Got back from a 1 1/2 day trip on the First String. Went to San Nicholas first. Seas were Ok, little wind, and swells were 8-10 feet. Stopped briefly around Catalina and picked up some squid. Anchored about 5:00AM and fishing commenced. Some clouds but overall very nice.
Lots of assorted rockfish were caught by everyone. Some decent sizes of everything was caught and some nice goats. Sculpin, Whitefish, Reds, Boccacio, and other assorted grab bag critters. Many bags were full by mid afternoon. You could catch all you wanted using cut squid on a sliding sinker or dropper. Couple decent lings were caught and released. Basically did some anchor and drifts in about 110 feet of water.
Jackpot fish was caught by my wife while doing a drift: 40 lb(estimate)Halibut. She said she thought she got hung up on the bottom and tried to loosen it, and then she started to lift a bit. Tooker her several minutes to get it to budge. So it was lift, reel, lift, reel, repeat. Didn't seem to be pulling much. Once in eye-view, a lot of gasps. Captain yelled to my wife to slow down a bit so someone could get a gaff. She was using a Penn 4/0 Special Senator with a Slammer pole with 50 pound mono tied to a heavy Braid Squid Thumper. She was bouncing it along the bottom. Can't seem to upload a picture on it.
After the day ended, the captain decided to head to Clemente as wind was coming in earlier than expected. He wanted to try for some Yellowtail there as everyone had a buttload of rockfish already and no one seemed to mind. Tried using live squid on sliding sinkers, dropper loop, and anythign else, but nothing but some more rockfish. Water was 62 degrees and "ice blue." Bonito were around and I caught 5 using a Blue/Silver Tady 9 ripped in fast. I thought I got one yellow as one hookup hit hard and began pulling some line off. It did not feel like the other bonito I had caught. Just then, the brown flash of a sea lion came in and I felt my pole yank down a couple of times, then nothing. A few seconds later, the thief had surfaced and was swimming away eating something. It was around when I caught the bonito, but never went after them, so I wonder what I had. Guess I won't ever really know.
Tried for some bugs at Clemente. Got 5 out of 3 pulls, but they all were about 1/4- 1/2 inch too small. The last drop we sent off the Port side of the rear. One hour later, I went to check it, the line was off the starboard side and a long way away. The rope was pulled tight on the cleat. I grabbed it and tried to pull and could not get it to budge. My friend and i then tried to pull and we got it to come in about 15- 20 feet and then it started pulling us. I looked to see if the boat was swinging around and it did not appear to be moving back and forth at all. We got a bit more line in and then it started pulling us harder. I was baffled about what the hell was going on, and then I heard my friend yell to cut the rope as his arm was wrapped up in the line. I cut it off and watched the rope sink into the depths. I have no idea what the heck just happened. I assume that maybe a seal or shark got caught up in the net, but I honestly have no clue as this was my first time hooping.
Very enjoyable time fishing. The crew was great, and the people as well. Lots of rockfish caught.
Thanks for the post and pic. Sounds like a great time on the water, wonderful early spring trip...while we were working at the FHS. Lucky guy and gal!
It was great to be out on the water again and to have the wife get the butt. She had so much fun maybe she will let me buy a boat.
I got the First String chartered for 1 1/2 days in July and can't wait.
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