels he gave away, and to everyone who made the trip this year such a huge success.”

Kevin Osborne posted for the Intrepid August 24:

“Today we had one of those days you hear about from time to time. We got on a school of BFT in the 35 to 50-pound range around 9 A.M. and drifted with them until after dark! The last four tuna came in after sunset and we were all left in awe as the beautiful day of fishing came to a surreal end. Everyone caught plenty of this great grade with some of the guys being really hot sticks. The balloon rig was a guarantee as every single one sent out came back with a fish. 

"’Automatic’, was the phrase of the day. Fish putting on a great show all day long kept everyone excited as you knew with each bait that it was just a matter of time before you had a bite. With three to seven fish hanging at all times, we are very satisfied with the amount of quality BFT and Yellowtail in the hold and are going to go after some of that excellent Yellowfin Tuna fishing tomorrow.” 

“I can't think of a cool way to start this report,” wrote Polaris Supreme skipper Drew Henderson August 24, “so I'm just going to say what I feel. This morning was making me a little nervous. I thought that our timing was going to be off this trip. I knew the fish weren't even close to being done for the year but for a couple of days I thought perhaps I was wrong.

This morning we got our fish on. We were catching plenty. We started with a couple quick stops and then had one good one. The only deal was the fish were on the small side of things—12-pounders, a few smaller, couple bigger. 

“We were fishing them because at the time, we didn't know if we’d find the better grade. What if we drive away and we never find the bigger ones, or another one, period? Anyways, it dried up and we went looking again. We all got stuffed from lunch and right when we were feeling that it's either nap time or get a pot of coffee brewing we found what we were looking for and we drifted until the day was done.

It was as good as we ever need fishing to be. One-stop shopping, if you will. Bent rods all day and constant fish in the pit.”  

Red Rooster III skipper Andy Cates posted over the weekend:

“We had another nice day on the Yellowfin grounds,” he wrote August 22. “We had to piece things together with shorter drifts and picked throughout the entire day. Decent grade fish, bread and butter-grade tuna.”

The next day he said: “Good evening, folks. We had a nice day today scratching at decent-sized bluefin, ending the day with 32 of the 30 to 45-pound fish. Flat calm weather and long drifts made for a great finisher.

“Tomorrow we move out west. We are hoping to get bait and try for a few bluefin tuna.” 

“Log another fantastic day for the entire fleet, opined Royal Star skipper Tim Ekstrom August 24. “Bluefin to the west, yellowfin in droves to the east--supermarket fishing. Epic weather--flat calm, fish to the horizon, happy times for one and all. As fishermen this is what we live for.

“We had the easy one this round beginning and ending our day on yellowfin in one drift. Extending the drift I suppose is the easy way to describe it. Following a peaceful night of rest floating along in offshore heaven all awoke to ravenous, 15 to 25-pound yellowfin ready to rock. They were ready and so were we, taking full advantage of their wanton appetite. By midday west was the call; new ground to assess while the afternoon passed by. Anglers exhausted by eight hours of rail-time yankin' and crankin' were grateful for the respite, utilizing the time to catch up on a few z's and revel in success.”

“Bluefin is now the call. To the west we commit. There we will remain until the job is done.” 


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