We had Todd’s group that fished with us on Boss Lady quite often to change his trip date to an overnighter last night, and WOW, did it pay off. The fishing was nothing short of EPIC! We left Avalon around noon and made our way to the NE Corner of the Washington Canyon where the tuna fishing has been hot for yellowfin tuna and BigEyes for well over a week. The weather could not have been more perfect and the 100 mile ride was flat as could be. We made it to our destination and got on the troll around 4:30. Bill was marking tunas under the pilot whales thick, but we could not get a bite on the troll at all, and it was getting frustrating. I dropped down a planer but that was unsuccessful as well.
30 minutes before dark we decided to stop and drop down some jigs on the tunas heads. BAM! Game on. We were hooked into a BigEye which Ben fought for an hour and 20 minutes while the rest of the guys were bailing yellowfin tuna on jigs. Ben beat the fish and it came up for an easy gaff shot. In the boat came the monster 200# BigEye which is Ben’s first tuna ever! The action was nonstop all night on jigs and freefloating chunks. Bob, Todd, Andy, Bill, and Ben jigged away all night whacking one yellowfin tuna after another. All of the yellowfin ranged from 15-40 lbs.
After catching over 50 tuna, and obviously we had a limit of fish in the box, everyone started to wind down. Andy was still jigging so I wanted to join into the fun and went to the rail with my favorite spinning outfit for jigging. After 10 minutes of jigging, and watching Andy catch and release 3 yellowfin, I finally got my bite, BIGEYE on. The reel screamed off line! We woke up Bill May since we knew we were gonna have to chase this one. After an amazing team effort, and 1 hour and 45 minutes of pulling on this tuna, we landed another BigEye on a jig. Absolutely INCREDIBLE. Nonstop action all night with an awesome group of guys and flat calm seas. It doesn’t get any better.
With ballyhoos rigged, drags set, boat fueled, and iced, and a crew of me (Ricky Wheeler), Anthony, Joe, and Maureen with a collective of 6 hours of shuteye, we pointed the 27′ Contender Trade In for the Spencer Canyon after hearing some solid yft action in the canyons. We hit the tip of the Spencer and had lines in at 5:45 am after a beautiful ride. The water was 66 degrees and clean green which is where I was told the fish were. It didn’t take long to confirm the reports when we hooked into a single tuna on a green machine spreader bar at 6:30 am. Shortly after I marked squid on the bottom and in the middle of the water column and WHAM, 4 on! In the initial runs 2 came off and we quickly boated the other two to get lines back in immediately. At this point the fleet was starting to grow and I wanted to put together a catch before they were drivven down.
We worked the same area in 80-100 fathoms on the West Wall of the Spencer about 2 miles from the tip the rest or the day. We picked at them consistently and put together our limit of yellowfin tuna from 25-45 lbs by 11:00 am. We also had a Blue Marlin on for about 20 seconds before it pulled off. the yellowfins were all over the spreader bars and daisy chains, and they seemed to prefer the chugger head/ballyhoo combos over the islander or sea witch/ballyhoo combo today. The fish were extremely agressize today skying out of the water onto the baits. It was amazing when we watched explosions behind almost every bait and connected with 6. We wound up 6/6 on that round which was a blast!
Box full of 30-40 pound yellowfins on the Contender.
We brought the 6# test rods in case we did well because we wanted to attempt to get a yft on 6# test. Maureen would need a 40# yellowfin to beat the record. We gave this a shot after the melee and she was hooked up for about 2 minutes until the fish threw the hook. A new piece of water moved in and the fishing shut down. The temperature went from 66-71, and the color was blue green. This piece of water was pushing hard at almost 2 knots WSW. Hopefully it will bring in more fish and hold after this blow coming up. That being said, if I was running offshore again tomorrow, I don’t think I would run to the Spencer due tothis change in conditions.