met at Fisherman’s Landing early, earlier than I expected given my 2
½ year old decided to hop in bed with my wife and I at about 1am and
proceeded to kick me in the chops a few times as a wake up call.
Given our early morning company, I elected to get an early start to
the day, stopping by the shop to grab yet more gear and then hit the
freeway early. Upon arriving at the landing I met several of our
clients from northern California who were heading out on one of the
other boats leaving Saturday morning. Our boat left the dock a
little later, but by mid day we’d already caught up with their boat
and actually arrived at our destination, Alijos Rocks, ahead of
them. Being first put us in the best spot, and the catch for our two
days fishing the Rocks proved.
The RP is a dandy fishing
platform, Roy Rose skippered the trip. He’s a great guy to go
fishing with, and all the crew was top notch as one would expect
from one of the finest boats in the fleet. The food was also
excellent, portions not quite as large as on the Rooster (my usual
ride) but the stuff was something to be looked forward to each meal.
I’d been somewhat concerned about the trip load. Usually we try to
limit our charters, and I’ve been spoiled fishing the Rooster in
this respect. There was a little confusion at the landing, I was
expecting 31 passengers, but we ended up with 34! I have to say, 34
was just fine on this beamy boat. It’s a large boat, and the
accommodations, fishing space wide and open stern and rails made it
seem like we had less guys fishing. The crew was absolutely top
notch, attentive and always upbeat and by your side when you needed
some help. They worked miricles on tangles, and we had a few since
we fished on anchor while at the Rocks.
Now, on to the fishing… Alijos
Rocks is a destination I’ve missed for the past 10 or so years. Each
time we planned on visiting the area the conditions were better
somewhere else. I looked forward to this visit, and this time the
conditions were better here, it was the best option for our trip –
no doubt! Our fist day’s fishing was interesting. I have to say,
perhaps a result of the water temp, more oxygen in the water, or
just the nature of the local fish here, but the suckers pulled hard.
We caught over 100 yellowfin, most in the 60-80# class the first day
on the water and I must say, these fish were in prime condition.
They pulled hard! Roy recommended that we all fish 50# line, and it
was very good advice which was followed by the guys on the trip. For
tuna we fished flylined sardines, exclusively. I’d wanted to put
some time in fishing poppers, but honestly, after pulling in one of
these fish I gave that idea up. They simply pulled too hard, took
too much time to land one, and I was not about to risk doing
something different from my usual pattern this time out. A few of
the guys also landed some of the largest yellowtail I’d seen in a
few years. Big things, 50 pounders plus. They pulled hard, but the
tuna were amazing. I’ve caught my share of 50-70# yellowfin, and I
have to say these fish pulled harder pound for pound than any of
We did not catch any wahoo this
trip. I invested a couple hours time tossing iron in that hope, but
it was not rewarded. The ‘hoo had been hammered for the past two or
three weeks, and they just did not want to play. One of the
deckhands did make a swipe at one with a gaff while it swam by the
boat, but we did not score a hit.
For our two days at Alijos we had
a total of 234 yellowfin, a couple dorado, perhaps 4 or 5 quality
yellowtail. The yellowfin averaged 60#’s. So, doing the math, that
works out to about 14,000 pounds of tuna! Not bad results for two
days fishing time.
After our time at Alijos we moved
up the line to try for some yellowtail at Cedros and even a few
rockfish on our last day's trek back to San Diego.
I saw something I had not seen before. On our second day at the
Rocks we had no wind and very little current. We were fishing on the
hook and still had a good day, with the deckhands keeping a constant
flow of chum to hold the fish nearby. One of the deckhands took it
upon himself to help get a bait positioned even though the kite rig
did not move away from the boat. Yep, the fellow donned swim fins,
mask and snorkel and actually swam the bait out about 100 yards from
the boat! Next observation, on this trip, these conditions, the hot
rig for fishing these tuna was 50# line, more often than not on a
smaller two speed like an Avet SX Raptor or JX. Shorty topshots of
mono, primarily Spectra for it's lower diameter and drag. There were
a few Seeker Hercules rods used to great effect, light, thin, nice
bend for these better grade tuna. I fished the United Composite CP
series rods on this charter and absolutely loved 'em. I'm actually
going to replace my own rods with a full range of these new blanks;
they were that good both from a casting standpoint and power. My
last observation, the MC (magnetic cast controlled Avet reels)
option on the Avet two speeds performed wonderfully. I've always
thought that my thumb was good enough and was a bit skeptical
regarding it's performance with bait verses jigs. Well, I'm now a
believer without any doubt or reservation. The feature eliminated my
backlashes, even when casting straight spectra!
We have a 15 minute video of the trip posted
as well. As a special request by Vladimir Boutkovskais, we added
some Russian music to the vid. Hope you enjoy!
Windows Media WMV File
IPOD compatible mp4 file
For the folks on the trip, if
you'd like a cd of images and full length video (without music), please zap me back an email and
we'll make one up and send it out. Please use my email link at the
bottom of this page.