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Senior Member
362 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Once again I was fortunate enough to be able to jump on one of Big Tuna Bill's ultra long range charters leaving Feb. 13 and returned yesterday, March 1. This time we were on the Big Bird, Red Rooster III, skippered by Andy Cates who along with an amazing crew and front office provided a top of the line experience for one and all.

The boat was scheduled to leave around 9 AM and most everyone was there plenty early. I got a chance to meet everyone and discovered we had anglers with experience that ranged from the most highly experienced to the complete novice. I know there have been discussions on this board about folks working their way up the long distance time frames but I have never agreed with that philosophy and I believe this trip was a great example where a complete new comer came away with an experience of a life time. But I will get more into that later.

Super light load of 16 passengers made loading quick and easy. The crew was everywhere and anywhere making sure the passengers were pampered and assisted in whatever capacity was needed. The jokes and fun began almost immediately between the crew and folks who have been on this charter for years. It took no time at all for that commeraderie to filter down to all the rest of the group.

We hit the Bait dock and with tanks and slammers full we head south not knowing yet exactly where we would begin this adventure. At some point in the first few days our bow was pointed about half way between Hurricane Bank, where the RP was holding court, and Clarion Island. Final decision was we would begin our journey at Clarion and a great decision it was.

On the second or third evening we broke out the tons of giveaways provided by Big Tuna Bill and Mike from Izorline. It took over an hour to give everything away and most everything was used on this trip. We had Spanyid Gold Raiders, Catchy Tackle Bombs as well as some of their very expensive trolling spinner jets and of course their Sea Strike 33's in all the right colors. Jig bags, gloves, hooks and the list goes on. Izorline provied unlimited amounts of 100 and 130 pound mono to be used as desired by anyone. The Piece De Resistance was a brand new Super Seeker 6463 XXXH which was won by Spiros. To quote Andy.. NIIIIIIIICE!!!!

Making our way to check in at the Island I remember the post (I think it was Wahoodad's) discussing the amazing amount of wildlife around our fishing area's. We too were greated with Porpoi, Birds,
Whales breaching and leaping all around us. When we got anchored some folks placed a sardine on a string and we were immediately attacked by swarms of Aquarium type fish in all colors of the rainbow. Hundreds and Hundreds of them. We were also greeted by the R.P. who decided to leave the Bank and Join us at the Island.

We checked in and within about an hour and a half, Andy found a giant school of biting fish. In no time at all it was GAME ON for Yellowfin Tuna in a great price range. 80 - 230 pound fish all over the place. Kites and balloons going off many times before they ever reached the zone and bent rods were the standard. Again, the crew was everywhere and anywhere they were needed and few fish were lost except to sharks. This continued until dark with everyone getting some very good grade of fish including our novices whose cherries got popped. With the addition of some Skin we had an amazing first day. NIIIIIIICE!!!!

Rick and Jose seved up one of their many fantastic meals and most folks went to bed. I couple of us stayed up to fish for a while with not much in the way of results except those pesky sharks.

Next day came around 4 AM, except for this fisherman who got up promptly at the break of 8 AM. Yeah, this was my first trip ever where rail time was NOT the prime diective as I came out to just relax and get away from the pressures I and most of you all have been experiencing. IT WORKED. Anyway today turned out to be a bit of a letdown from the day before with little sign of life in our location and by late morning Andy decides to head for the Bank.
I took this decision to heart and spent lots of time in my bunk reading and sleeping. NIIIIIIIIIIIIICE.

We arrive at the bank for several days of a pick bite during the day. Fish ranged from the smallers all the way through a couple of cows. Wahoo were around but not in huge numbers but the quality was pretty darn good.

I love to fish jigs at night and though the first night produced about 5 of the smallers both on the 200 Gram Spanyid Raiders as well as the Glow PL68, I did manage to get a nice 3 gaff model on a later night just prior to our leaving.

Most folks were in bed immediately after dinner and were up as around 4 or 4:30 AM to begin their fishing days. I continued my new Long Range time frame getting up anywhere from 7:30 to 8:30 AM feeling great after a wonderful nights sleep.

We stayed at the bank for a few days with some nice fish being landed. Very few fish were lost due to operator error as the crew was just fantatic especially in making sure the new comers were covered in all aspects of their game.

Andy makes the decision to head towards the beach so another round of sleeping and reading was on the menu for this fisherman. LOOOOOOVED IT.

As a note: This was probably the most mellow group of fishermen I had ever fished with. Folks brought their own brand of snacks to go with the endless supply provided by the boat and everyone shared. The conversations were quiet and reserved but there were always laughs to be had. Folks were generally in bed very early with NO real urgency imposed on anyone to do anything they did not want to do. Really nice.

Second Ticket Joe is a hoot. He decided to take the newcomer under his wing and this person wanted to learn not only more about fishing but about English as well. Peter is Korean and always had a sheet of paper to learn a few new words or phrases in English. Needless to say Joe took this opportunity to become Peter's Mentor and English Proffessor. Peter learned everything he was taught as he would practice his new bits of down home American Slang. Most all of what Joe taught Peter could not be repeated even at a Sailors flop house and would certainly get Peter kicked out of any church he might use it in but Peter is not only a great sport but He really did want to learn everything he could. And Peter learned alot. He even got his fishing MOJO on landing some very nice quality fish.

Having Peter as the newest member to long range made this fisherman recall what it was like on my first long range trip. His unbridled excitement at what many of us take for granted as well as the high fives he got when he landed a big fish and the ear to ear grin Peter would always seem to wear just made me smile a little more and appreciate that trip just that much more. Peter also won the coveted
Izorline Best Sportsman Trophy which Peter even brought to the docks when we met the boat in S.D.

Anyway, back to the fishing. We got to our fishing destination with giant humbolt squid and then tuna waiting for us. Hours of Yellowfin almost jumping into the boat and a wide open bite was a great way to almost end the trip but Captain Cates had other Ideas. With Enough quality tuna in the holds Andy takes us south about 3 or 4 hours (Yes I got a nap) to a fantastic Grouper spot. Bottom fishing on quality grouper may not be my favorite pastime but it was a blast for several hours. And thus we finished up the fishing portion of the trip.

All but one of us unloaded at Cabo, flew home, and met the Boat on Sunday. I am guessing, bacause of the beautiful weather, the landing was filled with tourists. I have never seen so many folks watch the unloading of a Long Range Boat. Again, Sometimes I forget that most folks have never seen a 100# + Tuna in their lives let alone some cows we were placing in piles. The oohs and ahhhs just added to the excitement with pictures being taken by the hundreds by these spectators. We really became a tourist attraction for those few hours and it was just plain fun.

We averaged about 10 quality tuna per angler, not including the many we released. Wahoo was not wide open but certainly enough for a whole lot of fun and filets. Some nice grouper and wondeful weather resulted in a fantastic trip. We had several days of a pick bite but we also had two days of wide open quality Yellowfin action.

As I have alluded to in some of the paragraphs above, this trip was for me more than just a fishing extravaganza. It was more about refueling my mental and physical tank which has been depleated over the last several months as many of you can relate to. Work wise it really was not the right time to go but LIFE WISE it was mandatory. The folks I met invigorated me, the fishing.... Well fishing is just part of my life and the rest and relaxation by joining the ranks of the "Gentleman" fisherman succeeded in my coming home with a full tank and a younger overall feel both mentally and physically.
I would have to rate this Charter as one of my most successful ever.

I will be adding pictures once I compile all the CD's promised to me by others but in short this is an Amazing Charter, with Amazing folks including Jesse who never failed to smile and just dig the experience and an Amazing operation as provided by the enitre staff of the Red Rooster III. Captain Andy, Captain Joe, Tom, Nick, Fernando, Jose and last but not leat Rick who took care of this slighly demanding fisherman who does not eat fish. Or should I say did not eat fish until I sampled some of Rick's fresh Wahoo Chowder and Jose's fresh Threadfin Sculpin fish taco's. Yuuuuummmm.

Anyone and I mean anyone, regardless of fishing or Long Range experience, should really consider this Charter next year. As I noted the skill level is from the newest (Though no longer a newcomer) to some of the most experienced fishermen in Long Range.
Izorline and Rod and Reel Radio are just fantastic sponsors of this trip so what more could you ask.

I am sure I will have more but this is it for now and probably more than enough. Now I cannot wait for my next 17 day trip in April. Gawwwwd I love Long Range Fishing.


Senior Member
362 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I did get to use the Accurate Twin Spin 50 and loved it. Nothing giant, except for some sharks but Yellowfin tuna above the 100# mark were no problem at all and came in very quickly. Drags were smoooooth and the power was great. Combined with a Super Seeker 6463 XXXH which I customized for this application and my Thunder down under these smaller fish were no match at all. I will try again for a cow on this rig on my next trip in April.

Since my rig is set up for bait it was amazing at how the Sardines stayed so lively not having to pull against a conventional spool. If anything, I had to make sure these live baits didn't fly past the fish zone I was looking for. I really believe reels of this kind will start making their way into the west coast scene, as it has elsewhere around the world, due to the ease of casting either artificials or especially live bait.

With the new Accurate 50 Twin Spin more and more giant fish will be landed on spinners.


did you get to use your sr50 on any large tuna?
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