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So..I bit the bullet this year and signed up for an 8 day long-range trip outta San Diego on the Shogun in Dec 2021. I’m sure there are those on this board who have done something similar. But this is a first for me so I’m wondering if anyone here could give me some pointers. I’ve been on several tuna trips on GPB and once on the Dolphin Express but I know they do things differently out there. From what I gather they seem to use live bait much more than we do in GoM tuna fishing and they use round conventional reels a lot. Don’t see too many spinning reels in their YouTube videos. A couple of questions i have:

1. Do you guys think it’s worthwhile even bringing my Stella 14K and Halcos over there? Part of me wants to represent Texas and show them how we do it down here in the dirty South but the other part of me says they probably do it the way they do for a good reason—cuz it works for their waters. They seem to fight big fish off the rail a lot which would be impossible with a spinning reel. But it might be fine for smaller fish like yellowtail or schoolie tuna.

2. I get the sense the winter YFT there can get bigger than we see here. Maybe much bigger. Like YFT in the 200 lb (cow) or even 300 lb (super cow) class. But I’m not sure how common that is. I’m guessing somewhat uncommon? Also I don’t think I have anything in my current Arsenal that could handle a fish that big. The Stella 14K I think could do a 200lb-er but 300lb YFT? Thoughts? I personally don’t know as my biggest YFT is only about 65-70 lbs.

3. Did you guys bring your own gear or rent the boats? Shogun says they can provide all the tackle if needed for a fee. The trip I’m on is sponsored by Penn so I’m guessing they might loan out some of their stuff for the boat to try out? They have a recommended list of rods/reels to use based on the trip length and much of it looks heavier than what I am used to down here. Don’t wanna plunk down a lotta $$ getting gear for my first SoCal trip. Maybe after I’ve done a couple and have more experience I’ll know better what I need. Did a similar thing when I started tuna fishing here in Texas.

4. How did you guys get all your fish back to Texas? I called one of the fish processors in San Diego that Shogun uses and tried to estimate how much fish I might be talking about for a trip like this. But the commercial processor said their season had just started (called a couple months ago) so they really couldn’t give me a good answer. I may end up with several hundred to well over a thousand pounds of fish for this trip. Meat recovery seems to be about 1/3rd the total gross weight of fish. If it is a lot I might just rent a truck and drive the fish back as it would be cheaper than sending it on the plane. Curious to heat what other guys did.

5. Any other advice/hints I would welcome. So far I’ve only booked the trip itself. Have not arranged hotels or anything else but I figure that would be easy.

Thanks in advance for ya’lls feedback.
 

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I don't have time to get into the weeds......busy at work. Former East Coast guy here who got into San Diego Long range a while back.....having done 8s, 10s, and 16s. The 8 day is great because it'll get you feet wet and you'll get into a range of fish.

My best recommendation is to joinig the forum on BDOUTDOORS. CA based and they have a great great Long Range section where you will find endless reading on these trips. Some basics.

1. Take the Stella. Eggbeaters are getting more popular and I take mine for poppers and have even fished bait on it. You won't get into any cows on the surface usually....so go ahead and do it. Even if you get into something larger....you'll be fine.

2. You usually won't get into cow Yellowfin on an 8 day.....but the Bluefin have been brutes recently. Most boats will make a stop out at SCI the first few or last few days of an 8 day trip, if they are biting. I'd vote against cow fishing on the Stella. Personal boat vs a big ass boat that doesn't chase your fish makes for a big difference when it comes to that using that Stella. Not impossible, but I'd say no.

3. Most of the fleet has loaner tackle that's pretty damn good. You're not going on a cattleboat day trip where you rent an old used Senator. Call ahead and get the rental. You'll learn plenty on the trip and able to make the best choice for buying shit after. I bring 10 outfits on my 8 - 16 day trips....

4. I use 5-Star or Marios. Most processors can have your fish ready for pickup the next morning....frozen. If you're driving....bring some coolers or buy some at the local West Marine. There's a local place that sells dry ice blocks. I've made the drive from DC to CA and now CO to CA and always had my fish still frozen (I do drive straight through). They can also ship your fish via airlines. You don't have to be there to do anything.....just call them and give them the airport details. Not cheap but convenient. Good chance you'll end up with about #200 - #300 cleaned fish if it's a good trip. You don't have to keep everything. Give fish away to less fortunate anglers on the boat or the processor will keep what you don't wanna take (but you'll pay for the processing)

5. Book the Ramada....right across the street from the landing. Get there a day early to enjoy SD and hit the local tackle shops.

Anyway.....just some thoughts. I'm on BD under the same username.....if you need any other info.
 

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Hi there, I have only been on one long-range trip out of SD (7 day). Fishing there is very different from the GOM. The night bite is practically dead and everyone actually gets a good night's sleep. They do fish live bait most of the time but also jig or throw surface lures to wahoo, YT, or whatever else is around. Definitely check out some west coast forums. I also found that my first trip was better if I approached it as a learning experience. Talk to the mates and tell them it is your first time there. There is a little bit of "attitude" like "this is how WE do it and how it should be done." If you show an interest in learning their styles, they are eager to teach. On an eight day, you will probably not be targeting the giant YFT, so I wouldn't put down a bunch of money on new gear. Your GOM stuff will be fine. There is also nothing wrong with their loaner gear; all high quality. I shipped fish back on Southwest Airlines and they have reasonable rates, but it is still not cheap. Talk to the processors before your trip (they are around the docks all the time) and they will get you set up for when you return. Have fun and enjoy the food! I have nothing to say bad about GOM boats, but those SD outfits are like luxury yachts in comparison.
 

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So..I bit the bullet this year and signed up for an 8 day long-range trip outta San Diego on the Shogun in Dec 2021. I’m sure there are those on this board who have done something similar. But this is a first for me so I’m wondering if anyone here could give me some pointers. I’ve been on several tuna trips on GPB and once on the Dolphin Express but I know they do things differently out there. From what I gather they seem to use live bait much more than we do in GoM tuna fishing and they use round conventional reels a lot. Don’t see too many spinning reels in their YouTube videos. A couple of questions i have:

1. Do you guys think it’s worthwhile even bringing my Stella 14K and Halcos over there? Part of me wants to represent Texas and show them how we do it down here in the dirty South but the other part of me says they probably do it the way they do for a good reason—cuz it works for their waters. They seem to fight big fish off the rail a lot which would be impossible with a spinning reel. But it might be fine for smaller fish like yellowtail or schoolie tuna.

2. I get the sense the winter YFT there can get bigger than we see here. Maybe much bigger. Like YFT in the 200 lb (cow) or even 300 lb (super cow) class. But I’m not sure how common that is. I’m guessing somewhat uncommon? Also I don’t think I have anything in my current Arsenal that could handle a fish that big. The Stella 14K I think could do a 200lb-er but 300lb YFT? Thoughts? I personally don’t know as my biggest YFT is only about 65-70 lbs.

3. Did you guys bring your own gear or rent the boats? Shogun says they can provide all the tackle if needed for a fee. The trip I’m on is sponsored by Penn so I’m guessing they might loan out some of their stuff for the boat to try out? They have a recommended list of rods/reels to use based on the trip length and much of it looks heavier than what I am used to down here. Don’t wanna plunk down a lotta $$ getting gear for my first SoCal trip. Maybe after I’ve done a couple and have more experience I’ll know better what I need. Did a similar thing when I started tuna fishing here in Texas.

4. How did you guys get all your fish back to Texas? I called one of the fish processors in San Diego that Shogun uses and tried to estimate how much fish I might be talking about for a trip like this. But the commercial processor said their season had just started (called a couple months ago) so they really couldn’t give me a good answer. I may end up with several hundred to well over a thousand pounds of fish for this trip. Meat recovery seems to be about 1/3rd the total gross weight of fish. If it is a lot I might just rent a truck and drive the fish back as it would be cheaper than sending it on the plane. Curious to heat what other guys did.

5. Any other advice/hints I would welcome. So far I’ve only booked the trip itself. Have not arranged hotels or anything else but I figure that would be easy.

Thanks in advance for ya’lls feedback.
I am going on a 5 day trip on the Shogun in December. Also a 10 day on the Excel and a couple of other 3-5 day trips. My opinion is no spinning reels. I just bit the bullet and bought all new tuna stuff and my credit cards show it. As far as renting stuff this is how it was explained to me: I think it was $25 per rod per day and that sounds like a lot but usually you will only use one rod per day so it really is affordable. As for the fish processer, I think they can FexEx it for you.
 

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I just got off my 1st SD trip and learned a few things as well:
-take light gear as backup. I took only medium and heavy, and we got into schools of smaller grade that only bit on 20 lb line.
-also was the only one using braid on the board. Seems everyone was mostly running mono.
-also agree that no one was using spinning tackle. Glad I left mine behind.
-the rental gear was top-notch. However the pricing varies by length of trip + rod size. I paid $125. For a 2 day rental of avet lx heavy setup.
 

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Are you on the Penn reels sponsored 8 day trip?
I’ve been on over 40 trips between three and 16 days. I’ll get you a decent reply when I get a chance tomorrow.
Everything wtrbrdm said is pretty spot on.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Are you on the Penn reels sponsored 8 day trip?
I’ve been on over 40 trips between three and 16 days. I’ll get you a decent reply when I get a chance tomorrow.
Everything wtrbrdm said is pretty spot on.
Yep. I’m on that trip. I figure Penn will bring some of their toys for us to play with?
 

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My friends and I take spinning kits for top water/large boils.

My spinning kit is rigged with 65# braid with a 130# 4' mono leader on a Penn II Battle 6000 and Okuma rod.

In a boil the fish aren't leader shy and you never know what's in the boil so I go big on the leader just in case a Scissor Lip is in the mix (Yahoo).

Also based on my experiences, your 20#, 30#, and 50# kits are going to get the bulk of the action.

I also bring a 100# kit just in case but to be honest I have only used it a few times. (Night fishing at San Clemente Island for cow Blue Fin)

Seeing how your home based in Texas the 20, 30, & 50 # kits would/could cross over to Gulf fishing if you want to commit to purchasing those.

Can't really see the 100# kit being much use unless you shark fish, but then again I don't know your fishery in the Gulf. I would rent that kit, however I bet the boat has larger kits onboard to spot rent if you get into that class of fish. Call and ask.

Some folks also bring a 80# kit but I'm not that rich.

Here is my arsenal:

20#, 30#, 50#, 100#, and a the spinner top water.

Looking forward to your report.
 

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So Penn will likely have a full boat load of gear. That said I would still look into what the shogun has to offer for rentals. The boats get very good gear from the manufactures for their passengers.

Eight days in the beginning of December could put you on anything from bluefin to bigger yellowfin tuna. You can expect to hit the banks off mag bay for yellowtail, school size yft. The chance for wahoo is decent and the boat pressure will be less that time of year so if they are still in the area, conditions permitting, you'll have a good chance at them.

You'll use 40# gear the most. Rods for the kite, trolling for hoos', use the boats gear. You'll need one 80# set up for bottom fishing yellowtail and Grouper. It can double for bigger grade tuna if you get a shot at those fish. A 50# and 60# set up too. If you don't have the gear rent it, also check and see if they know what Penn is bringing on the boat.

An example of what I would bring;

2 setups to fish 40# that can double as a 30# rod if I needed to drop down line test.
2 setups to fish 40-50# yoyo jigs/wahoo jigs/bombs
1 60# with 2speed reel
1 80# with 2 speed reel

That would be minimum.

Bring your spinner, you'll have fun with it.

Couple tips. Don't go crazy buying tackle in advance. The only positive thing you will need is some Salas 6x jr type yoyo irons. Also your going to need 4-16oz sinkers. A week before the trip you'll have an idea what's going on and what you'll need in the zone your fishing. Squidco and Angler's Choice in San Diego have anything you'll need for the trip. They will be cheaper than Fisherman's Landing Tackle. The boat will not have jigs for sale, but line, leader, hooks, weights they have onboard and reasonable priced. Cheaper than landing tackle store. They will also have the terminal tackle that works. Last thing you want are 6/0 hooks straightening out when pulling with 30#'s of drag on a big tuna.

You'll have 100#+ of fish easily to transport home. 5 Star processing will meet the the Shogun at the dock. If you call them you should get an idea how fast the turn around will be for you. I'm sure they work with anglers from out of town to get them taken care of first.
 

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Take the spinner. I’ve caught 30-40 pound Bluefin on poppers off the bow when most are on the stern sliding in a sardine. But I’ve never gotten a Pacific bite on a Halco. Go with small poppers or Colt Snipers.
 

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Since you're on a Penn sponsored trip contact the rep and get the details about what they bring and what you need. Usually "TunaNorth" runs these charters. Last year they landed a few bluefin cows and super cows on their December trip
****
 

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Check out Fishermans Landing for rental rods, #80 and #100. Boat will provide kite gear if used. Make sure and make a reservation with fish processor. They are fully booked right now but it may slow down by November.
 
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