IMG_3252I have a confession, I’m kind of a tackle whore.  There…I said it.  Nowhere was this more in evidence than last week’s Pacific Islander trip.  I brought 3 trays of lures specifically for targeting lingcod (swimbaits, Lucanus, and jigs/other).  I got 10 shorts and no legals.  The guy who won jackpot?  Double dropper with a strip of squid.  Now my boy Ty scored his runner-up ling on a jig, but I’m making a point so roll with it…  The basics are the basics because they work.  I’m kind of at a point in my fishing where bringing home meat isn’t my primary motivation to fish.  My primary motivations are to go out, hang with some buddies, and have fun.  Fun for me is to try out new stuff and see if I can outsmart some fish.  Sometimes I win (I like to think most of the time), sometimes I lose (like last week), but it’s always fun.

IMG_3251That being said, it’s also nice sometimes to apply the KISS Priniciple:  Keep It Simple…Stupid.  Twilight bass fishing is an example of the latter.  I haven’t done the twilight thing in a long time.  The weekends I have the kids it’s out of the question (too late and too long for Juj).  The weekends I don’t have them, I’m typically traveling further afield…San Diego, CISCO’s…whatever to go bigger.  A couple weeks ago though, my buddy Mike from USA Sportfishing hit me up to tell me that Capt. Gabriel Ceballos would be taking over the weekend twilight runs out of Long Beach Sportfishing with a new boat, The Liberty.  I rode with Gabe a few times last year when he worked the Native Sun (now moved to 22nd Street Landing).  Notably, he helped me cross off my first halibut of 2013.  I like Gabe and I wanted to support him, so I signed on to be a promotional sponsor for the trip.  This Friday, April 4th, was the kickoff ride for the boat.  In fact, it was so new that the lettering you see in the pics above was applied just before the trip!

We had a good crowd for the trip.  Forty two anglers boarded the boat (it’s 85’ long, so it handled the load comfortably).  We had boxed frozen squid for bait.  The target fish were sand bass, and sculpin.  Like I said, real simple.  Most on the boat chose 1 of 2 rigging options: 1) dropper loop or 2) leadhead and squid

Sandbass at this year's Fred Hall Show demonstrate why this technique is effective

Sandbass at this year’s Fred Hall Show demonstrate why this technique is effective

I brought one tray of hooks and weights, and another with leadheads.  Some extra line rounded out the contents of the small backpack I brought.  I brought 1 rod and reel, opting to use my Shimano Teramar (10-30) and Calcutta 400 combo.  I was prepared to rig up either way, but chose to just go leadhead and squid for the night.  The technique is simple as well…cast out, then let it sink to the bottom.  Slowly drag your bait back to the boat along the bottom.  If you find structure along the way, try to hang out and work your bait around it as that is where the target fish are going to congregate…especially in this colder water (low to mid-50’s).

Not much else to say about the trip.  Capt. Gabe motored out to Izor’s Reef and anchored up on the structure.  We didn’t move the rest of the night until we pulled the pick and headed home at midnight.  In between, my fellow anglers loaded on over 100 bass and a couple dozen sculpin.  There was never one big run, just a steady pick all night.  One of my buddies, Jeff Luzod, took top honors with big fish for the evening.  Real simple, cheap ($35 prepaid) and fun.  The boat leaves every Friday and Saturday from Long Beach Sportfishing at Berth 55.  Every trip has free prizes raffled off from the other sponsors: Owner Hooks, Bass Knuckles, Phenix Baits, and VCGurlz FishnBuffs.  Please check out the other promotional sponsors as well: Angler Chronicles and Fisheye Channel.  Thanks especially to all the salties that showed up and helped me support Capt. Gabe and his crew.  It was great to meet many of you and catch some fish.  Get out there and enjoy the ride.  Tight lines!

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