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Thread: West Coast Long Range

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    West Coast Long Range

    I deleted a 500 word introduction to this post /the site cannot accept more than 10,000 cahracters.
    The troll: All the Catchy Mags and all the yo-zuri bonitos in black combinations produced fish.
    Fishing the slide: the guys that got into the water within 10 seconds of the initial hookup caught the most fish. All the standard Wahoo bombs worked: Burns/Catchy/Raiders (Gold and Pink) with the bombs, the dark Mylar skirts worked well.
    If I didn?t hookup on the slide I?d immediately go to the bow and start casting. With the longer stick(8ft) I could cast further, negotiate the bow more easily, fish the second row on the stern and had more extension when the fish was under the boat.
    Live bait fishing Wahoo after the slide: For this I used a Kencor 7? 20/50 Zebra with a Saltiga SA 40 and the Kenco 7? 12/40 with Saltiga 30T ---- 40# test both rods acid wrapped. The live bait bite was about equal to the iron: it produced fish after almost every initial strike on the troll. We had one really hot day of Wahoo fishing ---- on the last troll strike of the day we had 17 other fresh ones landed.
    I also deleted a large section of the post here -- too many words --unable to post

    Dorado Fishing: On this trip it was not dorado fishing it was dorado catching. At this point I?d like to mention one of the deckhands Derrick ---- this guy is big, entusiastic and a valuable asset to the Polaris ---- more on this topic to follow ---- we pull up to an offshore kelp patty and he yells ?ALL YOU WANT? ---- it was ridiculous dumb fishing --- large dorado--- not monsters -----but large ----- all you wanted ---- for as long as you wanted.
    This is a good time for another little piece of advice for first timers: bring lots of cheap hooks in the 2/0 and 3/0 sizes and forget about the short topshots. When the bite is wide open I was releasing most of the fish ---- with every fish hooked you lose a hook and some of your leader. Also with the small live baits I found the circle hooks difficult to use --- it was hard to get the body of the bait inside of the circle to hook him --- use simple cheap hooks ---- I bought a box of 50 2/0 Eagle Claws from the boat ---- these were easier to use than circles but next time I?d look for something even simpler without that little barb that is on the EC. Forget about the ringed designer hooks unless the bite is extremely slow.
    Yellowtail Fishing: There were no giants taken but the bite was steady and the grade of fish decent 15-30# range. The majority of the people were fishing dropper loops. I had with me a small fortune in Japanese long jigs --- AKA butterfly jigs and I desperately wanted to use them. So I didn?t fish bait and almost exclusively jigged. I started with the butterfly jigs. Now, I?ll introduce another one of my characters: Dave the deckhand. I started jigging with the butterflies doing the ?walk the dog thing? and I was hooking up once in a while. Then Dave says to me,? bring me your tackle box and let me show you how we do it West Coast Style. He took a Salas 6X Jr Blue and White out of my tackle box, dropped it down to the bottom, reeled up as fast as possible, bang, fish on. I wanted to experiment and prove a point with the Long Jigs ---- at the same time, I?m slow but not stupid----- the Salas jigs worked better, they cost a quarter of the price of their Japanese counterparts and the hit on the Salas was harder. With the 6X you are cranking as fast as you can and wham ---- with the butterflies there is a tension and relaxation while working the jigs ---- the hit is a little softer --- on the drop. Next time I?d only bring a few long jigs for tuna and buy the majority of iron at the last minute in the port or at Squidco. More to come on deckhand Dave.
    At this time I?d like to give you a little more background on the trip beyond the fishing. The trip started as thousands before it. The first day we loaded in, unpacked and put our reels on the rods. On the second day we got a general fishing game plan from the Drew the Captain and a fishing seminar from Kevin the senior man on the boat. In the beginning it was all very formal --- more or less. The deckhands Derrick, Dave and Joey were all very polite. On the third night while dining with Dave the deckhand all that changed. Upon merely suggesting that not everything to do with fishing wasn?t invented in SD, and furthermore asserting that even thought me and my friends were newbie?s to WCLR, that we intended to fish hard East Coast Style --- a silence fell upon the table. I tried to back peddle. I said I was only kidding when I had said that if it didn?t happen in NY it didn?t really happen. He wasn?t buying my retraction. I could see a coldness in Dave?s eye like the eye of a Wahoo when he on the deck and he?s itching to sink his teeth into your calf. Then Dave smiled but from that moment forward the gloves were off. I was no longer a paying customer to be treated with respect ---- boundaries had been crossed ---- lines were drawn ---- East Coast VS. West Coast had begun.
    The next day at the peak of the Wahoo bite I gave West Coast their big opportunity: during an over under pass of my rod to myself the rod slipped out of my hand and went overboard. In the flash of a eye it was on its way down. In another second I said to myself its gone --- I wrote it off ----- when out of blue, in the middle of a wide open Wahoo bite, Derrick dives head first over the rail. He?s down there for what seems like a long time --- blue water, free swimming Wahoo and air bubbles---- Derrick finally comes up and he?s got my stick in his hand. It was like a scene from one of those movies where Tarzan dives into the water with a knife to fight the alligators ---- what instinct --- what focus. He gets back in the boat, I say thanks and he says,? no, thank you I?ve been wanting to go swimming since the trip started. This was Dave?s opening. My name was no longer Mr. Wheeler, Robert,or even Bob. Now , to Dave, my name was? tunnel vision?. Every time Dave saw me he?d put his hands up to the sides of his head imitating a horse wearing blinders or he?d walk in a mechanical fashion like a robot. Then the s**t really started to fly. My so called friends from NY started to tell stories about my innocent but somewhat checkered past. I don?t know exactly what was said but everyone was having a great time at my expense. I have to admit it, I was starting to lose my sense of humor. I began to obsessively talk to my self. I contemplated locking myself in the cabin for the remainder of the trip and have my meals slipped under the door. Then I had a moment of clarity --- chest out chin up. I had a book on Buddhism with me, it?s a true story, I focused on my breathing, I read for about an hour, all the answers were there, I just had to relax and let go. The insanity passed. They dished out more but it rolled off me . I got my sense of humor back. I threatened to expose their unprofessional behavior via my AllCoast report. They found this amusing. Maybe they had a change of attitude or maybe they sensed that I had a change of attitude. Whatever it was something shifted between us. The crew started to go out of their way to share their tricks: knots, gear selection, personal experiences. After having a birds nest Kevin took out some time with me for a casting lesson. I don?t know exactly how to describe it, but it was good.
    One other incident occurred: I left my cell phone in the bathroom charging. When I went to retrieve it someone had taken a photo of something that appeared to be a baby?s arm holding an apple and in the background there was a white porcelain bowl with a yellow liquid. A very good photo composition. Nevertheless, I demanded that the Captain form a line up on the stern to identify the guilty party but later decided to drop the matter.

    Back to the report: Tuna ---- the first attempt for the tuna was at Alijos Rocks ---- there was one 85# YFT --- from our experience and the reports from the other boats the bite ranged from slow to non-existent. The next shot at tuna was on the Ridge --- we fished Jugs/23/15/and another spot ---On one of those spots we had a wide open tuna bite but the fish were small --- more like tunacitas ----that?s Spanish ----- there were a few larger ones mixed in but even they were small --- it was all you wanted ---- Upon arrival at that spot I fished the slide with a swim bait and hooked up the only tuna that I took /approx 30#?s. They were hitting irons, LB, and some slightly larger tunas were taken on poppers. While in this area there were 10 purse seiners working the ridge. At that point of the trip I had used 23 of my 30 tags, fished catch and release in hopes that we would get into some larger model tuna..

    Despite facing the tail end of a storm blowing from Cabo Drew decided to run way down south to an area that last season had produced some large fish. That night we made bait, filled one tank with mackerel, and headed south. The next day we spotted some porpoise, marked some fish, attempted to chum them up, did a few drifts, but had no takers. We started to troll southward, a blue marlin estimated at 400# was broke off at boatside. Thank God. At that point we were approx. 3 days run away from SD. We ran through the night , got back on the Ridge and did some more yellowtail fishing. Then it was lines up and a 2 day ride home. It was a great fishing trip.

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    NBS Extreme Angler Jim's Avatar
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    Jun 2006
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