A break in the clouds?

Saturday, I lined up a 4 pack trip.  The trip was supposed to put my son Jake on his first ever pelagic species.  Unfortunately, Jake didn’t end up coming out.  So it was a light load of myself, Matthew Lowe and Capt. Bob Beyer who headed out on the 25′ Grady White “Sailfish” of Exotics Sportfishing.  We departed from Marina Cortez (by the airport) at 6am.  From there it was a short ride to the bait receiver (same one used by Point Loma, H&M, and Fisherman’s).

When we departed, intermittent lightning was lighting up the sky.  Bob said he’d wait to call the day…we’d wait to see what happened as we waited in line for bait.  The storm seemed to rise up from the south and passed us by as we loaded up with sardines.  OK then…let’s give it a shot.

With twin 200’s, it was a fast trip to the north end of the 9 Mile Bank where we started our day.  There was a congregation of 10 or so boats already out there (privates or small charters like us).  It didn’t take long before we got bit on a blind jig strike.  Matthew was on it and quickly subdued a nice yellowfin that ate his rusty hooked, blue mack Rapala.  I casted in a bait on what I hoped would be a school of hungry fish, but nada.

I didn’t have to wait long though to get my skunk off.  Right after we got underway, the troller on the opposite side went off.  I was on this one and pulled in another yellowfin.  This one bit a purple and black feather…dark skies, dark patterns.  No follow-up fish on bait for this stop either.  Still, we were feeling pretty confident about the day.  We got back underway.

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matt_dodoWe kept moving along, glassing for signs of fish.  Then a crack of lightning, followed by a boom of thunder.  Then another.  Oh boy.  We needed to get out of there quickly.  Bob set a course toward La Jolla.  On the way we encountered a kelp.  Bob wasn’t marking anything on it, so we just trolled by.  Hook up!  Dodo!  Matthew was on it quickly.  “Joe!  Trailer!”  I casted behind his fish at a blue flash beneath the surface.  Immediately the bait got smashed, but no hook up.  Matthew got his fish and we threw baits on the drift.  I got bit on a long soak and watched a small dodo, lit up blue, jump above the kelp before spitting the hook.  Dang it!

That stop ended up being pretty much the last action of the day.  We found a massive carpet of kelp that we stopped and drifted on, trolled by, drifted again…nada.  We found a huge pod of dolphin really close in to the beach.  Birds were picking on top of them too.  It looked really fishy.  We trolled through it, but nothing.  Head scratcher.

We had about 6 baits left.  I asked Bob if we could throw them in the Point Loma kelp.  I was hoping to add a yellow or calico to the bag, but just a few barracuda (released) was all we got.  It was a shame we couldn’t have stayed longer in the zone, but we still had our shots.  The boat was comfortable and Bob did a nice job guiding our day.  He had a couple buddies he was on the radio with all day.  It’s big to have your network of “informants” out there on the water.  There were a lot of boats just calling and asking for info on the open channel.  Bob was pretty cool about talking to them, but after awhile, I was getting annoyed at how stupid the questions were.  What’s worse?  The guy on the rail with new gear getting you tangled, or the googans in their boats running over your your lines (or a kelp) and asking stupid questions on the radio?  Toss up.

The day could’ve been better, but not a bad day given the circumstances.  If the open party crowd isn’t your scene, or you find yourself without a ticket and you have the scratch, take a look at Exotics Sportfishing.  Thanks Bob.  Tight lines!



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