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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
My good friend Marty got me going on long range trips about 6 years ago. And needless to say I was hooked immediately.

This is our 3rd annual fall bluefin trip. Last 2 on the Pacific Queen. I cant say enough about what a talent Captain Gavin is or how well his crew works. From the galley to the wheelhouse. Its kind of a funny shaped long skinny wooden boat but ever since its been in SD, it has had a reputation for being fishy. Bluefin love that boat and Gavin is a heck of a bluefin hunter.

Marty re-booked this boat last year as soon as we walked off. And have already booked for next year. Good group of our usual Oregon buddies. A few new ones and a handful of Californians including Rocky who seems like everyones Godfather of big tuna.

The 3.5 before ours plugged the fish holds the early in the trip. Came back and offloaded and went back out for more. These big fish will plug the boat before you get to limits. Most of the action was on jigs at night. We were ready for that.

3.5 day trip. Started anchored at Tanner with 20 or so other boats. A slow pick on flyline bait for 20 lb BFT. Maybe a dozen by 11 or so. for the boat. So we went looking. Made a few bait stops. I got spooled on 40#. But no other bites until late afternoon when we got started on the yummy flyer. Then sent up the kites that started working. I think 5 fish landed by dark.

We had dinner and Gavin told us to expect to start dropping jigs around 8:30. We saw a pretty good light show. Lightning in the dark on the ocean. About the time we started hooking fish it started raining. Big warm heavy tropical feeling rain. Most the Oregon guys just kept fishing. As the bite picked up so did the rain until it was a real downpour. But fresh fish kept hooking up. These fish were 100-230 lbs.

I think the last bite was around 11 pm. Some guys tried after that but everyone else went to bed. No more fish that night.

Next morning Gavin tried something unexpected and anchored all alone at Cortez. He said he had reports of Yellow tail there. Not another boat in site. It was a decent slow pick that produced 25 YT on fly line, dropper loop and a few on jigs. Mostly 12-18 lbs.

Spent the day wandering around looking and pretty much a repeat of the day before. Got one on the yummy. Sent up the kites and got I think 6 more before dark including some cows.

Had dinner and didnt really get anything going until 11 pm. Only like 5 guys on deck and the night skipper John was the only crew up. But everyone who was up were on fish and having to gaff each others fish.

Les woke me up, most guys got up to fish and we had a couple of stops of 5-6 fish on at once. Again from 100-230 lbs. Big fish flopping all over the deck. At about 3 am the crew couldnt stuff another fish in either RSW tank. We had 2 big ones on the deck that had to be butchered and put in the cooler. We opted to head in and let the crew have a little extra time off.

Everyone on our boat caught fish. I think everyone caught at least one over 100#. I know of a few guys that only had 2 fish, both over 200 lbs!

Couldnt ask for anything else.

The best night jig fishing I have seen. Everything got bit. My buddy Gary had some 14 oz rockfish jigs that we set up with welded rings, a 8/0 Jobu hook on the tail and 2 7/0 assist hooks on the top. Everyone using these got fish. But so did knife, jigs, rip rollers, Flat falls, Buffalos...glow-no glow. Didnt matter. Move it up and down and hang on.

48 Bluefin. 13 over 200#, 34 over 100#. 25 YT. 19 anglers

Good friends, great crew, magical boat, helluva skipper. Hit it right and made hay. So many packs of bluefin!
 

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Very nice! And very jealous, our trip starting tomorrow on the top gun 80 is scrapped for weather. Not sure I'll have time to get on another boat this fall but some guys are trying to trailer sailor to Monterey for the bite there.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
A bunch of the same group are on the Shogun next month for a week at the Lupe. Then I have another 7 day on Apollo on a charter (Lupe) in December. Im enjoying this

Yah I saw the gale warnings starting today. Bummer. We hit some great weather.
 

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Amazing! Thanks for sharing. (y)
 

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Killer trip. What a season it’s been down there. Incredible.

I will be on that boat from the 27th-31st. I’ve been on a diff boat the last 2 years, excited to try a new outfit. 🍻
 

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Typically no, whateva u catch u take home BUT our since our trip is a charter meaning everybody knows everybody, we all make sure everybody goes home wit fish. As Bruce said above everybody went home wit at least one 100lb or bigga bluefin. We were jus very fortunate to have da fish cooperate n want a free ride to da NW....😄
 

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15 days and I’m boarding that same boat for my first long range trip. I’ve lucky to have been invited on this trip as the crew is extremely well versed in this fishery. I cannot wait to experience this. Thanks for this post, Bruce. It’s getting my blood flowing.
 
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I wonder if it was the same night we were at Tanner for the rain and lightning…. Last Monday? We hammered the big BFT before heading to Guadeloupe. The lightning was outstanding!
 

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Yep Mon nite. We got soaked but didn't mind as it was biting huh? U musta been on da Vagabond. Sounds like u guys had a real nice trip as well? Bft,Yft yellows n dodo's?
 

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I'm curious how you guys pack your tackle? I see from other sites some guys use custom wood tackle boxes but I wonder if tackle bags/duffel bags or a backpack would work also. Not sure how the boat setup is for everyone's stuff and what would be most efficient while fishing.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 · (Edited)
I have a SKB box. Which is nice when you get a good spot on the tackle shelves on the boat because it has 4 rocket launchers built in. Nomad makes one that looks like a rolly airline bag that also has launchers, pockets and tackle trays.




When I drive I take my SKB box. When I fly i use a duffle without launchers.

Usually there is one bench that will hold 8-10-12 tackle boxes. Between the bait tank and the house. Shelves below and shelves on the back of the house. So not everyone gets a good position. But you just work it out. Some boats are arranged better than others. We are usually with our group or others we have fished with and everyone just settles into their usual area. Open charters can be more challenging.

If you go on the website for the boat you are interested in there is usually enough photos to give you an idea. Some open charters are 32 anglers. This trip was 19. So there is room on a limited load. I havent been on a big party trip in decades.
 
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I've looked at those. Finding the SKB box is difficult and I'm honestly wondering if it's worth it being 300-400. I'm on Pac Queen next year on a limited trip (24 ppl). Does the boat have enough rod holders or will the rocket launchers on the tackle box be needed and how secure are they?
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Always take bunjies for your tackle box if you use the launchers. I’ve seen a few take a tumble.

There are rod holders. Double row hi/lo on the PQ. Plenty of places to secure your rods. Having them on your box is a nice luxury when you are switching from 30-40 lb gear or a jig rod etc.
 
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