Chief 2.5 Day – October 17-20, 2014 – Awesome End to Our Offshore Season! Limits YFT, dorado, yellowtail… and WAHOO!

Wahoo on the Chief
The crew shows off Wahoo on the Chief

Danny and I pulled together a few great sponsors for giveaways on this trip…

Yellowfin catches had fizzled, although the dorado were still full speed, if you could find the right paddy… and a few wahoo here and there. The forecast of high winds told me it was going to be an uncomfortable trip… and slow fishing.

The forecasters lied!

We loaded and left with 33 passengers on the 90 foot Chief. Jeff gave a safety speech and a run down on the plans after we left the bait dock loaded with what looked like some beautiful sardines. Danny and I had a gift bag for every passenger (hand towel, finger tape, head lamp) and then a raffle including a nice Tiburon rod, 6 pairs of “Bomber” floating sunglasses, 12 Bait Wrap jigs, and two passes for lobster fishing on the Gail Force!

First Fish
First Fish

Overnight was a little lumpy, but by morning it really seemed to be coming down. We started trolling and quickly hooked up! Dorado on the troll, a couple more hooked on bait with one landed. (I had a “special” prize for the first bait fish….)

Off again, and before long we hit a paddy that bit… with what I hadn’t expected: Yellowfin! Wide screaming open for a couple of drifts until we had limits!


Wind up, and look for something else. And within minutes again, we were pulling dorado like crazy! No “neck ties”, all really nice fish! And a huge surprise…. Wahoo!! We hooked a total of four on the boat, two of them were landed, both on megabaits. A third and last drift on that paddy yielded not a single bite, but we had 70 of them on the boat already! It was only a little after 10…

Lunchtime came and went. We wandered looking for more dorado, but now the ocean was like a lifeless desert. Couple of jig stops on bonito. Some late afternoon yellowtail, sashimi afternoon appetizer before an awesome steak dinner!

His First yellowtail
His First yellowtail

Morning we were closer to the Coronados looking here and there for yellows. We found a few spots that gave some up, and picked away for 54 of them, and close to home, called it a day and had dinner while we rolled to the dock late Sunday night!

Thank you Captain Chris Randal and the crew of the Chief for an amazing, incredible trip! What a way to end the season!

Ahi Poke – with Avocado and Cucumber

Poke is a wonderful to transform some of you fresh tuna into a wonderful summer appetizer!  Here’s one of my favorite recipes!


1/2 pound sashimi grade tuna, diced


1/3 cup diced cucumber (I like the Japanese cucumbers for this!)

1/2 avocado, diced

3 tablespoons chopped green onion

1 teaspoon red pepper flakes

2 teaspoons toasted* sesame seeds (use half black, half white)

1 teaspoon lemon juice


1 1/2 teaspoon sesame oil

1/3 cup soy sauce


Optional additions:

Tobiko (flying fish roe)

Green Shiso, minced


In a medium bowl, combine the tuna, cucumber, green onion, red pepper flakes and sesame seeds.

In a small bowl, blend the lemon juice, sesame oil and soy sauce. Pour over the tuna mixture, and stir.

Add the avocado, and gently fold in, so as not to mash the avocado.

Once chilled, serve with toasted bread or your favorite crackers. Baked won-ton chips are also wonderful with this!


* To toast sesame seeds, heat a dry skillet over medium heat, add sesame seeds. Stir and cook until toasted and fragrant, about 2-3 minutes.




ISWAC Pacific Dawn – October 4-5, 2014 – Third Annual Blood Bath!

ISWAC (Inland Saltwater Angling Club) had a trip scheduled on the first weekend in October again this year. I’d gone the last two years and both trips were epic… this one did not disappoint!!

We boarded 17 anglers on Friday night, and headed out. With a load of really nice sardines from the bait dock, we were off.

Our captain was not the usual, we had “Skinny”, with Moses as second. On deck was Rick and Fernando, with Ana in the galley.

We’d be heading off shore, looking for a huge paddy that had been fished by the group before, expect to be there in the morning. Everyone should be rigged and ready to go, because they expected the fishing to be full speed as soon as we found it.

Kelp Paddy
The Magic Kelp Paddy

Up early and troll rods out… no biters on the troll, and we quickly heard “Wind in the trollers” when the promised paddy was located. We pulled up and everyone was immediately bit!! Crazy in the stern, I ran to the bow with a sardine, threw out and within seconds was bit. The crew was gaffing like crazy in the stern when I yelled for a gaff in the bow. My first tuna was the biggest of the trip, at a little over 16 pounds.

Danny's Jackpot Dorado
Danny’s Jackpot Dorado went a little over 26 pounds.

It was crazy nuts for less than an hour… other boats pulled in, then more, and more. The bite quickly fizzled, but we put close to 60 yellowfin on the boat, plus a few dorado! In the mayhem, Danny landed one over 26 pounds! Ana had been spiking, bleeding and tagging fish as fast as she could, and when we took off to look for more paddies, she was off to the galley to make breakfast sandwiches for everyone.

I’d just finished mine when we found another paddy, and within minutes we were all bent again.

When that fizzled, we found a paddy jugged with dorado and loaded up on those.

Lunch was pastrami sandwiches, dinner a delicious tri-tip with home fried potatoes and steamed broccoli, and carrot cake for dessert.

Breakfast Sandwich while on the Troll

Breakfast sandwiches, and we scratched around for limits of yellowfin and dorado, then ran to the beach to look for yellowtail. We only had a couple of hours to fish, “Skinny” found us a meter mark on a high spot. Danny hooked and landed a yellowtail on a Bait Wrap 6X Junior with a white squid print, and Jim caught one on a sardine. I had a mint green yo-yo that produced nothing. Switched to a blue and chrome. Danny landed another one on that Bait Wrap, and I finally got bit! It wasn’t pulling hard enough… barracuda.. released. Danny was taking a breather from the two yellows he’d already landed and told me to try his outfit with the Bait Wrap still tied on. I dropped it, and wound up a few cranks. Nothing. Dropped, wound up. Still nothing. Dropped again. “This isn’t working for me…” I started winding, and got bit!! After a brief struggle, I had my yellowtail on the boat, too!

Dorado and Yellowtail
One of the Dorado and three of the four Yellowtail

No more biters, and it was time to head for home.

Ana made burgers for lunch, and after that I took a long nap. Got up just in time for late afternoon snack: Veggie plate, cheese and crackers, and spicy tuna rolls! Yum!!

Everyone went home with limits of yellowfin, limits of dorado… and three of us who got lucky went home with the four yellowtail we caught at the end of the trip.

Awesome, as always, on the Pacific Dawn.