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Enormous wahoo, tuna and other exotics on tap for long-range fleet

July 13, 2009 |  9:57 am

Ryan Clifton poses next to an 88.8-pound wahoo caught aboard the Red Rooster III. Several vessels of the San Diego long-range fleet returned Sunday from Alijos Rocks and the offshore tuna grounds west of Baja California with a smorgasbord of exotics.

Catches included albacore, bluefin, yellowfin, dorado, yellowtail and a few strikingly large wahoo, topped by an 88.8-pounder corralled by Ryan Clifton of Truckee aboard Red Rooster III.

“He made a long, long run, and then he came in so fast I didn’t think he was still there," said Ryan, who was trolling an orange-and-black Marauder. "When he got close, he was so big and striped I thought he was a marlin. He came up on the port corner of the stern.”

Forest Bernard of San Clemente caught a 73.4-pound wahoo on the same vessel.

Passengers aboard the Royal Polaris caught 85 bluefin in one stop while fishing offshore.

Interestingly, the water temperature at The Rocks jumped overnight from 69 to 71 degrees, and that brought more fish to the area. Aboard the Royal Star, Liz Franzino of Hemet enjoyed big-fish honors with a 78-pound yellowfin that "took me most of the way around the boat."

Those were eight-day trips. Anglers aboard the Polaris Supreme, on a three-day trip, encountered mostly large albacore. Said Captain Tommy Rothery: "I think I saw the longest spread of albacore I’ve seen in five years. We had some kids who fished for tuna with iron from the bow, the Ironmen. They did great."

Hubert Bell of Bonita claimed the jackpot with a 47-pound albacore.

--Pete Thomas

Photo: Ryan Clifton poses next to an 88.8-pound wahoo caught aboard the Red Rooster III. Credit: Bill Roecker / Fishingvideos.com

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