Written by Alan Ogata on September 5th, 2014.
Ben and I thought that we would get a jump start on the holiday by heading out for a day great tuna fishing, fueled by all the reports of wide open bite! We first stopped and baited up with some nice sardines before heading out for a hopeful day of tuna fishing. It was like any other day of fishing at the point, overcast with a slight westerly wind and four foot swells. Some rat paddies looked promising with some livies but gave up nothin.
Finally got out to the 267 bank where Ben had seen several large paddies, just a few days before, but was now barren.
No birds, bait balls, paddies or jumping fish anywhere, only a handful of PB's out on the distant horizon. I started to lighten up my live well, getting rid of some dead weight sardines. Ben suggested that we start trolling our rapalas, I like his enthusiasm! So I tied one on and trolled around for a little bit. Then I heard the VHF go off, PB's breaking off from the bite and heading back in with full tuna limits!!! This report peaked my interest! Limping along, trolling the deep diving rapala, I thought that I'd never make the fleet at this rate and changed up my rapala for a streamlined, dark colored dodo lure. I was trolling about 20 mph when the sky opened up and a ray of light beamed down on this otherwise lifeless ocean. I checked my 8' Cali tuna stick n Daiwa Saltist combo which had spooled off the topshot down to the backup braid, wow!
I stopped the ski and pulled my rod from the holder while the line continued to rip off the reel, I don't want to get spooled, was my last thought before placing my thumb on the spool, another big wow! Braid really burns as I turned up the star drag which finally slowed the fishes momentum, he broke drag on several runs before being gaffed, boated, bled and sport hooked 25 minutes later. Ben was able to reach the middle of the fleet of about 25 PB's and CB's ahead of me and chucked in a bait, the tunas were metering 20-40 feet down. Fueled from my Bluefin fight, I flopped a bait in the water and watered down my bloody ski. After 40 minutes and 2 bait changes, Ben called no-joy and wanted to change spots, I concurred and started a slow retrieve on my lighter Graftech Wallbanger/Avet combo, when my line got taut and it was Fish-on and thumb burn again! Thanks to Alvin for his custom rod work, adding 4.5" to the rod butt capped off with a rubber gimbal and X wrap! Made fighting this 20+ lbs Yellowfin doable, boating it in just under 30 min dressed. Ben was able to sneak in a 30 lbs Yellowfin and I didn't even get the opportunity to watch him sweat hauling it in... Broke off from the bite and headed back to the jet-wash near 1230 hrs, slow going with a bungied down cooler and 2 tails sticking out