My friend Eddie and I pull into the Seaforth Landing parking lot around 4:15 am , the parking lot is empty and the place is deserted. We hang for a while and slowly everything comes to life and guys start to show up for the 3/4 day trip on the San Diego. Called the landing the evening before for a head count, 12 guys on the manifest, great, a short load .......not...We end up with 40 , a little snug for me but we were not about to go back home. We get on board, head out to the bait tanks, and head back to the dock. Seems 6 more anglers got to the landing late so back we went to landing to pick them up. Minor speed bump. 2 1/2 hours later we anchor up at the Coronado Islands. 6-7 foot swells, 5-10 knot breeze. Not ideal but doable.
Things did not go well for me for the first 3-4 hours. I must have farmed 10-12 Cuda. I could not get the hook to stick. Always brought back an absolutely shredded Sardine, hook still attached but no Barracuda. Finally Eddie says he thinks my hook is too big and that’s my problem. I was not too keen on that analysis as I am thinking I should go to a bigger hook not a smaller one. But......... I got to respect that statement as Eddie is catching Cuda's and I am staring at Dines that look like hamburger. I take Eddie's advice to hart and re-rig, replacing my 4/0 hook with a 2/0 hook. Tie on a fresh length of Fluoro, bait up and go at it again. My next two pick ups result in Cuda's hitting the deck. Eddie's advice was right on and well timed.
Things slowed down for a while and the Capt. moves us to another spot, about the 3rd for the day. Out goes my Sardine for a long soak. The Capt. says there is a bank behind the boat that comes up out of the deeper water. Did not think too much about that at the moment but my bait was out there for some time and I was constantly feeding it line, in fact I was into my Spectra back up so I was at least 100yds out behind the boat. My bait was probably back far enough to be in the vicinity of that bank. I feel a slight resistance in my line and my spool starts to pick up speed, just a little faster then the normal pull out rate of the Sardine. I get suspicious, engage my reel and slowly crank down, my rod starts to really load up, yahooooo.... bite'er and from the pull it’s no Barracuda. Now what happens next is stright from the book on Cattle Boat Fishing. The guy next to me has hooked up on a small Mackeral and gets tangled with my line, it’s a mess. The deckie comes over and starts working. It takes him about a minute to untangle the mess which involved hauling in the other guys Mack to free my line. I start winding up my slack and to my surprise I am still "Hooked Up". The other anglers who witnessed this thought the Mackerel was mine and that I was still fighting that Mack. They could not figure out why I would not just reel that peanut in and get on with life. Anyway, I am at the starboard corner and the fish had gone straight up the side of the boat to the bow. I have to duck under about 12 guys on my way to the bow, hoping the whole way I do not get back into a tangled mess. The fish now cuts to the left straight under the anchor rope, the deckie grabs my rod and climbs up the bow and weaves my rod between the anchor rope and the bow of the boat. On the port bow we now get to see color, it’s a nice White Sea Bass, I am suprized and happy. After some surface struggle the deckhand gets a gaff implanted and a nice 12-15 lb WSB hits the deck.
This is also the Jackpot fish.... Eddie and I made a blood oath on the way down to split the money if one of us scored the jackpot. After I tip the crew we split $130.00.
Lesson Learned: Leave your pride at home when ocean fishing. You have friends who know more about certain things then you do. Pro 29:23 A man's pride shall bring him low: but honour shall uphold the humble in spirit. Pro 16:18 Pride (goeth) before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall.
Count for the day 74 Barracuda, 1 Sand Bass and 1 White Sea Bass.
Way to go Walt! Thanks for the report. Cuda can be fun but a WSB what a bonus. It's looking its time to get back on the water.
It may not have started out as such a great day on the cattle boat (been there and done that)but it sure looks like it ended well. Good job.
That's funny how a so-so O.K. trip can become a GREAT TRIP. Usually winning the Jackpot helps and with the only White Seabass caught makes the crowd of 40+ anglers, just a bunch of great guys having a nice time. Boat's need to make money and take as many as they can get. That's what I like about offshore fishing, there are no truly "Secret spots".
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