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Old 08-26-2013, 10:22 AM
Toadtamer's Avatar
Toadtamer Toadtamer is offline
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Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: Los Angeles, California, USA.
Posts: 4,487
Front Page Tunabelly on the Royal Star

Tunabelly is on a seven day on board the Royal Star this week:

Timing is what I mentioned yesterday, combined with at least a little fishing savvy the result today was another boomer
hit on 40 - 50 class bluefin that precisely defined why we are here, and why such great lengths are well worth the effort.
To call this fishing anything other than exceptional would be a disservice to the bluefin - they showed the kind of
enthusiasm and dedication for coming on board that the most fortunate among us experience perhaps only once or twice a

Though the weather was calm torrential afternoon rain, courtesy of the remnant tropical storm spinning it's way up the
coast, added to the "it's always something list". Soaked to the bone and pulling on beautiful bluefin for hours the
hardiest souls remained standing for the evening bite that really never waned from the afternoon pitch. They kept hittin',
and we kept fishin' albeit in significantly reduced numbers.

Not wishing to disrupt our immediate winning streak we pitched a tent after dark, stoked the camp fire, and settled in
cozy, dry, and immensely satisfied. This was not only our day, but a big day for the all the guys working in this zone.
Another round of colleagues are presently hard charging so tomorrow should reveal the scope of what has been found.

Photos today feature Royal Star and long range veteran George Valenzuela with his biggest bluefin of the day that weighed
in at 58#, and new to long range angler Jennifer Spohn with her second bluefin of the day and Captain Brian Sims.

Tim Ekstrom

See picture above
Photo Here..


Posted: 10:11:58

Just when one imagines that the top of the world has been reached yet another level is revealed. As for how high it actually
goes, or where or what the ultimate measure is I gather is entirely subjective, which is the best part. Ever expanding from
my perspective, like the big bang on a much smaller scale. Just when one thinks that it can't get any better it almost
inevitably does.

In the present microsm Royal Star those arising from the euphoria of yesterday afternoon's seven hour bluefin bludgeoning
were confronted with an extension of conditions - rain still driving, thankfully reasonable seas, and bluefin still eager to
bite. Only this morning a school of larger models, 60 - 85#'s with a few bonus jumbos dominated the action. From day light
through mid afternoon anglers pulled for all they were worth enjoying the classic "plunker" cycles of one to three hanging
with consistent better intervals. Every fish that came over the rail was worthy of pause and appreciation; beautiful examples
of long range potential.

Ultimately production was tied to two things - will and horsepower. Those who elected to ignore the elements, and pushed
through the fatigued and abused forearms and legs from yesterday, indulged in the proverbial world's oyster to their ultimate
delight. It was the opportunity long range anglers dream of, by far the best I have seen all year.

Itchy feet and my unending drive to seek the next bigger and better opportunity that I know is there rousted us from our
little utopia in the late afternoon. By that point production had slowed to a near stand still and I was eager to know more.
In the end I can't say whether I do or don't - pretty typical when it comes to bluefin, and the ocean in general.

But this I do know - there are lots of bluefin tunas out here to be had. And lots more that will be had in the days and weeks
to come. This was a big day again; for us and every single friend and colleague fortunate enough to make it to this zone.
Everyone loaded up. These are the best, most gratifying days on the offshore grounds - the days when everybody wins. The
different size classes, the spread of fish, and the area we are fishing all suggest that there is plenty more in store. I
hope those of you hanging on the fence are taking note. If you are vacillating about making a voyage you won't see a better
set of conditions or better fishing potential.

Needless to say following two days of bona fide offshore bluefin glory we have exhausted the majority of these champion
anglers that hung tough and produced big time. It is time for a change of pace and scenery. Sunny skies and beautiful weather
beckon from the south. A little variety in the form of yellowtail and other coastal favorites are in our sights for at least
a couple of days before we return to the offshore waters.

Photos today feature catch of the day angler Alan Terre, who muscled in this 134# bruiser on 40# flurocarbon demonstrating
that although not optimal it can be done, and Matt Chang with one of his several seventy pounders coming over the rail.

Tim Ekstrom

Photo Here...

Photo Here...

The sunshine alone made this day. Beautiful scenery, nice steady scratching at quality yellowtail, zero urgency for big
production with a wealth of product already in the RSW tanks; living the dream here, and thankful for it. The on board
atmosphere is about as ideal as one can imagine, and not solely because we are rich with fish. Every angler enjoying this
voyage brought the right frame of mind. They are here to unplug, unwind, and share a fishing vacation with friends. Such
positive intent has a way of manifesting good fortune - I believe.

It's a good point to keep in mind, and a frame of reference for every long range angler; actually for every recreational
fisherman. A certain amount of seriousness and focused application is required to succeed, but there is a stark border
between having, or perhaps better said between making, a good time of fishing and going fishing with the sole objective of
catching fish.

Understanding that a "good time" is rather broad in definition, and wholly subjective, I could draft a chapter on the topic
and probably expand my friends and enemies list in the process. But it is a simple notion appealing to everyone seeking a
positive outcome on their long range voyages; not just for themselves but for everyone on board. That is the key - for
everyone on board.

Tomorrow we will expand on our version of "a good time" sliding down to "half day heaven" as my favorite mentor Steve Loomis
used to call it. While still seeking coastal yellowtail, in particular trophy size "premiums" where they are available, we
will dedicate a portion of the day to pure variety among the weeds in distant nooks and coves discovered many years ago.
Glorious weather - grease calm, balmy, with zero swell and seas will make for a setting sublime. Living the dream.

Photos today feature Charter Master Ben Ouano and his better half Jill who are the finest examples of the above mentioned I
can cite. Ben does the honors with today's catch, a twenty five pound class yellowtail, and Jill with a 45 pound bluefin
landed a couple of days prior.

Tim Ekstrom

Photo Here...

Photo Here...


A setting sublime was the pitch, and how appropriate it turned out to be. It was among those rare few days per season when
the weather is so perfect, so superb, that one can not help but stand in awe of such inspiring design. Flat calm, sun
shining but diffused by a luxurious, velvety haze the state of all things was arranged to perfection - we were exactly
where and how we wanted to be; all was well.

A top of the morning eruption of quality, 20 - 25 pound yellowtail set things in motion and ultimately opened the door for
exactly what we hoped - a pressure free day to explore the shallows for something distinct, and something more. Poking and
prodding our way around the most productive stretch of the Baja coast we were reacquainted with Calico bass central and
the enjoyment and satisfaction catch and releasing the scrappy the devils elicits.

Something about those fish is magic. I don't know what it is exactly but they seem to bring out the best side of all
anglers when we are catching them. For whatever reason there is a distinct satisfaction associated with those fish that
drives one to catch and release just one more, then another, then another. It's near impossible to walk away from the rail
when they are riled up and biting.

Now I am not equating Calico bass with anything else, with any of the apex gamesters that we are in the business of
pursuing, but when the occasion allows they always attract everyone to the rail. Through this moment I have never heard
anyone mutter a negative remark when we stop the world for a few hours and target Calico bass. The exact opposite is the
norm - tackle boxes are rifled through, the lighter outfits are rigged with various swim baits and kelp lures, and anglers
eagerly await the anchor grabbing hardly able to contain the urge to make that first cast.

Such was the theme today. From mid morning through late afternoon we mixed up the scenery and structure poking along from
spot to spot amazing everyone with the consistency of both the pace and the quality of the bass in these zones. And then,
late in day, in the eleventh hour, what we were waiting for finally occurred. One of our trusty premium yellowtail zones
detonated into a melee of big yellows and frantic birds. It just so happened that we were in the perfect place at the
perfect time.

Reading the conditions we set up accordingly and ended the day on about as high a note for this location as one could hope
for. About thirty minutes of action on 38 - 45 pound yellows with the big bruisers all fired up chasing baits and crashing
three hundred sixty degrees around the boat was the perfect closing bell. The surface pluggers with long rods were in the
zone as the ultimate opportunity in yellowtail fishing came to fruition. When those big premiums came over the rail one
after another it made quite an impression - this was one of those long range moments that does not happen anywhere else.
Good fishing to be sure.

Photos today feature the Charter Master Ben Ouano in fisherman's heaven during the big evening hit and Matt Lytle with one
of the worthy, 40 pound class trophy's in the bag.

Tim Ekstrom

Photo Here...

Photo Here...


We started off the day with a fair shot on quality yellows audience to beauty delivered by something far more grand than
explanation will define. God's cathedral was booming thunderous today, and silent. Grease calm, crisp, and infinitely
layered, conditions alone made a day of sublime satisfaction.

It wasn't just about fishing, thankfully in this case as nothing extraordinary occurred, but the combination of events,
conditions, and spectacular scenery could not help but produce a sense of calm, satisfaction, and well being. It was one of
those days - perhaps one of a handful per year, that conditions alone make perfect.

Following the morning yellowtail action we went for a long shot touring the lost coast rarely fishable from lack of
conditions favorable. Not an issue today conditions still did not unlock the potential. Bass fishing was a highlight - even
after yesterday's mid day bassathon for reasons already described - but the trophy yellowtail, and the real prize of some
beefy croakers, was not found. Such is fishing; and exactly why despite the lack of big success there was nothing to lament -
we were fishing.

Plenty of island now resides in our memory as we work north amidst a sea abounding in life of all kinds. A final tour in the
offshore zone just may provide, if we are on the good side of fortune, a starting point, or at least some insight into
what may be in store, on the next run. A few more tuna would fit the bill nicely and put the finishing touch on this
incredibly successful effort thus far.

Photos today feature anglers Alan Tani in the moment during our morning hit on yellowtail and Brandon Cotton with a fine, 22#
model landed mid morning.

Tim Ekstrom

Photo Here...

Photo Here...
Ken - Toadtamer

Last edited by tunabelly; 02-02-2015 at 11:01 AM.
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Old 08-26-2013, 12:05 PM
Ricky-Ray's Avatar
Ricky-Ray Ricky-Ray is offline
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: West Covina, CA
Posts: 1,197

Way to go George!

"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
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Old 08-26-2013, 12:34 PM
Zhalvaje Zhalvaje is offline
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Posts: 437

Congrats George!..............again
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Old 08-26-2013, 12:38 PM
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Dimitri Dimitri is offline
I am your Father.
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: Wan Chai, Hong Kong
Posts: 2,625

Like this is even news. Now if George was not catching anything and not having the time of his life, then THAT would be news.

Keep the roll alive.
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Old 08-26-2013, 02:12 PM
wahoodad wahoodad is offline
Very Talkative
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: Torrance, CA, USA.
Posts: 1,729

TB does know how to catch a tuna. Love the socks George

If the line's not going out, it should be coming in!
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Old 08-26-2013, 03:48 PM
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hazman hazman is offline
He Who Never Fishes
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Pasadena, California.
Posts: 3,111

It's Ben's charter......Gil is also on it.

One 200lb Tuna Equals Ten 20lb Yellowtail's
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Old 08-26-2013, 04:32 PM
Spongerider Spongerider is offline
Fish Monger
Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: H.B. Ca.
Posts: 228

Awesome catch!!!!
Fish til it hurts!
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Old 08-26-2013, 04:44 PM
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fishaddictjim fishaddictjim is offline
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Location: Vista, Ca, USA.
Posts: 741

Nice BFT fishing report. Doesn't matter the boat, or the charter, George seems to get the big one!!
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Old 08-26-2013, 06:39 PM
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MarkT MarkT is offline
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Join Date: Aug 2003
Location: Mission Viejo, CA.
Posts: 2,301

True. Probably on a gold hook!
When I was your age Pluto was a planet
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Old 08-26-2013, 08:18 PM
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Castmaster Castmaster is offline
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Nice BFT!
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