Friday, February 1, 2013

Calling the Cows Home PV Style on the Maximus

Friday morning was a blurr trying to get all my stuff out the door while leaving my dog Chacho, and my wife Theresa in a nice warm bed and it was pouring buckets. Had to get myself down to Costa Mesa to pick up my fishing partner Sean "Pump" Canova as we were embarking on another PV adventure on the Maximus with Captain Keith Denette. This was our 6th or so trip on the boat and we had seen good success in the past with our buddy Little Joe Marshall besting all of us with a fish taping 320 lbs or so. 

Once I got Pump we were off to meet Little Megan Eyre from Charkbait who wanted to go on theis trip and try her luck for a toad. Finally after all the check in and baggage hassles we were on our way. Arrived in PV in the afternoon to be met by the rest of our group Steve, Rich, and Russ picking up Doc and meeting Charles and Billy on the boat. Word on the street was that it was a bird school bite which usually equated to a ton of fish caught of all sizes with the popper and on the slide with the Halco Max 130. We were ready to go and got underway to the buffer zone to see what Saturday had in store for our little band of anglers. Saturday saw a few fish on bait and halco poppers hit the deck but in past trips it was slow and Keith had a plan to give the night time bite a try.

We started to see bait gather under the boat and we had full tanks of bait ready to do some damage if the opportunity presented itself. Just past 7pm things started to gain momentum and the night life went full rack with several nice fish caught including Doc's cow which was the highlight so far. We put a couple dozen fish on the boat and everyone had a smile on their face. Started a little slow for couple of us but once you found the magic depth (28 Fathoms) it was a bite a drop.

After a full night of fishing our band of anglers hit the rack only to awake early hoping to see a bird school bite. We got a couple Halco Popper fish but again the bite was a little slow for day time.
Later in the afternoon Keith starting hunting out bait schools to set up for the night time thing. Around 7 pm he saw something he liked and settled in. Did not take long before people were getting bit again and the carnage exploded with people hooking and landing a bigger grade of fish. This bite saw a lot of 125 to 160 lb fish hit the deck and Steve put a fat one on the deck to start the "Cow Show".

Rich, Russ, Doc, Charles, Billy, and Megan were taking turns putting fish on the deck, pump and I were playing catch up. After a while it starting for us putting some good ones on the deck including one that taped at 277 which is my personal best. This went all night until we had to go. The bites came in waves which saw the crew weaving and bobbing with setups to assure these fish hit the deck.
Keith has an awesome crew and the whole package is the best kept secret for catching fish of a lifetime.

Could not ask anymore for a 2 day fishing trip and I look forward to the next time this year I get to fish the deck of the Maximus. Great experience with an awesome group of people enjoying the true essence of cow fishing PV style. Thanks Keith and Nicole for a awesome trip and lasting memories.

Nice one for Ben

Megan with a personal best
Big Steve with a Fatty

Night time carnage

Beautiful ending to a great trip

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Accurate visits Puerto Vallarta, land of the cows.

It had been awhile since I had been to PV in search of the "Cow" Yellowfin Tuna but Brandon Hayward and myself were invited by the crew of the "Martuni" to give our luck a try. Captain Keith Denette, deck hand and chef extraordinaire Brant, and the boat owner Keith Jones are veterans of the cow tuna in PV, and we had the experience on the boat, and the desire to catch them if they cooperated with us. After a week of 25 -40 mph winds prior to our arrival, we arrived to absolutely flat conditions, beautiful and warm.
Getting everything in order on Wednesday we headed out to catch bait and spend the night at Punta Meita. Thursday brought great conditions and we were on the grounds looking for bird schools at day break. After a trip around the grounds we pointed the boat outside and found what we were looking for, Boobie birds on large bait schools with both spinner porpoise and our targeted quarry, Yellowfin tuna. As we approached the first school and all troll rods with Mauraders went down and I put a cabito in for a drop back which was quickly consumed by a nice schoolie fish.
This was the trick for the day as we put numerous fish on the deck between 20 and 50 pounds looking for the larger grade fish. The first day had come to an end with good action on smaller fish and great conditions.
Friday we awoke to the same beautiful conditions and it took about 20 minutes for Keith to find a bird school in the gyro's and before you knew it we were in position to start the Melli. Today was different in the sense that Keith told Brando and I to go to the bow with poppers. I had a Halco Max 130 in my bag and tied it on to give it a whirl. This type of fishing is my favorite and it was full speed all day with several nicer fish in the 50 pound range.
Sight casting to tunas in the middle of porpoise schools is the most bizarre thing I have done with a visual on the spinners and looking for the black backs of the tuna sunning on the surface. I would have never believed it but after numerous fish caught, it was all time. I never picked up another bait until later that night and had the best tuna fishing I can remember with the Halco Max 130 in a bait fish color. OFF THE HOOK!
After a full day of fishing the porpoise schools we set up a drift for the night and Keith put a bait down while we started dinner and finished the chores. It didn't take long before we got bit and ended up landing a fish in the 120 lb class. Fun stuff. Just before dark we had found bigger fish but could not get them to bite. Unbelievable what a littler perseverance does. Well after cleaning the rest of the fish we had another excellent dinner by Brant, shared a few fish stories and hit the sack. Saturday brought the same fishing with excellent results on 20 to 60 pounders.
We spent the rest of the trip going from one bird school to another having the best time I can remember.
It is a pleasure spending quality time with good people, and it was awesome having someone like Keith finding the bird schools literally one and after the other.
We went down focusing on small reels and big fish but the cows were elusive but we caught plenty of fish on the Boss BX-500 and the B2-30N casting on the porpoise schools. I couldn't have had a better time and look forward to getting back down there this year to pursue a cow on a small reel.
Thanks again to the crew of the "Martuni" for a great time.

Until the next time, keep your lines tight and enjoy your time with family and friends.


Monday, January 18, 2010

Accurate visits New Zealand's White Island .

Jack Nilsen and myself just got back from visiting our friends at Decoro fishing Kane Tapper, Matt, and Trevor. The basis of the trip was also to spend some time out at White Island which is an active Volcano 30 miles off the coast on the north island off of Whakatane. Kane had been wanting us to come over for round two after the weather killed the last trip the previous year.
We spent our first day getting the tackle ready for the trip making sure we had the power to stop these behemoth Kingies (super charged Yellowtail). Tackle included both BX2 and BX 400's, 500's, and 600's in narrow and Narrow-narrow for jigging. We also had a secret weapon with our BX2-30N with 80lb and a 100lb leader.
The key to these animals is to stop them before they gain momentum in their initial run, if not they will own you are your terminal tackle.
Friday afternoon we left Decoro tackle headed north to hook up with Rick Pollock on the Pursuit a San Diego transplant that came here over 30 years ago to establish a charter business. He has solidified himself as the Kingfish master with solid bookings throughout the year.
We had the Decoro crew as well as New Zealand Fishing's Mark Kittredge, who is an accomplished Kingie angler with several fish over 60lbs.

Friday night we spent hours making bait into the wee hours of the morning which resulted in a tank of mackerel which were a combination of Spanish mackerel and Cabito, a Mexican bait fish and some flying fish. After a great breakfast, we headed towards Rick's hotspots which we fished some jigs and limited bait. I ended up catching one Kingfish on a jig and we had one other caught, both were released. The next couple spots didn't show any results but as soon as we hit our early afternoon spot things started to heat up. We fished dead flying fish on this spot which ended up being the bait of choice. We landed several Kingfish in the 30 - 40 lb range and myself and the "Dairy Man" got one each over 50 lbs which was my goal I set prior to the trip.
We continued to pick a few more but we ended up anchoring and getting ready for dinner which saw a wide open bite on trevallies to 8 or pounds on 8lb line, what a blast.
After a great dinner we hit the bait fishing seeing several big Kingfish chasing flying fish right in front of the lights, what a sight.
We finished up with the bait and hit the sack at about 1 am hoping to see a real toad in the 100 lb class. The morning showed a slow start but Rick hit the big fish stop of the day before, Matt hooked and caught 5 fish, Mark had a few, Kane and Trevor where definitely making a mark, and I got a couple. We had several fish in the 30 - 40lb class and used up all the bait we caught. We caught a couple fish on the jigs but both dead and live bait was the ticket and without the knowledge of Rick and his years of experience it would have been a tough go.
New Zealand is definitely one of the fishiest places I have visited and if you have been here yet I would tell you to book a trip and spend some time chasing Kingfish as well as trout fishing in the rivers and lakes that run through the Islands.
Look up the book Pursuit and Rick Pollock, he is definitely worth it if you want a great trip and excellent fishing knowledge towards these elusive fish.

Until next time, I hope your lines are tight ones.


Monday, November 2, 2009

Accurate Crew hits the East Cape.

The Accurate crew took a worksman's Holiday this last week and spent some time fishing the waters off Punta Arenas for some pelagic gamefish with good success. Myself, Douglas, David, and Jack were joined by Sean Montgomery for three days of fun fishing on Mark Rayor's 35 foot Innovator, the Jen Wren. We set up came at John Irelands Rancho Leonero, which if you haven't been there you definitely need to visit. It's old time Mexico at its finest with small, quaint rooms with patio's on each one. Great atmosphere located on the bluff above the beach.
This trip was to review products and that is what we did. The first day we saw a full blown bite on Sailfish which was a kick on the Boss 870NXC and the 7030 Xnergy rod. This was the perfect outfit complimented by the AccuBraid 50 lb and 40 lb P-line top shot. We used Blackwater 60lb leader and live mackerel to get the job done. We also had a decent Dorado bite with fish to 20 lbs the first day, great snacks with the after fish drinks.
The second day saw a completely different turn of events. We did not see any billfish except one jumper as we drove towards a porpoise school that ended up holding some nice YFT's.
We had our Halco 195 Laser pro's in the pattern and "boom" it hit the fan. When the dusk settled I had one 30 lb tuna and Douglas had one about 75 lbs. We caught back up to the school and bingo, it all started again with one more about 75 lbs for Sean and a couple more small ones. Total for the day was six tunas ranging from 25 lbs to 75 lbs all on Boss 870NXC's with 50 lb Accubraid. The "Small reels Big fish" was definitely happening and we were loving it.
Our third and final day we saw no life after the wind blew out of the north but we kept our hopes up and were rewarded late in the afternoon with one Sailfish for David, a nice 50 lb tuna for Douglas, and my best ever, a 50 lb Dorado which all came from a small pod of porpoise 30 miles out.
The trip overall was awesome with a lot of fresh ideas discussed and some fond memories for years to come. We missed our friend Del but on the last day we left part of him right in front of Mark's house, a place he loved dearly. We all miss Del but knew he was on the deck for every fish we caught.
Hope your fishing adventures are as successful.
Till next time.


Monday, September 28, 2009

Local Yellowfin With Bongo Joe

Lucky for us, Dave's friend Pete had booked a trip on the charter boat
Bongos and invited all of us to go. Dave, Douglas, Pete, and I all met
up earlyThursday morning to go chase the local yellowfin tuna everyone
had been catching on the paddies and under the porpoise schools. We got
down to Davey's locker at 5 am to meet Joe and Marty, load the boat and
head off in search of theYFT's.
We met up with Pete's friends and
our six pack was complete and ready to roll. We stopped by the bait receiver and filled
the tanks with bait, bigger dean and mini mack. Then tried making some mackerel in
front of the jetty for nothing.
Joe headed out towards the 277 and
turned it south towards the 43 running a course over the 289 as we
headed towards the border. We baited a few paddies forNada and kept
going until we started to see some life. We were a few shy of the 289
when we saw some terns working. As we got closer we could see breaking
fish under the birds. We put the boat in close proximity to the birds
and threw some bait which instantly got boiled on. It was game on with
all rods bendo and mass mayhem going on in the corner. The bite lasted
about 45 minutes with 16 or 17 fish boated in the 15 to 25 pound range.
Much better grade of fish than I expected.
We continued the search
for more birds and porpoise schools which we found one that cooperated
that ended our day with 21 fish total and one fish towards the 35 lb mark.
we sped in towards Newport we ran into huge bird schools with the local
5am to 5pm boats chasing them trying to get baits to the fish for very few
fish. Joe's idea to make the run paid off for us and we really had a
good day of fishing while it lasted.
I really look forward to the next trip before the year comes to an end.
Hope you find some time to catch a few. Until the next trip.


Tuesday, September 8, 2009

The Passing of My Mentor.

Dear Friends I am sad to tell you that on September 6th, 2009 my favorite fishing friend passed onto the big waters in the sky. He was my best friend, fishing buddy, most knowledgable guy I knew, he was my dad. Ben Secrest Sr. was the one that gave me my start in the world of fishing which has lead to a lifelong passion and career letting me do what I love to do.
Without his love and support throughout the years I would have never been able to attain my dreams and aspirations. He always had time to take me fishing and enojoyed his self no matter what the conditions were. From the days of bluegills with a small hand made cane rod to fishing his love, the green bass, my dad was my hero. He was always there no matter what, his support and guidance have shaped my life, and those of you who knew him have an idea of what I am talking about. The man never had a harsh word to say about anyone and loved my mom whole heartedly.
I hope the pond he is fishing has a load of 8 to 10 pounders and its all topwater, his favorite technique to fish. Send a prayer out for old Ben, a true fisherman and the greatest man I ever knew.

I hope all your time on the water is memorable.

Till the next time.


Monday, August 17, 2009

Accurate visits Norway the land of the Goliaths.

Hey everyone, sorry for the late post but been on planes all over and just got home to share the adventure of our Norway expedition.
We have a Pro Staff guy in Tromso Norway Per Jonasson, who has told me for a while about stories of giant halibut over 400 pounds being caught up in the north land so with an invite from a friend we traveled up to see what we could catch. My crew included Doug Olander and his beautiful wife, and John Beath, noted outdoor writer.
My adventure started at LAX and after flying accross the United States and into Oslo (13 hours) with a 8 hour delay in Oslo, ended two hours later in Tromso, Norway.
I was greeted by Per at the airport and driven to his fish hide away, some forty minutes north.
Remember in Norway this time of year there is no night time, its light 24 / 7 and can play tricks on your body. Per had a couple other writers / friends staying with him, Peder and Soren who were very hardcore fishing from 6 am to 11 or 12am everynight catching a lot of fish between 100 and 200 pounds.
My first day on the boat with the guys was very slow with me hooking one nice fish that came unbuttoned quickly. The bait of choice was a savage swim bait baby calico color (brown, gold, and black) on a 6 oz lead head. All the fishing was done in 50 to 75 feet which was completely different than my Alaska fishing. The key to the fishing was you could use smaller reels with braid because the fish coul not spool you in deep water.
My personal experience with big Halibut is they don't pull really hard and if you keep constant, even pressure on them they swim to the boat rather easily. This wasn't the case here, these fish would smoke an initial run like a Bluefin and you couldn't control them unless you put the drag up, and I mean up around 18 to 20 lbs. This was a real workout but it gave the tackle the test that I like to see.
We caught a few nice halibut over the five days but to watch Per on one that taped over 200 pounds with all the drag and land the fish within 15 to 20 minutes was amazing.
I truly learned what kind of drag it took to stop a fish like that and how our little B-197XC could handle it. He has been doing this for a few years with lots of fish between 100 to 200 pounds under his belt, and his reel of choice, a single speed B-197 with a 6:1 gear ratio.
Besides the Halibut we also caught Atlantic Cod and the ugly Wolf fish that looks like a monkey's head on an eels body.
The weather was unseasonably warm with 70 to 75 degrees during the warmer days and maybe 50 degrees in the morning as we ran out to the fishing grounds.
We all got our chance at the bigger fish and we caught some decent ones but this trip turned into the "One that got away" with that happening to all of us at least once.
I had one fish light me up for several minutes, as we started to follow him with the boat he feel off but he pulled as hard as anything I have hooked throughout my years of fishing.
A real stud, like a pitbull on steroids chasing the local mail man.
All said in done, this was one of the most unique trips I have every taken with a great group of people to share it with.
I would definitely get back to Tromso to chase that Goliath Halibut hoping to land the trophy of a lifetime.
Thanks to Per for his guidance, it was much appreciated.
I hope we are able to get back there and give it another shot some day.

Till the next trip, hope your time on the water is productive.