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Yellow Tail Hunt & Suicide Seals
Picture of Walt
All my salt water ship mates are going to sea fishing the Thunderbird the Josie Lynn and
the Mirage. And I was just sitting here wish’in instead of fish'in. Enough of that !
Took a look at the charter schedules for the San Diego Landings and found a doable
overnight trip on the Legend. Only 16 guys signed up on a 75 footer. The detail section
for the trip promised a go for sure trip no matter how light the load, and the main targets
would be Yellow Tail!! That did it Big Grin, I’m going fishing.

Load the trusty Mustang up with my gear and head south. We board the Legend (75 footer) with
a grand total of 19 anglers ( I am Happy ) and head out to sea. Hit the sack around
11 pm. We arrive at the Coronado's around 2 am and anchored up. Every one
is sound asleep until the engines roar to life @ 5 am. All of sudden there are 19 excited
little boys on the deck just waiting for the action to start. We motor around looking for
signs of crashing birds and erupting boils.
This goes on for about and hour and a half before we slid up on to our
first Bird Boil in the
Mid Channel area. This 1st stop had all the markings
of a "Dud". Baits are being fly lined everywhere with no
takers. 5-10 min. go buy and nothing.
Then it happens ....some one yells "Biter" and it's game on. For the next hour
and a half it's a slow but steady pick. Of the 11 total YT's caught 9 were caught at this
first stop. I caught two YT's, one 24-26 lb and the other 20-22 lbs.
One other angler also caught
2 YT's so that means that 9 guys caught 11 YT's and 10 guys got the skunk.

So what were the techniques that made the difference in the catch rate??
The majority of the guys were using 30 to 50 lb test rope. I was using 15lb test and
the other guy with 2 YT's was using 20lb. Both of us using fluorocarbon. Only about a
third of the guys were using Fluoro. Struck up a conversation with one of the skunkeeee's
and asked him what pound test line he was using, he proudly proclaims..."50lb test, I'm
not going to loose a fish when I get bit. Enough of that conversation, he was not about
to accept my offer of some 20 lb fluoro.

Next,,,, the Captn. keeps telling everyone that
the Yellows will not come close to the boat and to use the long soak to get the
sardine out there where the fish are. Well, that’s a lot tougher then you might think.
75 % could only cast a sardine about 40 ft while the guys that
were catching were able to get a sardine out at least double that distance giving them
a much better chance of getting bit much sooner then the average. And the short cast
guys were unable to coax their bait to swim away from the boat to the hungry fish.

After a nice cast of the sardine my 26 lb YT inhales my bait, takes off and turns on
the after burners. I actually thought my reel drags would start smoking. The first
run rips my spool down to half its capacity. I get scared thinking about getting
spooled, while it's exciting, getting spooled is not a fun experience.
Finally it slows down, I get it turned and the bull dog fight is on.
I know this is a big YT, too much power and endurance.
Five times in a row I get it about 30 ft from the boat which is sees and
powers stright down to the bottom in 120 ft of water completely
ignoring the 6 lbs of drag my reel is dialed in for. Am thinking I am too
under gunned for this fight. Maybe I cannot put enough pressure on this fish to ware
it out. The tail beats are strong and relentless. Am on this fish for a good 15 min. around
the boat twice. This fish is beating me up. The Captn. slides up next to me during the
fight and asks what pound test I am using. I say 15 lb. he screams WHAaaaaaaT!!!
I tell him this fish needs a fighting chance either it dies or I do. I am here for the adventure,
if I wanted fish filets I would go the fish market down the street. He just shakes his head
and hangs with the deck hand to witness the preconceived negative conclusion. Finally we get this toad to the surface and with one
swipe it's hung on the gaff and hits the deck with a resounding "THUD" to a thunderous
postitive uproar from the other anglers on board. I am in pain but I am happy.
The Captn. walks away shaking his head, he heads up to the wheel and gets on the loud speaker
telling everyone not to go below 25lb test and don't try to duplicate my catch on lighter line.
He would not speak the dreaded 15lb. word.

My second YT, about 20 min. later, followed the same pattern but
I could tell it was smaller (22lb) and came right in after about 7 min of combat.

The largest YT of the two wins the jackpot, now I am extra happy. :bananna:
Had actually caught 3 YT, farmed one of them Frowner.

One of the caught YT's gets kidnapped by a seal and takes off with it while still
fighting the angler. The Captn. sees this and tells everyone to wind up as we are
going to chase that seal down and get our Yellow Tail back. We pull anchor and
the pursuit is on. The seal sees the 75 footer bearing down on him and drops the
YT and heads for the islands. Now his buddies see an opportunity and they rush
in for the kill. All the while the angler is still hooked up. The Captn. floors the
engines heading straight for the rogue seals which finally give up to keep from
getting shredded by the boats propellers. True to a YT's courage and strength
it starts fighting the angler again for its freedom. Not! 3 min. later it's on the deck.
Just a few teeth marks on its tail otherwise no worse for the seal attack.
After about 1 pm a small cold front moves in and the fishing goes dead for the
rest of the day.

Overall a great trip. The whole San Diego fleet only caught a total of 15 YT’s
and we caught 11 of them. The Captn. and crew worked hard and the results
speak for themselves.

Boat: Legend out of Seaforth Landing.
Trip: Overnighter, depart 5/17 @ 10 pm return 7 pm the next day. 5/18
Cost: $125.00 plus $10.00 fuel surecharge.
Equiptment used: 1st YT, ABU 6500, Calstar 800XL, 30lb Sufix 832 Spectra
…………………..15 lb Blackwater Fluoro 10 ft leader., 1/0 hook W/Perfection Loop.
…………………..2nd YT, Penn Squall 15, Rainshadow SW1088, everything else the


And just because..... here is a pic of my new grandson.


This message has been edited. Last edited by: Walt,
Posts: 346 | Registered: 18 September 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
posted Hide Post
excellent story walt and great job on the two yellowtails. i also heard reports that with the colder waters, we should be using lighter tackle to get any biters.
Posts: 9 | Registered: 16 February 2012Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Picture of Walt
posted Hide Post
Yes, the colder water reduces agressiveness and the
lighter line helps a lot. In case anyone would
like to try using 15lb test for local YT's
and local Tuna here are the necessary basics.

Keep your hooks small 1/0 or smaller. And I don't care
what brand of hook you buy always sharpen it with a
very fine mill file or a diamond coated abrasive stick.
Fine/Med grade. If your hook does not stick in your
thumb nail with ...."NO".... pressure it's not sharp enough.
Attach a fresh 10 ft fluoro leader each time you
go to sea. And attach a fresh leaader when
it's length is reduced to less than 4 ft.
Remove 2 ft of line and retie after EVERY
fish....Mandatory. Attach Leader to
a spectra base no heavier than 30lb.
Make sure you have a proven knot for the spectra
fluorocarbon attachment. This is vary important.
Use no more than 6 lbs of drag and NEVER touch
that drag or thum the spool on a blistering run.
Use a med action rod, stay away from the
extra fast action whip tip type of rods.
I use a Calstar 800XL. When using spectra you need
a rod that is capable of absorbing the shock loads
a fish delivers to you system. When using mono you
had 30% stretch to take care of that but spectra
only has about 4% stretch.
And above all you must exercize patience.

Fishing the lighter side will put the sport back into sportfishing
and will force you to become a better fisherman.
Everything you do has a direct effect on
the outcome of a bite. You must be on your "A" game 100% of the time.

Posts: 346 | Registered: 18 September 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
posted Hide Post
i second that. recently went halibut fishing using shimano teramar se 8', shimano stella 2500fe, 10# flouro straight, 1oz slider, and size 1 light mutu. everyone else was using 15# mono and was skunked for the day while i got myself a 4# 22.5" butt. very light gear made the big difference. also did well with a lot of shorty bass mix.
Posts: 9 | Registered: 16 February 2012Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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