Travel & Trips

An Awesome Trip on the Liberty

By Arnie Seko

In the days before the Let’s Talk Hookup Liberty 2 Day trip #1, Sponsored by Gamakatsu, the fishing offshore was nothing short of outstanding.  Boats were catching everything from yellowfin, dorado and yellowtail, to epic cow bluefin at San Clemente Island.  Myself, along with the other anglers were hoping for the possibility of going for a fish of a lifetime, so close to home.  I met my co-host for the trip Bob Stenbro representing Gamakatsu at Fishermans Landing before the trip.  Pete Grey from Let’s Talk Hookup provided giveaways for the passengers from Shimano, Aftco, and Rapala ranging from hats, shits, and sunmasks, to Coltsnipers, and a Aftco Alijos Day Belt.  Gamakatsu supplied hook packs and boxes for all the passengers, as well as a Calstar rod for the angler who catches the biggest fish using a Gamakatsu hook.  We waited in anticipation to board the Liberty, captained by Taro Takeuchi and his outstanding crew.

Once aboard and on our way, the friendly passengers all introduced themselves to each other as did Bob and myself.  Taro gathered us in the galley to give us our game plan for the trip.  The weather was rough at Clemente and getting worse for the next few days, so the decision was made to fish south.  Taro felt it was in the passengers as well the boat’s best interest to not go to Clemente.  We all made necessary adjustments to our gear to fish for the yellowfin and skipjack that were to the west of the Coronado Islands.

Bob and myself set up the raffle in the galley while were at Everingham’s taking on our load of bait.  Gamakatsu provided hooks, storage boxes, and shirts for all the passengers.  There were lots of happy anglers,  very appreciative for all the giveaways from our sponsors. Some of our anglers brought aboard stuff to share like lumpias, home made Hatch chile salsa and home made cookies!!!! Awesome!!

We started day one working the zone west of the Coronados early in the morning.  It wasn’t long before we found our first stop, an eager school of skipjack.  This stop helped get the rust off and got us going.  It wasn’t long before we got another stop on the skippies.  The next stop, we found what we were looking for, yellowfin tuna and they were hungry.  You didn’t have to wait long to get bit.  The boys put the chum out and it was on!  They were nice school size fish, all before 9am.  We continued to drive around and make more stops.  Bigger baits worked well at first, when the bite slowed, they wanted the “firecrackers”, 3-4” sardines, that swam amazingly well (thanks Everingham Bros.).  We managed to squeeze lunch in between stops.  Nothing like a Liberty Wagu Beef Cheeseburger, just the best. We continued to stop on yellowfin and skippies the rest of day, everybody getting a good shot at the fish.  We found some better grade fish in our afternoon stops.  The entire crew did a amazing job helping our anglers when needed, and keeping the chum going to keep the fish around the boat. Our fishing was going so well, Taro called in a boat that was having a tough day on the water to come to one of our stops in the afternoon to help them out. A class move on his part. Just a great day out in the water with great fishing and good weather.

After an awesome day one, we all sat down to a nice dinner served by Danny, the Liberty’s cook. Taro came down and recapped our successful day.  He also made a surprising announcement that we had to return to Point Loma to get more bait for day two and get paperwork and bracelets for us so we could fish the Coronado Islands.  I can say that I can’t remember being on a trip where we had to go back in because we ran out of bait!  Taro and the crew got everything ready for us for day two while we all went to sleep.

We awoke for day two on the middle grounds at the Coronados.  Our target was bluefin tuna.  Just after sunrise, we found our first school and we started picking off bonito and bluefin.  It was just amazing to catch bluefin here where you usually will catch yellowtail, which were surprisingly absent.  The nice thing is we were the only boat working the area. The bad thing is we were the ONLY boat working the area! We were constantly harassed by the ever- present sea dogs.  Even the birds got in on

the act.  Several anglers, including myself found ourselves flying “kites”.  We brought aboard several bluefin “guests”to the Hotel Tuna to wrap up our fishing. Day one was such a success, day two was just a big bonus to a successful trip.

Bob and myself gathered the passengers in the galley for a trip wrap up. We both thanked everyone for coming on the trip.  Many expressed the interest in coming next year.  It truly was a pleasure to fish with this group of outstanding anglers and gentlemen.  The largest fish on a Gamakatsu Hook went to Jim Matthes who won the Calstar rod provided by Gamakatsu.  Congratulations Jim!!

I would like to thank the passengers for making this trip a success. Everyone had a great attitude and worked together. Thank you to Gamakatsu for providing prizes and Bob who helped me a lot hosting this trip.  Thank you, Pete and Let’s Talk Hookup for the opportunity to represent the show and the sponsors who provided prizes. And the biggest thank you goes to Captain Taro and the entire crew of the Liberty, Ryan, Annebold, Taylor, Anthony, Paul and Danny.  This is a multi-day operation that happens to do day trips in multi day style.  Come out and fish on the Liberty and you will have an awesome experience.