August 3, 2006

Another Thursday report

The phone won't stop ringing. Even viscious e-mails. All kinds of complaints - even threats to cancel their subscriptions. "How come I didn't get the Wed. Report" "Why am I off the list?" "What have I done wrong?" etc, etc, etc. Well, the truth of the matter is that there is (was) no Wednesday report this past week because I had to go to the airport and pick up an out-of-town guest - my Mother's other son, Alan, coming in from St. Louis for his annual crack at those that inhabit the deep blue seas.
    Therefore, today's Sunday report is a summary of both the Thursday and Saturday reports. Confused? Next week it will be a Thursday report and you won't want to miss that one. Wednesday? La Jolla and the Top-of-the-9 are not that far and might be worth the effort.
    Thursday, with Alan in tow, Geoff Halpern, Harry Okuda and I decided to go Paddy hopping (with a little hoping thrown in) and load up on Dodos and YTs. The plan was to head south and try to find some virgin kelp that had not been hammered already. But Harry came up with some hot dope about Marlin activity at the '43. (Sport Boat got one and had many jig bites.) Sounded too good to pass up so we went west instead of south. We did get some bait which turned out to be the worst batch of sardines we have seen all year, but there were enough nice ones to get us by. The ride waas a little bumpy, but not rough and sleepable.
    Summary: we spent the morning covering the 43 and all parts east and west, north and south - for nothing. No birds, no bait, no kelp paddies, no bites, and no fish of any kind. Decision time came down to working to the 289, 181, back to the 182 or down to the 302. The one decision - it seems to have turned out - was the couldof, shouldof, mightof, and didn't option - continue west along the top of the canyon towards Clemente. I suspect that the fish that we had heard of on the 43 had done just that and we will hear (already have heard) of fish there. On Friday someone got two reportedly 1 mile off of Pyramid Head. And on Saturday another taken at the Mackeral Bank. These are the ones we heard of.
    Anyway, with the 302 relatively close to home we headed in that direction. Half way there we were diverted by a Coast Guard helicopter that hovered over us creating quite a breeze along with spray until I turned on channel 16. They than "suggested" that we change course to the NE rather than SE because of some navy live ammo activities. It seemed imprudent not to take their advice and up towards the 182 we went. A report from a friend about being "bit" at the 182 spurred us on. Of course, arriving there - nada. About 2 miles inside of the high spot we finally found a kelp paddy and managed to pull one Dorado and 1 Yellowtail out. And that's the report for Thursday.
    Friday was for work and shopping. Staturday was to be our kelp hopping experience. This time the crew consisted of brother Alan, son, Dr. Ken and Tom, a friend of Ken's. This time the bait was much better. At gray light we found a nice paddy on top of the 302 and pulled a nice YT out of it. We then proceded down past the 230 and 371 in the general direction of the 390. Beautiful weather and 72.5 degree blue water. Hours went by and no sign of kelp. But the usual radio reports of limiting out on dodos, wide open on YT, etc No mention of tuna. But we did find scattered seiners and at least 6 tuna holding pens being pulled here and there. - some in, some out. East of the 390 we spotted a small skiff stopped and noted that they were regularly pulling on fish. I called and they had had 3 open water jig strikes on Dorado and had a large school around them. They called us in and getting closer we manged to get one nice bull Dodo on bait. When that shut off we went into a "box the area" routine working west toward the 390. Reports came in that there was a very sharp temp break from  72 to 68. So we didn't go that far. Working around we finally limited out on the Dodos (2 per person for a total of 8) and finished with 3 YT. We actually found several kelps in the area, but managed only the 2 YT from them.
    Of course, we pulled the big lures, but saw nothing of what we were hoping for. At the end of the day was a report that a friend, on the way to Clemente, found a sleeper at 0550 half way between the 178 and 182. It took a bait and they released the fish. With that much adrenalin circulating they decided to stay local and did see a tailer later in the day. So we had nice weather, decent fishing, food for the table and lots to eat. 
    Next Wednesday? Stay tuned and don't forget to look for the Thursday report.