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Spring 2019

ROCKFISH 101 – By:Ben Secrest

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The past few years have seen a spawn of new fishing opportunities on the west coast with the influx of both bluefin and yellowfin tuna here almost year-round. The focus on these other species has taken pressure off of other species including rockfish.
This fishing has been a staple focus of fishermen over the years looking to load their freezers with excellent eating table fare. Rockfish make great fish tacos.
The innovation of braid and smaller more efficient reels has made this fishery a lot more enjoyable for the average angler. In the past anglers used heavier, bigger reels with larger glass rods that made the entire experience one of fighting your tackle more than the fish.
The tackle available to today is extremely light, fitting comfortably in your hand, making the whole catching experience way more interactive between the angler and the fish.
There is a lot of tackle to choose from but its best to stick with the basics. Most outfits on the market can be used for several different targeted fisheries. Braid has created the opportunity to take your small bass rig with 250 yards of 30lb braid and target shallow water (80 to 200 feet) rockfish. Here are some of the reels that would meet your rock fishing needs
Reels: Many of the new bait cast reels on the market are super easy to use with the level wind feature plus they offer plenty of power to land even bigger bottom dwellers. Remember with the diameter of 30 and 50lb braid it sinks faster being less buoyant then mono, and is way more sensitive, letting you feel the difference between structure and bites. Lighter braid seems to be easier to use for reds, chuckleheads, etc. because it gets to the bottom quick and is not hampered by strong currents like larger diameter line.
Some level wind bait cast reels to consider for 30lb braid include Daiwa Lexa 300, Shimano Trax 300, Lews Super Duty 300, and Okuma Komodo 364. For conventional reels the Accurate BV-300, TN-300, and Daiwa Saltiga 20HA are excellent choices.
If looking to fish 40 to 50lb braid the Daiwa Lexa 400, Shimano Trax 400, and Okuma Komodo 463 are also level wind designs. Some of the smaller conventional to check out would include the Accurate BV-400, TN-400, and Daiwa Salitga 30.
All the reels mentioned above come in a two gear ratios, a power and speed ratio. The higher or mid range gear ratios are more effective so you can get your lures back from the depths quicker. The other important feature to look at is a counter balanced power handle. Its way more comfortable and easier to wind, giving you more torque to wind when bringing up a big red.
Rods: The lightweight, sensitive rods of today are a perfect fit for many of the reels previously mentioned. Keeping things simple, look at a 7’, 7’2”, or 7’6” rod. It’s a good idea if possible to put the reel on the rod in the store and check the balance of the combo. You will be holding this for hours on the boat so make sure you like it. Make sure the rod’s reel seat fits your reel tightly with no movement. It is always a good idea to have things solid, this alleviates any unnecessary movement. This is will be a lot more comfortable without a clamp, and the amount of drag you will be using does not dictate using a clamp. When looking at these rods look at the rod ratings. Remember if its 30 to 50lb it’s a 40lb rod that will support using 30 to 50lb braid. Remember you want a more parabolic rod when fishing braid. This takes the pressure off you and transfers it on the fish. Look at medium to fast action rods that have a more parabolic mid section shutting off back towards reel.
The 7’6” length is a very good choice but any of them will work. Try to get a composite rod when looking at choices, they tend to be stronger and the way they are constructed today will bot be that much heavier.
Some good choices are IROD Kaimana series SWK763, SWK764 but there are other models from Calstar, Seeker, Fishing Syndicate, and United Composite that will do the job.
Line: Braided line is the best choice, 30, 40, and 50lb tests are awesome choices. Lighter tests are good for cleaner, less structure areas, and then use heavier test for areas with more structure. Fluorocarbon or monofilament leaders are always a good choice. Flouro is tougher in the more abrasive areas fished, where mono seems to work great in less rocky areas.
Size of leader used is between 25lb and 40lb which is staple and its easier to tie smaller knots that go in and out of guides smoothly. Length of leaders is usually 2 to 3 feet but as long as 6’ for guys that don’t want to retie knots with braid.
Learn to tie a good connection knot between leader and braid being used. Smaller knots are preferred to wind line in and out of guides. The improved Pena knot, Albright knot, or double Uniknot are quick and solid connections. It is very important to tie knot cleanly as to not over wrap lines but make sure you cinch knots tightly.
Artificial lures: There are a lot of artificial lures to choose from but here are a few to consider for rock fishing.
Some of today’s artificial lures have Ultra Violet and Glow properties built right in them. UV colors unlike other colorations offer luminesce that cannot be seen by human eyes, but it has been proven that fish see it, and react to it even in low light conditions. They also feature glow components that once charged will stay lit in the deeper water structures targeted. Bottom line its about visibility, and action of lures to illicit a strike. Scent is also very important to get the fish to hold on to lure longer for solid hook set.
PitBull Tackle Killer jigs have been very productive in both northern and southern California waters. The Killer jigs come with UV / Glow features in lures as mentioned above and offered in five fish catching colors. Depending on how deep you are fishing the more popular sizes are 2, 4, and 6 ounce but they also have an 8oz for those anglers targeting deeper waters.
These lures get bit on the drop, dead sticking (no movement), and on a slow pump retrieve right on the bottom.
Rockcod love them but they are “Killer” on big Lingcods. (PitBulltackle.com)
HUBS Hook Up baits are proven to be highly effective on the drop, dead sticking, and slow pump retrieve techniques. Sizes from 1.5oz to 4oz are perfect for rock fishing along the California coast. They are also extremely effective on a two- lure rig which you can see on their site or look up on Youtube.
Sizes for the two lure technique are 1 to 2oz depending on depth. They come in a variety of colors and sizes. (hookupbaits.com)
Swimbaits Swim baits have been popular for coastal fishing for years and have been part of the rockfish angler’s collection too. The swimbait lures have to be coupled with a Shad head with weights between 1oz and 6oz depending on depths being fished. Wind and stop, as well as a slow drag on the bottom are two techniques that frequently work best. Here are a couple manufacturers to look at:
PitBull Tackle Hot Tail lures with Shad jig heads have gained momentum in northern California and have been a secret weapon among SoCal angler circles. These swim baits come in 14 fish catching colors that have built in UV properties to illicit a strike from the most finicky fish. They are offered in 5’, 6”, and 8” sizes depending on gamefish targeted. These swimbaits have a built in channel to rig the bait straight every time on the Shad heads. The Shad Heads are offered in six UV colors in sizes 1oz to 6oz for your rock fishing needs.
Big Hammer Lures have been one of the original companies since the beginning of the southern California swim bait craze. They are offered in a variety of colors with lures in 5” to 7” sizes for your rock fishing needs. They also have a complete line of painted and raw lead heads in the weights needed to fish at all depths. (bighammerlures.com)
Optimum lures have been in the fishing business for many years developing a variety of swim bait lures. They have recently focused on the Optimum Magnum Pus in 5” and 7” sizes that work extremely well on a jighead or as a metal jig trailer. (Optimumbaits.com)
Scents are a critical part to fishing plastic baits. If you have a scent on the lure, the fish will hold on to it longer for an effective hookset.
Some of the scents on the market to look at include Hot Sauce, Unibutter, and Mermaid Milk by HUBS. They are available in local SoCal stores and online. Let me stress that this is a very important part of your rockfish arsenal.
Metal Jigs can be very productive when rockfish are active to get a strike. Dropping them to the bottom and a 3 to five crank up and drop back, or basic yoyo will get bit. As mentioned previously, putting on a plastic trailer with scent will also increase the percentage of a strike. Size and weight of metal lures will depend on depth being fished. Deeper or heavier current will dictate heavier weight lures. It’s always good to have jigs in the 2 to 6oz sizes in either anchovy, sardine, yellow, or red crab colors.
Here are a few lures to look at:

PitBull Tackle
Deadeye jigs come in 8 colors including glow in 2 to 8oz weights rigged with a single hook.
The DeadFall jigs are offered in 11 colors including glow in sizes 3.5, 4.5, 5.5, and 6.5oz with a swinging two hook rig for better hook set percentages.
The Bora jig that comes in 4 colors in 4 to 8oz weights with a swinging two hook rig. (PitBulltackle.com)

Miscellaneous
Other things to have on the boat should include knot pullers, braid cutters and if fishing metal jigs a pair of split ring pliers. Here some suggestions:

PitBull Tackle makes a braid cutter that is very sharp. It works perfect for braid and mono, but wire is not suggested. PitBull tackle also have a pair of split ring pliers that are easy to use especially on the boat. Both these products are built to last around the fishing environment. (PitBullTackle.com)
Knot Pullers can be searched on the internet or you can make your own. Easiest pair to make is get a ¾” dowel and cut into two 5” lengths. Take electrical tape and wrap dowels until they are bulkier then take a piece of thicker shrink tube and carefully heat it to adhere to dowel. These work well and are inexpensive versus the metal alternatives. I have both and they are very critical on boat to cinch knots between braid and leader. (Check out Youtube)
Keeping your catch fresh is important. Make sure if you are on your own boat get a fish bag to hold enough ice. Stash bags are awesome and keep fish fresh for days. (Stashcoolers.com)

With any type of fishing the key is to be prepared and this article gives you a list of things to consider for the upcoming rockfish season.
Check out all state regulations and adhere to the laws.
Know them and carry the state regulations on your boat. There are new regulations for 2019 with new places and depths we can fish, become familiar with them.
If fishing on a charter boat the crew any questions you might have regarding your trip. (wildlife.ca.gov)

Look forward to an excellent rockfish season. Have fun and be safe.

Lake Mary -By Dave Finkelstein Contribution- Marlon Meade

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I love the Eastern Sierra. Some of the nicest scenery on the planet fills your senses just driving up the 395 highway. There are countless lakes in the Sierra to fish. The choices are narrowed down considerably when I think about lakes that have big hungry trout and easy access for fishing. Having fished the Sierra for many years and I have found that certain lakes are a par above the rest when it comes to giving me the opportunity to just drive up to a lake, unload my gear and attempt to catch the big one. Lake Mary in the Mammoth Lake basin is one of my favorites. Almost the entire lake is shore accessible. There’s lots of elbow room at this lake and if your legs aren’t up to the task of walking then consider they have a first class marina with every type of floating vessel for you to rent, ranging from kayaks, pedal boats, pontoon boats and regular aluminum v-hull boats.
The Lake Mary Marina is owned and operated for the last 30 years by Don Barrett and family. When it comes to the local history of Mammoth you won’t find many people with more knowledge than Don. He is a resource of information on the past and present when it comes to the Mammoth basin. The Barrett family has previously owned property surrounding Lake Mary and some of Lake George since 1956. They were the former owners of Pokenobe Marina on Lake Mary in 1957 and have since sold the property over the years. The City of Mammoth has graciously stocked the lakes in the Mammoth Basin with in excess of 10,000 pounds of Desert Springs Fish Hatchery trout from Oregon. Add to that, the California Fish and Wildlife stockings and it’s got a healthy trout population. The Lake Mary current rainbow trout record is 28.12 lbs ! The brown trout lake record is well over 20 lbs. Yeah, it’s got the big boys alright, but here is where this story goes a little on the unbelievable side. Don and several other folks swear they have hooked and lost a brown trout they all believe to be in the 40 lb. range!! This monster brown has been hooked and lost by several locals who have seen the beast up close only to have either lost it due to too small a net and from what Don tells me is that the fish has a habit of straightening out 4.0 hooks. He is currently named “Freddy Mo Ready” by locals. It’s a mythical fish that only a few have encountered and no photos have been shown to bear witness to its size. Maybe they should rename him the Locke Mary Beastie. But if Don says he’s out there then I’m a believer. There is also a population of brook trout and there are a few cutthroats along with some Dolly Vardens that have previously been planted years ago according to Don.
Lake Mary is a natural lake fed by 5 creeks and natural springs. The lake water level usually isn’t affected too greatly by the draught conditions that have plagued the Sierra in dry weather years. This is true for several other lakes in the Mammoth Lake basin such as Lake George, Lower Twin and Lake Mamie. According to my local resource Don Barrett, the depth of Lake Mary is approximately 114 feet at its deepest point and has a surface area of 143 acres. Water temperatures can range in early spring at 38 degrees F. to the 50 + degrees F. during the hottest months. Since the area has a stable year round water supply the lake gets lots of trout plantings to keep anglers happy. I asked Don how did the Mammoth Basin get started in the trout fishing business and got a history lesson to which I found quite entertaining. The original stockings came from shipping trout out from the Rockies to the Owens River. Then, eventually to the local lakes from the Owens River. This was a huge undertaking for the folks back in the early 1900’s so there were signs along the Owens River stating you would be “HUNG IF CAUGHT FISHING”. I cannot attest to this since I wasn’t around back then but seems like something the locals might had taken a little on the serious side, just like horse thefts.
One of the top lures that consistently produces trophy trout in the Sierra is the mini tube jig. Marlon Meade Berkley pro team member recommends using the Berkley Atomic Teasers at these lakes. His top choices for colors are the Pearl White and the Cricket clear brown. It just plain works and changing up the colors keeps the action nonstop. For me, I like to use the Berkley Mice Tails with the smallest of split shots wrapped 2-3 feet from the Mice Tail on a # 8 or smaller Owner fly hook, so it drifts down slowly and moves with the current. The more popular colors to use are Pearl White head with Fluro Orange worm tail, Pearl White head with Bubblegum Pink tail and Glow White head and tail. Berkley Mice Tails have just been so darn successful for catching fish up there and is now my “go to” lure of choice. They can be rigged any number of ways by using a Carolina rig, split shot, or drop shot. Depending on the weather conditions will dictate what method to use.
Don Barrett likes to use a clear water bubble setup with mice tails or Berkley Power Trout Worm at Lake Mary. He recommends a 4-5 foot leader from the bubble. Adding water to the bubble will allow you to fish at different depths. Some of the more successful dough bait colors for Power Baits have been Rainbow Glitter, Salmon Peach, Garlic and Gulp Chunky Cheese. Another good choice is the Natural 2” Pinch Crawlers (Garlic). Using 2-4 pound fluorocarbon leaders will help to increase catch ratios on days when the bite gets a little on the finicky side of fishing. During the warmer months of the year, the fish tend to go to deeper waters so locating fish might may require knowing where the drop-offs are. Using a fish finder from a boat should help to locate schools of trout. Trolling the deeper areas of Lake Mary has produced some nice stringers of fish. Several key areas that have produced trout over the years has been the cove at Pokonobe Lodge and the shallow grassy areas on the north side of the marina where trout tend to hide in the early season.
Another good producing spot on Lake Mary has been the inlet streams on the south side of the marina. These creek inlets have been a local hot spot for brook trout to gather. According to Don, the lake record on brook trout is 4.75 pounds.
There are several other lakes in the Mammoth Basin that have good access to shore fishing and have produced nice stringers of fish for me along with a couple of brood stock rainbows. I also like fishing Lake George which is only a short drive from Lake Mary. This lake is several hundred feet in depth according to Don and I can attest that it also has some big brood stock rainbows having caught several over the years.
Marlon Meade amazes me every time we go there and has pulled some really nice 5+ lb. trout out of that lake. On a couple of visits the local bears chased him around the lake when they see him pull a big one out. It’s actually funny to watch from the safer side of the lake and yelling over the two way radio “Marlon, bear at 3 o’clock get moving!” If you decide to try your luck at Lake George be prepared to do some walking. The trail along the right side of the marina is a very popular place to wet your line. This trail can be a little on the rough side so come prepared with a good set of hiking boots and maybe a small daypack for fishing supplies, drinks and snacks. The trail leads to one of Marlon’s favorite spots to fish. The big rock cliff area is known for where the big boys like to cruise. This particular area has been known to have lots of trout. On the left side of the big rock there are some private cabins with boat docks. This general area holds a lot of quality fish that we have caught. Another good place to find trophy size rainbows is the outlet creek to the left side of the marina. A bridge crosses the creek and following the shoreline will be several areas to where lots of trophy trout have been landed. If you decide walking is not in your agenda, you can rent a boat from the Lake George Marina Landing. The same baits that work well at Lake Mary can be used at Lake George.
For those who are partial to float tubing and fly fishing may find the Lower Twins and Lake Mamie more to their liking. A popular float tube fishing area is the waterfall on the Twins. These are shallow lakes and according to Don Barrett and they have a depth of 25 feet.
The Mammoth Lakes Basin has been a great destination whether you’re fishing, camping, hiking, horseback riding, mountain biking, winter skiing and in general just relaxing the day away. There are many events the City of Mammoth supports throughout the year. One popular event is the Mammoth Kid’s Fishing Festival held on the last Saturday of the month in July. This free event has been going on for 31 years strong. The Kids Fishing Festival last year entertained 1000 children and also educated them in the sport of fishing. This festival is promoting the continuation of future anglers and hopefully for years to come.
For those of you that have decided to visit the Mammoth Lake Basin consider dropping by Lake Mary Marina. The staff at the Marina are very knowledgeable. If you’re lucky enough to see Don Barrett go ahead and fire a question or two but be prepared to spend some time listening and learning.

For More Information on Lake Mary Marina:don.barrett@lakemarymarina.com , Also visit their website at:
www.lakemarymarina.com Facebook Page:
https://www.facebook.com/lakemarymarina/

 

 

In Honor Of Brent Sato Legacy! 10-Day Royal Polaris Trip- By Doug Inouye, Orange County Tuna Club Photos By Ryan Jun

By | Spring 2019 | No Comments

Twenty months of planning, coordination and preparation went into a trip and it was finally upon us. Our Sato Legacy / 310RodWorks / OC Tuna Charter / United Composites 10 Day trip aboard the Royal Polaris (RP). The anticipation was high as we were all excited about the opportunity to fulfill our final obligation for our dear friend Brent Ikari of Sato Custom Rods who had passed away.

On this trip we had the usual suspects from our summer and spring trips. There were a few new faces, but mostly battle tested veterans that have shared the rail with us over the years. One amazing addition to the group was our friend Dave Marciano from the television show Wicked Tuna. Some know that Brent was Dave’s personal rod builder. In honor of Brent’s life and work, Dave made the commitment early on to join us on this trip. What most of us west coasters did not expect was that Dave is just as adept at fly lining a sardine to 100lb yellowfin tuna as he is at catching giant tuna on the east coast. He’s an amazingly proficient angler all the way around. We had an incredible group of friends that all worked together as a single unit, not a single fish was lost due to a tangle or burn off. Everyone was amazing, helping those who were new to the sport or were having a tough time getting bit. In the end, when you looked at the RP scoreboard, the load of fish were spread out evenly for every angler. Everyone was going home with a lot of fish.

Now to the fishing. We started off at the Rocks for some decent Wahoo fishing. It was not wide open,

but a steady pick. The hot lure was the full size DTX Minnow in Orange Mackerel. That lure was getting bit on every single troll rotation. We tried changing out the stock hooks, big mistake. If you’ve been thinking about this, leave them alone. We tried all sorts of hook options, none of them worked well since they were disrupting the how the lure swims and the fish won’t bite it.

Big Mikey O’Malley slayed some scissor lips on a 6X Jr in Green / Pink pattern straight tied to 50lb mono. Yes, he donated a few, but he also scored his bounty as well. The small sacrifices are well worth the $7 spent on those jigs. As for myself, I went 0 for 4 grinding a hot pink 6X Jr tied with a 130lb Fluoro leader. Those darn critters were biting my jig from behind, not from the side. All four times I came back with a 10-12” piece of finely clipped 130lb Seaguar Blue Label, all four top shots were originally 3’ long. With time running out at the rocks (due to other boats arriving) I had a change of plans. Decided to grab my jig stick with my Okuma Komodo and tied on a big Daiwa stick bait. One cast with a slow retrieve produced an incredible blow out on my stick bait, it was awesome to watch. A few minutes later, the wahoo was introduced to the RP welcoming committee. I fired out the stick bait a few more times without any bites, our time was up, and it was time to head up the line to the Island. It was work…hours of rail time invested in catching at least one wahoo for each and every angler on the boat. Some ended out time with 2, some three, but Big Mike finished the tour of Alijos with 6 Wahoo…far and away the top dog on the Wahoo.
With the Wahoo under our belt, with strings of the tasty cabrilla in the well and with just enough yellowtail to leave us wanting more, the decision was made to cut and run. We started a 30-hour slow chugging ride uphill to the famed Guadalupe Island. The “Lupe” was in our future and we were ready, or so we thought.

When we arrived at the Island, Capt. Roy Rose said it was going to be “breezy”. I thought to myself “breezy”?? I’ve never heard Roy use that term before. We arrived around 3am and woke up to a stiff 25-30 knots morning wind, only to increase to about 35-40 knots by mid-afternoon. The fish were biting though and all of sudden we didn’t care about the wind any more. We had a steady pick on the 60-80lb stock class, with a few stand out 100+ pound fish.
One lucky or shall I say un-lucky angler was Brent’s brother Victor. We say lucky as he hooked two of the biggest most angry fish of the trip. We say unlucky because of the way the battle with both of those giants finished for Vic.
On the first day of our stay at the Lupe, Vic hooked what was likely to be one of the two largest tuna hooked at Guadalupe Island during the 2018 season. It was a tough bite so, like so many, he stepped his gear down to get the bite. He pinned a sardine on a 5/0 circle hook on 60lb line on a United Composites US80 Predator that he had won in our raffle. The fight started like all the others. It was excitement…a lot of moving up and down the rail. The fish moved up and back. The third or fourth time he was done. The clock had just passed the one- hour mark and he wasn’t even started back to the boat. With physical exhaustion setting in, he gladly handed his brother from another mother, Darin from 310Rodworks the rod and the arm/fin wrestling match ensued. Darin knows the gear. He knew that the rod was overwhelmed. It wasn’t designed for this kind of pressure and so he took the rod out of the equation and reeled straight to the fish and pulled straight against it. With 200yds or more back on the spool, I was given a shot to pull on this crazy fish. I quickly went to work. This was a big fish. We went back and forth across the stern. The rail was my friend and with finesse, I added to the gains against this behemoth. When I was done, Darin took the rod back and spent a short stretch battling this tuna until Doug McConnaughy, a deckhand on the boat and a licensed captain to boot, took the rod and showed all of us what it meant to really pull hard on a fish.

Within 15 minutes the fish was nearing the pointed end of the gaff. One big circle then another. Every circle was drawing it nearer and at the same time raising everyone’s concern that something would be nearing failure. Another big circle at a distance too far…and then another. Finally, with a couple of luckily placed lifts, the fish was finally there…time to stick it. Just as Roy was ready to kill this fish, the amount of wind slowed nearly to a whisper. The kite line drooped directly where the gaff handle was coming across. In that split second, the gaff hook went the wrong way. The fish was spooked. The tail kicked a couple good shots and bingo bango….GONE! Heartbreak piled with expletives rang out and the battle was done. Without knowing it at the time, this was just one challenge that Vic faced over the course of this trip.

The next battle that Vic faced was the second day of the trip as Roy was beginning to hunt down the right spot of fish. Things had slowed to a dull roar. Fish were being hooked but if you know Roy, you know he wasn’t about to sit idly by waiting. He was going to find the group of fish that were ready to play. As Roy was charging on a line of fish that were up and chasing bait, he made the fateful call out to the group, “If you’ve got a popper or surface plug get it out there…they’re coming!” Little did Roy know, but Vic just had a new popping rod built for this trip. Strapped to a custom US80 tilefish was a Daiwa Saltist 6500 spooled up with 80lb braid with a short 100lb leader tied to it. The popper flew out off the starboard stern corner. With a huge splash it hit the water. Just as it did, Roy threw the throttles forward and the boat took off! Line was flying off the spool! As the bail was tripped and the line came tight, the phenomenon of line stripping off the reel was met with a quizzical face. As Roy pulled the throttles back and the boat out of gear, Vic looked at the rod…looked at the reel…looked at the line and with all of that input into his brain, he still couldn’t really tell what was going on. The rod was bent…but not really. The line was tight but no longer stripping off the spool. Pump after pump the line made it back on to the spool. Slowly but surely, he was making headway. With all eyes on him, Vic heard from the peanut gallery, “Looks like you got a Mackerel there!” A few more minutes pass and low and behold…the line starts ripping off the spool and the real fight was on. After another long fight, with adrenalin masking the fatigue, Darin asked Vic if he needed a hand. Darin grabbed the rod as Vic’s hands began to shake. As Vic made his way inside to get some fluids into his system, Darin went to work to move the fish within range to bring it aboard. Pump by pump. Crank by crank. The gaff slid in. The celebration began. A 100lb tuna found its way aboard the Royal Polaris for the brother of the man we were paying homage to on this trip.
The trip was one for the history books. Those 60 to 100lb fish would be the trend for the remainder of our stay. That is until we approached the last 3 hours of trip. Right around 3:30pm, the other Roy was scrapping it out on the bow with a big one on 60lb gear…after an hour or so, the fish was welcomed aboard. It taped out at 130lbs. About 30 minutes later, Racecar drops a 155 pound tuna on the deck, a few minutes later another 150 pound tuna hits the deck, then a 175 arrives, now it’s close to sun down and the bite continues to escalate at a rapid pace. Watching all of these big ones coming over the rail had me thinking……should I soak one more bait before we need to leave? Heck yeah. I grabbed my 60lb rig (big mistake) and pinned on a big mackerel, 5 seconds later its bit. One hour later, the RP crew sinks the gaff in the final 2 fish before we call it a trip. The last two fish were a respectable 130lb and 125lbs. and capped off an amazing trip and final send off from our dear friend, Brent Ikari.

Everything on this trip was outstanding. The RP crew, food, fishing, laughter, humor, libations, and a bunch of talented, respectable fish killing passengers. I know we’ll all be talking about this trip for many more years to come. RP Livin’!