I did miss a report last week. But there was a Good excuse. The bluefin arrived about 2 months earlier than we expected in Bodega Bay, mixed with a busy 4th of July weekend and good weather around the holiday, it was a very hectic week for us. This fishing report will give a quick recap of the previous weekend and this weeks action.
Heartbreak on the tuna front, steady Deepwater rockfish bite.
Over the weekend (6/29-30) we ran some rockfish trips to shallower terrain and had a pretty typical bite. Quick limits of rockfish and a few lingcod in the mix. Petrale sole bit, but not as good as they previously had been biting, our theory and excuse was the larger tides possibly slowing them down. Regardless it was a good weekend with good weather.
Late saturday I heard some rumors of tuna off Half Moon Bay and and really confirmed them on sunday when I saw a boat pull into the harbor with bluefin gear and kill bag. Of course being the tuna addict I am ran down the dock and talked to them. They told me they hooked into a good one west of the Farallon Islands and lost it just feet away from the gaff due to a pulled hook. It was a late night for me on Sunday preparing tuna gear that hasnt been touched since Thanksgiving. At 5am our clients made it to the dock and we headed west. First we stopped and threw in 6 limits of rockfish and a ling as fast as I we possibly could get them in the boat.
After an hour of that we headed west and immediately marked a school of tuna. ( I emphasize immediately off the reef) We threw the madmacs out and trolled.
After an hour of trolling the reel started screaming, no headshakes had me suspicious and once we got it closer It we realized it was a blueshark so we released it. After another 2 hours of trolling, I spotted some shearwaters doing the tuna hover so I headed that way, and we started marking good fish at 100′, didn’t take long for the reel to start screaming for real this time. The clients took turns and got the fish to the wind on in about 30 minutes, I could see the fish down below us and it looked about 150lbs. We were just about to transition to the rail and the fish took off and made some nasty headshakes and pulled the hook right in sight.
We threw the gear back out and worked the area seeing dozens more big schools on the screen and many patches of foamers under birds but they wouldn’t play and just acting like a typical bluefin foamer. I checked nearby areas for smaller patches of fish willing to play and it appeared the majority of the fish went down deep to 400′ where they are near impossible to catch on the troll. At 3pm we threw in the towel and headed home. On the way in we got to see a huge pod of hundreds of Pacific Whiteside, and Rizzo’s dolphins. Lots of bait and lots of fish so I expect the tuna fishing only improve. It’s going to be a epic summer with some monster fish coming in regularly, this is just the beginning of a long summer.
Our Group Tuesday wasnt interested in bluefin so we headed out and found red hot chilli action and filled the boat quickly and got home, which made a few very seasick clients happy to be back. We did have one monster black cod in the mix.
On Wednesday, we took a crew trip to try and get some bluefin for ourselves real close to home. Turns out the water moved and shifted south tword the islands, and we didn’t have much luck with our local waters. We did manage to track down a red hot black cod bite and got 3 limits of black cod and 3 limits of chili in-between some tuna trolling.
We saw a few monster salmon shark and let them swim on, due to shear size of them being over 10 feet and probaly 750+lbs it would be a serious fight, and we were more focussed on the bluefin anyways.
Unfortualty, it looks like we have at least 7 days of severe wind. We will be spending a lot of this time getting our Bluefin gear dialed. Every boat in norcal generally trolls madmacs, for a good reason they work and they work consistently. There are a few downsides, and I plan to adress them. First of all, they lose a LOT of fish, I found this out last year losing several norcal bluefin for the dozen I landed. Even with huge treble hooks, they loose fish 75% of the time. I m going to mimic the yozuri’s bonito design and move the hooks further back. Secondly you rarely get doubles on madmacs, the lines are far apart and once the boat is stopped the lure looses its action, and for this i will be sending out a kite with a fake flyer on every hookup, kites have been extreamly populsr for the dam diego fishery, and very few norcal native know how to rig and fly a flyer on a kite, but luckily I have many years of flying kits down south before the madmac craze began so I want to implement that tool to get more fish. Lastly, we burn a ton of fuel trolling madmacs at 12 knots. My solution to this is trolling spreader bars and dtx minnows at Grey light in evenings and mornings to allow us more fishing time on our 220 gallon tank. Over the past decade certain fishing styles come and go but they all seem to catch fish down south, so we will be doing s lot of things differently than the other boats up here and I’m looking forward to sharing the results. For now, if you haven’t yet, join our tuna list under the contact us page to stay updated and feel free to call me with questions. Josh handles the phone for a reason, but I can talk tuna all day. And better yet, book a trip and I can talk and show you tuna all day.
On Thursday we knew some serious afternoon was was approaching so we headed out and wanted to get back quickly. We pulled 6 limits of quality yellows and tried for petrale and found a dismall bite, once agian on a larger tidal swing. We returned home just as the wind was picking up.