DSCF0191November yellowtail…in the context of this season, it doesn’t seem so strange, but looking back on years past we’re clearly enjoying a special year.  Honestly, I’m ready to make the switchover to rockfishing, but how can you not go catch local yellows?  I certainly can’t, so I found myself riding the Enterprise on Friday chasing yellowtail.  Last time on the boat was epic and I looked forward to another good trip.  It would turn out to be a different day.

I drove a different way in to the landing and ended up getting there really early.  I was a little surprised as people kept showing up and we ended up going out with 36 anglers.  Not a huge load, but a lot more than I expected on a weekday.  I was happy to see the regular crew though…Capt. Andy Siratt, Big Dave in the galley, Jeff and Matt working deck.

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Bait Wrap scrambled egg yoyo

Same gameplan as last time, make mackerel, pickup sardines and be ready to fish the heavy string (40 or even 50).  Talking to Dave in the galley, he said to also have a yoyo iron ready as well.  I asked him what color and he said scrambled egg.  I took him very literally, rigging up my Bait Wraps scrambled egg on one of my 40 setups (Seeker 6470/Accurate 665).  I rigged a 40 flyline rig with a 4/0 circle for the macks (Teramar 90H/Tranx 500PG).  On my light stick (Teramar 711MH/Calcutta 400D), I rigged a double dropper on 25 with shiny size 6 hooks and a glow bead to make mackerel.

We rolled up to the bait receiver.  While the crew loaded sardines, the anglers proceeded to try and make mackerel.  As opposed to last time out, it wasn’t easy.  If you went low, it was wide open croaker.  Higher up where the macks were, you were fighting the cormorants to get your fish in the boat.  I was just being lazy using the existing 25 on my light setup to tie my double dropper.  It proved to be useful against the birds.  Still, it was slow, and we had to make another stop outside the harbor to get our mackerel

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From there it was a quick ride out to the Horseshoe and we started looking.  It wasn’t long before we stopped on a sonar school for the first drift of the day.  I started the day fishing bait.  It wasn’t long before a couple anglers got bit.  One of them converted their opportunity…setting a pattern that ended up being repeated throughout the day.  The school didn’t hang around and we were on the move again.

Notice the hook and sliding sinker hanging off my yoyo

Notice the hook and sliding sinker hanging off my yoyo

Second stop, same deal…more guys got bit, some won some lost.  I didn’t get bit again.  The fish were holding deeper and weren’t hanging around, so I decided to switch up to the yoyo.  I figured if I could get down quickly when we first got on a school, I might up my chances for a bite.  It proved to be a good decision.  Third stop of the day, I was on the port bow as we slid on top of the school.  I casted ahead of the boat and then followed my line down the rail.  I hit bottom as I got to the end of the house and started reeling fast.  Fresh one!  The Seeker 6470/Accurate 665 combo is one of my heavier rigs and I was a little shocked to see how much the fish bent it.  I followed it down the rail, and across the back of the stern.  It was a little frustrating the lack of situational awareness of some of the other anglers.  Jeff and I are yelling “Hot rail!”  I’m doing the over/under thing, and still people are dropping in on top of my line.  Oh well, it is what it is.  Thankfully, I was properly geared and it wasn’t a long fight.  I got the fish to color at the opposite corner and Jeff stuck it.

We had a couple more decent stops for the morning and then a long lull over the middle of the day.  I switched up and retied a long dropper on my bait setup.  I figured if I didn’t get bit by the right kind, I might get lucky and hookup a ling or other bottom dweller.  No luck.

Finally, toward the end of the trip we got on some schools that wanted to bite.  Same pattern as the morning.  Get a few bites on a stop, but only about half the fish ended up onboard.  I could tell Andy was getting frustrated with the talent level.  At one point, a guy fishing next to me on the stern got bit and I watched in horror as he held the rod with both hands…deer in the headlights watching the spool dump out.  “Turn the handle!”  By the time he gets with the program, the line is pulling out even faster at a bad angle.  Nice score for a sea lion.

That was pretty much the day.  We ended up with 18 for 36 with 20 or so bones and a few bass to round out the count.  The count should have been better though.  I noticed they went 41 for 20 on Saturday…probably a better group onboard.  Thanks to Andy and the crew for making the best of it.  I was happy to get my one.  The boat is now running Wednesday to Sunday.  I can’t see this going on forever.  Get out while they’re still around.

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