Summer 2015: Reflecting on the first trips of the long range fishing season
By Frank Lo Preste
On the Royal Polaris, we consider the start of our season to be in June, right after we conclude our 35-day maintenance period. This year’s first several trips have been, without exception, sensational. We started on June 15th with the Family Trip. Roy Rose was the skipper, and they had excellent Yellowtail fishing with fish ranging from 12 to 30 pounds along with 18 to 25 pound Yellowfin Tuna. The bonus on this trip was catching 200 good-size yellowfin tuna on the Uncle Sam Bank from 30 to 55 pounds. As this was the first trip after maintenance, our younger passengers had a great time breaking in some of the new upgrades on the Royal Polaris. As of this Summer, passengers on the Royal Polaris receive RP mugs and all-you-can-drink soda from our new dispensers. Needless to say, the soda dispensers were a hit on the family trip. We were all amazed at the amount of trash we were able to cut down on by using mugs instead of disposable cups.
Frank ran the June 24th, 8-day Ringed Hooks trip. Once again we had limit style fishing on Yellowtail and Yellowfin Tuna. We had time to swing out to Alijos Rocks, where we hit the jackpot, bringing in 100 big Wahoo, something that is quite unique this early in the season. The last time I can remember anyone catching 100 Wahoo in June at Alijos Rocks was in 1978. Many of our passengers had never caught a Wahoo, so needless to say, they were elated. Everyone aboard got at least one, if not more. In addition to the Wahoo, we had 6 large Olive Grouper from 25 to 45 pounds.
On July 2nd, Frank ran the Kuechel Family 6-Day trip. This was a fun trip with almost all beginner fishermen, which the crew on the Royal Polaris really enjoys. It’s always a blast to work with folks who are just learning “the ropes,” and to help them hook into an experience that they’ll remember forever. The crew did a lot of “hooking-and-handing” (hooking up with a fish, and handing it over to an angler to fight). Jonathan Yamate kept one young man busy the entire morning using a long rod and a surface 7x iron. By lunch time, the young man was exhausted!
On our first day of the Kuechel Family 6-Day, we found 2 breezers of Yellowfin Tuna, and had excellent fishing on 15 to 25 pound tuna. The school of fish was so eager that we were able to call another boat in, and they ended up with great action on the day, as well. We ended that trip with limits of Yellowtail, Yellowfin Tuna and some nice Red Rock Cod.
A couple of the jigs that are working especially well on Tuna and Yellowtail this season are the Flat Fall 130 and 160 size and the Colt Sniper in the 80 and 100 size. As mentioned earlier the long rod with any surface iron on the slow wind and the skip has also been quite effective.