Sunday, May 21, 2017

Kayak Fun 5-19-17!

I took a quick trip out of the harbor with Jack to make sure I can still handle my kayak.  I was pleasantly surprised that it all came back to me even though I hadn't been out since last fall. 

The weather was beautiful - sunny and barely a breath of wind.  The water temperature was 65 degrees and glassy calm.  We headed towards the pipeline.  Jack brought a package of frozen squid for each of us.  We also brought our sabiki rigs to try for mackerel. 

I had three new rods and reels that I got just for fishing in my kayak.  Two Penn Fathom 15NLD 2 Speed on Penn Carnage II Light/Medium Rods (12-30 pound) and one Penn Fathom 25NLD 2 Speed on Penn Carnage II Medium Rod (15-30).  One was set up as a halibut rig with 20# fluoro on 50# Spectra.  A second was set up with a sliding sinker on 30# fluoro tied to 50# Spectra.  The Fathom 25 was set up to flyline a mackerel on 40# fluoro. 

We were just a half mile out of the harbor when we decided to bait up.  I pinned a squid on my 20 pound halibut rig with a 3 ounce weight.  I traveled a few yards and got slammed by something big.  Head shakes at first then a long run.  I tried to tighten my drag but it didn't help.  I would get a few winds and the fish headed back to the bottom.  It was like trying to bring up a garage door.  Even dropping into low gear couldn't stop this fish.  My rod was bent nearly in half but nothing would stop this fish.   I sure wish I had been on 40#.  I was drug around, fighting this fish for over 30 minutes and only got it to come up once just enough for Jack to get a glimpse of it.  He believes it was a large halibut especially since a 33 pounder had been caught in the harbor the week before. 

It was fun until the line finally snapped.  Since I brace my rod on my left knee when I pull on a fish, my knee got pretty beat up.  Nicely bruised now. I switched to 40# for the rest the day.

We headed out to the barber poles.  When we got there, the current was screaming south.  It was very difficult to peddle with the current.  The wind came up too and that brought the chop on the water.  We decided to head back to the pipeline to fish but before we got there, the water was so rough we decided to call it a day.  We had traveled 7 miles and were ready to call it a day.

Friday, May 12, 2017

Rail Time Fun!

I got the opportunity to join Jeff's Rail Time two-day charter departing May 8th.  Jeff, Jim, Steve, Miguel, Brian and I met at the Fish Camp for dinner at 4:30.  After a nice fish dinner, we drove a short block to Peter's Landing in Huntington Harbor to board the Rail Time.  Captain Gary and crew members Andy and Jake welcomed us as we loaded our gear, selected bunks and settled in for a bumpy ride to the island.

Around midnight I awoke to the bright lights on the squid boat.  The crew was loading live squid by passing a scoop net between boats in very rough waters.  Miracle workers, they were.  Gary tucked the boat into a calm cove and we slept until 4 a.m. when he revved the engines and pulled anchor to reposition down the backside of Catalina Island to fish for white seabass.

It was 6:30 a.m. before we got a bite.  Jeff landed a white seabass then hooked and handed a second one to Miguel for his first ever seabass.  We moved up and down the island in choppy seas all day.  During our travels, Steve caught two seabass and fed another one to the sea lion.  Jake caught a small seabass too.  Early afternoon, Gary put us on some yellowtail that were up on the surface.  Four nice ones were landed by Steve, Jeff, Brian and Miguel.

Captain Gary Adams

We had some good action on small calicos, barracuda, and spotfin croaker.  Gary moved us back to our starting point for the day and Jim caught a seabass and so did Brian.  As for me, I sucked all day.  I caught a baby seabass, barracuda, calico bass, a leopard shark and got spooled on what we believe was a black seabass.  Plenty of action but no keepers.

Day one ended with 7 white seabass, 4 yellowtail, lots of calicos and loads of fun.  

Andy kept us well fed with breakfast sandwiches, lunch hamburgers and a lasagna dinner.  Miguel brought a couple bottles of a nice Pinot Noir to share.  Exhaustion from rough seas, mellow from wine and full from dinner sent us all into a deep sleep for the night.

Day two began at 4 a.m. again but this time the seas were calm.  Just after daylight, I hooked a white seabass.  Steve landed a fish then Jim landed another one that was the big one until Miguel landed a 41 pounder.  What a beauty.  Finally, I landed my second seabass for the trip.  Gary took us from cove to cove all day in calm seas and sunny skies looking for some biting game fish.  Other than a few calicos, they weren't cooperating.  We called is a trip and returned to dock by 5:30. 

We unloaded gear, split up the fish and headed home.  Everyone got two white seabass, half a yellowtail, ribs and collars from seabass and yellowtail.  That's what I call a spectacular trip.  Rail Time trips are the best!

Thursday, March 30, 2017

Winter in Cabo

Five women met up in Cabo to do a little winter time fishing courtesy of II Success's owner, Linda Williams.  Once in Cabo, consensus was that what happens in Cabo stays in Cabo.  A couple of ladies preferred that no one know they were in Cabo and asked that there be no Facebook posts while in Cabo.  With that in mind, our group consisted of Ms. Bisbee, Good Witch Glenda, Tinkerbell, Porgy's Bess and Red Bird. 

We arrived in Cabo on Wednesday, March 22nd and settled into Ms. Bisbee's house.  The following morning we boarded II Success, a 60 foot Hattaras, and Captain Cubby Pahl made a left turn out of the harbor.  We trolled on the way to the Gordo Bank.  We picked up a couple small skipjack on the way.  The Gordo was covered with 21 other boats when we arrived.  We switched to bottom fishing using Trinidads loaded with 30 pound mono.  We settled into a nice rotation and picked up a good catch of small whitefish, trigger fish, grouper and red snappers.

We were back at dock by 4 pm.  Antonio and Cubby filleted the fish while we bagged them.  Back at the house, we showered then headed to Mi Casa for a nice Mexican dinner.

Friday we followed the same routine, however, we fished the Pacific side where the fish were a little larger and more of the red snapper.  I even caught a small hammerhead which fought more than any of the bottom fish.  Bess was our gal catching Porgy's and having a blast as long as she had a fish on the line.

We headed to Soloman's on the Boardwalk for dinner.  I had a nice shrimp tempura.  We stopper by Kathy and Wayne's on the way to the car.  Cute little hole in the wall bar with about 8 seats.

Saturday we headed back fishing the Pacific side with similar results.  We tried for Sierra on the way back to dock and got one short bite even though lots of fish were showing.  They were in close to the beach right at the breaker line.  As we were heading into dock, one of the sea lions followed us in the wake poking his head above the stern.  We were traveling at 7 knots!


After our showers, we took some of our filets to Panchos where they cooked us up a feast.  There may have been some singing along with the Mariachi Band when they played Sweet Caroline but I couldn't swear to it.

Sunday was a day of rest, laundry and shopping - Costco and Walmart.  We stayed in for dinner.  The Good Witch Glenda made Truffle Mac and Cheese.  I sauteed some of our red snapper filets and made a lemon pan sauce to go with it.  We had some Kirkland Champagne to celebrate our catch.

Monday we headed back to the Gordo.  On the way we caught several skippies - of the tiny variety.  We called it a trip late in the afternoon and headed in.  There was some miscommunication and Cubby thought we wanted to troll all the way back to dock so we were quite late getting in.  We decided to take quick showers and head across the road for appetizers at Villa Serena.

Tuesday we packed up frozen fish for three of the gals to take home.  Cubby drove us to the airport and we parted ways to fly home.  It was a great get away and fun times for winter fishing.

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

AA Cow Hunt!

On a very cold January 25th morning 17 passengers gathered on the docks of Point Loma Landing ready to board the American Angler for their annual 14 day charter.  Lori checked us in and provided coffee while I provided Breakfast Cookies.  By 7 am we were loaded and departing for the bait receiver.  Rough seas were predicted for the next few days so Ralph was encouraged to stay home for his safety.  I put my reels on the rods so I wouldn't need to do it in rough seas. 

Ray gave us the safety speech and said we were headed to Hurricane Bank.  We encountered very rough seas all four days of travel down to the bank.  To pass the time, nine of us participated in a cribbage tournament.  An Avet fishing reel went to the winner.  We played 3 games with each participant.  I came in dead last in points, however, in my defense, I had just learned the game on last year's charter.  Ron was the lucky and good player.

After 3 days of travel the weather began to warm, however, the seas remained rough with 25 knot winds and 12 foot seas.  We arrived at the bank around 11 am on the 29th.  After trolling around for nothing, Ray put the anchor down.  Ron got a 145 and Jeff a 120.  Gallagher and I tried the bobber balloon without success.  As it would turn out, the balloon failed to produce the entire trip.  Doc picked up a 162 and Robin got a 120.  That was it for the day.

I began fishing before dawn on Monday the 30th.  I had two skippies eaten by sharks.  Around 9, I hooked a fish on a chunk.  It was a nice 120 pounder.  Eric and Robin also got a chunk fish and Ron got a kite fish. Robin's fish went 200 lbs. even.  Total of 8 yellowfin and 1 wahoo for the day.   Slow day overall so Ray pulled anchor and we headed to Clarion.

We arrived at the Island around 5:45 am.  After looking around, we anchored up at Racossa outside the camp.  We checked the NE corner but it was corroded with sharks.  We had screaming current and massive spectra tangles.  I was in one for an hour and missed the only bite of the day.  I managed one needlefish for the day.  We had 18 tuna for the day.

Fishing was slow.  We picked a fish here and there.  We checked in with the camp then Roy on the RP said the sharks had backed off at the NE Corner so we headed out there.  The first couple sharks we encountered we used for chunks.  That gave us chunks for fishing and caused the sharks to back off.  Unfortunately, it did nothing to discourage the needlefish.  We must have caught and killed over a hundred during our stay. 

February 2nd the fishing improved.  Gallagher caught a 203.5 and around 4 pm I hooked a 220 on a sardine.  The fish peeled off 500 yards of line straight away from the boat.  It had a big tail beat then suddenly it quit fighting.  I straight cranked the fish in and when it was gaffed, we could see why.  A small shark had taken a couple bites out of the belly which turned a 2 hour fight into a 30 minute special.  We had a total of 35 tuna for the day.  The bite was building.

The next day we had a flurry of 40 to 60 pounders where everyone got into the action.  Eric hooked a 150 and Jeff landed his personal best and first cow - a 248! We finished the day with 57 tuna and 2 wahoo.  Saturday we fished until 8:30 and caught 20 fish for the morning.  We ended the trip with 167 yellowfin tuna with 4 cows and 8 wahoo.  What worked was 100# pink fluorocarbon, short top shot and sardines.  Chunks didn't work and neither did the balloon.  There were a few kite fish but we only got to number 5 on the list.  My fish came on 100# pink fluorocarbon.  It was my 20th cow!

We settled in for the 4 day treck up hill usually the roughest part of the trip.  What a surprise when we had 4 flat calm days of travel.  We spent time breaking down gear and having a doubles cribbage tournament.  I drew Ray as my partner.  What a surprise to learn we have the same birthday and both love the color red.  We had 10 teams and Ray and I won the tournament and the money.  Yea Partner!

We arrived back at dock February 8th at 6:30 am.  Mike was waiting to help me unload.  Shig, Tim, Chris and Jackson came down to the docks to get some fish.  As it turned out, I had 11 tuna for the trip - more than I expected. 

I sent a couple fish to Fishermen's Processing.  I had one loined out so I could smoke it and the other packaged in 1 1/2 pound packages.  They do a great job.