Wanted to go YT fishing again.
Went to sign up on the Legend departing Sun. night
but they were too short to go.
They did however recommended the Pacific Queen @ Fisherman's Landing
she was the only boat in the SD fleet active for an overnighter.
88 ft. boat we ended up with 19.... sweet. Signed up, loaded up,
and gitty up ,,,, we are out’a here.
I jump on board, am talking to other anglers and out of the blue this
guy comes up to me and ask me if my name is Walt, I look at him and
say yes that’s me. He says remember me….. the blue and white rod??
Behold…. it’s Lovefish and his buddy Friend-of-Fish.
I am taken a back,
this is a flash from the past. I am happy to see him. By coincidence we
are fishing the same boat.
Everyone hits the sack until about 4:30am when most everyone is on deck
with the dropper loops. I yawn and slouch over the bait tank. Taking
in what’s before 19 anglers during a hard day of fishing. So far nothing
has happened. Then Mr. Lovefish strikes first blood with a nice Tree Fish.
Before long we are right in the middle of a wide open Tree Fish bite.
I am still propped up by the bait tank thinking that this is not what
I signed up for. Made up my mind right there ….. I go big or it’s the SKUNK!!
Everyone is dropper looping with squid strips. About 5:30 am I am no
longer a walking zombie, go get my big gun, a 20 lb live bait stick. I figure
its still dark enough that I can use heavier line. Go to the bait tank and
there are no sardines in the tray. So I take the net and scoop out a few
for the trays. Immediately the deckie says (stop) that they are saving the sardines
for the YT hunt. So I say… “you mean I can’t fish for them now by fly lining
one right now”. He just stares at me and finally says OK. I bait up and out
it goes. I am right in the middle of a WIDE OPEN rock fish bite. They are
hitting the deck left and right. I am missing all the action but I discipline myself
and stick to my big fish hunt. I am not getting bit. I change out my Sardine
several times during the hour of boredom to no benefit. The rock fish
bite is still in full swing. I am getting jealous but I will not waver.
The grey light is starting to develop and feel a slight vibration in my rod
thinking it was my bait I look at my spool and its rotational speed has
doubled, ,,,,, maybe just maybe. I put the Squall in gear and reel down
to a severely bent rod. Yahooooo I got a biter. Everyone is yelling Tuna, Tuna.
I am not sure what it is. Know its big and fast but its not a YT. Finally get
it to color to discover it’s a Blue Shark in the 50-60 lb range. I tell the deck hand
to break the line, it was just a baby. It needs time to eat more giant squid.
I got some gas over that decision, several guys wanted it, I said no.
So the day marches on everyone is catching rock fish for the freezer and I
am getting board changing out Sardines getting them to swim away from
the boat. They are catching and I am just fishing. I try hooking my bait
several different ways hoping to stimulate a bite,,,,nothing. I finally
figure that the YTs are not in a chasing mood so I get my
dropper loop set up and instead of using squid like every one else I
took the biggest bohunk sardine I could find pinned it on and sent
it to the bottom. All for Nada!
One of the guys catches a Black Sea Bass (released) about 50 lbs.
Then…….. about 9am I am back to the fly lining sardine method, the bait
is hooked just in front of the dorsal fin through the back muscle. Again its
a long soak, this bait is a swimmer it heads straight away from the boat
and its headed straight into the jaws of death. I knew this bait was deep and’
at least 60 yds from the boat. Notice my spool has picked up a little speed
but what was unusual is that it lasted longer then normal. Put the spool in
gear and start to wind down trying to get a feel for the bait. Oooop’s I am
hooked on the bottom in some kelp. Start to jerk on the rod to try and
free it but I can’t budge it, maybe it's a rock. Jerk my rod several more times
and it does give a little but not much. I am hooked up good. I jerk again but
this time I feel a very solid shaking in my rod. Then it happens,,,,,,,
this rock turns on the nitros and heads for the horizon, I am thinking
OH BOY, fish on. After 3 blistering runs the line is still pealing of my Squall
but this time I am not worried, I have 400 yds of spectra backing on this reel.
Keep telling myself…..Just relax and be patient. This fish is big, stronger and
has extended endurance. By now the word has spread on the boat and everyone
is reeling in to clear a path along with lot’s a verbal encouragement.
The Captn. even comes down to “Supervise” me, he wants the YT as much
as I do. His main concern was the Seals, the day before they lost 5 of 6 YT’s
caught to seals. He positions himself on my rt. and a deck on my left ready
to beat off any seals with an eye on a late breakfast. He tells me that the seals
usually grab the fish when its right at the boat where it has limited movement.
My leader is at my rod tip so I know it is close now things really get amped up,
the Captn. tells me to get the fish to the surface as fast as I can so they can
get the gaff to it before the dogs get to it. The Captn. wants me to back up
to make clearance for both of them to be closer to the YT to gaff it ASAP.
So I back up and now cannot see the fish. But I do see the Captn. bend over
the rail with about 8 ft of gaff under the water and sink the metal home way
before it got to the surface. It comes flying over the rail and slams onto the
deck, that thing is a tank. Everyone on the boat is beyond congratulatory.
This was my personal best YT. We weighed it on a scale which because of the
boats movement registered between 29 and 32 lbs. .
The Captn. & deck hands agree on a 30lb official wt. I wanted an honest
wt. not a wild guess by some crazed angler. I am happy! I am beat up!
I want to do this again! And yes it won the $170.00 jackpot.:bananna:
Again it was a matter of using lighter fluoro and getting the bait far away from
the boat. Plus I spent the better part of the morning fishing and not catching.
Others were not willing to put up with the aggravation of on going boredom.
Overall the trip was good considering the whole fleet only caught 3 total YT's.
Weather was beautiiful. And it was a pleasure fishing with LoveFish and his friend.
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