We left the Seaforth dock in SD around 11pm Friday. After loading bait and a seminar, we headed out 100 miles, mostly west in search of albacore and possibly bluefin. The Outer Limits is the fastest boat in the Seaforth fleet but even so at dawn we were still steaming westward. Apparently, earlier in the week they had a monstrous stop on the bluefin. Only took one jig stop to fill the boat with over 200 of the beasts.
The albacore were small, 8-12 pounds. For the 19 guys aboard, the boat got about 90-100 fish total...60 or so albies, maybe 8 bluefin, 2 dorado, and the rest skipjack. Chris and I did very well considering those numbers. He boated 6 albies and 2 skippies. I had the same count plus 2 bluefin. We caught most of our fish on 15 pound test...not a problem with the 10 pounders. I hooked my first bluefin on the slide with #15 and the fight was ON. I already payed out about 75 yards of line on the slide before I got bit. Once bit, he took off and removed half of my remaining line, the levelwind on my Penn International 965 darting back and forth at a frenzied pace. This was the fish I had come for. He took a left and led me up the starboard side of the boat where the tug of war ensued. He helped me gain a little line by swimming parallel to the boat during that turn. Its amazing what #15 pound can stand up to if you're not jerky with it. After 3 or 4 more runs in the up and down fashion. I brought him to gaff, grabbed my #40 stick with a 3/0 hook, pinned on a midsize, lively 9" sardine, lobbed it out diagonally off the upwind corner of the stern, and proceeded to get bit 15 seconds later. I let him eat it for 10 seconds or so (I somehow pulled out 5, yes 5 hooks with my #15 pound outfit), let it come really tight, and set the big hook. I got the really pull on that fish and got him to the gaff in under 10 minutes.
Together we scrapped up a good percentage of the fish and made a great trip out of it. I recommend the boat, they crew was alert and worked hard. The food was included and outstanding. Pictures to come later...work calls!