Capt. Art’s Blog

Keeping up with Searcher

Trip 31 Oct 21-28 (7-day) Accurate/Seeker Trip is off and running!

Trip 31 passengers were already excited about the awesome Accurate and Seeker gear coming aboard on this annual fall trip with Gary Gillingham and Fred Brandt – imagine how much their excitement multiplied when they found out that their trip destination would be Guadalupe Island! Team Searcher has been fishing the island for the past several trips, and recently decided that this trip should travel there too! Gary arrived early with his arsenal of loaner Seeker rods and Accurate reels, and Fred promptly got the shiny new Diablo-wrapped Seeker rods onboard for his raffle! sstrip31-2017seekrswag

It’s not just about giveaways on this trip – Gary and Fred both bring their valuable and extensive knowledge of SoCal saltwater fishing to share and coach the 25 anglers through any situation! We will be following this trip closely through the Captain’s Blog – so check back daily for updates from their journey!

Trip Report

Trip 30 Oct 14-21, 2017 (7-day) Ultra Limited Load Jackpot Results!

Congratulations to the winners of the jackpot for Trip 30 7-day ultra-limited load to Guadalupe Island:

  1. Bruce Gothar – Hemet, CA – 124# yellowfin tuna
  2. Joe Tyler – Long Beach, CA – 123# yellowfin tuna
  3. Chris Mohs – Ventura, CA – 118# yellowfin tuna
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Trip Report

Trip 30 Oct 14-21 (7-day) Oct 19 PM Report

Hello all,

Plenty of opportunities today to catch a quality yellowfin tuna. We had fish around us from 9 am this morning until dark.  Our goal was to get everyone a nice yellowfin tuna and we achieved that goal at the very end of the day. Ken Jones was our last tuna virgin and he landed a 137 pound fish with the help of our great crew. Ken is pictured with his fish.

We are headed back tonight and will arrive early on Saturday morning. Looking forward to giving the next group a chance at some of these fish.

Team Searcher

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Trip Report

Trip 30 Oct 14-21(7-day) Oct 19 Midday Report

Hello all,

We saw a sign of tuna earlier today, so we decided to focus our efforts on catching yellowfin for most of the day. We all realized that for some people, the opportunity to catch a fish of a lifetime outweighs a chance at catching a quality yellowtail. We have had fish around us all morning and we have had our chances. Here is “Uncle Andy” who is here as a replacement for our long time friend and client Walt Graham who couldn’t make the trip. Walt and his son Pat have been customers for a long time. *Pat landed a nice fish 2 days ago and lost one today.

More later,

Capt Art & Team Searcher

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Trip Report

Trip 30 Oct 14-21 (7-day) Oct 18 PM Report

Hello all,

We had some chances at good size yellowfin tuna again this afternoon. There was a period where we had trouble getting a bite but the fish were still around. Here is Chris Mohs with a yellowfin tuna that weighed 80 pounds. We are spending the night again and trying once more tomorrow – our last day. We have had lots of rail time on this trip with 4 full days at the island. Lots of opportunities for quality fish!

Capt Art and Team Searcher

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Trip Report

Trip 30 Oct 14-21 (7-day) Oct 18 Midday Report

Hello all,

We focused on yellowtail again this morning.  We had some opportunities and landed a few. The ones we did land are nice sized fish! Here is Joe Tyler with Captain Aaron and his nice yellowtail caught on a dropper loop setup with 80 pound test. 

We are headed back to the tuna area for this afternoon. Lunch was one of my favorites! Grilled ham and cheese sandwiches with fresh tomato basil soup!!!!

Capt Art and Team Searcher

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Trip Report

Trip 30 Oct 14-21 (7-day)Oct 17 PM Report

Hello all,

A different day today with less current than yesterday. There was a really good sign of tuna around lunch time for about an hour and then the current decreased and the fish left. Dennis Rehkop from Texas landed his first tuna of the trip today. It was a yellowfin tuna, over 100 pounds. It was not his first opportunity with several yesterday and one other chance today. Hoping for more chances tomorrow.

Capt Art & Team Searcher

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Goin’ to Guadalupe?

It’s a mystical-looking island located beyond Guadalupe Island on mapthe 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.

Team Searcher is happy to have the opportunity to access the biosphere reserve. We are looking forward to taking anglers there this fall, some for the very first time! –Capt Artsstrip9ART

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.

Hi David,
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

sstrip29-2017jeffkytAlso, check out this quote from Capt Aaron during his last trip to the island:

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:

Hi Captains,

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!
-Dale D.

Hello Dale,

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,

Capt Art

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
recommendations for:

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!

Dave R.

Hi Dave,

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,

Captain Art



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!

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