Captain Ron, Jeff, Hip, James, Dean, GT, others.
So I'm browsing the web checking out fishing sites and came across the following article that reports a world record "22 lb" yellowtail caught off Lajolla. Am I mistaken or did I read this wrong? Doesn't it seem like this is an easily achievable record? The previous record was only 15 lbs? Hell Hip you should have weighed that tail you caught off Dana last year. Gentlemen, I submit that this record will likely be bested on a Holy Grail Bluewater trip this year by one of the Bull Boyz. And to think I thought the Yellowfin record was reachable.
Here's the article:
"The revolutionary Ready Head can now add a World Record to its list of achievements. The International Game Fish Association (IGFA) just confirmed that Bob DeibelÃƒÂ†s California yellowtail (Seriola lalandi dorsialis) caught last summer off of Mission Bay, California is now the new MenÃƒÂ†s Saltwater Fly Rod 10 kg tippet world record. The 22 pound 3 ounce fish beat the existing World Record by over 7 pounds. A Ready Head sardine fly fooled the fish.
Bob Deibel caught the fish on a day trip out of Mission Bay on the Kea Kai (http://www.keakaisportfishing.com
). The Kea Kai specializes in offshore flyfishing trips and this trip was specifically planned in order to attempt to break the existing World Record for California yellowtail.
After loading up the two large bait tanks with lively Pacific sardines, the Kea Kai headed out of the mouth of the Mission Bay jettys to the offshore grounds in search of floating kelp paddies. Kelp paddies provide floating structure in the open ocean and attract baitfish, which in turn attracts the large predators such as California yellowtail. The trip to the offshore grounds took about 3 hours before the boat throttled back and the search for the bright orange kelp began at about 8 AM.
On the way out, we prepared our equipment. I tied on a fresh leader and made sure I used IGFA rated Rio Fluorflex 10 kg leader material (just in case!!). I then grabbed a sardine fly with a silver and green Ready Head attached. The 6-inch fly was tied on a 2/0 Gamakatsu SC-15 wide gap hook. I attach these flies to the leader with an offshore loop knot to provide for more movement and freedom for the fly to ÃƒÂ´dive and swimÃƒÂ¶ as it is retrieved. I checked the drag on my Abel No. 3 reel and set the Sage 12-weight rod aside in anticipation for a successful day.
The first paddy was spotted before 9 AM. Capt. Greg Stutzer was working the cockpit and began to toss chum just outside the paddy to see if any fish boiled on the sardines. At the same time, Capt. Jock Albright was at the helm and was checking the screens for large fish and was also looking in the water from the elevated bridge to see if he saw any fish. The yellowtail can be quite visible due to their namesake ÃƒÂ´yellow tailÃƒÂ¶ especially in the clear blue offshore waters. The first paddy held a few smaller fish (less than 10 pounds) and all aboard were able to hook and release a few of these fish. The action at this first paddy slowed quickly so we decided to continue our search for a more productive one.
About an hour later, a larger paddy was spotted. This paddy was over 20 feet across and as we approached it, we could see that there were numerous kelp stringers floating below the main patty at the surface. This was a good sign. A similar drill ensued where Capt. Jock took the Kea Kai out of gear to slowly drift past the patty and Capt. Greg Stutzer started chumming the sardines. Before Capt. Jock could validate that he was metering fish, there were boils on the sardines and we could see numerous fish chasing the remaining sardines.
I quickly grabbed my fly rod and Capt. Greg waited until I was ready to cast. Once I was ready, Capt. Greg tossed about a half dozen sardines about 30 feet behind the boat. The water literally exploded with fish crashing the sardines. I could see the yellowtail hitting the surface with their mouths open as they engulfed the sardines. If filmed and shown in slow motion, I envision that it would look like trout sipping emergers at the surface of a pond or river. But in real time, it happens immediately, with great bravado and yields a ÃƒÂ´ring of the riseÃƒÂ¶ that falls just short of the ring created by a childs cannonball into the neighbors pool!
I made a quick back cast to load the rod and sent the fly out about 50 feet towards the paddy and in the vicinity of the commotion where the sardines once existed. I let the fly sink, gave it a few strips and I felt the thump of a fish taking the fly. After setting the hook with a few strip sets, the fish shot back towards the paddy accelerating the entire distance. I had to wait for the excess fly line to clear before putting any pressure on the fish with the drag of the reel. Even though we were out in the open ocean, yellowtail are famous for entangling lines in the kelp stringers that hang below the surface patty which frequently results in their freedom.
Capt. Jock then put the Kea Kai back in gear and started to ease away from the paddy as I attempted to put pressure on the fish and turn it. I got lucky in that the fish dove deep after its initial run. California yellowtail are in the jack family and are cousins to the amberjack. They have a similar disposition in that they pull extremely hard and the yellowtail is slightly more streamlined than the amberjack and can make some tremendously fast and long runs. After the long runs, they bulldog you from below.
During the fight, Capt. Greg commented that he thought the fish was a good one because we could see the slow and powerful pulsing of the rod tip due to the tail beats of the fish. The fight lasted over 15 minutes as I short pumped the fish up from the depths. I had my fly line on the reel at least three times only to have the fish take back the fly line and many yards of backing. The fish never quit and was finally gaffed.
Once aboard and we could check out the fish, we knew we had a good one. It was long and very thick across the middle. The current world record was 15 lbs. This fish clearly beat that. The only question was would the line test correctly for its breaking rating.
Upon returning to Mission Bay, we met up with a member of the Mission Bay Marlin Club and weighed the fish on their IGFA certified scale. Upon hoisting the fish up, we saw that it weighed over 22 pounds easily surpassing the existing record. We filled out the necessary paperwork, I cut the fly line just above the leader and packaged up the tip of the fly line and leader with fly attached for submittal to the IGFA.
The Ready Head sardine is a modified version of the basic sea habit deceiver pattern described on my website (http://www.Ichthyosys.com
). For this pattern, I add a strip of chartreuse flashÃƒÂ†n slinky topped with olive flashÃƒÂ†n slinky and a few peacock herls. I complete the fly by adding three dots of black scribbles fabric writer on each flank just behind the Ready Head. These dots replicate the dots on the Pacific sardine. I prefer using the scribbles because it retains a richer color than just using the markers to make spots and it also adds some depth to the fly when wet. "