Back from the charter and playing catch-up back at the shops. We arrived back on Tuesday, was back at our San Diego shop on Wednesday and Friday, visited with Okuma management Thursday, visited Calstar Thursday, and tried to put my head into our bait freezer at the HB shop - GADZOOKS it's been HOT!!!
Okay, now back to the important stuff. You know, this 5 day trip is always a favorite of mine. We have a great bunch of experienced folks that come with us each year, and a number of new fishermen to get to know and add some exuberance to the trips. We had folks from Canada with us, experiencing their first SD based LR trip, Ohio, Washington and even some locals from San Diego area. Really a great bunch of guys aboard, and the experience was wonderful...as we've come to expect from the crew of the Red Rooster III.
The fishing: well each year is different, and really each week is different, too. We began with a plan to head down to Cedros Island and look for life along the way. Found some kelp paddies, and scored a few dorado, nothing great but still enough to get us going. At Cedros it got more interesting. A little mist in the morning, then a cool and refreshing rain! And, some very good yellowtail fishing, some nice 30lb plus fish. The dropper loop type fishing scored some fish, grouper, black seabass, big jackpot winning white seabass, etc. But it seemed to me that the 2 ounce sliding egg sinker was a winner for more guys. Fishing the iron also paid off. But, for many of the guys that don't get out much, the egg sinker rig was the ticket.
Next day we spent on yellowtail, and I got to work with some new jigs from Pep and Killer (Randy Penny's new/old products - and the heavy brass jigs did very well for us). Towards the end of the day we motored over to Benitos Isl. and there found a group of yellowfin tuna that wanted to play. Not bit, not huge school, but for the time we were on 'em the guys aboard were able to add some red meat to their freezers. The next day we began the trek back home and that's where things really got interesting, and provided the cap to a wonderful experience.
While driving back up the line 150 miles out from San Diego we found great numbers of willing dorado, very good grade of fish. Now here's where I blew it, and one lucky angler didn't. I head out again a week and a half after this charter, going on a 6 day'r next Saturday. So, I began taking down my gear and stayed out of the way of the fishermen, taking some video of guys landing dorado. Well, while drifting and fishing the dorado off kelp pads, a smarter man would drop down some iron and see what's down deep... That was my plan, since I'd hoped to land my first opah this season. Well, I put away my stuff too soon. We were in great water, and the fish were there. I'll assume my opah was down there waiting. But, who knows. What I do know was that Mike Beckly was the smart guy on this drift. He dropped down a big 7oz ToroTamer Metal Swimmer and hooked into a WAHOO! Should have guessed they were there since a couple guys mentioned they saw their bait moving way too fast away from the boat only to end up with cleanly clipped line! Mike scored his first wahoo on our last drift of the day. Nice catch on any trip, and an especially nice way to end a five day'r.
Things that worked:
2 oz sliding egg sinker with bait for yellowtail.
Pep and Killer jigs in brass for deep drop yellowtail.
Flylined bait for dorado...and our Jackpot winner Keith Newman who took out an old Krocodile Spoon and tossed it at the bow for dodo's.
Metal Swimmmer for wahoo...!
Sidenote: Jon Edick from Washington did things a bit differently than most. He came aboard with two rods, both travel rods. The guy's a good stick, uses his tackle well. Well, he fished a ToroTamer Surf Explorer, not even the heaviest model, a 20-30# 9' stick for much of his fishing. Now, in all honesty this one surprised me. I'd never recommend that rod for fishing from a boat, not for long range fishing, the rod is for surf use and it's a finesse type piece. Well, Jon knew what he was doing, landing yellowtail, dorado and on our last day hooking into a very nice marlin...on a stinking surf rod! That was nothing short of amazing, watching him fish a marlin on a light surf rod. The thing jumped out of the water, tailwalked, all the while Joh had a huge grin. Finally the fish broke off on his 30# line and small Andros 5II. I'm convinced he's have played the fish to the boat had the line not broken. He did a great job, keeping an appropriate bend on the rod and letting the drag do it's thing. While he didn't "land" the fish, he got the fight of a lifetime...on a stinking surf rod!!! I have learned to respect that rod more, and while I'll never suggest anyone taking a surf rod on a long range trip, in the hands of an experienced angler you can accomplish much with gear you'd not expect to see on such a trip. I'm tempted to say the pic of the trip should have been Jon, leaving the boat with a backpack and two small satchels, travel rods, with a big grin on his face, feeling smug as the rest of us were lugging a ton of gear off the boat. It's just not fare... The man did well, made the most of his tools, and his experience showed throughout the trip.
I sincerely with to thank the Del Rasario brothers and Keith Newman, Jonathan Finger, Jeff, Bill, Steve and many others from previous trips who were with us again this year and to all the other guys who took the time to head out with us for this charter. A great bunch of guys aboard, all worked together, all polite at the rail and helpful to others. Wonderful bunch of guys and a great experience for us all. It was wonderful to see several father/son teams aboard this trip. Heartwarming for me personally, brought back some memories of trips (too few) with my dad. Gentlemen, you made some great memories for future generations. Well done.
I'll get the video together next week before I head out again on our six day trip and post some more pictures... Check our Pic of the Week later this week for images from this charter. Right now, our client who was smart enough to work deep for an opah gets the nod for pic of the week...he scored a BIG one on 30# line, not far off a record. I want to be like him when I grow up...This message has been edited. Last edited by: Chark,
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