August 24, 2006

Say your prayers

The weather was beautiful. Flat seas, little to no wind, and a little fog in the AM rapidly burning away to clear blue skies. Water temp about 71.5 (+/-) in most places locally.

I only had time for a short day so didn't load up with crew. Needed fuel so made around trip (including a little off shore looking). Got up early, ran up to Mission Bay and made some bay outside the harbor opening - a little slower than before, but they were there.

Dorado and Yellowtail continue to be caught (as far north as the Channel Islands), but not quite with the frequency as recently. The name of the game is Kelp Paddies - got to find them and slow trolling bait around them seeming to work better than good old fly lining. But more and more we hear of dry paddies. And, of course, there are the occasional open water dodo jig strikes.

Reports have been coming with fish (i.e. Marlin) noted at the upper end of the "9", 182, 302, Coronados (a 196 pounder taken last week-end), and regular bites down below. I hadn't seen Vanian's late report about Berry (FishTrap Lures) Brightenburg having a triple late Tuesday late in the day and releasing one of the jig fish as well as one on the drop back. This past Monday, Harry Okuda on his Alfresco III along with Woodard, Sr. and ??? worked a paddy inside of the 182. They threw some mackeral at it. Harry got bit and up jumped a very young Marlin. They released it and, dripping wet, was estimated to weigh no more than 80 pds. They would have been black-balled if they had dared to bring that one in. It probably looked more like a long billed spearfish. But, a release is a release.

So I slid out to the "top of the 9", worked that area and then went northwest. Down there lots and lots of life, especially flocks of terns, but no actual bait sightings - nothing on the meter. Worked up off La Jolla as far as Del Mar. Turned around and worked back down - more inside. About 8 miles off La Jolla I saw what looked like a quick feeder. White water, but too far to see an actual fish. Unconfirmed! From there back to the "9" - worked around and then back to the Point (Loma, that is). Along the way constant bird life, but no sightings of the striped variety.

It seems that there have been an usual number of Marlin hook-ups by baiting the kelp paddies (including Harry's). It's almost worth throwing mackeral at every kelp paddy, regardless of the absence of dodos and YTs. The more empty they are the more likely the Marlin have chased them away.

I later heard that there may have been 3 or 4 caught near the 302. One boat had a double and released both. But the radio crackled with activity at "The" Island (aka Catalina). Apparently, the fish had moved in "tight to the island" and lots of sleepers and slow tailers were being seen close in - off the Can Dump, slide, etc. "Shano" (aka Tom Shanahan) on the "Wait N See" reported fishing in "89 fathoms" (only 500 feet) of water. There were lots of bites reported and several catches (released, of course) reported.

So you check the reports, listen to the radio, and say your prayers. Get the lines in the water and remember - no one caught a fish reading reports. And don't forget the age old excuse: "Time of day." Invariably, we in the right place at the wrong time and on the wrong date.