The Fish Sniffer - Long Range Boats Target Bluefin Tuna And Yellowtail
Long Range Boats Target Bluefin Tuna And Yellowtail

Written By: Bill Roecker, June 11, 2014
Species: Tuna
Location: San Diego,

The American Angler office posted June 1 that the passengers returned that morning with a nice catch of bluefin, yellowtail and a few yellowfin tuna.

The jackpot winners were: 1st place: Dave “Boss” Hoag, 85-pound bluefin tuna; 2nd place: John “Papa” Lopez, 67.5-pound bluefin; 3rd place: Phil Miranda, 67.5-pound bluefin, and honorable mention: Ron Volmer, 48-pound yellowtail.

American Angler’s office posted May 31: “After driving around the ocean yesterday and this morning, just because Bluefin fishing has been slow I don’t think that means much for the near future. Last night we spent some time looking in the dark and found a couple of schools just to remind us they’re still around

“I am sure we’re going to see good fishing again soon but for now it’s time to come home and regroup. Would like to say Thank You to Rocky Opliger for being the sponsor on our season opener trip and all of the gang as well. Even though the last couple of days have been slow, we still had good timing on this trip and we’re glad for that.”

“Not the big start we were envisioning,” wrote Royal Star owner-skipper Tim Ekstrom June 1, “though the quantity and quality that we are after is definitely around. During the morning hours a couple of big color spots of 25 to 30-pound yellowtail toured around us tantalizingly close while we scratched away waiting for them to really turn on. It didn't happen.

“In the end we alternated between scratching one two at a time and periods of straight fishing – no catching. It added up to something at day's end, a paltry quantity by our standards, but something nevertheless. A bit of breeze is on the water but no so much as to ruin the fun. So now we wait.

“One more day at least on the distant grounds just to keep it honest. Were it not for those giant color spots of big yellows running around we'd be long gone. Time is still on our side. Maintaining a close watch on current events inside and above, we are well positioned for a strike in any direction. With any luck though – a different day tomorrow – we'll be sitting pretty right here.”


Rough and Tough

The boat’s office said Captain Justin Fleck called in from aboard the Excel June 1:

“We arrived at the lower zone we could see signs of life. We got busy right away. We hooked a few fish. The fish were jumping and boiling and then all the sudden they took off. The weather is rough but it is coming down. This morning we hooked a few fish early in the AM but around daylight the fish disappeared again. Early this A.M. chartermaster Kim Hasselbalch caught a nice 219-pounder on a fly-lined mackerel. We are now on the move.”

Royal Star owner-operator Tim Ekstrom wrote May 30:

“For all of us I can report that it feels good to be out on the water again. Good bait resides in our tanks - a bounty of four to seven-inch sardines mixed with tasty little green mackerel, inconsistent with too prevalent jeremiad rumor of anchovy Armageddon. Signs on the water are right on track with the warmer trend already well established. Tropical cyclones down below, tropical species already up above. We are lined up to see some fishing and conditions very different this season from the previous six or seven, perhaps longer. Whether this bodes well or otherwise remains to be seen.”

The next day he posted: “Our initial strategy set us on a smooth rail gliding south observing carefully along the way. Near zero to report in the way of fish signs, but the weather was good and conditions fine. What we left behind did nothing to distract us from our objective that inches nearer with every turn of the wheels. The day was passed in ease and relaxation as everyone utilized a day of calm passage to unwind, prepare equipment, and yarn amongst friends old and new. Less the pressure and demands of shore side life it was an easy go of it here today; exactly how we prefer.”





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