Sun Jul 19 2009, 06:15PM
15 Yellowtail 6 White Seabass 275 Calico Bass 35 Whitefish 15 Rockfish
Scroll down to the bottom of my post if you just want to see our personal fish counts.
Hak gives me a call on monday or tuesday night asks me if I want to fish a two dayer. 3 minutes later, Hak and I reserve the last spots on the charter.
My Mission: Land my first Yellowtail.
Hak's Mission: Land his first white sea bass.
Friday Night, we get to the landing, sign the manifest, meet the chartermaster (Marc) and we find out that this is a yearly charter that has been going out for something like +15 years. We chat it up with everyone and board the Amigo about 90 minutes later. Once boarded we rig up before leaving the landing.
Friday Night, hitting the bait barge. Hak and I are eager to fish. We use some anchovies on a sliding sinker. He lands a short bass, cuda? (I forgot), and a mackerel. I land nothing. The crew finished loading up on finbait. Hak and I head down to the bunks to pass out.
I hear the boat engines slowing down and the anchor drop. I roll outta my bunk and wake Hak up. We head out on deck, to see our boat settled nicely in a row between several other boats. I think we saw the Freedom, Truline, and Options. Didn't see the crew making any squid here. Moved pretty quickly.
We are positioned somewhere on the backside of the island. Hak and I are the first ones to drop our lines in the water. Fishing droppers with live squid. The sun is coming up and we are both antsy (or at least I was). 10 minutes pass and then Hak goes BENDO!! He yells out hook up!! Then heads up the rail towards me, I duck down as he heads over me to the bow and starts fighting his fish. 5 minutes or so later. His first white sea bass comes up to color and gets gaffed. Hak's Mission: Accomplished! First fish on the boat. white sea bass was about 23 lbs?
A minute or so after Hak lands his fish. I feel a tap tap tap, SWING!!! NOTHING. -F BOMB-
I reel up. See my squid nearly sawed in half. Going crazy with anxiety, I drop it straight back down. Less than 7 seconds on the floor, BENDO!!!! I'm on!! I scream out Hook Up!! as I head to the bow, I had my drags set pretty loose I was fishing 25 LB line on my MXJ & 700L. My fish was ripping line off and I was pretty much holding on for dear life. Eventually I was able to start taking back line, then my fish got fiesty again and ripped off even more line. I hit my spectra and was thinking -oh beep-. Deckhand Joe / Joey (not sure which he prefers) was next to me and helped me tighten up my drags while the fish was on. After that, I was able to start pumping my fish in, Damn thing took me from stern corner to stern corner and back. I shuffled back and forth on the bow three times before he came up to color. Yellowtail!!! Joey did a great job gaffing him and dropping him on deck. My Mission: Accomplish!!! Bye bye Yellowtail Cherry!! Deckhand Estimated my yellow at around 20-22 lbs.
I rip my hook outta the yellow, rebait, and drop straight down. Less than 10 seconds on the bottom. WHAM BENDO!!! **** YA!!!! Three seconds later, line goes limp. -Major F Bomb-. My mistake for either pushing the drag too hard or not retying. I kicked my *** over it for quite a while. I regret not having a 40 LB setup.
While I'm rerigging another dropper. I see Hak go Bendo again. He goes and shuffles around the boat. Lands a nice yellow. 22-24 lb range.
People are rushing out of the galley by now and dropping lines in the water. I finally get my line back in the water. Hak goes BENDO and shuffles to the bow again. a few minutes later he lands another yellow. 24-26 lb range. WTF all the fish are starting to grow in size???
Misc hook ups are happening all over the boat. I'm anxiously waiting for my next strike. One of the charter regulars gets a white sea bass to color, has a BIG smile on his face. Then a big *** seal comes by and rips into his white sea bass. I've never seen such a look of horror on anyone's face before. Birds are soon feasting on whats left of the white sea bass.
I look around the boat, still a few people fighting fish. Then Hak goes BENDO again. I'm thinking -FU HAK-. But Hak is dead tired now. He's not even pumping the fish now, rod leaning on the rail and the fish is working him hard. A few minutes later, he comes through with style and lands his third Yellowtail. 28-30 range.
All the charter regulars are looking at each other and yell out, "Damn, I knew we shouldn't have let him in the jackpot -haha-." One of the guys nudged me and asked, "Why didnt you tell us your buddy was a ringer?" We had a few laughs. The boat had one more hook up before it quieted down. The morning bite only lasted about 20-25 minutes. We stayed there for about 20 minutes after hooking for some bites to come through. But eventually made a move.
6:00 - 8:00AM
I'm not feeling so good. Smelling the bacon and the diesel, I'm grabbing my stomach and praying I don't chum the water. We stop off at a nice spot along the kelp. Everyone breaks out the sliding sinkers and start bringing in some nice Calicos. I'm still feeling like crap and starting to get that salty drip in the back of my mouth. I'm starting to get pale and the guys around me are asking if I'm feeling okay. I chugged some water, manned up, and kept on fishing. On the way to the third stop on the kelp, I headed into the galley and passed out for two stops. Felt SO MUCH BETTER after that. I'm pretty sure Hak has some pics of me passed out, its becoming a tradition. . .
The chartermaster's neighbor, Mailman Greg is new to the salt, but he was a great guy and kept us all laughing. He landed a fish and the chartermaster asked what kind of fish he caught. He shruged and said, "I dunno, it looked like a leopard or a lepper, had spots or something on it. I'm gonna call it a Leopard Messiah," We looked in his sack and he landed a calico. The next time we saw him hook up, he was a little confused on what to do. So like four of us were telling him stuff to do. Then the chartermaster yelled at him "TURN THE TURNER". We all looked over and started busting up laughing. He landed another calico, BARELY lip hooked.
We make a few moves all along the kelp. We land some really nice Calicos, a few white fish, some sheepheads, some whitefish, and some larger blue perch.
After that, the captain cruises up and down the backside of San Clemente Island looking for some nice fish markings. We made a couple of stops but the fish didn't want to play.
1:00 PM Lunchtime
Deckhand/COok Ichiro took our orders and ripped out some awesome food.
we are fishing in shallow waters on the frond side of the island. 1 Minute after dropping anchor one of the charter regulars goes bendo and yanks in a short white sea bass on a slider. Everyone else gets excited and launches some lines out. Current is ripping and the blue perch is tearing up everyone's bait. We reposition a few times. Anyone lucky enough to get past the perch would pull up a calico. Anyone fishing a dropper was pulling up a sheep or whitefish.
Fishing was a little slow in the afternoon and I was napping through some of the stops.
Eventually we headed back to the backside of San Clemente Island and tried out luck on the evening bite. Most of the anglers give up after about 20 mins. Hak and I are stubborn as mules and Keep out lines in the water even after the sun has dropped outta sight and there is barely any light left.
Then Hak feels tap tap tap, farmed! A few minutes later, I feel tap tap, SWING!! The fish feels light, I'm thinking its a cuda. So I'm turnning the turner. As I'm reeling my fish up. People are dropping their lines in the water. I get my fish up to color and its a fat mackerel. A few other guys hook up some fat mackerel and put away their gear.
Ichiro broke out the grill and we were grubbing on some damn good steaks. After eating, I watched the deckhands filleting the days catch. A charter regular beat out Hak's yellow for the jackpot. I headed to my bunk and fell asleep to the soundtrack of some drunken anglers messing around on deck.
Saturday's Final Count:
8 Yellow Tail
3 white sea bass
3:00 AM <- Ya, that's right THREE A M
I hear the engines stop and the anchor drop. I roll out of bed and Wake hak up. No lights on in the galley, no lights on deck. THe only light we had was from the squid light in the water. I fumble around looking for my dropper setup. I finally find it and fish blindly for a live squid. I drop my line in the water right next to the squid light. We had a MASSIVE school of squid under the light. Hak drops his line a couple of minutes after me. We have like 8 or 9 seals all around the boat.
I'm chatting with Hak and then I see what i thought was a cigarette fly over the rail. I watch it hit the water, it stays lit and starts sinking. I tell Hak, "Incoming." Hak goes huh? BAM! Seal bomb goes up with a blinding white flash.
I'm fishing like a zombie leaned up on the rail. Two guys come out of the galley ask us if we had any luck. We answer, "no luck yet." They drop their lines in the water. Soon after we are shuffled away from the squid light and the crew fills both tanks with live squid.
I'm a total zombie. Some a few more guys wake up and their dropping lines in the water. The sun is coming up. I'm trying to buld up some energy to do some real fishing.
Chartermaster Marc comes on out and joins us. His line is in the water for a few minutes and hes the first to go BENDO!!!!!!!!!! Soon after, another guy goes bendo, and another guy. I look over at hak and the other two early risers. We all kind of give each other the WTF look.
We have like 4 or 5 fish on board. All the early risers are still waiting for our bites. I feel a tap tap tap, SWING!!! BENDO!!!!!!! 1. . . 2. . . 3. . . 4. . . Line goes limp. -Atomic F Bomb- pretty sure all the boats around us heard me. . . I wind up and I was snapped clean off.
The bite dies off for about 10 minutes or so. Then another round of bendos. Charter Regular Art pulls in a good sized white sea bass. It gets gaffed and dropped on deck, then a rank smell breaks out. We all look over at the white sea bass, its a bit darker than the other white sea bass I've seen. Everyone is asking if someone busted *** or if his white sea bass farted or something. The white sea bass is moved past us and the smell gets stronger and we are all like WTF why does your white sea bass smell like seal ****?
After that, every 10-15 mins we would have another hook up or two.
The bite has dried up and none of the boats around us are hooking up. Captain sweeps the coast looking for some nice fish markings. We made a few stops, but no fish were landed.
9AM - 1PM
We make misc stops, landing a few more calicos, whitefish, sheepheads, triggerfish, and blue perch. And then the captain tell us wind em up, were headed home.
I finish up my lunch. The crew announces, Chartermaster Marc wins Sunday's JP with a Yellow pushing 40 pounds.
I head down to my bunk. Hak wakes me up when we are three miles from shore. We get all our gear ready and shuffle back and forth like four times to get all our fish and gear into our cars.
Sunday's Final Count:
5 White Sea Bass
My Final Fish Count: 1 Yellowtail, 9 Calicos.
Hak's Final Fish Count: 1 white sea bass, 3 Yellowtail, 17 Calicos, 4 Sheepheads, 3 Whitefish, and 3 Rockfish.
Was a great trip, we gave the chartermaster our contact info. Looking forward to go with them again next year.
Remember guys, TURN THE TURNER!
Hope you guys enjoyed the report.
And here are some pictures of me "Ricky Raying"