“We ended up having a great day of tuna fishing on the Hurricane Bank,” wrote Intrepid skipper Bill Cavanaugh March 17. “We had steady action all day on 120 to 160-pound fish. Our weather was gorgeous all day and everyone had a blast. This was our last fishing day of the trip and it was a great way to end the trip. We will be traveling north for home over the next few days. Our weather forecast is good.”
Last Day Best
“Today turned out to be our best day of fishing this trip,” said Tom Ferrari, Red Rooster III skipper on March 17. “We caught 29 tuna, most of that over 100 pounds, with two over the 200-pound mark. The bite didn't materialize until the early afternoon but when the fish rolled through they sure were in a biting mood. The kites and balloons were getting bit as fast as we could put them out. Flylining sardines generated bites but the fish seemed to really want the big baits.
The preferred bait was the live flying fish the crew scooped the night before. The flying fish on the kites always seem to generate the most intense crashes. The tunas chase the bait, jumping out of the water after the panicked flying fish, often missing and coming back for multiple tries. This has everybody yelling and shouting, and really gets anglers excited. It was a great day to end the trip on.
“It’s wonderful out here on the Royal Polaris,” said the report for March 19, “with great weather, and good fishing. This was to be be our last day of traveling, before we start fishing. Well guess what? Right before lunch, Dharyl saw a Dorado jump, then another one. So he called Jonathan up top. Jonathan turned the boat, and bingo! Not only did the Dorado bite, but the Wahoo moved the Dorado out.
“We had limit style Wahoo fishing for our passengers today. Most of the Wahoo were in the 25 to 40-pound range, with the Dorado going 18 to 25 pounds. We ended up with limits of Wahoo (85 Skin), and 14 Dorado for our 17 anglers today.”
“The San Diego has 18 yellowtail (at 10 A.M. Saturday) on the boat for their 25 anglers,” posted Seaforth Sportfishing March 18. “The fish are in the 15 to 25-pound range and they are biting on everything! The San Diego is a run for sure tomorrow, so dust off your gear, grab your passport and head out for a day of yellowtail fishing! “
At the end of the day the yellowtail score was 20. On Sunday March 19, Pacific Queen reported 52 yellowtail and Dominator 80 ‘tails from day and a half trips. Malihini had a brace from a ¾ day trip. If the next rains this week don't stop the bite, things could get interesting for yellowtail fishing in local waters.
Winter Into Spring
Jonathan Roldan reported for his Tailhunter report March 19: “Inshore cold-water species this week included a smattering of yellowtail, several varieties of pargo and snapper, some really nice cabrilla (sea bass) out of the rocks, plus hefty bad-tempered jack crevalle, bonito, and even some sierra which should be abundant this time of year, but have rarely made an appearance.
“But the blue-water species really sparked some raised eye-brows. It’s March yet some fun-sized 25-30 pound tuna showed up at the south side of the island. These are our first verified tuna of the season. So, did wahoo and even some respectable dorado. These are species we normally would not see until May or so depending on the water temps. And, I think that’s the key! Water temps were showing 70 to 75 degrees and the water was not as green and dirty as it had been in previous weeks when winds were kicking up. It remains to be seen what will happen this coming week when forecasts show that winds will roll in again and predominate for the better part of the week.
“Another variable that worked in our favor was the presence of a variety of bait. Unfortunately, no sardines showing up, but larger baits like ballyhoo, mackerel, small jacks worked well as live and dead baits. Cut fresh squid worked as well, but slow trolling Rapalas and Yo-Zuris produced big strikes as well. Interestingly, dragging the big crank baits over rocky areas that should have produced cabrilla, pargo, and yellowtail resulted in open-water surprises from tuna and wahoo…in shallow water! As I often tell folks, you don’t have to go out far in our area to get the glamour species! Dropping and jigging yo-yo iron also worked!”