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Fishing Diary  

2007

November 2 - 8

To celebrate my "49er" birthday I headed down to Baja with my husband, Jeff, and some friends. Jeff & I had a head start to our adventure by flying down a few days early and staying at Rancho Leonero to kick back and relax. I love staying at "The Ranch" as it's lovingly referred to.

We joined up with the rest of the group in Los Barriles, and drove up to La Paz, and settled in with my friend, Jonathan Roldan who owns Tailhunter International. It's always a pleasure fishing with Jonathan and this trip was no exception. We paired up in pangas for three days of fishing that included dorado, yellowfin tuna and wahoo!

I could give a more detailed account of the trip but this was a special group and "What happens in Baja, stays in Baja."

September 28 - October 9

Well I'm going to burn the midnight oil and crank this baby out since my cohorts (A bunch of Full Speed Fishing peeps) are as follows:

Henry is hammered (as of a recent PM anyway)... and John and Pence are probably still recovering from a trip to Tijuana (something about a donkey show?)... So here goes.

Henry rolled up to my place for the drive down September 27th. It was smooth sailing until we got into LA traffic on interstate 5… smoke starts wafting from the vans' driver’s side front wheel. The brake caliper is locking up and we’re at the edge of Pico Rivera and Downey and it’s closing time at the tire store we limp into. We attempt to throw money at them but it doesn’t work so we head across the street where a really cool mechanic bleeds the brake and presto we’re back in action. We have to stuff $25 in his hand. Don't you just love Ford, especially when they go over 100,000 miles. NOT! Give me a MOPAR any day of the week.

.After playing phone tag with Pence and John we all team up at the Captain’s Quarters near Fishermen's Landing, where I hand Pence a T-shirt I picked out while killing time at a mall earlier in the week. The T-shirt reads, "Dip me in beer and throw me to the drunk chicks." I slam an Irish car bomb with the boys before we head off to find our rooms. I THOUGHT I had a reservation at the Travel Lodge but after some drama trying to figure out where they were and why I couldn’t be found in the ‘puter, Henry suggests we just head to Denny’s and then on to the Dolphin Motel before I have a complete meltdown. (This winds up better since they have twin beds and he doesn’t have to sleep on the floor like he would have at the TL.)

The morning of the 28th we’re aboard the Royal Polaris all ready to go for our 11 day adventure and we start the trip at approx. 12:30 pm. Our captain is Billy Santiago and we have Dharyl, Jesus, Raphael and Brook as crew with Jim and Mark in the galley. Pence and John get “lucky” number 13 to bunk in while "Mr. Hat" (it's a Full Speed thing...) and I wind up with room 6. Henry is a sport and takes the top bunk. There is an essence in the hallway that will haunt us for a couple of days but the crew finds the problem and fixes it before we have to resort to stealing Pence’s Febreze (Henry eventually does steal it later in the trip.) We steam for Alijos Rocks for the next day and a half.

En route we stop briefly to hit some action here and there… I put my first yellowfin in the deep freeze and give the galley a yellowtail I pop up. I also get a Pagina (sp?) and a sculpin. Pence and three others score killer snowy grouper.

On October 1st, on the anchor at Alijos Rocks, I land my second yellowfin tuna (and release a small one) and 9 dorado in a wide open bite. I take pity on Pence and staple one of his tags on a dodo. At the end of the day we leave the rocks for Magdalena Bay to make bait; mackerel.

October 2nd at 1:30 in the morning we wake up and work on filling the baitwells for about 3 hours before skippy gives us the reprieve. The macks were NOT WFO so we will have to make good use of what we have for now.

Later that day we proceed with the run & gun for tuna on Flathead Bank since a tropical storm is heading straight for Alijos. I score a fish I estimate at 70 pounds (I was close; he weighed 71 at the dock.) This feels nice since I had a 50 pounder pull the hook just out of gaff range prior to this fish. Veteran RP customer Chris Petersen has took me under his wing when he saw that happen and he loaned me a 60 pound outfit to nail the bigger fish.

I wander onto the deck that night after dinner to see what’s going on as we drift in beautiful flat calm conditions, and I see Pence has started to toss Humboldt squid onto the deck. They are big and they are pissed. I haul one up with the hand line and learn you can write your name on them. (Learn something new every day, lol!) It’s a little surreal as others follow up to the surface and try to grab flying fish.

We’ve slowly been working through the kite rotation which started with number 28 (my number is 17) and I’m starting to think that October 3rd might just be the day I get a shot at it. I have a Penn 70VS loaded with brand new Jerry Brown and a top shot of 200# and three kite leaders all ready; squid, sardine, flyer. I box 2 YFT around 50-60 pounds each as we pluck away on the tuna. During a brief visit to my room I encounter the “spider prank”. Pence has tied serious monofilament to everything in the room. That night we run to Potato Bank to make bait but it fails to produce so we get to go to bed, but not before I screen the movie American Beauty.

By October 4th I’m really getting cozy with my Torium 30 (the one I won at a FSF lunch from Alan) which I have 65 Power Pro and a 65 top shot on. I put a 30 pound yellowfin in the boat and then put the hammer on a really nice fish! John is also on one and we tango as our fish pass each other. Another passenger heads my way and the dude’s got a fish on mono. Rather than saw him off I put the reel in free spool and thumb my fish until we’re free of each other. John and he both land their fish but mine pulls the hook just (you guessed it) short of the gaff. Rafael puts the bastard at approx. 70-80. I am not as bummed as I thought I would be. He fought well and earned his freedom. Mono dude is in good spirits and buys me a beer after it’s explained how I helped him keep his fish. Ordinarily I don’t drink canned beer but a stash of Negro Modelo has made its way to the beer cooler so I indulge. I also get talked into shot-gunning a beer after John makes a red cup shotgun.) That night we hit Mag Bay again and the macks are practically leaping into the boat. I hook up my thumb and the phrase “don’t cut the rig” soon becomes my new mantra. I also hook my neighbor at the rail through his T-shirt and John pipes up “Bev caught herself a man.”

On October 5th we’re trolling the ridge for wahoo and our team (number 4) gets its first rotation. Remember the Spiderman trick Pence pulled? Well it’s payback time. Pence is everywhere on the vessel EXCEPT tending his troll rod. We tied the massive monofilament “bird” that we saved from his "spider prank" to his reel and I stuffed a sardine way down in it for good measure. Chris observes our work and comes up with the piece de resistance; he cuts the head off a rotten squid and applies a rod butt “condom.” We then have the galley page “McLovin" (AKA for Pence.) It’s a slow day and I mange to eak out a football that I actually make Dharyl gaff instead of bouncing into the stern.

October 6th finds us in the San Pablo region and I spank a lot of yellowtail. Along the way I also release a small dodo and give Jesus some whitefish. A huge (close to 300 pound) black seabass is caught and stuffed into the fresh well (almost need a shoehorn here) after it fails a release attempt.

By the 7th we are whomping big yellows at Cedros and I pin down two really nice ones on my Tiburon 8 reel. I’m so excited during one pass that I forget to nose hook the mack and I stare in horror as a beautiful butt-hooked mack sails over the stern and we’re still not stopping. I thumb it as best as I can and pray I don’t run out of line and pop off the mack or get hit and spooled. Finally I’m down to the last 30 feet or so of backing and we stop. I wind about 50 feet on before I get slammed. It’s another toad. In the end I win. Sweet. I take a break, tie on a swimbait and pitch towards the shore where I fight and release a couple of fine calicos.

October 8th is rockfish day and we hit it for awhile. I rig a dolphin for bait. (When I say dolphin, it's a 4-inch soft plastic toy that I stumbled across.) I keep a few vermilions and start to break my gear down. The weather is awesome for the final 200 miles to get back to San Diego and I am anticipating an awesome prime rib dinner. I am not disappointed!

Henry – Thanks for not snoring too loud and the YT handoff was cool (I'd have had him too if the top shot hadn't poofed.)

John – Thanks for keeping us abreast of Pence’s antics and nice job on the boot labeling. I guess it’s time to come clean and let him know I was the culprit. (I cut a VERY ripe banana in half and lined Pence's boots.) You also made me a great Red Cup Navy shotgun.

Pence – Thanks for the great entertainment. I would have never thought about hand lining squid while on a long range trip. Pence also made sure I was covered on the really Good fish; bonito, miniscule rockfish, a mack and a trophy lizardfish.

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September 9

I Fished Harold's boat again with Henry along this time. Great jackass combo! We pulled away from the launch ramp at Pillar Point Harbor at 5 in the morning. Henry is into the Oreo's before we even pass through the jetty.

Harold and I let Henry make the call on what to run on the trolling gear to start off. He rigs two of his spreaders bars (one tuti-frooti pink and one lemon lime) and settles on my Jerry Garcias to complete the set. Speaking of completing the set... The Jerry Garcias would have made a great pair of earrings to go with my Elvis surgical scrubs. Anyway we started at 10 & 10 (along with half the free world...) and we have three rods in the quiver, at the ready, all sporting Storm sardines.

Had our first double at 7:25, both on "Jerrys" and Harold's fish comes off right at the boat. Dang! Henry drops in an 18 pounder. WE'RE BACK! By 8:00 we have 5 nice albacore in the box and they've been hitting in pairs.

By 9:00 Jerry Garcia is hitting the skids so we swap out for stuff leaning towards Mexican Flag and variations thereof. The water temperature is holding at a steady 61.0 and with so many boats around we decide to make a move. We're hungry now too, so out comes some string cheese and "Slim Jim" style duck. Henry cracks open a Moosehead and offers me one as well. Brownie bites appear next to the Oreo's... No shortage of chocolate today.

We shake up the gear a bit and even toss a purple/black cedar plug back just to see if that's what the fish are looking for, but we get no takers. We have also turned around and returned to the first murder scene since reports of hook ups elsewhere are sketchy at best. Conditions are awesome again today with a nice calm ocean and it's sunny.

We decide to toss the Jerrys back out and 15 minutes later we get another double. These guys are both 15 pounds and they join the others in the box. As we wait for the next strike, Harold and I plow into our sandwiches; smoked albacore salad on sourdough. This time I choose a Yellowtail pale ale to wash it down.

Shortly after noon we get another double and one is a peanut, but the fish count is now up to 10. Henry decides to shake it up a lot with a lure he calls "Liberace", and we drop back a petrolero too, however the next lure hit is a Jerry Garcia. Henry had to park the beer he was just in the process of opening in order to land the 16 pound albie. That one barely gets stowed and we're nailed again by a fish that's looking to be one of "Jerry's" kids.

At about 1:30 we finally get a triple as the music of the Babys fills the air. It's time for the chicken dance! We all start pumping on a fish and as they get to the boat we take turns gaffing and whacking them. The guys humored me until about 4:00 at which time even I decided we should bag it for the day and run in.

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August 29

Harold Lawrence (Seahare) and I made a pre-dawn departure from Pillar Point Harbor and cut through the fog towards the Guide Seamount. It’s always nice to find someone who can hang all day long and since he had been up working on the boat until midnight, I had immediate respect for Harold’s never-give-up attitude. As visibility increased we picked up speed over the barely discernable swell which continued to flatten to pond-like conditions. We monitored the water temperature on the Grady White’s dash while enjoying some friendly banter and took a few pictures of my “Elvis” theme surgical scrubs. The famous pink boots topped off my killer attire.

When the gauge hit 58.0 I had the rods ready and Harold had given me the thumbs up for our first choice of color to run in the spread. Four rods, including a couple of Sabre Strokers I had brought, had small blue/silver clones and the two longest lines out sported larger chrome heads in blue/green shades. At 59 and change we armed the battle stations and loaded the CD player with rock N roll.

Bang! An albacore around 8 pounds slams the long line on the starboard side. Screw the ladies first crap, I insist Harold go for it. He brings it to the vessel where I plant the gaff and flick it in. Ladies and gentlemen the skunk has left the building…

A treat is now in order and I searched for the Reese’s peanut butter cups (also “Elvis” themed) and discover that there is banana crème in the standard peanut butter & chocolate confection. Whoa! We ate them and I vowed to wear reading glasses next time when choosing snacks in the wee hours of a 7-11. Half a package of Reese’s isn’t going to cut it for breakfast though, so I pop the top on a can of milk chocolate Slimfast. Harold is in awe of this combination, (which really doesn’t make sense as it defeats the purpose of which it was invented) so I explain that it’s my version of a quick hassle-free meal.

Next we pump the stomach of the fish and out come a dozen microscopic squid. We decide to change the colors in the spread to petrolero (squid). I just happen to have a small 3” vinyl/feather, chrome headed set of these in my tuna arsenal. We redeploy and are rewarded with a double shortly after. The deck is getting bloody now! The size of these two fish are bigger; about 15 pounds each. One of their stomachs revealed little 1/3” fish and the other had krill. Most of the fish had empty tummies. After we boxed the new additions, another reel starts screaming. I grab the rod and get some serious “bendo” going. The fish makes some scorching runs before I bring him in for Harold to swing on. This bad boy is what we were looking for; 30 pounds. Sweet!

We took turns at the wheel and sifted through the food. I had not been able to find the longhorn cheese I brought, so I grabbed some potato chips and opened a Henry Wienhard’s black cherry cream soda (which is to die for) and take a break. I see a lone whale off in the distance and notice the water is still getting warmer. We are now 63 degree breaks and it’s starting to climb even more. (Before the day is over we’d see 64.5 degrees and hear of a yellowtail being caught.) With the sun becoming more prevalent, we slap on the sunscreen. We also try to mix it up a bit in the spread by tossing out a few Jerry Garcia’s, and a pearl Mylure, but we get no takers.

Over the next few hours things slow to a steady pick of singles and doubles. The fish do not feel like hanging out at the surface and going nuts. We have time to chatter, whip through a sandwich and open a bag of peanut M&M's that are light and dark pink (made to raise money for the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation.) Harold has also located the “missing” cheese for me so I open it up too.

Our final color choice of the day is a batch of saury colored feather jigs that I had Ballyhood make for me a few years ago. The game is on again as Harold brings in a 20 pound fish. I start to fight a fish that is running like a bat out of hell. And for good reason, he’s being chased by a 4 foot blue shark! It’s so calm, and the water is so clear, that we can witness the chase going on 50 feet below. I manage to get the fish up unscathed and I give the shark the Full Speed Fishing salute.

We decided to put one more rod out in the center with a Storm sardine. With seven rods working we had started to take on the appearance of a “Tred Barta porcupine.” I throttled back on the next strike and as Harold went to pump on that fish I saw the sardine get snapped up. I had my Pro Gear Albacore Special on a Seeker rod and it was a blast to finally get a fish on lighter tackle.

I’m on another fish and I look down in the water and see another blue dog giving chase. It careens and spins all over but fails to nail the albie. Bev 2, sharks 0! This shark then moseys up to the side still looking for the tuna, so Harold gets out some anchovy tray bait and I start tossing them out. In no time at all I’m practically hand feeding him and I grab his dorsal fin which he’s fine with. I then grab his tail and he turns to snap at me. We play with him for about 15 minutes before he leaves. We hit a few more to round out at an even ten in the fish box. Only one hook up had been lost to a shark or tuna with big sharp teeth.

Reports of tuna biting on the inside prompted us to move in. We saw a juvenile male killer whale as we headed east, and within a few more miles we thought we saw crashing tuna. We heeled the boat to the starboard side and ran up to check it out. Turns out they were a school of Pacific white-sided porpoise. They were displaying the characteristic signs of calling in other porpoise to feed; tail slapping and breaching. We tossed the swimbaits down anyway as the more curious of the porpoise came within mere feet to check us out. A few even went so far as to jump several times 15 feet off the stern. You couldn’t get this kind of show if you paid big money to go to Sea World!

As we moved off we saw porpoise racing in from all directions. The day was winding down and we could see the fog bank in the distance. We pulled the boat out at around 8:30 and I was home by 11:30 with 5 nice albies iced and ready for canning, smoking and freezing.

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August 26

The Queen of Hearts hosted the first "Ultimate Mini Rod Challenge" so I grabbed my trusty Emmrod and hopped aboard. Great weather, nice people, and good fishing made for one awesome day of rockfishing.

Up near the bow I started getting quality fish right away and on 12 pound test (which everyone was using), it was a blast fighting with really light gear! A gopher started off my limit followed by a big grass rockfish, and then a colorful China joined the sack. Next I released a small olive, but was rewarded with a huge bolina soon after. A big blue made the hit list and a few more gophers which I released too.

I couldn't get a lingcod to hang long enough although I did get some nice bites, however I hit pay dirt with a very decent cabezone. I topped off my bag with a few more bolinas and gophers.

Top honors went to a couple of nice lingcod this time, but watch out... Capt. Bob will be scheduling more of these fun tournaments soon.

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August 22

Things were slow at work so I took a day off to go out on the Queen of Hearts.

No wind today, however there were considerable swells on the inside, so we tried Deep Reef and managed nice limits of rockfish with most anglers getting at least one or two large vermilions. I released five olives and took some bolinas, gophers and a blue to top off my pair of nice reds.

The guy next to me on the bow also produced a rare catch to win the jackpot; a thirteen pound wolf eel!

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August 5

I hooked up with a few of my fellow coffee drinkers from Blvd Coffee today. Our group represented about half of the limited load out on the Queen of Hearts. Capt. Bob was refreshed from a recent trip on the Royal Polaris were he got to fish for a change, and of course we had the best deckhand, Heather, with us. (Thanks Bob for bringing fresh yellowtail for everyone to sample while we fished.)

Our weather was awesome, however we did have to contend with some residual big swells for the first few drifts. The further south Bob took us the smoother it got and the fishing started to pick up too. Rockfish hit iron, plastics, shrimp flies and seemed to like a little squid here and there.

I released a few small blue rockfish to start but had my sights set on a lingcod. I did see some huge vermilions landed around the boat and the gophers were toads today. Chinas, blacks, bolinas, yellow and blacks, comprised most of the rockfish species taken. We did get a few seatrout, cabezone, and three lingcod... nope, none for me today. On the final drift I did get an 18 pound halibut to jump on a small diamond jig made by my friend Harry Boos.

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July 13 - 14

Loreto's largest annual fishing tournament, Torneo de las Misiones (Fishin For The Mission), was a huge success this year and I was happy to be a part of it. I entered with an all-girl crew aboard Bella. Loreto resident, Karen Brown, was our hostess and captain. Cheryl, who I flew in with, was nicknamed our galley slave. Jutta , (another local), came aboard for this adventure. I rounded off the team by reprising my role as winch wench in charge of anchoring duty.

On the afternoon of the 12th we attended the official sign up meeting at James Duggin's home in Loreto. Over 80 boats were signed up and the Tecate, Corona and Pacifico beer was flowing freely. (I paced myself since I had been out at Mike's bar rather late the night before.)

We boarded Bella which we had brought up from her mooring at Puerto Escondido and headed out to drop the hook in Puerto La Lancha at Isla Carmen, approximately 15 miles due east. Karen whipped up a nice dinner while I rigged a few lures. After the sun went down we brought out a night light and lit up the bay off the stern. Much to our delight, needlefish flocked to the area and kept us amused for hours. Jutta managed to net one for some quick pictures.

At dawn after breakfast (I had scored some coco crispies for day one) we pointed the boat northeast and started trolling. Water temperatures were colder than normal so we needed to cover some ground to get to find a more productive spot.

Two small dorado hit the spread but we released both and a third, and still small, dorado came unpinned shortly after hook up. A fourth dorado was seen racing through from the side but it failed to bite. Encountering a lull in the fishing we popped open a few cold ones and tossed some music into the CD player.

We plodded our way up to San Juanico stopping at a couple of reefs to try for bottom fish and I broke out some iron. One mystery fish grabbed a River2Sea Searock and pumped away. I had the bugger halfway up before it bit me off. Dang!

San Juanico's protected anchorage had a lone sailboat awaiting us, so we had plenty of room to drop our parking brake. Cheryl hit the water and Jutta and I shortly followed. Styrofoam "noodles" were supplied by Karen so we could float around and cool off while Karen put out a tasty cheese and cracker platter and broke out the pina coladas.

After dinner I pulled my sleeping cushion up to the bow to enjoy a wonderful breeze and have the best seat in the house for the star show. The constellation Scorpio was the center of the stage and the sounds of fish jumping all around the boat helped lull me to sleep.

On day two of the tournament we headed further north to Ildefonso, putting us about 45 miles north of Loreto. Our first stop on a reef near Punta Pulpito yielded a. popeye catalufa, that is normally a nocturnal fish. I enticed it up with a Searock jig. The fish taped out at 12 inches and are known to go to 13, so I had a moment to reflect on thinking of another IGFA record possibility... We wound up eating it. Jutta landed 2 nice size triggerfish and Cheryl managed to coax up a larger than average sculpin.... We ate them too.

While running back to Loreto, we assumed the troll positions again. I hooked up a booby that dove in after a pearl Mylure turbo troller jet. Cheryl grabbed the bird and I cut it free with minimal damage to it's wing.

Back in port we cleaned up and headed off to the awards dinner where we feasted on spectacular tri tip and fixings and washed it down with ice cold beer. Since the event benefits the mission we were seated in the open court adjacent to this historical church. After awards, raffles and auctions we were treated to a great local band that specialized in covering the musical needs of several eras of "gringo style" hits. I sweated my way through the first set before calling it a night.

Thanks to Karen and Don Brown who hosted Cheryl & I for our visit. While I was missing Puma I did make a new friend with Shadow their terrific dog. Also I attended the monthly ladies luncheon at Domingo's (formerly El Nido's) and met quite a few new gals over an awesome hamburger.

Thanks also to Kathy Gonzales, who whipped up a Fishin for the Mission Ladies’ Night at her bar, Stroker’s Reef. We ate, drank, ran the pool table for hours, and danced the night away.

And last but not least, thanks to Augie whose bar is the coldest bar I've ever been in aside from the Elbow Room in Dutch Harbor, AK. Hearing that it's a customary rite, Jutta and I passed through to cool off before the awards dinner.

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July 4

I recently returned to work after a nice seven year hiatus. Since this now hampers my fishing time I thought it best to enjoy the holiday out on the Queen of Hearts.

We worked a bit of a lumpy ocean for limits of rockfish which included a few lingcod and some very nice cabezone. It was nice to see a few regulars (Gene and Jay) as well as Capt. Bob and Heather.

There are a few spots open on Sunday, August 5. The gang from Blvd Coffee in Los Gatos is joining me for a day of spectacular rockfish action and who knows we might land a few halibut too. Contact me ASAP if you want to go... bev@bajabev.com

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June 23

Today I was part of the crew on the Panda Angler entered in the First Annual Full Speed Fishing Halibut Tournament of Champions. With Gary as our captain Richard, Mike and I filled out the rest of the team.

We left the slip at Coyote Point and headed to the receiver in San Francisco for bait. I tried briefly to see if there was any interest in fishing under the receiver. Normally it's not a bad idea. Reports of stripers in the area discouraged us though so we headed for Baker's Beach.

I jumped up on the bow to drift fish while the boys worked the stern. Nada! Our drift wasn't going so well either so we zoomed across the channel to Bonita Cove. Mike caught a "just under" leopard shark which we shot (with the camera) and then released. We took a stab at trolling here too.

Next we tried Angel Island for awhile to no avail. (The winning fish was caught here though!)

Towards the end of the afternoon we headed over to Berkeley Flats, the pier and the barges. We drifted there and decided to switch to trolling again.

Our discouraged crew headed into the marina at Oyster Point for the weigh-in and BBQ. It was great to see a bunch of friends and party even if we didn't get a halibut. Thanks to Tyrus and James I got hammered... tequila was involved (SHOTS!!!)

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June 16

I returned again to fish the Grady White Invitational out of Santa Cruz. Dave and Cheryl's son Kyle rounded off our team. Most of us were tired from jet lag or sleep deprivation and nap time was on everyone's agenda if the fishing was slow.

We started off at a spot known as Mulligan's. While we found bait and birds, we also found grass and kelp. According to the radio there were a lot of silvers being caught too. Too add to the drama we lost the use of the starboard downrigger, so I rigged up a rod with a salmon trolling weight to keep that side fishing.

Nearby Leo from MTM Sportfishing was running a six pack charter and his passengers were whooping big salmon. Moving in for a closer look we took a few photographs and checked the port lines on the downrigger. While waiting for some action we took turns getting some sleep below.

On the afternoon watch, as Dave and Kyle were putting the lines back in, Kyle had a fish strike. He fought the salmon which hit a blue Kajiki as he was dropping back down and was somewhere around 50'. Most fish caught, that we heard from reports, were between 150 - 200 feet deep.

Dave netted the fish and I beat it to death, happy to get a little blood on the deck and the skunk off the boat. Salmon... It's what's for dinner.

With the wind picking up and food on our minds, we cruised back in for the BBQ and weighed in the fish. 15.3 pounds (cleaned) was good for 5th place.

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June 10

I finally had a chance to go out for salmon, for the first time this year, on the New Rayann today. "Crow", a friend of mine, pulled together a charter for some close friends and I made the list along with Gene, James and Barbara...

We hightailed out under the gate and rolled up to Stinson Beach. The vessel is a Delta 50' and since this was my first trip on her I checked her out on the run up. Nice, clean and very fishable. I set my rod up outside the wheelhouse door where capt. John Atkinson searched for salmon.

A short ling was tossed back when it made the mistake of grabbing a trolled anchovy that passed close to the bottom. The action was slow and bait was scattered, but we did have a great time celebrating Crow's birthday. While I didn't get much more than a drive by today, we put four salmon to 23 pounds in the box. Gene released a short salmon and also had a potential keeper bust off close to being in net range. That fish stole his red Kroc.

The wind picked up to 30-35 by the end of the day and the seagulls scored several times as they hovered above us on the ride in. Well it was time to wash that jacket anyway

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May 28

After hauling LutyFish out at the launch ramp last evening, Gary had called to invite me out on Panda Angler (29' Shamrock). I had fished with him last October for the first time and we'd had an epic day at the Farallone Islands hammering rockfish, and nailing a 35 pound salmon too!

Richard (who had also been on that trip and fought the salmon) joined us at the slip in Coyote Point Marina. Today I was slightly more prepared as far as my lunch was concerned. Instead of a couple of Slimfasts snagged from the fridge, I had raided a Safeway for a killer roast beef sandwich and some Guinness.

After running up to San Francisco for some live anchovies, we boogied over to Angel Island to drift while the weather was decent. Nothing was happening, (although I did see a halibut boated there), so when the wind picked up we shifted over to Berkeley Flats.

Still scoreless we moved to the Alameda Rock Wall where we released 7 short halibut, as well as Gary's brown smoothhound shark and bat ray.

We finished the day by trolling off Oyster Point, but aside from "dogging up" with a couple more sharks, the bite was over. It was still a great Memorial day spent with friends.

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May 27

"Senor Cracker" AKA Mrcake or Brad rings me up somewhere around 6:30 am (while I am about 4 1/2 hours into an Ambien induced coma, and says he's dropping the LutyFish (21' Trophy) into the bay in half an hour. He's asks if I can roll. I mumbled "yeah" and raced out the door a few minutes later.

I arrived at Oyster Point Marina where Brad and Mark (another Full Speed Fishing Club member) were just getting ready to launch.

Using large herring, we trolled between Oyster Point and Candlestick for 5 keeper halibut ranging from 22.5 to 35 inches. The biggest fish hit during a slow turn uphill in only 8 feet of water. A couple of short halibut were also released, giving us almost a 3 fish per rod average.

Not wanting to throw in the towel early, we kept at it all day and found plenty of time in between fish to photograph "Full Speed Fishing style" pranks... And just when I was thinking about how I was going to sleep in the next morning my cell phone rings. "Hey Bev, what are you doing tomorrow?"

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May 5

Those who know me, know I fish tough. Last night I almost pansied out and stayed home with a bad case of bronchitis (Thank God I had got it AFTER I was done diving in Cozumel!) I called up a few friends from Full Speed Fishing and wound up riding down to Virg's Landing in Morro Bay with Dangerous Trebles (Mike), Chilly B (Brian) and MrCake (Brad). The road trip alone was worth the price of admission on this trip.

Around 30 of us from Full Speed Fishing descended onto the vessel "Admiral". This caused at least one local bar to have to close early due to lost patrons. The excitement was palpable.

Being a "bow-babe" I tossed my gear into the forward bunk arena, knowing full well that we'd be leaving at night to run uphill through the pasture with the BIG SHEEP. Nobody snored loudly and I was packing Ambien just in case.

I awoke just in time to get my bearings, say good morning to a few I had missed last night, grab a cup of coffee and watch as Capt. John picked our first drift.

A bocaccio weighing around 6 pounds, tore into my River2Sea sea knife jig. I gave it to the crew since I don't eat these. Red rockfish were everywhere and I saw lots of species while fishing from the stern... coppers, rosy rockfish, yelloweyes (all were released), vermilions, rosethorn, greenstriped, greenspotted and starry rockfish. My next battle was with an eleven pound lingcod that hit a 10 ounce plain silver Crippled Herring. We were fishing in rough conditions at a depth of over 225 feet and I needed my heavier gear to get down and stay there. He had a small horn shark in his mouth that must have been his previous meal. (Speaking of meals... There was NO candy for sale but Ghetto Booty (Dan) had me covered with a handful of peanut M&M's. What a lifesaver!

With the wind increasing I changed places and went up to the pointy end to cast and drop. I had been hunting for another lingcod but after having a nice fish spit the hook prematurely, I re-rigged to target my rockfish quota. I had a shrimp fly teaser tied above a glow/redhead River2Sea knife jig. Every drop was producing a big fat rockfish and soon I had not only reds but a huge olive rockfish too. I was soon saying "welcome to the glow light cafe" every time I had a hook up.

By now everyone was close to limits and it was blowing 30-35 knots making it difficult to stay on the drift. The captain was very skilled at jogging us lightly into the wind to keep us able to fish.

I was hungry and sleep deprived so Dave whipped me up a hamburger from the galley so I could kick back for awhile. Turns out that Rick Freeman and I both had eleven pound lings so we split the jackpot. He also sent me home with some very nice homemade jigheads.

What a great bunch of guys. I'm so glad I made this trip. It was epic!

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April 30

After scuba diving a couple of days in Cozumel, Jeff & I headed over for three nights on Isla Mujeres. We snorkeled, shopped, dined and had a VERY COOL dolphin encounter at Dolphin Discovery.

After taking a short siesta following the dolphins, Jeff & I went on a mission to hunt down a panga for a couple of hours fishing. We trolled through town and had an offer shortly. A few ballyhoo were purchased for bait and we were off.

Carlos and Eddie took us out on the "Halcon" for some bottom fishing close by. I had my Emmrod with me and they had a couple of rods inc. a Zebco outfit with Spectra. We caught yellowtail snapper, blue striped grunts, and a couple of triggerfish. Jeff also got bit off by a barracuda. It wasn't a serious fishing day and the fish were small, but the action was fast and furious.

I let the guys use the Emmrod and they had a blast! We left them some fresh mono I had brought, a few hooks and our fish. Carlos and Eddie dropped us on the beach in time to pull up chairs and order cocktails to view the sunset.

In short Cozumel has changed big time since I was last there (1991) but it is great for diving. Isla Mujeres is awesome. Weather was perfect and the town was just the right size to hang out in for a short trip. We met the owner and crew on the vessel "Bout Time" from Texas and hung out with them at the Sunset bar a couple of nights. I hope to run into this great bunch of fishermen again!

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February 6

Ghetto Booty was looking for someone to cruise up to Los Vaqueros Reservoir and do a little fishing. Well seeing how I hadn't been there in almost three years, and having nothing on my agenda, it was pretty easy to twist my arm. http://www.ccwater.com/losvaqueros/

We got a leisurely start arriving around 10:30 and rented a boat. With perfect weather conditions we started off by trolling, checking out the blue herons and hawks that were everywhere. Dan had a fish bump his lure but it failed to hook-up. As we made our way around the perimeter of the reservoir it was standard practice to stop in most of the coves to pitch swimbaits. Nada!

Further up we hit a stretch that had quite a few trout actively feeding. Dan even whipped out a fly rod and we both took turns trying to coax a bite, but the fish had lockjaw today. Even tons of birds and a slick of bait failed to produce. The fish had lockjaw today.

Well, as always we still had a great day on the water. We'll get'em next time!

Link to my 2015 Fishing Diary

Link to my 2014 Fishing Diary

Link to my 2013 Fishing Diary

Link to my 2012 Fishing Diary

Link to my 2011 Fishing Diary

Link to my 2010 Fishing Diary

Link to my 2009 Fishing Diary

Link to my 2008 Fishing Diary

 
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