On the Hawaiian Hooker today we had the All
Star Sturgeon Band; I was on the camera shooting
video, Mel handled the net, Mike had hot licks
going on a 67" fish and the sturgeon
he had hooked was playing a screaming reel.
The tide played a factor on our departure
this morning and Mike had to stop by work,
so we got launched at around 8:45 am. The
sturgeon showed us no love for most of the
day so we chowed down on smoked yellowtail
and cream cheese dip, killer hot dogs and
a chunk of marinated, foil-wrapped yellowtail.
I split a big bottle of Grand Teton Lost Continent
Double IPA with Mike.
After a nice little nap I rejoined the guys
for the last hour of the outgoing tide. I
cast my line slightly over Mikes so I traded
the center slot for the starboard and just
a minute or two later we both saw the double
pump action hit his line!
All four of us wound up with a big group
hug in the port corner after the net got burried
under the stern cleat. I had to stop filming
to assist lol! The fish was photographed and
Here's a link to the video if you want to
check out the action. http://youtu.be/wvHxkMRe09Q
October 31 - November 10th
Royal Polaris 10 day, Red Cup Navy (Spider
With funding tight due to the economy I hadn’t
planned on a long range trip this year, however
with some coaxing I found myself splurging
on a 10 day trip on the Royal Polaris (trip
number 7 on this vessel I believe) and shared
a ride down to San Diego with John (Baitfinger)
Long. Once in town we met up with Chris Petersen
who was primarily the one who twisted my arm
to go on this Fall adventure. My birthday
also fell in the middle of the trip so I credited
the impulse purchase as a gift to myself.
While awaiting others and killing time we
visited Charkbait and BevMo for last minute
goodies. Later that night our ever expanding
group headed to Miguel’s for dinner
before retiring to the Dolphin Inn across
from the landing where we waited with baited
breath for the ship to arrive early in the
Departure was fittingly on Halloween so I
brought a pirate costume to wear… So
did Capt. Roy Rose, so after leaving the bait
barge we had a brief sword fight on the beach
(upper deck) to the amusement of the other
passengers. Then 27 anglers prepared for the
unfolding of a great time by unpacking, assembling
gear and breaking out cocktails in the famous
Red Cups. I settled into room 10 and went
off to begin prank number one... assault of
the 72 black plastic spiders. I planted them
in rooms with the doors opened, in beds, in
door vents, amongst the condiments at the
galley tables and even in the cookie jar.
Mark Hillard, Tim Whelan and John Long were
our chartermasters and they handed out custom
black and orange Salas jigs to everyone at
he first night’s meeting as the game
plan was discussed.
On day two we hit San Benito Island where
the yellowtail were waiting to ambush us.
As soon as the first wave of them hit Marcus
offered up a fresh one and I grabbed it up.
Of course it was on a 10 foot rod so it was
a lot of fun to battle. Most of the fish were
in the twenty pound class and it was a nice
way to prep for the days ahead. I had one
nice fish break me off on a chrome jig before
I was done for the day.
On the third day I boxed two nice yellowtail,
had one come off and had two more fish break
me off. I foul hooked a small grouper which
will go into the saltwater tank at Fisherman’s
Landing if it survived the trip back in a
bait well. I also managed to land quite a
few white fish.
On day four I warmed up with 3 sheephead
on the bottom before switching gears and flylining
a sardine. BAM! I hit pay dirt with a 30 pound
bluefin tuna. Bill Pargee managed too get
one too. That would be it for bluefin for
the trip so I felt really lucky to have one.
After that it went WFO on yellowfin tuna
with a smattering of yellowtail in the fray.
Chris and I tag teamed them and most were
around 25 pounds. I lost count but I’m
guessing I landed around 25 of them including
2 at once; one fish was hooked in the mouth
and the other was tail-wrapped. I thought
the drag on my reel was going out but when
I saw them surface it made sense. Both fish
made it aboard with some skillful gaffing.
We quit for the day with 300 yellowfin tuna
in the hold! I headed off for the shower thrashed
and worn out, which are excellent indications
I had a wonderful day.
Day 5 started with an early am venture onto
the deck to try to make bait with a few other
souls up at that hour. It was slow going and
I think Chris played with my baitcatcher because
the few fish that hit didn’t stick.
I went back to bed and waited for the mother
lode or dawn which ever came first.
As the first call for breakfast went out
I reminded everyone that it was “Red
Shirt” Friday and to dress accordingly.
We were far enough South to be in wahoo country
and the troll teams started to get bit. Chris
had me take his spot on his turn and finish
winding in a nice wahoo. We had 4 boated on
that particular stop. I then helped to put
some baits in the tank since they had finally
shown up in greater numbers and I was using
a different rig LOL!
As day 6 arrived we pulled up on Finger Bank
where the Independence was already staked
out on the hook. Two kites were deployed and
anglers went up in pairs to try to get a big
yellowfin to boil on their baits. Chuck Nowicki
(Freshie) wasted no time in getting a yellowfin
to bite and soon landed a nice fish in the
90 pound class. More fish of this caliber
were plucked from the water as the day went
on and some dorado and yellowtail strayed
in from time to time. Chris handed me a dorado
but it came off after a spectacular jump on
the backside of a wave. Our reasonably calm
ocean was beginning to kick up. I put in a
30 pound yellowfin and watched as a blue marlin
was fought up to the boat for a release.
On day 7 Chris gave me a pink “Birthday
Girl” ribbon and gave me a card from
my husband he’d been holding for me.
I had a nice bowl of Capt’ Crunch and
hit the deck. Chuck was at the stern and flylined
up a nice fish which he offered up. On his
80# rig set at 18 pounds of drag I fought
the fish from the stern up the starboard rail
to the bow. At some point I noticed that a
cow bell had been added to the back of my
rod belt. Well I gave them plenty of cow bell
as I sashayed up and down the rail. I got
past the anchor line with no trouble but we
did encounter another angler coming up the
port side so we had to put our lines together
and do a little shuffling. My fish yellowfin
was gaffed and bought aboard. I would have
to wait until we got back to the landing to
see if I had a 100 pounder. Several larger
fish than mine were caught with some pushing
the 150 pound plus mark. Another blue marlin
was caught and released today as well.
We moved for day 8 and found an explosive
WFO dorado bite. It was sheer chaos as schoolie
dodos went into a frenzy. The stern was a
bloodbath filled with thrashing bodies. I
put about a dozen fish in and found that I
was catching slightly larger adversaries near
the bow. I’d flip a sardine out far
up on the starboard side and then usually
work the fish down the port side to the gaff
A few new spiders showed up in my room, so
they are either migrating or Chris planted
them while I wasn’t looking. I also
got officially inducted into the Red Cup Navy
by being presented with one of my rods “decorated”
with a bird’s nest and cow bell zip-tied
to it. I am now “Bev Angler”.
On day 9 we ran uphill and it was pretty
bouncy. Most of the guys started to break
down their gear. Towards the end of the day
we made a few attempts to jig up a few yellowtail
but we found no takers. We watched some Clint
Eastwood movies and satellite TV.
I was still stuffed from a mid afternoon
snack of enchilada pie so I skipped dinner.
Later as I tried to go to sleep I heard a
knocking sound as the boat pitched in the
waves. SOMEONE had put a one pound sinker
off a reel handle strategically placed near
the small window near the ceiling in my room.
LOL, Chris strikes again! Kenny was nice enough
to go cut it down.
Day 10 was spent breaking down more gear
and packing as we continued north. In the
afternoon I watched the movie Avatar and then
wrote for awhile. This was the first time
I brought my computer as well as my camera
and it was very handy to download pictures
every day or two.
I always look forward to the last night’s
dinner which is usually prime rib. I was not
to be disappointed! After the feast I enjoyed
a vanilla Tatiana courtesy of Walter who I
had helped to tie top shots.
Back at the dock I had Fisherman’s
Processing handle my fish and later found
the weight of my biggest yellowfin tuna to
be 94 pounds. No new personal best or 100
patch for me this time, so I may have to keep
trying! In the meantime I'll enjoy a tasty
new supply of frozen fish fillets, smoked
yellowtail and yellowfin tuna, and yellowfin
After fishing out of Bodega Saturday and
getting home to get just enough sleep to recharge,
I headed up to Half Moon Bay to meet Mike
and the rest of the crew fishing off Hawaiian
Hooker. Mel, Teng, Rod and I shoved off and
headed South to drift for white seabass but
the fish must have sighted more verdant pastures
elsewhere. I got in an amazing power nap after
I boxed an unexpected starry flounder that
remained motionless for the ride up, LOL.
We had dolphins around us several times.
After awhile I tied on a red croc and got
a huge response in the way of a big vermilion.
We decided to head further South and try rockies
in a spot I go to quite often. We hit them
hard for the rest of the late afternoon getting
some quality gophers and a China. I hooked
a nice hard-fighting cabezone that snatched
up a robo worm. Rod scored a halibut and a
lingcod. Teng and Mike weren't having as much
luck and Mike had his lamiglas explode after
an encounter with a fish that wrapped him
in the rocks and it was a long give-and-take
battle prior to the explosion.
It was super flat and we got back just as
the sun was setting. Thankfully the Half Moon
Bay pumpkin festival was over with and we
could all get out with minimal traffic.
Great day on the water with some nice anglers!
Met up at Manny's home and drove up to Bodega
Bay to launch the Diabla. We ran out about
40 miles or so. Never hit the real deep pretty
blue but it did clear up and the color was
a little more of a gray blue.
We saw a few common dolphins and some whales.
Weather just kept getting better and better
although we only had 2 albacore for the day;
one on the troll and the other on a swimbait
stop. Both fish were in the 20 pound class.
Great bunch of guys (Bob (Spooled), Gary (SSFGizmo),
William (Reel_Life) and Manny's son Manny
jr.) We had lots of fun as is always the case
when you're on The Diabla. Thanks Manny!
Last year I briefly worked for Fisherman's
Warehouse before my old job called out-of-the-blue
to rehire me... Today's trip all started due
to an invitation to attend an annual Coastside
Fishing club dinner as a guest of Fisherman's
Warehouse. I wound up bidding on a charter
trip on a boat I've seen over the years at
Half Moon Bay but never fished; New
Gravy. The vessel is very nice, clean
and has a heated cabin which I found very
comforting especially after fishing in today's
My friends Pat (FlyinHawaiian) and Yvonne
rode up with me to Pillar Point Harbor and
we ambled down in the list mist of the early
morning to join Humberto, Hugo and Monte from
Blvd Coffee, Ben Romano and Jonathan Han from
Fisherman's Warehouse, my friends Gene and
Heather and a few other folks rounding out
Capt. Guy Anthony pleasantly informed us
we would be getting to run down to fish below
Pigeon Point. Lee Gualtieri, our deckhand,
was already busy getting rods set up and cutting
squid pieces for bait. Jonathan enhanced this
mixture with some scents and glow juice. They
looked a little nuclear in the bottom of a
bright orange bucket.
I had Pat, Gene, Yvonne and me up on the
bow as we set up on our first drift on a relatively
calm ocean. Yvonne brought up a nice gopher
to start things off. I had some trouble getting
warmed up so I made some gear adjustments
and started to get a few fish. My first one
was a chunky China. Gene was fishing a colorful
combination of a Harry Boo's squid jig and
teaser fly above it. He pulled up a very desirable
Bolina as did Humberto.
Our weather switched from a drizzle to light
rain on and off but nobody seemed to care
as long as the fish cooperated and they were!
I saw a large vermilion whipped up to the
boat and another stellar Bolina. We had a
very nice grade of gophers hitting the deck
and a few blues and yellowtail rockfish mixed
I felt a nice hit on my rod and went bendo.
Guy had Lee on alert that I might need a gaff
but the first lingcod of the day was just
a bit to short so I showed him off for a couple
of folks and released it. Just about the time
I was saying we might have a weigh-off for
biggest fish between some nice big Bolinas
the lings decided to make a showing again.
Jim Nomura who had been taking up residence
in the stern portside corner suddenly was
up at the bow and fighting something big.
After a nice battle he finessed a huge ling
to the gaff. At 25 pounds we no longer had
a rockfish contender for the jackpot! Jim
went on to take another nice 14 pound ling
and then let me use an octopus it coughed
up as bait.
Within a few minutes I had a decent fish
strike and it was game on! With a little rock
wrestling I managed to get the ling off the
bottom and when it came into view at the surface
I estimated the fish to be about 15 pounds.
Sadly he was attached to the bar below my
teaser fly and he made a final run for it
and broke off. What a beauty though!
A few more lings made it into sacks and a
few more found freedom by being just a tad
too short to take. We finished off a nice
long day with limits for everyone.
As the fish were filleted on the ride back
to port I raffled off a nice Daiwa combo which
Les Cundall won. Everyone had a terrific time
and I have already had several requests to
host a trip again next year. I think I can
make that happen!
Today I helped pay a debt of gratitude to
a few of our disabled veterans by deckhanding
aboard the vessel Sur Randy out of Monterey,
CA. Back in May I had volunteered for the
Veterans, Inc. for a salmon derby, however
today we were going in search of rockfish.
With plenty of other folks along to help
out it was a great chance to really cater
to the vets we were lucky enough to have with
us today. Capt. John Klusmire started off
by putting the boat in the middle of a huge
school of risso dolphins just outside the
harbor. Photos and videos were taken as these
large gray cetaceans leaped all around. We
had beautiful weather and calm seas too!
Once offshore and drifting, assorted rockfish
began to hit the deck. I saw some nice coppers,
blues, gophers, and a few vermilions. Rosy
and starry rockfish also bit today and most
of the smaller ones were released. I did see
one treefish landed too.
Lingcod were playing hard to get but I hooked
and handed a couple of small ones off. About
a half dozen had to get returned to the briny
depths but a few made it into sacks. I brought
one up and gave it away to a vet who was very
happy at the prospect of having fresh ling
On our way back in we were treated to another
fantastic show by the risso's again. This
time they were joined by sea lions and lots
of seagulls and pelicans.
American Legion post 41 in Monterey hosted
the banquet for the sponsors, participants
and the volunteers to thank everyone for all
their hard work. I urge anyone who can help
with future events to check out the web site
in the link above. A day on the water with
our men and women who have served in the military
is a very rewarding experience.
"Hawaiian Hooker" Mike and I had
been talking for awhile about a serious overnight
tuna run with a chance to try and raise a
swordfish at night. We both agreed that the
water behind Davidson Seamount looked interesting.
We rounded out the crew with Max and Mary.
We launched from Monterey at 1 am due to
a delay with a buddy boat so the swordfish
attempt was not a serious one since we didn't
have much time before daylight. While we soaked
a couple of rigs I readied the trolling rods
I had brought and picked out 4 purple &
black tuna clones to toss out at first light.
There wasn't much sea life on the relatively
calm water today; a few birds, a couple of
molas and those pesky sea lions. The fish
were down and it was up to us to get them
interested in biting.
After about an hour and some grumbling we
added 3 more rods to the pattern including
a whisky line in the rocket launcher overhead.
I had a favorite MyLure on it and BANG! It
got the first albacore of the day which we
let Mary fight. It was in the mid to upper
20's pound class. I pulled one in about the
same size on my first rotation. Everyone took
turns and we each boated two albacore.
It was a slow steady pick for most of the
day and we pulled the plug to run back in
at around 4 pm. I kept a constant watch on
the temperature and noticed a lot of 1 degree
spikes within a mile. It was as if we were
going though a ribbon of 61 then 62, 61, 62,
61... over and over and twice today we hit
63 and even 64.
Back in Monterey Mike decided to give me
his two fish to smoke along with mine. I iced
them down and called home only to find out
we had no water due to a storage tank and
well project my husband decided to finish
today. So I made a minor detour into Santa
Cruz and cleaned the four fish at a harbor
cleaning station. A neighbor let me come over
and cut the loins into chunks for smoking
and also let me use the shower. I just love
all my neighbors!
All the fish we landed today were typical
of what I've seen on hard, cold edges of 59
to 60 degree water. If I was gambling I'd
put money on Morro Bay albacore this year
in late September or October and they're going
to be huge!
It was a classic case of "You should've
been here yesterday." I rolled down to
the Queen of Hearts today to join a light
load of anglers for rockfish. The wind out
of the South shut the bite way down. I released
a female seatrout that was just a tad to short
and took 2 blues and a vermilion. I gave those
to a friend who had nothing lined up for dinner.
And yes, a day on the water still beats going
to work! I'll try going out with Bob next
month if I get a chance.
August 18 - 23
Jeff & I returned late last night from
another spectacular visit to Queen
Charlotte Safaris in British Columbia.
On some of the web sites I post fishing reports,
my posting title will read: Almost needed
a shoehorn to get the last piece of salmon
in the freezer! Jeff & I flew up to Queen
Charlotte Safaris for 5 days and joined my
friend Sandy, from Southern CA and another
angler, Dan from Oakland, to fish 3 days.
Jeff & I stayed an extra day just to chill
We had a great trip even though it was blowing
gale force on the outside on our wedding anniversary.
However in the inlet and strait between Graham
Island and Moresby Island anglers are
protected by the winds that would elsewhere
leave boats tied to the dock. I'm mentioning
this right up front because I travel to lots
of great destinations but let's face it, "weather
happens" and I had serious doubts when
I saw the initial gusts of wind. No worries!
A little bump to the engines here and there
to counter a wind gust, but it was very fishable
and we had a tiny swell only at the extreme
West edge of the salmon grounds.
Day one was the weather window to go OUTSIDE
but we acquiesced because one person and our
captain, Shawn Cowpar, wanted to start on
salmon... I knew where this would go and I
wasn't happy about it but I played nice. This
is after all the lodge where in 2006 I scored
my first IGFA world record and it's still
standing; a 20 pound yelloweye rockfish (and
if that wasn't enough the next fish behind
it was a 34 pound lingcod.) An outfit rigged
with 30-50 pound test will let you battle
the fish on equal ground in most cases here...
unless you hook a decent halibut! Don't get
me wrong, I love salmon but I get a major
kick out of jigging bottomfish!
Since Sandy was a salmon virgin we unanimously
voted to let her grab the first rod to go
off. She had a nice long fight with her first
king salmon (AKA Chinook or Spring) and it
was millpond flat so we got it captured on
video. Jeff went next, followed by Dan and
then me. All of us put either a nice king
or coho into the boat. Shampoo, rinse and
repeat... Several times LOL! I wound up with
a pair of kings inc. the largest on the boat
for the day; 21 pounds. I also took 2 cohos
The next day it blew up big time but as advertised
we were able to fish the salmon grounds on
amazingly fishable water. We all scored very
well and I only needed one more king the following
day to round out my personal possession limit.
The others were close behind. I was getting
a lot of behind-the-wheel and net action too
which was cool. It rained all day but it wasn't
that cold and the salmon LOVED it!
On day three we all had limits except Dan
who was short one silver... but I just had
to throw down a little bounce-bottom action
so we cut across the channel and I hammered
a 4.5# quillback right off the bat, on noodle-rod
style gear too! Sandy got her first yelloweye
and a sole (rock or Dover pending some sole-searching
I'm doing to confirm the species.) The boys?
Well they were pretty passive and we didn't
stay too long so they hit nada with the exception
of a couple of bocaccio rockfish. Water on
the inside was off in a few places... Deep
root beer brown like I've seen off the coast
here at home from time-to-time. We tossed
a small rockfish out and had an eagle swoop
down and grab it. Sandy got the killer pic
and is sending it to me. We took a lot of
videos as well. Today Jeff landed a 24 pound
king and knocked me down a peg on having the
largest king of the trip on our boat. I think
he even did a little victory dance.
On our last day "free" day Jeff
& I headed over to Queen Charlotte City
to fart around. I spied a pair of baby swallows
at the entrance to the tackle shop and snapped
a pic of mom coming in to feed them. Back
at the lodge the next day I also got a visitor
right outside our room's window. It was a
beautiful young black-tailed deer buck. He
was not camera shy and I snapped several pictures
Of course our time off the boat at the lodge
was wonderful too. Amazing soups awaited us
after a long day of world-class fishing action,
to take the chill off our well worn bodies.
Chef Kyle and Pam had all the delicious food
we could eat between breakfast, custom ordered
and prepared lunches, and stellar dinners.
My friend Valerie owns this fine lodge and
is dedicated to making everyone's trip feel
special. It's no wonder that she has so many
repeat customers. She really goes the extra
mile to provide folks with the "adventure
of a lifetime."
We got home late and tucked our flawlessly
prepared and frozen 8 kings, 8 cohos and quillback
into the freezer. Next year I'm helping the
lodge put on a ladies tournament!
And I made a few new friends while I was
there this trip including Don who even tossed
me the keys to his boat which is a very nice
I'm starting to log some serious time on
Hawaiian Hooker these days and that's just
fine with me! Mike and I met up with Mary
and Carlos at the Berkeley marina for an afternoon
run for salmon. We launched at 12:30 and jostled
our way through the wind chop. Mike had an
extra pair of foul weather overalls so only
my hair caught the spray now and then. The
waves subsided after we headed north from
the golden gate to Duxbury.
Mike had picked me up a new Lamiglas rod
to add to my arsenal (I was sorely lacking
in rods over 8') that would be great for sturgeon,
halibut or salmon. I tossed a Pro Gear reel
on it and let it down on a downrigger. Mary
and Carlos used deep divers and Mike clipped
into the other downrigger. I guess that's
about the time I took over the helm and let
Mike get to enjoy his boat from the fishy
end... after his quick nap in the cuddy!
Mary was the first to hook up a nice salmon
that was in the 20 pound class by our consensus.
Unfortunately it was lost before being netted.
It was caught on film... Mike recently added
a new deck cam. The loss of this nice fish
was short lived as Mary redeemed herself with
another hog and this one made it into the
Then we had a double with Mary and Mike playing
both fish to the net to score two more fish
in the box. Carlos had a short fish, just
barely, and I helped release it. Mary got
us one more salmon before we decided to run
I let Mike take the wheel again and we punched
past the potato patch as a huge outgoing tide
churned up the entrance to the Bay. We had
a lovely fog-shrouded view of the hills and
gate as we motored in. I cleaned the 4 salmon
while the others cleaned the boat. I wound
up with a salmon, as did everyone thanks to
Mary and Mike and I had my friend Harry smoke
Years ago in an airport parking lot I shared
a few minutes of fish talk with Paul Nagata
who liked the tuna decals my car sported in
the back windows. Well today I got to join
Paul's private potluck charter aboard the
Huck Finn out of Emeryville. The 56' vessel
had Captain Jay Yokomizo at the helm and Dave
on deck. Due to some last minute dropouts
we had a light, limited load of 17 anglers
which gave everyone some elbow room and helped
reduce tangles. We departed at 6 am after
loading the galley/salon with tons of food
and beverages. I grabbed a bagel with raisins
and applied some Philadelphia cream cheese
to it for my morning breakfast.
On the way to Angel Island Jay and Dave filled
the bait tank with live anchovies from a co-op
receiver just outside the landing. We had
fairly calm water and low clouds as we got
set up for our first drift. I took up my usual
preference, just to the port side of the bow
where the conditions were favorable, the view
was nice and I could talk to Jay while checking
out his method of operation.
The first halibut hit the
deck in the port corner of the stern and shortly
after that I had a 10 pound flattie "in
the box" and the pressure was off to
get something for dinner. My cat, Puma, was
going to be a happy camper too! I was using
a Seeker Black Steel Graphite rod and a new
525 Mag Penn reel with 50# Spectra. I rigged
a 3-way swivel with an 8 oz. sinker (tied
with 12 # test to break away) and 30# fluorocarbon
leader tied to an Emperor Tackle 1/0 live
bait hook. I had a few more scratched baits
and missed opportunities but other folks were
starting to get halibut and striped
bass were making there way into the
As we shifted over to Alcatraz Island to
try a new spot I checked out the rest of the
food Paul had brought. Homemade chili, chicken,
salads, pulled pork for sandwiches, an array
of snack items from chips to pretzels and
some great ginger cookies. I had a couple
of pale ales out of the large cooler filled
with beer, soda, water and a bottle of 360
vodka. These people know how to throw a proper
party. It was no wonder that I found the entire
port side rail fishing with invisible anglers
as they were all sampling the food.
At some point I had a nice fish load up and
I got 3 or 4 cranks in and the line broke
above the swivel. I scratched my head over
that one for awhile but soon I was I back
at it with another fish that ate the bait
and then the hook spun in the bait fish and
I pulled it out of the fish's mouth without
getting a solid hook set. I started to notice
a few people with long drawn out battles being
waged which usually means one thing... MUD
MARLIN! Yep the bat rays
came out to play.
On another spot Jay put us near a green buoy
for multiple drifts and cautioned us to gauge
the bottom which had a mix of rocks with the
sand so we wouldn't get hung up. Just as he
was calling for us to pick up our lines for
another pass I hooked up and brought in a
dandy 5 to 6 pound striped bass. What a treat!
Towards the middle of the afternoon we headed
back towards Angel Island where I got another
halibut but this one was a little to short
to take so Jay released him for me. Dave was
always right there if I needed him and he
often had my rod rebaited and ready for action
if I stepped away to get something to eat
or walk back and check out the action in the
Well I had a little voice in my head telling
me to bust out a swimbait or toss some iron
so I finally caved and figured I'd do like
Luke and "Use the force." The sun
had broken through and I had a shiny new 2
oz. silver with white bucktail Kastmaster
that would probably blind pets and small children
when the sun hit it just right. (We had a
black lab, chocolate lab and yellow lab on
the boat today so I was careful.) I sailed
that sucker out about 75-80' and proceeded
to bounce-retrieve it back. On the third cast
I hit pay dirt. I love getting fish on the
iron! The skill of the presentation, the strike
and the gratification of a solid hook set
all combine to give you an incredible rush.
I felt like God reached down, patted me on
the back and said "This one's for you,
you've earned it." I yelled. I screamed.
After the fish was on the deck I looked around
and saw 2 other party boats and a 6 pack vessel
flanking us. For a moment it was quiet enough
to hear a pin drop. Then everyone was hootin'
and hollerin' and breaking out cameras. I
finally had to hold the fish up with both
On the way in after a long day of fishing
I got to talk to a few more people and found
out that Paul hadn't caught a halibut and
Theresa who had been fishing on the starboard
bow hadn't caught a fish. Well I decided I
had plenty of fish already so I let them divide
my first halibut to take home. My big halibut
weighed in at 17 pounds gaining me the jackpot
as well as lots of future table fare. A few
of us got to talking about recipes and soon
we figured we had as many ways to cook halibut
as there are ways to cook Bubba Gump shrimp.
Someone called my husband Sunday with an
offer for me to go fishing Monday. He told
them it was safe to say no since I was flying
in late from Loreto, however Mike texted me
to say he was going after halibut in the Bay
Tuesday morning. Well of course I could go
by then LOL!
I met Hawaiian Hooker, along with Mary and
another "Mike" at 5:30 am at San
Leandro. We trolled our butts off between
the Oakland and San Francisco airports all
morning but we had no halibut who wanted to
bite. Just another day of paying our dues
but we had fun.
July 14 - 16
The Fishing for the Mission tournament was
held again this year and since we had so much
fun last year, we kept the same team; Sandy,
Maria, Steve and me. I flew in a couple of
days ahead of the event followed by my teammates.
Sandy even decided to room with me at Cocos
Cabanas this year and we had fun running
around town when we weren't fishing.
Steve and Maria had acquired a boat since
last year, a nice 21' Cabo, which is very
well designed for fishing in Baja. We pre-fished
the tournament on Thursday to do a shake down
trip. With sardines plentiful this year we
headed just off the beach and dropped in on
a sargasso patch. Steve needed blood on the
deck to christen the vessel and I obliged
with a dorado. Maria was
bendo on the bow and Sandy hooked up next
to me on the stern. Steve had captain duties
but he managed to get in a few fish too. We
had limits of dorado in no time!
For the first day of the tournament we had
Francisco as our captain and we fished towards
the North. The bite was a little tougher but
at the days end we did have two dorado to
weigh in as well as eat. Sandy and I cooked
some up back at Cocos Cabanas. She managed
the BBQ poolside while I sauteed some in the
room. We also had some chocolate clams given
to us by the manager there (also named Steve)
which got the BBQ treatment as well.
Day two of the event we got our main man
Pedro back as captain. We went South and paddy
hopped all day with continuous action on dorado,
skipjack and bonito.
We released the smaller dorado and tunas.
I had the hook pull from one dorado close
to the boat after a longer than usual fight.
We had a couple of fish working and another
boat got between me and my fish. The captain
on their boat ran up to the bow and held my
line clear of the anchor until they could
clear their fish and back down. I was fishing
spectra so I thumbed the line while he was
holding my fish so I wouldn't cut him. It
was the only fish I had the whole trip come
unpinned so I didn't feel too bad.
On our way back in we tried to troll up some
roosterfish at Isla Carmen but only saw a
few needlefish there. We wound up with limits
again on dorado!
Our team cleaned up and met at the tournament
dinner next to the Mission for a great evening
to cap off our trip.
Thanks to Jim Duggins who let us clean up
the boat, enjoy a few beers and borrow freezer
space at his home. The stories from this year's
benefit golf game were hilarious! I was also
able to raise $410 from a fishing pool amongst
my friends, neighbors and folks from Christ
Child Church to give to Jim as a donation.
Next year I hope to double that!
Mike towed Hawaiian Hooker down to Santa
Cruz where, Lou, Sean and I saddled up for
a day of fishing with him. Flat water and
fog greeted us as we headed out to the Soquel
The guys rigged up to mooch for salmon but
I wanted a shot at jigging one up first. I
made a few casts with my old school Newell
G220F and then after sailing the jig way out
some line jammed in the side of the spool.
I tried to resuscitate it but unfortunately
it will have to go see Alan Tani to come back
to life. (I had just spooled fresh 12 pound
Ande line on it too.)
While Mike brought the first fish up of the
day Sean lent me his back-up rig with a sweet
Shimano TLD so I wouldn't just have to play
net bitch all day LOL! Mike's fish had my
hopes up but as it surfaced it was not the
desired salmon we were hunting. For a moment
I hoped it was a sablefish AKA black cod,
however it was a hake. We
really were to shallow to get a sablefish
under normal circumstances anyway.
Mike's next fish was a juvenile salmon
grouper or boccacio
as they're widely known. This one was cute
enough to almost want to take home and put
in an aquarium... They're not so cute when
they get bigger though. Over the radio we
heard a few folks we knew and we made a little
move to a spot known as the phone booth. I
know what you're thinking, but when you see
it you get it.
Sean and Lou both hook up but the salmon
gave them the slip after a short fight. I
tie on a silver Kastmaster with a white bucktail
and manage to get a bump but no takers after
that so I switched back to mooching. I get
my bait hit a couple of times, but Mike is
the man again as he brings in our first (and
only) keeper salmon. I went
around to check lines while the guys were
"resting' and found a short salmon the
the bow rod which I released. We tried some
more as the wind gently blew the fog in and
out around us for most of the day but finally
the wind picked up enough to consider a major
We shifted gears for a few drifts for halibut
near the one mile buoy off Santa Cruz Harbor.
I staked out the bow and got a couple of hours
of casting practice. We had a lot of birds
drifting out there and I came close to hitting
a few with my longer casts. I had a swimbait
that had a short strike and the guys didn't
get much. Mike let a short ling
go and Lou got a gopher rockfish.
Back at the harbor I let the guys cut the
salmon in thirds since I had just recently
driven up to Fort Bragg to get some salmon
from a commercial friend and had some in the
freezer. We had fun and that's what it's really
all about anyway!
Mike, Aram, Henry and I managed to put ourselves
in the hands of the master today. We met up
in Richmond at Captain John Badger's slip
for a departure slightly after 6:30 am. The
Barbarian is a diesel-powered 24' Skagit
ORCA with plenty of rail room for 5 anglers.
This vessel rides smooth and stable and can
power into choppy water with minimal discomfort,
which is something I've come to appreciate
at my age LOL!
We started off on nice flat water in an area
known as the "pipeline" and our
deckhand Cody soon had us set up with Shimano
rods equipped with Avet reels loaded with
braided line. We put a smorgasbord out of
anchovies, herring and sardines as bait. Our
trolling commenced and in short order Mike's
first time at the stern turned into a terrific
battle with a big striped bass.
All of us took a turn each time a rod got
bit. Henry nailed the first halibut
of the day.
Throughout the morning we had a steady pick
of nice halibut. By the sounds over the radio
and a few calls from other friends in boats
we knew we were the highliners so far.
We shifted gears and ran down to Coyote Point
where we added another nice couple of fish
and lost a couple more. Around 2:30 or 3 pm
the wind started to pick up so we made a few
more tacks and called it a day with 8 halibut
and 2 striped bass! We figured we had about
a 12 pound average. Not bad for four anglers!
Our fish were expertly filleted and after
sharing some fish with a few neighbors and
my boss, I plugged in my twin Lil Chief smokers
and got busy putting up a nice batch of smoked
halibut. Thanks to Mike I was also able to
try my first piece of striped bass for dinner
that night. Delicious!
It was definitely worth the wait to finally
hook up and fish with Capt. John on the Barbarian
and I look forward to fishing with him again.
This morning I participated as a deckhand
in the Monterey
Bay Veterans Inc.'s 24th Annual Wheelchair
Salmon Derby. Assigned to the vessel Star
of Monterey, skippered by Nick Lemon,
I started off helping deckhand Joey by rigging
up the rods with mooching gear.
We had three veterans in wheelchairs across
the stern and other more ambulatory servicemen
and women around the rest of the vessel. With
plenty of volunteers to assist we headed off
into the bay to start fishing for salmon.
Almost right away we had the gentleman in
the starboard corner bringing in a nice fish
that got everyone else's hope up. Fishing
was slow and the rest of the other boats competing
were not have a lot of luck either but the
guys and gals were having fun anyway. I tried
to jig up a fish for a hook-and-handoff for
a vet or a volunteer but all I got was a huge
sand dab when I checked to
see how far down the bottom was on one drift.
Towards the beginning of the afternoon our
"Rock Star" vet in the corner landed
another salmon earning him fourth place overall
and a LIMIT of salmon!
This event really does make a difference
in the lives of these great veterans by showing
them our respect in their commitment to serve
and protect our country. If you feel the same
way I do please consider donating, sponsoring
or volunteering in future events. I will be
helping again with the rockfish tournament
scheduled for October 1st.
This morning I met up with Steve (Mistress)
and Harry in Santa Cruz with the intention
of "plan A" fishing for salmon,
however the weather was iffy on the outside
so we voted for" plan B"; rockfish.
While they weren't taking numbers to jump
on our lines we did get 3 vermilions
and a smattering of olives,
a China and my first fish
of the day was a sand dab.
My first hook-up was a potential IGFA record
but after a quick photo I released the "rock",
Steve and Harry both got to catch and release
some lingcod that were not legal size.
Normally on the rockfish opener I'd be on
the Queen of Hearts but the weather and other
logistics forced me to rethink my options.
My friend Manny had me on the list of back-up
crew in case someone folded, however as it
turned out a spot was available to fish with
another friend I'd met through Full Speed
Fishing; Joey AKA Grammar Police. Joey has
been a prominent crew member of Capt. Randy's
28' Pro-Line for awhile and he had the killer
tow rig required to haul this beamy, well-appointed
and fast fishing platform to Monterey.
When we met up at 5am Joey also had a greenhorn
in tow by the name of Chris who hadn't fished
saltwater in a long time. Chris looked promising
as a newbie and it didn't hurt that he was
packing some nice beer. Besides the various
brands of beer we had a plethora of sandwiches
and snacks. We didn't know then that our biggest
mission would be finding the time to eat!
With the weather just coming down after a
big blow, and Randy not as familiar with the
fishing grounds they'd chosen to pillage,
we buddied up to run with Manny (DiablasMaster)
and Bennie (FishnRN) meeting their vessels
and crew at the launch ramp for a 7am departure
to Point Sur. I had fished with Manny at Point
Sur the day before the close of rockfish season
on November 14, 2009 and remembered how awesome
that trip had been... And Point Sur was about
to ratchet my experience from "epic"
to "stellar"... and then some!
After a bumpy ride down in confused seas
we attempted to use the chart plotter which
was showing us great fishing spots, IF you
happened to be in Virginia. Well we gave up
playing with that and shadowed Manny's drift
once before our group started hunting around.
I rigged up with a Harry Boos teaser above
a octopus-shaped leadhead and nailed two big
olive rockfish right off
the bat. Chris landed his first fish of the
day, a nice vermilion, and
we promptly took photos. Joey and Randy were
putting nice fish in the box as well. We had
the radio on with everything from oldies to
Abba (well not Abba but close) playing in
Lingcod started to appear
on a regular basis and the red rockfish count
began to rise as more vermilions were subdued.
Then Joey hooks into a massive copper
rockfish which shakes it's head all
the way up fighting. A few blue rockfish
are deemed worthy and retained as well as
a couple of huge starry rockfish and
a China that pops up on my
Towards noon we made the decision to stay
as the other two boats worked their way north.
Plans to fish for salmon were abandoned as
the rockfish really went on the chew! We stumbled
across an amazing drift that kept us in constant
action. Casting and jigging from the bow was
rewarding me with lots of lingcod however
everyone I caught was to short to keep. I
dropped back four times on one lingcod to
finally hook it and a couple of other fish
hit again after missed strikes on the first
approach. The guys were having a better time
getting legal lings. I know I released at
least eight lingcod by the end of the day!
My focus has been channeled into a constant
pattern of cast, bounce, retrieve only to
be disrupted by shouts of stellar catches
in the stern of the boat, which in some cases
require me to play photographer. I detect
motion out of the corner of my eye and the
bow hatch slowly opens and just like "Thing"
on the Adams Family a hand produces a cold
can of Guinness. Somehow I am in the midst
of fighting a fish and I knock the unopened
beer into the water. It floats! All is not
lost as I yell for the net and hope I don't
get handed a gaff instead. I scoop it and
get back to business. I decide to give them
free-rein to use my camera. It was fast and
furious and so many fish were camera worthy.
Somehow we never got a picture of Randy!
Double hook-ups (two fish per line) were
increasing as we made our way into the late
afternoon. After exerting myself for hours
on the bow the guys coaxed me into trying
their angling tactic. It was time to crack
open another cold one so why not? I have to
admit it was working very well and nobody
had lost gear to the rocks. Sometimes you
just have to go with the K.I.S.S. (keep it
simple stupid) method. Plaster a whole or
half squid onto the back of a swimbait. Drop
it straight off the back of the boat until
it hits the bottom. Park the rod in a rodholder.
Ignore it and wait for a buddy to say "Hey
your rod's going off!" At one point I
turned around to see all of us engaged at
the same time... Yes a quadruple hook up on
doubles! Our drifts were long but once and
awhile we'd reset and one time we were to
the outside of the zone and we stumbled across
some rock sole and sand dabs which we let
go. Chris scored the most amazing double play
of the day with a pair of lingcod; one brown,
one green. He held them both up for a quick
picture but one fish had to go back over the
side. Our tally at the end was 6 legal lingcod
(with over 20 released), 2 gopher
rockfish, 3 olives, a grass
rockfish, 1 China, 5 blues,
1 bocaccio, 2 starrys, 7
coppers and 15 vermilions.
By the time we packed it in the ocean had
laid down significantly and we were tired.
But it was a good kind of tired. We used our
keen hunting abilities to find the launch
ramp, towed back to Randy's and broke camp.
Since Joey had to be on a plane at 8am and
were were whacked I volunteered to come over
and clean the boat in the morning... It's
neat as a pin and ready to get some blood
on the deck again!
Well I couldn't stand it much longer sitting
on the beach reading the salmon
I made a few calls and found out that Gerry
Brooks had a spot open on the Doble
today. I shared the charter with a group visiting
from New Jersey and Dave Hansen was our deckhand.
We had a steady pick of salmon biting all
morning while our weather was favorable. I
released 2 slightly undersized fish (for a
total of 4 this season.) Both fish hit a white
spoon I was using on my rod.
The wind blew up out of the north around
noon and we headed in a couple hours after
that. Our tally today was 9 shakers successfully
released.Most fish hit between 110' to 180'.
I had a blast just being on the water.
Well it was about time for me to get my salmon
gear wet and with an invitation to fish with
Steve AKA "Mistress" and his friends
Mark and Afroz, how could I refuse.
We boarded Steve's Shamrock in the harbor,
which was still bearing fresh scars from the
recent tsunami (the harbor not the boat).
We headed out towards the Soquel hole amid
the other weekend warriors in the thick, but
not all encompassing fog. I like fog to a
certain degree. When the fog leaves it is
sometimes because the wind has chased it away.
Such was the case for us today but not before
we all had a chance to hook up and play salmon.
I hopefully paid my dues with 2 almost-legal
shakers being released, including one that
hit a pearl spoon as I was reeling in to do
a line check. The red croc showed me no love
today but the watermelon apexs took up the
slack. Bait was working too... well kinda...
It was getting hit but nothing was sticking.
Good food and company prevailed for most
of the morning and early afternoon as the
fog lifted and the winds grew. We finally
pulled the plug and whipped back to port through
a saltwater shower. (I like folks who fish
Afroz wound up getting the only keeper; tens
pounds or better with a gullet full of tiny
larval crab. It was a "Gummer" catch
too, with the hook barely holding onto a thin
strip inside the fish's mouth! We carved it
up so everyone had something for dinner. It's
nice to share!
I got "dibs" to clean the hull
(lol Steve has a slip... no trailering this
OH, and the reason for the late report...
I got a call from my friend to go horseback
riding so we loaded up her two mares (yes
I did have to trailer this time LOL) and rode
in Henry Cowell park for a couple of hours.
Came home at dusk to a beautiful full moon
that I watched climb higher for a few minutes
in the hot tub while the salmon soaked in
my favorite marinade.
Over the years I have primarily fished Baja
California, however that could be changing
soon. I finally made my first trip to Nuevo
Puerto, Puerto Vallarta and Barra de Navidad.
Although I spent 8 days in mainland Mexico
I only had the opportunity to fish one day
out of beautiful Barra de Navidad. We had
planned to try and fish with Jeff Klassen
but he was unable to free up his schedule
so he set us up with a super panga with captain
Carlos at the helm. Jeff operates Reel1in
Sportfishing in the Costalegre area.
We loaded up right from the canal behind
my friend Larry's home and spent about a half
day checking out the area offshore of Barra
and found tons of skipjack tuna
which are loads of fun on light tackle. I
did some research for fishing spots to check
out on my next trip down when I'll try some
serious offshore or bottom fishing.
Needless to say by the end of the trip Jeff
(my husband) & I decided to purchase into
some vacation property for future adventures.
Today the 7th Annual Sand Crab Classic Perch
Tournament was held. After watching Santa
Cruz's harbor get ripped to shreds in the
tsunami resulting from Japan's 9.0 earthquake
which hit the day before, I was hesitant about
fishing on the coastline.
So instead of risking being listed in the
2011 Darwin awards I played it safe, slept
in and then moseyed up to Pillar Point harbor
hoping I might find a rubber lip perch out
under the commercial docks. The water was
still churned up a bit but I did get one fish
to bite my offering of fresh mussel... A small
After a quick photo I released it and decided
I'd head back to Santa Cruz to join the festivities
at the Portuguese Hall where Mike Baxter and
Alan Bushnell were serving up food, announcing
winners and raffling off prizes. I did very
well in the raffle this year winning 2 rod/reel
combos and a few other goodies. Over 250 people
entered chose to use caution and fish today
and there were plenty of nice perch caught
with winners in all divisions including a
new division for species other than perch.
A leopard shark won that.
All proceeds from this event beyond expenses
for the event itself are donated to the Monterey
Bay Salmon and Trout Project! Next year the
event will be held March 10, 2012, and entries
will be limited to the first 300 sign-ups.
Mike, Bryon, Justin and I fished Hawaiian
Hooker out of Alviso today but the sturgeon
wouldn't show us any love... I caught and
released a bullhead. Great
day for the BBQ though!
As I left the house this morning at 5 am
it was 33 degrees outside and lightly raining.
Mel, Rod and I joined Mike to represent team
Hawaiian Hooker in the 20th annual Nor.Cal
Skippers Club Sturgeon Derby. All of us had
our bright orange rain gear on as we took
off from the ramp in San Leandro.
It was a privilege to surround myself with
stone cold killers of this magnitude even
if we had an off day. Anybody can fish in
balmy FAC conditions but it takes a dedicated
angler to push the envelope and try as hard
as we did. It rained all day long and the
temperature never went above the mid 30's.
Towards the end of the day it would take me
10 to 15 minutes to rig baits on my hooks
since my hands were so cold. I even let Mike
cast for me after I slapped him upside the
face with a liberally gooed herring. IT WAS
COLD! We still had fun, good food and some
rock N roll playing while we kept at it.
We all caught bat rays and
leopard sharks, but only
three sturgeon were brought
in by the 3:30 derby deadline, so most of
the guys didn't get the target species.
Mike, Bryon and I fished San Francisco Bay
again and the first thing I hooked into looked
very promising as it drug me around the boat.
It turned out to be a about a 40 pound bat
ray which was released. We all went on the
catch other bat rays and
a few leopard sharks and
Mike had a trophy bullhead
and Tom croaker before setting
the hook on a feisty 63" sturgeon.
As he fought the fish to the boat I prepared
to net it. One of the hooks caught the net
right away and I had to hold the net and hope
it didn't take off with the fish. Bryon leaned
back over the transom and grabbed the fish
by the gills so we could dump it in the boat.
Back at the ramp we all had Mike's tutorial
on how to clean a sturgeon and he doled out
the fish in thirds so we could all enjoy fresh
fish that night.
Mike and I went out for sturgeon but they
wouldn't play today.
Mike, Charles, Aram and I launched Mike's
boat Hawaiian Hooker from San Leandro
this morning and tried for sturgeon, but all
we caught were bat rays and
leopard sharks. We did enjoy
unusually nice weather for this time of year.
You have to pay your dues to get those dinos!
to my 2015 Fishing Diary
to my 2014 Fishing Diary
to my 2013 Fishing Diary
to my 2012 Fishing Diary
to my 2010 Fishing Diary
to my 2009 Fishing Diary
to my 2008 Fishing Diary
to my 2007 Fishing Diary