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Death by White Sea Bass

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27 June 2010, 07:21 PM
Death by White Sea Bass
Left at noon Thurs. for a reverse 1 ½ day WSB trip to Catalina on the Outrider out of
22nd St. Landing. There were 8 of us on a 9 pack boat.

The Outrider is a very attractive boat the best old boat I have seen. A lot of time spent
Reconditioning the entire boat inside and out.

We have a load of Squid that the crew made the night before so we are all set and
immediately head to CI. Get there about 3pm and start hitting spots. And more spots,
and still more sport for nada.

Well… there was a wide open Mackerel bite. I stopped my personal
count after 15 on the first stop. We work our way around the back of the island
and around 7:30pm we pull into a new spot. All of the guys except me are fishing the
stern casting up towards shore and some kelp. The action in now dead, even
the Macs went to bed. I don’t like what’s going on. Every one is fishing the sliding
1 oz egg sinkers on 4/0 to 6/0 hooks with Squid for bait. And nothing is getting caught.
Soooooo… I go to the bow and rig up a reverse dropper loop, go straight to the bottom
and crank up about 2 turns. We are in 58 ft. of water so I use 1oz of lead to keep me
near the bottom. Almost no current. So I was ok. About 10 min. into this I get this
strong Tap…Tap. Reel down to a double bent rod and the game is on. The first ‘
White Sea Bass of the trip is trying to put my “pants on the ground”. Twice around the
boat and I am almost whipped into submission Big Grin But like always, it’s this fish
dies or I do. About 10 min later a 32 pounder hits the deck to everyone’s amazement.

I get bombarded with questions, how deep, how far off the bottom, how much lead
etc, etc, etc….. I divulge all the necessary information and the next thing you know
the stern is empty and my honey spot on the port bow is over run and I have to fish else where. The port side of the bow produces 8 of the 13 WSB caught on this trip.

I end up with 2 WSB for that evening. One 32lbs and one 30lbs. Used my Avet MX
On Tsunami 6’-6” 15-40 rod with 25lb main line (Izor XXX) and 25 lb Fluorocarbon leader (Blackwater) . A 5/0 hook with 2 Squid pinned on.
Drags set around 7-8 lbs.

All 13 WSB were caught between 7:30 and 10:30 pm the first evening. We fished the
next morning from 4am to 3pm for nothing but more Macs and a few small Calicos.
I did catch a Bat Ray that morning which was fun, I thought it was a WSB, a 50 pounder until we realized what it was, I cut my line. Another guy catches an Angle Shark about 50 pounds, cut that line also.

We get back to port at 6:02 pm this evening (Thurs) Takes me and hour to get home
to my beautiful wife and a hot shower. I feel better now but the room won’t stand still. 

29 June 2010, 01:19 AM
Great report Walt. Im so jealous. Im still hunting the elusive trifecta... WSB, butt and YT all in the same day. I have yet to catch any of them. One DAY man... One Day!

89 Reinell CSF Cuddy 21.5Ft
29 June 2010, 01:47 AM
BTW Walt. I think i read here that you used to fight Tuna with a small Abu 6500? If so. How in the world is that possible? The drags on them 6500 is like 8lbs.

89 Reinell CSF Cuddy 21.5Ft
29 June 2010, 07:51 PM
Hello Iggy,

Yes I do use a 6500 for "LOCAL" Ablies , BF & Yellowfin up
to about 35lbs.. If the guys are catching them over 35 I
will go to the MX but 90% of the time its the 6500.

Here is how I do it:
I use a custom tweaked ABU 6500C3 CT Mag Elite.
It has a Mag control and a cyntrifical cast control. Also has
a drag conversion consisting of flat ground stainless steel
drag plates with the Smoothie drags disc. The flat ground
drag plates will up the drag capacity to about 10-11 lbs.
But I rarely use over 7lbs of drag. That is plenty for local tuna.
I also spool up with 230 yds of 50lb spectra and an 80 yd top shot of either Suffix Elite 17lb or Izor XXX 20lb. I prefer the 17lb.
I have it mated with a 8'10" med. action 15-30 rated
composite blank that I wrapped specifically for this application.

The combination of the long rod and the very light spool of the
6500 enables me to cast a sardine a mile. I often get comments
on how far this rig enables me to get the bait away from the boat.
Away from the boat is a big help in getting bit. When they are chewing the paint off the boat bottom distance is a non-issue but when things slow down the tuna will ge a lot more boat shy and getting that bait away from the boat as quickly as possible helps.

In MHO anglers use equiptment that is way overated for the task
at hand. I often see anglers using 30 and 40 class reels to catch 25lb Albacore. A reel in the class of the MX is perfect for anything inside of 3 days out of So Cal. But we live in America and we are all free to choose our weapons of choice.

I just happen to like the lighter side of fishing. They do call
this "Sport Fishing". Fishing on the lighter side forces you to
become a much better fisherman. And catching is a lot more fun. Every decision becomes critical. Small mistakes turn into lost trophys. You will be fishing on the edge and you must bring your "A" game.

There are two issues that are paramont to fishing the lighter gear and that is keeping your line fresh and knot tying. Fresh 20lb IzorXXX breaks at 32lbs so if you can consistantly tie 90% of actual breaking strength knots you are really fishing a 29lb rig.
And one other must......Fluorocarbon. I use about a 6 ft. leader of fluoro. Not only does it help you get bit it is also much more abrasion resistant then mono. My favorite is Blackwater, that line is tuff as nails. Since I switched to BW I have had Zero Chew OFFS.

Now for the down side of using the 6500. LINE CAPACITY!!
Last year I got spooled twice, all 300 yds. At the bottom of the spool the drag increases to around 15 lbs and believe me that is
break your back force with an 8'10" stick. The captain of my charter guessed that the fish were Blue Fin in the 50 lb. plus class. So this year if the BF are around I will use the
MX just in case.