the october 2020 SOA report!

Started by alantani, November 03, 2020, 11:52:28 PM

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to say that 2020 has been an off year would definitely be an understatement.  with 24 guys in august, the calls started going out for the final checks.  of the original 24, we ended up losing 11, somehow found 7 more, and finally left the dock with 20 guys.  needless to say, the cost was higher, but we made it work! 

the vagabond was booked, so we ended up at the ramada.  even my brother had to bail this year, so tracy was gracious enough to be my driver.  i was up all the night before, packing and getting things ready.  these trips are tough because i bring alot of stuff for the guys, including 30 rods and reels . 

october 1st, 2020 - i slept most of the way down, stopping once at okuma in ontario for parts, then again at squidco and angler's choice, before checking into the ramada. dinner was at 5pm at miguel's!!!!

october 2, 2020 - after many long months, we were finally underway.  i won't really believe it until san diego is out of sight.

we were able to board early.  it's an easy boat to settle in to.  there's plenty of rod storage, enough room for tackle boxes, and even room assignments went smoothly.  basically, old guys with bad backs and poor hearing were assigned cabins aft where there was more engine noise but less pounding in heavy seas.  younger guys got the quieter cabins forward, but you really take a beating when the water gets rough.

our new chef was a young man named guiness.  we're all going to gain a half to a full pound a day!

spreading out meant the crew usually ate outside. 

and then a little down time for a cocktail and a cigar.

not everyone gets to relax, though.  a charter master's job is never done.

october 3, 2020 - tom robinson flew all the way out from missouri, so he got the honor of landing the first fish. 

roy got a nice fish on surface iron!

we stopped well north of cedros and landed 37 yellowtail for half a day.

did i mention that our chef went to culinary school in bangkok?

the first day of fishing was a nice warm up.  everyone has to re-learn how to fish.  glad it wasn't too crazy.

october 4, 2020 - first call for breakfast. 

this will be the start of a full and very productive day at san pablo bank.  the guys already had a chance to shake out the cobwebs, so we had very few mishaps. 

this is roy's first long range trip, but he hit his stride very quickly. 

max was also on his first long range trip.  he says he had a slow start, but it all looked fine to me. 

lauren is our lone female angler and probably did the best of all of us!

jack picked up a nice fish on a jig.

wes brought his fish in hot, hence the body shot with the gaff.

mikey got a nice one!

we ended the day adding 97 yellowtail to the board.  not a bad day.  we'll be running south tonight.  guiness (in the background) has an assistant, shao li!

october 4, 2020 - good morning!  not sure how far down we went, but the inshore bite was not happening. 

the captain opted to take us offshore in search of kelp and wahoo.  we found a kelp paddy that held a few wahoo and landed four.  i had one on the hook for 2 seconds.  he shook left, then right, then unceremoniously spit out the bomb.   mike was luckier!

dewey scored as well.

a little farther out, we hit another kelp that was loaded with dorado.  for the first timer, it is a sight to behold.  we landed 60 fish in as many minutes. 

a few of them wound up in the galley!

a nice way to end the day!

october 5-7, 2020 - back inshore, then north to gain some altitude.  pretty slow fishing. not much to show for it.  a few more dorado on the outside, a few more yellowtail on the inside.  mostly it was running to get to the bluefin grounds off tanner bank.

still lots of stuff to break up the day!

we found another school of small dorado mixed with small yellowfin.

here's where it gets fun.  evan kraft is our skipper for this trip, and he comes down from the wheelhouse to talk to us about the bluefin bite, the kite rotation, bait fishing and flat falls.  one of the things that he mentioned was that he recommended 200 pound fluoro or 300 pound mono as the minimum weight for the leaders.  that means that the scrawny 150 pound mono leaders that i rigged up already were useless.  he said that even these leaders were getting chewed through.  strike one!  he also mentioned that we needed spring loop protectors because the flemish eye "loop" that i've always used for norcal albacore will rub through.  strike two!  and lastly, he says that the kevlar cloth fabric used for the assist hooks were getting chewed through.  strike three!!!!!!

ok, i have to borrow 300 pound mono from the boat.  i already have 1.9mm double sleeve crimps, 1.9mm stainless steel springs, 250-300 pound split rings, and a dozen large tuna hooks in the 9/0 to 11/0 size.  split rings make me nervous, but it's all i have.  and here is the result.  it's a 300 pound mono leader, but who cares about the line weight.  it's dark down there and fish don't seem to care how heavy the line is.  at the top end is a 350 pound number 6 barrel swivel, double crimped with a loop protector.  note that both crimps themselves are double crimped.  at the bottom end of the leader is another double crimped loop to a 250 pound split ring.  hanging off the split ring is a squish jig (bright) from okuma, a flat fall (bright) from shimano, or a hyperfly (absolutely the brightest!!!)  from magbay lures.  also hanging off the same split ring at the top of the jig is a 10/0 tuna hook.  and then finally, a split ring and the second large tuna hook.  we're ready.......

october 8, 2020 - we arrive somewhere around tanner bank in the morning, too late for an early morning flat fall bite.  the crew get a couple of flying fish out and we start fishing bait and jigs.  eric landed a nice yellowfin on bait!

the first kite fish is tagged teamed by our two vets, mike and tom, then finished off by rich in the middle.

more bluefin action!

dewey got a nice one!

remember roy?  yup, the kid caught a nice fish!!!!!

and here's lee's fish!

we ended up with 9 bluefin total.  eight came in on the kite and one was hooked on my flat fall.  i handed that one off to tracy.  it taped out at 160 pounds, his personal best!!!!

october 9, 2020 - still a full day to go, or so we thought.  nothing on the kite yet, but roy caught a nice yellowfin on bait.

right after, the captain notified me that we had a medical emergency with a member of the crew and had to return to port.  absolutely!  the health and safety of the passengers and crew are our first concert.  so return to port we did.  a couple of guys disembarked when we tied up a the dock, but the rest of us went back into the harbor, anchored up and spent the night!

october 10, 2020 - back at the dock, fish off to the processors, then home! 

just one stop on the way home for a prime rib dinner at harris ranch!!!!!

thanks to evan kraft, captain of the spirit of adventure, and the crew, scotty, jimmy, frank, luke, guinness and shao li, for a great trip. 

more to follow.......
send me an email at for questions!


Fish must follow you around Alan.  Nice.


Thanks for the ride Boss - weather looked good :)

Hardy Boy

looks like fun ........................ one of these years !!!!




Looks like fun.  Is there a chance I could helicopter out and fish then back to sleep on land?  ;D  I can't do time on a cruise ship.  Never mind a fishing boat.  I'm glad you all had a good time.  Dominick
Leave the gun.  Take the cannolis.

There are two things I don't like about fishing.  Getting up early in the morning and boats.  The rest of it is fun.


The Baja Guy

Vintage Offshore Tackle

Alan, reading your reports are the next best thing to being there.  Thanks for taking all of us along for the ride!


send me an email at for questions!


Nice trip, a few fat tuna. Nice grade dorado. Thanks for the report
Do what you can with that you have where you are


ok, the videos are all done. enjoy!!!!!
send me an email at for questions!


Awesome trip, great stories and videos!  Thanks for sharing! - john


Sounds like a great trip!!!!

Why is the 2nd crimp on the ff jig end of the leader 3 inches up the main line? Is it for added chafe protection????




Jefe, Alan,  isnt this trip where Lee got a Big Tuna that a Shark bit it tale and Lee was on the background of the pic really exhausted or the picture you posted on "phote of the month" thread of Lee is from another trip?

The Baja Guy