alan tani @ fishing reel repair rebuild tutorial 10/5 to 10/13/2013 - spirit of adventure (photos done, video added)
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Author Topic: 10/5 to 10/13/2013 - spirit of adventure (photos done, video added)  (Read 22248 times)
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« on: October 16, 2013, 06:50:09 PM »

10/5 to 10/13/2013 - spirit of adventure (45 minute video of dorado bite added)

i really stink when it comes to long range fishing.  i can rig all the tackle, pick a good running bait, cast and can play a fish with no problems, but when it comes to that single critical moment when the fish is running with a bait and is not yet hooked, i stink.  i had more picked baits and pulled hooks on this trip than any other.  years ago i gave up on circle hooks for that reason.  i switched over to j-hooks thinking my hook up rate would improve, but it didn't.  next time i'm on the water, i'm using treble hooks.  seriously, it's that bad.  have you ever heard of anyone going on an 8 day trip and coming back with 12 fish for a total weight of 180 pounds?  yup, i stink!

thursday 10/3/2013

for the first time ever, the gear is all loaded up in the car and i'm ready go to by noon.  good thing, got a 1pm to 1am late shift at the hospital.  got to work and ben was nice enough to give me a bottle of scotch for the road. 

friday 10/4/2013

just getting off work at 1am, home at 2am and asleep at 2:01 am.  i figured i would just get up when i got up, and for some reason i woke up at 6am.  ok, 4 hours sleep is ok.  i can drive from san jose to san diego with 4 hours of sleep, i'm a pharmacist!  i grabbed some coffee, loaded the last few items and hit the road.  it's a blurry photo, but the clock radio in the car actually says 6:29am.  i want to get to ontario by noon and have lunch with the guys at okuma. 

three ice chests!  ok, so i was a little optimistic.....

the last few trips, roger has been driving.  this time it's just me  highway 101 to 152, then interstate 5 south, cut over on highway 210, south on 57, then east bound on the pomona hwy 60.  400 miles even, in 5 hours.  no problem. 

a quick stop for gas at the bottom of the grapevine.

luckily frank called to tell me to stay to the left and take the cutoff.  all the cars in the right two lanes were stuck in traffic.

ok, clear shot the rest of the way.

i actually made it to okuma before noon.  met up with john bretza to see some of their new reels.  guys were asking abot the expanded andros line.  they're nice.  we will get fish with the two speed andros 12 on this trip. 

they will have both single speed and two speed models available. 

new models with come with metal quadrants instead of plastic. 

onward!  made the obligatory stop at charkbait and saw ross and megan.  always gotta stop to buy a few goodies. 

then on to the vagabond!  i ended up paying extra for the presidential suite because i called the day before and this was the only room they had left.  gotta stop doing that.

had dinner at miguel's again.  left to right are joe townsend, me, brett townsend (the owner of the local grady dealership), frank oclassen, sr. from arizona, steve miglore from bedford, new hampshire, and frank oclassen, jr.

saturday 10/5/2013

grabbed a quick breakfast and headed down to the dock.  met up with a friend, lee besse, just getting off the spirit of adventure.  he said it was very slow fishing.  sarah from 5 star will be processing my fish again.

the guys are starting to show up.  meet harvey rosen and joe townsend.

it might look like alot, but this catch is pretty light for a 7 day trip.

these same four guys have been here every morning for the last 15 years that i've been going on long range trips.  seagulls will take anything left unattended.  at least these guys ask. 

time to stop goofing off and get everything loaded up.  welcome, gentlemen, to the spirit of adventure!  at 88 feet, it is not the biggest boat in the fleet, but it is definitely my favorite!

the bunks are spartan to say the least, but i won't be spending any time in here except to stow my gear, change clothes and sleep.

a quick stop to load up on bait.  really nice sized sardines!!!!!

a few quick shots around the harbor.

goodbye, san diego!

hello, mexico!

mike keating is giving the mandatory safety briefling and will be the skipper for this trip. 

time to get ready.  frank ocalssen sr. and jr.

john savant!

left to right, our chartermaster jim hart, joe hutchings and dan puma.

mark armanini and andrew.


a few comments from the peanut gallery!

jason eggert and bobbie haskell are going to wait until tomorrow to get rigged!

i'm all done!

so here is the inventory for this trip.  i had so much fun last time with calicos at cedros that i decided to bring an okuma cedros spinning rod and reel.  i also have an andros 12 two speed as a demo and a makaira rod that will be given away at the end of the trip. 

next up is the penn torque 25 narrow two speed that i got from steve carson.  it's loaded with 60# JB spectra and a short topshot of 40#soft steel, drags set to 12 pounds.  my dropper loop rig is a penn international VSX 12 two speed with 80# hollow thunder dyneema from alan chui, a 60# topshot of soft steel and an 18 pound drag setting.  the rod is a calstar west coast 665h rated 30-80.  my troller is an okuma makaira 20 two speed with 130# hollow thunder straight to a swivel, drag set to 20 pounds at strike and 40 pounds at full.  the rod is a calstar westcoast 6455xxh ar rated 50-120.

i have four okuma andros 12 reels spooled up with 60# jerry brown spectra and a short topshot of tony garza's 30 pound soft steel mono, drags set to 9 pounds at strike.  the rods are phenix black diamond hybrid 838mh's with a 15-40 pound rating. 

next are the okuma makaira 8 two speeds loaded with 60# jerry brown spectra and a short topshot of 40 pound soft steel mono, drags set to 12 pounds at strike.  the rods are phenix black diamond hybrid 760xh's rated 30-80 pounds. 

the 50 pound set ups are the okuma makaira 10 two speeds with 60# jerry brown spectra and a short topshot of 50# soft steel momo, drags set to 15 pounds at strike.  the rods are phenix black diamond hybrid 700xh's rated 30-80 pounds. 

frank sr and leroy cross.  leroy already has a reel for me to work on!

dean works in the galley.  you will be seeing alot of him!

danny is the chef!  the meat is so tender that is just falls off the bone!

brett townsend and steve migliore.  dinner is ribs, cole slaw and corn on the cob!

leroy, george, dan and jim.

don't forget dessert.

george enjoying a little down time.

all rigged up.  the word is that the bluefin tuna bite has been dead for the last 5 days and that the wahoo bite has been on the upswing down south.  we are paddy hopping tomorrow en route to the 13 fathom bank.

sunday 10/6/2013

first call for breakfast!  hash browns, eggs over easy, sausage, toast, orange juice and coffee.

scott and his 18 year old son, tommy.

some guys are eating light!

for others, it's just coffee!

bobbie's finally starting to go through his gear.  no hurry, we have plenty of time.

aaron hails from arizona and will be deckhand for this trip. 

a quick view from the top deck.

what a day!!!!!

tostadas for lunch! 

me and migs!

tommy getting set up!

i think these were blue whales.  we saw so many it was hard to keep track.

dinner is grilled white seabass with asparagus and plain white rice.  danny knows that i start to go into withdrawal if he doesn't serve rice.

joe hutchinson!

one of the nice things about mike keating is that he makes it a point to keep everyone informed.  he'll come down from the wheel house to give up a recap of the day and tell us what out options are for the next few days.  he also gets to pick numbers for the raffle prizes!

monday 10/7/2013

andrew has been up since day break.

i came rolling out of bed and found out that i missed breakfast!

so what, migs?  you don't like my pj's?Huh?

one of the advantages of being nice to the chef!  he threw together breakfast for me anyway!  eggs over easy, biscuits and gravy!

a pod of killer whales was the most exciting we saw all morning.

danny's getting lunch ready.

the natives are getting restless.

sure enough, a shrimp salad with garlic bread for lunch!

"rockstar" bobbie haskell broke the ice with the first and only wahoo for the day.  i love this guy, but we could also not shut him up for the rest of the week!!!!

yup, that was it for the rest of the day. 

hmmm, looks like chicken for dinner!

carrot cake, straight from the oven!

we anchored up on the 13 fathom bank and tried for a evening fishing. 

dan was the only one to catch anything.

ah, fried chicken, masked potatos and green beans.

dan won the evening raffle and got a nice andros rod donated by okuma.

tuesday 10/8/2013

blueberry pancakes!

oh, yeah, with bacon and eggs!

someone got up on the grumpy side of the bed this morning!

ok, now this is more like it!

george with a wahoo at the 23 fathom bank.

lunch!  what's danny up to this time?

philly cheese steak.  my arteries were hardening just looking at them!

joe got one also!  but that was pretty much the end of it. 

wahoo fishing at the 23 fathom bank was pretty much a bust.  as we were leaving, mike came on the horn and said out drought was pretty much over.  he had a big school of dorado on a kelp paddy.  andrew is hooked up!

joe got a big bull!

several of these fish were donated to the galley.

danny wasted no time.

here is a 45 minute long shot of the dorado bite that we got into.

we also got into a school of peanut yellowfin with a few niced ones mixed in.

even though we all know the ups and downs of fishing, catching is always better than not catching.

ah, lasagne for dinner! 

everyone is feeling much better with a few fish in the box!

wednesday 10/9/2013


those of you who have fished alijos know that many times the fish are just not here.  and when they are here, so are the sharks! 

everyone is ready!

just so everyone's clear, i've never actually hook a wahoo before today.  i had a dozen picks and spit hooks, but never a solid hookup.  even this fish was a handoff from the chef! 

lunch!  chili, but no rice.  heartbreak!  plenty of beans, though, and no wife to complain!  life is good. 

a little afternoon variety!

remember that dorado from yesterday?  well, here it is again!  dinner!

harvey rosen won a nice makaira rod donated by okuma!

we ended up with 34 wahoo and a few yellowtail, but the sharks took the rest.  time to get the hell out of dodge!

thursday 10/10/2013

we ran all night to get inshore to san pablo bay, looking for a yellowtail bite, but breakfast was the first order of business.

more accurately, breakfast burritos were the first order of business.

this one hit a dropper loop.

we had a bunch of pangas around us.  danny was nice enough to make breakfast burritos for these guys, too! 

sliders for lunch!

ruggedly beautiful countryside.

fresh yellowtail for dinner!

friday 10/11/2013

from san pablo and turtle bay, we ran up to san benitos island.  uggh!!!!!!   hash browns, eggs and sausage for breakfast again!  i'm thinking it's about to go back to my normal breakfast of just coffee!

it's early, we're all up and we're still running!

we caught a few yellowtail, but missed out on most of the bite.  we arrived at 10am in time for the bite to die at 11am.  i got one rat yellowtail and one very lost dorado, and that was it.  lunch was more interesting.  it was a taco bar with dorado rolled in italian bread crumbs and deep fried.

that afternoon, we switched from yellowtail inshore to yellowfin about 12 miles offshore.  another tough bite, but joe got a nice one!

we trolled around some more, but got nothing.

these guys kept us company for a while.

this was the toughest night.  we had to make 120 miles overnight to get to the bluefin bite.  that meant running hard, straight uphill.  danny served up a great beef and vegetable stirfry, but the peppers and the garlic and the bouncing around were too much for me.  i ended up spending part of the night hurling and the rest dealing with acid reflux.  by the morning, i could barely speak. 

saturday 10/12/2013

last day of fishing! bluefin had been on the munch for 5 days, but i died yesterda and was looking bad for today. 

breakfast!  huevos rancheros.  too many onions, considering how i spent the night. 

lunch!  bluefin are a no show so lunch is the next best thing.

jimmy finally got one late in the day.

dan got another, and that was it!

that was it.  we started off with limits of dorado, 34 wahoo, 85 mostly rat yellowfin tuna, 57 yellowtail, and 3 bluefin.  it was a very tough trip!

our final dinner is the chef's favorite, prime rib, mashed potatos and green beans. 

most of us are now 5-7 pounds overwieght. 

george won the final makaira rod!

scott won a rod from salty dogs.

sunday 10/13/2013

san diego!

fish are getting place on their respective cones. 

from left to right, brett with a 57 pound wahoo, george with a 56 pound wahoo, and jim with a 40 pound bluefin.

sarah at 5 star took my fish in for processing and my brother will wait to pick it up and take it to fresno to our parents.  i'm going home!

so, a couple of comments. 

rods and reels - the andros and makaira reels from okuma worked great.  the phenix rods were incredible.  all the guys on the boat had a chance to fish with them and everyone liked them.  price was a concern, but performance was not. 

more reels - the penn torque reel is very nice reel.  i would call it every bit the equal, maybe even a little better, than the makaira that it was targeted to beat.  it is also more expensive than the makaira.  i would call these two reels my top choices for this style of fishing.

braid - most of my reels were loaded with 60 pound jerry brown spectra in green.  i've always thought of it as the industry standard.  no problems with the line breaking, but had some problems with the splice.  the white stuff splices fine, but the green spectra that i was using was a little more difficult, probably because of the green coating.  the hollow thunder from alan chui was on my two heavier rigs.  the 130 pound hollow thunder on makaira 20 actually broke when i hooked into a shark.  a wahoo grabbed my marauder at alijos, then a shark grabbed my wahoo and must have gotten hooked with the marauder.  i pushed the lever on the makaira 20 from 20 pounds at strike to 40 pounds at full and dragged him to the boat.  hey, i wanted my $40 marauder back!!!!   he must have rolled, or something, because 130 pound spectra broke.  too bad.  i had him straight under the boat!

mono - i used tony garza's soft steel on this trip.  the connection was a hollow core loop on the spectra to a worm knot with the mono.  the knot failed twice when i tested the rigs at 50% of line strength, so i cut off all the connections and redid everthing with an old school traditional 20 turn albright.  didn't have a single failure.  the problem with the 20 turn albright is that i need the help of an assistant to tie it quickly.  but since the guys were all using my gear, they were more then willing to help.  i also used an old school single strand 5 turn uni knot at the hook.  the entire trip, i had two of those fail.  so really, on a fish, there were only two knot failures.  i carry alan chui's pro challenger, blackwater, and seaguar, but i did not use fluorocarbon on this trip at all. the next trip i go out on, i think i'm going seriously old school and go back to berkeley big game. 

hooks - i've use ringed owners for years.  i've got a huge number of their ringed circle hooks that i never use anymore.  mostly this trip i used their 2/0 ringed gorilla to match the size of the baits we were using.  i had trouble getting these hooks to stick, probably because of my short topshots.   as dismal as my catching was on this trip, i am temped to take a bunch of treble hooks on the next trip.  i usually butt hook or back hookd my baits to get them to swim better.  i can't imagine that it would be easy for a sardine to swim with a treble hook in his back, but it was that bad!

the boat - for me, the spirit of adventure is like home and mike and the guys are like family.  i did particularly bad this trip, but it was slow even for the group as a whole.  poor mike was pulling his hair out all week trying to get us on fish  that offshore bluefin bite picked up about 120 miles from san diego, but by then we were already 400 miles south.  when we got to alijos, the wahoo bite was drying up, when we got to san benitos, the yellow tail and yellow fin bite was drying up, and when we got back up on our last day to take a shot at the bluefin, they went down and stayed down.  mike put 1400 nautical miles on the boat for our trip and burned more diesel than on any other, so it was certainly not a lack of effort on his part. 

one thing for sure, it's easy to enjoy a boat ride when the fishing is good.  when fishing is bad, you see the true character of the captain and his crew.  these guys did everything they possibly could for us.  that is why this boat is my favorite!  if you fished on the spirit before, you know what i mean.  if you ever get a chance, go for it!  thanks for coming along with me! 

« Last Edit: October 18, 2013, 11:21:38 AM by alantani » Logged

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« Reply #1 on: October 16, 2013, 07:44:57 PM »

Hello Alan,

Don't feel too bad regarding picked baits and pulled hooks.  I got in from a trip on the 13TH as well and the bigger Bluefin did a great job of picking baits and pulling hooks on our trip. I lost one from a pulled J hook and a friend lost two from pulled circle hooks.  I also heard of a few more pulled hooks.

« Last Edit: October 17, 2013, 07:29:01 AM by john2244 » Logged
Ron Jones
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« Reply #2 on: October 16, 2013, 07:54:55 PM »

Oh Lord!!
How much I do NOT miss living down there.

Ronald Jones
To those who have gone to sea and returned and to those who have gone to sea and will never return
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« Reply #3 on: October 16, 2013, 08:09:35 PM »

Nice trip Alan.  I wondered if the pulled hooks etc comes from fishing short fluoro leader directly to braid?  I tried both ways (short leader directly to braid and short leader to 30-50 yrds of mono then to braid).  I must say my hook up ratio is so much better with the mono and fluoro topshot.. and the fight felt so much better too.
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« Reply #4 on: October 16, 2013, 09:29:38 PM »

I do agree max. Lots of people complain about mono stretching but I do think it helps with hook ups by reducing torn lips and bait.

Ronald Jones
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« Reply #5 on: October 17, 2013, 02:10:28 AM »

Alan, thanks for posting anyway. They can't all be bail jobs. That's just the way it goes. Looks like your trip previous to this one was good though. I know that doesn't help right now, but you'll get them next time.

luck is the residue of design.
Alto Mare
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« Reply #6 on: October 17, 2013, 02:20:22 AM »

That's why it's called fishing, if it was easy all the time we would lose interest.
Thanks for the pix Alan, still very enjoyable.
I believe your problem was with the button down shirt, I've never seen you wear one of those, probably gave you bad luck. Send that baby over, I'll take it,  but make sure its extra large Grin.

Forget about all the reasons why something may not work. You only need to find one good reason why it will.
Shark Hunter
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« Reply #7 on: October 17, 2013, 05:33:32 AM »

Thanks for the pics Alan!
It was better than working. You win some and you lose some.
My son made be a bone fish hook necklace and I don't go fishing without it. He forgot his on our Florida trip and I had rods on either side of him and was catching sharks. he couldn't keep the catfish away. Same bait and hooks.
Gotta have the MOJO! Wink

Life is Good!
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« Reply #8 on: October 17, 2013, 07:28:04 AM »

Sorry to hear about the slow fishing, but a brilliant report.  You could write for the fishing magazines!
I am leaving on the SoA next week and I hope things have changed.
Dr. Jekyll - AKA MeL B
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« Reply #9 on: October 17, 2013, 07:33:14 AM »

the more challenging it is the more I fish... Cheesy  nice report Alan T.  now can`t wait to fish...
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« Reply #10 on: October 17, 2013, 07:45:29 AM »

Very enjoyable read! Great pics!
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« Reply #11 on: October 17, 2013, 08:00:06 AM »

Great report Alan !!!  I posted earlier as you were still posting pictures.  The "Spirit" is one of my friends favorite boats. Love to fish on it some time, maybe next June if you are able to put a trip together.  Also, nice size Wahoo !!!

« Last Edit: October 17, 2013, 08:02:04 AM by john2244 » Logged
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« Reply #12 on: October 17, 2013, 10:27:28 AM »

I know its been said but good job on the report and photos.  Dominick

Leave the gun.  Take the cannolis.

 Give a man a fish and he will eat for a day. Teach a man to fish and he will sit in a boat all day drinking beer.
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« Reply #13 on: October 17, 2013, 11:06:59 AM »

Alan, I know that there will be more fishing you will be doing...I know that I'm just envious as I have never gone on a long range trip, and can only dream of doing so at this time.

Cheesy I talk with every part I send out and each reel I repair so that they perform at the top of their game. Cheesy
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« Reply #14 on: October 17, 2013, 11:21:01 AM »

thanks for sharing alan.  as always great pics & write-up
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