Jeff DeBuys docked Independence at Pt. Loma Sportfishing January 22, after a 16-day West Coast Marketing trip with 21 anglers and chartermaster Rick Ozaki. There were a dozen cows in the stuffed refrigerated saltwater and brine spray holds.
“They bit everything,” remark Ozaki, “and a lot of them ate chunks. It was good fishing.”
“We spent two days in the Buffer Zone,” said skipper DeBuys, “ and six at the Hurricane Bank. We got limits of tuna and a few wahoo. The water’s still holding down there, at 77 degrees.”
The trip’s biggest tuna wasn’t eligible for the jackpot, so Frank Bartel of Buena Park brought his 281-pound yellowfin into the lineup shot on the far right, as honorable mention. He said he got it with a chunk on a 6/0 Hayabusa hook, 130-pound Yo-Zuri line, 130-pound Line One spectra, an Avet 50 reel and a Calstar 770 XXH rod wrapped by Taka Tanaka.
Chartermaster Rick Ozaki of Torrance won first place for his 243.2-pound tuna. It bit on a double sardine rig under the kite, and he landed it in just 20 minutes. He said he used 7/0 Hayabusa hooks, 130-pound Seaguar Premier fluorocarbon, 130-pound Izorline spectra, an Avet 50 reel and a Calstar 765 XXH rod.
Tony O’Connell of Santa Monica won second place for a 236.2-pounder. He got it the hard way, on a Salas PL 68 glow jig on 130-pound Izorline and 130-pound Line One spectra. He fished with an Avet 50 reel and a Super Seeker 2 X 4 rod he wrapped himself.
Louie Marzari of Yorba Linda won third place for a 234-pound that ate his chunk bait on a 7/0 Hayabusa hook. The fish fought 40 minutes. He used 130-pound Seaguar Premier fluorocarbon, 130-pound Power Pro spectra, and Avet 50 reel and a Calstar 755 XXH rod wrapped by himself.
Min Kang of LA got a 217-pounder on the double trouble sardine rig under a kite. He used 130-pound Seaguar Premier fluorocarbon, 130-pound Line One spectra, a Penn 70 VSW reel and a Calstar 6465 XXH rod.
Scott Ocheltree of San Diego caught a 212-pound tuna on a chunk and a 5/0 ringed Owner Super Mutu hook. It was his best ever, and he won the fight in 30 minutes. He said he used 100-pound Seaguar Premier, 130-pound Line One spectra, an Avet 50 reel and a Super Seeeker 2 X 4 rod.
Art Green, Newport CPA, took his son fishing and was rewarded with a 205.8-pound tuna on a double sardine rig under the kite.
“He was the wildest fish,” remarked Art. “He took me around the boat three times. He finally came up on the port corner.”
Art fished with 6/0 ringed Owner Super Mutu hooks, 130-pound Izorline and 130-pound Izorline spectra on a Penn 50 reel and a Calstar 755 XXXH rod.
Dave Burriault took a mere 15 minutes to bag his 204-pounder. It bit the double sardine rig under the kite. He fished 8/0 ringed Super Mutu hooks on 130-pound Seaguar Premier, 130-pound Line One spectra, an Avet 50 reel and a Calstar 770 XXH rod.
Jeff Liu of Alameda caught a 202-pound tuna with a kite-flown double sardine rig featuring 6/0 Hayabusa hooks, 130-pound Izorline mono, 130-pound Tuff Line spectra, a Penn 70 VSX reel and a Calstar 6465 XXH rod.
Allen Smith of Santee finished out the cow catch with a 200.1-pound yellowfin tuna. He said he baited a sardine on a Hayabusa 4/0 hook, tied to 100-pound Seaguar Premier, 130-pound Line One spectra, an Avet 30 reel and a Calstar 770 XH rod wrapped by J Lo.