Fishing Report from the tuna grounds on the Fortune


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Posted by Michael Schweit on 2018-09-28 22:31:28

I have been running a hybrid fishing charter since 2000. The idea was to have half fly rodders and half conventional anglers on a sport fisher. The formula has proven itself time and again and we have a really good group that does this twice a year.

This year was exceptional in a few ways. When we found fish at 10:30 on the first day, little did we know this stop would last for over 3 hours of non-stop action. It was what you call stupid fishing. Anything that hit the water was glommed on by small yellowfin tuna. Most were 5-8 pounds with one at about 15. We had 11 weights but could have gone lighter.

For the second day, we moved 100 miles north to fish Cortes Bank. We picked up some yellowtail and rock fish while at anchor but the reason to be there was for bluefin tuna. The bite seemed to come on in the afternoon and around 2:30-3, we started trolling and looking for signs of fish. Here is where the only bad thing happened. 90% of our chum (bait) died when we traveled northward due to the bumpy conditions. So when we found mega-tonnage of bluefin, as in the side scanner was red from one end to the other, we had no way to entice them. We trolled over this immense school and dropped "flat falls", a conventional jig but no joy. We tried several times over an hour and at one point, Bruce Smith, the captain, told us to leave the flies out and troll. And son of a gun, I got bit! First bluefin in over 30 years and the first on a fly. Because we were in gear, it does not qualify to be submitted for a world record but I have to tell you, that is ok by me.

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