The "landing" for the Redondo Special

Tried a new boat today, the Redondo Special out of King Harbor in Redondo Beach.  Coming down here had been in the back of my mind for awhile.  I had read in Western Outdoor News late last year that the landing had gone out of business, but that the individual boat owners/captains were still operating there independently (if you call the number on the site, you get each skipper’s personal phone number).  Then last month, there was the massive bait fish kill in the harbor.  So given this information, and the fact that I was kind of set with good fishing options, I hadn’t made time to come down.

Recently though, I happened to chat with another angler while fishing MDR and he mentioned he liked the boats down here.  In my quest to experience all that Southern California sportfishing has to offer, I decided to give it a run today.

Capt. Eric in his wheelhouse

The Redondo Special runs daily half day trips at 7:30 and 1pm.  The boat owner and skipper is Capt. Eric Hobday.  His number is 310-896-6753.  Eric picks it up.  We were in the middle of a bite and he had a fish on next to me and was talking on the phone at the same time at one point!  Deckhands Mark and Johnny rounded out the crew.

We started off the day with a drift over Big Reef in about 200 feet of water.  During this drop, one decent red snapper and a lot of small starry rockfish.  The water was kind of choppy and the current was pretty strong.  Started out with 8 oz, went up to 10 and eventually settled in at 12 oz.  After that initial red, not a lot of action so we moved spots.  Tried anchoring up at a few places and the bite continued to be scratchy.  Toward the latter part of the trip though, we settled into a spot just off Palos Verdes and ran into a really nice bite.  Several decent reds, some chuckleheads, some bocaccio (aka salmon grouper) and lots of starry rockfish.

Cornucopia of rockfish

I seemed to be doing better than average, consistently getting bit, and picking off some decent size rockfish.  Then a really bad thing happened.  I was fishing off the starboard stern and got bit hard.  I was using a new Phenix rod that I had picked up 2 weeks ago when I picked up Jake’s birthday rod from John.  I paired the Phenix with my Torium 16 that has 30 lb spectra, and I tied on some 25# mono (rockfish are dumb, no need to waste the fluoro).  Liked the rod, not crazy about the combo, but it worked fine.  That is until I got this big bite.  Got the fish to the corner of the boat, a beautiful red, when the knot (uni to uni) between the spectra and the mono failed 🙁  I’ve been meaning to learn the Albright knot, but haven’t.  I paid for it today.  The spectra just tore through the mono.  To make things worse, usually if you lose a rockfish at the boat, no big deal, they can’t swim back down because their air bladder is full.  Just gaff them.  But because the knot failed, the torpedo sinker at the bottom of the rig pulled him back home (nice meal for a ling or shark).  Major bummer.

Oh well, lesson learned.  It was an overall nice day.  The crew was friendly and helpful.  Capt. Eric put us on fish.  All 10 anglers got a limit of 10 rocks to take home and the crew had their share as well.  Big fish was a 2-3 lb bocaccio.  Good day on the water.

I’ll be back to redeem myself…both here in Redondo later this year, but also hopefully Sunday when I’ll be back on the Daily Double in San Diego.

Mark and Johnny at the filet table

Consolation prize, thanks for playing. A 1lb 2oz chucklehead.


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