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Manager CB Huntington Beach shop
Deckhand
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Charkbait/Pacific Queen 2 day
TUNA WARS BY THE TON

Just returned from our Charkbait 2 Day sponsored trip on the Pacific Queen out of Fishermans Landing San Deigo.

We headed for the tuna grounds 100 miles south of San Deigo/Point Loma into Mexican waters to chase the bluefin tuna (BFT)
that has showed up in huge numbers in the last few weeks. San Deigo based sport boat fleets have been fishing for but not yet shown the numbers
in the fish counts you would expect and now I know why.

We started trolling feathers at first light and when we reached the area where a few tuna have been caught, WOW, what a shocker.
There were fleets of purse seiners wrapping up all the BFT 10 tons at a time. I don't know how many, maybe 18 or so seiners and 20 huge tuna pens.
They use the pens to keep the tuna alive while they tow them into shore for processing.

We would see breaking fish 3/4 of a mile to a mile away and start heading for that school of fish and the seiners would send up a helicopter from their mother ship
getting on that school and circling that school of tuna until their net boat could get there.
As we were running full speed at breaking fish so were they, cutting us off not letting us fish those schools.
Then they would let their 10 ton nets out and wrap that school up right in frount of us. It was kind of like Whale Wars on TV.

After the seiners wrapped up the BFT they would have a live tuna pen towed over and place those tuna in the pens and this went on all day.

After playing cat and mouse with them all day the score was Pacific Queen 0 and seiners 50 thousand plus tons. All we wanted
was one tuna each for 21 passengers. I've never seen anything like it.

So that night at dinner, we decided to go inside and fish areas on the beach for yellowtail and calico bass, and we did.
We made a tank full of squid at midnight and started fishing at grey light anchored on the beach and it was on great barracuda on surface iron and limited out on sand bass fishing.
Later we went to the Coronado Islands to fish calico bass and try to hook some yellowtail.
We had great calico fishing with bass up to 7lbs.

Bill Cavangh, the Operater/Owner of the Pacific Queen, is a seasoned albacore and bluefin fisherman and said he hasn't seen this much BFT on the tuna grounds.
With that said, after the seiners get there quotas for the year and the fish move up a little closer we should see large counts for the sportboats.

He also asked if any of the passengers from our trip would like to stay on the boat for the next trip going down to fish yellowtail at San Martin Island.
That was awsome of him to make that offer, thanks Bill for that one.

They did go to San Martin and had over 70 yellowtail on the boat by the afternoon for 15 anglers.

Don't let the story discourage you from fishing this year, things will change fast and its going to be a great summer and fall for tuna, dorado, yellowfin etc.
The water looks great with lots of life in it.

John Hazlett
Charkbait
 
Posts: 10 | Registered: 02 September 2009Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Captain
Picture of crown victoria
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Nice to catch a few fish , looking at them swim just isn't the same.
 
Posts: 117 | Registered: 04 November 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Captain
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Amazing - and not in a good way
 
Posts: 145 | Registered: 24 September 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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