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.
From 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!