Fishing For Far Off Giants:

By: Alec Robbie


Adventures are all around us. The hardest part, in my opinion, is taking that first step and just saying “Screw it, I’m going”. For me fishing is the start to most of my adventures, for others it could be hunting, climbing, biking, whatever. In my particular case I wanted to go somewhere that hardly anyone has gone before, a place where I see things that not many people have seen, experience what can only be felt by getting out and going for it.

There is a fleet of boats in Southern California that can take people fishing to some places out of reach to the average person. Equipped with state of the art fish finding equipment, some of the most skilled crewmembers in the fishing industry, and the ability to take you to places never dreamt possible. Trips on these boats can range from 1 day to 23 days. Destinations could be right outside the harbor to remote islands over 1,000 miles south. These trips offer a great range of options that target fish of all different species and sizes. The longer trips target the biggest Yellow Fin Tuna in the world, at some of the most remote destinations imaginable. One day I gave in to the call for adventure and went after these giant fish. Starting in San Diego Bay California I boarded the 105 foot sport fishing boat that I would be calling home for the next 16 days, in pursuit of giant Yellow fin Tuna.

The boat steamed out of the bay, and the trip officially started. The next stop, the waters where giants swim. A four day boat ride filled with anticipation and eager preparation for the battles ahead. After a few steak and prime rib dinners we arrived at the fishing grounds. The first stop is coming up, it’s The Hurricane Bank, a beacon of life a thousand miles from San Diego in the middle of the Ocean. The word is given to put out the trolling lures to try for some Wahoo. These are arguably the fastest fish in the ocean as wells as the best tasting at the table. Three lures out three fish on, before the boat goes a hundred yards.

surface iron wahoo
Within minutes I find myself racing to keep up with a forty pound Wahoo taking line every which way. The chaos goes on for a few hours until, the Capitan decides that we caught enough, and makes the call to anchor up and try for Tuna.
The tuna fishing is a much slower pace than the Wahoo fishing, but when a tuna is on the end of your line it will be a much harder fight than a Wahoo. These Yellow Fin are between 100 and 300 lbs with some trophies surpassing the 300lb mark, so hooking in to one of those will be a battle that will not be won easily. These fish push tackle technology to the limit, even in this day and age. I have seen hooks straighten regularly, rods shatter, reels break from their reel seats and more. Pound for pound these are some of the strongest animals in the ocean.

Days of fishing go by filled with more Wahoo and Tuna, the fish just seem to keep getting bigger and bigger. As the final days approach, I have caught my share or big fish. A 220 pounder and a tuna of a life time that weighed 286lbs. I didn’t think anything more incredible could happen, until the last day of fishing.

Big weird bait for Giant Tuna

Big weird bait for Giant Tuna

The morning started out with a huge amount of Galapagos Brown Sharks eating everything that hit the water. Every piece of bait was eaten by a shark, release after release, shark after shark kept coming to the boat. The few tuna that were hooked would only make it a few seconds until they were completely eaten by these sharks. There were only two options given to me, cut my losses and call it quits, or keep plugging away for a chance at a giant. “I have already come this far, I may as well keep going now” was the verdict that was reached in my mind, and with that I pushed on.

I can remember the moment like it was yesterday, a moment that will be burned into my memory until the day I die. I grabbed a live sardine, hooked it in the same place as the hundreds of other sardines that I used that day. I walked to the rail and gave it a gentle lob, it the bait splashed the water and started pulling the 130lb test off my reel. The sardine shimmered just out of sight as two sharks lazily B-lined towards the bait. I sighed and expected another shark on my line. I then felt a distinct bump, saw a silver flash, and huge flat spot appeared in the water. I slid the reel into gear, and within seconds half my line was gone. A minute later 700 yards of my line was in the water, I could count the wraps of line on the spool as it neared its end. Thankfully the fish stopped, the silver from the bottom of my spool glimmered in the bright Mexican sun. Now was my chance to get my line back and bring in this monster fish. 45 minutes and 2 laps around the boat later the giant was making its final circles on the surface. It finally came close enough for the crew to get four gaffs in the fish. Seeing four grown men struggle to bring it aboard was a great sight. If 286 lb fish wasn’t big enough, the fish that I just landed weighed just over 314lbs. This was truly a fish of a lifetime, people fish for over 20 years targeting these giants over 300lbs and never land one.

My adventure could not have ended any better, being 18 years old I was the youngest person to land a Yellow fin Tuna over 300lbs, ever. As the trip ended and we headed home it was obvious that I got what I came for. I went to a place that hardly anyone has gone before, a place where I saw things that not many people have ever seen, and experienced what can only be felt by getting out and going for it. In my case caught that fish of a life time that could only have been caught by saying “Screw it”, and going for it.

Long Range fishing out of San Diego is a great place to say “screw it” and start an adventure of any length. If you enjoy fishing, then this is definitely something that needs to be tried for any angler or adventure seeker. I mean, I was just looking for an adventure and I got memories that will last a lifetime.


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