Posted by: socalsalty | October 3, 2012

Trip Report: Eclipse 1.5 Day Offshore

Let’s get the party started

Had a good outing on my 2 day trip with the Eclipse, so I decided to get back on asap while the bite is still hot.  Sunday night, I departed with 26 other anglers for a 1.5 day trip.  When I was out a couple weeks ago we got into a really nice bite about 70 miles out.  When 2nd Captain/deckhand Neil gave the pre-trip briefing, he said that the warm, clean water had pushed up between 50-60 miles south of San Diego and that we’d be headed into that zone to look for fish.

The next morning, I got up at 6am to look around and see what was up.  Soon after, Capt. Richie greeted us on the intercom and we kicked off the trolling rotation.  I had rigged my 30 and 40 lb sticks the night before, so I ordered breakfast and anticipated the action.  It wasn’t long before we had a jig stop.  Bam!  30-ish lb. albacore.

Hot start!

That was exciting to see.  We had a lull.  Around 9am we hit some fog.  Just as we were coming out of it, the boat stopped again on a jig strike.  Only a couple skippies though, so we didn’t even throw on it.   It was a little bumpy, so we had a hard time finding kelps.  My bag  number was 15, so mid-morning I got my turn on the trolling rotation.   Same as last time, I got bit on the Rapala deep diver (but not on the dodo pattern, with a bonito looking one).  I got him to the boat…small YFT football.  I called for gaff and deckhand Adam accidentally hit the jig kicking it loose.  Damn.  Stupid on my part.  The troll rigs were wired with 80.  I should’ve just bounced it.  Oh well, first fish of the day.  I guess I was excited.

We kept moving…looking for kelp, waiting on a jig stop.  It was pushing noon.  I was being vigilant standing just outside the galley door.  At this point, I had taken off the hook on my 40 and tied on a dorado pattern megabait.  I had my 30 lb bait stick and jig-rigged 40 next to me…ready to throw on a jig stop, or cast a bait toward a kelp paddy.  I waited, and waited.  In between I befriended a guy, A.C. who I noticed was having issues.  He told me he hadn’t fished in a year and a half.  I helped him rig up, talked him through the protocol of the tuna shuffle.  He really wanted a dorado.  Something about those colors I guess.  I told him a couple of my buddies had won jackpots with dodo’s on other boats in the days leading up to our trip.  We just needed the right kelp.

Ping’s arm and my big bull dorado

I was starting to get hungry and a little sleepy.  I went inside and sat.  I started to nod off, but Will had some burgers cooking and they were calling my name.  I had just gotten one down when we came across a paddy.  It looked promising and it proved to be a winner.  I nailed a yellowfin on bait, and several other anglers got their skunk off also on that stop.  I had some other chances, but farmed a couple fish.  No worries though.  The sun had come out, the sea was laying down…things were looking up.  We found the next kelp and I was on it early.  I threw a big bait and immediately got picked up.  Big pull, but it wasn’t heading down like a tuna.  It didn’t jump either.  It started to get closer to the boat and I could see the blue top fin underwater…dodo, a big bull

Big bulls seem to be a tad smarter than your average dodo.  He’d rest perpendicular to the current, using that big flat body like a sail, making it hard to gain ground on him.  Then he’d get a second wind and run, stripping out some line.  He worked me pretty good.  All I could do was make him work to bend the rod and just keep that pressure on him.  After about 3 runs he was done and I got him in.  Nice one.

Next kelp, nailed another dodo getting out an early cast.  This was feeling good.  Unfortunately, after that kelp things slowed down for me and the boat.  Soon enough it was 5 and the light was fading.  Kept hoping for one more good stop, but it didn’t come.  My new buddy A.C. got his turn on what ended up being the second to last trolling rotation.  He told me later he was ready to call it a day, but he stepped up and took his turn.  He was rewarded with that dodo he wanted.  Nice job A.C.

That was pretty much the day.  The boat ended up with only 62 mixed fish for the 27 of us (25 Yellowfin Tuna 1 Albacore Tuna 18 Yellowtail 18 Dorado).  I ended up with 3 fish (1 yft, 2 dodos) for 6 hookups.  My big bull was a contender for jackpot, but I just missed out.  Not bad though for the day we had.  I’ll definitely take it.  Thanks to Capt. Richie and the crew of the Eclipse for working hard to get us on the fish.  I’ll fish with you guys again.  Tight lines!

A.C.’s perseverance paid off…Dodo for dinner!

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