Monday, February 6, 2012

Royal Star Braid Trip Jan 20 - Feb 4, 2012

15 day royal Star braid trip 1-20-12 to 2- 4-12

My trip was almost over before it started after almost a year of waiting it was final time for my trip but I found myself sitting at the airport right in the middle of our biggest snow/ ice storm  of the year! And yep you guessed it my flight had just been canceled I raced to the ticket both to book the next available flight to catch the boat the next morning but they said there was not any flights  available! Any fights out of Portland,  Vancouver , Spokane I asked, No! any flights from anywhere that could get me anywhere close to San Diego so I could dive the rest of the way? No!
I went to every airline counter at SeaTac airport and they all said the same thing there  was no way I was going to get to san Diego any time close to when the boat was going to leave. I was desperate and was willing to try anything I even called the boat to see if they could pick me up in Cabo, but I already knew the answer would be no. I started calling friends and family for ideas but still no luck. I had already decided I was going to camp-out  at the aiport and keep trying  until the boat had departed even though it was starting to look useless. Late Thursday night I got a call from my dad, he had got me  a seat that had just opened up  on  an early morning flight that should get me to San Diego  just in time.
When I arrived at the gate  in the morning many flights were still being canceled  but not mine. My flight departed about an hour late but I was on my way and the Royal star crew was going to make every effort to get me on the boat. when I arrived In san Diego, Tracy from the Royal star office picked me up at the air port and drove me to the marina where Randy drove me on his skiff to meet the boat  and the rest of crew at the bait receiver where they  were in the process of taking on bait. I had finally made it!
After the crew finished loading the bait we were on our way.
It took us nearly four days to arrive at our destination  near Clarion island almost 1,000 miles south of San Diego
I used that time to get to know the other anglers and crew. We had a great mix of people on board from.: south Africa, Alaska, Maryland , Texas , New Mexico, California, Arizona, Washington , Oregon and Michigan.
I was great to fish with such a great group of guys and I hope I get the chance to fish with many of them in the future.

Over all it was a great trip  with good weather great fishing and great company.
We ended the trip with 23 yellow fin tuna over 200 pounds a good number of fish between 120 and 180 and lots of fish between 90 and 120
We kept roughly 140 yellow fin and released several more and kept 43 Wahoo.
My personal numbers were 43 yellow fin caught, 11yellowfin and  7 Wahoo kept  and many more lost, my biggest was 205 lbs
This trip met all of my expectations and more, I would strongly encourage any serious angler to book  a trip on the Royal Star

List of fish over 200 pounds
1. Larry ward 285.4, 272
2. Alfred Salgado 285
3.Wayne Waldron 278
4. Kohei Kikuchi 252.8, 237, 216, 214
5.Ray Nies 251
6. Bruce Helton 250, 226
7.Mark Youndblood 238.8
8 Martin Rudolph 238
9 David Sumethasorn 225, 219, 211
10. Floyd Abbott 219
11.Geoff Houck 215
12.Jan Abbot 213
13.Marius Coetzee 209
14.Jim Hopkins 206.8
15 Todd Girtz 205
16. Mark Bower 202

Most of our big fish were caught in the early morning hours on mackerel, but we also caught some large fish on sardines, chunk bait and PL-68 jigs.
The kite was slow most of the trip but it also accounted for a couple of the fish over 200 pounds
Our fishing conditions stayed very consistent the whole time, with the before  daylight bite being the best, the midday being good and the evenings being very slow.

Day 1
we arrived at the fishing grounds a  couple hours  after day light  and began fishing.
We had an ok morning bite that quickly died and  fishing continued to be slow till the bite picked up around 2;45 pm  but it only lasted about an 1 ½ before the fishing slowed again
I ended the day hooking  3 yellow fin and landing two
We caught about 20 yellow fin that day  keeping 14 and  2 Wahoo
Big fish honors  went to Jan Abbot with her 213 pounder, our only cow of the day

Day 2
The bite was on well before daylight roughly 4am and continued till about 4 pm before the bite died
It was fish on the whole time but most of the bigger fish were caught first thing in the morning
I am not sure how many I hooked that day but it was a lot. I ended the day catching 8 yellow fin and one Wahoo
A boat minimum of 100 pounds  for yellow fin was set at noon to ensure we would not fill the fish boxes too quickly
We  kept 40 yellow fin and 6 Wahoo. And released a bunch more
We ended the day with four tuna over 200 pound 251, 217, 211, 202

Started with a slow morning bite that really picked up and turned into fast action and red hot fishing throughout the middle of the day before the bite dropped off around 4 pm
I landed 8 large tuna biggest 140 pounds and 2 Wahoo and hooked may others
We caught a ton of fish but only chose to keep 27 yellow fin and 10 Wahoo
We caught four cows for the day 285, 252, 239,and 206

Good morning bite  but it ended quickly I hooked two nice fish in the morning the biggest was 205 pound before taking my turn at the kite.
The kite was dead I was on the kite from 6:30am till 4pm before finial hooking up.
Once  off the kite I hooked a couple more to finish off the day
The boat min was raised to 120 pounds  mid day to leave as much room  as possible in the fish holds
The overall fishing for the day was very slow we only kept 12 yellow fin and 6 Wahoo
But we were able to land four more over 200 pounds: 272, 237 ,219, 205

Day 5
Very good morning bite all of our big fish were caught in the morning but lots of mid grade 80 to 120 pounders caught throughout the day
I landed 6 yellow fin and 3 Wahoo
We kept a total of 16 yellow fin and 9 Wahoo but there were many more released
And we were able to add four more cows to our list 250, 238,219 and 214
Day 6
Ok morning bite I landed 3 tuna the biggest was 170 pounds
The rest of the day was very slow
We kept 7 yellow fin and 2 Wahoo
But we did get two more cows 226, and 209 pounds

Day 7
The morning and mid day bites were very good but evening bit was dead
I caught 10 tuna and 1 Wahoo my biggest was 120 pounds
This was  the only day we fished that we did not get a tuna over 200 pounds the two biggest fish of the day were 180 and170 pound
We kept a total of 16 yellow fin and 7 Wahoo

Day 8
our final morning on the fishing grounds
we had a good morning bite  I caught two more nice yellow fin
and the boat landed 4 more cows 215,225,278,285
we fished till all the fish holds were full and   headed for home at 8am

after 4 more days of travel we were back at the dock with our catch

it was a great trip on all levels and I can’t wait for my next adventure!


  1. So glad you made it and I am quite jealous but not surprised by your success. Way to go Bro!