Ready for Round 2

After putting in the overnight to Clemente, I returned home and slept in my own bed.  Ahhh.  A full night’s sleep was just the ticket to resume my quest.  Get up Sunday morning, eat, re-pack my gear and head down to San Diego.   My plan was to either ride the afternoon Daily Double or put in some kayak time off Shelter Island pier.  My buddy John had told me that he caught lings (#4 on the Top 10), 3 days in a row while working the Double.  One of the lings was a 21 lb-er, hitchhiking on a 21 incher and his mouth was as big as a 5 gallon bucket!  If I didn’t make it down in time, I’d put in some kayak time and try to pickup a halibut (#5) by the Navy dock or around the bait shack.

Other than a brief traffic slowdown by Dana Point, I made it down in time and boarded the Double for it’s afternoon ride.  As I’ve mentioned before, the Double in San Diego is like the New Del Mar for me at home.  I know all the crew, they’re down with the blog, and they do what they can to help me out.  The news wasn’t good though, Jason (lead deck) said the water temp had dropped from the high to the low 60’s and was green and dirty.  Lots of krill in the area, so the fish weren’t biting.  They had only caught a dozen or so sculpin on the morning run.  Oh well, time on the water, right?  You never know when conditions are going to change or when something out of the ordinary might happen.  As luck would have it though, Jason was right.  We rockfished some kelpy spots and it was a mixed bag of rockfish (brown, gopher, treefish) and a few bass that vied for jackpot.

Kion, John, and a young angler aboard the Double

I spent the bulk of the trip discussing tuna with my buddy John who wasn’t working, but was riding and fishing.  John also brought a new friend with him, Chargers linebacker Kion Wilson.  I enjoyed talking to Kion.  He’s a native of South Florida and has been an avid salty his whole life. Back home, he mainly fished the flats off the southern tip of the state.  I learned that a “Backcountry Slam” consists of a snook, redfish, and speckled sea trout.  Add a tarpon to make it a grand slam.  Good to know…ICAST next year is in Florida…  Kion was no joke fishing either.  He said he’d been out about 6 times since coming to San Diego and John was getting him up to speed on gear and techniques.  On a VERY scratchy day of fishing he managed 8 rocks and a sand bass.  Nice job Kion!  Next time, bring out your teammate and fellow Washington grad, Donald Butler 😉

Nice fish! Dropper loop calico on the Daily Double

After the trip was over, I grabbed a quick bite and headed over to Seaforth Landing to meet up with the final boat of the weekend, the Eclipse.

This trip was a 1.5 day private charter put on by my buddy Jeff (aka One Cool Tuna) and his friend John, the inventor and recently awarded US patent holder for the Grip-n-Hook.  This was one of those deals where it’s great to be invited in, and I was HAPPY to pay full fare.  I’d been excited about this trip for a couple weeks.  It would be my first opportunity to catch a tuna, and also my first time fishing with Jeff which has been a long time coming.  If you’ve been following along, you know I’ve been obsessing about gear and such for awhile.  Checks of the counts were part of my daily (ok fine, hourly) routine leading up to the trip.  As I was sitting at the dock, my excitement level went up another notch when I saw the passengers from the San Diego (Seaforth’s 3/4 day boat) come off the boat with tuna filets!  Then when the Eclipse came in and they rolled up the cart…oh boy!  This is going to be good!

To be continued…

Sign of things to come?

 

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