Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Big Eye & Yellowfin Tuna At The Canyon, August 2016

It just can’t get any better, success after success and the ball keeps on rolling!
from Giant Yellowfin tuna to Bluefin tuna to finally an Eye Ball on the jig what a year and were not done yet, I can’t really ask for more and I am so humble and delighted as I wasn’t expecting any big prize on this trip…
Andy called me up and invited me and Paul to fish onboard with him in the Canyon.
We met at 1:15AM and by 1:45AM we started heading towards the Canyon. Made it at first light under beautiful calm condition with life all around us, from Pilot whales to Hammerhead shark to bait, the place was alive!
It didn’t take too long before we began marking fish and it was Bret’s jig that got hammerhead first. That fish was close to 80lb and came in to boat side in less than 2 minutes only to realize that it was hooked when the gaff stuck deep inside its shoulder.
We were on board at the first drift! Andy decided to set up a chunk slick while Paul and I dedicated our time to jig and pop. I jigged to cover the deeper water and Paul casted to cover the top part. We were seeing descent yellowfin tuna coming to the slick but they were keyed in to the chunk and no matter what Paul casted to them they did not take it.
Andy got tight on a live bait and ended up landing a good 70lb fish. I dropped my jig to 300 feet and I got bite at 200 feet. I was using the Hot’s drift tune glow in the dark jig matched with a CB One prototype jigging rod, had the fish to boat side and felt relieved to land my first fish of the day.
All of a sudden the mark became bigger and deeper, Andy shouted it was a big eye mark but they were deep. However, the current was to our favor and basically we had no current. I dropped the Hot’s drift tune to 350 feet and in about 300 feet I got tight, from the hit I knew it was big. The fish charged me right away going deeper with a lot of head shaking but all of sudden went all the way up to the surface. We chased it a bit and got it to the boat side to suddenly realize how big it was! While everybody was shouting it was a big Eye, Andy and Bret sank 2 gaff into it while we were all on cloud nine. I just could not believe it especially when you least expect it; I was so happy for the surprise and so happy for the success on finally landing a big eye on the jig.
We ended up with 7 Yellowfin tuna and 1 Big eye of which 4 fish of the total on the jig and the rest on the chuck and live bait. By 12:00PM our cooler was full and there was no need for more so we decided to call it off to head home on a calm sea. I’ve seen so many boat got tight and I was so happy to be part of a great day with good company. Thank you for the invite Andy! That Onslow bay boat is a killing machine and I shall see you in the Cape soon buddy…
Tackle Used:
Rod: Race Point 100, El Maestro 74XH Prototype, CB On prototype jigging rod
Reel: Shimano Stella SWB 20K,14K,8K
Lures: Bertox, Siren, Amegari
Jigs: Hot’s drift tune (Saltywater Tackle Special Color), Shimano flat side
Leader: Seaguar Manyu Fluorocarbon Leader 150lb  

  Tight lines
    Sami




















Sunday, January 1, 2017

O'ahu Hawaii August 2016

An epic tale of two and a half day of GT fishing that took place on US soil, Yes GTs in Hawaii and the fishing is out of this world!
We were invited to fish Oahu island with Charles from GTFC, this wasn’t the first time for the Salty crew as Raymond, Evan and Andy have fished with him in the past and they assured us how good the fishing could be, so it was time to witness this amazing new location!
Paul tagged along with me on this trip and I am so happy to witness the epic battle between him and the GT! Paul broke his personal best and landed a monster on the El Maestro 82M Prototype which is the lightest rod model from the El Maestro series!
We fished with Pat Victorino on our first day and we totally had a blast with him, it has been a long time since I fished with Pat and it was a pleasure to tag along and fish together again.
We headed out at 4:00AM under the radiant full moon, whilst saying to myself “GT fishing on a full moon?” Charles kept assuring us that we are going to have a blast and that we’re about to have an amazing day on the water.
True enough, the magic began… We started our drift from the shallows and worked our way to deeper depths, casting stick baits and poppers and getting hammered right away, I believed we caught fish on the second drift and it only got better and better as the day went by, when the current started ripping Charles asked us to send heavy sinking lures so we all switched to sinking lures.
The payoff was outstanding and I landed a beautiful fish followed by Pat, the size and the battle of those hefty fish coming from the deep is amazing, they’re stud rounded like a bull and full of energy.
Pat, with all the cheers and encouragement from all of us, “brawled” to land his fish which was the biggest landed for the trip, I have to say that it was one the fattest GT’s I have ever seen.
We ended the day landing 14 GTs out of 31 hook ups, we were spent! but not defeated!
On the second day Ladd from GTFC joined us and it was the first time that we got to fish with Ladd, Awesome guy with so much modesty in him, the boys were refusing to cast and gave us the priority saying, “we come from far and that they wanted to us to have the most amazing experience.”
On the first light the bite was good and I nailed 2 fish from the deeper water on the sinking lure but the bite faded away after a while and we decided to switch to jigging,
While on the way to the spot we notice a football field of bait cruising on the top so we approached right away and we started casting to them with no love. Until I got a strike…
The fish took me in circles and I thought to myself if it was a Yellowfin tuna but as it got closer to the boat we saw stripes! A decent wahoo on the lure and it was hooked up properly and definitely not getting anywhere!
Charles is struggling with the gaff while the fish is going crazy, I raised the rod but the fish took a deep dive under the engine and resulted in a broken rod, when we saw the scene later on video in slow motion, we could see that it was almost impossible to get away from the situation unless I had reacted fast enough to get the rod out of the gimbal and point the rod down but the fish was way faster than me to react at that kind of speed.
The day went by and we did not stop casting, hoping and thinking that it is going to pay off soon, the keep casting and never give up attitude came in furiously from Paul and it paid off!
While Paul casted his Hammerhead Cherry Pai stick bait and working it at approximately 40 feet from the boat we saw a humped head charging and a huge boil in the water that looked like a truck had fallen from the sky, we knew that the fish locked on and not leaving without the lure in its mouth! He hooked the fish on the El Maestro 82M paired with a 60lb Jerry Brown Hollow line attached to a 130lb twisty leader with 120lb Fluorocarbon leader.
The fish peeled line out of the Shimano Stella 8k like no tomorrow but settled for a bit and took advantage of the current and the moving water, she sure tested Paul’s skills in every way possible while we were all standing at the side with wide open eyes hoping to get a glance at that monster.
Paul worked the fish to the point where it seems he could no longer take it, but with all of us around encouraging and cheering him on he put in his last push of tenacity and started seeing the color of the monster.
It was big, fat and beautiful. Simply one of the greatest day to be on the water to watch that epic battle that took place on the water, I was on cloud nine so is Paul (maybe cloud 19 from Paul) and the rest of the crew.
Mission accomplished and on the lightest set up in the El Maestro range! we took a couple of quick shots and we released it safely to fight another day, our day could not get any better so we called the day off to cherished the moment and rewind the day!
On our last half day Paul decided to hit the flats (which is his first love) with Ladd in search for bone fish.
Charles invited Hidaka-san from Fish Trippers Village to fish with us, so again we met at 4:00 AM and headed out under the cover of the full moon, it was too early in the morning and we ended up sitting on the water chatting, waiting for the light to come up.
On the first drift Hidaka-san got a massive strike on his Tango 240 stick bait, the fish cleared the water completely to nail his lure but the unfortunate happened and his line parted leaving the lure floating on the top, that was a good start.
I was fishing stick bait on the first half of my drift and switching to sinking on the other half when the water got deeper and that didn’t take long before I start nailing on the Siren Deep Seductress one after another.
We fished till 11:00AM and had multiple shots on a descent size fish, we worked as a team to raise the  fishes and trigger bites from the deeper water to top water, it is amazing when you have a group of anglers knowing what they ‘re doing, Hidaka-san get multiple shots too and manage to get his fish for the day.
All good things must come to an end and all of a sudden Mama Nature turned on us with an angry look in her face, the wind started blowing and it was a sign for us to head back, satisfied beyond belief!

I recognized Hawaii to be one of the best GT destination I have fished in, when we headed back in, we got news that Paul landed his first Bone fish as well, all thanks to Ladd for guiding him through the flats and  into the fish!
Paul and I want to thank Charles from GTFC for the invitation and the hospitality, I am speechless buddy, Thank you!
Tackle used:
Rods: Race Point 250, 200, 150, Carpenter, Ripple Fisher, El Maestro 74XH & 82M
Reels: Shimano Stella 18k, 14k, 8k
Lures: Siren Deep Seductress, Bolt, Carpenter Pandora & Zeus, Amegari, Hammerhead, Strategic Angler
Line: Jerry Brown Hollow, Power Pro Hollow
Hooks: BKK and Shout
  Tight lines

   Sami & Paul