I desperately needed to fish this weekend.  Well, let me put a finer point on that statement…I desperately needed to get salty.  After consecutive weekends of freshwater fishing (got skunked both times), I was definitely feeling the effects of dangerously low saline levels!  That said, my plan going into the weekend was to stay close to home and fish the Spitfire out of MDR on Saturday morning.  I’d be done by 3:30 or so and home in time to watch my football game.  Perfect!

IMG_1399The best laid plans…

I come to find out Friday afternoon that the Spitfire is out of the water until probably the following Friday (Oct 11).  Well crap.  I could go half day out of MDR instead, but I didn’t think a halfie was gonna cut it.  Hmmm.  I texted Capt. Andy Siratt of the Enterprise…”u goin out tomorrow?  yes.  checked resos, u only hv 5.  we’ll go, come on down.”  OK then, fishing day saved.

Saturday morning I get to the landing around 5:30 for the boat’s 6am departure.  As Randy Newman once said, “Santa Ana winds blowin hot from the north…”  We weren’t going to ride.  I love LA 🙁  Andy apologized profusely, but the wind was 20-25 knots in the channel and it wasn’t supposed to die down until 1 or 2 in the afternoon.  So much for that idea.

My buddy Mike Abenoja of USA Sportfishing was going out Saturday night on the Native Sun twilight trip.  I hit him up.  “Gimme a weather report down there bro.  Glass….no wind.”  I decided I’d give it another try Sunday morning.

Salty Sunday


One of the oil rigs with the Malibu coastline behind it

Well I guess the previous day’s weather scared a lot of people away.  Only 13 on the boat!  Andy has Sundays off, so his relief captain Mike Reed was at the helm.  Alex and Sean (aka Smoky) were on deck, and David and Sheila were behind the counter in the galley.  We loaded some pinner choves at the bait receiver and headed northwest.  Long drive!  We ended up west of Santa Monica Bay near some oil rigs in deeper water (had to be close to 300).  There were some private boaters in the same spot and we were soon joined by the Native Sun and even the Patriot (out of Newport Landing!) in the same general area.  I was excited when we first stopped as I had never been out in this area before.  Unfortunately, it didn’t prove to be very successful.  Just a lot of square spots, half bands, chilis…smaller species rockfish if you were up off the bottom.  Square spots are good eating, but typically small, so I kept a couple then tried to work the bottom in hopes of something bigger.  This tactic only got me sand dabs.  We made a series of small moves throughout the morning, but it was only more of the same.  While this was going on, pinhead Dylan was tasked with jigging up some live squid, but even live squid wasn’t gaining us any traction.

After lunch, we made a longer move and at first it was the same story.  As the afternoon wore on though, things started to heat up (relatively speaking) as some nice sized reds and salmon grouper (1-3 lbs?) joined the party.  Lighter line (15 and 20), thin gauge circle hooks, and the biggest chovy you could find in the hand wells was the combination for success.  One angler found success with a live squid on the bottom to get a larger pinky sheephead and took jackpot with it (#thatdamnfish)

I’m not going to oversell the trip.  It was average fall rockfishing.  If you want to get in some bigger rockfish, get up to the Channel Islands.  If you want exotics, the 3/4 SD boats are getting into some quality yellows at the Coronados and there is still decent action offshore in the day plus range down south (check my Eclipse link in the upper right corner.  They added some trips to take advantage this month!) and also the outerbanks (Cortes and Tanner).  For an easy, local trip trip though, it gave me what I was looking for.  Thanks to the crew of the Enterprise for a nice day on the water.  Tight lines!





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