For a change this year we started the season within 40 nm of San Diego on a beautiful summer day and a calm ocean. We started at the Hidden bank which looked pretty fishy and produced a pair of bluefin, an albacore and two yellowtail. Grant's half hour battle with a ~80lb sunfish on 15lb test provided the entertainment for the morning. Sunfish The off color water and tales of some baitfish enticed us up to the 371 - 302 area where we spent the rest of the day. We picked up 5 more albacore on single jig strikes but despite every trick we could think of we were never able to get bait fish. The good news is that we raised fish well and the Seabear seemed to be getting bit when other boats were not. It was a nice start to the season on a calm and beautiful ocean

We lost the next two trips to scheduling problems and bad weather and it was nearly a month before we got on the ocean again. Our next trip was another really nice day on the water. With the Albacore bite 90 miles down dying we elected to stay close. We explored the 371 and the area south to the 390 and had another steady day of jig strikes. With Erv and Gary at the wheel we found our best stop of the day a double jig strike and a single bait fish. Baitfish The albacore were all good size and Jeffs last fish pegged his fish scale at over 35lbs.

Our 3 trips in August were all productive and the weather remained good. On the first trip we took an unrewarding run down to the 1010 trench area (small yellowtail and a baby albacore). But we recovered once we made it back to the area below the 371 and then on to the 425. The albacore were all smaller fish this time and all jig strikes. The Yellowtail all came from paddys and nearly all were nice sized fish (two were in the 30lb class).

On the next trip to an area below the east wing of the butterfly bank we spent the wee hours of the morning trying to entice little Bluefin hanging out under the boat to bite -- Mostly they just laughed and posed for the sounder. We managed two small bluefin from this site. In an enjoyable break from the past two trips nearly all of our fish were caught on bait around paddies. At one stop we found a mix of albacore, bluefin (including Franks 30+ pounder) and dorado Trousdale fish . We finished off the day with a nearly wide open bite (light line only) for nice Yellowfin Yellowfin with a mix of albacore and bluefin. The good fishing encourged scholarly discussions of knot tying Discussion

The fish were starting to move west by the end of August and our next trip was to an area between the 43 and the Butterfly. Steady fishing all morning on a really nice day. baitfish For the first time this year we had a triple jig strike and fish around the boat for a 7 fish albacore stop (unfortunately all small fish). Most other fish came from long stops at kelp paddies . albacore The days best fish came after Arno ('suggested') that we stop on a porpoise school at north Island on the way home after the Seabear had smelled the barn !. On the porpoises second pass by the boat Arno hooked a nice 25lb Yellowfin on 20lb test and 25 minutes later as the sun set he boated the fish. Arno Yellowfin

Our next trip was the annual Make A Wish Tuna Challange. They moved the Make A Wish earlier this year to get better fishing and the fishing has been good this year but they still have to cure the weather bug. The ocean was just as snotty this year as last years ugly adventure. We spent the day in many of our old haunts from the last few trips and had about the same luck. Small Albacore, Dorado, and modest Yellowfin (25 to 30 lbs). Wayne Nice fish but not very weighty and we elected not to weigh in for the tournament

For what we thought was last tuna run of the year Our original plans were for a quick daytime run to the 230 spot were complicated by some really ugly weather and a move by the fish to more northern climes. When we finally found a group of boats working a large Pod of porpoise we were nearly 45 ugly miles from home. We managed 2 nice Yellowfin from this area before the tuna disappeared and we headed for a nice downhill run home. Yellowfin

In early October we squeezed in 2 bottom fishing runs to the 9 mile for limits of nice size reds and boccacio. A later trip in early 2009 during a run of Gaint Squid was not nearly so successful. Bottomfish

With boats still picking up smaller albacore we made one last attempt at this years tuna bite. We spent the day zigging down the 117 50 line from the 390 to the 213 spot and then zagging back up the same track. We left behind a lot of sore mouthed skipjack and dead bait on what seemed like a few dozen paddies. Along the way there was a steady diet of small albacore jig fish (usually single jig strikes) and an occasional bait fish. The bait fish were all caught on 15 lb test which made for a fun fight even on these smaller fish. On the way home we groped our way thru several fog banks and came in the Point Loma channel with essentially no visibility. We navigated by GPS and Radar only.

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