Cowboy Cuts Out Supercow
Tom Rothery took PIER founder Tom Pfleger and eight other anglers on a 17-day excursion that started on the inside, visited the outside and came back to the inside to finish off the trip with six cows; tuna over 200 pounds. ("Inside" means off the coast of southern Baja, and "Outside" means the Revillagigedos archipelago and the Hurricane Bank.)
"All our days were good," said Rothery, "except for the time we spent off Clarion Island where there were a lot of krill balls and green water. The wahoo on the Hurricane were a little bigger than usual. The skin fishing was good on all methods."
Tom "Cowboy" Fullam of Oceanside pulled off the coup of the adventure when he decked a tuna that taped out around 280 pounds.¬† When Rothery hung it on the scales a shout went up from the gathered spectators, as the fish hit 303.4 pounds on the certified scales.
"He bit on the slide," said Cowboy, "and he went down right away. He fought for an hour and a half, and then he came up on the bow. He's my best fish."
Tom said he dropped in a sardine on an 8/0 Eagle Claw hook. He used 130-pound Blackwater fluorocarbon and 130-pound Spectra on a Tiagra 50 W reel and a five and a half-foot Calstar rod.
Roger Foster of Orange won second place for a 261-pounder. Foster got his big cow (his best-ever fish, in only 20 minutes) and a 259-pounder with sardines. He said he used sardines on 8/0 hooks with 130-pound P-line and 130-pound Spectra on one of the boat's rigs, featuring a Penn 50 SW reel and an unidentified rod.
Chugey Sepulveda, senior research scientist for Pfleger's PIER Institute, caught a 228-pounder with sardine on an 8/0 Eagle Claw hook. He used 130-pound line and 130-pound Spectra on a Penn 30 W reel and a Penn five and a half-foot rod.
Pat Jaeger of Bishop, a mountain fishing guide, got a 215-pounder in 40¬† minutes, after it ate his sardine on a 6/0 Eagle Claw hook. He fished with 100-pound Blackwater fluorocarbon and 130-pound Spectra on a Penn 50 SW reel and a custom Calstar Baja Boomer rod.
Chartermaster Tom Pleger said two of the ongoing projects for PIER are a kelp study and a tagging program. The archival tagging study for white sea bass may provide some answers for questions long in the asking regionally, such as where the fish go and what they do when they're not in local waters and available to anglers.
"We'll offer rewards," said Pfleger, "and we'll put out about 100 archival tags."
Polaris Supreme will be her berth in for boat work for the next few weeks.