Southern California anglers who were aboard the Royal Star for its most recent long-range expedition into Mexican waters might get sick of tuna before they run out of tuna.
In what's described as the most productive multiday trip of the 2011-12 season for the San Diego fleet, passengers teamed to land 39 tuna weighing 200 pounds or more, along with near-limits of wahoo.
Ahi, ono. Grilled, barbecued, raw. This was one impressive haul of very delicious fish.
Most impressive was the number of "cows" that were carted off the Royal Star on Wednesday morning after skipper Tim Ekstrom guided the vessel into its Fisherman's Landing berth.
So-called cows are tuna topping 200 pounds. An angler is fortunate to land one, maybe two, during one of these excursions.
But consider these catches by some of the boat's top anglers:
-- Kevin Leong, Laguna Niguel, caught four yellowfin weighing 279, 229, 208 and 207 pounds. The 279-pounder, caught on a large mackerel, earned jackpot honors.
-- Bob Ryan, also from Laguna Niguel, caught cows weighing 254, 224 and 218 pounds. Ryan said he also released about 20 smaller tuna because, after all, there is such a thing as too much. (Actually, it's common practice to release smaller fish if bigger fish are biting.)
-- Bryan Sherman, Calabasas, didn't place in the jackpot but enjoyed the rare experience of landing four cows on his first-ever long-range voyage. They weighed 234, 232, 208 and 205 pounds.
This wasn't a fishing trip, it was a cattle drive.
Wrote Bill Roecker for the San Diego Sportfishing Council: "The [toothy] wahoo got so thick during the trip that anglers cursed them for snipping off expensive leaders, hooks and good baits. Still, the tuna fishing was so good for big fish that few complained."