I think that we have established that we like to fish… wouldn’t you say? So then it would come as no surprise to anyone that we would charter a boat to satisfy nothing more than a selfish need to tug on something huge… and when in SoCal and you want to catch big fish… then you go see the boys at Seasons Sportfishing one of Fish Village’s most trusted trip providers. Our fishing team for the day consisted of my brother Tommy Ponce, our Dad Steve Ponce, Fish Village Pro Staffer Charlie Wardle and myself.
Our trip started with a bit of a let down when conditions flared up making it less than ideal to be out on the water, so we quickly rescheduled and pushed it to the weekend. Good thing that we did because a fish of a lifetime would be in our future. Our good friend and captain Jamie Thinnes, owner of Seasons Sportfishing gave us a call and said, “we should probably go for some cows” and he asked… “what do you think?” Without hesitation we concluded that you either go big or you go home… so cows it is.
At 5:00 AM we were on our way to the tuna grounds out of Dana Landing. After some chorizo burritos and maybe a morning beer (don’t judge, we were excited) we were on the grounds. Seasons captain and first mate Pablo Ortiz began rigging up the kite and the infamous Yummee flying fish while we watched. None of us had actually seen this done in person, so we were pumped to see how it all worked. Shortly after Pablo and Jamie released the Yummee we began trolling for cows. Within 20 minutes of kite flying, we heard that sweet sound of line ripping off a Shimano Talica 25 followed by “HOOK UP” and my brother Tommy ran for the rod.
We all knew that we had something big because we could not get that damn fish to turn its head. I probably should have started by saying that I have never targeted cows before so this was my first experience of having my ass handed to me and that went for all of us as we all got to take multiple shots at the massive bluefin. As the classic fish story goes… we reeled in 25 yds of line only to lose two or three times that to a big run. After multiple rounds between literally everyone on the boat our prized fish started swimming in death circles. We were prepared for this moment, I jumped up to the fly bridge to film the landing while the rest of the boys finished the job.
The video says it all. It felt like it was just as much of a win for Jamie and Pablo as it was for us because they get what fishing is all about. They understand the stoke, they understand how fishing brings us together and they live this life day in and day out. My brother and I were so lucky to have shared this moment with our father, the man who got us stoked on fishing at such an early age.
After we re-composed ourselves we gave the kite another shot. Although we didn’t score another hookup, we didn’t care because we all just experienced something that we probably won’t get a chance to do again. So we cracked open the Yeti and put down some beers while Captain Jamie steered us home. When we got back to the dock we slapped that bad boy up on the scale to see what the verdict was… 220 lbs and one happy group of guys!
All and all it was the best fishing day of my life. To do all of this with our good friends from Seasons Sportfishing, Charlie, my brother and my Dad… EPIC!
If you are interested in setting up a charter with Seasons Sportfishing, please contact us and we will make it happen.