IFish Fishing Forum banner

Ranger Tuna Westport Report

2823 Views 11 Replies 9 Participants Last post by  KillerBeee
Our rag tag team showed up Friday afternoon at Westport for our 3rd annual tuna conquest aboard the Ranger run by Skipper Don Davenport. The team was a group of my friends from the Gig Harbor Puget Sound Anglers and a couple of nice fellas that came in from Seattle after 2 of our group had to cancel ath the last minute. Thanks Mark and Mike! We iced up early so whatever time we returned we could be ready to roll in short order.
Loaded the boat at 5pm and went to dinner after the skipper announced an 8:30 safety briefing on board. We got back to the boat promptly, met everybody, and got prepped to roll.
Departed the dock around 9pm and cruised over a nice bar headed to the tuna grounds.
The boat was well kept for an older boat and had plenty of room. Berthing arrangements were good for most with a few in the main cabin on side bunks that got rocked a bit.
Saturday morning Mark, Todd, and I got up early to fool with some Humboldt squid. When we hit the deck there was a large school of porpoise crashing bait all around the boat. They stuck around just about 'til the sun came up. We managed 3 squid that morning and 1 more that night. Bizarre sea monsters! Lost 1 jig by getting sawed off by a shark or porpoise.

The tuna fishing started off very slow. We trolled around for quite a while with nothing. Made some bait stops and things just kept happening in ones and twos.
The alternate Skipper, Jerry, kept saying that the bite would go on at 4PM and sure enough it started to really pick up just before 4 and went until dark. First day's tally......106.....The big fish of the trip came the first day and checked in at 32ish lbs. We fooled around a bit that night and caught 1 more squid before we hit the hay and slept like logs....
I was a wakened by the sound of the engine coming to life and it was already light. After a bit of trolling we got into a nice long bait stop that we pretty much stayed on 'til it was time to roll for the beach. We managed to land another 34 before we ran out of time.
I can't say enough about the crew. They were just awesome...Capt. Don, Bob, Jerry, and Shelly....Unfortunately Shelly torqued her back right off the bat and was down for the most part but rallyed to put on a nice feed on the way back. Seared chunks with sesame oil and seeds finished with soy and wasabe. We also did a little sashimi. No worries as the care of the fish was flawless! Ice and more ice was the ticket with loins that were pristine and bloodline removed. The final bags were clean as a whistle and we were all just tickled.Smiles all around!
Water temp hovered around 66 Degrees and we fished around the Willipa canyon area about 45ish miles from Westport.
Pics to follow as soon as my camera man puts them in my hand!

Thanks to all the participants and crew....2007 live bait tuna was a grand success!
Dave Bergeron(KillerBeee)
See less See more
1 - 12 of 12 Posts
Dave, nice report. Looking forward to the pictures!. I think we saw the Ranger out in the Willipa Canyon Sunday. I was aboard the 330 Grady White Express.
Awesome report Dave!! glad to see that someone knows how to really take care of fish on the boat especially seeing the bloodlines removed!! nice job on the fish.
I was there... first time tuna fishing. It was an awesome experience with a good bunch of guys. The fight these fish put up for their size is incredible and catching them with bait made it even more fun. Thanks for the invite Dave.
What is even better is getting your fish properly cared for and carked and the blood lines removed. Sounds like a great time was had by all
We saw you out there. Was that boat the Extractor? I saw it baiting up Friday night. That thing looked like a real battle wagon. I heard it belonged to a dentist?
That was a fun trip for sure and the canners are busy.
We took good care of the squid and blanched some then peeled-trimmed and ate a bit......Turned out pretty dang good. Amazing!
Nice report on a great trip, Dave. Sounds like this year the fish care was much improved over last year. Can't wait for the photos.

I leave the dark meat on my loins, and trim it just before use. I have not noticed any drawback to this approach, ie, no staining of the white flesh, and think it may help protect the loin itself from freezer burn,etc. Is there any consensus as to which is better?
Remove the red meat ASAP for the best product.

Sounds like you guys had a great time.
I wish their fish care was the norm in that port....
The regular fish cutter Shelly was layed up with a pinched nerve. She spent most of the trip literally under the table in pain. I am thankful she didn't scrub the trip to get to needed health care:bowdown:. The deckhands filling in processing fish were a bit rushed, but did as well as could be expected.

Next trip I should help ensure the fish get chilled asap and bring them home whole for cutting if I could. Could be kinda tough to get over a dozen big albies and ice in the econobox for transport though.:bigshock:

Brain spiking seems easy and effective in bleeding and reducing tissue damage.:smash:

The rigs were 30# test, #1 hooks and 20-50 # tiger ugly sticks. A softer pole would have reduced the effort landing the fish, which averaged 20# this year, nice big fish, out of the 100+ maybe 1 was under 10#.

Dave's crew did an excellent job, the live bait line clusters were untied with out losing fish, and I only saw one release where sharks weren't involved. The crew gaffed 100%, including one that broke free and made the mistake of loitering a split second near the surface were the deckhand snatched it with the gaff.

Being short handed due to an injury and the large catch to process the captain and crew was 110% used up when we hit the deck. THey were to burned to do the usual afternoon boat wash right away. The captain has excellent eyes and spotted working birds and jumpers to far off for the average person to even see. He also did a prime job of not wasteing time, fuel and bait running and gunning between stops.
See less See more
Good report Bee. Don't forget the pictures.

Friday afternoon I was helping Brian fill the 33' Grady "Xtractor" with gas and Chovies, but did not go out to the tuna fields until Sunday. It's a battle wagon alright. Took a little over 2 hours to run to the Willipa Canyon and less the 2 hours on the return trip....man am I spoiled now!!!

Going out on the Gold Rush Friday Aug 31. Here say that the tuna continue to move SW, now at approximately 57 miles from port. It's going to be a looooong trip traveling at 13mph in the Delta hull!!!

We saw you out there. Was that boat the Extractor? I saw it baiting up Friday night. That thing looked like a real battle wagon. I heard it belonged to a dentist?
That was a fun trip for sure and the canners are busy.
We took good care of the squid and blanched some then peeled-trimmed and ate a bit......Turned out pretty dang good. Amazing!
I'm still waiting for my cameraman to share the pictures. We've both been grinding at work and overtime with the canning. Hopefully we'll get some pics up soon.
I expect the water will be decent for you and the ride out restful but maybe a long one. I am anxiously awaiting your results. Perhaps we'll run into your neighborhood or cross paths on Sunday morning. I'll be on a 26ft North River, code name S.U.....John, Mark, Paul from Scotty and I. FishNg1 is supposed to be in the neighborhood too so it should be a fun day and we'll have bait.
Good fishing to all!
1 - 12 of 12 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.