This last weekend (Friday May 30th – Sunday June 2nd), I drove up north and fully immersed myself into the salty 805 lifestyle of the ‘Nard (that’s Oxnard to the uninitiated ;-) )  Hotels.com told me I needed to use a free room up before the end of the month, so I figured I’d take advantage of it and have an extended fishing weekend.  I got my stuff settled into my room and there was still a couple hours of light left.  Hmmm, might as well fish.  I’d brought 7 rods and reels with me to cover the full gamut of potential fishing options and brought 2 of them, my light surf setup and light inshore setup, with me to squeeze in a quick fix.

I explored the other side of the marina across from Channel Islands Sportfishing.  As I was driving along, I found a parking spot and could see a father and son fishing down below.  OK, let’s stop and take a look.

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IMG_3967From my vantage point above them, I could see that they were in front of a shallow sand bank.  I saw a skate flutter across the bank and figured it was likely a low yield spot, so I moved on.  To their immediate left, I heard a splash and noticed there was some bait jumping around like it was being chased.  Let’s try there.

I rigged my inshore setup with a drop shotted Clone Fry and started casting about.  Ended up getting bumped a couple times, but nothing stuck.  I watched little “grass bass” (grass rockfish) come out of their holes among the rocks and attack my bait as it neared the rocks.  I was losing light, so I figured I’d downsize and hang a couple in order to not take a skunk.  I found a little light orange grub and rigged it up on 4 lb test with a little split shot about 6 inches up from the hook.  I just flipped it in front of the rocks and let it drop.  OK no skunk for the sesh.

The next morning, I was back at the landing to ride the “extended half day” (8am to 4pm) ride on the Speed Twin.  The Twin is a really unique fishing platform.  It’s a huge catamaran.  It’s very stable, yet fast.  It has a lot of deck space and a lot room in the galley.  It’s one of my favorite boats to take the kids on.

Fishing-wise for the day, the hope was to get into some barracuda.  The cuda have been a bit hard to come by this year.  I was invited to come on the boat by galley chef, Sunny O’Neil.  Sunny managed to jig up some slimesiders earlier in the week, so I was hopeful I could knock off a Top 10 fish on the trip.  In order to qualify this year, barracuda need to be caught on a jig.  The thinking there being, if you happen to catch one on a dropper loop, it’s more of a nuisance than anything else.

Capt. Craig looked just past the breakwater for them to start out the trip.  Saw a couple bird schools that looked promising, but nada.  We ended up rockfishing around Anacapa  and Santa Cruz Islands.  A couple lingcod got taken on the boat.  I had my chance at catching one in Extra Salty fashion as I had a huge hit on a small bocaccio.  Check the bite marks…too bad I couldn’t have had a trap rig on that sucker.  Oh well, some good opportunities for the day.  I ended up catching 8 rockfish and gave them all away.  Good time.  Thanks Sunny for the hookup.

I met up with landing co-owner Liz Vernand at Social Tap in Ventura for an early dinner.  Liz has been a tremendous supporter of the blog and it was great to spend some time talking face to face for once.  After dinner, I headed back to the landing and waited for the next ride on the Seabiscuit leaving at 10 pm.  In the meantime, I was able to meet the crew and check out the Ranger 85.  I’m hosting the Western Outdoor News 2 day charter on this boat leaving Wednesday night (June 4th), so it was cool to get a preview.  I was super impressed with the boat.  I’ll talk more about that boat after that trip, but I’ll leave you with a little preview of where I’ll be staying.  That’s all for now.  Tight lines!

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