View Full Version : Rpt-Wed-09-11-13 Albacore ambush in Half Moon Bay!

09-12-2013, 11:57 AM
Finally, I am no longer a 2013 Tuna Virgin! However, we took the word Diehard to the ultimate extreme on a 35 hour round trip journey to Half Moon Bay. Having failed to catch a Bluefin Tuna on a number of trips, and earning my own defined nick name for this year on the Bluefin to “Short Bit”, Jeff talked me into a marathon chase for the Albacore 454 miles north of La Mirada.

So I went fishing with Jeff on his 24’Skipjack, the “Kolamono”, Wed. 9-11-13, I arrived at Jeff’s house at 5 pm Tuesday afternoon in La Mirada. We were joined by Sid, who also met Jeff on the internet. So we quickly headed north, way north, through downtown Los Angeles and Holly Weird on the 101 bypassing Morro Bay and Monterey. We launched out of Half Moon Bay at 3:30 am, after an exhausting 10 hour drive. Jeff and Sid handled the truck driving and I drove the boat a good portion of the day, with relief from both.

Our beginning destination was about 26 miles offshore on a 243 degree heading. The seas were a bit bumpy, with about 10 knots of wind. Fortunately the conditions did not change all day, so it was very fishable and allowed for spotting diving birds, which were everywhere and jumping fish, which we encountered a number of times just before getting hooked up. Since there was no bait for sale, at least not at the hour we left to fish, we rigged up with Mega Baits and other lures, and I tied on an Anchovy colored 6” plastic with a 1.5 oz lead head.

We began trolling at 6:15 am in the grey. There were several boats on each side of us. Some stopped short of where we began and others were ahead of us. There was little chatter on the radio, with everyone claiming no fish until someone came on with there is blood on our decks at 9:30am. Numbers were given out and they were some 10 miles southwest of us, so we headed that direction, continuing to troll. New radio chatter through out new numbers much closer to us. Finally at 10am, we got our first hookup and one short bite. My rig got bit on a Zucchini Broomtail feather and after a decent fight my first Tuna of 2013 hit the deck, around 20 pounds. This outfit was on fire getting bit eight times during the day.


We were trolling five rigs, the two outriggers and three others. The short bit lure was also a Zucchini Broomtail. Jeff was using a green and yellow regular feather on his second rig and a plain cedar plug on the third rig. My second rig contained a black and purple daisy chain cedar plug. About ten minutes later we had a double, both on the Zucchini rigs. Jeff also got bit on a diamond jig and promptly got bit off. He tossed out my Mega bait lure and got short bit. We landed both Albacore, cookie cutter 25 pound size.

We switched out the cedar plugs to more Zucchini Broomtails and the one green and yellow feather. Another ten minutes went by and we had a triple hookup, with a quad being a short biter on the green and yellow. Jeff holding this nice sized Albacore:


My second of the day:


A good start:


Sid and I were cleaning the deck, bleeding and storing the fish, while Jeff put out one rig. He put the reel in gear and put on the clicker only to have it get bit. This time I got short bit on the Mega Lure and Sid had the same thing happen on his. I gaffed Jeff’s fish and we put out three rigs before continuing the clean up. The bite slowed a bit and about 20 minutes passed before my hot rig got bit again. Sid was closest to it and began reeling it in. After clearing the lines I looked over and Sid was nailed to the rail. This was a bigger boy and put up a valiant fight. This was only the second time Sid had fished for Tuna and he was learning how tough some of them can be. This one was stubborn and pinned Sid a number of times to the rail. Finally after lots of death circles and no interest in coming close to the boat this 30+ pound Albacore succumbed to my gaff. Sid Struggled to hold it up for a picture:


We had eight fish in the box and were feeling good about things. Another hookup resulted in a bust off, as the leader was frayed. We checked all the others and did re-ties on those that needed it. Getting bit stretched out to about 30 minutes between hook ups. We had another single and two doubles before deciding it was time to head home now 40 miles from the dock. We left three trollers out while we began filleting 13 Albacore.


Hamming it up with Jeff’s favorite ha ha to the Banana Hex:


Seven miles later and nearly done with filleting the fish, Jeff spots jumpers in the distance. Birds were crashing on baits fleeing from their predators. We had a triple hook up and lost one. Put the trollers back in and several minutes passed with another double. We lost a single hook up, while I got bit on a Mega Bait. This was another brute, and took me for a nice ride. It wanted no part of the boat, especially after Sid stuck it in the tail area and it ripped free. Five times I got him to within gaff range only to see the Tuna turn its head and dive. Sid stuck him a second time in the same place and down he went. Jeff told Sid to use the bigger gaff and the tired 30+ pound Albacore was head shot.

More blood to clean up:


That was it, enough already we will never get home, kept the trollers out of the water, calling it a day at 2:30pm. We got back to the dock at 5pm with a bunch of boats all arriving at the same time. We enjoyed listening to the Radio chatter as there appeared to be about a 10-15 mile square area of fish. We had our best bite at 28 and 18, if that means anything to anyone. We only had one other boat working this area. Also surprisingly we saw few boats going home and none in late afternoon bite area of breaking fish as close as 27 miles. It was a late bite or it just took everyone longer to find the fish as they all spread out.

I know sharing numbers on the tuna grounds has become a thing of the past in San Diego, as you would instantly have 100 boats invading your area. Up north most work together and they are only competing with about 20 boats spread out over a large area. We talked to a few at the dock who were unwilling to run the distance and therefore did not catch many fish. The fish had been caught in the 20 to 25 mile range in previous days and appeared to be moving further southwest, as far as 40 miles, too long for some to run.

Started our 9+ hour drive home and arrived at Jeff’s house at 3:30am. I drove into my driveway at 4:20am. Unloaded all the fish, except what I took to work to share. The smoker is going to be busy the next few days. Showered and headed off to work, yikes!

Thanks so much for the invite Jeff, you are a fanatic Captain following your passion and willing to go the distance to succeed, incredible effort. I can’t wait for our next adventure together.

Hook up! Cory

09-12-2013, 12:41 PM
nice fish!!!!!!!!!!!!!! wtg on the albie trip!!!

09-12-2013, 12:46 PM
Way to slay them Jeff, Cory, Sid....Congrat & enjoy !!!

09-12-2013, 06:34 PM
Awesome write-up Cory. I'm glad you guys had a good time. Sid is becoming a great deckie. I was able to get a little video before the camera battery died. Enjoy.


09-13-2013, 09:19 AM
SICK video footage!

great report!

why did I ever leave Cali?!??

09-13-2013, 12:36 PM
Excellent report and pics! Those albacore sure kicked my ***! It was great fishin with you Cory and a huge thanks to Captain Jeff I managed to land 5 or so topped by my pb in the 30 plus range!

09-13-2013, 08:32 PM
Holy Albacoley !!! Report of the Year Award !!!! http://i106.photobucket.com/albums/m265/chloe2707/Avatars/trophy-icon.gif (http://media.photobucket.com/user/chloe2707/media/Avatars/trophy-icon.gif.html)

Hard Core Fishermen.
Congrats on successful journey, Jeff, Cory, Sid :Worship:

Started our 9+ hour drive home and arrived at Jeff’s house at 3:30am. I drove into my driveway at 4:20am. Unloaded all the fish, except what I took to work to share. The smoker is going to be busy the next few days. Showered and headed off to work, yikes!
Hook up! Cory
30 hour + trip then you go straight to work. I'm calling Deadliest Catch to get you signed up. Your no youngster Cory and I bet you could pull your weight on the Bering Sea. Amazing !

murrieta angler
09-14-2013, 06:26 PM
Sweet report Cory,
Jeff is a generous person and has no problem inviting people from the board, to include myself.
Thanks for sharing once again,

09-15-2013, 09:42 AM
Wow,awesome trip,great report,sweet pictures,only got one word,jealous! Congrats,you guys deserved them after that dedicated drive.

Cya TunaVic

09-15-2013, 10:11 AM
great fishin,great video,great captain,,,,,,,,,,,,,,despite the banana,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,

09-15-2013, 06:31 PM
man what an awesome trip! well worth your 10-hour drive!! would love to do that someday....

thx for the killer report/pics/vid.

09-16-2013, 03:42 PM
Well you may have been short bit by the shortfins but the longfins got the short end of the stick on this outing!:LOL: Safe to say that you're one of a very few from SoCal to get on some albies this year...not that there are a whole lot of complaints about the stellar bluefin bite this year. Way to go making that long trek and congrats on an epic trip!