Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Subject: 8 days on the Supreme

I am loving the action in my Outlook Inbox
Alijos Rocks 8 Day on the Polaris Supreme

From: Ernie Bucher
Sent: Saturday, 5:54 PM
To: Bob Hara
Subject: 8 days on the Supreme

Hey Bob,

Is this something you'd want to post to the BSG website?


Answer - You Betcha
Here is the story

Tuesday - July 10, 2007 Day 1

2:00 pm
The Adventure begins on the Polaris Supreme, right now we are between Point Loma and the Coronado Islands, It’s hard to believe that 40 hours ago I had no plan to go fishing but after a call from Todd and a mad scramble to get time off from work and family along with getting my old long range gear together I am on the boat. On the trip the crew is Owner and Operator Tommy Rothery, 2nd Captain Dave, Deckhands Richie, Ned & Richard. In the galley our chef is Tommy Z and the go to guy that fills in wherever he’s needed the irrepressible Gringo.

Captain Tommy Rothery

Since going fishing without bait is like going to Vegas without money the crew loaded the bait tanks & slammers with large Sardines, perfect size for 3/0 hooks. The heading at the moment is splitting the difference between Alijos Rocks and Cedros Island or the Ridge until we get more information to make the best decision possible where to start fishing. Right now there is no info about Alijos other than temp charts and the folks that have been fishing Cedros haven’t been setting the world on fire so I think it’s smart to keep our options open.

Albacore and Bluefin tuna have been caught 20 to 50 miles from Point Loma by some of the 1 Day boats so we are going to go through those areas, hopefully we’ll get lucky and those fish want to chew for us.

9:00 pm
We stopped on a couple spots of breaking Bluefin but the fish didn’t co-operate on our Sardines, no big deal we still got a lot of days to fish and a lot of miles to cover.

Wednesday – July 11, 2007 Day 2

4:00 pm
Traveling. Tommy decided to point the boat for a spot on the Ridge so we will pass by San Benitos island, we should arrive at Benitos at about 6:00 pm for a quick shot at the Yellowtail but if it’s not wide open we’ll just keep heading south for the Ridge. Tommy plans to keep an eye on the water temp chart for Alijos Rocks; if the water gets to 70 degrees we will make the long trip. Making the trip to Alijos can be a risky call because if the fishing there off it’s a long way to go fish anywhere else, I am glad we have a skipper like Tommy who has the experience to make the smartest possible call.

10:30 pm
We stopped at Benito and made 3 drifts for the yellows but it was pointless because of the seals. As soon as we stopped the herd was on us each time so we didn’t waste time and kept heading down the line. After dinner we tried to stop and drift for Squid so we’d have some for kite baits however the building swell that had been pushing us toward our destination all day made our drift rough and too fast for the Squid to keep up so again we got back on our way.
Thursday – July 12, 2007 Day 3

10:30 am
We started trolling at 6:00 am, the water warmed up and cleaned up with a temp of 68 degrees and at about 7:30 we started running into schools of small Yellowfin Tuna (3-8 pounds). On one stop I got lucky and pulled a nice sized Dorado out of those small Yellowfin and it was the first fish to go into the fish hold. At about 9:30 we went through some cold green water and the temp dropped to 60 degrees and full of plankton, then by 10:15 the again warmed up and cleaned up, it seems the break is zigzagging along our course. I hope the spot Tommy wants to fish is on the good side of the break when we get there.

9:00 pm
On the way to the Ridge at about 2:00 pm we came upon a group of about 17 Mexican Seiners in 69 degree green water they were wrapping huge schools of extra jumbo Bonito. Any of those boneheads would be a half-day jackpot contender.

Once we got to the Ridge we got into the Yellowtail pretty darn good, we caught two grades of Yellows 12 to 15 pounds and 20 to 30 pounds, the crew was very good about telling guys to throw back the smaller yellows so they would have room in they’re limit for the better quality size fish. The fish were chewing the iron like champs. I put two of the nicer yellows on the boat but I should have got 5 as I lost three nice fish. One the jig pulled out, one the line had a bad spot and broke or I just pulled to hard, the third big fish I lost was from being sawed off. A lot of fish were lost today I think mostly because the guys had become anxious to fish after all that traveling.

Overall the fishing on the Ridge was a mixed bag with big and small Yellows, Barracuda to 10 pounds, Sheephead and Whitefish. I must have caught 6 Barracuda that weighed 10 pounds and any angler whose jig or bait got to deep would catch a Sheephead or a Whitefish as easy as pushing a button, and I threw back about 5 of the smaller Yellows. The surprise catch of the day was a keeper White Sea Bass caught by one of the rookies on board, congratulations to Zander Rodriguez.

Friday – July 13, 2007 Day 4

10:45 pm
Lucky Friday the 13th for us. Overnight the crew ran the boat down from the upper Ridge to the Thetis Bank for a much better grade of Yellowtail, just about all the fish were 20 pound or better with a lot of fish in the 30 pound range and about a half dozens fish in the 40 pound range. One angler even hooked a Striped Marlin in the middle of the Yellowtail bite. By 2:00 pm we had near limits of Yellowtail so Tommy made the decision and pointed the boat west so we could get to Alijos Rocks in the morning with a good shot at catching Wahoo and larger Yellowfin tuna.

After traveling west about an hour the water hit 71 degrees and Tommy told us to troll some Albacore sized jigs with wire leaders so I rigged a blue and green Tuna Clone with 131 lb piano wire and a 9/0 big game hook. We started seeing good signs of life as we traveled west most notably packs of Striped Marlin and pretty big Swordfish that looked to be easily over 250 pounds. When we spotted the Swordy we took the time out of our travels to try to catch him but he wasn’t interest in our offerings, in fact after Mr. Swordy got a good look at the baits he jumped out of the water twice close to the boat in a direction going away from us and gave us a sideways glance on both jumps like he was saying “get lost” or worse along that line. When the Swordfish jumped it was clear to see he was a fatty. In the mean time trolling was really good and that little jig turned out to be pretty hot, it caught a hand full of Yellowfin, a Dorado and got short bit by a Striped Marlin.

As darkness fell we tried again to catch some large squids but we couldn’t get the volume to get going so we only got a hand full and kept going. ETA to Alijos Rocks is 8:00 am and the weather is good, hopefully the fish want to bite at the Rocks.

Saturday – July 14, 2007 Day 5

11:30 pm
Roca Alijos: We got to the rocks at 8:00 and started trolling for Wahoo as soon as we got here, after 4 Wahoo stops the boat had caught about 16 and I had landed zero having gone 0 for 2 on the iron. By 9:30 Tommy decided enough looking for Wahoo and we anchored to fish Tuna, it started out a little slow but as the current started to pick up speed the tuna got going and as time went on the fish got bigger. The bite was steady all day on a nice grade of Yellowfin with loads of little yellowtail mixed in that were thrown back. One of the guys on the boat reeled in a Tuna that had been bitten by an unseen Shark, the Tuna probably weighed 60 pounds when it was whole, the impressive part was that the Tuna was bitten in half in one clean bite… Anybody for a swim?

After dinner Tommy re-anchored on a pinnacle in shallower water so some of the guys could fish for Grouper but the Grouper were a no show. However we noticed that there was a lot of bait around the boat so me, Rich, Harold, Mike, Tim Smith, Zander and Marty stayed up to catch Mackerel for bait. Bait making went pretty fast and I think we caught about 350 green Mackerel before Tommy said that’s enough.

Sunday – July 15, 2007 Day 6

4:30 pm
2nd Day at Alijos: We started out trolling for Wahoo and by 9:00 am everyone on board had at least one Wahoo so we returned to our tuna spot and anchored up just like we did the day before. One thing I learned on this trip that at Alijos if the current is slack so is the tuna fishing but once the current gets going so does the tuna bite. The Mackerel we caught the night before paid off big for me, yesterday I wanted fish 50 lb for the Yellowfin but the free spool on my 30 International wasn’t very good for fishing Sardines but it was fine for fishing Mackerel, that and the fact that the Tuna had no problem eating the Mackerel made catching a lot easier.

When we got to Tommy’s Tuna spot the current wasn’t really moving yet so we soaked baits and caught small Yellowtail here and there, it was easy to see when the current started moving, the Rudderfish and Queen Triggerfish would show up in the stern looking for any scrap that might fall off the boat – just like the Blue perch at Catalina and San Clemente island, different Latitude same niche. Of course the best indicator that we had enough current was seeing 40 to 60 pound Yellowfin crashing the chummed Sardines. The bite today was probably better than the day before, first we started catching the 25-30 pound models but they got pushed aside when the 40-pound and bigger fish moved in. I think we caught a good number of fish in the 50-pound range with a small number of fish at around the 60-pound mark.

By 4:00 Capt Tommy announced that a number of us had reached our Mexican limit of 30 combined fish for the trip. I have to hand it to Tommy and his crew for keeping track of everyone’s catch and making sure we didn’t go over limit. In this day and age of messy fish politics between the US and Mexico it’s smart to play by the rules and not inadvertedly do something that could create an international incident over a few fish. Good job to Tommy and the crew.

Adios Roca Alijos – we left Alijos at 7:00 pm with the sun setting on our left and a building swell under us. It has been a great couple of days at the Rocks and I miss this isolated, surreal place already. I hope to return soon.

Monday & Tuesday - July 16 &17, 2007 Day 7 & 8

It’s10:30 Tuesday morning. Since we left Alijos it’s been a constant uphill climb and it’s actually been kind of tough on some of the passengers and the galley. It’s always the toughest job on the boat to be the cook in rough weather but Tommy Z. and Gringo have been real champs about doing their jobs. Capt. Tommy and his crew are still trying to find fish as we are approaching the Albacore area for the guys that didn’t round out their limits, Capt. Tommy and the crew have been consummate professionals, if you ever get a chance to fish with these guys don’t hesitate.

Yesterday and today have been big do nothing days, so a lot of us have been cleaning up and putting away our gear, the closer we get to San Diego the more gear gets put away. This of course didn’t use up much time so the rest of the time guys were killing time any number of ways, talking story, playing cards, reading, sleeping and watching DVD’s.

Wednesday – July 18, 2007 End of the line.

Wednesday morning was a typical gray San Diego morning. We arrived at the dock at 6:00 am, gear and fish were unloaded, jackpot contenders were weighed, Goodbyes and pleasantries were exchanged, folks loaded their vehicles and made their way home. This was a great trip in every aspect, good people to fish with, good conversation, great food and a dedicated crew.

To all the guys on the trip it was great fishing with you.

Mike Shorsbree Jr. – Our Charter master thanks for putting together a great trip Mike you’re the man! Thanks for the invitation.

Mike Shorsbree Sr. – It was nice to fish with you again.

Don Parent – Mr. Allcoast.

John Limbocker – The guy that hooked a Marlin while trying to catch a Yellowtail.

Harold Davis – We all owe this man a debt of gratitude for his work to preserve our right to fish in California. Thank you sir!

Barrett Howarth – This kid can fish!

Rich Ruffini – Another killer with a rod & reel.

Zander Rodriguez – Mr. White Sea Bass. So where do you keep that horseshoe.

Tim Smith – The Yellowtail killer.

Marty Wakefield – This is another guy that knows how to catch fish when other guys can’t.

John Schork – Nice Yellowfin on the kite.

Dr. Dan the Chiropractor – Thanks for all the info about Bow Hunting, I appreciate it.

Cole Lussenhope – Good luck with baseball at College big guy.

Tim Moyer – Great jokes, you a funny man!

Bob Wolfson – A gentleman fisherman if there ever was one.

Ernie and the Boys
Tight lines!

Ernie Bucher

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