The Love of the Game. Winter Tactics by Joel St. Germain

January 17th, 2011

Ever wonder what a tournament angler with over 50 career wins thinks about when not under the pressure of competitive fishing? For Okuma Pro-Staff member Joel St. Germain, it’s still fishing. Always looking to learn and to glean new information for sure, his approach shifts and focus widens, taking in many more of the simple pleasures fishing offers. We loved this article and wanted to pass it on. To judge a day simply by numbers of fish is to miss out on much of the available experience. Please enjoy!

Everyone says they love to go fishing, right? For most of us, there’s not much we’d rather do than launch boat and spend a day or part of a day with our friends, chunkin’ and windin’.

But there’s another breed, another level, of fisherman. These are the folks who go fishing whenever they can, and I mean whenever. The only reason these people look at the weather report is to just make sure it’s physically possible to launch the boat. Wind, rain, cold, ice – these are just variables, not obstacles to going fishing.

Joel St. Germain with winter bass

There's a solitude and peace to winter bass fishing. And the rewards ain't to bad either!

I can tell you, I have had some of my best days fishing in the winter. Being from New England, we’re used to bad weather. In New England, the winters are bone-chilling cold. By late November, most of the days are in the 20’s overnight, with daytime highs in the 40’s. We get a lot of wind, and the wind chill factor brings it down to the teens some days.

As a result, around here, tournaments end in late October. After that, the weather is just too unpredictable. On the other hand, for me I’m just settling into my next season and keeping my Okuma gear in my hands! I’m a firm believer the time I spend on the water in the winter will really help me hone my skills. Plus, it’s a lot of fun.

My favorite style of fishing is for deep smallmouth that pile up on humps and points in 30 feet of water. When we do this, I throw a drop shot or spoon. Both work, and both will catch fish after fish even when the water is in the low 40’s.

Many people ask….How do you catch them when the air is in the 20’s and 30’s and the water is around 42 or 44 degrees? I’m a firm believer… the key is finding the bait. You have to find the schools of white or yellow perch. The fish won’t be too far away. The water down at 30 feet is cold, probably even colder than the surface, but it’s always cold down there. Even in the summer, the water down there is in the mid-60’s, so for the fish, it’s not a huge change.

You have to fish slowly too. I spent many hours over the years working on mastering the art of spoon jigging, working it in small, tiny hops. Most guys yank on it like they’re jigging Cod. You have to just move it in tiny twitches, letting it flutter down. The fish usually grab it on the drop. Sharp hooks are a key too. You need to have the best hooks you can for this kind of fishing.

When fishing with a close friend “Jim”, we always have our rituals – we tell stories of the year past, talk about what trails we’re going to be fishing in the upcoming year, and exchange holiday greetings to pass on to each others families.

This past year I’ve had some fun memories fishing with Jim. For me, last year I caught my biggest smallmouth ever on December 20th and on the same day caught almost 50 fish in a half day, literally one after the other. At times, we had doubles and triples. Some were small, some were big, and some were just yellow perch. But it was fishing, and laughing, and a break from work, family, and responsibilities.

We learn a lot doing this, but there’s more to it than just putting in “time on the water.” For me, I just enjoy the fishing, with no pressure to find fish for a tournament, or put together a pattern. All too soon another tournament year will begin and I’ll be fishing my way back to the Bassmasters classic, looking for one more bite to seal a solid finish.

But for now, I’m just fishing… this is the way I like to think of it…..

“We are one day closer to spring!”

Peace
Joel

Why We’re So Excited About Citrix

January 17th, 2011

Citrix is more than a new line of reels and rods. Citrix is a representation of a new direction in fishing tackle: a higher level of performance, brought within reach of more anglers than ever before. From a company 100% driven to create, construct and deliver equipment so good it becomes part of your motivation to go fishing… suffice it to say, we’re just a little bit excited.

Citrix low-profile baitcast reels lead an all-new extended family of baitcasters. The same ergonomic body design is found in the Alumina, Calera and Tormenta low-profiles also. As a group, these reels offer the largest selection of casting reels Okuma has ever offered in both right hand AND left hand retrieve. Citrix and family serve every casting preference, where ultra-premium Serrano and Cayenne bait cast reels are only available in right hand at this time.

Citrix low profile bait cast reel

Featuring a monster drop down gear case and 7.3:1 gear ratio, Citrix leads an all-new family of Okuma low-profile baitcast reels that includes the Alumina, Calera and Tormenta. (click image to enlarge)

Citrix low-profiles begin with Okuma’s ALC or AlumiLite Frame Construction, featuring a rigid die cast aluminum frame and machined and anodized Hi-Rise spool cut from A6061-T6 aircraft aluminum. This powerful center of strength prepares Citrix for the most demanding freshwater and inshore salt water fisheries. The drive system, including precision spool shaft, pinion shaft and machine cut brass gears come together in Citrix’s massive drop down gear box. Critical components are sized to their maximum within the housing, adding strength and greater surface area for long-wearing durability.

El Salto lake bass fishing with Citrix baitcast reel.

Citrix's 7.3:1 gear ratio comes in handy when trying to extract El Salto lake pigs from the timber.

The gear system is a point of separation that makes Citrix low-profile bait cast reels unique in the Okuma lineup. Available models include two options in gear ratios. The first is a blazing fast 7.3:1 that’s available in both right and left hand retrieve. Picking up nearly 32-inches of line with every turn of the handle, this incredible speed pushes the limit of what’s available in the market today. Whether burning rip baits across a flat or extracting fish forcefully from heavy cover, the high-speed Citrix is a bass angler’s ally. Steelhead fishermen who drift fish or cast floats, where time between casts is time lost forever, will appreciate Citrix’s speed between presentations as well as its’ ability to keep pace with the fastest running fish. Top competitive products offering this gear ratio are priced at $179.99, $219.99, $299.99 and even $399.99. At an MSRP of $119.99, Citrix provides the avid recreational and aspiring tournament angler unhindered access to the latest professional performance features.

Citrix is the only Okuma low-profile to feature an externally adjustable centrifugal cast control system. (click image to enlarge)

At 5.4:1, the low-speed Citrix, available in right hand retrieve, offers the most powerful gearing in the Okuma low-profile selection. Working even the slowest moving crank bait and spinner bait presentations with precision and accuracy, the standard speed Citrix does battle with steady, consistent pressure and a relentless attitude.

In either high-speed or standard gear ratios, Citrix casting reels are fluid performers. Featuring 8 bearings (7 ball-bearings plus one roller bearing), both casting and retrieves are set free from the feel of the internal mechanics, allowing anglers to focus on the presentation at all times.

With incredible available freespool, Citrix addresses the needs of casters with Okuma’s most desirable Velocity Control System: a patented, externally adjustable centrifugal cast control system. All other Okuma baitcast reels feature an internally-adjustable centrifugal system or an externally-adjustable magnetic cast control system (or a combination of both). Citrix is the only bait cast reel in the Okuma lineup to feature the centrifugal system with external adjustment. With total control available on-the-fly through the external dial, spool velocity is easily and quickly managed under ever-changing conditions and changes to casting weights.

Brandon with a toad on El Salto lake Mexico.

Brandon Cotton pulls a quality fish on a Citrix/C3 combo.

Lightweight and corrosion proof graphite side plates seal Citrix’s internal components with outstanding ergonomics that comfortably work with the hand. The smooth and powerful oversized disk drag system is dialed-in through the aluminum star that’s micro-click adjustable for precise drag settings. The handle is stamped from aluminum for strength. Cut slightly longer than traditional cranking handles, the increased throw is more natural, incredibly comfortable and provides for increased leverage when cranking big baits and fighting large fish. Outfitted with knobs suitable for adult hands, the ergonomics incorporated are well appreciated over a long day on the water.

Ready for braided superlines, Citrix’s Zirconium line guide insert is impervious to braid’s abrasive effects.

Citrix low-profile casting reels are a performance-driven package on all levels of speed, handling, performance, comfort and durability. To advance angler experience completely and in total, Citrix rods were developed as the ultimate compliment to the reels.

With strikingly beautiful design elements, Citrix rods are the lightest, most responsive rods we've ever constructed. (click image to enlarge)

Put simply, Citrix rods are the lightest, most responsive rods we’ve ever constructed. And if that’s not enough, they’re also the hottest looking sticks on the water. To deliver the total package, every feature was scrutinized and optimized to deliver total performance.

Citrix rods are constructed of Okuma IM8 graphite to deliver the desired fast actions and incredible strength with minimal weight. The guides feature ALPS ultra-light stainless steel frames for strength with braid-ready Zirconium inserts.

The handle assembly continues Citrix weight loss program while also retaining a total commitment to strength. The rear split grip features comfortable and supremely light EVA grips. The fore grip has been completely eliminated, again to reduce weight, but also to allow for direct finger contact with the rod blank to maximize sensitivity.

The rear of the reel seat is Pac Bay’s MINIMA design. The reel hood, however, operates on custom built machined aluminum and two tone anodized seat threads. Custom made in Okuma facilities, the reel seat threads are the single area where some weight was retained as a function of superior strength. Going even lighter was an option, but the ultimate fishing rod should also include ultimate security of the reel mounted upon it.

Independently of one another, Citrix rods and Citrix casting reels clearly and recognizably advance angler performance on the water. In combination, the pair will raise your performance and excite your senses with every cast and every fish.

Okuma Goes “Into the Blue”

January 17th, 2011

Makaira and Cedros products have been building small, dedicated fan bases in some of the premiere sport fishing locations in the world.  Secret no more, it’s time to go mainstream.  Showcasing the advanced designs and performance of Makaira and Cedros families of product, it’s our pleasure to have sponsored Into the Blue television for 2011.

For us, it all comes down to the hosts.  Captains Scott Walker and Steve Roger are each incredible anglers with experience second to none, and even more importantly perhaps, they like to have a good time on the water.

There are a lot anglers out there with premium skills, but to be able to deliver a first rate experience while keeping it fun and enjoying the comaraderie… that’s worth watching.  Of course, rich HD filming on some of the earth’s most beautiful waters doesn’t hurt either.

Based out of the Florida Keys, the show is spoiled with world-class fisheries immediately available at a moment’s notice.  And if you’ve ever wondered just how good the fishing is there… it’s all you’ve heard and more.

Into the Blue airs on the Versus network Saturdays at 1pm est, 10am pst.  If you miss the Saturday air time, catch it on Tuesday at 10:30am est (7:30am pst), Wednesdays at 3pm est (12pm pst) and Thursdays at 11:30am est (8:30am pst).

We’ve asked them to put Makaira, Cedros spinning, Cedros lever drags and Cedros Coastal rods through a torture test captured on film… and from the looks of the recently received photos taken during filming, they’re doing a heck of a job!

Here’s just a quick sneak peak of what the season has to offer.  Catch up with missed episodes at:  http://www.intotheblue.tv/

Introducing the Andros 5II, Multi-Disciplined Two-Speed

November 29th, 2010

In 2010, the introduction of Makaira two-speed and Cedros single-speed offshore reels demonstrated Okuma’s commitment to wholesale advancement of the offshore reel category.   In 2011, one example of this continued commitment goes by the name Andros.

Completely new, from concept to completion, the Andros 5II lever drag reel showcases what’s become possible with 50- to 80-pound Spectra fiber lines.  Andros delivers incredible strength, handling and capability from… get this… only 15.2-ounces of refined excellence with a capacity of 430 yards of 50-pound braided Spectra.  At less than a pound and fitting in the palm of your hand, Andros houses a ton of ambition to take on larger challenges with a smaller reel than ever before possible.

Okuma Andros design prototype

Every aspect of Andros went through thorough prototyping for design, fit and function.

At the heart and soul of Andros capability is its’ unique and advanced frame design.  Andros’ frame and left side plate are precision-machined as a single continuous piece from bar stock aluminum. Additionally, the reel foot is machined as an integral part of the frame support.  The design eliminates wasted space and redundant structural elements while allowing for the largest possible spool diameter and Andros’ low profile mounting position in reel seats.

Competitive reels utilize a reel foot that’s separate from frame elements.  Within this design both the frame and reel foot require independent structure to deliver strength.  The result is that the main frame sits elevated over the reel foot, which introduces wobble under high stress and necessitates a reduction in spool diameter in order to maintain a compact overall size.

The centerline runs across the center of spool locations. Notice the lower position of the Andros reel seat. The Andros sits lower, yet carries more line capacity.

In all offshore applications, spool diameter and the resulting line pick-up is of critical importance.  Thanks to the frame design, Andros delivers a spool diameter of 54.5mm while top competitors deliver spool diameters of only 46mm and 47mm.  The bottom line here is that Andros, whether in high or low gear, can pick up as much as 30% more line per turn of the handle.  This massive point of separation is where Andros confirms itself as a true big game performer.  When on big fish, the ability to gain line is an absolute necessity.  It’s the difference between performance and punishment.

The right-side side plate finishes Andros framing structure.  Again precision-machined from bar stock aluminum, the mounting system continues Andros superiority.  Utilizing male and female aluminum connection points and just a single screw, Andros eliminates even more corrosion points and allows for simplified maintenance access.  Where it’s common to find five or six screws on competitors, each a potential point for electrolysis to take place, Andros single screw frame design represents long-term thinking and respect for the investment in a reel designed for life.

Andros’ commitment to excellence touches each and every interior component.  The drive shaft, spool shaft, main gear and pinion gear are all cut from 17-4 stainless steel.  Strong, rigid, durable and highly corrosion resistant, this high-grade stainless allows for the reduction in parts size without compromising structural integrity.  The gears are helical cut (cut at an angle) to provide progressive meshing instead of the noticeable hard slap you can feel in straight-cut gears.  While obviously smoother, helical cut gears are also more durable over the long-term.

Okuma Andros perspective photo in hand.

It takes perspective to appreciate Andros compact design and capacity. This two-speed can fit in your pocket!

Andros features six EZO bearings from Sapporro Precision Incorporated of Japan.  Andros’ two spool bearings are ABEC-5 rated, delivering ultimate freespool performance.  As an industry first, Andros non-spool bearings are fully grease-packed from the factory.  While this does introduce slight handle resistance, it minimizes water intrusion and ensures long-life durability.  The spool bearings feature a 30% grease pack with respect for freespool.  The right-side spool bearing is unshielded and immediately available when the right side plate is removed.  This allows anglers looking to maximize freespool performance to easily remove the grease and replace with oil.  If this is done, please incorporate a rigorous maintenance schedule to protect the bearing.  The left spool bearing is shielded, but only because its’ size is not available from Sapporro without the shield.

Andros drag system is Carbonite, greased with Cal’s drag grease.  The system delivers 15-pounds of drag at strike, 24-pound at full, each while maintaining complete freespool.  In front of the drag are Andros’ two-speeds:  6.4:1 on high, dropping to 3.8:1 at low.  Andros’ high speed keeps pace with sailfish, wahoo and other speedsters while delivering exceptional action from vertical jigs.  In low, Andros bears down on tuna, jacks and other powerhouses.  The 3.8:1 ratio assures that even in low gear and with half a spool of line in the water, sufficient line is being retrieved to bring large fish to the boat.

Hero shot of Andros 5II offshore fishing reel

In addition to Andros stunning good looks, notice the minimal frame rise above the spool. Exceptional materials and tight tolerances are the secret to the Andros 5II's superior line capacity.

Mounted on a rod, Andros sits low and stable thanks to the reel foot’s inclusion as part of the frame structure.  Its’ drop down gear case places the machined aluminum handle nearly in line with the rod blank for superior power and balance while nearly eliminating wobble when cranking under pressure.

With a ratcheting lever drag, 16-point double dog anti-reverse system, large and accessible shift button, oversized Ergo grip and Okuma’s Corrosion Resistant Coating process throughout, Andros completes itself as a premium performer.  Designed to showcase braided line, its’ performance is nothing short of exhilarating, connecting angler and fish with less interference than ever before.

Andros’ multi-discipline design elements refuse to be categorized as simply a jig reel, casting reel or live bait reel.  Combining forward-thinking design with the best materials available, Andros does it all with no-excuses performance.  Excelling with fish up to 100 pounds, quickly Andros will become your most often used and most enjoyed piece of premium fishing equipment.

For a full list of specifications, click here:
http://okumafishingteam.com/family/395262

Okuma Reel Cash Rebate Available Now!

November 23rd, 2010

In early 2010 the release of Serrano and Cayenne low-profile baitcast reels began what has been one of the most dynamic and exciting category introductions in Okuma Fishing Tackle history.   These two

Okuma Serrano low profile baitcast reel

Serrano is a lightweight powerhouse optimized for salt water. Click image for product details.

reels authoritatively raise the bar on performance: Serrano as a salt water optimized ultra-premium workhorse that’s also one of the lightest reels in its’ class, and Cayenne as the freshwater counterpart, delivering not just tournament-level, but obsession-level performance along with a dollar value that’s simply unmatched.

The reviews on Serrano and Cayenne baitcast reels, from both fishing media and consumers, have been exceptional.  As these reels were proving themselves, however, our product development teams were putting the final touches on the next round of low-profile baitcast introductions:  Citrix, Alumina, Calera

Okuma Cayenne low profile baitcast reel.

In freshwater, Cayenne delivers ultimate performance. Click image for product details.

and Tormenta.  With MSRP’s of $119.99, $99.99, $79.99 and $59.99 respectively, it’s these new reels that will reach enthusiastic Federation, club level and recreational anglers and bring them a better fishing experience through better equipment performance.  To serve all anglers, we’ve made all four of these reels available in models for both right and left hand retrieve.

At Okuma we’re excited.  Including heart and soul into each of these reels in order to make them exactly the reels we want to fish ourselves, at every price they are the best they can be.  We want you to share our excitement, and our Reel Cash Rebate program makes it easy.

Now through May 15, 2011, make your best deal on a

Okuma Citrix low profile baitcast reel.

Citrix features high-speed 7.1:1 gearing and a matching rod line. Click image for product details.

new Okuma Serrano, Cayenne, Citrix or Alumina low-profile baitcast reel at an authorized retailer and receive a $30 rebate on Serrano, $20 on Cayenne or Citrix and $10 on Alumina by mail.  Rebate forms are available in better stores or get yours on our website here:  http://okumafishingteam.com/media_5.php

Rebate’s are limited to four per household, in combination and in total.  Whichever reel fits your needs, we’re confident that once you try your first… you’ll be back for more!

Okuma Alumina low profile baitcast reel

Alumina features dual cast control systems. Click image for product details.

Dave Hansen On Calico Bass Basics

November 19th, 2010

At Okuma we’ve surrounded ourselves with an incredibly talented staff of field-testers who’s job it is to take the equipment we’ve designed to it’s limits, and beyond.  As a group, these professionals have forgotten more about fishing than most of us will ever know.  In order to capture their knowledge, we’ve asked, and they’ve agreed, to provide ongoing tips and tactics aimed at increasing skills and our collective success on the water.  This first short piece is by Dave Hansen, one of Southern California’s most exceptional saltwater anglers.

When fishing for calico bass, you need to decide whether you’re fishing with live bait or artificial lures. Personally, I prefer to fish with live bait… not that I can’t fish with artificial lures, but with live bait the bite is almost instantanious when it’s cast into the proper spot. Once the fish has bit the bait, it’s important to wait a few seconds before setting the hook. This will allow the fish to swallow the bait. When setting the hook, swing as if you’re trying to break the pole. Giving a “love tap” will only alert the fish that something bad is about to happen which will result in the fish spitting out the bait.

Calico bass are great fish and easy to catch with a little preparation.

When we head out on the water, we figure out where were going to fish. With all the books and videos out today, we have a vast number of spots that we can all fish. One of the most important things to consider are the conditions. What are conditions? Conditions can be weather, water clarity, tidal movement and current. When the wind blows out of the east…fishing is the least. When the wind blows slightly  from the west…fishing is the best. As far as tidal movement, what I’ve found over the years is slack tide on the inner boiler rocks seems to be what sparks the fish. Current; down hill current is the best. What I mean by down hill is the water is flowing from Los Angeles towards San Diego. Up hill is the opposite, water flows from San Diego to LA. If you wait for the perfect conditions, however, you’ll never go fishing.

When I’m fishing for calico bass with live bait, I use 12 lb. Vicious clear mono line. The reason I use 12 lb. line is because it floats, allowing for the most natural presentation whereas 15 lb. line or heavier line has tendency to sink, pulling the bait backwards. I use a bronze Mustaad thin wired hook (size of hook depends on size of bait). In the water, the bronze hook becomes invisible to the fish. Chrome and other colored hooks reflect sunlight allowing the fish to see the hook. The reason I use a thin wired hook, is also to allow a more natural look of the bait. Thick wired hooks add weight making it harder for the bait to swim as it naturally would. I use a medium to heavy 12-20 lbs Okuma Cedros Coastal rod and an Okuma Cedros 250 or 400 bass reel to complete the equipment list.

Okuma, Western Outdoor News and the Big Game 90

November 3rd, 2010

Ever wonder what six days offshore on a premier sportfishing vessel would be like?  Okuma and the FV Big Game 90 recently partnered with Western Outdoor News to shed light on the topic… and the incredible excitement, comraderie and unadulterated fun that can accompany these trips. 

Should you have interest in a trip like this for yourself, look no further than the Big Game 90.  One of the many proving grounds for Okuma product like Makaira, Cedros, Andros and Cortez reels, Capt. Mike Jewett and his crew were chosen for thier ability to locate and connect with bigh fish, while taking tackle to its limits. 

 
SAN DIEGO — The late Sunday afternoon start for this year’s WON charter aboard the legendary sport fisher Big Game 90 meant it would be tough getting to Cedros in time for a decent bite the next day. But patience and trust in the crew would be the watchwords for this trip that paid off in the end.

With everyone aboard, BG 90 departed H & M Landing. Captain Mike Jewitt held his safety briefing and on-board fishing seminar with a wry sense of humor and wit while bait was being loaded. The plan to run south would include paddy hopping our way and a stop first thing in the morning past Isla San Geronimo at the Sacramento Reef to fish rockfish and possible yellowtail in the area.

Okuma Pro Staffer Robert Mansfield was on hand with Okuma Catalina Rods and Reel bags for all participants in the Won-Big Game 90 2010 Charter as well as the Okuma Soltera reel for a top raffle prize. Other trip sponsors Turner’s Outdoorsman and Sufix provided line spool ups and gift cards, while Lazer Sharp sent along dozens of hook packs. Williamson trolling jigs and jig packs and spools of Seaguar fluorocarbon rounded out the swag for charter participants.

• CHICK FARR WORKED THE IRON for a nice forkie gaffed by BG90 Chef Jacob Hensley.

• STEVE TOMIYAMA SOAKED SQUID to trick this bluefin displayed by deckhand Bryan Holtan.

• RUSS CARMONA WITH LING taken while fishing near the Sacramento Reef. The reef was named after the side wheel steamship that wrecked here in 1872.

BG 90 second-captain Justin Brands moved the boat down the line overnight in calm seas and light winds and at grey-light trolling rotation was begun. Just past 8:00 a.m. the first kelp paddy of the day showed off the starboard bow. Sliding up alongside, baits were tossed out and jigs thrown beyond the kelp.

“I’m metering plenty of fish down to 10 fathoms” called Captain Jewitt over the loud speaker.

Immediately, small 15-pound-plus yellowtail began to be pulled over the rails with 12 fish at this first stop. Definitely a good sign this early in a 6-day trip.

While working the paddy angler Steve Tomiyama of Poway fished a fly-lined ‘dine on one of his own custom rods for a lone 25-pound bluefin, gaffed and hauled over by deckhand Bryan Holtan.

After working each paddy for a short while and the bite having tapered off, Captain Jewitt would sing melodiously over the P.A., “ Up, up, up…let’s get back to work, looking around,” meaning it was time to reset the troll rotation.

The day continued without much distance covered when plenty of paddies holding fish fell along BG 90’s path to Cedros. As evening approached the captain announced we’d be fishing the “Reef” in the morning, then early the next day we’d be arriving at the island.

Anchoring in the darkness of the early morning hours Captains Jewitt and Brands along with the deck crew made squid using the crowder and hand nets for 30 scoops of bait. The current ran steadily southward forcing the crew to sweep the heavily-laden crowder net along from bow to stern as they loaded it with lively squid.

True to his word Captain Jewitt moved Big Game 90 to waters off the point, east of Cedros, at the salt works and the early morning hours were spent wrangling in bottom fish along with big yellowtail to 35-pounds while fishing dropper loop sardines and squid.

Okuma Rep Mansfield soaked a dropper loop squid from his Catalina rod and Makaira reel loaded with 30-pound Sufix line when his reel began screaming as line paid out on a big fish. Once the drag had done its job and the fish turned, Mansfield was joined by Captain Jewitt at the rail saying, “That’s gotta be a black sea bass! Go easy, and wind!”

• OKUMA PRO STAFFER ROBERT MANSFIELD worked a Makaira reel loaded with 30-pound Sufix to land and release this black sea bass estimated at 145-pounds. Deckhand Bryan Holtan, left, and Captain Mike Jewitt, right, brought the fish aboard for photos momentarily then carefully returned the fish to the water. • RICK ROSANO WITH SHEEPHEAD pulled from cove near Punto Morro Redondo at Cedros Island is shown off by deckhand Brad Morgan. • GORDON GOULD WINS OKUMA REEL presented by Okuma Pro Staffer Robert Mansfield.
• OKUMA PRO STAFFER ROBERT MANSFIELD worked a Makaira reel loaded with 30-pound Sufix to land and release this black sea bass estimated at 145-pounds. Deckhand Bryan Holtan, left, and Captain Mike Jewitt, right, brought the fish aboard for photos momentarily then carefully returned the fish to the water.

• RICK ROSANO WITH SHEEPHEAD pulled from cove near Punto Morro Redondo at Cedros Island is shown off by deckhand Brad Morgan.

• GORDON GOULD WINS OKUMA REEL presented by Okuma Pro Staffer Robert Mansfield.

After several runs by the fish, and a lengthy workout for Mansfield, the huge black surfaced near the boat amid cat calls and shouts from anglers at the rail. Mansfield decided to release the fish after a few quick pictures and the fish, estimated by the captain at 145-pounds, was carefully deflated and let go.

Twenty huge, almost cookie-cutter, 30-pound-plus yellowtail took crocodiles, jigs, and dropper
looped sardines before lunch.

The highlight of any long trip has to be the fishing but when the food is as good as the meals served-up by Big Game 90’s long-time chef, Jake Hensley there is always something to look forward. Hot spaghetti and meat balls for lunch and a filling pork loin dinner were typical of the delicious and tempting meals for the charter group.

Throughout the day stops around the area produced good numbers of yellowtail with a short wide open bite around 3:00 p.m. netting dozens of fish to 25-pounds. Ralph “Chick” Farr of Laguna Niguel pulled in several nice forkies using the Tady 77 scrambled egg surface iron for great success while saying, “Man there’s nothing like cranking the iron for yellowtail!”

Another open bite followed as Big Game 90 found the schools of mossbacks again and again.

Rick Rosano of Carson, and pal, Jacinto “Jack” Quisquirin of Murrieta, took their share of forkies at nearly every stop throughout the trip and usually could be found fighting fish side-by-side. “This trip has been outstanding!” exclaimed Rosano after the day’s catch was safely stashed in the refrigerated hold.

Okuma had sent along several rod and reel combos with their Cedros and Makaira reels rigged and ready for action. Testing out the equipment gave those aboard an opportunity to get acquainted with the gear in a real-time fishing environment.

More than half of the boat’s legal limit of yellowtail had been taken through the day and by sunset most everyone was ready for a rest. A final raffle drawing gave lucky angler Gordon Gould of Winnetka the new Okuma Solterra reel ready to be loaded with Sufix line.

Tucked in close to Cedros the anglers shared other feast, an hour or so making mackerel with Sabiki rigs and it was time to hit the rack.

The bright morning dawn found Big Game 90 working inshore at the cove near Punto Morro Redondo. Several stops produced plenty of whitefish, reds and a few sizable yellowtail throughout the morning hours when the captain announced, “We’re going to run back down and see if we can’t find the schooling yellowtail off shore.”

A little more than an hour’s run along the inside channel and a feeding school came up in front of the boat just as the engines were eased. The bite on 20-pound forkies would be a wide open frenzy that caught some anglers napping in their bunks.

Plenty more of the feeding fish filled the afternoon and around 4:00 p.m. Captain Jewitt announced that the boat limit had been reached and it was time to shut off the yellowtail action.

Plenty of discussion and argument about where to go next took place until the captain held an impromptu meeting in the galley to announce his plan. “You guys all did a great job,” said the skipper. “We are heading offshore to possibly find some tuna and work our way back up the line toward home. That way we can possibly hit a school of yellowfin and see what we can do,” he concluded.

The assembled anglers actually applauded the skipper for his success at finding so many quality fish and for going the extra mile by taking the boat out chasing tuna.

Overnight the boat moved offshore to a point twenty miles west of Islas San Benito and at dawn a small paddy produced a few football yellowfin and another shortly after that.

Heading northward trolling rotations kept up throughout the day and through the next until at last the final hours of the thirty hour return trip were winding down.

• MIKE NIXON WON CAPTAIN'S CHOICE award, taking home a valuable prize package and plenty of yellowtail. • OKUMA PROVIDED COMBO GEAR like this Cedros reel and Catalina rod for ‘tail busting action. • MANNY FREY OF SAN DIMAS limited on yellowtail and also took his share of big whitefish.
• MIKE NIXON WON CAPTAIN’S CHOICE award, taking home a valuable prize package and plenty of yellowtail.

• OKUMA PROVIDED COMBO GEAR like this Cedros reel and Catalina rod for ‘tail busting action.

• MANNY FREY OF SAN DIMAS limited on yellowtail and also took his share of big whitefish.

• JACKPOT WINNER KEVIN MARTIN with huge yellowtail taken while fishing a dropper loop squid near Cedros Island.

Longtime Big Game 90 deckhand Brad Morgan matched up the biggest fish of the trip to determine the jackpot winner and Kevin Martin of Lakewood proved to have the biggest catch with a yellowtail that looked to be close to 40-pounds.

Off-loading at H & M landing everybody enjoyed the fruits of their trip when bag after bag of fillets and plenty of whole fish hit the docks. There’d be lots of great stories and shared experiences to tide these anglers over until next year’s WON-Big Game 90 Charter.

Contact Info: H & M Landing www.hmlanding.com 1-619-222-1144 2803 Emerson Street, San Diego, 92106; Big Game 90 www.biggame90.com 1-858-270-7525             1-858-270-7525

Makairas Getting It Done In PV

June 10th, 2010

It takes a while for the forward-thinking design of the Makaira and Cedros Lever Drag offshore reels to sink in.  And in many cases, it’s not until anglers experience the reels for themselves that the process truly begins. 

And then again, there are those that could honestly care less about advanced design features, so long as the reels excel in the performance arena.

And it’s all good with us.

Whether you appreciate Makairas for their technical advancements, power, performance or handling, it’s all about creating exceptional experiences on the water.  And that’s what makes reports like this one from Bloodydecks.com so gratifying:

“I was impressed with the Makaira 15’s. The fit and finish on them is very good and the drag was really smooth. Great live bait reel and made quick work of the 150lb class tuna using 80lb spectra. One feature that attracted me for PV use were the harness eyelets. From a guy who spent 5 hours pulling on a 300lber with a McGuyvered harness attached to a JX, I can see its benefit. Of course, only a season of PV style punishment will be the true test. I will likely buy a 20 and 30 for fly lining cabbies during cow season.”

When all the work in design and construction returns a day like these guys had… it’s why we come to work everyday.

What an outstanding trip.  Check out their complete report here:  http://www.bloodydecks.com/forums/mainland-mexico-fishing-reports-discussion/237769-sunday-tunafest-pv-6-6-10-a.html

Okuma Makaira / Pakula Tackle Seminar Series!

June 2nd, 2010

For their combination of forward-thinking, patented design elements, premium construction materials and follow through in thoughtful, necessary corrosion and durability standards, Makaira offshore reels have impressed the toughest critics.  So to have Pakula Lures, however in this case, Pakula’s toughest critics are big game species the world over.

This summer, we’re offering the opportunity to go one-on-one with John Bretza, lead product designer of the Okuma Makairas, along with Peter Pakula of Pakula Tackle, and we hope you’ll join us.

Bretza will provide a complete overview of Makaira design principles and how the Makaira series both answers common angler challenges with competitive offshore product and advances performance features with completely new techniques.

Pakula, a highly accomplished tournament angler and lure designer, will deliver the specifics of the Pakula offshore line-up, including the characteristics of such lures as the Sprocket and Lumo, placement in the spread, and overcoming challenges created by sea conditions.

For any offshore angler looking to grow their knowledge and skill of offshore tackle and techniques, the events will prove worthwhile to say the least.

All listed seminars are open to the public and free of charge:

Friday, June 4th, 2010:  San Diego, CA

THE MARLIN CLUB
2445 Shelter Island Drive
San Diego, CA 92106
Potluck mixer at 5 pm, seminars begin at 6 pm.

NOTICE: VENUE CHANGE FOR SATURDAY, JUNE 5!!!
Saturday, June 5, 2010, Huntington Beach, CA
CHARKBAIT!
16561 Bolsa Chica, Suite 105
Huntington Beach, CA 92649
Seminars from 3-5pm
714-846-6452

Sunday, June 13, 2010, Rancho Cucamonga, CA
BASS PRO SHOPS
7777 Victoria Gardens Lane
Rancho Cucamonga, CA 91739
7 pm to 9 pm

We hope to see you there!

Okuma Sponsored 6-Day on the Big Game 90!

March 18th, 2010

Okuma and the Big Game 90 have teamed up for a 6-day trip departing June 29.  The regular trip rate is $1799 + permits and taxes.  The special sponsored rate is $1199, including all food, permits and taxes.  Demo equipment will be available so anglers can try the new Okuma lineup of offshore reels and rods!

The Okuma Sponsored 6-day departs San Diego June 29!

Grand prizes for on board events include a new Makaira MK-20II two speed reel, a Cavalla CA-15II two speed offshore reel and a Cedros CLD-15S high speed offshore reel!

Irv from the Big Game 90 posted this itenerary:

“The itinerary would go something like this
Depart San Diego on June 29 @ 7pm start fishing offshore on the morning of the 30th looking for albacore and bluefin. Arrive at Cedros or San Benitos in the am of the July 1.
Fish yellows for 2 days then head back offshore looking more tuna and albacore for a couple more days. Arrive home at 4pm on the 5th.
as far as size of the fish. That can very greatly as anyone knows but god willing the albacore could range from 15lb to 35+ lb. the yellows at Cedros range in size fron 10 to 40lbs and bluefin can reach the 150lb class. as on any longer trip it’s best to be prepaired for most any thing. I would recomend that you bring at least 4 outfits a 15/20lb.bait, 25/30lb bait, 40lb.jig & a 50/60lb 2 speed outfit if you have it.
Remember OKUMA will have an assortment of these outfits for you to try out.also the BIG GAME rents 4 rod packages that use OKUMA rods and reels.please see two post that i have made the first is hints for makeing your trip better and i am posting our tackle recomandations this morning
hope this helps see you on the water.”

Find complete trip and booking information here:  http://www.biggame90.net/screamin-deals/okuma-sponsored-6-day-trip