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Long Range Report: Rooster wraps up cow season

Special to Western Outdoor News
Published: Jun 13, 2017
SAN DIEGO — It’s the stuff that makes skippers beards turn gray. The long range fleet struggled through one of the most inconsistent cow seasons in recent history. Circumstances and the fickle fortunes of the sea combined to put the long range boats on their back foot throughout most of the season. The dedicated and determined crews forged ahead eking out a catch each trip by the skin of their teeth. So as the season ends, the bite, for the first time all year begins to show signs of, you guessed it, consistency.

Rooster’s last stand


BOB MICHNER STANDS with a JP winning 230 kite fish landed on the Rooster.

VICTOR ALFONSO HANGS with a 226 taken aboard the Red Rooster.


The Red Rooster III arrived on the grounds on the back of a terrific Excel trip that saw double digit cows and a supercow. Although the June Heat Accurate 15–day began with uneven fishing and shark trouble, things began to come together as the trip entered the home stretch. Capt. Andy Cates was at the wheel of the renowned sportfisher and sent this report from a good day, “Better today with 20 tuna and a few wahoo. A few bigger fish mixed in with Bobby and his 210 and Soda Pop with his 225. Soda Pop wins the Accurate daily jackpot. A nice Accurate Boss 600 reel. High hopes for tomorrow, hoping that things are on the upswing.”


After a day with sharks and small tuna, the last day proved to be a good one as the Rooster boated several cows, “It was our last day out here and we hoped to finish with a bang. Sharks backed off today and we had better success. Joe Davidson picked off a 213 on the fly-line sardine and won the Accurate jack pot for the day. An Accurate Boss 600. Bob Michener had a 230 on the kite. We finished with 24 tuna and a few wahoo. We are all finished here and heading up after dinner. We will report on weather. The jackpot winners were, 1st place, Bob Michener with a 230-pound yellowfin, 2nd place, Victor Alfano with a 226 and 3rd place, Soda Pop with a 225.”


Indy in the yellow




A CHUNKY YO-YO fish landed on the Indy.


The Independence was on the beach in search of springtime yellowtail on the Dick Schaeffer 8-Day. The bluefin would not cooperate so Capt. Jeff DeBuys took the big boat inside for the mossbacks. The fish were willing to comply, “Today was good fishing for yellows down here along with great weather. The surface pluggers had a field day along with yo-yo jiggers and sardine throwers. We are going to sit here tonight and try again tomorrow.”


The following day, there were some grouper in the mix, “Today we had good fishing for beautiful grade yellowtail along with a sample of nice grouper for the effort. We also had great weather to go along with all this hot action down here. We are now on our way up and we may stop along the beach tomorrow to wet a line.”


Local Star


The Royal Star, fresh out of the yard, began the summer campaign with a series of local Bluefin trip. The boat found plenty of fish but fickle to say the least. Capt. Brian Simms described a scratchy day like this, “We had a good day of chasing local bluefin in very nice weather. We had tuna putting on a pretty good show around the boat, so the visuals were exciting. We managed to land 5 bluefin and a yellowfin with two of our bluefin close to 100-pounds and a 125-pound jackpot.”


Angler gets Catchy


The American Angler was also embracing a spring schedule embarking on a Catchy Tackle Open 8-day trip. The boat scratched at offshore tuna then headed to the beach to put wood in the shed. “We had a great time as ocean conditions provided us with steady yellowtail action for most of the day. With nice weather, all the action was surface orientated – fly-lined sardines and surface lures providing most of the action. There has been great surface iron fishing.”


A BRILLIANT OPAH caught by angler Jerry Cadena aboard the Intrepid on a Flat Fall jig.

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