IMG_4024As you are reading this post, I’ll be out on the water aboard the Ranger 85.  Wanted to get this post written though before I left.

I have a soft spot in my heart for the Seabiscuit.  A little background, I caught my first ever white seabass in June of 2011.  It was totally by accident.  I was on the New Del Mar, half day boat out of Marina del Rey.  I had volunteered in the morning for the MDRA Kids Day At The Dock, and in the afternoon, the positive karma came back my way.  The next year, I went out 7 times, before I finally scored my next one.  Guess what boat?  And not only did I catch a seabass, I caught 2 and won jackpot!  So you see why I’m fond of the Seabiscuit.

Last December, I was really saddened when the boat got into an accident and had to have some major repairs.  I was happy to see them resume fishing with an overnight trip leaving Friday, May 30th.  They returned to port Saturday, May 31st with 3 white seabass (plus rockfish) to kickoff their season 🙂

When I boarded the boat, we had a full load of 24 anglers.  The bait tanks were already jugged with some live squid and live anchovies and they had frozen fresh dead squid as well.  Capt. Matt Allport gave the trip briefing and said we’d start out heading to Santa Cruz Island to try and make some more squid before moving on to the Eagle’s Nest area of Santa Rosa where we’d anchor up for the night and begin fishing first thing in the morning.

Along with Matt onboard, owner Bobby Valney came out.  Second capt Vinnie, deckhands Mark and Justin, and JR holding things down in the galley filled out the rest of the crew.  I managed to fall asleep on the ride out.  We gave it a go making squid, but it was slow.  I managed to account for only 8 pieces personally.  Sunny, who was a last minute add on the trip was definitely queen of squid making.  We motored on and I settled in to my bunk for the rest of the night.

Way to kick it off Greg

Way to kick it off Greg

The next morning we found ourselves at Eagles Nest with the rest of the overnight and longer fleet.  Although a much different scenario than a couple weeks ago on the Cobra, the dropper loop setup was still the go to rig.  The only difference was it required much less weight (6 oz was plenty).  We weren’t anchored on top of a squid nest, but there was definitely life below us.  The crew was able to make a bit of squid while we all fished.  Their efforts were cut short though when angler Greg Sata almost immediately hooked up on the bow.

Greg’s catch kicked off a steady plunk.  A few batman appearances (2 for me personally despite having my loop a good 4-5 feet above ground 🙁 ), punctuated the next couple hours in between the seabass hookups.  It was a small window though.  We ended up with 4, pulled anchor and moved on.

We made our way west.  I was sitting in the wheelhouse with Matt and Bobby during the move.  Matt told me he was going to look around the corner (of the west end of Rosa), but if it was nasty, he had some new deepwater rockfishing spots in the lee of the island he wanted to work.

We ended up looking outside briefly, but it was pretty gnarly.  When we got out of the wind, Matt wasn’t kidding about deep water.  We fished as deep as 270 feet!  It was good though.  Since we were targeting rockfish, I figured I’d try to accomplish the Extra Salty goal of catching a limit completely on artificial bait which I was able to do easily.

That was essentially the day.  Despite blanking on the seabass, I still had a great time.  I was definitely happy to spend the day on the Seabiscuit.  In terms of the boat, kicking off their season scoring wsb back-to-back is definitely a nice way to start.  Congrats to Capt. Matt and the rest of Bobby’s team.  I really enjoyed being out with you guys and will definitely be back.  Great to see you back.  Tight lines!

The Seabiscuit has open party overnight and full day trips coming up!  Check out their schedule and book online HERE, or call Channel Islands Sportfishing 805-382-1612 to get onboard.

See also: My CISCO’s Weekend – Part I

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