With the prospect of a nearby albacore migration failing to develop and the longfins staying 100 to 200 miles from Los Angeles, the new Shogun made ready to go after the big fish.
Twenty-five anglers picked the right time to go on the first multiday trip on Norm Kawaw's new 90-foot sportfisher out of L.A. Harbor Sportfishing.
On the first day out, 80 miles south of San Diego, the albacore hit the jigs on a slow troll. They were small, in the 5- to 8-pound class.
Kawaw headed farther south, fishing kelp patties, and found big yellowtail and yellowfin tuna. These jigs lasted for hours, with most of the fish going from 60 to 70 pounds.
Bending rods and reels and overheated lines made no difference, Kawaw said. Anglers came prepared to catch big ones with heavy tackle.
As fast as the fish came aboard they were put in the refrigerated hold with the anglers' numbers attached.
Bobby Rundell, a deckhand on sportfishing boats for 17 years, said he had never been in action where all the fish weighed nearly the same. He added that it has been about four years since the albacore were in reach of the South Bay fishing fleet.
It took 2 1/2 half hours to unload the 581 fish consisting of albacore, tuna, yellowtail and dorado.
The jackpot winners were Greg Miller of Gardena, 79 1/2-pound tuna; Mel Mitchell of Long Beach, 77 1/2-pound tuna, and Paul Gesio of Redondo Beach, a 73-pound tuna.
Kawaw was asked by an angler how he chose the name Shogun for his boat. He explained it means "ultimate leader" in Japanese.
For now, after its first long-range trip, the new Shogun is the leader on the fish count scoreboard.
Marlin continue to be brought in at Avalon, with more than 100 weighed since the run started.
Three Avalon residents caught big ones last weekend. Mark Bray used 30-pound mono line and took two hours to boat his 142-pounder. Bill Meister weighed in a 139-pounder, followed by Eddie Burr and his 123 1/2 pounds of fighting marlin.
South Bay Catches:
Kelsey Croft of Santa Monica, fishing at Catalina Island aboard the Blackjack, caught the whopper of the week, a 35-pound yellowtail.
Rick Vena of Lomita, at the rigs aboard the Daiwa with a diamond jig, won the jackpot with his 33-pound yellowtail.
John Woodrum of San Pedro, fishing aboard the First String, caught a 25-pound yellowtail.
Clint Creed of West Los Angeles, on the Spitfire, won the jackpot with his Santa Monica Bay halibut that weighed 18 pounds.
Ray Hawks of Torrance, fishing aboard the Grande 85, caught a 14 1/2-pound yellowtail.
Offshore tuna is the big topic of conversation. However, local inshore fishing is moving along with barracuda, bass and bonito.
At Marina del Rey Sportfishing: The Spitfire fished the Rockpile and anglers caught 75 sculpin, 27 sand bass, 21 barracuda and 20 bonito.
The Happyman on a half-day trip to the bay returned with 60 sculpin, 15 sand bass, 11 bonito and one halibut.
The Betty O rock cod trip resulted in 131 reds.
The Del Mar's anglers sacked 200 sculpin and 80 sand bass.
At Redondo Sportfishing: The Sea Spray fished Twin Roads as anglers sacked 220 bonito, 219 sand bass and 22 barracuda.
The Redondo Special half-day trip to Rocky Point found a good bass bite, with anglers catching 108, plus 80 bonito.
The City of Redondo on its half-day run to Twin Roads returned with 138 bonito, 27 bass and one barracuda.
The Blackjack worked Catalina for 18 yellowtail, 30 bass, 28 barracuda and 12 bonito.
The barge Isle of Redondo had a weekend count of 3,471 mackerel, 289 bonito, three barracuda and three rockfish.
At 22nd Street Landing: The First String targeted Catalina with live squid and had a good bass bite, catching 103 calico bass, 34 sand bass, 17 sheepshead, 15 barracuda and seven halibut.
The Monte Carlo half-day run to Horseshoe Kelp resulted in a catch of 55 barracuda, 20 sand dabs and 11 bonito.
At L.A. Harbor Sportfishing: The Sportking headed to Catalina and anglers sacked 117 barracuda, 13 bonito, two sheepshead and one halibut.
The Matt Walsh on a half-day trip to the Rockpile chalked up 26 bonito, 20 sculpin, 15 whitefish and one yellowtail.
The Shogun fished San Clemente Island as anglers landed 236 calico bass, 38 sheepshead, 35 whitefish, 32 bonito and one yellowtail.
The Outerlimits on a two-day tuna search returned with 18 bluefin, 16 yellowtail and one dorado.
The Annie B barge weekend count was 750 mackerel, 726 croaker and one halibut.
At Long Beach Sportfishing: The Victory fished the rigs and anglers chalked up 151 barracuda, 21 bonito, 13 calico bass and six rockfish.
The Southern Cal half-day trip to the Flats produced 75 sand bass.
The El Dorado hit a wide-open barracuda bite at Catalina, catching 182 plus 60 bonito.