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
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
We finished off with limits of beautiful
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.
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
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 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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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
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!
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.
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
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
1st Bev Seltzer 43.8
2nd Sandy Fishell 42.4
3rd Teri Jo Passanante 34.0
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.
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.
I just can't resist going back to Canada,
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
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
My best salmon this year wasn't my biggest.
It was a special "white" Chinook
After 8 years of going to this beautiful
and bountiful place I just can't wait to return
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.
to my 2018 Fishing Diary