How long are the trips?
Most trips last around 8-12 hours. If we “plug” the boat (fill the boxes with tuna) early, they can be shorter. The maximum allowed by the coast guard is 12 hours.
What time do we leave the dock?
We usually leave somewhere between 6-7 AM, depending on the tides. A big ebb tide can keep us from crossing the bar for a few hours.
Where do we meet you?
We are located in Garibaldi, Oregon at the Port of Garibaldi. Our boat is in Slip O-4, located near the Garibaldi Marina store. Parking is available in the Port of Garibaldi within 150ft our boat.
How long is the run out to the tuna grounds?
Around 1 to 1.5 hours. El Jefe is a fast boat with a 32 knot cruise, so you spend more time fishing and less time running.
Do you cancel many tuna trips due to weather?
No, but it does happen. If it is not safe, we don’t go. If we cancel due to weather you get a full refund.
Do I need a fishing license to catch tuna?
Yes. You need an OR or WA saltwater fishing license. You can buy an OR license online and print it up here: https://odfw.huntfishoregon.com/login If you forget to obtain a license the Garibaldi Marina Store sells 1 day licenses.
Where do we get our fish cleaned?
If you want your fish processed (loined out) we will help arrange processing with the cannery in Garibaldi.
How far offshore will we go?
It depends. Sometimes they are as close as 20 miles offshore, other days we run as far as 70 miles offshore.
What safety equipment do you have?
We have all of the safety equipment needed for an offshore run. We have an 8 man SOLAS A life raft, an EPIRB, life jackets, satellite phone, AIS and top of the line electronics and communications equipment.
How do we split up the fish?
We split our fish up six ways, so everyone gets an equal share.
How many fish does the boat hold?
It all depends on the size of the fish. Our refrigerated (5 degree salt water brine) fish boxes can hold around 1000 pounds of tuna. That is somewhere between 35-70 fish, depending on how big they are.
Will my cell phone work offshore?
Maybe depending on your carrier. Verizon works out to about 20 miles for voice and 35 or so for texting. Other carriers seem to have less range.
Can I bring my own tackle?
yes. It is your trip and your boat for the day. If you have that special rod and reel that you really, really love, bring it along and we will rig it up for you and see how it does.
What do I need to bring?
1. A OR or WA fishing license
2. Comfortable clothes. Many folks like to wear rain gear and rubber boots. Tuna fishing can be messy and bloody. There is a saying that “tuna clothes are forever”, meaning that you will likely never wear them anywhere but tuna fishing again.
3. Your lunch. We will provide snacks (chips, jerky, nuts, cliff bars), water and, soda.
4. Bring some big coolers, but leave them in your vehicle- no coolers are allowed on the boat.
What shouldn't I bring on the boat?
NO GLASS BOTTLES. NO COOLERS (we have a refrigerator). Too much stuff. You are only on the boat for 10-12 hours. There is no need to bring a bunch of stuff. We try to keep the boat free of clutter, as it gets in the way of fishing. You don't need to bring anything that won't fit in a small soft sided bag or backpack. DO NOT wear dark soled shoes, as they will mar the deck.
Can we drink on the boat?
Yes. Keep it in moderation. If you think getting drunk is part of fishing, we are not the charter for you. Tuna fishing is a fast paced sport with lots of sharp hooks and gaffs flying around, so you need to be on top of your game.
Should I take seasickness medicine?
Yes. Unless you are 100% sure you do not get seasick, ask your doctor to prescribe you something or take an over the counter seasickness medication. Take it at least a couple hours BEFORE you get on the boat. If you wait until you are seasick, it is too late.
Is there anything I can do to avoid seasickness?
Yes. Do not drink alcohol the night before. Hangovers and boats do not mix. You will have a miserable time and probably get seasick if you drink too much the night before.
Will you teach me how to catch tuna on my own boat?
Yes. If your goal is to learn how to catch tuna on your own, we will do our best to show you how to find and catch tuna. We will show you how to read a SST chart (Sea Surface Temperature), chlorophyl chart, and general tips for finding tuna. We want everyone to leave the boat a better fisherman.
I am a first timer, can I get extra help?
Yes. We have helped hundreds of people catch their first tuna. We consider teaching the art of tuna fishing to be part of our job.
How do you care for the fish?
El Jefe has two giant refrigerated fish boxes. The boxes are filled with a saltwater brine that is kept well below freezing. This brine cools your fish down much faster than using ice. This allows us to get your fish cool fast, so you have a top quality product. All fish are quickly bled and dispatched into the brine.
Can I get out of the elements?
Yes. El Jefe has a very large bridge deck with comfortable seating for 8 along with a mezzanine with seating for 2. It is enclosed and has heat and AC. We also have a spacious, modern head (bathroom), cockpit sink, and a large refrigerated drink box.
What comes with the trip?
We provide all of the bait and tackle. We also provide snacks (chips, jerky, nuts, cliff bars), soda, Gatorade, and water.