Early Season Tuna Trip July 2013


New Member
Independence 4 day july 10th - 14th

Figured I would share a great trip I was on early this year.

Weeks of anticipation and the day came to drive down to San Diego.
Left Thousand Oaks at 3 am made some pretty good time arrived at point loma at 5:30 got immediate parking and went down to watch the last trips unload.
Independence had just returned from a 5 day which they did well.
Then the American angler came back with a bunch load so the bar was set height.

Met up with Kurt (aka tuna byte) chatted for a bit then loaded the boat around 10.

Got monster bait and headed Dow to the 180 /200 mile area.

Captain said we need to be prepared for bigger fish that had been showing.
I had all the goods from 20lb to 50lb

Finally night falls and we had a great prime rib dinner and its time to try to catch some zzzzz

Day 1 woke up ate breakfast and got ready for what the Day may bring.

We were still a couple hours from the far point of where these fish made a showing the prior trips.

After stopping on a few kelps for swarming rat yellowtail we continued on.
Some time around 1130 we stopped on a meter mark and wheat to work.
Needless to say fishing on day one was lite maybe 30 fish I myself got 2 30lb blue fin.

Day 2 we woke up to see a few sainers and a few long range boats in the general area We put the trollers in and not to long find our first tuna jig strike and happens to be a nice grade yellowfin tuna , the lines hit the water and a few hook up.
This was just about the drill for the day we motor by kelps holding only small grade yellowtail and a few scattered yellowfin as we continued south a long way to where bonitos island was in sight.
One stop mid morning develops a nice drift with 1 to 3 hook ups going on yellowfin tuna Sometime around 11 one angler gets hooked up on a bigger model blue Fin which takes him around the boat 4 times and 1 1/2 hours later he was spent and Jesus had to take over and get this 115lb blue fin to the boat.

After that the captain had some dope on a wide open yellowfin bite going on so we head that way.
Well as it happens we got there late to the party and had a scratch bite for the rest of the day. I ended up with 1 35lb yellow fin on my cal star 800l with avet sxj

As the 2nd day was coming to an end the captain made a decision to allow most to keep what comes of the next kelp...well the next kelp came and it was wfo yellowtail till dark, I ended up catch and releasing a dozen fish on my cal star 800l with a avet sxj

During dinner captain mark let's us know we have gone deep and need to gain altitude to try and get a morning bite around the area we started at somewhere at 180 out.

Morning comes and we see the vagabond and royal star were out there also.
We had no fish under the boat so we put it in gear and away we go.

No more that 15 minutes we hit a small school that produced a hand full of 30lb bluefin tuna.

After that we continue looking around.
Shortly after that stop we swing on a meter mark shut down and start throwing bait.

This is where it gets exciting this drift developed in a wfo bluefin bite where the small fish are 50lbs.

I forgot to mention we had a few first times on board and this fast and furious bite starts becoming the bite from hell as the tangle nightmare has begun and if you got in one it was a crap shoot if your fish would make it out.

My first cast was with my cal star 700h and accurate bx2 500N with 65lb power pro and 50lb mono tied to 50lb fluro. I get hooked up and now in the tangles loose the fish and re tie

Next cast out was with my 40lb outfit avet Jx and cal star 875h Bam insta hook up and again instant tangles, the deck hands cut my line and start hand lining in get me out of the tangle and splice my line back on and away we go.
5 seconds later back in the tangle which consisted of a minimum of 4 anglers every time, the out come was but off.

So at this point I'm a little frustrated but what the heck I bring back the heavy set up got a fresh bait and away I go to the bow to see what I can do.
Within seconds I get hooked up and the fun begins...
With in a few minutes I'm starting to realize that this is no 50 lb fish I'm on the rail ,rod if fully bent over and drag is ripping.

I start to put some hurt on this fish but every time I did it took it all back out.

This went on for an hour as I went around the boat 2 times and finally got it to settle and bring it up to gaff.

WOW this is a nice fish biggest one I've ever caught official numbers @ 124lb and Jack pot winner.

I had to rest for a bit as this fish got me dehydrated and exhausted.

After a 30 minute break I go back pick a bait and wham hook up again and fight this one a bit to keep out of the tangles... This one comes over the rail at 60ishlbs.

Back at it again and same result nice fish and I'm pumped

After a few minutes later I'm back at it and this time I get hooked up and my reel starts screaming within 30 seconds I'm almost spooled I could not get this fish to stop so I ended up buttoning down and popping it off.

Dam one more time and this time it's a 64lb fish.

As I went to retire the captain have told me he saw a boil of vw's and I had hooked into one of those which were 150 to 175lb fish.

I ended with 7 fish for the morning out of the 100 we caught l and lost twice as many.

10:30 comes and we have to pack it up and head for the barn.

Set ups I brought

800 l with sxj
800m with accurate bx2 400n
875h with avet Jx
700ml with accurate bx 400n single speed never left the rack
700m with accurate bx-2 400n my go to rod day 2
700h with accurate Bx-2 500N
900m with avet mxj used for light jig fishing the paddy

The trip had a lot of nice people food was good as always and the weather was flat calm!

I really enjoy the Indy and have been on several trips with them since 2004.