IMG_1190

           Capt. Adam Williams

Well the 2nd Annual So Cal Salty Kickoff trip aboard Eclipse Sportfishing is in the books.

Like last year, I was on pins and needles over the weather.  Weather would be a factor on our trip this year, but we managed to fit in a good sesh.  Here’s how it went down.

We departed from Seaforth Landing around 5:30pm on Friday, January 22nd.  The boat was already loaded with very prime fin bait.  If only we could’ve had this bait in the Summer!  Three to four inch ‘chove, 5-6″ ‘dines, a few 6-8″ macks in the mix…it was great bait.  That said, when Capt. Adam Williams gave his trip briefing, he said the yellowtail were responding best to the heavy jig.  Adam introduced the crew…”Billy” running 2nd and working deck, Ryan & Tyler on deck, and Jason with chef trainee Greg in the galley.

Adam recommended going with 50 or even 60 for the heavy jigs.  These fish were holding deep, so it didn’t matter.  He said we’d start the morning targeting yellows and get on them hard before the weather set in.  Then the plan was to head north a bit, do whatever rockfishing we could do and then haul a$$ home.  After the briefing, Adam introduced me and I introduced Scott Critch, West Coast rep for our trip sponsor – Jimyjigs USA.

IMG_1212

Rudo 300g in Firetiger SuperGlow

Scott did a quick demo in the galley.  In stark contrast to Marc Mills’ Shimano jigs demonstration last year, Scott seemed less rigid in how he demonstrated the technique.  Scott talked about how the goal was to imitate a fleeing bait fish, so the movements were random.  From the angler perspective, you could kind of freestyle it.  For whatever reason, it connected with me.  When he was done, I rigged one of my jig setups with the Jimyjigs Rudo, 300 gram size, in the Firetiger SuperGlow pattern.

Speaking of glow, out of the package these jigs had a sick glow.  No need to “charge” them under the lights.  I was excited to fish these jigs, but I rigged my trusty Salas 7x heavy in mint/white on my second jig setup…just in case.

 

 

IMG_1282The next morning, I woke up to the smell of bacon.  Chef Jason and Greg already had the galley fired up and were preparing breakfast.  The ride down had been pleasant, and I got a good night’s sleep.  We were going to need it.  It wasn’t long before we settled into the first drift of the day.  It produced 1 fish.  I was concerned.  I didn’t need to be.  Second drift…”They bite!”  Utter mayhem!  For the next 3.5 to 4 hours, we were on them good.  The confidence I placed in my jig selection was well founded.  I got bit and stayed bit, putting 4 fish onboard in quick succession.  One of them was a slug that eventually took jackpot.  My first setup needed a re-tie, so I grabbed my backup with my go to, mint/white 7x.  For sh*ts and giggles, I fished the Salas the same way I was fishing the Jimyjig.  It worked and I got 2 more.  It wasn’t even 10am and I was overlimit and spent.  Now was a good time to put down the rod and pull out the GoPro…

That was sick!!!

IMG_1271At that point, Adam was still encouraging people to go hard on the yellows, as the boat was still a couple dozen fish short of limits.  Being the contrarian that I am (plus the fact my arms were ready to fall off), I switched up to my dropper loop setup and plied the bottom looking for lingcod.  I picked up one barely legal and another that was a decent, maybe 8 lb-er, and oh 2 more yellows.  The second yellow was a slug and hurt me.  We did one more drift before Capt. Adam decided it was time to bail.  We started to make our way toward home and we sat down in the galley for another great meal served by Chef Jason – grilled cheese on sourdough with heirloom tomatoes and mushrooms, paired with a tasty tomato bisque soup.  The soup was a great call given the weather.

bigling_michaelspencerAfter eating, I re-tied my dropper setup, rigging up a trap rig that I tied specifically to fish the 12-16″ octopus that my buddy Cody Reynolds was able to find at his Asian market.  The current had kicked up, so I went with the heaviest sinker I brought – 20oz.  Testing to see how my setup looked in the water, I was pleased to see how the octopus undulated enticingly in the current.  If there was a big mama ling around, I was sure I was going to get it.  There was, but I wasn’t the lucky one to reel it in.  That honor was won by angler Michael Spencer who scored this 20+ fish.

Meanwhile, after losing my 20, and another 16, I jerry rigged my last 16 onto the bottom of a 12 oz torpedo with a split ring for 28 oz. total.  I still couldn’t hold bottom.  Frustrated, I put my gear away and got out the GoPro again.  Just in time to capture – Timmy’s Struggle

 

 

jimyjigslogoThat was pretty much the trip.  My only wish was that the weather would have cooperated more and we had gotten a better chance at the bottom-feeders.  It was fine though.  It was another great trip.  Thanks as always to Capt. Adam for putting us on the fish.  The crew of the Eclipse was at it’s typical high standard of service.  Thanks also to our trip sponsor – Jimyjigs USA.  I can’t say enough about these jigs.  I’ll just simply say they worked and it was a blast to learn how to fish them.  Thanks to their rep, Scott Critch for coming out and showing us how to do it.  Finally, a huge shoutout to all the Salties who came out and made this trip another memorable one.  It was a great way to kickoff the 2016 fishing season.  See you next year!

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

 

 

Tags: , , , , , , ,