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Rena and her boyfriend Bob on our PI trip in November

One of the messages I want to convey in this blog is that everything you see here can be learned.  All the fun that we have, you can learn how to have too.  I didn’t grow up here.  I didn’t pinhead on a boat when I was a teenager.  I first moved to Southern California in the 90’s (from Washington State…as an adult). Although I grew up fishing, when I first moved here I was all about furthering my career and starting a family.  Fishing was something I only did a couple times per year.

About 5 years ago though, I decided saltwater fishing here was something I wanted to do regularly and be good at doing.

One of the deckhands I became friendly with described me back then as “a half day hack who didn’t even know how to tie my own knots. ”  It’s true.  I was.  One of the reasons I started SoCal Salty was just to document what I was doing out there so if something worked, I could refer back to it later.  I also sought out mentors that could help me…show me how to do things, answer questions that I had, give me things to think about and work on.

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With John on the New Seaforth this Summer

One of my big fishing mentors is John Anjard.  John learned much of what he knows now when as a high schooler, recently moved to San Diego from Indiana, a regular took him under his wing and taught him.  The regular told John to pass it along.  John has passed on to me.  I feel compelled to do the same.  In doing so, I pay homage to those I’ve learned from, and I help grow the sport that adds so much to my life.

Similar to my story is Rena Wiseman’s.  Rena is someone I met out on the boats.  I used to run into her on the Spitfire sometimes.  We became friends on facebook and I realized she was serious about fishing.  When I became proficient fishing bait, the next thing I wanted to do was learn how to fish jigs.  It fascinated me that in certain situations, you could catch more and bigger fish fishing a jig.  I wanted to learn how to do that too!

Rena is at that point now and recently had her first jig success.  I asked her about it and want to share it with you…

 

Learning How To Fish A Jig (with Rena Wiseman)

I grew up fishing the Great Lakes with my father and uncle.  I caught walleye, trout, yellow perch, bluegill, etc.  I even caught a salmon in Lake Michigan!  Back then, I fished with the goal of bringing home food.  I’ve moved around a lot for work and always found myself near water.  It gave me the opportunity to catch different fish like yellowtail snapper in the Florida Keys, and wild Colorado trout in Aspen.  I’ve just always enjoyed fishing.

I moved to LA almost four years ago.  Every other month I went out and fished on a local 3/4 day boat, the Spitfire out of Marina del Rey. In 2014, I stepped up my fishing to weekly trips…on the Spitfire, other sportboats and also on my kayak.  I caught a lot of fish, but something started to nag at me. I noticed that people who had never fished in their lives would catch fish, sometimes even win jackpot on the boats.  I came to the realization that anyone can catch fish on bait.  I wanted to be recognized as an angler who caught fish on jigs and lures.

I started accumulating jigs this summer.  My tackle box got heavier and fuller.  I started to fish a jig here and there, but I was unsure of myself.  The deckhands and captains could see I didn’t fish with confidence and said to use dropper loops and weights.  So I did and I caught and caught and caught some more until my freezer was loaded with fish.  It’s funny, having a full freezer gave me the confidence to try something new.  I got bit fishing a jig on the Pacific Islander trip I went on with you and that gave me even more confidence.

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#thatdamnfish on a jig…I’m jelly

My last trip of the year was coming up on the Eldorado.  I decided I would fish jigs and nothing would sway me.  On that trip, I tied on an Ahi Diamond Jig and a second teaser hook up higher.  I put a whole squid on the teaser hook.  I dropped my jig down and within a minute I got hit hard.  I was so excited.  When it came up, it was a ling and it was on the jig!  YES!!!  I was so proud of myself.  It ended up being short, but I felt good.  A few minutes later, I pulled up a really nice red…once again, on the jig.  It felt like the training wheels came off.  I noticed the deckhands treated me a little different, maybe with a little more respect 🙂

I ended up catching 2 legal lingcod, one on the diamond jig, and one on the lingcod jig.  I also caught several nice sized reds, one whitefish, one very large sheephead…all on jigs!

Next year, I am determined to use jigs for all the different fishing.  I want to catch a tuna on a jig!

 

 

 

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