Here is my late report because I had to work today.
I went out on the Eclipse out of Davy’s Locker to fish a full day trip. We left Thursday night around 8:15 and cleared Newport Harbor at 9pm. Our destination was San Clemente island and we arrived at the east end at 4:30 and dropped anchor. We fished there until gray light with not much caught. The captain moved us close to the kelp to start our real fishing but with not much current there was only a few fish caught. We then moved outside a bit and tried a couple of rock fishing spots but again with not much current only a few fish were caught. We moved back inside around 8:00am or so and tried a couple of spots until we found some biting fish. Some people fished dropper loops for Sheep Head and other assorted critters and others, me included fished in or real close to the kelp for Calico’s. We were able to get a pretty good bite going for about an hour until it shut down. The captain looked around and we tried a few more spots both inside and out but we could not really get the fish going again but hey that’s fishing right?
Now for a little information about the boat and crew. The Eclipse was clean and looked well maintained. Captain Rick worked hard to find us fish and when the bite got going he got on the bait tank and selected the best baits out of the tank and passed them out whenever anybody needed bait. The crew was nice and got along well with everyone.
The conditions at the island were not great to say the least. The water was off color and cold, I asked the captain one time what the water temp was and he told me it was 61.5, burr. The only upside I saw was in the dark a couple of small seals were chasing a few flyers around the boat, so maybe the water will warm up soon.
The thing that worked for me was butt hooking my sardines. I was fishing 15lb test in the kelp and could not buy a bite until I did this even though others were getting bit. I scored 4 nice checker boards doing this and all lived to see another day before the bite shut down. Just goes to show sometimes just a little difference in your presentation can make or break your day. I did not fish for rockfish but instead fished the surface iron to see if I could hook a lost yellowtail but no such luck.
All in all I would do it again because man I needed to go fishing and this was just what the doctor ordered, some rail time.
It is so nice to hear someone that had a good trip regardless of the count! We all need to remember that it is called fishing, not catching.
Weather , If you don't like it now - wait, It will change. I had to stop and think, it's the middle of may, any time it will be a long anticipated fishing trip, anytime, The Big Ones are still out there, Just waiting,... just waiting......
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