September 4, 2006

7 - 4 - 1

No, you didn't get your Wed. report last week - mainly because there was none. It was shuffle off to Boston for a medical meeting. The only excitement was driving through one of the tunnels hoping that the roof would not cave in. I did have lunch in the oldest continuously operating restaurant in the U.S.of A. It was "Ye Olde Lobster House" in business since 1826 - give or take. Lots of history there - right in the middle of the Freedom Trail.

Great fishing reported Friday-Saturday out there on the 224-182-43 triangle. Lots of bites and lots of catches. And several folks had success slow trolling live bait. But work on Friday, West Marine Make-A-Wish Open house on Saturday, and (along with Kenneth) 2 hours on the radio with Pete Gray and "Rock Cod" Rick Maxa on their "Lets Talk Hook-Up" radio show. Don't forget - it's Tuna Challenge time and the pre-tournament seminar is slated for this coming Thursday. And we put the Mother (Kenneth's, not mine) to work calling in on All Sports Network to chat with John Grabowski and Ed Zieralski - helping to spread the MAW - Tuna Challenge gospel. Capt. John (along with "Rock Cod" Rick) will be featured participants (along with Jeff Gammons of Terrafin SSTs and Bob Vanian of at the seminar Thursday, Sept. 7th 7-9 PM. Open to the public and free raffle plus lots of fishing tips.

And so, with not too much labor to do this Labor Day, Ken and I decided to try our hand at this somewhat mysterious enterprise called Marlin fishing. Lots of fish have already been caught, but, believe it or not, we had yet to actually see a marlin so far this year. Ken was able to break free when Grandma Carolyn agreed to help out on the home front keeping 2 month old Amelia (Ken and Meredith's) amused. And since we wanted some extra company we invited "Rock Cod" Rick and Kevin Beddoe to come along. However, at the last minute on Sunday evening Rick copped out with a letter from his Mother excusing him for the day.
So I went shopping bringing enough junk food to keep them happy. And Kenneth showed up with enough junk food to keep Kevin and me happy. And Kevin showed up with enough junk food to keep Ken and me happy. Unfortunately, the weather and fishing kept us otherwise occupied and we now have enough junk food to keep us all happy during the forthcoming Marlin Club ILTT.

With lots of bait in the tank and (don't leave home without them) reports of SSTs and fishing activities from 976bite we headed out. With reports of the previous day's activities in hand we had the option of fishing the 224-182 area, 178, or up off La Jolla. We opted for the latter and headed up the coast. 60 degree water at the point, but steadily climbing reaching 71.5. We worked around and managed to get a bite on a MJG EAL lure by a mako shark. Not quite 600 pounds - remove one zero. We proceeded down to the 178, worked the area and then headed off towards the "Ridge." Then came radio fish reports of bites just outside of the 178. So we turned around and headed back. But then came the report that "Gadget III" was "wired" and we opted to chase that radio fish. Meanwhile, the glowing reports of bait, fish, bites, catches, etc up at Catalina.

In mid morning the ocean laid down, but that lasted only one hour. The wind returned and the seas built up with 2-4 and often 6 ft seas through-out the day. The wind blew a steady 20+ all day. With nothing happening Ken and I kept Kevin entertained with stories of fishing over the years - from Channel Islands to Cabo.

 In explaining some of our successes we related the story Kenneth innocently wandering through a Day at the Docks and spending $5 for a yellow Kogo Head lure. (Never heard of a Kogo Head lure? Don't worry - you are not alone.) He gave it to me and told me to put it away just in case it might be needed. A few years later while fishing in the 18th and last Avalon Invitational Billfish tournament run by our Los Angeles Billfish Club we overheard Elmer Heer (sp?) telling Kenny Dickerson that they had just been bit on a - you guessed it - yellow Kogo Head lure.

And so, at anchor that night in FishHook cove at San Clemente Island, we dug up that yellow lure, rigged it and the next day put it out on a 12 pd. setup. Later in the morning one after another we had three straight bites on that lure and not only released, but also tagged, all three fish on an average of 20 min. each. I had 2 and Geoff Halpern the other. Later in the day it was bit again as part of a triple and the result was a first place finish in the tournament (our second being only 1 of four boats to win the tournament twice in the 18 years).

The next week we had it in the water the morning of the first day of the Marlin Club's ILTT. Bingo! bit again and Geoff Halpern got that one. But it never got bit again. Kogo heads became of historical interest with a succession of Patco, Carpenter, Zuker, Collectors, 7Strand Clones, and now the well-hyped EALs (Electronic Acoustical Lure). So after the big play up Kevin innocently asked: "Why don't we put it out? Nothing else is getting bit." And so, back to the drawer, out came the famous yellow Kogo Head Lure (from its felt lined, 24 karat chest).

Upon arriving in the vicinity of "Gadget III" - still fighting their fish - at about 11:25 a Steve Elkins lure on a short line took off. Kevin, our guest handled the rod and we had the fish to the boat in about 24 min (on 20 pd. tackle). With all the talk about San Diego anglers taking fish we didn't dare put another hook in this one. And besides, the three of us agreed that this was undoubtedly the smallest marlin any of us had ever seen with an estimated weight of 60 pounds. (Lots of small fish this year.)

Over the next hour we had 5 more bites - including a double - with at least 3 solid hook-ups - all in that same area half way between the top of the "9" (mile bank) and the 182. Never saw a tailer, sleeper, jumper, feeder - only the biters. Later in the day after working back towards the 178 we had another bite off on a long run and then giving us back the lure (and hooks). Final score: 7 bites - 4 solid hook-ups - 1 caught and released fish. And what about the yellow Kogo Head? - of our 7 bites FOUR (4) came on that lure. We were also bit on the Elkins lure and a B&P Collector. But nary a bite (except for the shark) on the EAL. (Yes, the batteries were working and it was beeping away at day's end.) But they do run well. And we do know that many get bit on these jigs - especially those who troll nothing else.

As we worked our way home we heard of others getting bites at the 224 and in our general area. And when we were well on the way home there came a report of a double back there at the 178 on the Sea Trek IV. After not seeing a fish all summer a 7-4-1 score wasn't bad. And guess what we'll be running from the starboard outrigger next week-end. And will we give Rick an earful at Thursday's Seminar.