It’s a mystical-looking island located beyond the continental shelf and it’s also a fishing bucket-list favorite. Deep water upwelling of cold, nutrient- and phytoplankton-rich waters provides the excellent food source for the island’s bait fish. That attracts schools of the larger specimens of gamefish such as yellowtail and yellowfin tuna that tempt and tantalize anglers who hear the call of Guadalupe.
So you’re headed to “The ‘Lupe.” What should you bring?
Searcher crew and Fisherman’s Landing Tackle Shop agree: you’ll be targeting larger tuna over 100 pounds so bring heavy gear (2-speed reels) with 80-pound plus line test and appropriately matched fluorocarbon for your leader. Circle hooks are a must–tuna that size have large teeth! Find what you need here: OWNER HOOKS. You can also catch very nice-sized yellowtail in the 20-40# range, so gear up for that with 40- or 50 -pound line and a small 2-speed reel.
Here’s an “Ask A Captain” question we received recently about Guadalupe Island!
Dear Captain Art,
Fishing trips to Guadalupe Island have been scoring good size tuna. Assuming I am lucky enough to hook a big one, my question is on drag adjustment as I fight the 100+ lb fish. As the fish takes its initial run and takes half of the line off the reel, drag pressure on the reel will increase. Up to what point do I have to move the drag lever down so the drag pressure is not excessive?
– David T.
To answer your question quickly: it’s not necessary to change the drag setting during the fish’s initial run. However, if the run lasts and you’re near the end of your spool, you may have to back off on the drag setting due to the amount of line in the water.
Just one more thing! Please review Capt. Aaron’s tackle tips video on drag settings HERE!
See you onboard, Captain Art
What I want to recommend for these fish out here is to make sure you have a good 80 to 120 lb rod and a good working two-speed reel that is designed for these grade of fish. They’re tough on the gear and having that gear with a TIGHT drag is the only way you’re gonna land one.
Here is another question that landed in our inbox recently:
I am looking forward to my upcoming trip. Are you recommending that we use braided line or just mono on any # test line? I get conflicting info from different people and I want to do what is best for the crew and other fisherman on board. I thought I remembered “no braid” because it cuts mono in the event of a tangle or crossover. On the tackle list I believe it says braid on heavy test but I want to confirm before I spool-up any of my reels.
Thank you, Searcher crew!
Braided line is recommended, because it increases your reel’s capacity. Spool up with135 or 85 pound braid with the appropriate length of matching mono top shot, at least 100 feet.
See you onboard,
Here’s a new “Ask A Captain” question:
With Tackle Day coming up, I want to stock up on terminal gear for a fall 6-day Guadalupe Island trip. Given the size of fish & conditions this year, what are your
1) Hook type / sizes and quantity, for both tuna and yellowtail?
2) Mono top shot and leader? Length and test weight for each specie? Thanks!
Happy to share a shopping list with you.
Regarding hooks, here’s my recommendations:
- Owner hooks for tuna – 3/0 & 4/0 circle hooks
- Owner hooks for yellowtail – 3/0 to 5/0 live bait gorilla hooks for flylining and dropper loop rigs.
- Watch our “Hook Selection” how-to video here (scroll to bottom): Captain’s Tackle Technique videos
Top shot items:
- Tuna: 80-100 pound mono top shot (about 100 feet) for tuna with matching fluorocarbon leader (3 feet)
- Yellowtail: 40-80 pound mono top shot for flyline and dropper loop rigs, same amount (no fluorocarbon needed)
See you onboard,
Stay tuned to our Trip Reports for the news from the field, and if you are booked for a fall trip, make sure to prepare for ‘Lupe fishing. Find our full tackle suggestions here: Guadalupe Island tackle suggestions
Oh, and you’re likely to see the “tax man” in the gray suit. They live well at Guadalupe Island too!