By MIKE PEETERS, VETERAN HUNT PROGRAM COORDINATOR
Once again the Daily Double charter boat hosted California Waterfowl veterans along with Hope for the Warriors veterans on a fishing trip out of San Diego. In early discussion with where to go, Captain Fred Huber was a little unsettled with chasing the yellowfin tuna, but the bite had been hot and we rolled the dice and went looking for the elusive fish.
Three and a half hours into the trip we began to wonder if we made the right call as we passed the Coronado Islands and hadn’t had a bite. Little did we know the winds of change were a blowing and before too long we would be in the eye of the storm … a YELLOWFIN TUNA STORM!
Initially reports hit the airwaves that our sister boat, the Point Loma, had found the fish and the bite was red hot. We pointed our boat south, cranked up the motor and headed in their direction.
As we arrived on the bite, it was obvious from the shouts and waves from the Point Loma that the fish were biting. Very quickly we realized all of the swirls in the water were schools of tuna and they were attacking the bait as fast as we threw our lines overboard.
As the Point Loma headed back, shouts of “Fish on!” came from the bow, then the stern, then port, and finally starboard. In a matter of minutes we had five fish hooked and the battle was on! “Color!” was next as the tuna came up and, with a quick hook from the mates, our first five fish were in the boat.
For the next four hours we hooked and boated 49 yellowfin tuna and filled up the numbered sacks to differentiate who caught what fish. Multiple times we had to slow the catch so that the deck could be washed as the battle of the yellowfin turned the deck red.
The fish were swirling next to the boat, attacking bait, jumping out of the water and providing what turned out to be the best day of tuna fishing the boat had seen this fall. We also had a pretty cool visit by multiple sperm whales and one 14-foot hammerhead shark that looked like he was all business as he cruised the waters next to the boat.
Finally, with a three-hour ride back to the dock in front of us, we pointed our bow towards shore and began the long trek back. Although tired, sore and worn out from battling the tuna, there were plenty of smiles to share as the Battle of the Yellowfins was replayed over cold beer and hot burgers.
The tuna bite out of San Diego has been exceptional this year and many of the reports continue to give great catches of yellowfin out of San Diego. Much of the fishing is done in Mexican waters and requires a Mexican license ($15 for the day) but it is well worth it when they find the fish.
We are already looking forward to next year.