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Thread: BFT and Quality Yellowtail on the Mission Belle (Coronado Islands)

  1. #1

    Default BFT and Quality Yellowtail on the Mission Belle (Coronado Islands)

    Well it's near the end of the Salt Water Season and I sure don't have much to show for it!!! It's not that there wasn't some pretty good fish around. They just bit in short intervals and every time they did my fishing partner was some where else. (I could have gone by myself, but how much fun is that??) So as usually, the fish started biting and Glenn is going away for the weekend. By the time he get's back, there's 3 more groups of fish biting. (But which group do we go after???) Here's our choices and the Pro's & Con's on all of them.

    If I sound like Goldey Locks and the 3 Bears, remember Fairy Tales were told to children to teach them life lessons. The first choice was the Aztec out of Seaforth landing chasing "Grande Blue Fin Tuna." (they start at #60 lbs but more likely #120 or more) Before you say, "bigger is always better" ask your wife or girlfriend about that!!! lol As Goldey Locks would say, "that's too much like work to me!!" An overnight Yellowfin tuna trip looks promising with limit's the rule recently. Till I saw the size of the fish!!! Goldey say's they were too small!! The Tanner Bank is kicking out decent size Yellowtail, but it's an 7 hour boat ride each way and your going to loose half of what you hook to the bottom structure. Then the Coronado Islands started kicking out a decent amount of Yellowtail and some BFT. (But how big are the Yellowtail???) I don't want any stinking Rats!!! A quick call to Point Loma sportfishing gave me the answer I was looking for. He said, "their tackle shop had a charter yesterday on the Belle and the Yellows were 12-20 lbs and the BFT were 15-25 lbs." "Just right" as Goldey Lock's would say. I got on the phone to Glenn about going on a Friday fishing trip to the Coronado's. (the Coronado's are only a 2 hour boat ride away from San Diego) Unfortunately, Glenn was suffering from the I can't believe I ate the whole cake scenario and didn't want to go fishing Friday. So now I have a choice, go by myself or wait till next week when Glenn is feeling better. (I chose to wait) Can we guess what happened on the Mission Belle on Friday??? If you said, "It's going to be the best fishing trip of the year on the boat, you win a cupid doll." Full limits of BFT on the boat and Full limits of Yellowtail!!! After I talked myself out of slitting my own wrists, I came up with a new plan.

    Don't expect a great trip (you had your chance for that) but hope for a reasonable trip with a chance at some Yellowtails and BFT'S. So come Tuesday Glenn and myself were on the Mission Belle in flat calm weather heading to the Coronado Islands. The Captain said, "most of the BFT and Yellowtail are being caught at the Rock Pile which is south of the Islands. But we are going to fish our way to and from the Rock Pile to help break up the day. After circumventing North Island the Captain only saw schools of Bonito. (the Bonito were good size 4-8 lbs) In the middle grounds, he stopped the boat so we could get our lines wet and practice on these Bonito. WFO and every bait was a fish!!! Nice little diversion as he kept heading South to the Rock Pile. The only other boat's that were fishing the Island that day was the Liberty and the Pacific Voyager.

    When we got to the Rock Pile he metered around and he found a school of Yellowtail mixed in with the Bonito. It's been years since I caught any Island BFT. In the 1970's, Island BFT were very common and I caught them at 3 different Islands. (but that was the 70's) So for 1 day I was having a Flash Back fishing trip. I was 17 again, fishing with my junior squider reel at my favorite Island. We stopped briefly again and everybody hooked up on those pesky Bonito and a lone Yellowtail bit my line. I made short work of him since he was only about 10 lbs. The Captain said, "Lines up" and we were headed right where the Liberty was anchored up. The closer we got to him, you could see a lot of action going on. Bonito were coming over the rail, birds were getting hooked and yes BFT were being gaffed!!! I know the three 3/4 day Coronado boats have a working relationship with each other even though they come from 3 different landings. So it came as no surprise we dropped our anchor 50 yards off of the Liberty's stern.

    We got charged by the Bonito quickly but soon afterwards I hear hook up and this isn't any stinking Bonito but a BFT!!! Glenn soon get's bit and when I ask him if it's the right kind, he answers "Yes Sir!!" I then had my Sardine get picked up by a BFT and the battle is on!!! As I'm fighting my BFT, I see Glenn walking down the deck with a nice #20 plus pound tuna in his hand. I get my Tuna up to the bow and other then a hooked Bonito come my way, things have been going pretty well. He comes to deep color and then the Captain yells, "here comes a Mako shark wanting to take a chunk out of him!!!" Man my arms sure found 5th gear in a hurry and that thing ended up on the Gaff real quick. It was Glenn's turn again and I took a break to watch him Woop that fish!!! I expected a nice BFT to come into sight any minute, but when I looked down a beautiful #20 Yellowtail was coming up from the deep!! Wow that's a sure pretty fish as the deckhand stuck him. More BFT start to get landed and I'm thinking I need to change things up a bit. Glenn is on again and now I know I have to do things a little different. Glenn get's another Yellowtail about #16 pounds and he's done for the day. He goes in the Galley and takes a nap!!! I need more fish, so I keep fishing hard!! I finally hook another BFT but I can't get the right hook set. Sure enough it falls off and I'm bummed!! We soon start working our way back towards San Diego, fishing all the way home. WFO Bonito fishing but that was it for the exotics. Total catch for me and Glenn was 20 Bonito, 3 Yellowtail and 2 BFT. Decent day but I honestly think in relation to the Boat count. 30 BFT and 12 Yellowtail for 28 people, we normally would have had more of the fish count then we did. The difference was I think, there was a better quality of fishermen on the boat then normal. Over half of the people the crew knew on a first name basis and everyone had to have a passport to get on the boat. (the passport requirements eliminates a lot of regular people) We had an decent day but not a great day. Had we gone on Friday, that trip would have been epic!!!
    Last edited by etucker1959; 10-19-2017 at 09:23 PM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Rancho Mirage CA
    Posts
    604

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    Thanks for the report. Been watching the counts the last few months. Haven’t hit the salt in years and just started freshwater again. Last trip for me was the in 2011 on the Tony Reyes. I have dug up my Avents dusted them off debating if I should change the spectra. Vacation next week might have to disappear for a day.

  3. #3

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by mstr fish View Post
    Thanks for the report. Been watching the counts the last few months. Haven’t hit the salt in years and just started freshwater again. Last trip for me was the in 2011 on the Tony Reyes. I have dug up my Avents dusted them off debating if I should change the spectra. Vacation next week might have to disappear for a day.
    The weather looks good for next week, so we may hit the Salt Water again. If you do go, my 4 choices will probably be in play next week too!!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Whittier
    Posts
    2,054

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    Thanks for quite the report,I think at one time or the other we’ve all missed out on one of “those”trips, still you guys had a pretty nice day on some hard pulling fish,wtg!

    Cya Tuna Vic

  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by TUNAVIC View Post
    Thanks for quite the report,I think at one time or the other we’ve all missed out on one of “those”trips, still you guys had a pretty nice day on some hard pulling fish,wtg!

    Cya Tuna Vic
    Fortunately the season isn't quite over yet. (it's actually still pretty good in spots) So we are still hoping for a real big day on some tuna and yellowtail. Time will only tell if it works out.

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