Whew!  Made it on the boat

Whew! Made it on the boat

The kids and I had a great time the last time we rode this boat.  My buddy Gary Hanson was visiting from Alabama where he’s the king of his local lake.  We got him salty and had a good outing fishing the gap between Anacapa and Santa Cruz islands.  It had been awhile since we went on that trip and we’d been trying to schedule another ride for several weeks now.  I had a hard time getting the kids going in the morning, but we managed to make it to the landing at 7:55…just in time for the 8am departure for the extended halfie (8am to 4pm).

Capt. Jordan Richard was driving the boat.  Chris and Rene took care of us on deck and Hayden was manning the grill.  Like Santa Monica Bay, fin bait has been hard to come by up here, so we left the dock with only frozen squid.  There were 40 anglers onboard, including Jacob, Juliana and myself.  Jordan said that Anacapa and Santa Cruz (the 2 closest islands that are within trip range) hadn’t been kicking out the fish lately, so we’d be heading south down the beach.  On the way out, we had a brief whale siting, and ran into a huge pod of dolphins.

Juj before she gave up on the day

Juj before she gave up on the day

A little over an hour out of the harbor we started fishing.  We anchored up in fairly deep water…easily over 200 feet.  Fish started coming over quickly.  Anglers were having success fishing the standard double dropper and strips of squid.  The target zone was 20-40 cranks up off the bottom.  The fish were mostly a mix of starries, rosies, chili peppers, bank perch and bocaccio.  There were a couple reds and chuckies mixed in.

Juj doesn’t enjoy fishing deep water and heavy weight, so she quickly lost interest and decided to just watch.  I told Jake before going out that I just wanted to target lings.  I caught a legal size one in January, but none since the opener.  Jake’s only ever caught a short, so he was down with the idea.  I set him up on a rig that one of my deckhand buddies tipped me on.  It’s designed to catch a small rockfish that then becomes ling bait.  It was easy enough for Jake to accomplish Step 1, but no bites for Step 2 🙁

Gitzem leadhead with a big slug

Gitzem leadhead with a big slug

On the move, I rigged up a white Gitzem 10 oz. leadhead, with a big MC Swimbaits slug.  Since we were anchored up again, I tried to cast and drag.  It was the first time I’d used that setup and it had some really nice action from what I could see when it was just below the surface, but again, no takers.

After just a couple stops, the boat was already full of rockfish.  Jordan decided to make a run closer to the beach in a spot that normally kicks out a ling or two.  Jake and I both switched up to lighter jigs with a strip of squid about a foot up from the jig.  Jake scored a nice red in that spot before Jordan pulled the plug on the day and headed for home.

Over the course of the day, Jake and I had only put a couple starries and his last red in the bag.  We found out though that the crew had evened out all the bags and we were left with a bunch of smaller fish.  The rest of the anglers had some decent fish though and everyone went home with a nice bag of fish.  Despite the lack of ling cod (just one short for the boat), it was an enjoyable day on the water.  The sun came out toward the end of the day, and I managed to get a cool video of the dolphin escort we had on the way down.  Tight lines!

VIDEO: Dolphins On The Bow

 

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