Okuma and Savage Gear sponsored Tribute Sportfishing 2.5 day report

What started off as a 2.5 day coastal trip for Ling Cod and the possibility at some yellowtail, turned into an absolute epic trip for VERY early season offshore pelagics. After hearing a report a week earlier that the Sportfishing boat, The Eclipse, got into some unexpected yellowfin tuna, our trip aboard the Tribute filled up fast. With a limited load of 28 passengers, this spacious vessel out of Seaforth Landing in San Diego, was the place to be. Once the reports hit, the boat filled fast.
When we all arrived down at the boat after work on Friday afternoon, we arrived to overcast skies. That in itself didn’t damper any of the thoughts of tuna and yellowtail that were filling the anglers minds.

Sunset view while at the bait receiver in Mission Bay


While anglers were getting signed in up at the landing, we took the boat on over and got her filled up with primed sardines, anchovies, and mackerel.

Pulling up to the bait receiver in Mission Bay


Scoop after scoop of cured, primed bait came over the rail. This was really good looking stuff too!

A big scoop of Sardines getting dropped into the tank.


Back at the dock, anglers were lined up and ready to get on board and start the journey. As the team of anglers was boarding the Tribute, they were greeted by Dave Brown, Promotional and Events Manager for Okuma and Savage Gear. He was in the galley handing out swag for the trip.

Swag for the trip included, Okuma Hats, Savage Gear Beanie caps, Okuma Rod Wraps, Savage Gear T-Shirts, and stickers.


The time came to shove off, and off we went. After hearing the reports the plan was to make the long trip down to fish offshore day one, and if it didn’t look good, we’d head inside and fish coastal or islands for yellowtail.

Tribute gets ready to pull away from the dock and make the journey south.


The boat departed about 9pm and off we went. We had about a 160 mile run south to start to get into the fishing zone. Along the way we saw plenty of sea life. Dolphin, Porpoise, and even a huge pod of Sperm Whales were sited. We all got a some rest that first night and when we woke up, well, we still had quite a ways to go. We were getting some reports of early fish from boats that had gotten down to the zone earlier, and it sounded really good. We were all getting really excited.
We dropped the trollers back mid day, and started the official trolling rotation shortly after that. About 3pm, we found what we were looking for. A nice pod of dolphin that were holding Yellowfin. Yellowfin…this is May right? Crazy! From that jig strike we only got a couple fish. No bait fish came up. Captain Mike Pritchard made the choice to pull the trollers so that we can get on down to the zone and not be stopped by 1 and 2 fish jig strikes. This was a great call. Once we got down into the zone it went crazy. Fish were spotted all around. Deep sonar marks, breaking fish, etc.

One of the day one fish that ended up being one of the biggest fish of the day. Caught on an Andros 5 mounted on a Makaira rod. Good fight, but worked that fish to the surface.


Here Jake is holding up a nice Bluefin caught on the Andros and Makaira combo.


Day one went on and we ended up with a pretty impressive count of about 35 various tuna and a handful of yellowtail

A look at a few of the fish for day 1 laid out to be cleaned and jackpot awarded.


After fishing was through, we all headed in for a delicious meal prepared by Tommy.

The first dinner was pork roast. It looked and everyone said it tasted absolutely delicious. You couldn’t even get these guys to look up for a picture they were so focused.

Hard day of fishing followed by a hot meal.


After the amount of fish we saw around the area, capt Mike made the decision to stay in the same spot. We put out the sea anchor and drifted the area until dawn.
When the sun finally came up, we started fishing. We trolled around a bit for jig strikes that came fairly regularly. Some jig strikes would turn into a 10-20 fish stop. The decks were getting pretty bloody, and the fish hold was filling.

After a jig stop.


On occasion, we would stop on some deep meter marks. The Bluefin would come up charging the boat. Some of these stops went on for a good while.

An anglers getting his bluefin to gaff. The Andros was the weapon of choice for this fish.


Andros getting it done again on another nice fish.


After getting a few fish in the box, it was time to have a little fun. I got some fish on bait and some fish on the slide with Savage Gear Sand Eels. It was time to take out the Komodo 350’s and put a whoopin’ on some Bluefin.

Dave Brown with a nice Bluefin taken on the Komodo 350 and Shadow Stalker rod.


The fishing just went on and on. We took every second of that extended trip to take advantage of MAY tuna fishing. It was incredible.

Here the Cortez 5 and Cedros Coastal rod did the trick. Artificials worked great on this trip as well.


I had some raffles, gave away some prizes, and even had a contest. Biggest fish caught on one of the Okuma set ups won a new Cedros Coastal Rod. Lots of anglers tried out the gear, and from what they said, we even have a couple of converts.
Here are two winners of the Cedros Coastal rods.

Okuma prize winners.


After stretching it out as long as we could, Captain Mike made the call that it was time to start the 17 hour journey home. But…after two days of looking, we found our first kelp patty. And wouldn’t you know, it ended up being a stop for right around 60 yellowtail.
Once all of the gear was packed up, anglers cleaned up and headed to dinner. Chef Tommy had a delicious Tri-Tip dinner ready for everyone.

Tommy hard at work at the grill.


Tri-Tip the last night to wind up the trip.


It was a great trip all around. The crew of the Tribute really takes good care of you. From keeping the boat clean, to the care they take in processing your catch. Not to mention Captain Mike Pritchard for going the extra distance getting us down on the fish.
I mean hey, this is May still right? Crazy!

For more information on upcoming Okuma and Savage Gear sponsored trips aboard the Tribute, visit www.tributesportfishing.com.