8/9 to 8/14/2010 - intrepid 5 day to cedros island, baja california
picked up a bad cold a week before my trip, but was able to get the reels checked. the heavy stuff was staying home because it was just a 5 day trip. new to the arsenal was an okuma makaira 10 two speed and a pair of okuma cedros spinning reels.
sunday, 8/8/10 - it's a 460 mile drive from my home in saratoga to san diego.
yes, that's corn. my 12 year old's favorite TV show is anything on the food channel. she's got a passion for cooking and a garden is part of this.
meet my 24 year old nephew, richard alan tani. he and i will be together for this entire week. and, yup, he get's to drive.
stuffed in the back of the excursion are two duffle bags, four tote boxes of reel parts, fishing line and tackle, my two parts boxes, my offshore tackle box, 19 rods and 21 reels.
california is dry and brown this time of year. the san luis reservior is pretty low.
driving south on interstate 5 is a long, boring drive. richie drives, i nap. one of the perks of being "most favorite uncle."
when i woke up next, we had traveled over 300 miles and were already in los angeles.
half way between los angeles and san diego, we start to see water. this is good.
we had dinner with the guys that came down early, hit the local tackle shops and bedded down for the night at the vagabond.
monday, 8/9/10 - up early for breakfast, then down to the dock to check out the catch for the boats that just arrived.
most of the fish had been picked up already, but this one guy only had 4 fish for a 5 day trip. not a good sign.
richie and i got our stuff unloaded and then he got to stand guard over it. lately, tackle has been disappearing. this suspicious character making conversation with richie is an old friend named walt osaka. and i mean old! walt is 88.
these carts will be used to carry our gear down to the boat. grayson is working out details with bc and tok.
and there she is! the intrepid. 118 feet overall length and 30 feet at the transom.
our charter master is doug on the right, making conversation with dennis on the left. gary in the middle is probably trying to figure out how he ever got mixed up with this bunch.
now this is different. obviously it's a pink skirt.
it's the "last man standing" award for the norcal tuna chasers. it is worn by the last guy to catch a fish on this trip. these are the past winners.
enough goofing off. let's get moving!
all hands on deck. a quick meeting with kevin, skipper of the intrepid. jesus will be first ticket, though, and kevin gets a week off.
mike is going through the standard coast guard speech.
after a quick head count, we are underway.
the first stop is the bait receivers for live bait. really nice sized, well cured, sardines.
second order of the day is lunch. hector gets the first shift. javier is on board as well.
on the lunch menu is a roast beef sandwich with anaheim chiles and macaroni salad. left to right, meet chuck, stan and tok.
steve, dennis, brian and gary.
tony, craig, roy, ray and walt.
willie, grayson, aki, brian (again) and chuck.
alot of expensive tackle was coming out!
gloves were going on and we wern't even out of the harbor!
meet out head chef, javier. at least someone had the good sense to kick back a little.
good bye, san diego!
because of the way things were organized, my rods were split up onto four parts of the boat.
javier was serving up prime rib for dinner!
your big challenge for this trip is to figure out which one is steve and which one is brian!
meet john, tony, peter and chris.
everyone has their gear set up.
richie has been practicing how to throw a jig stick for the last month.
finally had a chance to check below decks. nice bathrooms.
bunks are pretty comfortable. richie has the good sense to give his old uncle the bottom bunk.
and i thought we were done with meetings. doug's explaining the details of some of the side pots available.
tuesday, 8/10/10 - our deckhand, kona, sets out four troll rods. right now we are out in open water looking for albacore and bluefin on the troll. the offshore bite has dropped off to nothing, but the guys still want to take a look.
i think "bc" is trying to figure out if he's going to eat the whole thing or not!
sunrise on our first day of fishing.
richie's already picked out a spot on the bow.
and we trolled......
we had lunch.......
and we trolled.......
and we had new york steak for dinner.........
and we had dessert.......
and then out came the cards. yup, not a single bite all day.
wednesday, 8/11/10 - we ran all night and made it to san benito island island early in the morning. the yellowtail were small, but it was great to at least put something in the box.
after sticking a few fish, we proceeded to our final destination, isla cedros!
it's amazing how the mood picks up so quickly.
here's joe working a live bait.
eight of us had a little side contest going. doug smoked all of us with over 10 yellowtail, mostly caught on a blue and white salas 6x junior.
we put 50 fish in the box the first day. a a tough performance for 26 guys......
ron stuck this fish on live bait. it was probably split 50:50, half on bait, half on jigs.
lunch was carne asada with rice and beans. my wife will normally not let me eat beans. well, she wasn't around to complain!
richard was enjoying a little down time. the sealions were eating us alive, so it was "stick and move" the entire trip.
the windward side of the island was just that.
afternoon snacks were bacon wrapped scallops and chicken wings.
richie continued to work those jigs all day and lost a nice one at the gaff. it must have been pretty frustrating for him but he never let it show.
fishing remained slow all day, but by midafternoon, everyone had tagged a fish except one. yup, it was willie! so at dinner time, the "last man standing" pink skirt was presented to our lucky angler by none other than the president himself!
javier finally took mercy on us and served up a "light" dinner, scallops and pasta alfredo.
the end of the second full day of fishing, maybe 50 yellowtail, two per rod.
thursday, 8/12/10 - more searching. willie strapped on that pink skirt, walked onto the deck and immediately stuck two yellowtail. guys were begging him to give up the skirt so they could catch fish as well!
willie definitely had the last laugh.
i was using a 9 foot jig stick with an old newell 533 and a nice yellowtail hit my blue and white salas. a sealion grabbed it and took me for quite a ride. several of the guys have photos that i will try to post. i eventually got the jig back with the head only. a also managed to break my belt. guess it was strapped on a little too tight.
lunch was a bell pepper stuffed with a meatball. these are the takagi brothers, steve and brian. if you've been paying attention, you should be able to tell me which is which.
joe, willie and grayson. joe's probably wondering how HE would look in pink!
now for my second sealion, this time on a okuma cedros spinner and okuma nomad rod. with a bum right shoulder and a gimpy left elbow, left handed reeling was not going to work.
fortunately, i had a back up plan. richie to the rescue! he almost got the fish to the boat, but the sealion won.
the sealion is under all the birds with my fish!
it's no wonder they were on us so fast. we were fishing right up on their beach.
many more fish would be lost to the sealions this day.
but not all. left to right are gary, bc, joe and tok with a double header.
3pm. snack time!
clams and mussels!
jumbo shrimp and alaskan king crab legs!
we tagged 65 yellowtail today but are 280 nautical miles and 28 hours from home. time to go.
the wind is picking up around the island and even the hydraulic stabilizers on the boat cannot prevent a wild bumpy ride.
dinner tonight is a veal chop with garlic mashed potatos. even javier had a little trouble hanging on.
tony and joe.
walter, tok, brian doug, chris, and bc.
craig, aki, doug (sneaking in), grayson, willie, roy and steve.
John, gary, stan and chuck.
i finally got a picture of jesus!
cheese cake for dessert.
friday, 8/13/10 - breakfast with javier and joe!
we're headed to san martin banks to fish for rockfish and halibut. time to break down the heavy gear.
a couple of rockfish were all we were able to scare up at san martin. we were done after an hour.
dinner was filet mignon and australian lobster tail!
richie brought a 1.75 liter bottle of crown royal for me. i guess he thinks a standard pour is a "double double!"
saturday, 8/14/10 - 6am and home again.
a quick group shot before disembarking.
carts take luggage, tackle and rods up first.
meet michelle from 5 star. she will be processing our fish.
he's baaaack! i don't know who this guy is, but every time i've ever done one of these long range trips, for the last 15 years, he's always asked me for a fish. i guess there are enough suckers that it's worth it for him to show up every morning.
doug had the biggest pile of fish.
bc had the second biggest stack of fish.
this was more typical.
this was the total catch for me and richie. 7 yellowtail, a nice halibut and a couple of calicos. 5 star already had a brine slush ready for us.
richie's halibut weighed out at 20 pounds.
roy's yellowtail came in at 37 pounds.
ray's fish weighed 39 pounds.
tok won a side pot between the "over 70" guys.
my brother ed showed up to meet us at the dock. he'll drive out to 5 star to pick up the processed fish and take it to our parents.
here are the champions.
my brother waited for the fish and rich and i hit the road. mind you, i'd been fighting this cold for the last two weeks now and it's not getting any better. i think i slept a good part of the way. gotta tell you, it's nice to have a reliable nephew.
home and in one piece! the corns a little taller, the grass is a little longer, and there's a stack of bills and e-mails waiting for me, but they can wait just a bit longer.
it's time for a birthday dinner. my mother in law just turned 87 and my father in law is turning 92 next month.
phew! thanks for sticking with me. for recap, the boat was great, the crew was great, the norcal group was great, but fishing stunk. there was no second guessing jesus. he is one of the best skippers in the fleet. if there were biting fish to be found, he would have found them. i spend a little time up in the wheelhouse and was watching the sonar. they were down there but they were not hungry. as far as terminal tackle went, i tossed a few jigs, but mostly stuck with bait. the hooks were the ringed owner fly liners in the 1/0 and 2/0 size. baits were mostly back hooked. the fluoro was a mix of seguar and blackwater. i never had a knot or line failure with either fluorocarbon. i like the 35 pound weight which only available from blackwater, but will end up switching to seguar because my local shop only carries that. my short topshot rigs worked the best. i used a bimini to an albright to a 3 foot section of fluoro, then a palomar knot to a ringed owner hook. i had one hook pull, i was chewed through once, and i was furbagged for my remaining losses. oh, yeah, and steve sawed me off once! ;D i had no rod or reel mishaps.
now for the new okuma gear. the nomad travel rod worked surprisingly well. i would think that for a fly in - fly out trip, the 3 piece nomad would be perfect. as far as the cedros spinners went, i physically cannot crank a spinner left handed. if i try it again, i will switch to right. but you know, i can cast farther with a newell 533 and a 9 foot jigstick than i can with a spinner and a 7 foot rod. i think i'll leave the spinning gear to the east coast guys. as for the makaira, it was money. very smooth, easy to shift, it cast great because i cleaned out the bearings and it was easy to crank because i added a monster 6/0 kolekar grip. i do not consider that a negative because i have to do the same to my accurates. the makaira 10 two speed was loaded with 400 yards of 65 pound spectra and had a 3 foot topshot of 40 pound fluoro. if i was going to do it again, i would load with makaira 10 II with 65 pound spectra, a 3 foot topshot of 50# fluoro and set the drags to 18 pounds. then i would load my makaira 8 II with 400 yards of 50# spectra, add a 3 foot topshot of 40# fluoro, and set the drags to 14 pounds. the only problem is that they do not make a makaira 8 II. it would basically be a makaira 10 II with a 1 inch wide spool and the same side plate. shouldn't be hard! i think i'll ask okuma to make me one.........
great report, thanks Mike
Wonderful report, great shots of the boat, and oh my what food. Even if the fishing wasn't up to par it looks to me like everyone was enjoying themselves. Kind of like living at a fancy restaurant for a few days time. Noticed several new Okuma reels on the boat getting a workout. Nice to see 'em being put to work, nice to see that the boat's doing well, too.
|Powered by Social Strata|