After months of anticipation the time finally arrived for my first long range trip. A 5.5 Day Senor Tuna Charter aboard the Pacific Star out of Seaforth Landing.
Monday night I loaded the car with 10 rods and reels, 3 cases of Monster's, along with 5 day's worth of clothes and about a ton of tackle (gee….I hope I have enough gear) and got what few hours of sleep I could before the alarm went off at 3am.
By 3:30am I was out the door and on the way to seaforth and arrived at about 5am with no traffic along the way. Got my gear loaded onto one of the dock carts and waited for other's to arrive. After getting my gear on the boat headed back up to the landing for a nice breakfast and throughout the morning other's arrived and we made our introductions. By 7am the crew of the Pacific Star had arrived and left to go get bait and arrived back at approx 8:30 and that's when we all boarded the boat and got squared away.
On our way out Captain Mike Bullard introduced the crew along with the usual safety speech and the game plan. Today's crew would be Captain Mike at the helm and second Captain Skinny. Stan and Chirs cooking up some awesome food in the galley and deckhands Jeff and Mike. Day One's game plan would be troll along the way down to Guadalupe island and see if maybe we could get some albacore, yellowtail or tuna along the way. We got about half a dozen jig strikes throughout the day and most of them would be bonito or skipjack but we did manage to get 3 albacore.
Here's some of us relaxing on the way down.
Lunch was served and we had pizza along with a nice salad with a olive oil/garlic dressing.
We continued our way down and we did manage a couple of baby albacore and a few more bonito and skipjack and by sunset we pulled in the jigs and made our way to Guadalupe.
Some great sealife along the way.
Dinner was served and it was an excellent meal of a fresh green salad, along with roasted pork tenderloin with green beans and mashed potatoes with gravy and pumpkin pie for dessert.
Woke up to a great sunrise and had a wonderful breakfast of eggs, sausage, and biscuits with gravy.
We finally arrived at the island and fished multiple spots along the north end. A few yellowtail here and there along with some misc rockfish were caught throughout the day.
Lunch was served and we had a roast beef, turkey and ham sandwich on Chibatta bread with a fresh bow tie pasta and chips.
Our awesome chef Stan prepping one of our lunches.
A few more stops and a few more misc fish were caught and we made a move towards the south end of the island.
Joining us at the south end of the island was the BMS, Apollo and Big Game 90. After we anchored up a few of us started flylining bait's and other's started throwing the iron. After a little bit we started hanging some yellowfin. It never really went wide open but we were hooking onto them one or two at a time. At one point we had 5 going at once. We finally ended the day with just a little over a dozen yellowfin in the 20-30 pound class range. We stayed anchored up on the same spot in hopes that we would have an excellent day tomorrow.
We settled down to a nice dinner of fresh salad with a rice wine vinaigrette and for the main dish yellowtail with fresh vegetables and rice with chocolate cake for dessert.
As dinner wound down some decided to turn in early for the night and others continued to stay up to relax enjoy a movie or two or even enjoy the company of friends over a drink or two or maybe three. Thanks to the Pacific Star and also a few other guys we had a wide selection of movies available on this trip. Some of the more memorable movies Bourne Ultimatium, Shooter, No Country For Old Men, The Pink Panther Series, South Park and of course which turned out to be the trip's favorite movie Team America World Polic.
Woke up in the same spot and the weather was beautiful. Flat calm ocean with just a bit of wind. Breakfast was served, ham and cheese omlette with toast and fresh fruit. We actually stayed at this spot all day. The fishing never went wide open but we were consistently hanging fish throughout the entire day. Lunch was served also, double cheeseburger's with chips. Eat your heart out In n' Out...these were better.
A few times throughout the day, the fishing did get a little wild and you have to tag your own fish.
Then things would settle down again to a nice steady pace of hanging fish.
We finally ended our first full day of fishing with just slightly under 100 yellowfin.
We made a move to see if we could make some bait tonight and we did make some macks. Dinner was served, chicken enchilada's with rice and black beans.
I turned in early for the night. I'm sure there were more antics going on but we are not going to get into that since I wasn't there to witness it. I'm sure some of the other guys can fill us in on it.
Morning came and we made a move back to the tuna grounds. During that time breakfast was served, french toast with egg's, bacon and fresh fruit.
Back at the tuna grounds and another great full day of fishing on just the same spot. Again nothing really wide open just consistent fishing throughout the day. In a way I was glad the fishing never went wide open. If it was it would have been 21 anglers all hooked up and mass chaos going. The consistent fishing helped set the mood and the pace throughout the day as everyone was enjoying another great day of fishing and enjoying each other's company.
A light lunch was served, seared ahi tuna with a light rice wine vinagrette salad.
Some more fishing and to celebrate halloween at Guadalupe...
We ended our last night at the island with a feast, roasted tri tip with lobster tails...mmmm
The celebration went on as the fish was being cleaned. There was an incident of JBarto happily swimming with the fresh caught tuna but unfortunatly I missed the photo opportunity, but I'm sure a few did catch the Kodak moment.
OUCH!!!! I'm starting to hurt in places where I didn't even think I had muscles there. Am I getting that much older??? Or maybe I'm getting a whopping by all the fish I'm trying to catch. Yeah I think I'll stick with that excuse for now. While I'm trying to nurse my injuries I'll chow down to some breakfast, eggs, bacon, english muffins and hash.
The last few hours we had we moved from one spot to the next looking for either some of the bigger grade of tuna or even some yellowtail.
Mike putting the boat into position.
We managed some yellowtail, whitefish, sheephead and some of the biggest calicio's that I've ever seen before too. By noonish we finally pulled anchor and said goodbye to to the island and slowly made our way back home. Troll jigs were set out to see if we could get anything to bite on the way back up and maybe stop at a paddy or two. Lunch was served, bacon wrapped yellowtail with fresh veggies and rice.
After lunch a few of us decided to take a nap while other's enjoyed the DVD selection that was available. Dinner was served later that evening with a nice salad with lasanga and garlic bread with carrot cake and vanilla ice cream for dessert. What a meal to end the trip.
We are still about 50 miles from Seaforth. Breakfast, steak, eggs, fresh fruit, home fries.
Man I'm sure gonna miss the great food that Stan and Chris have been making for us this past week. We finally start tearing down our gear and getting all of our stuff ready, as we approach close to home we settle out our bar tabs with the boat and we dock at about 12:30pm.
Mike and Jeff...our two great deckhands on this trip.
Total count for our trip 224 yellowfin tuna, 18 yellotail, 3 albacore and an assortment of bass, sheephead and whitefish.
For my first time down to Guadalupe I managed 9 really nice sized yellowfin with just about that many more lost. My experience with them on this trip was they were more line shy than what I was told to be the norm. Most guys were getting bit on 30# but for me the key setup was a Calstar 800L with an Avet SX 2 speed loaded with 40# spectra with a 5 ft 25# flourocarbon topshot with an owner ringed gorilla 3/0 hook. The circle hooks were just as effective as I landed my first few fish on circles. It really helped since I didn't know the "how will I know when I have a tuna biting" and the usual answer "you'll know". In the cases that I wasn't sure I would put the reel in gear and then the circle hook would do it's job of setting the hook itself. The blackwater and Seaguar flourocarbon seemed to work. I mainly used a uni to uni knot as my connection for spectra to flouro and that held up really well. San Diego or the improved clinch knot worked well for me also. Most of my bites happened either really close to the boat or on really long soakes. I had a few cases where I was nearing the end of the spool when I got hooked up and the yellowfin took off and I was really sweating if I was gonna get spooled by it or not. Luckily I never got spooled.
Mike Bullard wanted to end the last trip of the season with a bang and according to him we did him and his boat proud. Thanks to Captain Mike Bullard, Captain Skinny, Deckhands Mike and Jeff and Stan and Chirs in the galley for making my frist trip to Guadalupe a great experience.
The boat is going to be out of the water for about a month or two and they are going to repower the engines along with other maintenance. I can't wait to see what they have done to the boat for next season. I for sure plan on taking a few trips on this boat for sure.
Our hot stick for the trip.
For those of us that was on the trip...Derka Derka!!!!
Thanks to Chris Carter, Dan Roper, Dennis Yoshii, John Flippoff, and Mark Dawson for allowing me to download the images from their camera's to add to this report also.
"If you lead your life the right way, the karma will take care of itself. The dreams will come to you."
- Randy Paush, Carnegie Mellon University
Great story with great pic's. Thanks for sharing! The fishing on the WEST coast is so different from the Gulf. It's all good though!
I'm so glad that you took pctures of every plate of food. Now all the memories can be rvisited over and over, Whare else can you get so many tasty dishes, I should go on a trip with you and bring my webcam, live feed of breakfast ,brunch, lunch and dinner !!!!! Stay tuned for DESSERT!!!
Fantastic story. Thanks.
I've never fished the Lupe, but am dying to do so after reading about your trip! I found it really interesting to see your choice of rod and reel was a sx 2 spd on a 800l. That's a good piece of scoop. I'll go loaded for Bear - but, will have a light set up as you mentioned for a picky bite. Sounds like a great group, boat and crew too!
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