August 2000

Fished Saturday, August 5. I had the pleasure of fishing with Robert Pedigo on his 36' Topaz UNREEL. Also on board was JT, Bruce Reid and Mark Thorson. We had heard the Albacore bite dropped off, so our choices were the islands for Yellowtail or try for spotty Albacore... we chose Albacore. We picked up 4 scoops of mix of great Sardines and Anchovies. At gray light we put the jigs out and within 5 minutes we had one fish on PB. We were at 31.59.23-117.59.56 in 67.3 water. We put the spread back out and within 15 minutes had another jig fish, and chum brought fish to the boat. We got two more bait fish and one on a Channel Island Chovey Fishtrap. Water was bumpy, but tolerable. We spent the rest of the day back tracking this spot and trolling down to the 213, and managed to pick up one more trolled fish. Waves picked up at 2 and we decided to make the run back. The UNREEL, plowed through the swells and waves at 17 knots. Thanks Robert for a great day on the water.


Saturday August 12.....You should have been there yesterday" Well, we got one of those yesterdays. We heard the bite was 175 degrees, 52 miles South, with the weather a bit sloppy. Met Dennis-Aluminator at 10pm at the launch ramp and left the bait receiver by 11pm. The water leaving Point Loma indicated we were in for a rough ride to the grounds. It turns out we were at the back of the fleet and their waves/wakes were the problem, once we slowed down to clear that water we were OK. Dennis picked up speed and we eventually got to the grounds in the dark. There were 30+ boats in sight all the time all going the same direction. 

At grey light we put out the spread. Water temperature was 68 degrees. There were boats all around, but it didn't look like anyone was hooked up. We were within 2 miles of the LAT/LON numbers when Dennis decides to make a turn to the West looking for cooler water that we could see on the Terrafin Sea Temp Map. It took about 5 minutes and we had a quad hookup. We got 2 f the 4 fish in. These were 30 pound Albies!

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One was hooked on bait and lost - no hook returned. We lost half the bait on the way down, and what we had wasn't the best, so I decided to stay with plastic. I threw in a Channel Island Chovy fish trap and got hooked. Started to troll again, a double. I picked up another fish on a CIC fish trap, which I had to replace after this fish. These fish were swallowing the entire jig and fish trap, so I suspect they were swallowing the bait, so the hook was deep and their teeth were cutting the line.

We weighed one of the earlier Albacore, not the biggest, and it came in at 32#'s. Another double, another fish on a Fish Trap... but this was a Bluefin, or was it a Yellowfin (Pictures will clarify later)?

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When this fish saw the gaff, it made a blistering run. The line cut through the water, reminiscent of a wahoo.

We continued the stop and go until we had 19 fish. We also ran out of room, so we started to clean fish. Although we had weighed one at 32#'s, there were a couple bigger and one that was noticeably bigger. We had bled all the fish, so we didn't weigh them. (The same afternoon, someone from the Harvey B weighed in a 40.2# Alby at the Marlin Club and Hook Line and Sinker that came from the same area we were in) We decide to put out bigger lures to get something besides Albacore. It worked for the first stop... a Bluefin on a Mean Joe Green Marlin lure. When this fish saw the boat, it headed to the deep and the lure left a smoke trail to the deep. Next stop was an Albacore on a large feather... so much for that approach. We replace the feathers with Marlin lures and kicked it up a notch to 8 knots.

We trolled past a paddy and I could see that something made a pass at the long lure - Mean Joe Green, but didn't get hooked. Then the other long line came out of the clip, but no fish. Finally it hit the short bait, a BP Zuker, It was a Dorado, who put on a great aerial show.

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What a topper for a great day.

We continued to troll, seeing another paddy. I throw a fish trap and get hooked immediately. The fish headed for the deep, so I figured it was another Tuna. Finally get the fish to color... a 25 pound Yellowtail..

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Not sure why it didn't go to the paddy. Dennis hooks a fish on bait, another Albacore. Now we kick it up to over 10 knots.... What a day. I had a limit of Albacore by 6:53 am. and by 10:00am, I had a limit of fish, 5 Albies, 3 Bluefin/Yellowfin, 1 Dorado and 1 Yellowtail.

I am a firm believer that the skipper gets us to and on the fish, so thank you Dennis. I believe that if you have to run the boat and fish, you don't do as well as those who just fish. Again, thank you Dennis. And any of you that have a chance should take a trip on the Aluminator.....GO!.

And by the way, the fish were Bluefin...the pectoral fin
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is the shortest on a Bluefin compared to a Yellowfin..

And as I guessed, Rob called and wanted to fish for Albacore instead of Marlin. I had to pass because I was totally whipped. Up all night with maybe 2 hours sleep, catching all those fish and cleaning half off them, I just ran out out of gas. I would have gone Marlin fishing because they say it's hours of boredom punctuated with a few minutes of chaos. I could have handled that. Good luck Rob....
PS..... Albacore count on Saturday...2,447....... Sunday.......678.....You should have been there yesterday!


Fished the San Diego Rod and Reel Clubs 'Big Fish Tournament' with Mark on the Catcherman Saturday and Sunday. Originally there was another person on the team, but when Mark's 2nd boat had outdrive problems and then my boat wouldn't start, he threw in the towel and went home. Mark and I went back to Romana (Marks house) to get his regular fishing boat, and got back to Mission Bay at 9:00am. It turns out the other guy taloked Mark in to taking his other boat, which isn't really a fishing boat, because it's more comfortable. He even brought a portable fishing chair.... which doesn't fit in Marks regular fishing boat.

Mark and I made a commitment to troll Marlin lures and not get distracted by Dorodo and kelp paddies. We didn't even pick up bait. Saturdays target was the 9 mile bank then to the canyon, towards the Coronados. We stopped well short of the Coronados, and eventually we herd a report of one Marlin taken West of the Coronados. We finished the day with no action at all.

Sunday, we stopped at the weather buoy and made Mackerel. The strategy was to head to the 302. After we did that loop, we head back to the notch at the South end of the 9 mile bank. We trolled Northwest from there. Mark took a nap. I came up to some boats working something. There were two boats right ion top of each other with the other boats making wide circles. I joined the parade. It turns out both boats were members of the Mission Bay Marlin Club and were hooked up to two Marlin. The Marlin had crossed lines and one angler got on the other boat to untangle the lines. No bites for anyone besides the two boats. We head out and away. We ran across a school of Risso Dolphins, which are sort of rare in our waters.

Finished the second day at 3:00 with no bites. Oh well, that's fishing.


Fished Sunday 8/20 with Dennis on the Aluminator. We left a little late because he had to drop his wife of at the airport. He didn't want to swing the 'Tank' through the airport, so he came down to Shelter Island, picked up my car while I loaded my stuff. We got to the Bait receiver at about 6:45. To our surprise, they had Squid.... We took a half scoop of great sardines and a half a scoop of squid. Great bait.... we were ready.

We headed to the 302 which is about a 220 heading, looking for paddies. Nothing. We finally find one with one small boat on it and he is guarding it with his boat, repositioning his boat to keep it between us and the paddy. Press on. We find another paddy with two boats on it. Dennis calls and they wave us in. Someone heard Dennis asking for the OK and gave him some grief about finding his own paddies. We put 2 lines out with Squid and 2 with bait. Dennis gets a bite on a sardine but breaks off. We both switch to Sardines as primary. I tried a Fishtrap, but no takers. We didn't get any other bites or see anyone else hookup, so we moved on. We trolled for nearly 2 hours looking for the next kelp. I finally climb down and take a break. Dennis and I got involved in something for several minutes and when we looked up, we had just come up on kelp, stopping right on top of it. We worked it for an hour or so, each getting a Dorado. What a beautiful fish. I will have one mounted soon.

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A couple of nice things about the Aluminator. The side is wide eonough to easily fallow your fish, as Dennis is with his Dorado.

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And when you're on the bow, the rail is high and sturdy enough that you are comfortable leaning into it while fighting your fish.

No more bites, so we take off trolling. I get a bite on the chrome BP jet head. Fight a fish as Dennis brings in the lines. He leaves the poles in the holders. As I go up and down to clear the rods, following my fish, one down was met with the fish coming up and the hook pulled. Oh well! Back to trolling. We ran across some porpoise and a couple more kelps, but no action.

It was a beautiful, overcast day on the water.


Last trip of the month is with Al Kelly on his 21' Grady White - HIDEOUT   8/31  
We were the only ones launching at 4:30am and got to the Oceanside Bait receiver at a little past 5am with no one in line. Bait was a mix of very small Sardines and Anchovies. A short distance out of the harbor we picked up 10 MACs, then headed to the 277 with a mix of Tuna and Marlin lures out. There were some dark clouds and at one point it looked like there might be a funnel building, but it never made it to the ground. We also covered the 209, back to the 277 and in to the domes. Sea Temp was 69 at the harbor and warmed up to a high of 72 between the 277 and 209, staying mostly around 71 degrees. We saw two small paddies, but that was it. We also saw a large school of porpoise and worked them for 45 minutes with no tuna takers. We did hear of several tuna caught a half an hour after we left them. There was also a large school of porpoise towards Catalina from the 209. We heard a report from a Shamrock - GENERAL SURGEON picking up at least one Yellowfin Tuna.

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Almost became a water spout....

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The Domes, or 'Dolly Parton' as Wiley called them