punta-colonet-mapPunta Colonet…one of the better fishing options this time of year.  With the rockfishing closure in effect in U.S. waters, it’s a slower time locally.  Many crews use this time to haul out their boats into the boatyard to do annual maintenance.  For the boats going out, it’s mostly bass & sculpin trips, and lobster trips.

Some boats started going to Colonet in December.  For anglers going on these trips, it’s a given they will catch massive rockfish…10 lb. reds are not uncommon and the jackpot lings have been 30+.  In addition to the rockfishing, yellowtail are being found in both quality and quantity.  A boat last weekend hung 90 in the 18-25 lb. range.  The yellows were getting caught on dropper loops and yoyo iron.

Eclipse_011614People have been asking me, “What are you going to bring?”  Since I haven’t been before, I’ve been talking to people who’d know.  I talked to Captain Steve Kugler (pictured in our trip flyer on a previous Eclipse Colonet trip) and he told me, “You’ll be fishing from maybe 150 to 450 feet in depth.  You’re going to want to bring up to 20 oz. of lead for those deeper drops.”

I also talked to Eclipse owner/operator, Capt. Mark Gillette.  Mark (who will be driving on our trip) advised, “I recommend a medium/heavy 7-8 ft set up with 85# Spectra to a short topshot… maybe 25 feet of 50# Mono and 13/0 Mustad E-Z Baiter Hooks- which we carry aboard. Also, I like a Yo Yo set up of 50# and a med heavy rod, a 6xJR, Blue/White, Scrambled Egg, Green/Yellow.”

Wait, did you say 13/0?!?!?  “Yes.”  Wow!  I did a little research on these hooks.  They’re made for commercial long-lining.  I won’t go out and buy some, but I’ll be sure to give it a try on the boat.  So with this information in mind, here’s what I’m bringing:

redRockfishing – 2 setups

Instead of doing a splicing knot (I like the John Collins aka Royal Polaris knot), I’ll just tie the braid to a barrel swivel.  Having mostly braid in the water will allow you to feel everything going on at the business end.  Also, it means that something actually happens when you set (instead of the line just stretching).

  • Lighter setup (30?) – Shimano Terez 80H / Avet MXJ – the MXJ has 50lb. Power Pro braid on it.  I’ll use it for 30 if we’re fishing shallower.  I can also use it as a backup 40 if I need to.
  • Heavier setup (40 or 50) – Seeker 6470 / Accurate 665 – the 665 has 80lb. Power Pro on it and this will be my go to setup for those max depth drops.

Yellowtail Fishing – 2 setups

  • Bait setup (40) – Fred Hall Special / Avet MXL – the MXL is about 2/3 full with 65lb. Power Pro on it.  I like doing a longer topshot so that the knot is buried deep and there is plenty of mono for the stretch quality and also so that I have plenty of line to retie as needed.  Instead of a standard dropper loop, I’ll tie a barrel knot and terminate the hook to the loop with a Palomar.  A ringed circle hook (size based on the bait) is a good way to go.
  • Jig setup (40 or 50) – Shimano Teramar 90XH / Tranx 500PG – I’ll bring some full size heavies 6x or Tady 4/0, the Salas 6x Jr’s Mark recommended, and a couple surface irons, just in case.  The lower gear ratio Tranx isn’t ideal for surface iron, but 4 setups is plenty for this trip.

So there you have it.  Don’t stress if you don’t have everything…you can certainly get by with less gear, I just like having the ability to change setups without having to retie another to do it.  Also, remember that Shimano is bringing top notch demo gear (Terez/Torium/Trinidad and PowerPro Depth Hunter braid) for us to use.  There are still a couple of spots left if you’d like to join us.  See you at the rail!



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