Jim Kastorff of San Diego told me he’d made some hooks for his pal Don Burnside; special hooks, with a very large J hook, “…about a 14/0,” he said, “and with a small 2/0 Mutu ringed hook attached to the bend of the large hook with a second ring, one I soldered on,” and that Don had used the innovative “trap” or “stinger” hook rig to take a 313-pound yellowfin at Roca Corbetena aboard Stan Vath’s private boat “Tin Knocker” out of Puerto Vallarta a couple of days ago.
All three of the anglers mentioned are regular long rangers, though Kastorff doesn’t do the 16-day trips. In fact, Burnside and Kasorff fished together aboard Excel and took first and third respectively on a trip that returned August 25.
The trap hook was used to hold a skipjack bait, said Kastorff, without encumbering it, and the idea was to hook the tuna on the big hook when it swallowed the skipjack. It apparently worked, and we may hear more about it when Don gets home in the next day or two.
The trap hook idea isn’t new. It’s been around for a long time, but this is the first time I remember a 300-pounder getting “trapped.”
“Today (September 24) was another successful day of fishing for us,” wrote Excel skipper Shawn Steward. “We had some stops on wahoo and some big dorado, There was good action on big yellowtail and a few grouper and pargo and we caught and released some more yellowfin. The weather was beautiful and there were three different whale sharks that we saw today. One small one that was about 12 feet, and a couple of 20 to 25 footers that cruised around the boat about 10 feet from the boat itself. They are very impressive.
“We finished our trip this morning,” he wrote the next day, “with some more good action. We had good yellowtail fishing with a few grouper in the early hours and when we trolled around we found a few wahoo and released some more yellowfin. There were a few more big dorado for our efforts and we have beautiful weather down here and are going to take care of a few chores around the boat and get things back in order after a wonderful 6 day trip.”
Shawn docked the rig at Fisherman’s Landing September 27. Robert Bauerfeld of Solana Beach won first place, for a 51.5-pound yellowfin he fooled with a sardine on a 5/0 Super Mutu hook on 40-pound Izorline. He said he fished a Saltiga 50 reel and a Calstar 700H rod.
Sam Kaeli of Morro Bay was second, for a 41.7-pound bull dorado. Craige Harvey of Imperial Valley was third, for a 53.2-pound broomtail grouper. Bottom fish like grouper can only qualify for third place, according to boat rules.