Coronado Islands Full Day 7/21

Discussion in 'Sport Boats' started by natgeo211, Jul 21, 2021.

  1. natgeo211

    natgeo211 Active Member

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    Looking at the counts and seeing that the yellowtail had been biting at the islands, I booked a full day on the Point Loma and got all my surface irons sorted out and ready to go. Leaving the point at 6:30 we loaded up on a decent batch of 4-6in sardines and steamed down to the islands. Once we reached north island the capt. decided to swing outside and look at some bird school working just a mile or so out from the island. As we got closer it started looking like a scene from Blue Planet. A huge breezer had popped up and porpoise started jumping and cutting through the waves while the birds above formed what looked like a tornado. Then the bluefin made an appearance by momentarily foaming up the water surface then sinking out once we got within casting range. Definitely a good way to arrive at the fishing grounds.
    We locate that school again and get in front of them. Up in the bow I’m throwing an old light Tady 4/0 to match the size of the bait and about halfway through my first cast I get SMOKED. Screaming at the top of my lungs thinking it’s a big bluefin I grind into it and by the initial run knew it wasn’t what I thought. Turned out to be a big bonito around 10lbs which is still a nice fish. After that we’re back on the hunt and are after these breezers and bird schools that randomly pop up. One more stop that gives one yellowtail and then we move into the island. Unfortunately overnight the water had turned slightly green which shut off the yellowtail bite. Only got that one we got for the whole day. After making a lap around north island and the middle grounds, we set up on some shallower reefs on the lee of South Island and started picking away at nice grade calico bass and barracuda. The cudas were thick and biting any kind of surface lure you would throw at them. I got bit on the iron, stickbait, jerkbait, plastic, and crocodiles.
    So much fun.
    After an hour of this we pulled anchor and started looking below South Island near the rock pile on a ridge line that had been producing fish. We set up just like before and start a steady chum line. Barracuda quickly found us and since they were the only thing that was biting we hung around. I landed ten or more barracuda on live bait before we started to look at more options. We were about to move in close to the island again when we saw some boils out back. At first we dismissed them as more cuda but as we watched it became apparent that wasn’t the case. Those were bluefin. We all watch and see a couple boils turn into a full-speed foamer in seconds about 500 yards behind the boat. Sitting on anchor and continuing to chum, we see the school start moving our direction. At this point I’m using 15lb mono with a size 1 mustad O’Shag and a 12 lb fluoro leader. For barracuda. This foamer moves within 200 yards of us. Then 100 yards. I start seeing tuna jumping 50 yards from the boat when my spool takes off. THERE’S A BITER I scream as the fish starts peeling off line. I hooked the right kind and I was stoked. Feeling a little nervous being on such light gear though. I knew the odds were against me on this one given how hard this fish was pulling and having to navigate 16 other anglers on the boat. Playing this fish with a light drag, it takes a burning run immediately after being hooked then turned around and began swimming right at me. Turning sideways I start following it up the side going under and over praying I don’t get caught in a tangle. 25 minutes later the fish is doing it’s final circles and I feel like I’m stuck. Every inch I gain he takes two back and I’m too scared to tighten my drag and potentially break it off. I have him at color but I can’t bring him up to the surface. The fish is doing circles at 10ft and won’t come up. Gently thumbing my spool I lift and feel the fish finally swimming with me as it comes into gaff range. Chad the captain was with me the entire time and stuck it right in the back. We caught four bluefin off that stop and mine turned out to be the biggest.
    Totally made my day and finished off an already great trip with some unexpected excitement. That’s why we go fishing.

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  2. Noms

    Noms Dirty taco maker
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    Bro congrats on that catch with such light line on a party boat. I'm going out this Friday on the loma. Did you see anyone hook up with a popper? Did the rest of the tuna come off live bait or lures? I hope that 10lb bonito made it into poke or seared.
     
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  3. natgeo211

    natgeo211 Active Member

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    Thanks dude! Nobody was throwing a popper but it wouldn’t be a bad idea to bring one given the amount of foaming fish we saw in the afternoon. All of ours were caught on bait and they kind of took us by surprise. We had set a big chumline to bring yellows in and we got bluefin instead. Worked perfectly because a private boater ran right over them which pushed the whole school into our chum and straight to us
     
  4. Werfless

    Werfless The Coach ..RIP my friends
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    Damn.. nicely done
     
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  5. Dat_fisherman

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    I’m going on a Coronado islands trip on Saturday (7/24/21), wish me luck for some yellows! My dad still hasn’t caught his first yellowtail yet, really hoping he gets one! Any recommendations for the calico besides live bait?
     
  6. John S.

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    You did a great job getting that Bluefin. You should be proud and you redeemed yourself after calling the first one a Blue when it was a Bonito. I have done it as well. Big Bonito just pull so hard on that initial run.

    John
     
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  7. natgeo211

    natgeo211 Active Member

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    Blue wham baits(chovy looking plastics) on a leadhead is a great way to get calicos. We didn’t fish kelp and the calicos would come up with the barracuda and bite the jerkbait or surface iron
     
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  8. natgeo211

    natgeo211 Active Member

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    HAHA thank you! As you can tell I reeaally want a bluefin on the iron and those little buggers do pull hard
     
  9. Bird334

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    Nice catch, what reel is that?
     
  10. natgeo211

    natgeo211 Active Member

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    penn fathom 15 star drag
     
  11. F/V Shotgun

    F/V Shotgun Well-Known Member

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    Hell yeah man. Great wright up as well, had me on the edge of my seat. Gotta love fishing.
     
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  12. F/V Shotgun

    F/V Shotgun Well-Known Member

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    That is one of my favorites, I have had mine since they came out and this thing just kills it every time. A true work horse and a great casting reel.
     
  13. NextMikeSays

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    Wait you got a BFT on a 12 fluoro leader made for cudas?

    if so that’s impressive and lucky the hook wasn’t swallowed. I feel nervous on 20# on a sport boat let alone 12#
     
    #13 NextMikeSays, Jul 22, 2021
    Last edited: Jul 22, 2021
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  14. Dat_fisherman

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    I would only use 12# for my bay setups. if you used 12# for cudas, that’s gangsta
     
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  15. natgeo211

    natgeo211 Active Member

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    Yes bft on 12lb! That’s why I didn’t think I was gonna land it. I feel like there was equal parts luck and skill to land this fish as I never got wrapped up in other people’s lines and the hook was perfectly in the corner of the fish’s mouth. I had to be careful tho hahaha
     
  16. John S.

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    Yeah, you under gunned. We got into Blues last weekend and we're using 40 pound mono to 40 pound flora to a 1/0 Circle. We went 1 for 2 and was stressed with both of them. You did really good. Bluefin are just freaking awesome.

    John
     
  17. NextMikeSays

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    that’s impressive. I did get a 25# YFT on 15# with a 4000 spinner once but it was hell and I was almost spooled twice.
     
  18. Treble Chuck

    Treble Chuck Well-Known Member

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    Unreal fish on that light setup, I have that same setup and freaking love it. Thanks for the post
     
  19. Fat Spottie

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    6# in the bays… 20lb on sporties fishing tuna minimum. If it’s a picky yellowtail then I can drop down to 15lb but that’s conditional.

    Congrats on the BFT! Learning to see how hard you can pull on a certain pound test of line is part of the process, break offs will happen. Up and down battles are the best place to learn it too.

    Start buttoning your drags on your jig set ups. Treat every fish like it’s a snot rocket, they will die alot faster. Throwing a jig on 40lb mono or 80lb to 80lb with a stickbait is the way to go.
     
  20. fishnfreak

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    It was the Indian, not the arrow.
    Great work, and many more to come.
    Too much focus on gear. 6/0's have caught more big fish then anything else.
    Back off the drag and play ball.
     
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