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Bob Sands Tackle/Royal Polaris 15 day May 2016 Report

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#1 fishordie

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Posted 13 May 2016 - 12:23 AM

Good morning all,

Another incredibly successful Bob Sands Tackle charter is in the books. 26 passengers were treated to 15 days of hysterical laughter, inane antics, great cigars, a variety of cocktails and a whole lot of memorable fun times. We even figured out how to laugh and be fully entertained even while we cried about "That Guy".

As usual, I booked the Vagabond and arrived at the landing the day before departure. The Royal Polaris was kind enough to give the passengers a window of time the day before to load our gear rather than have to keep it in our vehicles. This was a huge step for facilitating the loading procedure the day of departure. A few of us went to Miguel's for an early dinner and cocktails. Doug, Stan and I had a great time chatting about fishing and life in general. The trip started out with a bang and we had not even loaded yet.

As always, Sal, the owner of Bob Sands Tackle in Van Nuys, Ca. spends a great deal of time organizing the giveaways. Sal gave away fantastic products from Cal Star Rods,Costa Del Mar Sun Glasses, Mustad Hooks, Trokar Hooks, Lead Masters, Rick Osaki, Raider Jigs, Penn Reels, Daiwa, Matthias All Water, Western Outdoor News and Seagaur Fluorocarbon found their way into the hands of our passengers. These were all items to be used on this trip.

This would turn out to be a very unusual trip in that I had the opportunity to wet a line, with a good shot at fish, 11 out of the 15 days the trip took to unfold. Most of the anglers got in 10 days of fishing. We were hoping to possibly find Bluefin the first and last day but alas, that did not come to pass, but my down side was an extra cigar and even more relaxation. However, we had a great time as we started our fishing portion of the trip with a nice partial day at Alijos Rocks for Wahoo and Yellowtail. Jigs and bait both were effective with the usual mix of Wahoo Successes and Wahoo Casualties. I LOVE WAHOO FISHING!!!

On the ride from The Rocks to the Island I organized numerous Texas Holdem Poker Tournaments so the 967th, 43rd and 32cd annual "Goats and Peanut Butter", Bob Sands Poker Tournaments are now in the books.

Several of the passengers donated fish to the boat for meals as these first fish would be turned into popsicles so early in the trip. This resulted in Joe and Alex, on one of the days, putting together an incredible Sushi/Sashimi display to rival the best Sushi restaurants.

Much of the trip went by in a blur but we began the fishing portion of our trip outside the Clarion Island buffer zone. This trip was again unusual in that the anglers had a chance to hook up from the moment we finished motoring out to the legal fishing zone, in the morning, until it was time to leave the Zone so we could anchor up at night. I did not notice the usual mid day lull as fish were biting, albeit mostly a steady pick, throughout most of the day. As usual, this was not a wide open bite but certainly a steady bite. I even got a big fat tuna to color on my JRI 8 but, without intending to, I ended up feeding half of it to the sharks. I got my jig back but the Shark Population deterred me from further usage. However, the next early evening Stan got one on a PL68. I loved it as I could wake up promptly at the crack of 6:30 AM, fresh and well rested, to start my fishing day. PERFECT.

While at Clarion I had a chance to use all of my techniques from Jigging to Popping to Bait fishing. I had a full compliment of Black Hole Cape Cod Specials and the new Challenger Rods as well as the newer 7'6" United Composite Viper and Invictus cow rods. I caught great fish on each and have to say I am sold on both lines of rods as being the best in their class. The same applies to a variety of Captain Jimmy Wahoo bombs, JRI jigs (Both Trolling, drop and Casting), Heru Poppers, etc. I will discuss more about those rods and artificial lures in a separate post and possibly at the end of this post. My favorite technique, of course, is popping and I had great success using this technique on both Wahoo and Tuna using the Heru Skipjack 90. Certainly not as successful as bait or fishing bombs or jigs but waaaay more fun as I landed a bunch of great fish. I was fortunate to be able to connect and land more than my share of tuna and wahoo at this location and the bank using both poppers and Captain Jimmy bombs but I am more fortunate in the fact I was also able to fully relax in between fishing sessions. I no longer spend countless hours at the rail, rather, for no other reason than I can, I head up to the upper deck to smoke a cigar, chat with a crew member or passenger, listen and laugh at Roy's endless jokes, have a cocktail, or just take in the magnificent scenery while watching the passengers and crew having a great time. When I felt the need, I throw out a jig, popper or bait, possibly catch a fish and then repeated the process. For this angler, I came as close to Nirvana as I can remember.

For the last few days in the deep south, Captain Roy made the call to head to Hurricane bank as it had laid untouched for over a week. The smell of more Wahoo was in the air. Besides, I can never say no to the 18 hour travel/enjoyment time between locations. Another Poker tournament was in the offing. Did I mention I LOVE TRAVEL DAYS.

The first day at the bank was a Wahoo treasure trove as well as holding big tuna. Unfortunately, the trove also was holding a fair amount of sharks. None the less jigs and bombs were thrown, poppers popped, JRI 8's dropped and Wahoo were landed, both intact and some not so intact. Lines without terminal tackle often were wound up, mostly the result of our grinning friends as well as some Wahoo antics. I did manage to get some wahoo and a 180 pound tuna through the tumult at the bank.

Though it was meant to be a practical joke, prior to arriving at Clarion, the R.P. guys decided to replace one of my great spinning rod set ups with a bamboo cut off end from a gaff serving as a blank, duct taped "El Cheapo" guides, and some sort of 1 dollar reel seat. I threw on a wired leader and out I went. The good news is I hooked two Wahoo in a pick bite. The bad news is one shark got "Under my Skin" at color while another hoo, I saw free swimming and hooked, was inhaled by at least one grinner further away. But that bamboo rod and I managed to land some tuna and Yellowtail.. The funniest part of the entire deal was the crew thought the fancy rod they replaced with the little bamboo blank was mine but it was actually Sal's. I saw Eddie grab a rod, thinking it was mine, knew he was up to no good, but did not let on until Sal came over and laughed at the joke, along with the crew, thinking I was the one getting punked...We all laughed our asses off (Everyone except for Sal), when I softly noted the rig was Sal's not mine... Talk about perfect timing... However, as a loyal member of the Bob Sands Contingency, I immediately replaced the reel on Sal's proper rod and placed my reel on the bamboo stick and without a word went fishing with that stick. Truly one of the highlights of the trip. As a note: I now have a full quiver of bamboo blanks from which I will be making long rang sticks. Be on the look-out for the new line of "Fishin Sticks by Eddie" or whatever name I come up with in the future.

The final days were a combination of travel and fishing as we stopped at several locations to fish more Yellowtail and bottom critters. Plenty of fish and plenty of pesky sea lions who we not so gladly fed fresh Yellowtail to. Though most of the fish were down lower in the water column I did hook a nice Yellow on surface iron when we saw a boil... Score: Sea Lion 1 Jamie 0. More poker tournaments were held, cigars smoked, cocktails enjoyed, etc..... Ahhhhh life was really, really good on the R.P. I really did not want it to end. The trip was so much fun I would have gone right back out for another 15 day trip had the boat not be spending the next many weeks in dry dock for the annual maintenance routine.

The real highlights of the trip was the relaxation I enjoyed and especially the time I spent with the passengers and crew. The laughing started before daylight and continued through bait making. Many of the anglers complained their jaws hurt from laughing so hard. This group had a mix of every type of angler from first time ultra long rangers to guys with decades of experience. I do not remember any angry anglers even though, with the current as it was, there were the inevitable spectra tangles. As usual the crew of un-weavers were amazing. What a great group of passengers and amazing crew.

The weather for this trip was almost unprecedentedly perfect. Slightly overcast skies kept the sun from baking us. Temps were probably in the low 80's with a slight breeze while the seas were almost always reasonably quiet. The 360 degree views of Nature's perfection were always available to those who chose to take a moment to notice. The term Glorious does not do this trip justice.

I did have one of the "Fish that got away" stories. Fishing the amazing United Composite Viper 7 foot 6 inch Viper I got bit on the right one on bait. I could tell this was a biggun based on the size of the tail beat as well as the feel of it when it laid against 30 pounds of drag on its side. I gave that fish a good licking for about 25 minutes but when it was within about 100 feet of the boat, with Dharyl by my side, I felt the horribly sick feeling when the line goes slack. Did the fish chew through?? Did my connection fail or did my short insert top shot slip out, but the worst feeling of all was if any of those things happened Dharyl would have ribbed me mercilessly. My bad feeling turned back to joy when I wound my hook back in with a small piece of the big boy still attached to the hook from where it pulled from the fish's mouth. The line and hook were in perfect shape as was my connection. The only hook I pulled all trip but it was on the right fish. As always, I toasted the victor with a Scotch and cigar and wished it well.

Almost everyone on this trip chose Fisherman's processing to handle their catch. As always, Sean and Rosie had the slush bins ready to go so off loading was quick and effortless. They also had so many cutters for the processing all the anglers, who chose same day service, were out earlier than almost any time I can remember. Thanks guys.

The only drawback to the trip was I had a death in the family. Well, not exactly a death but a maiming.. My incredibly famous prototype JRI-Hooker prototype trolling jig finally fell apart after landing about 100 Wahoo over the last many trips. As usual, every time this jig was trolled, regardless of where on the transom it was place or by whatever angler used it, this trolling jig got bit. Anyone who has fished with me the last few years refuses to sign up on my trolling rotation as they rarely have a chance when this jig was in the water. Amazingly enough, the jig still landed its last fish, missing the entire back half of the jig while fully impaling this last unfortunate skin on the belly hook. I will be arranging an open casket funeral sometime in the future. The truly amazing part about this prototype from Jerry is it was just supposed to test out the swim pattern and was not thru wired. The U wire holding the swivels on were just inserted into the jig about 1/4 of an inch. I have repaired this jig so many times yet it continued to create an amazing thrum and swim pattern which must be like catnip for Wahoo. Maybe Jerry should call it Skinny-nip. None the less, the production on this jig will hopefully be in the next few months depending on Jerry's schedule. I highly suggest everyone purchases at least 2 of these amazing trolling jigs as they are simply one the best Wahoo trolling jigs ever on the market and always have been. Fishy had Ugly Betty and I had this JRI-Hooker Hoo-nip and between us we gave payback, on behalf of all long range Wahoo anglers, for years worth of those far sighted bastards giving everyone fits.

A huge thanks go out to the entire Royal Polaris Staff from the incredibly professional front office staff of Monica and Melanie to the Skipper Roy, to Dharyl, Rambo (Jim), Deron, Bamboo Eddie and Chris with Joe and Alex furnishing the amazing cuisine in the galley. And of course a great thank you to Frank for creating such an amazing team of experts. Be prepared as you know I will be back soon.

Maaaan, I need to get back out long ranging...

Last edited: 2 minutes ago


if you are not here today you could not have been here yesterday and I NEVER want to hear.... You should have been here yesterday. When in doubt go fishing.

Teach a child to fish and they will never go hungry. Teach a parent to fish and they will always have something of value to teach their children.

We need more father's teaching their daughter's how to fish so our sons will have someone worthwhile to marry, date.... or at least hook up with

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