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Fishing Diary  

2019

December 4

A little rain will never put off a true angler, so Dean, Matt and I fished off Half Moon Bay.

At the launch ramp I had a seagull steal a snack-size bag with 3 frozen octopus it it. The guys tried to maneuver from the boat and I tried from the dock but the bird won in the end.

We started off on the crab pots and it may be that one or two went AWOL. It was a bit choppy with wind out of the east. Dean pegged the weather as trying to pet a cat backwards LOL! We tucked the crab limits away and got down to fishing. Today the lingcod wanted to play and we stuck a few nice ones including Matt's beast that I gaffed. I figure it was around 18 pounds.

The rockfish were a little pickier so we didn't get limits... We counted them in potential "tacos".


November 22

Dean and I met up with Mark and spent a nice day fishing out of Half Moon Bay for rockfish. Both the guys also scored a decent lingcod each.

We finished off with limits of beautiful fat crab.


November 13

Indian Summer is finally starting to release its grip on Northern California as Dean, Scott and I found foggy conditions at the launch ramp. The ocean was flat calm though so we spent an enjoyable day collecting limits of crab and then fishing for rockfish and lingcod.


November 7

Dean and I started the day off by trying the tide change and scouting out some white seabass, however they appear to have finally moved on... It was a good bite while it lasted though!

We relaunched the boat at Half Moon Bay and were joined by Wayne and John.

We fished Deep Reef for some nice rockfish and John and I each got a keeper lingcod. John also bagged a big cabezon. The seas were beautiful; Just enough for a decent drift.

Dean had some pots out so we all got a hefty limit of crab to make it a perfect day on the water.


November 2

The dungeness crab opener is one of the biggest events in the bay area and people roll out to crab, feast and party.

I headed out with Tea Sea and crew at a leisurely 8 am from Pillar Point Harbor. It's so nice to have a berth on a day when it's shear madness at the launch ramp.

We dropped off the pots and moseyed over to deep reef to fish while they soaked.

After getting limits of rockfish and a few lingcod (I got my limit on one drop;one ling on each hook), we ran back to the pots.

Someone had raided them and they also went and sabotaged most of the pots by cutting the wire near the crab ring entry hole on one side. We got a few but it was really sad to know someone would do this to senior citizens on opening day when crab were plentiful. All I know is Karma will catch up with those losers!

I had my sights set on the roasted pig that a member of Coastside Fishing Club had cooked up in the parking lot. I can wait a little longer for crab.


October 29

Dean and I went out to try for an unusual combo trip today. We fished about an hour north of the golden gate where we got one salmon to bite Dean's line. The wind started to blow up from the east soon after that.

There was a tide change in the bay we wanted to hit by early afternoon so we dropped back down and went looking for white seabass. Using dead anchovies we drifted along all by ourselves in beautiful, calm water and hot, sunny skies.

I got a vicious takedown and it was game on! I thought I had a mud marlin but it turned out to be a white seabass dogging along the bottom. I had another hooked up but it chewed its way to freedom.

Dean nailed one right after that!

Mission accomplished we called it a day.


October 20

At a tad after 7 am I got a text. "Are you awake?" I knew it'd probably be an invitation to go fishing when I saw it was from Dean. Yep!

I slapped together a quick lunch, grabbed some coffee and rolled out the door.

We had the same game plan as our last outing but this time we had live anchovies.

I jigged up a small halibut and Dean also got a pair. Fought the “extras”... mud marlin, stripers and sharks. Got dinner so I can’t complain. Fun day with Deano.


October 15

I'd just returned from a trip to Canada and Philadelphia the night before but while I was sleeping in Dean shot me a text about going fishing for a few hours on the late afternoon tide.

We launched out of Oyster Point Marina and hoped to find some willing white seabass. Not today... However we did get to play a few fish. Dean landed a sizeable halibut and I kept two striped bass.


October 1

While visiting in Oregon I couldn't resist a little fishing. My sister Marilyn had never fished the cold water species so we jumped aboard the Sampson out of Depoe Bay with Captain Lars.

My sister caught and released a beautiful yelloweye rockfish. Other fish we caught in the rockfish family were yellowtail, black and canary. The drift was slow but we were enjoying a nice calm day!

I did manage to get one very nice lingcod!


September 16

I still can't believe it's been 6 years since I last hunted albacore but I had a mission to complete this year.

Six of us chartered the Malia Kai out of Noyo Harbor. To make the trip a little less harsh four of us drove up on Sunday and stayed at a very nice hunt camp in Boonville.

We departed the dock at 5:30 am on Monday and found our quarry a little before 8 am. The guys let me have a crack at the first one so I could have a season slam. (Last month I'd caught bluefin and yellowfin.)

It was a tad bumpy for the first few hours but settled into almost flat calm by the end of the day. Fish were mostly singles and doubles but we did have a quad takedown in the afternoon.

One guy broke his cherry and yes he ate the heart! Same guy also grabbed my Avet/Seeker spiral wrapped with a Ahi Live Deception jig (anchovy) and got a fish. It was an honest mistake LOL! He had heard we had boat rods rigged with jigs... Yeah, they were on the bow. Long story short, I was on another fish and had a good laugh later. He commented on how nice it was and he gave me a beer.

When we quit for the day we were only 15 miles off the beach.

We finished with 36 fish to 18 pounds and had another night at the camp on the way out.

Captain Kevin Browning and his deckhand Dave were very good and they love having talent on the boat. I'd highly suggest them for a future charter! (707) 372-9996

I guess I can break out my 'lil Chief and do some smoking tomorrow.


August 22-25

I had to take the Spring off but I am making up for lost time rapidly. On April 1st I had my right shoulder overhauled (again) and this time Dr. Arthur Ting did not only the rotator cuff but he added the crew fixation technique on my bicep as well. After a lot of dedicated and intense physical therapy I was released in time for my annual 3 day Seeker Rods sponsored trip on the Polaris Supreme.

This year a few regulars missed out by waiting to long to sign up and a family of 8 from Utah snapped up one third of the spots wanting to try out the long range experience. I believe grandpa footed the entire bill for them too. They took to it like a duck to water.

This year's returning female "rat pack" consisted of Allison, Sandy, Leslie, Teri Jo and yours truly. We had eight women overall.

Day one the weather was a tad sketchy and so was the bite. We did put some bluefin in the boat. Teri Jo sent the skunk packing with her first ever bluefin. I put a nice one in on day one on one of my 30# outfits. Go Seeker! Go Blackwater! Lots of Seeker on the boat. Talicas were the number one go to reel. I caught most of my fish, and people I outfitted, on 30 pound Seeker outfits with Talica 8 & 10 reels. Worthy fights on light gear is fun but sometimes tense.

The crew added Roger Tatman as their new chef and he's amazing. I joked about having foie gras and then commented about duck confit. HE SERVED US DUCK CONFIT ON THE TRIP! The guy has a Flavor Bible on board. Seriously, he's the bomb in the galley!

Well on day two the surface slop settled and the yellowfin went on the chew. Not wide open but nice and steady to start which made it perfect for everyone to mesh as a group. We didn't have a lot of fish lost to rookie moves. I really ratcheted up my game by field test my casting arm with a AHI live deception jig in the anchovy pattern. Casts landed approx. 80-90 feet and jigged or retrieved yielded 4 yellowfin in quick succession. I was on fire and wanted to hand the next one off to Allison but she was taking a nap below. Snooze you lose! She did get up after that though. A few people got to land fish on my lighter Seeker rigs and more than a few asked me what was wrong with my rods... I got to school a few on the merits of a spiral-wrapped rod (I had 3 with me) LOL!

By the end of the day fish counts were up and so were spirits. I found out I was fishing with a guy who had gone to my high school and another guy was friends with Dan who's a buddy of mine from the Truckee fire department. As a chartermaster you hope everyone gets along and you're blown away when everyone feels like they have 23 new best friends! We had our share of hot sticks including Kevin, Pete, Ken, David and Seth (he limited on his yellowfin and would hook and hand to those less fortunate. David also passed off a few fish and also bought breakfast for a group of while we waited for fish to be processed at Fisherman's Processing. Pete really went the extra mile by giving Allison a Shimano Torium 20 after she won the drawing for a custom Seeker rod! Hats off dude! That scored major karma in my book!

Day three was a rinse and repeat of day two and when captain Tommy called it wrap as the sun set on the horizon we started breaking down gear. I had everything clipped off and out of nowhere a school of bluefin charges the boat in epic crash mode. I swear some of them may have bounced off of the boat's flank. Those few that still had gear intact landed a about a half dozen more nice fish including a couple that pushed upper 40's.

Most of our yellowfin were in the 20-30 pound class and the bluefin ranged from 30-40. Michelle landed the one dorado that busted in on the party. Mark (early 20's) from the Utah group had a hook and hand given to him on a very light Seeker rod with a bass reel. He was on the fish for well over an hour and went around the boat a few times but he got a nice bluefin in the 30 pound class. It was classic noodle rod action. Talk about stoked!

My largest fish was landed on a Seeker Black Steel Graphite G270-7 paired with a Shimano Talica 8. (Talicas were the number one go-to reel on the boat.) I was primarily using Owner Hooks circle hooks in sizes 1/0 & 2/0.

I only lost one yellowfin on a corner cluster but it took a Megabait as a trophy.

Two guys who had contenders for the jackpots missed out by not entering or having a DQ'd catch... Women took the top three spots with bluefin tuna:


1st Bev Seltzer 43.8
2nd Sandy Fishell 42.4
3rd Teri Jo Passanante 34.0
Yo ladies!

The crew was stellar and I feel lucky to have another great charter under my belt. Next year we're calling it the Baja Bev Open.

Oh yeah and I can't wait to tell Dr. Ting I landed 12 yellowfin and 3 bluefin and won first place in the jackpot.


August 15

I joined Dean today for a nice combination of rockfish, lingcod and salmon. We launched from Half Moon Bay and had full sun all day long. Morning swells were up but by the end of the day is was reasonably flat. I got a bonus fish today near Pedro Point when I drifted off the rocks and scored a 2 pound sand sole.


July 1-9

I just can't resist going back to Canada, especially Queen Charlotte Safaris on the islands of Haida Gwaii. This year Valerie had Jeff and I paired up with a nice couple from Colorado; Jim and Shirley.

Jeff and I had arrived into Sandspit on the 4th of July well rested and raring to go. This year we padded the front of our Canadian trip with a 3 night stay at the Corkscrew Inn in Vancouver (just as we had done in 2009).

On the 5th we had an invigorating hike in preparation of three days on the water. The weather was gorgeous.

Captain Dave Merek was our guide this trip. We started our adventure off with Jim up to bat first so Shirley could observe. After he put in a Chinook, Jeff followed with one as well. The third rotation had Shirley up to battle the next fish. It's always fun to watch someone get their very first salmon and she was super excited when she landed a Chinook too! I followed suit and we spent the next three days catching salmon, halibut, rockfish (inc. some big vermilions) and lingcod.

Jeff was the lingcod master this time as he brought up a huge female hitchhiking on a quillback rockfish. I photographed the estimated over 50 pound fish as she calmly swam just under the boat. She was in no hurry to let go of that rockfish. When she did retreat it wasn't for long. Jeff had dropped down again and the same big ling was once again hovering just below the surface. This time I grabbed the GoPro and filmed the magnificent fish for just over 2 minutes before she left us for good. These big females really do a better job adding to the population at this stage of their lives than winding up on a dinner plate.

My best salmon this year wasn't my biggest. It was a special "white" Chinook salmon.

After 8 years of going to this beautiful and bountiful place I just can't wait to return again!


May 31

Most years I am on the water a lot soon than the end of May. This year that changed when I discovered I needed my right rotator cuff repaired (again) and my bicep too. The surgery went very well and at 2 months post-op and with very nice ocean conditions I finally felt ready to get out with my friend Dean.

We launched from Half Moon Bay with the intention of heading north to a salmon bite that was hot yesterday. With the motor freshly rebuilt in the Airslot purring away we rolled just outside Pillar Point Harbor to first drop a few crab pots.

I think it was the third pot we set that things went sideways on us. The U-joint went out and it was not quietly either. Dean engaged the trusty kicker and we salvaged a very nice day by getting limits of rockfish, taking a few nice lingcod and winding up with a baker's dozen in crab and according to the reports and radio we didn't miss the salmon action up the coast.


Link to my 2018 Fishing Diary

 

 

 
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