Tom and the Tea Sea crew found a
break in the weather to "turn N burn"
the crabpot line. Fresh dungeness
Today I had a wonderful experience on the
of Hearts as we pulled off a terrificFriends
of Rollo charter for 24 kids and their
were the quarry today and everyone had a blast!
I'll be sending an article in to Fish Taco
Chronicles for their Spring 2015 publication.
So stay tuned!
Dean! It's nice to have my Wednesday fishing
Jerry met me up at the Summit on 17 where
we found out that my car's truck would not
hold both of our coolers so I parked and he
drove us to Dean's.
Dean stopped for gas and we had our first
oops of the day when I didn't stay at the
pump long enough to enter my PIN number...
I was inside getting my custom coffee when
the guys alerted me to my situation lol.
We get up to the Mission Rock launch and
have no issues until we've motored about 3
clicks out. Jerry can't find his phone. We
turn around rather than watch him tweak all
day. It's in Dean's ride!
The weather is beautiful and we roll up to
the north and drop in hoping for some big,
late season salmon. Dean
had commented that I'd we'd be lucky to lose
balls today. I rig a Yellow FBR that I have
tied with 30 pound fluorocarbon. I'm trolling
with my favorite stick. Things look promising.
I ask Dean for a corkscrew and just as I pop
the cork on a nice bottle of zinfandel I get
whacked HARD. Jerry's yelling it's a pumper.
I start the battle. It is a short battle though.
The fish is off. What'd I do!
I can't figure it out UNTIL I go to re-bait
and notice the hook is broken. Crap!
Back in troll mode we continue to enjoy the
wine and some banter as we wait for the next
bite. A sea lion pops up very close and hangs
with us. He is in the area as my rod goes
off again but this fish is gone soon too.
The gear is fine so I must've lost this one.
Dean loses a cast iron ball on that one. Sorry
Dean. We pick an unsuspecting boat to do the
perfect sea lion transfer and it works like
a charm. I think they figured it out after
it was too late. There was a little finger
Jerry breaks out the box wine so we can keep
our glasses wet and also cooked up some killer
sausages. He gets a sleeve shot of some really
good mustard. The sauerkraut put them over
My rod has gone off again and none of us
saw it happen but hey we still have wine!
Dean is out another ball though.
FINALLY someone's rod goes off and it is
Dean this time. I am just getting my rod out
of the water as Jerry nets the 30 pound beast.
We are stoked as this helps to make up for
the first pig and unknown other two losses.
It's time to pull some crab pots now that
we have some pink in the boat. I start to
marvel at the artwork (I believe I actually
used the word "patina") to describe
the beauty of Dean's crab
pot floats. Wine, it makes people a little
silly. I'm probably a little more than silly
'cause my hat flies off and we have to go
back and gaff it. It made it back to Dean's
house but I'm not sure if it's there or in
the back of Jerry's ride. (I do know my small
green cooler is with Jerry lol.)
The crabs are huge, clean and plentiful and
we end the day on a high note.
Back at the ramp Dean gets a dunking putting
the boat on the trailer and we notice a boat
that has been hauled out and left. It's a
fixer upper for sure if it's still there.
Dean cut up the fish and gave me the tail
end (approx. 7 pounds of steaks and tail fillet)
which we'll be enjoying soon!
Tea Sea once again had limits of
crab for 8 on a much nicer
After a 6 week adventure in Europe (where
I did not fish) it was nice to get back out
on the water. It was a rough day on the ocean
off Half Moon Bay but we were prepared. Tom
had 7 of us crewing for him on the dungeness
crab opener and Tea Sea
had limits of big tasty crustaceans after
pulling only 4 pots.
Dwight, Tullio, Mike and I were Tom's crew
today on Tea Sea as we ventured out
of Half Moon Bay for a day of salmon
We had half limits pof salmon by the end
of the morning and we picked up about 20 black,
and a couple blue rockfish
and called it a day by 4 pm.
All of the fish were caught on bait today.
My buddy Mike (Hawaiian Hooker) gave me a
shout out for an afternoon of salmon fishing
with Brenda and another Mike (I call him James
We gave it our best but the salmon only scratched
our baits. Once and awhile the fish win.
Due to a few cancellations in crew I was
able to return today to fish with the researchers
again. Our weather was up a bit and we were
heading further down the coast so we had a
couple of folks drop out rather then risk
the dreaded mal de mer effects a big swell
can conjure up.
We got to fish the Año Nuevo State
Marine Conservation Area which was like being
invited to a private party at Disneyland.
Again I saw substantially larger fish especially
some jumbo blue rockfish and at one point
I brought up a brown rockfish (AKA Bolina)
that likely weighed over 8 pounds.
It was another very successful day of fish
data collection and the group effort was one
of the best I've observed.
Back in 2003 I participated in several rockfish
tagging trips out of Morro Bay for the Department
of Fish and Game. It was a great way to see
the science behind the scenes and actively
help with research while having fun fishing.
Today I was able to get an offer to reprise
that role with the California
Collaborative Fisheries Research Program.
The chosen vessel was the Huli
Cat and Captain Tom Mattusch who I've
known for years. We would be fishing in the
protected zones (MPA's) to collect data on
rockfish and other species.
I knew several of the other anglers going
with us today and they were all talented.
We used special rigs provided by the research
team. Shrimp flys, shrimp fly and iron jig
combos, some with bait some without, etc..
and Tom set us up on specific drifts to catch
fish. We all had pinched down barbs on the
hooks to minimize damage to the fish which
were measured, some tagged, a few photographed,
and then released.
Some fished the bow while the rest had stations
around the stern. On the port side of the
cabin we had a couple styles of desenders
for sending rockfish back down that had partially
inflated air bladders.
The fish brought up today represented the
standard species usually found in the central
coast area although I have to admit we did
see a lot of larger fish than I usually see
outside the protected fishing zones. We had
a lot of lingcod and a large number of hitchhiker
lings or lings that were merely following
The researchers had everything dialed in
to expedite the time a fish was in the process
of data collection. They were very efficient
and we were able to get documentation on hundreds
I managed to get team Tea Sea to commit to
meeting at the boat at 5 am to try for white
We were on the bite zone just before 6 am
and it was fairly calm making for an easy
drift. The squid were still around although
they were primarily on the bottom. I started
to jig some up and replace out fresh dead
bait with live ones. We saw one white seabass
fought and landed but otherwise it was pretty
When our lines did start to sing we were
promptly sawed off by what were suspected
thresher sharks. We did hear of an 8 footer
Late that morning we gave up and headed south
of Pillar Point Harbor fro some rockfish
and lingcod action. They
did not disappoint us and we salvaged the
Dean and I were back out today on the white
seabass bite. (Two days ago he went
solo and landed a limit of WSB between 48
and 58 pounds!)
After getting set up on a drift the first
fish hits the squid jig on the bait rod, which
happened to Dean on his last trip out. He
uses a lead head with a scampi tail instead
of just a sinker. Obviously the fish aren't
line shy! I gaff the fish in the throat and
Dean pulls it in.
A little later another rod goes off, and
I fight a nice fish that makes a couple of
huge runs. Then it turns and saws off the
The next takedown turns out to be a small
thresher shark which launches out of the water
just long enough to ID before chewing its
way to freedom.
We jig up a few squid and snack out way through
the morning and early afternoon before we
see the final action for the day. While at
the stern I glanced up and saw the bow rod
dancing. Dean forgot the clicker but the fish
hasn't been there long. I tell Dean to grab
it but he says I still need redemption.
He doesn't need to tell me twice! I'm on
it and after about 15 minutes I get the brute
sidled up to the boat for Dean to plant the
gaff. With nice ones in the kill bag we run
back towards the harbor.
As we get near the green can our research
and development tactics get the better of
us. Dean puts this huge squid down on the
reef, and it gets instantly inhaled by a huge
lingcod that bites through the leader. I toss
a swim bait down for a couple of token rockfish.
We called it a day. I now have a couple more
otoliths (ear "stones") from the
49 pound seabass (a new personal best for
me) and fresh fillets for the freezer.
Dean (Highlandlassie), we have to stop meeting
like this! LOL! For the past month I've been
crewing for Dean on Wednesday. So when he
called me for today I figured why break the
pattern... Let's roll.
Well ROLL we did in some snotty southerly
conditions. We went looking for potluck and
after coming in early afternoon I had one
lingcod that I jigged up
near the green can off Half Moon Bay.
My released "fish" included a seagull
and a 25 pound bat ray.
Alecia and I hopped aboard Tom Cala's boat
Tea Sea to try and repeat yesterday's
salmon adventure but when the only salmon
that hit turned out to be a tiny shaker our
crew of 5 decided to switch tactics and species.
Tom took us down to San Gregorio where we
picked up some rockfish and
9 nice lingcod to save the
My friend Alecia Cornelius (AKA The Reel
Sister) found some time to come up and visit.
I put the word out that I was looking to hitchhike
a ride for two this time. Eric responded and
we confirmed plans for a Saturday trip for
salmon out of Half Moon Bay.
We totally "owned" the fleet today.
Eric (Lockpro) let me have carte blanche on
setting up the deck, which I found refreshing,
and we ran gear every 15 minutes to make sure
lines were clear and working well. I put the
green croc on Alecia's rod on the port rigger
while I ran a pink lady off the back with
a sling blade and a Big
Bait Skurt Fish. Eric's rod had a skirted
lure but we eventually swapped it out for
a rotary salmon killer/anchovey.
The 20 pounder hit the Skurt Fish with had
a hard-tied, double-hook rigged leader. I
let Alecia fight it and I grabbed the net.
The fish bit through the first hook and was
landed on the second. Once I saw the fish
come up I was glad I'd let my guest take the
rod. She had been long overdue to catch a
We tried a new technique of "juicing"
the downrigger balls with scent. At any rate
we KILLED it today and I think we had the
biggest salmon in the area. Limits was just
icing on the cake!
Tom (Tea Sea) had Fred, Art, Al and yours
truly aboard. I think we had to motor a whole
15 minutes to drop lines outside of Pillar
Point Harbor. Flat water. Tons of birds. WALLS
I was tired after being out all day yesterday
so I tossed on a watermelon apex to start
and after nada I thought about the fact that
were mackerel in the area... Green croc. I
made the right call! I boxed 3 salmon
in an hour. When I cleaned them they were
stuffed with anchovies.
The rest of the crew swapped to green crocs
and Fred put in a fish. Then my rod went off
as I was attempting to get a break and eat
lunch. I gave Art the ok to bag it and he
Then we had a little lull but we were entertained
by the whale for about an hour. It literally
breached at least 25-30 times. I had fun snapping
pictures and taking a few video clips.
Al got the last fish before we called it
an afternoon around 2:30. No big fish; all
were between 23 & 26 inches. We did have
2 shakers and picked up a half dozen rockfish
Dean and I trailered his boat up to Mission
Rock in San Francisco and picked up Glenn
(AKA Tinfisherman) across the bay at another
launch ramp with the boat.
We tried hard all day to get a salmon but
aside from my rod getting bit early in the
morning we just couldn't hang one.
We did rattle up a few lingcod
on the way in and Dean got a huge
May I have your order please? I'll have some
sand dabs, a halibut, a salmon and a side
of whales... Oh and can you super-size my
I took Eric (Lockpro) up on his offer to
try for halibut from Moss
Landing. My friend Mike Ryan, whose boat is
down at the moment, rolled with us and Eric
had his son James.
We got an early start launching Eric's Skipjack
and right outside the harbor it was a feast
for birds and whales. We decided we didn't
want to encounter the whales that close so
we ran up a bit to the beach in front of Pajaro
Mike and I set up the rods and had big herring
and whole squid for starters. I had my Shimano
Trevala and Talica 8 combo set up with a fluorocarbon
leader that Mike put together with an Emperor
hook and treble hook I gave him. Mike had
his reading glasses with him today and I didn't
James was feeling a little off so he kicked
back and tried to get a nap in. Eric was letting
Mike and I run the deck while he drove. We
started to get into some sand dabs
and the first one I brought up and not only
dislodged the squid but it had perfectly pinned
its self to the treble as it ate the top hook.
I decided to act on some advice my friend
Laz had told me yesterday. I dropped that
sucker back down. Shazam! Halibut on!
I tried to pass it but had no takers. Mike
netted it and we had one in the box. Then
Mike bagged two nice sand dabs at the same
time. One on the upper hook and one on the
We missed a couple of short strikes and got
robbed a few times. An octopus came up on
a sand dab and we tossed him in a bucket of
water in case we ran for lings later.
We moved back down to just in front of the
harbor again as the whales had shifted south
but were still there in great numbers. We
saw at least 20 humpbacks.
About 1:00 we had to call it a day so we
packed up to move in to the ramp. Throughout
the morning we had heard of salmon being caught
just outside. I spied some bait holding about
50' off the bottom (in 70' of water) and quickly
re-rigged my Shimano with a small chrome bar
and a barbless siwash hook. "Hey guys"
I said, "This might sound crazy but I'd
like to try something". I started telling
them about my trip one time on the Velocity
and how I jigged up salmon with a red croc.
I dropped to the bottom and yo-yo jigged it
a bit. Then I ripped it up. I got nailed about
20 feet under the boat. Salmon!
Mike and I had salmon at home still so we
gave Eric the fish and I filleted the halibut
into 4 pieces so everyone would have some
Today was a huge learning experience and
refresher on fishing for halibut. Eric will
absolutely kill them next time out!
Thanks again for having Mike and I out today!
Tea Sea and crew (Joe, Mike, Paul
and I) departed from Alameda a little after
7 am and hit the fleet off San Francisco to
hunt up some salmon.
We tried a bunch of options but RSK's seemed
to be the winners today. I had a vial of glitter
that I was messing around with and as I sprinkled
it on a lure the shaker top fell out of the
bottle. By the end of the day the glitter
was everywhere and on everyone.
Joe had the first fish on for the day and
it was a beauty but due to a rather long leader
combination the fish wasn't in range to net
for the first two times to the boat and on
the third run it spit the hook. BRUTAL!
Mike got the next one and it did make it
to the box. In clearing other lines I found
that the rod leash had wound around my Penn
jigmaster. I literally ripped the side plate
off to get the rod out of the way. I thought
it was toast but Tom managed to put it back
together. I will have to get it to Alan or
one of his buddies to go through.
I got the last fish (on the Penn rig) we
would see before leaving around 3 pm.
Hawaiian Hooker was the hot boat
in our vicinity today! They got five fish
boated for their crew.
Dean called to add me to the crew list for
today's fishing adventure and this time we
also had Mel going with us. We had discussed
going after white seabass. Squid boats were
still working the coastline hard and the moon
phase was decent to consider them. On the
other hand salmon were getting bigger and
concentrating around areas just outside of
San Francisco Bay. In the end salmon won out.
The pressure was on to hope we'd made the
right call for the species to hunt down. Our
reputations were on the line! Over the past
decade each of us had been bestowed the honor
of being chosen A.O.Y. (angler of the year)
at Full Speed Fishing Club.
Of course even A.O.Y.'s make mistakes now
and then. As Dean and I towed his boat up
to Mission Rock and started to consider where
to pick Mel up he suddenly remembered he forgot
to take the bait out of his freezer. This
was not an immediate problem as Mel was bringing
one tray of frozen anchovies and some squid
however it concerned us enough that I put
out a quick text to Tom (who had called me
a mere 10 minutes after Dean to ask me to
crew for him... for salmon) to see if I could
get him to bring extra out on his boat. No
response. We'd have to leave it to fate.
We were one of the first boats to hit the
grounds and we started off near Rocky Point
to the north. I dropped in with a sling blade
and a blue dancer and had the first bite which
turned out to be a trout-sized salmon that
was released. Dean fought the first keeper
fish which was over 20 pounds and Mel handled
the net while I drove the boat. It's always
a great feeling to know you have the skunk
off the deck! Mel was between the down riggers
with a pink lady (old deep six) and he got
the next 20 pound class fish.
By now a lot more vessels had shown up and
some party boats started to slip out of the
area and run south. I heard Tom on the radio
and after exchanging some news and stats we
pulled up our gear and ran south to the channel
buoys. Tom eventually crossed paths with us
and proffered a tray of anchovies which was
awesome since we were running low. I held
out the net and Dwight tossed it in as they
skillfully trolled by us. I was able to get
some nice pictures of Tea Sea and her crew
We continued on through the morning and by
12:30 had limits of salmon with about a 15
pound average. Mel was the hot stick and we
only had two come off. One on Dean's rod and
the other on Mel's. I got the "devil
fish" to complete the salmon
Well it was still early enough to consider
some other possibilities so we tried drifting
for halibut on the north bar but after nothing
happened there we moved to Point Bonita to
see if the rockfish were still in the mood.
They were but it was not the red hot bite
Dean and I had encountered last week. We stopped
at 18 assorted rockfish comprised of blacks,
a few blues and some very nice and hard-hitting
We cruised back just before the Giants game
let out and traffic was not a big issue. This
week I had enough time to help clean up Dean's
boat before heading to class and the teacher
(and a couple of other students) got a rockfish
to take home.
Tea Sea (Tom) and crew (Jim, Dwight, Fred
and me) spent Sunday beating the heat by fishing
San Gregorio and Pescadero.
We started off by putting a few sand
dabs aboard for ling bait. I promptly
nailed the first two with a live dab. Well
actually it was alive for the first ling but
I was able to get the second fish to hit it
dead with no problems at all.
Black rockfish were the
norm although Dwight got a nice copper
and Fred got a spectacular China
as our devil fish. Fred also managed what
was first thought to be cabezon but I knew
it was a very different beast. We photographed
it before letting it go and sure enough it
was a buffalo sculpin!
I don't know why we never took pics of the
lings today. I got two more; one on a swim
bait and the other on a Spro bucktail jig.
I also had one short ling released. The boys
thought we had limits of lings so I quit trying
for them. Turns out we were one short of limits.
I will count next time lol!
Today's heartbreaks were shared by Jim and
Fred. I was ready to net what looked to be
a thirty to thirty-five pound lingcod
for Jim when it abruptly turned tail and busted
off. Fred had a nice fish (possibly a halibut)
come unpinned about 2/3 of the way up.
Rolled out of bed at 3:30 am to get to Dean's
by 4:00. We towed his rig to Mission Rock
in San Francisco to launch. What a cool find!
30 minutes later we're beyond the golden
gate bridge and trolling for salmon off Muir
Beach. Hardly anyone around at first. Flat
water, lots of murres with new chicks and
some small dolphins. Tons of bait!
Dean boxed a small salmon
but that was it for the salmon making it into
the boat. We had some hits and misses. We
almost lost a downrigger but I held onto it
for dear life until Dean could mount it back
onto the starboard corner. Every time we wanted
to fold it up and try another species a boat
would whip out a net and we would keep trying.
It was so nice for most of the morning that
we ran on just the kicker and gave the main
engine a break.
About 1:30 or 2:00 we did switch to the north
bar for halibut. We had some short bites but
the wind was picking up. I remembered I had
French class that evening... So we ran in
to Point Bonita and found the rockfish on
the chew. BIG TIME! I think it took us 20-25
minutes to limit out and we both got nice
bolina rockfish as well as
blues and blacks.
We hit a little traffic on 280 but after
getting to Dean's I was able to make it to
Taco Bravo and on to class only arriving 10
minutes late. Courtney, Dean's girlfriend,
even loaned me a clean T-shirt to wear!
I really enjoy fishing with Dean. We laughed
Tea Sea rolled out of Pillar Point Harbor
at 7 am with Tom, Paul, Joe, Ken and me. On
our way up the coast we saw what looked like
a research vessel.
We trolled the North bar and had two salmon
hit anchovies between 25 and 35 feet down.
I was the only one a downrigger and I had
a drive by.
Joe got to fight a large and a small version.
I was clearing rods when a shark jumped on
Joe's outfit and I briefly had it on until
it bit through the line. I think it was a
soupfin but it was possibly a small thresher.
Both salmon came early in the day and then
it went pretty quiet. We had one more salmon
bite but it spit the hook after a minute into
the fight. The boys made the call to quit
While we fueled up back at the harbor the
squid boats were taking turns unloading and
on my drive home down the coast I saw birds
working the Half Moon Bay/Miramar beaches
and saw about a dozen squid boats working
flat water to just north of Pescadero.
Tea Sea and regular crew (Joe, Tuillo and
me) went to Pescadero for some rockfish. I
had Hugo meet us at Pillar Point Harbor and
he's had Great Lakes fishing and boating experience.
Since he's only been in CA for about a year
this was his first opportunity to fish saltwater.
He took to it like a champ and boated a lot
of our decent black rockfish
today including a few nice doubles. We did
get 2 coppers and a few olives
and Hugo nailed one blue rockfish.
Joe caught the first lingcod
which was about 23" and then we had a
lull in the action. I saw Hugo on a nice fish
but it came unpinned. I caught a 23"
ling and boxed it.
Then I stuck a pig that ran a couple of times
on me and Tom came out and netted it for me.
The swimbait used on the ling had been "welded"
back together from my last outing and performed
once more before getting toasted.
The pressure was on for Tuillo and Hugo as
we finished rockfish limits. Hugo managed
to get a little help from Tom on baiting up
a small rockfish and voila! He was cranking
up to make a move and had a takedown. He wound
up with today's second biggest ling!
The wind turned around and came out of the
northwest today. Joe, Tom and I had a very
calm ocean but the rockfish
were still picky today. We did get limits
of them, and just about the time we were ready
to give up on lingcod Joe
bagged a nice one and I followed it up with
a smaller version.
Team Tea Sea went out for rockfish today
and I had my neighbor's 14 year old nephew,
Dhruv, along for the trip. Dhruv was visiting
from India and took to the water like a champ.
We saw some risso dolphins, a sea lion, jellyfish
and several species of birds. The wind was
out of the south and the bite was slow. Dhruv
caught a black rockfish,
a blue rockfish and an olive
The rest of us didn't do as well but we sent
him home with 7 fish at the end of the day.
Capt. Tom managed to get Paddy to come out
for a rockfish trip out of Half Moon Bay.
Joining us was Dwight and Judy and I managed
to get Jeff to go as well.
We headed South to San Gregorio and fished
until about 2 pm. I only had one short ling
but I did have a nicer one that came unbuttoned.
We caught a lot of nice blue rockfish,
a few blacks, a couple of
coppers, a China
and few yellowtails and some
The jellyfish were really thick out there
After a nice crab dinner last night and a
minimum of 5 1/2 hours of sleep I was ready
to thump rockfish again.
Today it was with Capt. Tom. John and I were
We tried to take advantage of yesterday's
shallow-water, mega-sized, black rockfish
but they weren't biting as well to start off
near the Ritz so we ambled down to San G.
I got Tom to show us how it's done.
He tossed on a couple of small bass tube
plastics and got into a rockfish. Then the
rod really loaded up. He had a 28 inch green
ling with its jaws locked
on a black rockfish. This
awesome hitchhiker refused to let go of the
fish even after it was netted!
I stuck a smaller model to give us 2 for
the day and we had mostly black rockfish limits.
I got to take the prized lings home and the
big one had nice cheeks as well as fillets!
Stupid wind is coming back up so I guess
I can rest my thumb for awhile lol.
Would anyone expect any less of us lol! Dean's
new (to him) 18.5 Wellcraft Airslot fits nicely
in his driveway and since he now lives a lot
closer to me I rolled over to his (and Courtney's)
place Thursday morning. Our mission was to
get crab... Dean couldn't even think of going
home without those bad boys!
At Half Moon Bay's launch ramp we were approached
by a fisheries management dude who gave us
a a disposable camera and a form to fill out
for all released fish. (Oh boy! Bring on the
We had flat water but limited vis due to
fog and the electronics were finicky so we
opted for a shallow soak on the pots while
we used a combination of electronics and phone
apps to find our way down to the Ritz. From
there it was all about the fishfinder and
reading the depth. (I had joked about stopping
to buy a sack of potatoes to navigate with
lol! Splash, splash, thud.)
When we went to rig Dean found he had left
his tackle bag at home. I let him have carte
blanche to my stuff. My "marlin"
gear lol. We found the rockfish ready to rumble
and soon we were both getting some nice fish.
Dean got a vermilion and
2 lings. I got a vermilion
and 2 lings. We got bolinas
and gophers and a China
too. We had a few canaries.
Dean picked up an octopus
and almost kept it as a pet but it got reported
on the release paperwork. Then we got into
chasing around a school of Alaska grade black
rockfish that fought like hell on
light gear! We nailed three of those monsters
as we capped off our limits of rockies and
Now the pressure was on. Would Dean have
to go to Safeway for dungeness crab?
Nope. We got limits of those too and as we
finished up Dean whipped out a bottle of red
to enjoy on the ride in.
Courtney was ecstatic to have crab so I gave
them 2 of mine as well. Jeff was pretty happy
to cook crab up for us and a couple of our
I like Dean's new boat. Now we have to get
Courtney out there!
My friend Tom and his wife Paddy own 4 boats
and after fishing both the Albemarle's I had
been looking forward to checking out their
custom aluminum jet boat. Jeff also ditched
his to-do list for the day to come along.
We had a leisurely start from Tom's home
a little after 8:00 and towed the boat to
the San Luis Reservoir. We tried several spots
looking for striped bass but the day wound
up being more of a picnic on the water. We
did have some wind but it was very hot so
the freshwater spray at times was quite refreshing!
Mike on the Hawaiian Hooker wanted
a last chance to nab some dungeness
crab before the season closes so
I met Mike and the rest of the crew at Pillar
Point to launch at 6:30 am. Armando brought
his son, Eduardo. Mike's girlfriend Brenda
was ready to check out the craziness and we
had a second Mike aboard.
After futzing around with the pots that were
stacked out of order on the deck we managed
to bait them and start a short soak while
we took off for the inside to fish. Just below
the Ritz it was downright sloppy but everyone
sucked it up.
We drifted several spots getting some nice
bolinas, a whopper China
and assorted blues, blacks
and olives. Short lings were
the only lings biting although I had a few
nice hits that destroyed a few swim baits.
Brenda got to release 3 lings to my zero!
Canary rockfish were out
in force and we had to release about a dozen.
Brenda was not deterred by the rough ocean
much and I knew she had the right stuff when
a crab picked on her back at the wash down.
I heard a shriek and turned around to see
she had her Corona foaming in her right hand...
"Wow I can't believe you didn't drop
your beer when the crab pinched you?"
She responded with "I whacked the shit
out of it with the beer"... Awesome job
and minimal loss of suds in the process. Yeah
I think she's worthy of some one-on-one training!
Count me in Mike.
With the wind being an unfavorable factor
off the coast outside of 10 miles it was decided
that today we'd fish near shore waters. Capt.
Tom and 5 of us as crew chose San Gregorio
as our preference to tempt up tasty rockfish.
The bite was slow but we had fun under foggy
conditions. During one drift we had a juvenile
mola (about 30 pounds) swim by and check us
out. By 3:30 we got the last rockfish
needed to have limits for all and 4 lingcod
to 12 pounds. I caught 2 of those lings and
must have released 4 others.
Tom and I have been encouraging our spouses
to fish and today my husband Jeff took a day
off work to come out and play. Dwight and
Fred were back to round out the crew.
The plan had been to fish for salmon but
we had mixed feelings about recent reports
and the dreaded jellyfish but we decided to
head out towards the shipping lanes off San
Francisco to take a look around. The water
was a lot clearer and running more on the
glacial blue side. Humpback whales and murres
were here and there including one whale that
made several breaches. When we did see a murkier
green stretch it was short and sweet but after
making a reconnaissance troll with nada to
show for it, we pulled the plug and ran out
to the Southeast side of the Farallon Islands.
Of course I neglected to bring my rockfish
gear so I borrowed a few items from Tom's
stash and set Jeff & I up with adequate
bottom rigs; a scampi tail and teaser fly
on mine and Jeff had the standard shrimp fly
set up. We had to fish "old school"
with monofilament so it was harder to feel
the bottom structure and we had a lively drift
but Tom kept us on the fish. He even came
out to net my first ling when everyone else
was hooked up.
We had started off the morning with a big
rolly swell but we never had the wind to make
it nasty and it dropped significantly by the
afternoon. All day long we ripped into lingcod
and large copper and bolinas
rockfish. Jeff caught a monster olive
rockfish and had some very nice fights
We packed it in around 3 with limits of lingcod
and some very nice rockfish. Now I've got
Jeff excited about catching his first albacore!
After a couple of jellyfish excursions (zero
salmon) it was a refreshing break to hop out
of Half Moon Bay and run down to Pescadero
with Captain Tom, Ron, Fred, Dwight (AKA Canary
Whisperer) and Tullio.
Fred brought out smoked kokanee (the landlocked
version of the sockeye salmon) and served
us up a fantastic smoked dip on crackers,
and after that vanished he broke out a second
fish to snack on.
As far as ocean conditions today there was
a lump, the water was murky and we drifted
north but we had quality fish including some
very nice copper rockfish,
a vermilion, and one China.
Most of the rest were equally split between
and bolinas. Dwight and I
caught most of the lings
and we took home 5 keepers. We released about
as many short ones.
Dwight was also having quite the day with
canaries and Ron and Tuillo
also managed to find a few. All but one swam
down upon release.
Good fishing reports chimed in from the Hulicat
and Queen of Hearts and we also had a few
private boaters out with us doing very well.
Team Tea Sea (Tom Cala, Joe, Mike, Tullio
and I) followed up on some advice on where
the Huli Cat had been fishing salmon
yesterday and got into a few fish. We put
3 in the box and had plenty of missed opportunities
for more. The weather window was a great one
but the wind will be up for awhile.
Tom had been prepping to have one of his
boats ready to go to Bodega Bay for salmon
but yesterday we made the decision to run
out of Half Moon Bay.
I knew it would be a special day when I arrived
at the harbor and noticed I had failed to
put my boots in the car. Well sneakers it
is! On further inspection I noted that I had
two different shoes on. At least they were
both in shades of gray. The last time I didn't
pack my boots I caught a 45 pound white seabass
and the photograph wound up in Pacific Coast
Sportfishing. I was wearing blue tennis shoes
I readied the boat and was just flipping
the switches to the motors when Tom, Fred,
Tony and Dwight showed up. Tips from a few
friends who'd been on the water in the last
couple of days gave us the inclination to
run out towards the Farallon Islands. The
water was reasonable and it was bright and
We stopped short of the targeted destination
when we found so much bait marking that it
obliterated the depth reading on the screen.
We quickly set out but Dwight made the call
that we were probably in a jellyfish factory
and he was right, so we resumed course.
Off in the distance and closer to the islands
we saw a mixed bag of commercial and private
boats working the area. The water color was
perfect for salmon; murky olive green and
clear of those pesky jellyfish.
We deployed the bridled plastic tubs over
the sides (to slow us down a bit) and Fred
set up on the port down rigger while I grabbed
the starboard one. Tony and Dwight snapped
into action between us. Tony went lighter
with a 2 pound salmon weight while Dwight
stayed with the 2 1/2 pound model. We all
had bait to start EXCEPT Tony and he found
fish number one with a watermelon apex. Dwight
netted the fairly decent beast to get the
day started. According to Fred who was sporting
a cool app with solunar calendar information
it would be a peak (four fish) day with a
fishing window of several hours.
Just about the time I had ditched my jacket
and thought about putting on more sunscreen
I saw the fog bearing down on us. Heralded
by 15 knots of wind things progressed to fishable
jackass conditions. But the fish LOVED it.
My rod with a anchovy baited on it enticed
a fish and after a nice fight Dwight netted
a 20 pounder for me. Tom got to take the photo
since the guys had started to clean Tony's
fish and nobody else had clean hands at the
Tony's stick got bit again and he boxed another
salmon. Fred had started to do some post-mortem's
to see what the fish were feeding on and we
found a plethora of critters in the stomach
contents. There was tiny fish we couldn't
identify, squid, anchovies and plenty of krill.
The guys flicked a salmon heart up towards
me and I watched as the still beating organ
crawled its way across the fiberglass surface
of the cockpit.
Fred was working the fruit when he got the
next fish. The beauty slid into the net with
We had joked earlier about having a "quad"
takedown like we're used to when albacore
fishing. Well be careful for what you wish
for. Out of the blue lines went taunt from
Tony to me and we stuck 3 fish solid. In real
life it does help to have one person able
to clear down riggers and have a net ready
lol! We did the classic over-and-under and
paced ourselves to get all three fish landed
including a 17 pound salmon which I caught.
From there I went back to the helm for a
bit and tried a few techniques to get the
fish to bite. I explained that I would pop
the boat out of gear for 10-12 seconds to
let the lines drop and then throttle back
up. On the first attempt at about the 7 second
mark, Fred's eyes get wide and he say's "Bev
your rod's pumping! I raced to it and saw
the fish skyrocket out of the water. It was
on crack or it was a silver. We never found
out because it wound up spitting the hook.
Grabbing the "goo" AKA John Beath's
Super Scent I ran a smear on the topside of
the apex. I had another fish hit just as I
dropped to 27 feet and was in the process
of parking the rod in the holder. It got off
shortly after that. Dwight had a real nice
one that we never got to see but it took line
the whole time he fought it before it said
By the end of the afternoon we'd been beat
up enough to pack it in with 9 nice salmon.
We missed 5 attempts at the devil fish but
none of us could give the devil his due. No
worries though. We had one of the best days
With a forecast of unseasonably hot weather
and beautiful flat ocean conditions it was
a pleasure to hop aboard the Queen
of Hearts for an angling adventure down
by Pigeon Point.
On our first few drifts we had to coax the
rockfish a bit. I released one ling at the
boat after it fell for a Paradox
Reef Raptor. We headed further south and
the breeze picked up a tad to help the boat's
drift. Black rockfish, gophers
and bolinas started to bite
and shrimp fly rigs were very popular in attracting
Tossing down my custom iron, from my friend
Eric, I picked up a keeper lingcod
in a gorgeous shade of green. I had one more
but it was too small so I sent it darting
back to it's underwater lair.
Later in the day we enjoyed a grey whale
mother and calf pair as they swam uphill close
to the shoreline and I spied a harbor seal
observing us from a tide line. 15 happy folks
wound up with rockfish limits and I noted
a few vermilions, Chinas
and blue rockfish at the
filleting table as Willie cleaned fish.
Back at Moss Landing we hit a weather window
to fish salmon. Joe was the
rockstar today landing one around 13 pounds.
It was another stellar day to watch and photograph
whales for the rest of us.
We took the bigger boat (Tea Sea Sr.) out
of Half Moon Bay today for salmon but aside
from 2 brief hits on Joe's rod it was just
a day to enjoy viewing tons of humpback whales.
I kicked Tom out of the driver's seat for
part of the day to log some time behind the
Today was the rockfish opener (south of Pigeon
Point) so I fished with Tom and his crew.
We left from Moss Landing about 7:30 am and
the ocean was so nice we decided to start
with salmon first. Dwight
was our hero this morning when he caught a
salmon about the size I had last trip out.
We ran up to a spot off Santa Cruz to try
for rockfish but after kicking
back a small lingcod and
boating a huge sand dab and
a few rockfish we opted to go back to salmon
One shaker salmon bit in the afternoon before
we headed for the barn.
As nice as it was to go fly fishing last
week the saltwater was beckoning me again
and like a moth drawn to flame I couldn't
pass it up. I joined Fred, Jim and Jim's son,
Justin, as part of Tea Sea's crew.
Tom managed to get us out a little earlier
this morning and reports of a few fish off
Moss Landing started to get us pumped up on
the back deck. We deployed both down riggers
which Fred and I utilized while Jim and Justin
set up with 2 1/2 pound release weights. We
commenced to snap pictures of whales which
were in abundance today. We were all trying
for the classic tail fluke shot.
The fish were being a bit picky but finally
Justin had his rod load up. Alas, just at
the surface we saw it was a shaker. It made
a leap up and dislodged the hook saving us
the trouble. Jellyfish weren't a huge issue
but we did pick up some grass and kelp here
Having tried the watermelon apex (and a blue
dancer briefly) I turned to Tom for suggestions.
He whipped out a homemade bait rig and loaded
an anchovy in it. I think it was in the water
for less than 5 minutes before getting bit.
I whipped up a fat and sassy 18 pound salmon
and Fred did a skillful net job.
The fish left us alone again but we did see
more whales and some sea otters. Jim whacked
the tail off the fish for me and the guys
took the rest of the fish back to Tom's to
cut up so everyone could have some for dinner.
I combined a trip to visit my sister in Missoula,
MT with a chance to also fish with my friend
Shelly Ehmer in Craig, MT.
Shelly picked me up at the Greyhound station
in Helena after a fun-filled day of touring
Butte where I found a tackle shop and a chocolate
store both closed for my lengthy stopover.
I salvaged the afternoon in Butte by having
lunch at a Taco John's and getting an incredible
facial at a day spa conveniently located a
block from the bus depot!
Tuesday morning Shelly and I made our way
Trout Shop in Craig where I had a chance
to look around and purchase my neon yellow
fishing license. All of Shelly's drift boats
were in other locations so we made use of
another drift boat from Adipose
Boatworks, where Shelly works by the way.
Local guide Mike Kuhnert opted to forgo being
a "formal" guide today so that we
could all relax and have fun. I know Shelly
from fishing saltwater on the West Coast and
she rolls like I do. So it was no big surprise
when we popped by the bar to fortify ourselves
for the river excursion.
After launching on the Missouri River, both
of them insisted I take the bow position where
I could stand up to cast against the stabilizer
bar. Mike rowed and Shelly set up in the stern.
Mike had me rigged up with a #6 Sage fly rod
and with his tips and encouragement I was
soon shaking the dust off my fly casting experience.
As we gently moved down the beautiful waterway
we noticed an abundance of waterfowl; stately
Canadian geese, comical American white pelicans,
glossy black male red-winged blackbirds and
a species of swallow that I was unable to
It was a challenge to handle both the rod
and the camera and I missed numerous strikes
from fish, however by the end of the day I
had caught and released three very nice rainbow
trout and had a few others come unhooked
partway into the fight. I need to practice
my hook set and get more familiar with fly
fishing in general. I could even see buying
a drift boat one day as they are very manageable
and there is NO motor to maintain.
Shelly has offered to have me come back and
maybe I'll take Jeff with me next time. At
any rate, freshwater fishing was a great change
of pace and scenery for me. Thanks Shelly!
It was one of those days were all the odds
were stacked against you. Tom had John, Joe
and Mark coming from Tom's house and on 101
they got held up by a truck on fire. I was
at the boat at 6:30 and waiting on them as
they rolled in around 7.
I plucked the ice bags from one of the coolers
and tossed it in the back but the cooler hit
the dock with the bait still inside. Whoops!
We were about a mile out of the jaws when
we noted it. Turn back? Nope let's just go
to plan B.
I had one of Khanh's new blue dancers set
up behind a small Sep's flasher and hitched
it to the starboard downrigger; a downrigger
we had just removed a cable fray from the
bottom of it. It sailed down into the depths
as I held my rod and then at about 130' the
wire broke. So now I'm out-of-control attached
to 12 pounds of weight. Somehow I got it stopped
without grinding my thumbpads off or getting
caught in the levelwind. (I cringe just imaging
what THAT would feel like LOL!) Mark and I
try to hand pump it up and then we get my
line onto the rigger wheel, but our luck finally
runs out when the line snaps around 40' down.
Shortly after that fire drill the other rigger
had a similar experience. Just as we're thinking
we're screwed we get a fish on a "manual"
set-up. Balls work! Tom had a spare rigger
which has Firewire and we tossed that out
for Mark to clip into. Joe, John and I stayed
with the classic dog whistle approach. Joe
had numerous shakers but Joe managed to box
a salmon and I wound up with
two. I also had one shaker being chased by
a sealion but we scooped him and set him free.
That fish knew he was in trouble because he
shot across the water at light speed the second
he hit the water.
Fur bags were ripping off anglers today and
I caught a photo of one with a tail sticking
out of it's mouth.
We had quite the adventure today but we sucked
it up and managed three decent fish. New wire
is on the way. Oh and most of the fish hit
the fruit today; watermelon apexes.
Tea Sea cruised out of the harbor
this morning with Tom at the helm and Dwight
and I as the crew. We had two veterans fishing
with us today hoping to get a chance to enter
a fish in the Monterey
Bay Veteran's Salmon Derby. Vivian and
Joe were our guests and we hoped to put them
on some nice king salmon.
With very nice weather predicted it was no
surprise to find hundreds of people plying
the waters off Moss Landing. I suspected that
the fish were a bit scattered after having
been trolled and mooched through for the past
week. A few boats were still getting limits
but most were scratching out fish here and
We were able to get Joe onto a fish that
after being cleaned weighed out at 10 lbs.
11 oz., however it was the only fish we had
that wanted to bite today.
I showed up at Moss at the launch ramp this
morning to fish salmon with
Mike and crew (Bryon and Charles) for a few
Ran 4 rods "stacked" on 2 down
riggers. I got some love on the red croc with
a nice 15 pound fish. Mike had the next one
and Charles boxed the third keeper, which
was a hatchery fish. Most fish hit between
180' and 130' and we had one double.
We hoped Bryon would get lucky but we had
to call it quits by 11:00. I sawed the bigger
fish in half so he could take some home too.
Tom (Tea Sea) and his wife stopped by us
as we were washing the boat down. I'm fishing
again with him on Saturday.
I came home intending to get in a nap but
I found my list of things to get done lol!
I was back at Moss Landing this morning to
fish with Tom again. David (Ponyboy) and Tony
rounded out the crew.
We started trolling around 8:30 and fishing
was slow. We proceeded to have gear issues,
tangles and found several crab pots.
I kept hoping I was dreaming and I'd wake
up and the crab pots would be gone. I did
manage to wrestle up about 25' of line to
get my red croc back from the rope with no
buoy and now that ghost pot is trailing a
shorter line. Snagged another pot with the
croc and got it back too.
The risso dolphins were putting on quite
the show and we saw a humpback way off in
It was nice hanging out with the guys but
the salmon dinner I had envisioned ended when
Tony had a 22" shaker just before we
gave up and headed in.
I went out of Moss Landing this morning with
Tom Cala on his slightly smaller version (the
28' Ablemarle) and was joined by John, Jim
We had all the right conditions to get the
game going including perfect weather but it
took a couple of hours before my rod went
off. I breathed through my nose and coaxed
up salmon number one. And
then we were off and running... well maybe
not quite running but we did manage 6 before
calling it a day.
The weirdest thing we saw on the water today
was thousands of fresh dead anchovies floating
around. We scooped up about 15 pounds of them.
I never saw a whale and the water looked fine
so it's a mystery.
Crab for dinner tonight!
After being off the water for 61 days and
being prodded by friends to get out there,
I DID! I joined Tom's crew aboard Tea
Sea to run the crab gear. We couldn't
find pot number one but hopefully it'll show
up before too long. The weather was a bit
bumpy, and out of the south, but we avoided
getting rained on this morning.
With most of the "house flipping"
done on our old place my folks are eager to
move in and I'm looking forward to putting
down the hammer and paint brush. Bring on
to my 2015 Fishing Diary
to my 2013 Fishing Diary
to my 2012 Fishing Diary
to my 2011 Fishing Diary
to my 2010 Fishing Diary
to my 2009 Fishing Diary
to my 2008 Fishing Diary
to my 2007 Fishing Diary