Long Range
Sport fishing



How to Use This Detailed Long Range Fishing Guide 

In this comprehensive fishing guide we will examine all of the info you will need to choose a multi day long range sport fishing charter departing out of San Diego California. We will talk about the boats, the fish species, and the actual logistics of each trip. Please start reading the article below, or use the Table of Contents to jump to the section that most interest you. If you need help at any point, please feel free to call us 24/7/365 at 619.508.7823 for immediate assistance by a human that picks up the phone right away!

The Little G somewhere off the coast of Mexico

Definition of Long Range Sport Fishing

Long Range Sportfishing is defined, at least by me, as any trip exceeding 3 days or 300 miles in distance. The shorter 1/2, 3/4, FULL, MULTI-DAY trips work for most anglers who want to just catch fish. But if what you are looking for is more than just that, read on. It goes like this, this trip is an adventure not only into new types of fishing and new species, but also into Mexican waters and Offshore Banks. Certain species of fish, and certainly the largest examples, are often found at these remote, low pressure, solitary fishing spots that may not have been fished for months before your arrival. Small boats can not get there, and sometimes even larger vessels can not justify the cost for a private owner to go by himself. That is where we come in. We offer both PRIVATE PARTY and OPEN PARTY long range fishing trips! We make it affordable. Short of knowing someone with a huge sport fishing yacht, or getting on a crowded party boat, this is the best way to put your self several hundred miles away, to sea.

The second most important thing to know about this type of fishing trip, is that normal rules do not apply! For example, when the Tuna season is ending in San Diego, Mexican waters will still be holding these fish for another 3 months, depending on how far south you are willing to go. Also, Fish and Game rules from the USA do not apply, the limits are different, or non existent. Check with your Captain and crew for the proper limits for each species before you go.

comfort and luxury

No other fleet can come close to the selection of long range yachts we offer.

experience counts

Our Captains and crew know specifically how to chase down the giant tuna.

bring home the tuna

We will clean your fish,
up to 50 pounds.

Go after rare species!

Marlin, Swordfish, and giant Yellowtail. Yellowfin, Albacore, Bigeye, Wahoo, and more!

Never ending season.

All you have to do is keep heading south, eventually you will find the fish in Mexico.

Gyro Stabilized - No rocking!

Top Electronics - Side Scan Sonar

Long Range Stands for "Luxury"

A lot of people dont realize that the vessels used for long range sportfishing are far more luxurios, and generally larger that their six pack counterparts. They also tend to have side scan sonar, gyroscopically stabilized hull, a lot more bait, and other advanced systems that provide you with the most luxurious boat ride you might ever be on. 

Unlike cattle boats, these larger vessels can offer private luxury staterooms with private showers, and double wide cots for your team. The outlets are powered by a generator the whole time, and the full size fridge and pantry are stocked with gourmet foods to make sure you have the energy needed to keep on fishing! You will also notice that you are on a sport fishing yacht, not a "boat" or a "ship". Every where you will see the fine appointments of teak and nautical craftsmanship that only add to the enjoyment!

As for the food, be prepared, this is not your "burrito and diet coke" kind of trip. Three times a day, a dedicated crew member will prepare a hot meal to order, using only top grade steaks, fish, and chicken. The menu is both healthy and filling.  If you have a special request for food, just let your captain know before you go, and we will make sure to have you covered.

At any time during the voyage the Captain and crew will be available to fulfill what ever reasonable request you might have, to make sure that you remember the difference between a cattle boat and a yacht.

One last thing, probably the most important. No crowds. All of our trips are limited load with a maximum of six passengers. No more shoulder to shoulder fishing, losing your fish to a newb, or taking a number to troll.

Check out the beautiful main cabin and galley photo of the Little G. Certainly not roughing it.


Dont have enough people to fill a private party six pack? No problem! We offer open party four and six pack charters.

Long Range Destinations

What is the Tuna Triangle? Three coordinates make this. The first, is San Clemente Island. The second is Tanner Bank, and the third is Cortez Bank. Within this triangle you will find some of the biggest, meanest, and elusive bluefin tuna in the world! This is usually the first stop off point for a long range trip 3-9 day trip, before you make the swing south. This will allow you to tap this spot on the way down. Depending on the time of year however, sometimes this spot is skipped all together, instead heading due south instead. The fishing here is marvelous, and this spot is accessible on shorter trips as well, such as the overnight, 1.5 day, and 3 day trips. This is also a safe anchorage spot to sleep at night, behind the safety of the island. Safe from wind and swell, you sleep.


Ah, San Clemente, you never let me down. Did I ever tell you the story about the biggest tuna I ever fought? Ok, well... the short of it, it was here at this island. This island without a doubt holds the biggest bluefin tuna north of the border, and holds fish about a month longer than near shore tuna fishing. All the way until December, you can find hard core fisherman heading for these islands for big Bluefin and Yellowfin Tuna. US Waters. No passport required.


A lot of anglers know that feeling when you look in all directions, and you see nothing. No boats, no land, no nothing. Well, that is Tanner Bank. Over 100 miles offshore means that few boats go here. It is unspoiled fishing at its best. The Bank below you provided the perfect saltwater habitat for its alpha predator, the bluefin tuna. When you go here, this is what you will be fishing for. Sometimes it can get a bit rough here, but if you are hardy enough, you will come home with a tropy fish. US Waters. No passport required.


The Cortez is an amazing place in and of itself. Imagine being 100 miles offshore and pulling up to an underwater pinnacle that comes within 6 feet of the surface at low tide. Also, another fun fact, when the swell is big, and the tide is low, you can SURF this spot. That is how shallow it gets. Luckily there is a lighted bouy that marks the spot. Now imagine a giant reef that extends 100 and even thousands of feet strait down, like a cliff. Now you know what the Cortez bank is. Super fast ocean currents mean swarms of bait fish will congregate here for the free food being pushed around. That is why the Bluefin are here. That is also why they are near the surface, which is also good news for you. When this place goes off, you usually can go home early. US Waters. No passport required.

The plan. Backside of San Clemente is where you will start the day.

First order of business is to find the Tuna. You can not catch tuna by just "fishing" off the side of the boat, you have to hunt them down. Chase the diving birds, spot the bait balls, look for foaming fish on the surface, watch your sonar marks, the list goes on.

If they are spotted foaming on the surface, as many times they are, the Captain will navigate the vessel downwind of them and launch a kite into the air, with a frozen flying fish on a second line, running from the boat, to the kite, and down into the water. With a jerking motion, the frozen flying fish will drop in and out of the water. It is irresistible to Tuna, as this is one of their favorite foods. 

Behind the island is where the big ones are.... but it can get rough out there. Be prepared.

But the fishing is worth it. Good food, plenty of water, and maybe a beer or two to steady your feet. You will be about 100 miles offshore by now. If the Captain spots tuna before dawn, you can always drop glow in the dark flat falls down there, sometimes it works. Have some coffee, and watch now as the sun clears the horizon. The hunt is on. The bite is good at dawn.

The Southern most tip of San Clemente Island, pictured above, means that you are on the grounds and its time to start fishing. Your Captain will set a course for the backside of the island in the morning. After which, and depending on reports and conditions, Tanner bank is spot #2, and Cortez Banks is spot #3. Often times you will begin fishing before light, using glow in the dark flat falls that imitate squid. Dropping this down several hundred feet and then reeling it up as fast as you can is a great way to hook a trophy tuna before your buddies finish thier coffee. Dont laugh, Ive seen it many times.  First in, first on, thats my motto.

The Outer Banks is highlighted in yellow on the above map. Your best options for this trip is the Multi-day.


Here is a comprehensive scrollable list of all the Outer Banks Spots that we like to go with both GPS coordinates and estimated one way travel time. Feel free to use this chart to get an idea of how long it will take to get there. Remember, all long range sport fishing trips depart at 9pm nightly, so you will be asleep the entire time your traveling to these spots, and wake up already there!

San Diego Tuna Fishing GPS Map - Outer Banks

The Mexican Outer Banks are actually a number of banks, that together form this nomen. The fishing usually starts long before you get there, with meter marks and surface activity causing frequent stops, and frequent hook ups, all the way there and back. Our prudent skippers have both low and high speed bait to make sure that if you are moving and looking for fish, you are also trolling at least four rigs. The rigs of choice for this area are large nomads or Rapallas on heavy floro leader, because if something bites this huge bait, you will need all the help you can get. Believe it or not, the old fashion wood plug still causes mass damage, even after almost a century of use, although bigger and used in multiple heads on one line now a days. As always kite fishing is king. At this location you will find Bluefin, Marlin, Yellowfin, Dorado, and Yellowtail. You can expect to be the only ones within site, fishing or not. Certainly a once in a life time sport fishing trip!


Besides being one of the most desolate and beautiful islands you will see, this place, and the surronding waters, are teaming with Tuna, Dorado, Bonita, Yellowtail, Seabass, Marlin, Swordfish, and the list goest on. This is what I call a deep water shallow spot. What I mean by this is that the island is surrounded on all sides except landward, by deep deep water. The abudant marine life of the island attracts fish and marine species of all kinds, many of which fall into the target species we are after on this type of sportfishing trip. Watch out, there are sometimes packs of seals that roam this area and still your bait, or worse yet your catch. If your Captain need's a good place to hold up for the night, the lee of the island provides an excellent anchorage. If you are fortunate enough to hold over there a night, be sure to throw some bait in the water under the light of the boat, and you will catch bass as much as you want!


This particular destination is best suited for a 3+ day trip. If you want to hit San Clemente Island on the way, make it four! In its truest form, this trip bypasses San Clemente Island all together and instead focuses on the outer banks of Mexico starting just past the border and continuing all the way down to, and about 30 miles off the coast of, the Mexican city of San Quintin. As you will never be within 12 miles of land, you will not need a passport for this trip, just a Mexican fishing permit. That's one of the great things about this trip!

These pristine waters are rarely fished by private fisherman, and if you look at the map you can clearly see that the 3rd and 4th leg of this journey take you right over a massive under water bank that stretches over 100 miles. You will cross dozens of named fishing spots on this journey. Due to the distance offshore and the remoteness of the location, you will find unpressured fishing grounds that teem with pelagic species year round.


Otherwise known as Magdalena Bay, this spot absolutely goes off almost year round. Magdalena Bay, located on the Pacific coast of Baja California Sur, Mexico, is one of the world’s premier sportfishing destinations. The bay is home to a wide variety of fish, including marlin, sailfish, dorado, tuna, wahoo, and snapper. If you fish near shore you will also find giant sea bass.

The best time to fish in Mag Bay varies depending on what species you're targeting. For marlin, sailfish, and swordfish, the peak season is December through April. These pelagic fish are most active in the cooler months when the water temperature is lower. May through November is considered the "off-season" for these species, but that doesn't mean there aren't any fish to be caught. In fact, this is prime time for yellowfin tuna fishing. Yellowfin tuna are more abundant in the warmer months, making them easier to catch during this time of year. No matter what time of year you go, this is a trip to remember.


Sport fishing Guadalupe Island is an amazing experience. The island is home to some of the most beautiful and bountiful waters in all of Mexico. It is also one of the most popular sport fishing destinations in the country. Yellowfin tuna are the most common type of tuna found in these waters, and they can grow to be quite large – some fish have been caught that weigh in excess of 200 pounds! Guadalupe Island is also considered one of the best places in the world to fish for giant black sea bass. The island is located about 220 miles off the coast of Baja California, Mexico and is home to a large population of giant black sea bass. These fish can weigh up to 400 pounds and are known for their fighting ability.The best time to go fishing at Guadalupe Island is from October to March. This is when the water is at its warmest and the fish are most active. Guadalupe Island is located approximately 220 miles southwest of San Diego, California. It is a small island measuring only 8 miles long and 3 miles wide. The island is part of the Mexican state of Baja California and is volcanic in origin. Guadalupe Island is home to a large population of seals and sea lions as well as many species of birds. Sport fishing for yellowfin tuna, Dorado, wahoo, and marlin is popular off the coast of Guadalupe Island.

Long Range Target Species

Multi-day long-range fishing trips departing from San Diego are available primarily from late spring to September, with a few additional trips scheduled around the beginning of the year. During these excursions, anglers commonly pursue a variety of fish, including albacore, bluefin tuna, yellowfin tuna, yellowtail, dorado, calico bass, and white sea bass. The fishing spots for these trips typically include areas offshore of San Diego and the northern part of Baja California, as well as towards the Guadalupe, Cedros, and San Benito Islands. Other frequented areas are San Pablo and Hippolito Bays. While summer trips are mostly focused on offshore fishing for various types of tuna, trips in other seasons often aim for yellowtail either along the coast or near the islands, with a usual practice of dedicating the final day to yellowtail fishing at the island sites.

Arguably the best fighting fish for its weight, and they can get up to 300 pounds each!

Although smaller than the Bluefin, this ferocious fish puts up a fight you will not soon forget.

This is the big one. If you hook up on this you will be in the fight of your life. These fish way hundreds of pounds!

Not technically a tuna, but in the same weight class, it  is known for the best tasting sashimi on earth.

The colorful skin of this fish is iridescent!
It is also known for its high flying antics.

This beautiful fish is an exotic species that you have to target at deep depths.

Long Range Vessels



Long Range Winter Pelagic Six Packs
Three to Nine Day Trips 

Most anglers don’t think about targeting pelagic species during the winter months, but there are plenty of opportunities if you’re willing to brave the elements. One of the best ways to get your fill of offshore action is to head down to Mexico for some long range winter pelagic six packs.

Check out the LUCKY CHARM and LITTLE G if you want a 4+ Day trip. If you are on a budget and just want to get fishing for a reasonable price, then check out the NOMAD, NAUTILUS and some of the other six pack vessels that we offer, for trips up to 3 days.

If you’re looking for an adventure and a chance to catch some big fish, then a long range winter pelagic six pack trip is for you.

You will need a passport and other documents to go to Mexico.

If you're planning a trip to Mexico for some offshore deepsea tuna sport fishing, you'll need to make sure you have all the right documents. First and foremost, you'll need a passport. If you're coming from the United States, you should also have a valid passport card or enhanced driver's license. In addition to your passport, you'll also need a tourist visa, which can be obtained through the Mexican Consulate. 

For these longer trips, we ask that you please speak with a member of our sales staff to confirm everything. They will walk you through the entire process and make it very simple. Call/text 619.508.7823

deep sea tuna fishing mission bay




50' Symbol, Six Pack

42' Bertram, Six Pack

42' Bertram, Six Pack

50' Symbol, Six Pack

What is included? What to bring?

All of our long range fishing trips include the following:

Things that are not included.

Optional items that we recommend bringing

Finally, when departing from San Diego, remember that you are leaving US waters and entering into Mexican waters. This means that all US laws regarding fishing no longer apply. Be sure to familiarize yourself with the regulations in place in Mexico before heading out. With just a little bit of planning, your trip can be an amazing experience!


On all of our private sport fishing charters all gear, and tackle is included FREE of charge, however, you may OPTIONALLY want to bring up to 3 rods and reals and a small tackle box of your own, per angler. 

When selecting gear and bait for offshore fishing on a long-range trip, it's vital to ensure that your tackle is appropriately matched to the bait you plan to use. The size of your hook and the weight of your line should complement the bait; for example, a large hook and heavy line would hinder the natural movement of small baitfish like anchovies. The goal is for the bait to move naturally in the water, appearing as enticing as possible to target fish. Choosing the right bait is critical. Instead of simply using the first bait you come across, take your time to observe and select the most active and healthy-looking one in the tank. Avoid bait that shows signs of stress or injury, such as redness around the nose or fins. When handling the bait, be gentle and avoid squeezing it. If the bait is dropped, it's best to use another as its vitality is crucial for attracting fish. Selecting and handling your bait with care can significantly increase your chances of a successful fishing experience. Here are some suggestions of what to bring if you want to:

Choosing the right reels for a long range multi day trip. Choose your weapon carefully!

Top 5 Reels for Deep-Sea Fishing on Multi-Day Trips out of San Diego (2024):

These top picks were chosen based on their durability, line capacity, smooth drag systems, retrieve speed, and corrosion resistance—all critical factors for successful deep-sea fishing on multi-day trips. Remember to match your reel selection with an appropriate rod and line setup to create a balanced and effective deep-sea fishing ensemble.

Rods for Overnight and Multiday Trips. Suited for Tuna!

Here is a list of the top fishing rods for deep-sea fishing on multi-day trips from San Diego in 2024: 

Live Bait Fishing Rods: 

1. Okuma Makaira Gold Lever Drag Rod: This rod is an excellent choice for live bait fishing due to its medium-heavy power and fast action tip, allowing for accurate casting and the ability to handle larger bait and target species. It's constructed with a durable graphite blank and has quality components, making it a top choice for multi-day trips. 

2. Penn Carnage III Heavy Boat Rod: With a heavy action and a durable construction featuring graphite composite blanks and aluminum oxide guides, this rod can withstand the rigors of multiple days at sea. It's sensitive enough to detect subtle bites but has the backbone to handle larger fish. 

3. Shimano Trevala F Jigging Rod: This rod is designed specifically for jigging, making it ideal for live bait fishing. It features a medium-heavy power and a responsive tip, ensuring you can feel the bait and present it naturally. The Shimano Trevala is also constructed with a durable graphite blank, ensuring it can handle the demands of multi-day trips. 

4. G. Loomis E6X Inshore Saltwater Casting Rod: Featuring a medium-heavy power and a fast action tip, this rod provides excellent sensitivity and control when presenting live bait. The E6X Inshore rod is constructed with a durable graphite blank and corrosion-resistant components, making it ideal for saltwater fishing. 

5. St. Croix Mojo Inshore Casting Rod: This rod offers a sensitive tip for detecting subtle bites, but its medium-heavy power ensures you have the backbone to handle larger fish. The premium SCIII graphite blank provides durability, and the Kigan Master Hand 3D guides offer precision casting, making it a top choice for multi-day live bait trips. 

Top 3 Rods for Trolling: 

1. Okuma Makaira Stand-Up Rod: This heavy action rod is designed specifically for stand-up trolling, providing the necessary power and backbone to battle large pelagic species. It features a durable graphite and glass blank construction, ensuring it can handle the strain of trolling and fighting big fish. 

2. Penn International VI Trolling Rod: The Penn International VI is a workhorse of a trolling rod, featuring a heavy action and a durable construction. It's designed to handle the strain of trolling with large baits and lures, and its graphite composite blank provides both sensitivity and power. 

3. Shimano Terez Stand-Up Trolling Rod: With a heavy action and a durable construction, the Shimano Terez is designed for stand-up trolling. It features Shimano's TC4 construction, a blend of graphite and fiberglass, providing a powerful yet responsive rod that can handle the demands of trolling and fighting large fish. 

Bonus 3 Trolling Rods: 

1. G. Loomis NRX Trolling Rod: This rod is a lightweight powerhouse, featuring a graphite blank that provides sensitivity and power. It has a medium-heavy action, making it versatile for a range of trolling applications, and its precision components ensure a smooth trolling experience. 

2. St. Croix Avid Series Trolling Rod: The Avid Series offers a premium trolling experience with its high-modulus graphite blank, providing sensitivity and power. It has a medium-heavy action, making it ideal for a variety of trolling techniques, and its Kigan Master Hand 3D guides ensure smooth casting and retrieval. 

3. Okuma Metaloid Trolling Rod: This rod is constructed with a durable graphite and glass blank, providing a strong and responsive platform for trolling. It features a medium-heavy action, making it versatile for a range of techniques, and its quality components ensure a smooth performance when targeting pelagic species. 

These rod selections offer a combination of power, sensitivity, and durability, ensuring you have the right tools for successful multi-day deep-sea fishing trips out of San Diego in 2024.

Lures you might want to bring on your multi day trip with us.

To consistently entice the elusive bluefin, one must employ lures that cater to their predacious nature. Highly regarded options include skirted lures with energetic movement and a lifelike presentation that can withstand the robust strikes of bluefin. These lures should flaunt vibrant hues that resonate with the bluefin's visual predilections, such as deep blues and striking purples, proven to be irresistible under pelagic conditions.

Among the elite arsenal, cedar plugs maintain their status as indefatigable classics, delivering a simplistic yet effective silhouette that mirrors the frantic behavior of baitfish. When trolled, their erratic motion is quintessential in stimulating a predatory response that can turn a tranquil day at sea into an electrifying ballet of rod and reel.

Hard Body Lures: Attracting Deep Dwellers

For the intrepid angler seeking giant bluefin and yellowfin tuna, hard body lures serve as indomitable tools of the trade. Their robust construction withstands violent assaults from deep-water predators, making them an essential component in offshore trolling strategies.

Hard body lures replicate the acoustic resonance of fleeing baitfish, an auditory beacon for tuna in the deep blue. Equipped with internal rattles or weighted balance, they provide an erratic swimming action that proves irresistible to these pelagic giants.

Bluefin tuna can dive to depths exceeding 500 meters, seeking out cooler, nutrient-rich waters.

Equipped with thick-gauge hooks capable of withstanding the brute strength of giant bluefin, these lures need to be trolled at varying speeds to mimic injured prey. The angler must adapt their technique, employing a tactical range that attracts the wily tuna from the abyssal depths.

Feathered Jigs: Mimicking Live Bait

Feathered jigs are quintessential in the pantheon of tuna lures, owing to their lifelike motion and appearance.

These jigs are expertly crafted to pulse through water, imitating the undulating movement of squid or flying fish.

Implementing these feathered artifices requires a strategic approach, attuning to the migratory and feeding patterns of the target species.

Feathered jigs, with their vibrant colors and tantalizing motion, are invaluable for coaxing bluefin and yellowfin tuna from the depths.

Yellowfin Tuna Techniques

In the quest for yellowfin tuna, one must not underestimate the value of precise presentation and movement of lures. These tunas are often enticed by a combination of both visual appeal and erratic motion. Advanced anglers keenly observe water conditions, adapting lure selection and trolling speed to mirror the natural dynamicism of yellowfin prey items, ensuring the best possibility for an aggressive strike.

To assert mastery over these elusive pelagic predators, deploying lures such as Black Bart Pelagic Breakfast, a proven favorite, or the vibrant Mold Craft Wide Range can make a significant difference. Effective technique often involves a harmonious blend of speed, depth, and placement within the water column, tailored to the yellowfin's depth and activity level. As a rule of thumb, varying the trolling spread with a mix of surface and sub-surface lures creates an irresistible illusion of a scattered bait school, paramount to evoking the predatory instincts of the yellowfin tuna.

Skirted Trolling Lures: Imitating Squid and Flying Fish

In the realm of tuna fishing, skirted trolling lures are quintessential. They mimic the flutter and hue of squid and flying fish, mainstays in the diet of Pacific tuna.

Consider the Black Bart Pelagic Breakfast, which simulates an injured squid. Its erratic dart and dive action is magnetic to sizable bluefin and yellowfin tuna seeking prey.

The effectiveness of such lures lies in their uncanny resemblance to natural forage. Proper execution necessitates these lures be drawn at speeds mirroring fleeing squid or flying fish, proverbially bringing life to the artificial bait.

Notable entries include the luminescent Joe Shute Lures, widely acknowledged for their squid-imitating properties, and Islander Lures, which emulate the movement and appearance of panicked flying fish to perfection.

Assiduous anglers know the potential of a correctly skirted lure. It can transform a routine offshore expedition into a thrilling battle with the ocean's prized giants.

Poppers: Surface Strategies for Aggressive Strikes

Engage in a high-stakes duel with the apex predators of the sea using the explosive techniques of surface poppers. These lures violently disturb the water column, inciting a reaction from lurking tuna.

For the intrepid anglers targeting large tuna species off the San Diego coast, surface poppers are an optimal choice. The characteristic loud "popping" sound paired with an aggressive splash mimics distressed baitfish struggling on the surface, an irresistible allure to predatory yellowfin and bluefin. This auditory and visual commotion can trigger an explosive surface strike, providing an adrenaline-fueled experience that is unparalleled.

Importantly, effective popper presentation is contingent upon a crafted retrieval strategy. Through methodical casting and a cadenced retrieve, interspersed with pauses, an angler can impart a lifelike, erratic action to these lures. Each pop should mimic a wounded fish, sending acoustic signals below, which resonates with the predatory instincts of nearby tuna.

In selecting poppers for giant bluefin and yellowfin tuna, anglers should consider size, shape, and color patterns that align with prevalent baitfish. Poppers such as the Nomad Design DTX Minnow and Halco Roosta Popper stand out, with configurations engineered to withstand the fierce attacks of large tuna. Equipped with robust hooks and fittings necessary for heavy drag settings, they're primed for the formidable strength and weight of San Diego's titanic tuna.

Top Colors and Designs for San Diego Waters

In San Diego's prolific waters, lure coloration plays a pivotal role in simulating the innate foraging preferences of bluefin and yellowfin tuna. Optimal hues include various shades of blue, reflective silver, and vibrant pink, which parallel the appearance of local baitfish such as sardines and anchovies. At times, these predatory fish are more attuned to specific chromatics, making a selection that includes a spectrum of colors advantageous.

Beneath the shimmering waves, it's the distinctive lure designs that often entice these sizable pelagic predators. Patterns that replicate the mackerel or the fluttering action of a distressed baitfish are particularly effective. Anglers have found success with the Rapala X-Rap Magnum, whose textured finish and internal holographics mirror the natural iridescence of tuna prey. Additionally, the deep-diving characteristics of lures such as the Yo-Zuri Bonita can be irresistible, simulating the evasive maneuvers of deep-swimming forage, further enhancing the likelihood of a prodigious bluefin or yellowfin strike.

Color Patterns: Matching the Hatch Offshore

In the quest for bluefin and yellowfin tuna, mirroring the prevalent baitfish is paramount.

The incorporation of matching color patterns can significantly alter the odds.

Seasonal and daily variances in water clarity dictate the strategic choice of lure hues.

Lure Shapes: Tailoring to Tuna Preferences

The shape of a fishing lure plays a critical role in mimicking the movements of prey. Tuna, being apex predators, are exceptionally discerning when it comes to the prey they pursue, making the choice of lure shape a crucial aspect in successful angling endeavors off the coast of San Diego. The quest for giant bluefin and yellowfin tuna demands lures that exhibit the most lifelike swimming action possible.

Among the pantheon of trolling lures, the bullet-shaped head is a quintessential design favored for high-speed trolling. Its streamlined form is adept at slicing through water with minimal resistance, generating a subtle, straight-running trail that entices voracious tuna strikes. By simulating the rapid movements of fleeing baitfish, bullet heads can prove irresistible to both bluefin and yellowfin tuna.

The jet head lure, identifiable by its hollowed-out design that forces water through for a bubble trail, creates a commotion suggestive of distressed prey. This turbulence, visible from considerable depths, beckons tuna that are attuned to the vibrations of struggling creatures. The jet head's aggressive displacement of water can trigger reactive bites even when tunas are not actively feeding.

Paddle tail soft plastics deliver versatile presentations, thanks to their oscillating tails that emulate a lifelike kicking motion. When retrieved or trolled at varying speeds, these soft plastics can mimic a wide array of baitfish behaviors, from injured to evasive. As a result, they have become a staple in the arsenal of many seasoned captains targeting San Diego's prized tuna populations.

Lastly, the concave pusher head lures, with their cupped faces designed to splash and dart on the troll, imitate the erratic darting of pelagic baitfish. The resultant spray and dynamic motion can prove especially effective during early morning or late afternoon bites when subsurface visibility is heightened. This characteristic smashing action on the water's surface prompts aggressive topwater attacks from lurking tuna.

Maximizing Catch Rates with Trolling Speeds

Speed variance is pivotal in successful trolling.

Trolling speeds for bluefin and yellowfin tuna must be meticulously monitored and adjusted. Optimal speeds depend on multiple variables, such as sea conditions, target species’ behavior, and the dynamic nature of the fishing lures being used. Differences in speed can have a profound effect on the lure’s action and subsequently, the tuna's response. Thus, understanding and adapting to the daily patterns is critical to maximize catch rates.

A slower troll can be remarkably effective.

Commonly, a speed of 6-9 knots is leveraged for tuna trolling. This range allows lures to perform at their designed capability—ensuring the appropriate action that seduces these pelagic predators. However, individual lure characteristics may dictate minor speed adjustments to achieve peak performance.

Experimentation leads to the optimal trolling cadence.

The fusion of experience and technique is vital in discerning the nuances that differentiate a fruitless day from a triumphant one. Continuing advances in marine technology, coupled with diligent observation and on-the-water trial, ensure that methods remain effective in the ever-evolving sport of deep-sea fishing. Changes to conventional wisdom are frequent, making adaptability an indispensable trait among those who pursue these formidable tuna off the San Diego coastline.

Ideal Speeds: Finding the Sweet Spot

Achieving precision in trolling velocities is paramount for enticing the elusive bluefin and yellowfin. Optimal speeds may vary with sea conditions and the behavior of target species. Innovation in trolling practices has introduced varied speeds to cater to these dynamics, promoting higher catch rates. Our expert Captains know every trick in the book, and closely monitor this.

Recognized patterns suggest that speeds slightly over or under the convention may yield surprising results. Expert anglers understand that fine-tuning the pace can provoke strikes from otherwise indifferent tuna. These adjustments often require real-time analysis and instantaneous decision-making, reflecting the sophisticated nature of the sport.

In the pursuit of San Diego giants, the speed of 7-8.5 knots has emerged as a local consensus for effectiveness. This specific range is conducive to a range of popular trolling lures, allowing them to swim naturally—mimicking prey species and generating the necessary visual stimuli.

Nevertheless, a critical evaluation of trolling speed must factor in the distinct oscillations of each lure type. The goal is to match lure motion with the expectations of the targeted fish. This calls for an uninterrupted scrutiny of lure behavior in conjunction with a willingness to experiment.

Thus, mastery of speed nuances constitutes a substantial portion of an angler's acumen. A relentless pursuit of refinement can often lead to the delineation of a new sweet spot, tailored for the day's fishing conditions and the peculiar preferences of the prized tuna off San Diego's coast.

Variable Approaches: Adapting to Tuna Behavior

When angling for tuna, it becomes essential to observe and respond to their feeding habits. Subtle changes in their behavior can indicate the optimal time to strike. Our seasoned captain will make the call when a meter mark or surface action appears. BE READY!

Fishing for tuna is more art than science. This truth is particularly evident in the deployment and retrieval techniques.

Anglers must be adept at detecting variations in the ocean's rhythm, which reflects on the feeding patterns of tuna. Adjustments in trolling speeds and lure selection may be crucial in these periods of transition to ensure a successful catch.

The expertise to discern the right moment for changing tactics is often what separates the seasoned fisherman from the novice. Adjusting trolling lures in response to the water temperature, bait presence, and even the time of day can be the deciding factors in the elusive quest for San Diego's bounteous tuna. Recognizing when to "switch gears" becomes ingrained in the experienced angler's instincts.

Recommended Lures

For targeting giant bluefin and yellowfin tuna off San Diego's waters, one must select lures with utmost judiciousness.

Among the pantheon of efficacious trolling lures, NOMAD DTX Minnows and Halco Max 130 are held in high esteem by veteran anglers for their proven capacity to entice sizable tuna specimens, thanks to their robust design and action that simulate distressed baitfish.

Cedar Plugs, both natural and colored, are venerated for their simplicity yet astonishing effectiveness in the pursuit of these pelagic predators.

by Rapala

Rapala lures are quintessential tools when trolling for San Diego's giant tuna species. Their groundbreaking design mimics the movement of real baitfish, a critical factor in attracting predatory fish.

Crafted to perfection, Rapala's X-Rap Magnum series provides a depth-specific swimming action, ensuring the lure stays in the strike zone of both bluefin and yellowfin tuna. The lures' textured bodies and holographic eyes add to their allure, increasing the odds of a strike.

The Magnum Diving series, with its large diving lip, enables the lure to reach desired depths where tuna often feed, making it a staple in any serious angler's arsenal. These lures are engineered for high-speed trolling, which is often necessary to provoke aggressive bluefin into striking.

Skilled anglers in San Diego waters often turn to the Rapala CountDown Magnum for its controlled sinking action, providing a versatile approach to reach varying depths where schools of tuna may be patrolling.

For those targeting the biggest and most elusive tuna, the Rapala Super Shad Rap is renowned. Its size and palpable swimming action create the perfect storm for catalyzing a predatory response from giant bluefin and yellowfin.

By Nomad

Nomad Design offers a suite of lures tailored for the sophisticated angler targeting bluefin and yellowfin tuna off San Diego's coast.

The distinctive swimming actions and durability make these lures indispensable when pursuing the vigorous tuna species.

Nomad’s emphasis on integrating robust hooks and innovative color patterns are especially advantageous in the deep blue offshore waters frequented by these large pelagics.

Other Top Trolling Lures

To consistently entice strikes from discerning tuna, one must deploy a strategic arsenal of proven lures.

The right selection of lures can be the difference between a barren day and a triumphant one.

A carefully curated lure set provides an adaptable approach to the dynamic conditions off San Diego's coast, maximizing the chance of a successful outing.


When fishing with lines heavier than 30 pounds, it's essential to know specific knots that ensure strength and durability. For tying the main line, the Uni Knot or the San Diego Jam Knot are recommended. For connecting a top shot, you can either use the Uni to Uni Knot or pair a Bimini Twist with a Worm Knot. Additionally, mastering the Dropper Loop knot is beneficial for creating a loop for attachments.

Dont have enough people to fill a private party six pack? No problem! We offer open party four and six pack charters.

Freeline Live Bait Hooks:

Standard hooks are suggested in different sizes, including 4/0 and 5/0 with two dozen each and a dozen of size 8/0. - Live bait hooks are recommended in multiple sizes as well, with three dozen each of sizes 2, 1/0, and 2/0. - Circle hooks should be used in sizes 2/0 and 4/0 with a dozen of each, and a dozen size 6/0 for larger catches. - For big game fishing, two Mustad 7691 hooks sized 7/0 are recommended. You will be using these hooks for free lining live bait, and larger hooks for kite fishing.

What are the suggested setups for surface iron fishing, yo-yoing, and using swim baits?

Fishing with ineffective gear wastes time and opportunities. Anglers traversing the bountiful waters off San Diego's coast demand precision-tailored setups to target the elusive gamefish. Strategically chosen gear enhances the angler's capability, transforming an ordinary outing into an exceptional, fruitful venture. Mastering the art of lure presentation is imperative for enticing the sophisticated palate of tuna; hence, optimal configurations for 'surface iron', 'yo-yo', and 'swim bait' techniques are essential. These setups refine the approach for each fishing style, maximizing the chances of a triumphant capture in the vast marine arena.

Precision yields unparalleled success.

Gearing Up for Surface Iron Fishing

In the realm of surface iron fishing, the appropriate rod and reel combination is critical for targeting pelagic predators with precision and agility. Seek out a rod designed specifically for this technique, typically spanning from 7 to 10 feet in length and capable of efficiently casting jigs while maintaining the necessary backbone to fight large game fish. Reel choices should complement this responsive rod by offering smooth casting, rapid retrieval rates, and ample line capacity—qualities exemplified by models such as the Shimano Trinidad 20/30.

As for terminal tackle, selecting the right jigs becomes paramount. Surface iron aficionados often favor the Tady 45s or Tady 9s due to their proven design and enticing action when retrieved at various speeds. Choosing the correct color, reflecting baitfish in the area, can make a notable difference in itinerant pelagic species such as tuna. In angling, details matter—not only the motion of the jig but also syncing your presentation with prevailing baitfish patterns can give you that critical edge.

Selecting the Right Rod

The ideal rod for surface iron fishing must deftly balance sensitivity with strength, enabling precise presentations and the fortitude to manage the spirited fights from pelagic species. A length between 7 to 10 feet is typically optimal, providing both casting leverage and the necessary action to work jigs effectively.

In the realm of yo-yo fishing, a shorter but more powerful rod is paramount, ranging between 6 and 6.5 feet. This stout profile equips anglers with the heft needed to repeatedly work heavy jigs through deep water, targeting fish that dwell far below the surface.

Flexibility and power in a rod are the linchpins of successful big game sportfishing.

Swim bait enthusiasts should gravitate towards rods that are long enough to cast substantial baits, yet still offer a sensitive touch to detect subtle bites. Typically, rods spanning 7 to 8 feet that can handle a 20 to 25-pound test line strike the perfect balance between power for big game fish and finesse for a lifelike bait presentation.

Reel Recommendations

For surface iron fishing, the reel's build quality is paramount, blending durability and a smooth drag system to handle aggressive strikes. Reels like the Shimano Torium 20 and Trinidad 30, along with the robust Newell 300 series, present the perfect combination of strength and subtlety for this task.

Choosing the correct yo-yo fishing reel is vital to support the physical demands of deep jigging. The Shimano Trinidad 40 exemplifies the durability and power needed for this challenging technique.

For swim bait aficionados, reel choice impacts casting accuracy and line management. The Penn 500 series reels (including the 535) deliver reliability for long casts and battling hearty fish.

Anglers targeting the depths require a reel with exceptional torque. The Newell 500 series, with its die-hard construction, is excellently suited for the rapid ascension and descent of yo-yo jigs.

In selecting a reel for fishing with swim baits, one must prioritize a smooth line lay. Reels such as the smaller Newell 200 series provide an ideal blend of control and capacity for these lighter setups.

Finally, one must consider the reel's gear ratio for each style's needs. Higher speed reels are generally preferred for surface iron, while a lower gear ratio can provide more cranking power when yo-yoing in deeper waters.

Top Jig Choices

Selecting the optimal jig is a pivotal component of tailoring your setup for maximum efficacy in various fishing conditions.

The right jig can make the difference between a successful outing and an unproductive day at sea.

Ensuring you have a varied selection that aligns with your intended fishing method is essential, particularly when targeting discerning game fish.

Yo-Yo Fishing Essentials

The nuance of successful yo-yo fishing lies not only in the choice of jig but also in the physical features and properties of the rod and reel. It is paramount to opt for a rod calibrated for strength and sensitivity, matching it with a high-speed, high-capacity reel. This dynamic duo enables anglers to rapidly sink the jig and retrieve it swiftly through the water column, presenting an irresistible action to target species.

To optimize your results while yo-yo fishing, your arsenal should include jigs of various weights and colors to adapt to changing ocean conditions and fish preferences. Furthermore, the use of fluorocarbon leader material is advised to enhance the jig's presentation and withstand the sharp teeth of aggressive game fish. Meticulously inspecting the rig for nicks or abrasions after every few casts will assist in preventing tackle failure, ensuring that a successful hook-up leads to a triumphant catch.

Heavy-Duty Rod Options

For yo-yo and vertical jigging, nothing less than a robust, heavy-duty rod will suffice. These specialized instruments must embody resilience and the ability to withstand the intense battles that ensue with large game species. Rods such as the Seeker 665H convey the requisite backbone and lifting power necessary for these rigorous techniques.

The composition of such rods often includes advanced materials like graphite and fiberglass composites, resulting in lightweight yet formidable fishing tools. They are frequently paired with reinforced metal guides and heavy-duty reel seats to manage the extra strain during deep-water jigging. The United Composites USA Rods exemplify this mixture of advanced materials and construction quality.

Selecting the right heavy-duty rod is contingent on the intended target species and the specific conditions of your fishing environment. For instance, seeking larger tuna specimens entails a rod that can handle substantial drag pressures while maintaining adequate flexibility for an effective jig action. The Super Seeker rods, with their robust build, are particularly suited for these larger adversaries.

It is also critical to match these heavy-duty rods with equally capable reels. The synergy between a Super Seeker rod and a high-line-capacity reel, such as the Shimano Trinidad 40 or Penn Fathom series, ensures optimized performance. This combination provides the angler with increased torque and stamina needed for extended battles.

Finally, when venturing after game fish capable of explosive fights, an angler's confidence in their tackle is paramount. Heavy-duty rod options like Calstar's Grafighter Series add such confidence, offering unmatched strength-to-weight ratios vital for consistent success in these angling endeavors.

Ideal Reels for Yo-Yo

When considering reels for yo-yo fishing, strength and durability are paramount. High-speed retrieve capacity combined with heavy drag systems are essential attributes for targeting fast-moving pelagic species, ensuring you can quickly take up slack line and maintain pressure on the fish.

A reel's gear ratio must be optimal for yo-yo fishing's rigorous demands. The Shimano Trinidad 40 shines in this role, providing impressive cranking power and smoothness.

Equally vital is the reel's line capacity, accommodating enough of the heavier 40 to 60-pound test line necessary for this technique. Models like the Penn 4/0 have proven themselves reliable in this respect, with ample spool space.

Drag performance cannot be overlooked; the Newell 300-500 series reels excel by offering imperceptible start-up inertia. This minimizes the risk of line breakage during the fierce initial strikes from aggressive game fish.

The reel's build quality must ensure it withstands the constant, high-intensity action associated with yo-yo jigging. Construction materials, such as those used in the Torium 30, are engineered for such duress, maintaining structural integrity under strain.

Ultimately, the reel you choose must synergize with your rod's action to deliver a seamless yo-yo experience. Balanced equipment increases not just the probability of landing trophy catches but also the overall enjoyment of the pursuit.

Effective Color Patterns in Jigs

Selecting the correct jig color pattern is essential for targeting specific game fish, taking visibility and attractant potential into account.

Underwater light conditions and water clarity play pivotal roles in the effectiveness of each pattern.

Remember that no single color guarantees success; experimentation and observation are key in identifying the most effective pattern for your fishing excursion.

Swim Bait Fishing Configuration

When assembling a swim bait setup for targeting pelagic species offshore, precision in equipment selection is paramount. A premier selection encompasses a responsive rod, typically in the 7 to 8-foot range, mated with a reel robust enough to manage the dynamic stress of 20 to 25-pound test line. Suitable pairings might involve a reel of the caliber of a Shimano Trinidad 20, calibrated to seamlessly operate with the smooth drag required for the rapid strike and fight of tuna. The optimal swim bait should be substantial, around 7 inches, preferably in naturally occurring hues such as mackerel or sardine patterns, rigged expertly on a 3 or 4oz lead head to maintain the proper swimming action. This assembly facilitates the angler's ability to effectively present the lure, achieving the realistic movement paramount to enticing the targeted species to bite.

Choosing the Correct Rod Length

Rod length is consequential in angling performance.

Length selection must mirror the fishing approach employed. For targeted offshore species such as tuna, the rod must provide sufficient casting range, sensitivity to detect subtle strikes, and backbone to combat spirited fish. Accordingly, rods in the 7 to 10-foot bracket are the most appropriate for surface iron fishing, offering an excellent blend of power and precision for the technique.

Shorter rods enhance leverage during retrieval.

A shorter rod - typically 6 to 6.5 feet - is ideal for yo-yo fishing, providing greater control and leverage when you're working a heavy jig through deep water. This manageable length also balances the high-speed retrieval necessary to bring the jig into the strike zone rapidly.

An elongated rod offers outstanding casting distance.

For swim bait techniques, the emphasis shifts to casting distance and maneuverability. Rods extending 7 to 8 feet allow the angler to fling swim baits over considerable expanses, which is crucial when targeting schools of fish that might be feeding at a distance from the boat.

Reel Selection for Swim Baits

Selecting the right reel for swim bait fishing is critical for both casting efficiency and retrieval power.

The reel should complement the rod, ensuring seamless synergy during the cast and retrieve.

An optimal reel will enhance swim bait presentation and increase hookup ratios when targeting elusive predators.

Swim Bait Varieties and Colors

Swim baits are available in a plethora of shapes, sizes, and colors, each designed to imitate various forage species that predators prey upon. The choice of swim bait color can greatly influence success rates, as it must closely mimic the natural prey in the water.

Silhouette and action are paramount in swim bait selection. This applies to both paddletail and jerkbait-style swim baits.

Anglers must consider the predominant baitfish species present in the local waters when selecting swim baits. The profiles should match the size, behavior, and color of these prey species, enhancing the lure's authenticity and effectiveness.

In the diverse waters off San Diego, swim bait colors such as sardine, anchovy, and mackerel patterns are often highly effective, simulating common baitfish species. Furthermore, considering the clarity and depth of the water is crucial, as certain colors are more visible at different depths and in different light conditions. It’s advantageous to have a variety of shades ranging from natural tones to vibrant, high-contrast options to adapt to the fishing conditions encountered. In murky waters, brighter, more fluorescent colors may be called for, whereas in clearer conditions, more subdued, natural colors often provide a competitive edge.

Optimizing Your Tuna Trip Gear

Selecting the most effective gear for targeting tuna during long-range trips from San Diego requires meticulous attention to detail. Each rig must be assembled with precision, ensuring the rod, reel, and line combinations are harmoniously balanced to manage the vigor of tuna species. The gear should not only suffice the necessary strength parameters but also enable anglers to swiftly and efficiently present baits and jigs, enhancing the prospect of a successful strike.

An adept long-range angler knows to prepare multiple setups, akin to a golfer with a well-stocked bag of clubs. This provides the versatility to adeptly switch between techniques as conditions shift—an invaluable facility on the open ocean. In addressing the tumultuous nature of the sea and the fickleness of its denizens, your gear becomes a critical factor. Well-considered selections of surface iron, yo-yo, and swim bait setups dramatically increase the likelihood of enticing these powerful pelagics to bite.

Line Strength and Type

When targeting tuna, line strength becomes a critical component in your tackle setup. The tensile resilience of the line must be carefully matched to not only the size and strength of the tuna but also to the specific technique employed, ensuring optimal performance during each distinct style of fishing.

For surface iron fishing, the recommended line strength is around 30-pound test, preferably a monofilament for its stretch and forgiveness. However, some anglers may opt for a similar strength braided line with a monofilament top shot to achieve greater casting distance and sensitivity, which is instrumental in this technique.

Moving to yo-yo fishing, where the focus is on swiftly sinking jigs to depths where tuna are holding, a heftier line of 40 to 60-pound test is advisable. Here, high-impact monofilament lines are often the preferred choice due to their superior abrasion resistance and the beneficial shock absorption they provide during aggressive strikes.

In the delicate art of swim bait fishing, a line strength of 20 to 25-pound test is optimal, balancing strength and finesse. A high-quality fluorocarbon line is commonly selected for this approach, providing low visibility underwater and a more sensitive connection between angler and lure—qualities that are paramount in enticing a wary tuna to strike.

Hook and Leader Specifications

When targeting species such as yellowtail or barracuda with surface iron fishing, the hook of choice is generally a 3/0 to 4/0 treble hook. These hooks provide solid hookups due to their multiple points, ensuring a better chance of landing the target species.

For yo-yo fishing, where the pursuit is often for larger game such as tuna, a robust 4/0 to 6/0 single J-hook is preferred. It's important that the hook is matched appropriately to the size of the jig and the target species.

Leaders for surface iron setups should be robust, with a suggested 50 to 60-pound test fluorocarbon to withstand the vigorous action of casting and the potential abrasion from the iron and the quarry. This strength is imperative to sustain the rigorous demands of casting and retrieving, protecting the line from the metal lure and the species' sharp teeth or rough bodies.

Delving into leaders appropriate for swim bait applications, one would typically employ a fluorocarbon leader in the realm of 30 to 40-pound test. The clarity of fluorocarbon ensures stealth presentation in clear waters, minimizing the chance of spooking the target fish. It's noteworthy that the 'invisibility' of fluorocarbon is a considerable asset in these scenarios, making it an indispensable component for success while employing swim baits.

Accessorizing for Success

Selecting the appropriate accessories is vital to enhancing your fishing technique and success rate.

The right combination of lures and terminal tackle can significantly alter the outcome of your angling venture.

Utilizing these accessories in conjunction can create a seamless and highly effective fishing experience.


When you begin fishing near a kelp paddy, it’s crucial to be prepared and act swiftly. As you approach the kelp paddy, make sure to ready your fishing gear and stand by the bait tank. It’s advantageous to have your bait enter the water before others to increase your chances of a catch. Opt for a minimum of 40-pound test line because the common targets—yellowtail, dorado, and tuna—often found around these seaweed clusters are large and strong. Using heavier gear can prevent the loss of fish, especially when multiple anglers hook a fish simultaneously, as these fish tend to head straight for the kelp, making them difficult to manage with lighter tackle. Additionally, the opportunity to encounter larger species like bluefin tuna exists, which further justifies the need for robust equipment. Moreover, the fish around kelp paddies are generally not deterred by the visibility of a thicker line, so using heavier tackle will not decrease your chances of success.


Bait selection is key! Look for health fast swimming bait. Choose the size of bait that you see being eaten most! After you have prepared your hook with bait, find a suitable spot at the back of the boat on the side facing into the wind. Carefully cast your line into the water, allowing your bait to swim naturally rather than manually pulling out more line. You may need to move along the side of the boat as your bait drifts away. If your bait appears inactive or heads back towards the boat, it's a good idea to switch to a more lively bait. When you feel a fish bite, there’s no need to wait too long before reacting—just a couple of seconds. After this brief pause, engage your reel and firmly set the hook as soon as the line tightens. It's important to remain composed and aware of your surroundings, as you might need to coordinate with others on the boat. For example, you might need to duck under someone’s line or move out of the way. Remember to prioritize the person who is actively reeling in a fish by giving them space to work. This not only ensures safety but fosters a cooperative atmosphere on the boat.


When fishing offshore, incorporating weights into your setup can be beneficial under specific conditions. If you find that the fish are located deep underwater, especially when your fish finder indicates deep marks, adding sufficient weight can help your bait reach these deeper zones. Additionally, if you are dealing with strong currents that impair the natural movement of your bait, it’s effective to use just enough weight to ensure your bait maintains its presence in the strike zone, where fish are most likely to feed. The type of weight used can vary; sliding egg sinkers ranging from 1/4 to 4 ounces are recommended based on the bait size and current conditions. While some anglers prefer to use rubber stoppers to maintain a fixed distance between the sinker and bait, they are not always necessary for success. It's best to avoid rubber core sinkers as they can cause the fishing line to twist and lead to tangles. Ultimately, the choice of whether to use these may come down to personal preference, as many anglers find them effective despite these drawbacks.


During the fishing trip, a team of five typically handles the trolling duties, taking turns in response to jig strikes. Fishing activity intensifies when detecting strong sonar readings, spotting kelp paddies, or observing tuna near the surface. In such scenarios, the boat will halt, and the crew will start to disperse large quantities of live bait to attract fish. This method can lead to a feeding frenzy, where the fish strike at anything on the water's surface. At this moment, it's advisable to use the live bait rig setup as recommended by the crew based on the current fishing conditions and the types and sizes of fish that are likely to be encountered.

What kind of expert advice and help can be expected from the crew on long-range fishing boats?

The crews onboard our long-range fishing vessels are highly skilled and regarded among the best in the industry. They bring a deep level of experience and commitment to their roles, ensuring that all guests, regardless of their fishing expertise, receive a top-tier experience. Notably, these crews are celebrated for their approachability and readiness to assist; a simple request for help is always met with a positive response. Moreover, crew members are selected based on their ability to contribute positively to the team, fostering an environment where all onboard can thrive. An essential aspect of their service includes conducting educational seminars on the first day of the journey, which are specifically designed to orient newcomers to the intricacies of long-range fishing. During these sessions, novices are encouraged to engage actively, ask questions, and seek personalized advice. The crew’s openness to providing one-on-one assistance ensures that even those new to the sport feel at ease and well-supported. Their primary goal is to ensure that each guest not only enjoys their trip but also becomes more proficient in fishing techniques, ultimately enhancing the overall experience.

Is food and beverage included? How often are meals?

During a long-range fishing trip, passengers can expect high-quality meals similar to those served in fine dining establishments. The variety includes succulent prime rib, tender steaks, flavorful chicken, and roast pork. Particularly appealing are the freshly prepared fish dishes, crafted from the catch of the day, offering a taste of the ocean's bounty. Each meal is accompanied by freshly baked bread, crisp salads, a selection of vegetables, tempting appetizers, and delectable desserts. For those with specific dietary preferences or requirements, customized dishes can be prepared with prior notification.

What is included in the price?

All meals, beverages, tackle, terminal, bait, captain, crew, fish preparation. Basically the only thing not included is your fishing license, permits and beer. BYOB. Multiday charters start at $5000 and go up from there.

What are the accommodations and amenities provided on long-range fishing boats?

Long-range fishing boats offer extensive amenities and accommodations to enhance the comfort of our passengers. Our vessels, such as the PATRIOT, typically range in size, with lengths up to 113 feet and beams around 29 feet, powered by robust engines like the 3412 Caterpillar diesels. The boats boast large capacities for fuel, bait, and refrigerated storage for fish, ensuring ample supplies for extended trips. Passengers can expect comfortable living quarters on these boats. On the Patriot, there are 12 bunks in 4 staterooms,  and private amenities in some rooms such as personal bathrooms (heads). Each stateroom is equipped with a sink, a cabinet, and a night table that includes drawers, providing sufficient space for storing personal belongings and clothing. The communal areas of these boats are designed for relaxation and entertainment. They feature lounge seating that can accommodate up to 12 people, with additional comfortable lounging options available on the upper deck. 

For entertainment, amenities include large-screen TVs, DVD players with a selection of current movies, and satellite phones for staying in touch with family and friends. The boats are well-maintained with several clean bathrooms and showers, all supplied with abundant hot water for daily showers. Overall, the level of accommodations on these fishing boats is often compared favorably to hotels in similar regions.

Frequently asked questions about long range sportfishing trips.

How are the catch and fish preservation handled on the Long Range Fishing trips?

All of our long range sport fishing vessels have refrigerated fish holds that are provided to preserve the catch during the trip. Your fish will arrive at the dock in perfect condition, ready for delivery to the fish processor of your choice.

What items do customers need to bring for the Long Range Fishing trips?

Be prepared for hot or cold weather, you may face both on this multiday trip. We recommend that you dress in layers. Shorts and a tshirt at the bottom , sweat pants and a hoody over the top, and a rain proof jacket if the weather looks bad. Closed toed shoes are recommended.  What ever you are wearing is going to get very bloody, so dont wear your nice shirt! Don't forget your polarized glassed, up to 3 rods and reels, and any personal equipment you may wish.

What level of personal service can customers expect on Long Range Fishing trips?

Unlike the large cattle boats that also depart from San Diego, our vessels run ultra limited load only. That means 6 anglers on a six pack, or up to 12 anglers maximum on our larger vessels.  What this means to you is there will be more deckhands per customer, better food, and more personal service all the way around. Once you go on one of our charters, you will never settle for a crowded party boat again.

What is included in the sport fishing packages offered? 

All of our long range fishing trips include the following: Captain and Crew, all food and beverages, rods and tackle, and live bait. We provide everything except your fishing license!

What is an offshore multi day sport fishing experience like overall?

Embarking on a multi-day long-range fishing trip offers a unique and thrilling adventure that begins when you're as young as 14 and can become a cherished lifetime activity. The experience is often described as the apex of West Coast sport fishing, abounding with unforgettable memories and impressive catches. The journey on boats fitted with modern navigational and fishing technologies, provides comfort and utility. On board, you are treated to amenities similar to a high-end hotel. 

The vessels feature comfortable staterooms, some with private bathrooms, and communal areas equipped for relaxation and entertainment, including satellite TVs and lounges where you can enjoy a cocktail. Financially, the cost averages out to $225 per day which includes high-quality meals reminiscent of fine dining—prime rib, fresh seafood, and artisanal desserts are typical fare. Expect to additionally cover expenses for Mexican fishing permits and possible fuel surcharges, which together might add around $200. Additional on-board expenses could include drinks and tips for the crew, standard at about 10% of your trip’s cost, rewarding the stellar service provided by the expert fishing crew. The staff on these trips are among the best globally—a highlight for many travelers. 

With a passion that matches their expertise, our crew members are ever-ready to assist, educate, and ensure the comfort of all passengers. Newcomers or 'rookies' receive particular attention to help them get the most out of their experience. Fishing targets and locations vary, including the rich waters off San Diego and Northern Baja, and extending out to the remote islands like Guadalupe and Cedros. Depending on the season, the catches can range from albacore and various tunas to yellowtail and dorado, with techniques and spots shared freely during educational seminars by the crew. 

Overall, a multi-day long-range fishing trip is more than just an outing—it's a comprehensive, immersive experience where every day is packed with the potential for both relaxation and adventure, set against the backdrop of the beautiful Pacific Ocean. Whether you are a seasoned fisher or a curious newcomer, each trip promises a blend of excitement, comfort, and the joy of fishing, all wrapped up in a well-organized package that caters to both lifestyle and recreational needs.

Paperwork, Documents, Licenses

If you're planning on doing any fishing in Mexico, it's important to make sure that you have all the proper paperwork and documents in order. Otherwise, you could end up getting fined or even arrested.

First, you'll need a Mexican fishing license. You can get one of these from most bait and tackle shops near the border, as well as some online retailers. Make sure to bring along your passport or other form of identification when you go to purchase the license. Click here for the Mexican Fishing Permit Online.

Next, you'll need to purchase a tourist visa if you're planning on staying in Mexico for more than 72 hours. This can be done at most Mexican consulates or online through the Mexican government's website. Again, make sure to bring your passport when applying for the visa.

If you have all of these things taken care of before heading out on your fishing trip, you'll be able to relax and enjoy yourself without having to worry about getting into trouble with the law.

Don't worry, our friendly and experienced staff will walk you through it in about 15 minutes. The cost for Mexico licenses and permits is $40.00/day.

History of Long Range Fishing

The sport of long range sport fishing in San Diego has a rich and storied history. For generations, anglers have been drawn to the challenge and excitement of catching fish at great distances from shore.

Early long range fishing in San Diego was done primarily from small boats called pangas. These vessels were relatively stable and comfortable, but they lacked the speed and range necessary to reach the most productive fishing grounds.

In the early 1900s, a new type of boat began to appear on the San Diego waterfront: the powerboat. These boats were faster and had more range than pangas, making them ideal for long range fishing trips. Powerboats quickly became the preferred choice for anglers seeking to test themselves against the biggest and best fish in the ocean.

Today, long range sport fishing in San Diego is better than ever before. Thanks to advances in technology, anglers now have access to boats that are even faster and more capable than their predecessors. With these modern marvels, it’s possible to fish farther offshore than ever before - meaning that there are always new challenges and new opportunities for those who love to fish.


Long Range Sport Fishing is definitely not for everybody. Sometimes the weather is rough, sometimes the fish dont bite, sometimes it is very hot or very cold. But one thing is for sure, you know you are alive! Out on the water, with nothing in site for as far as the eye can see, cell phone squared away in your duffle bag, drink in your hand, and then some one yells "HOOOOOOOKUP!" and your on, again... and its a big one.

If you don't want to settle for a skinny cot and a cold cup of coffee that cost you three bucks, then don't waste your time with the larger long range boats that squeeze 20 people on a seventy foot boat. Instead choose the luxury of going on one of our private or open party sportfishing yachts! Superior in every way to the normal fishing experience. Call 619.508.7823 for more info!

My name is Nick Matina and I have been fishing these waters for many years, and I hope that you have enjoyed this article! You can always email me at nick@sandiegofishing.co