A few photos of some nice fish from your Bass Contender brothers. Ron Janke was nice enough to send in some photos of his women from the annual CBC road trip in April 2013. I do not have the whole story on Rons increddible day on the Delta but it included more fish than what you see in these photos. I heard it was a day RJ will never forget. Hit up RJ for the whole story on this fine duo of 10lb ladys and if you guys miss out next time around for the Bass Contender road trip to the increddible California Delta and beyond….. Well lets just say: “You aint down”! Good job RJ!
Randy Estrada & Paul Herber put together a nice bag of a three fish limit in July at Perris team event. Danny Caldwell also got in to some beauties at the same Perris night event as the Father & Son team of Dave & Alex Pisarski showed us how you do it. Here are the two photos of the guys hammimg it up.
Another pair of April 2013 pescados came from our own webmaster Big Eduardo. 198lbs and 216lbs “Come and get ya sum of this”!
I had a true fish of a lifetime hooked right before the trip ended on the last day at the Shimada Seamount.
In the final act, as the final act, last day and last hour, last minutes of the trip aboard the finest sportfishing vessel in the fleet, The MV Independence out of Point Loma Sportfishing in San Diego, Ca. The whole boat was treated to a giant yellowfin tuna fishing clinic by yours truly. The Captain had already told everybody to wind ’em up and that we were headed for home… we were out of time and at that very moment it happened. I was bit as soon as i put the reel in gear to wind ’em in, I knew instantly this was not like any other fish I have ever hooked in my lifetime. Even with a 216lb fish and several in the high 190’s in the box from this awesome trip to the Shimada Seamount also known as the Hurrican Bank, this was not anything I had ever experienced before. This would end up being the classic battle with an absolute demon, a tuna devil incarnate who ended up being the focal point of the entire vessel, all 24 passengers and 8 crew men were ring side for what would happen next. I wont bore you with the hookup details and the grind to get her near the boat but in the grueling last round at color that endured at least twenty to thirty minutes after the initial grind from the depths of the Southern Pacific ocean I got the fish to where everybody could finally see her, it was deep color and that color was a huge silhouette of what seemed to be godzilla like in appearance.
As Frankie Valley once sang a song, “So close, but yet so far away”, twenty five to forty feet away that seemed like miles to my aching muscles and lower back, the battle raged. The give and take pattern across the same ten foot section of my perfect rigging, 130lb Seaguar fluorocarbon and Jerry Brown 130lb spectra, was so intense and so exhausting for me too have subdued such a trophy yellowfin over my short illustrious history in long range fishing but this here was the real deal, what I came for. I was no stranger to this scenario; but none of that mattered in this moment. As the clock ticked away the law of inevitability was close at my heels. One cannot apply that kind of pressure forever without something giving way; the fish was going to come in, or some form of disaster was going to decide the contest. The point of no return had been reached – the time to lift the rod off the rail and actually pull on the beast rather that hang on and try to gain ground by utilizing drag pressure and only turning the reel handle. It is a critical juncture reached during many battles with trophy yellowfin. The really mean ones do not give it up – they need a little more muscle, and a lot of convincing.
The time had come and I just didn’t have it. All the experience, all the years added up to nothing more than the knowledge that I was whooped hard. I wasn’t willing to give up, and the crew wasn’t willing to let me, but that law of inevitability was fast approaching as the possessed beast continued to circle to the outside and regain every inch of line earned on the front side. In any decent angler’s defense I have to say that trophy yellowfin simply do not, can not, pull harder than the warrior it is contending with. That fish was a champion gladiator in peak form. There was zero shame in this condition; it was the fifteenth round with a heavyweight champion, punch drunk, and still standing. Recognizing that the time had come for a significant shift in strategy we took a step back, harnessed up, and resumed the battle with an aching groin and back hugely relieved. Now I once again could re-apply hard, much harder, steady pressure and the fish was obviously not liking the change. But rather than succumb to the new, far more effective approach it only made the beast madder. It seemed to steel it’s resolve, to motivate it’s drive to punish the source of it’s distress that much more.
Against that kind of pressure the beast began violently switch backing and shaking it’s head, rising to the surface, rolling over, and constantly grating the 130lb Seaguar back and forth across it’s teeth. It is almost unbelievable the leader withstood the abrasion alone. Three times the unrelenting beast doubled back, charged under the boat, and in the process just about jerked me out of my boot’s. If the entire crew hadn’t been at my side I would have just have gone over. This was long range drama at it’s finest – and the whole boat was audience to the white knuckle, intensely gripping show. Gaff’s at the ready, on the final circle, it was time, it was not only pay day for the jack pot winner but it was news worthy, it was front page material, it was interviews and comments, with a crewman utilizing the “fork” or push poll to keep the line clear of the rudder and wheels, the demon came alive and made a last heroic charge. Three to four feet from gaff, after a half hour of grueling battle at close color alone, the beast won it’s freedom. In the blink of an eye it was over. Gasps of horror and disbelief accompanied an acute sense of injustice felt by everyone involved. But the reality was this: the fish absolutely, positively won and I was defeated.
We could have harpooned him like they do on everybody’s favorite show Wicked Tuna, we could have commandeered the rod, we could have made it happen, but it was my fish to land; it was my battle to win or lose. Though heart wrenching it was incredibly satisfying to witness and to live it; man against beast in pure form; victor and the vanquished; material of romantic exploits novelized for millenniums. And while a painful conclusion for one, you could not help but admire the opponents tenacity. What a battle, and what lessons for all who observed.
Not in the immediate, but shortly after the disappointing outcome it was all laughs as it is no consellation to the thrill of victory and agony of defeat when it comes to the pursuit of a Goliath Yellowfin. This wasn’t the first chance I missed on, and God willing won’t be the last. Not to say that there wasn’t an ample amount of reflection on what could, what may have been done; there was plenty, and rightly so. But none of it took from the experience, no not one bit. One comment I reflected on about about such a battle, is being exactly what I came for, it really stood out. I came on this voyage in pursuit of the real deal, in pursuit of a fishing experience I can’t, I do not, I would not find anywhere else in the world except on the Hurricane bank in the Southern Pacific.
Man oh man; what a fish!
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