Category Archives: Albacore

westport-albacore-2014

Westport Albacore Tuna Fishing Report 2014

We’ve all been eagerly awaiting the arrival of the season’a first Albacore to hit the offshore areas of Washington, and guess what? They have arrived! The first phenomenal tuna report came in from Captain Mark Coleman yesterday. Lots of Albacore action out in the deep blue!

Mark steered his charter boat, Reel Ultra, out of the harbor and headed Southwest, and found all the telltale Tuna signs about 55 miles from Westport.

Good water temps. Lots of sealife and bird activity. Time to troll. They dragged tuna clones around a really fishy area and found a great bite, they caught Albacore on the troll, and found a few nice schools and decided to setup for live baiting them. Fishing was really good and there were flurries of activity while fishing live anchovies.

At the end of the day, around Fifty Albacore Tuna hooked, and the crew brought back about thirty five. Mark told me that having a such an awesome day early on is a great indication that this will be, yet another epic Albacore Tuna season in Westport.

Mark operates two Express Style charter boats in Westport that will be going full bore on Tuna through October. Check it out at All Rivers & Saltwater Charters

Albacore Tuna Trip Lake October Report Washington

It has been an exceptional year for Albacore Tuna hunters up here in Washington. We observed consistent fishing from Westport that begun in August and continued through October, which surprised many anglers who never guessed that they could plug fish boxes full of tuna well past the end of our Indian summer. An unexpectedly mild marine forecast left anglers with plenty of opportunity to catch Albacore Tuna even into October. With the exception of All Rivers & Saltwater Charters, the charter fleet in Westport had ended their operations before October this year.

After receiving a last minute invite late Sunday evening to fill the last seat on Captain Mark’s boat, I cleared my schedule and set my alarm for an ungodly hour of the early morning.

As I arrived in Westport that morning, high winds were gusting from the east. I was a bit concerned but the marine forecast suggested that we would have decent weather at least until the afternoon. The crew met the guests; Mark gave us all a safety briefing and a quick word on what we should expect. Fishing had been phenomenal and I was extremely excited.

I hadn’t fished for tuna since 2010, which happened to be my first trip for Albacore. I’d place that day as one of the most memorable fishing trips, so needless to say I was looking forward to another day.

We left the Grays Harbor entrance and set a heading due southwest from Westport. With an easterly wind, the ride out was fairly calm. The sunrise was amazing, I can’t say that I’ve ever seen that October sun as big and red as it was as it lifted off the horizon. 28 miles. A little over an hour before the first stop. That’s the beauty of a speedy boat, and Captain Mark’s Express Trip is a page directly out of San Diego’s fleet yet is unique to the Northwest.

Deckhand Mike pulled out the trolling gear; Mark assembled the crew and gave us our orders. 6 anglers, 4 trolling rods. Once we got into the tuna, four of us were to clear the trolling gear (and fight any fish) and two of us were to race to the bait tank and get some anchovies swimming. We had stopped at a place where the water temperature was 57 degrees, which is a little cooler than Mark would’ve preferred if it were earlier in the season but at a short 30 miles from port and being late October we will take it. There was a fair amount of birds congregated, which is a sign that bait and tuna are in the area.

We were on the troll for less than a few minutes, and it was obvious that we needn’t go searching for tuna. We had parked right on top of them! “Pull em up! We need to drop some live bait Right Now! We cleared the trolling gear and broke out the live bait rods.

We all lined up on the windward side of the boat and proceeded to live bait. The live bait rods featured a lever drag reel with braided mainline to a 25 pound mono topshot to a size 2 live bait hook. Seabirds absolutely love eating anchovies, so to avoid the birds there was a small piece of surgical tubing rigged with a piece of pencil lead to get the bait down out of their reach.

Live anchovies were hooked in the collar behind the gill plate, tossed overboard. Reels were free spooled to allow the bait to drift away from the boat. The freespooled line would slowly pull out from under my thumb, a quick change in line speed would signal a bite! Calm down, count to three, then engage the drag.

It took me several fish before I got the hang of it, but I can’t think of any more thrilling method of fishing. We made one long drift and in those several hours we filled the boat to capacity with large October Albacore. There were more double-, triple-, and quadruple-hookups than singular. We used up every Anchovy in the bait tank. We plugged both fish boxes with Albacore. We covered every square inch of that deck with tuna blood. Mark looked at the building wind chop and decided that it was time to head back; I checked the time and it wasn’t even noon yet! The final count was 45 hefty Albacore Tuna for the six of us, which (in my opinion) is as good as it gets for several hours on a bait stop.

We headed back to Westport in lumpy seas. The ride was long and bumpy. We made it back in the early afternoon, sorted everything out and I headed home. Yet again, I left mesmerized by how phenomenal the day was and counting the days until the next day out on the tuna grounds.

Westport Albacore Fishing

Albacore Tuna are sparking the interest of Washington State saltwater anglers like never before. With more restrictions on seasons and limits for this state’s popular Halibut and Salmon fisheries, many anglers are looking for additional opportunities to hit the ocean for big catches. After seaking out a fishery like Albacore Tuna, which offer line-tearing runs, are vicious feeders, taste great, keep well and have NO LIMIT…well what more would a saltwater fishermen want?!

I was the lucky recipient of a last minute phone call from my buddy Mark Coleman. Mark is an established Washington fishing guide, and exanded his range with a saltwater charter license and a sweet new 2009 29′ Defiance Guadalupe.

Get down here…fishing has been crazy, you said you were dying to catch your first Albacore…tommorrow is your chance! – Mark

Hmm…let me think about that…what time do you want me at the dock! – Me

I headed down I-5 under the light of a full moon. While I have punished myself before with the dreaded 2am run, I apparently haven’t learned my lesson yet. I couldn’t get over how large and bright that ole’ moon was. Anyways, met at the dock before his clients, and by 6am we were motoring towards the Westport bait dock. Filled the livewells full of Anchovies and made the relatively calm Westport Bar crossing as the light of dawn broke the Eastern horizon. The Westport ocean was flat calm.

We hit the “Tuna Grounds” about 2 hours later. Mark cruised around as we searched the water for jumpers. We started on the troll after spotting a few jumpers. The trolling rods would bury shortly after starting our pass, but pitching live bait on the stop didn’t produce any others. It appeared that they were very scattered. Enter the full moon factor. These fish must have spent all night feeding under the glow of that full moon. We were persistent. We searched for jumping Albacore, hit the troll and picked up a fish here and there. By early afternoon we had four nice tuna in the box, a poor catch by Westport standards. Then the situation changed.

Spot a jumping Albacore, make a pass with the trolling rods, pick up a fish, deploy live bait…nothing. That was our morning and a true head-scratcher it was. At about 2pm, we hit another Albacore on the troll, deployed the ‘chovies, and BAM! …double header on live bait! And a third! The crew did the “dance” with lines crossed, multiple fish on continuosly and tuna everywhere. We finally hit a school of feeders.

I grabbed a rod and baited up, eager to join the excitement. I lobbed out the live bait and let the Anchovy struggle beyond sight, feeding it a few pulls of line. Bit! I tugged on my first Albacore for a good while before we could get a gaff in him. First one down! I was happy. Deckhand PJ circled the back deck around the livewell, gaffing Albacore, uncrossing lines, pitching Anchovies over the side to keep the school in a feeding frenzy.

There was blood everywhere, there were Albacore sliding all over the deck, in between the shuffling of people trying to land fish and stay out of eachothers way. It was the most chaotic scene I’ve seen on a boat. Then the bite died. We counted up the fish on the deck, we had 19, and it was late in the afternoon. Time to head in.