With rockfish and lingcod season over in my
home state I figured my saltwater adventures
were about to go on hiatus, but an opportunity
came up... In Oregon!
My friend Yvonne and I had planned a road trip
to the Oregon coast and while staying in Gleneden
Beach the weather permitted us to enjoy a short
fishing excursion with Newport
Tradewinds in Newport, OR just to the south
We boarded the vessel Sea Venture I with Captain
Steve De Mauro and deckhand Bill Smith. A group
of five guys from Idaho also headed out with
us. After a hilarious safety speech from Bill
we scooted out over the bar where the seas were
rather impressive. I sat in wheelhouse with
Steve and reminisced about the Winter I spent
commercial fishing from Newport (and wished
I had remembered to video crossing the bar.)
The ocean a little to the South of the Harbor
settled into swells around 9-10 feet but at
an interval that made for very fishable drifts.
Yvonne and I took up spots on the bow while
the rest of the guys fanned out along the starboard
rail. Bill had set my friend up with a left
hand reel so she didn't have to use the one
she had brought just in case they weren't prepared
for Southpaws. I on the other hand am set in
my ways and produced my Penn 525 Mag which Bill
secured to a nice little rod with great jigging
Yvonne caught the first fish, actually the
first two fish, as she had a double hook up
on nice black rockfish. I was
focused on lingcod which were reluctant to bite
at the beginning. When I did land the occasional
black rockfish and one yellowtail rockfish
they were all on a purple and black
Harry Boos teaser fly and they were all big
fish. Below my teaser I tried a couple of swimbaits
and a large root beer Scampi tail. On the Scampi
tail I had a very nice fish grab it but just
a couple of lifts off the bottom I lost it.
Lingcod were starting to hit
the deck mostly do to the expertise of our crew
who were baiting folks up with whole rockfish
and netting quite a few lings that hitchhiked
up on those. I decided to try a big white glow-in-the-dark
grub and low and behold my lingcod action switched
into high gear.
My first ling was just shy of being a keeper
but every one I landed after that was destined
to go to into the freezer whether it was mine,
Yvonne's or someone else's. A few fish were
right around the 20 pound mark and most were
at least 12-15 pounds.
A couple of the guys succumbed briefly to seasickness
which the crew referred to as, "our complementary
weight loss program." Jokes were told,
the sun came out and more fish hit the deck
as we had a great time fishing. By the time
we called it a day I think we had limits of
rockfish and lings too.
Back at the dock Carolyn expertly filleted
our fish. I had come prepared with my own vacuum
packer but this service was offered through
the landing had I not been prepared, which was
nice to know for future trips... Yep, I hope
to come back and fish with them again.
Warm Fall weather and
calm seas made for a fabulous inshore day of
fishing on the Queen
of Hearts. Capt. Bob made a short run to
the south while I alternately chatted with some
of the 21 other anglers aboard and listened
to tunes on my Ipod.
Stationed up on the bow
I spent most of the morning working the "big
guns" in my Albackore Altunative tackle
bag. From time-to-time I pulled up a huge bolina,
yellow and black or cabezone
but finally I scored my first lingcod
of the day. It was so blue everyone commented
on how it matched my outfit. I had worn turquoise
pants and my satin turquoise jacket. Add to
that the fact that I had a pair of light blue
shrimp fly earrings on and you get the picture...
Even one of the cabezone I landed had a little
aqua around it's gill plates and mouth. Holding
both of them up made for a great picture to
capture today's trip.
While I did go on to
catch another slightly larger brown lingcod
I missed winning the jackpot by just shy of
a pound. I did happen to see a very large ling
come unbuttoned after diving back down the moment
he broke the surface and another one that followed
up a hooked rockfish didn't stick around long
enough to be free-gaffed. There were also a
lot of huge seatrout landed
and quite a number of starfish
Today was definitely not a slow Wednesday!
I got an early morning call to head up to Half
Moon Bay for a day of fishing. The Queen of
Hearts's regulars were out in force... Bernie,
Gene, Mike, Harry, etc.. Anyway we pulled out
the stops and went slightly south of Pigeon
Point to hunt bottom dwellers.
I enticed an eleven pound green lingcod
with a golden-colored, super-soft, scampi tail.
This bugger fought me all the way to the surface
where James planted the gaff pronto. I added
it to my sack along with nice gophers,
and blues and released another
ling just 3/4" shy of legal.
Somewhere towards the end of the day I flipped
a "flylined" Storm anchovy down and
got hit by a very respectable cabezone
which added considerable
weight to my already decent sack.
Imagine my surprise when I discovered I had
the biggest fish yet again! Ok I'm now 3 for
3 for jackpot fish on the Queen of Hearts this
year. I wonder if I'll get to push the envelope
and do it again before the year's over.
Ah my favorite time of year, Indian Summer,
and what better way to celebrate it than to
go out shallow-water, light-tackle rockfishing.
I scooted out on the Queen of Hearts this morning
and Capt. Bob worked several spots down as far
as San Gorgonio. Shallow-water from 40-60' was
the game plan for most of the day. We did do
a few drifts in 100'. Only 2 keeper lings
for about a half dozen anglers but I managed
to get one of them for the dinner table. Jeff
will be happy... (and jackpot ling ALWAYS tastes
We did note some really unusual blues/blacks.
They had gold colorations around their heads.
Kinda looked like they were breeding with olives
or something. Wish I'd had the camera.
Today I had the pleasure of hunting albacore
with new friends on the Boston Whaler Innamorata.
Regarding Captain Wendy (AKA LaSwamprat), first
off I have to say I haven’t been as impressed
by meeting a new angling buddy since I met Cheryl.
She addressed safety issues at the ramp, discussed
the plan and was ready to roll. It is not often
I that feel comfortable enough to forgo shoulder-surfing
on a long ride out in the dark and attempt to
rest. Her boating skills are impeccable and
as her fishing skills improve she’s going
to be first class competition. I would be honored
to deck her boat again!
Wendy’s husband, Ken, is an all around
nice guy to roll with and also very knowledgeable
on the water. I had to beg Wendy and him to
give up the wheel a couple times.
Dave (AKA Ddawg) rounded out our crew. It was
a pleasure sharing the deck responsibilities
with him and allowed me run with some options.
I feel everyone has something to bring to the
table and I like learning new things as much
as I like teaching stuff I know. It’s
always nice to have someone aboard who can grab
a rod out of the overhead rocket launchers without
needing a ladder. He was quick on rigging gear
too. I also liked his fish cutting techniques.
We left the launch ramp at Half Moon Bay at
3 am and with a flat ocean we were able to fairly
race out to the Pioneer Seamount. Dave laid
out the guns and picked the first spread. He
mixed it up with some nice chrome jet-head cedar
plugs, a few black & purple clones and various
other color patterns. After finding a hard temperature
break we trolled for about an hour, however
the water stayed on the cold side never budging
over 59 degrees so running to another location
was suggested. We headed back in to the Guide
Seamount and found 60 degree water. The water
color and clarity looked a lot more promising
here too. We couldn’t believe how beautiful
the ocean and weather was!
We had nine rods working and a few swimbait
rigs standing by. As we crossed into the center
of the seamount we got our first takedown. I
tried to get a fish going as Dave pulled in
the first troll fish but I had no takers. Dave’s
fish took down a black & purple cedar plug
on the whisky line. We continued trolling and
headed for the 601.
I examined the stomach contents of the fish
and suggested the next spread choice; saury.
The water started to heat up a couple of degrees.
Conditions were perfect but where were the fish?
About this time I was also becoming quite the
chummer (tossing dry cat food) and at one point
I looked up and right in front of me my Penn
15 KG was dumping line in “silent mode”.
I first thought it was kelp but lo and behold
the kelp fought back. Everyone rallied in perfect
unison to contribute boxing this creature. Sure
enough it hit a saury-colored jig and at the
cutting station we found a 9-10” one in
I lost track of the number of dolphin schools
we saw today. The show started with Pacific
white-sides and shifted to common dolphins.
Lots of jumping sauries, a few albatross, tuna
birds and a couple of small shark sightings
really made the day and you couldn’t ask
for better weather. We capped off the sunset
with the best green flash I’ve ever seen
(and the first one Wendy’s ever seen.)
It was a long one as they go. I only wish we’d
have had those darn fish biting so I could’ve
watched Wendy and Ken grind on some fish.
Since albacore have not invaded the local waters
with a fervor a lot of my fishing buddies have
been terrorizing the bays for halibut and fishing
rockfish when the weather permits. Today was
no exception. Harold (Seahare), Mike (Fishbelly)
and I met up at Pillar Point Harbor to launch
Harold's Grady White.
Just like last Saturday the ocean was calm
so we picked up a scoop of live anchovies in
the outer harbor before opening up the throttle
and jamming south. Something caught our attention
on the meter soon after and we decided to check
it out. Harold promptly got slammed by a nice
fish. He fought it to the surface but before
Mike could gaff it the estimated 15 pound lingcod
broke the leader. It left a bunch of partially
eaten fish in its wake as it raced back to the
We dropped in next at Pescadero in 30 - 40
feet of water and Harold caught the first fish
of the day (that made it into the boat); blue
rockfish. I started off slow and only
managed to foul hook a starfish on a B-2 squid.
Mike started to out fish both of us. He put
a decent black rockfish aboard
and then followed it with a fat bolina.
We all caught big fat black and yellows
and gophers. There were definitely
no "Jenny Craig's" in this part of
the reef. Every fish was stuffed to the gills
About this time the Queen of Hearts was drifting
just up swell of us and Mike gets a huge hit.
He fought his whopper up and we all thought
he had a lingcod. Turns out it was a gigantic
black rockfish. Harold swung the gaff down and
flipped it into the boat. It taped out at 22
3/4 inches. Mike was using 10 pound Power Pro
so he might have a record fish. It dwarfed everything
else in the fish box. He also bagged a large
seatrout soon after.
We snacked and joked and fished our way to
three limits by late afternoon and Mike and
I even let two legal size cabezone
go when we forgot the size limit. We also released
a few small lings. I have to give Harold a lot
of credit for boat skills. Every time I stuck
my rig on the bottom he managed to maneuver
the boat so I could free it. I only lost two
rigs and by chance I snagged one on a subsequent
drift and got that one back as well!
On the way back up we tried bounce-balling
for halibut for about an hour. I got my second
starfish and the other rig hooked a sand dollar.
The water was pretty brown in the section we
trolled. Maybe we'll try again next week. We
did take pictures of the rock caves near Martin's
Beach and we also saw thousands of birds working
the area. Bait was everywhere!
There's nothing like a beautiful day at the
Farallon Islands fishing with friends. Gary
fired up "Panda Angler" and Richard
and I met him at the Coyote Point Marina. For
live bait we made a stop for sand dabs
in 160 feet of water prior to heading to the
South Island. In the span of an hour or two
we filled the baitwell with several dozen.
Our starting point was at the south end of
the south islands where the bite was slow but
steady. We moved up to drift the southwest end
of the island and found a thick swatch of rock
sole. I put 3 in the boat and the guys
caught another 3 between them. If we had been
targeting them I'm sure we could've had a lot
more. I had to kick back three undersized lingcod
but I did land some nice big quillbacks,
Chinas and gophers.Gary
had an Olive around 4 pounds
and Richard brought up a copper with
a lot of red tones to it. A few blues
rounded out our rockfish assortment.
We waited awhile before using our dabs but
I was having instantaneous hook ups as soon
as I pinned a dab on a chrome jig. All three
lings and a cabezone I brought
up were short so it was nice to nail three of
those sole... It a new species for me too!
Jeff & I ate rock sole with a caper and
sherry sauce. You bet they're good!
Let's just say I've been busy, but today I
finally made it out on the Queen
of Hearts to tickle the chins (as Captain
Bob would say) of some rockfish.
Sportfishingreport.com chartered my favorite
local vessel for a fun-filled Friday. The weather
window looked imposing as I looked at the forecast,
and the seas were up a bit, however the wind
kept at bay allowing 22 anglers to entice many
rockfish species to bite. Blacks
and blues were prevalent with
nice fat gophers and huge Chinas
popping up. A smattering of Bolinas
hit the deck and I noticed some tasty seatrout
as fish were being cleaned by our deckhand,
James. A few short lingcod
were released and the trip yielded some very
nice vermilions... One of those
happened to be an 8 pounder that I nailed on
a white B-2 squid managing to get the jackpot
and another lucky lure from Capt. Bob.
I'd like to thank John of Sportfishingreport.com
for setting up a great charter with some nice
July 18 - 19
Dan Gomez and his wife Jen invited me to Santa
Cruz to goof off on Friday along with Carol
and three teenaged girls. (Team estrogen!) With
a leisurely morning start we headed south to
Capitola to make bait and we nearly had a grand
slam with huge jacksmelt, shiner
perch and anchovies.
We tried to find some halibut but none felt
like biting. The spiney dogfish
did though. We released a lot of these sharks.
On the way in we paused to look at a capsized
sailboat that was tethered to a buoy for recovery
plans on Saturday. It happened right in front
of the Santa Cruz Boardwalk.
On Saturday the team paired down to just us
adults and we got an earlier start. Bait was
for sale in the harbor so a quick stop soon
had the aft tank ready for action.
We headed south again and soon were up to our
eyeballs in sharks again. They were a lot of
fun and all were released. We also had a small
skate that got sent home after
a picture. There were tons of birds working
the bait in the area but again the halibut stayed
We decided to move north to the lighthouse
where we caught a few rockfish. I had a very
decent vermilion nail a small
copper jig that I was casting. I hooked and
handed a yellow and black rockfish
followed by a copper so that
Carol and Jen could crank on a couple.
Back at the launch ramp it was pretty busy
and one boat had it's trailer break as it was
being hauled out. Dan and Jen's Farallon boat
performed very well and they have it close to
the harbor waiting for the albacore to start
hitting the coast. Come on tuna!
June 18 - 24
With just a couple of weeks to prepare and
only three months post-op from a rotator cuff
surgery, (I came off a horse while I was in
Dominica... lucky for me it was my left one
this time.), I headed back to San Diego for
a 6 day trip on the Royal Polaris.
Since this was a Full Speed Fishing Club charter
I shared my van with Fishbelly (Mike), MrCake
(Brad) and Baitfinger (John L.) Upon arrival
we all gathered at the Captain's Quarters followed
by dinner at Miguel's. Prior to crashing for
the night at the Dolphin I wandered down to
Humphrey's Half Moon Inn & Suites on Shelter
Island, where Highlandlassie (Dean) and PFD
(Ross) were ensconced in a room with a balcony
overlooking the stage of a Crosby, Stills &
Nash concert. I hung out for an hour or so and
got to hear the song Southern Cross
before I left... Very cool way to start the
The next morning 29 of us herded aboard the
vessel and got settled in. I had planned on
sharing a room with Marydc319 (Mary) however
due to the limited load, I got my favorite room
again; number 2 on the bow behind the galley.
We have an all star crew on this voyage; captain
Frank Lopreste, Roy Rose, Billy Santiago, Dharyl
Shelbourne, Jesus Companioni, Rapheal Lam, and
Jim Guyot and James Wager as our chefs.
In no time at all Alan Tani had his reel repair
gear set up at table one ready to make sure
everyone had tight smooth drags. He had a small
plastic container with several types of grease
including one that Jim from the galley thought
was peanut butter. (I thought about offering
him a cracker.) Bait was loaded and we started
running to the tuna grounds South of San Diego.
I slip over to Bloom's (John B.) cabin and tape
a poster to the bottom of the bunk above him...
I also short-sheet his bed.
Thursday, we trolled offshore and located some
tuna and I put a 25 pound bluefin
on the deck while a few others landed bluefin,
yellowfin and some albacore.
Ghetto Booty (Dan) handed Mary a nice albacore
to fight and it turned out to be a very nice
fish. I had hoped to catch some albies but I
was very happy with my one bluefin for the day
(I did have my lucky bluefin earrings on.) I
believe 24 tuna were caught by the end of the
day. Jeff will be in sushi heaven when I get
Friday we hit Cedros Island near Guerrero Negro
which is about halfway down the Pacific side
of Baja California. We are within casting range
of some kelp beds so I break out a light rod
and cast a Storm sardine out. I promptly nail
4 calico bass, keeping only
one. Yellowtail are starting
to hit the deck though so I grab a 40# outfit;
Seeker 670 and a Shimano Torium 30. After pinning
a live sardine on I lightly cast it towards
a spot where I just saw a fish boil on the surface.
My bait starts to panic and is soon picked up.
After a 6 second count I engage the reel, pick
up the slack and set the hook on my first yellowtail
of the trip. It is a rod bending 36 pounds and
I battle to hold it up by the gills for a photo.
After dinner I had a look at some really neat
jigs from Japan that Noah (Roger) had brought
along. We made bait before retiring for the
night and Frank put us on the anchor at Chester
Saturday was spent chasing yellowtail schools
inshore and offshore. I hooked my first one
in the morning on iron off the stern and caught
two more later on bait. Back on the anchor again
I found a hot spot off the starboard bow for
trophy calico bass. Almost every cast hooked
up on a 5 pound plus fish and I had Roy cracking
up as I shouted out, "Lookout boys, I've
got a license to kill." I released all
fish below 5 pounds and Roy brought up a milk
crate for me to use as a kill box. I also released
a couple of barred sand bass.
Sunday morning found us right in front of the
salt plant on Cedros and I managed two more
yellowtail on the iron. After the morning bite
we headed for San Benitos where the two skiffs
were lowered over the side. Dan and John L.
boarded the one Jesus was skippering and Graylight
(Stuart) and Cortez 22 (Mark) went off with
Roy. MoonMadness (Gary) wrote my name down to
go out fishing with Mary and Roy. I quickly
grabbed a couple of rods and a handful of swimbaits
We had the second skiff rotation and Roy was
hot on the yellowtail. We had a blast running
around near the Boiler Rock. Mary brought up
a nice one and we all teamed up to get it away
from a sea lion before too much damage was done.
I put a fish in and then Mary got another. My
second fish straightened the treble hook just
short of gaff range.
On our final day we tried for more offshore
tuna but none of them wanted to bite and the
sea had come up a bit making things tougher.
Naps were taken and movies were shown. I started
to break down some of my gear in preparation
for the ride back in.
As always the wonderful crew of the Royal Polaris
made this a great adventure (my fourth on this
awesome boat) and kept us well fed. The gang
from Full Speed was a riot as usual... John
L. almost covered his Italian lunch with my
Benefiber thinking it was parmesan cheese...
I have now seen Jackass the movie AND Jackass
2.5... I wonder if the mackerel I tagged with
Mike's number got processed by 5 star?
Team Alibi II participated in the Grady White
Invitational again this year. Glenn joined Cheryl,
David and I as we tried to coax up some halibut
just south of Santa Cruz, The flatties weren't
biting but before the day was done we did release
a couple of short lingcod,
and caught sand dabs, bolinas,
and a seatrout. The weather
was a bit on the cool side but the ocean was
While in Dominica looking
at property, Jeff and I chartered the 37' sea
ray "Proud Mary" from Island
Style Fishing. Captain Jerry Daway has a
beautiful and well appointed boat and top of
the line tackle. His experience in the waters
of Dominica are unparalleled; over 22 years
of sportfishing, whale watching and diving.
We only fished for a
half day but at one point we had three blue
marlin on at once!
My first chance to get out on
the water came sooner than expected, when Gary
called me up to join him and Richard on the
Panda Angler. I've always enjoyed going out
Gary's boat which is a 29' Shamrock. Unfortunately
for me I had not purchased my license for 2008
yet, but undeterred I still wanted to spend
the day with Full Speed Fishing friends.
Between Gary and Richard they
hooked and released six leopard sharks
as we tried a spot or two near Berkeley Flats
in San Francisco Bay. I did assist in a few
releases, took some photos and soaked up the
nice weather. Funny thing is... Today the guys
were after sturgeon and they steered clear of
I bought my license a couple of
days later, so I'm ready to roll.
to my 2007 Fishing Diary