IMG_8427Sunday, August 16th

While I was waiting for the rest of my rent rod crew to show up on Saturday (to their credit, every single one of them made it to the boat on time), I went and said hi to the Spitfire guys while they were checking in their passengers.  “You guys open party tomorrow Jerome?”  “Yup, come out Joe.” Capt. Jeremy Maltz replied.  Hmmmm…good to know.

Sunday I had planned to sleep in, have a late brunch, run some errands, workout.  No alarm.  I was up at 4am anyway.  Wide awake.  It was going to be hot as F out here in the valley today.  Might as well go fish 🙂

I hadn’t been on the Spit all year this year.  They’ve been on a steady whack for the last several weeks fishing the yellows around the corner of Palos Verdes.  It’s a long drive to get to those fishing grounds from MDR, so they’ve been running 12 hour “extended 3/4 day” trips to account for the extra drive time.  I got on the boat and despite my absence, it was like coming home.  Capt John “Couch” Corzel driving, Derek and Julian on deck, and Axel in the galley worked the boat for the day.  I was happy to see the familiar crew, as well as regulars, Terry Sawa, Jimmy Bass and Ray Mesina onboard.

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Fishing assassins, Jimmy and Ray

The boat had a few scoops of sardines onboard, but we needed to make more bait.  We stopped off of Redondo and got the sabikis going.  Had a rough go of it.  I was getting 1’s and 2’s per drop.  Compounding the issue, we were getting too many Spanish macks (don’t swim as well) vs. greenbacks.  We couldn’t take too long with the effort though, or risk missing time where it counted, so we moved on short on bait.  Just have to make the best of it.

As soon as we got around the corner, a lot of boats could be seen at the closer 105 spot.  We headed toward them.  I was up in the wheelhouse when Mitch from the So Cal called us in.  He was out at the 150 spot further on, but on some fish.  We motored out to meet up. but by the time we got there no love from the forks for us.  We proceeded to hit a few different spots, anchoring up each time.  The day finally kicked in when a young girl got bit up the port side.  She followed her line into the stern and I stood next to her as she battled.  I don’t think she knew what hit her, but she persevered and got the fish.  A minute or two later, her younger sister gets bit.  She wasn’t as lucky, but it felt like things were changing for the better.

Not the case.  We chased ’em all morning, but Ray was the only other one to score.  It was pretty bad.  Bad enough that it drove Jimmy to drink the first beer I’ve ever seen him have!

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Fuzzy goat

Time was running out.  John worked his way back to the 105 spot closer to home.  Eventually, it got to the point that he just wanted to put some fish in the sacks.  Another captain gave him some numbers where we could pick up some whitefish on the bottom.  The crew busted out some frozen squid and started cutting strips.  I tied a double dropper and went about working the bottom.  The strategy paid off when I scored a sheephead with a whole squid on my bottom loop.  That’s cool, dinner for next weekend with Juj.

I was content with my goat being it for the day.  I was hanging out on the bow with angler Fred Hong when I noticed some action on the stern.  All of a sudden, 3 rods had gone bendo in quick succession.  This is the reason why you bring multiple setups.  I quickly racked my bottomfish setup, grabbed my 30 lb. bait stick, and found a nice greenback in the handwells.  I casted off the starboard side and watched the current push my bait behind the boat.  It wasn’t more than a count of 5 before I could tell I was getting some love.  I waited to let him eat the mack.  FRESH!

Things worked out well since I was on the side away from the bulk of the anglers bunched up on the stern.  There were only a couple anglers to my left.  I worked my way up the side and had them go under me.  I was by myself free of any tangle potential.  Derek came to check on me, but I told him I was fine.  He left me to deal with some other hookups.  A few minutes later, I called for a gaff and the fish was on the boat.  I didn’t notice it at the time, but Fred saw what I was doing and followed suit.  He was fortunate too and scored a tail himself on the port side.  Good work Fred!

It was a nice way to end a challenging day.  Final count: 9 Yellowtail, 1 Sheephead (woo!), 10 Whitefish, 35 Rockfish, and 10 Sculpin for 52 anglers.  It happens.  I was fortunate to convert the couple opportunities I got.  More importantly, it was good to reconnect with the crew and hang with friends on the water.  That’s what it’s all about.  Try to remember that people.  Thanks to Capt. Couch and the crew of Spitfire Sportfishing for a good day on the water.  Tight lines!

RELATED POST: 3 Rigs For the LA Yellowtail Bite (BD Outdoors)

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