Sorry this is so late.  Keeping up with my obligations over at BD Outdoors, I’m actually doing more writing per week, so please be sure to check in over there.

IMG_8684So last we left it, I had just gotten off the Island Spirit, where I blanked on yellowtail.  We had our opportunities, but bait was an issue and the bite up there is almost 100% bait oriented…a little bit on the yo and almost nothing on top.

After getting back, I went looking for dinner and then made my way over to CISCO’s for Round 2 of the weekend.  I was getting on the Seabiscuit for an overnight trip.  The previous day, they had fished yellows and had only gotten 14 after some much better days.  One guy had 5, Capt. Matt Allport hook and handed another 4 so it was kind of lopsided in terms of skill level.  Bait was also an issue and I could sense the crew was just kind of over the yellows.  Matt was pondering potentially heading down to San Nic.  I was standing at the bait tank, chatting with another angler.  “We have a little fin bait, if he’s willing to drive that far, let’s go to Miguel and whack some lings.”  Apparently, Matt liked that idea and I smiled to myself when he announced his plan during the trip briefing.  Alright, alright, we’re going ling hunting!

I’ve been jonesing for lingcod.  I hadn’t gone rockfishing since just after the opener.  It’s been a steady diet (both fishing and eating) of yellowtail, then tuna.  I was so ready.  Matt’s plan was simple, download on big reds and other quality outer island rockfish, then spend the rest of the time throwing jigs and swimbaits for lingcod.  If you haven’t done it up here, you have to come up.  It’s unlike any other rockfishing in So Cal.

On the way out I slept like a baby.  By the time I got up, it was about 7:30 and people were already setting up on deck for the first drop of the day.  We were out at the far northwestern end of Miguel.  I’d never been this far out, and was kind of shocked at how nice the conditions were.  This is usually 2 day range, so it was pretty exciting we managed to get that far.

san miguel

We were fishing at a depth of over 300 feet.  I just played it straight and went double dropper with squid strips.  I just wanted to contribute to the death toll as quickly and efficiently as possible in order to get to the fun part of the day.  It didn’t take long.  Quality fish, I ended up a with a full bag of all reds except one chuck…all in the 3-6 lb. range.

IMG_8690Time for phase two.  Matt proceeded to tour us around to a bunch of little pinnacle spots.  A typical spot would start out at like 140 feet and rise up to 90.  Fertile ground to throw jigs and swimmies and find the big lings.  It was ripe and didn’t disappoint.

The ground was really sticky and I lost a lot of jigs.  I noticed one guy fishing a heavy iron that he rigged butterfly style with assist hooks on top…good for avoiding getting stuck.  It didn’t seem to work fish-catching-wise though.  There wasn’t a lot of current, so I think the paddle tail action of the swimbaits was the way to go.  It also didn’t get hung up as much.  Long story short, I made a strong contribution to the day’s fishing 😉  Double limits – 10 quality rockfish and 3 ling cod for every angler to take home.

On the way home, we were treated to a whale watch trip.  We saw 3 big pods and one yielded a nice tail viewing.  Lots of porpoise around the whales.  It was the cherry on top to a beautiful day on the water and fun time fishing.  Thanks so much to Capt. Matt Allport.  I hope you pulled your elk tag.  I can’t wait to hear about your trip.  Thanks also to JJ, James and Frenchie for taking care of us in the galley and on deck.  Great day guys.  Tight lines!

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