Modesto Alcala of Westminster hung a plastic flying fish under the kite while he fished with 28 other anglers and skipper Justin Fleck aboard the Excel, and the Yummee Flying Fish fooled a fine 259.7-pound yellowfin tuna, the biggest of the eight-day trip. Being kite-caught, it was ineligible for the jackpot. Modesto fished with the boat’s kite rig.
Modesto Alcala's plastic flyer fish
Jesus Martinez got a 224-pounder the same way.
A third cow, a 200.4-pounder, was caught by Moose Watson of Cotter, AR, also on the kite.
Moose Watson's Kite Fish
On December 17, Justin wrote: “Today was a great day for two reasons: fishing was good and the weather completely turned around and is now flat calm. We caught 71 tuna today that ranged from 30-255 pounds. Quite the range of fish. You didn’t know whether to fish 40# test or 135#. Most of the fish were 30-50 pounds and they bit mostly in the afternoon. The biggest fish was caught on a yummy flyer by Mo Alcala and it taped out at 255 pounds. We are going to fish the same area tomorrow and hope for the same results.
Bill Poole was at the dock to meet his boat, and told the following story about fishing back in the 50’s era. “I took the LA Rods & Reel Club to Guadalupe Island,” he said, “and everybody on board was fishing with a spinning outfit, except for Dan Felger. No sooner had we dropped the hook at North Head when Dan got a huge yellowtail on his conventional outfit.
“They all said his fish should be ineligible because he used the convention outfit. The next year, I had two trips for that same club; one for the spinning reel guys and one for the conventional fishermen.”
Excel At Dawn
John Raab of Santa Maria won first place for a 194-pound tuna. He said he got it with a sardine on a 9/0 Eagle Claw hook, tied to 100-pound Big Game line and 130-pound Power Pro Spectra backing on a Penn 50 SW reel and a self-built Calstar 655 TSS rod.
“I got bit coming up,” said John. “The skipper said wind ‘em up, we’re leaving, and I started to crank my reel, and wham!”
Dave Newquist of Chico was second, for a 179-pounder, and Craig Sauter of Manchester, NH was third, for a 174-poudn yellowfin tuna.
New Shogun Record
Bruce Smith upped his boss’ record of 53 tuna, tallied December 12, with a catch of 54 tuna over 200 pounds when he weighed his catch December 21 after a 13-day trip (ten-day fly back) trip with 25 anglers. A 300-pounder rounded off the numbers.
Smith said, “It was a wonderful way to end the 10-day season; on a high note! We had a record catch and nice weather, too.”
“To say this trip has been spectacular would be an understatement,” he wrote December 16. “The cow pasture has been good to us for another day. The weather has come up and we were a little worried that it would put the fish down, but once we got onto our school of the day, they bit just as well as if it were flat calm. In amongst the high casualty rate, we managed another 18 tuna with seven over 200. We have one more day to fish with only room for four more fish in the last hold. Yes, the Shogun is basically full of big, beautiful, yellowfin tuna.
Bruce Smith with his catch
“Sam Navarro would like everyone in Temecula to know that all the boys got at least one cow. Michael Grant has become the "hot stick" on the boat, landing some of his fish in a blistering seven minutes!”
The two biggest tuna were ineligible because they were kite-caught. Dave Shoemaker of Riverside pulled in a 303-pounder on the boat’s kite rig, with a Seeker 6364 XXXH rod, after it took a pair of baited sardines.
“I saw him jump on the baits,” said Dave. “He’s my best fish, for sure.”
Shoemaker's 303-pound yellowfin tuna
Dave posed to the left of Eric McNeil of Temecula, at the right end of the lineup shot. McNeil had a 295.7-pounder he got with a sardine on an 8/0 Super Mutu hook tied to 130-pound Momoi line and 130-pound Spectra backing on an Avet 50 reel and a Tiburon rod.
Jackpot winner Ron Rose of Simi Valley took an hour and a half to land his 267-pound tuna after it bit on a sardine and a 7/0 ringed Super Mutu hook. He said he fished with 130-pound Izorline, 130-pound Spectra backing, a Penn 50 SW reel and a Calstar 6460 XXH rod.
“He was a hard fish,” said Rose, “a good fighter.”
Eric Wahlrab of Carlsbad won second place for a 267-pounder. He said he pinned a mackerel on an Owner 7/0 Offshore hook, and used Soft Steel 125-pound line and 130-pound Izorline Spectra backing on a Penn 50S reel modified by Cal Sheets and a Calstar 765 XH rod.
Shogun winners & honorable mentions
Ray Ward of Newberry Springs won third place for a 264-pound yellowfin tuna. He said he fished a sardine on a 7/0 ringed Super Mutu hook, and used 130-pound Momoi line, 130-pound Line One Spectra on a Penn 50 S reel modified by Cofe and a 7460 H rod.