May 16, 2022 4 min read
by Jeff Luzod
Customer Service/E-Commerce Support
Sunday, May 15th jumped on the Liberty out of Fisherman’s Landing for a full day trip offshore with my dad. Anibal was the captain with Corey, Paul, and Ryan on deck, and Daniel in the galley. The previous day saw the Liberty go out on a private charter offshore with 33 anglers catching 73 yellowtail and 2 bluefin. Let’s just say going into this trip, I was hopeful.
We left the dock at 5:30, stopped by the bait barge for bait and at about 8:30am, we were getting into the zone looking for tuna and any kelp that may hold some yellowtail. Wind wasn't bad and the swells were a little high but not enough to stop us from fishing. First stop of the day was after 9:30am on a kelp but no takers. A few moments later we stopped on some bluefin, one lucky angler hooked into and landed a 100+ lb. monster (pictured below). He was fishing a flashy heavier jig like our Live Deception Flash Jig. He casted out let it sink and got bit on the retrieve.
The next few hours saw us drive even further south in search of schools willing to stick with or a lucky kelp. We were out of the normal full day zone. 50+ miles away from the dock. Eventually later in the day, and well past the time we were supposed to be heading home, we found a school that gave us some action. Out of this stop we hooked 3 and landed 2 on fly lined sardines. I was the only casualty. I was fishing 20lb test and after letting it run, it chafed me.
After this stop, it was past 3pm and the plan was to make our way home and stop on any kelp that may hold a yellow or marks of bluefin we came across. We never did find anything else and was eventually back at the dock at 9pm. Staying out way later than we were scheduled. Our final tally was 3 bluefin for 40 anglers
With that said, you always want to come prepared because you’ll never know what you’ll run into. As always, ask the crew. They’re out there everyday and know what works and what doesn’t work. For this type of fishing, here was what was recommended by the crew of the liberty.
25lb test for yellowtail and smaller tuna
60lb test for medium size tuna/sinker rig/small knife jig
80-100lb test for big grade tuna over 100lbs.
Make sure you have enough line on your reels. Fill up your spools with spectra backing then top shot with monofilament and then tie on 3 ft leader of matching fluorocarbon. Bringing a variety of hooks and what size you use really depends on the bait. I usually keep an assortment on me anywhere from size 4 up to 6/0. Generally, on these trips, I’ve been using mostly a 2/0 Owner Ringed Mutu circle hook. If you need help with rigging, the crew is always there to help so don’t be afraid to ask them for help.
As far as jigs, you want to come prepared. You can choose to fish them as is out of package, but it does not hurt to upgrade your hooks and rings on these lures. Here is a video we did with Sam, the owner of Island Fishing Tackle in Carson, CA, explaining and showing how to re-rig ahi jigs for bluefin.
I’m not going to complain about being skunked, this is bluefin fishing. we tried our best to go after them. Today just wasn't the day. They’ll be around one day willing to bite but the next they'll disappear or evade your attempts at getting them to bite. Other times, you’ll come across huge schools of bluefin that are miles long and they have no interest in eating. When they do decide to bite, it can be some of the most exciting fishing you’ll ever experience. I have to give a big thanks to the crew of the Liberty for their tireless effort to get us on fish and willingness to go the extra mile(s). This crew works very hard and is very knowledgeable. It’s one of the reasons I continue to book trips on this boat every time I want to fish out of San Diego. It has bunks too so you can sleep on the way out and the way in and be rested heading back to LA. For information on the Liberty, you can visit their Instagram page or book your trip online at www.fishmermanslanding.com. See you guys soon!
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