Waterman's Journal

Jun 23, 2016

Intro to Long Range Fishing: Part Two

excel tuna

If you’re just checking in and missed Intro to Long Rage Fishing: Part One, then click here to get caught up on what you’ve missed >>> Intro to Long Range Fishing: Part One

Part Two

10-16 day trips

For the anglers who are a bit more experienced and looking to catch a trophy yellowfin tuna, a 10 – 16 day trip may be your best option to make that happen. These kind of trips are specifically targeting “Cows”, yellowfin over 200lbs, and wahoo. Although they do catch other species on these trips, they have one goal in mind and that is to catch the biggest tuna possible.


The Red Rooster III and the Excel both run these longer duration trips targeting giant tuna, so you can expect the same great service and amenities that you would get on a shorter trip. To catch these giant tuna, the boats will travel over a 1000 miles to get to the grounds, which is usually below the tip of the Baja peninsula. Bring a book or something to keep you entertained because it takes a couple of travel days before you reach the fishing grounds. You will have more than enough time to get all of your gear prepped and rigged and it is a good idea to wait to do all of that on the boat anyways so you can talk with the crew and see what has been working best. The travel days are a great time to get caught up on fish stories, prep your gear, eat great food, and relax because once you reach the grounds, it’s game time!

sushi platter [The sushi on these boats is second to none because of the freshness]

prepping [Travel days are spent rigging and making sure everything is good to go]

There are a handful of productive techniques that work when fishing giant yellowfin, so come prepared with the appropriate gear. The day-to-day rig that you will fish is a 30W reel, loaded with 80-130lb spectra tied to a 100lb flouro carbon leader, matched with a 7ft rod. When targeting yellowfin, you can expect to fish the kite rig, flyline baits ranging in size from sardines to 3lb skipjack, dropping baits down with a sinker rig, and fishing big jigs in the dark. The typical day starts out around 3am where you will fish for big tuna until around 8-9am, as this is usually when the big tuna shut off. After the bite slows, you will start trolling the banks for wahoo and searching for schools of porpoise that may be holding tuna.

night time cow [Some of the best cow action happens early in the morning while it's still dark out]

pl68 fish [Pelagic Pro Kevin Mattson shows off a nice model caught on the PL-68 jig]

The wahoo fishing on these longer range trips can be phenomenal, with scores of 100+ fish a day being the norm. The boat will troll lures around the banks until they get bit, and once that happens, the jig slingers will commence to bomb their lures away from the boat to try and entice any lingering fish from the school that bit the trollers. The two most popular and productive lures to fish wahoo are heavy jigs and wahoo bombs. The heavy jigs are similar in shape to surface irons, but have a little more weight to them, which allows the angler to cast further and sink them out quicker. Wahoo bombs vary in shapes and styles, but the general bomb consists of a heavy metal head with a flashy, bright colored, skirt, rigged with either single or double side-wash hooks. Fishing wahoo is fast paced and really exciting if the fish are active, so be prepared for some adrenaline pumping fun if you get on a biting school.

wahoo [Up and over..... Wahoo fishing is fast paced and unpredictable so you always have to keep an eye out for fish flying out of the water]

wahoo [The best time to crack a cold one is after you put a nice fish on the boat]

Fishing for giant tuna takes a fair amount skill because there are many little tricks that can help increase your odds of getting a bite. These fish can be really finicky at times and will only bite a kit rig that is dangling in the water, or sometimes they will just get stupid and bite anything that hits the water. Regardless of how you get bit, landing one of these trophy fish is a truly epic battle between man and fish. The knowledge and skill needed to fight these fish comes with time and experience on the water, so it is highly recommended that if you are new to fishing that you hop on a shorter trip just to get some experience under your belt.

kaleb [Kaleb Peterson shows that the rail is your friend when fighting these strong fish]

kaleb [Hard work pays off!]


kevin mattson [Kevin Mattson poses with a butterball yellowfin tuna caught aboard the EXCEL]

dorado [While tuna and wahoo are the main targets on these longer trips, there is some nice bycatch that comes aboard]

If fishing a long range trip is something that you have always wanted to do, then do yourself a favor and book a trip with the Red Rooster III or EXCEL to experience a trip you will never forget.

Click here for more details Red Rooster III & EXCEL