An oldie but goodie - 11 days to the Hurricane Bank

A lot of field herpers seem to go fishing, or maintain aquariums, as much as they do herp! Any and all things fish are welcome in this forum.

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Kent VanSooy
Posts: 1100
Joined: June 7th, 2010, 6:51 am
Location: Oceanside

An oldie but goodie - 11 days to the Hurricane Bank

Post by Kent VanSooy »

Ah, what a great trip! The fishing was good, the boat fantastic, and the company incredible. We all arrived early Saturday morning, with palpable excitement throughout the group.

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The catch from a just-completed 10-day trip at Fisherman’s landing was unloaded and organized. Lots of fish to be sure, including several wahoo, but nothing of significant size.

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But another 10-day boat, the American Angler, had also just unloaded and had succeeded in bagging the first big fish of 2008 from the lower Baja banks. We hoped to find that same (or better!) quality of yellowfin at our planned destination, the Hurricane Bank.

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Hmmmm…..golf clubs and wine? This is a fishing trip, right?!?

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There’s a contagious smile on this incredible fisherman.

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Who on earth could it be? None other than our generous co-chartermaster, Wahoodad himself.

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And here’s his brother from another mother….

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….the trip’s other co-chartermaster, Willy

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It looked like we were going to have enough tackle

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Most of us had reserved our spots on this trip a year in advance. And here it finally had arrived – time to board!

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We loaded plenty of big, healthy sardines…..

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….and enjoyed the beautiful sights of San Diego while we could.

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We woke our first morning at sea to glorious conditions as we headed south.

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To make sure we were in the appropriate frame of mind for the fun and games to follow, all the anglers received these shirts (although only a few actually consumed the chicken feet which were brought on board).

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Here’s Captain Kevin surveying the giveaways and raffle prizes. Everybody received a great selection of jigs and tackle.

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The bigger prizes (including custom-built Seeker rods) were determined by pulling numbers from a basket.

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The anticipation was high….

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….with Jim Hall and Brad Golstein winning the rods. We also received Seaguar visors and hats, along with Seeker t-shirts. THANK YOU Hoodad and Willy!

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Seeker Rods donated this beautiful trophy, to be claimed by the angler with the biggest tuna caught on a Seeker rod.

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As we continued south, Captain Kevin cared for the bait by feeding them a moistened ball of mashed potato flakes. The sardines consumed it greedily.

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What’s a fishing trip without, uh, golf? Here’s Billy Casper (son of the great golfer) in action on the deck.

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Wahoodad tries his luck

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Everybody was invited to participate, with the winners receiving gift certificates and t-shirts from 5-Star fish processing.

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Yup, it was a tough day at sea, alright.

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Fashionable footwear is essential for golf.

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The travel day finished with a lovely sunset…

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….and a beautiful desert prepared by our Chef, Javier.

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Alright, enough of the entertainment, it’s almost time to fish! We definitely had enough tackle.

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The reel drags needed to be checked and adjusted.

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Penn International reels are solid workhorses.

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Yup, definitely enough tackle!

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We finally arrived to Hurricane Bank, and promptly landed around 20 wahoo. Here’s three lucky anglers with this largest member of the mackerel family.

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We put the anchor down, and begin hooking tuna. Wahoodad puts the pressure to the fish early in the fight.

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Here’s Jamie working on what turned out to be the biggest fish of the trip at 220#.

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Now THAT’S what a good hookset looks like.

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Fishybuzz brought over a nice tuna after the sun had set.

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Quite a few tuna had already been caught, but there were still a handful of anglers waiting for their first, including Glenn. His extensive long-range experience had taught him that persistence is the key.

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Jim Hall kindly loaned me a beautiful rod prior to the trip. Here he is in action…

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….. and brought this beautiful fish to gaff.

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Javier hoped someone would catch a bunch of the Threadfin Sculpin that lived along the bank, and our anglers (Randy especially) were happy to oblige. Javier prepared them for dinner; their meat was sweet, delicate, and delicious.

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Ray hooked a marlin, tried to break it off, but was unable to do so….

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…..so it was carefully brought aboard and released unharmed.

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Footwear is not only important for golf, it needs to be fashionable for fishing as well.

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Here’s our sculpin-king, Randy, using the rail to bring in one of the several nice tuna he bagged.

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Every angler looks forward to this sight after a long battle.

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Just about…..

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…..got him !!

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We had the company of a couple seiners while at the Hurricane Bank, and they didn’t let our close proximity bother them much.

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This flying fish is probably a little higher in the air then he’d like as he heads out to become kite bait.

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On the afternoon of the last day of fishing on the Bank, Glenn’s patience finally paid off when he hooked a big tuna.

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The crew of the Intrepid was top-notch and incredibly attentive; here’s Cameron watching Glenn.

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With the right equipment, experience, and technique…

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….Glenn subdued his fish….

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….and receives a congratulatory handshake from the Captain.

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Not long after Glenn got his fish, I hooked and landed one using the Seeker rod Jim had lent me

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Hungry fisherman need to eat, right? Well, we did more than that – we dined! Javier’s Hawaiian night buffet was both delicious and beautifully presented.

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We had time to stop on the way home and try for yellowtail at San Benitos island. Even though the fish didn’t cooperate, the island was rugged and beautiful.

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The following day we still had time to spare, and spent several glorious hours in perfect conditions catching an absolutely wonderful grade of rockfish.

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Lingcod have a mouth full of BIG teeth!

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I watched Glenn hook a yellowtail (but lose it to a seal), so I too started working the yo-yo iron and was rewarded with this yellowtail.

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Here’s crew member Chad, and one of our two lady anglers, Jan….

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…..who decorated her room and added a stylish touch to the voyage

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Everyone enjoyed this relaxing final day of fishing.

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We reluctantly finished the fishing portion of the journey and begin the overnight trek to home. As I packed my bags, I looked up at the porthole in our stateroom and saw the lighthouse at Point Loma.

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We’re really close now!

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We needed to wait a bit before we could dock so a couple other boats could unload. Instead of just bobbing around in the harbor, Captain Kevin took us for a tour of downtown San Diego while we waited. The Intrepid and its crew were a class act from start to finish.

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It was finally our turn to tie-up and disembark.

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The crew, chartermasters, and passengers were incredibly knowledgeable and eager to help. I’d like to thank Willy for his in-depth seminar on fishing the rail – I landed my three tuna using that technique an am now a convert. Thanks also to Jamie for teaching me the right way to use a balloon bobber, which gave me my biggest fish. And much gratitude to Wahoodad for answering the dozens of questions I peppered him with throughout the journey. You guys are the best !

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Tim Borski
Posts: 1855
Joined: June 7th, 2010, 6:28 am
Location: FL Keys
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Re: An oldie but goodie - 11 days to the Hurricane Bank

Post by Tim Borski »

Kent, that's an awfully impressive pile of impressive gear. (I'm sure "quality" goes a long way in that arena.) Good looking fish too.
Tim

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Kent VanSooy
Posts: 1100
Joined: June 7th, 2010, 6:51 am
Location: Oceanside

Re: An oldie but goodie - 11 days to the Hurricane Bank

Post by Kent VanSooy »

Thanks Tim! The gear is half the fun with this type of fishing. Catching big tuna stand-up style from an anchored boat is a dicey proposition, and everything needs to be top-notch for the angler to have success. They're big, mean fish, and it's not at all clear who will win once the battle begins.

I'm back for round II this November. I'm on a quest to land my first "cow" (yellowfin tuna over 200#). Better go buy some more gear !!

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-EJ
Posts: 1078
Joined: June 10th, 2010, 11:17 am

Re: An oldie but goodie - 11 days to the Hurricane Bank

Post by -EJ »

That is one of the most inspiring posts I've ever seen. That's the once in a lifetime trip I can only dream of.

On the first sunset shot... did you wait and watch the sun break the plain? That looked like the perfect opportunity to see the green flash.

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