September 2000

September didn't start off very well. Was going to fish with John Jonas, Saturday, but when I got to my boat at 4:00am, it wouldn't start. I think it's the solenoid, which was just replaced a month ago. I also think my boat is mad at me because I have been fishing on other peoples boats. I have a theory that generally something will go wrong with you boat every trip. If you use your boat regularly, it's easy to take the problems in stride. If you don't use your boat regularly, the problems still happen, but all at once, making the trip an ordeal. If you have a boat, use it!

It turns out I still have a gift certificate my wife gave me for my birthday last year, which expires on my birthday this year... I'm going Thursday.....

Last year Terry gave  me a gift certificate for fishing out of H&M Landing and I never got around to using it. Lo and behold, it has an expiration date of 9/9/2000, my birthday. Oh darn, I have to go fishing or lose the $154. Thursday 9/7 I fished on the Producer out of H&M and got a limit of Yellowfin and one Yellowtail. I pulled the hook on what would have been the jackpot Albacore... probably a 30 pounder. Great day on the water.

There were thunder clouds and lightening on the water. At first we could see a squall inside of us toward land that looked like it was moving toward us. We headed in the other direction. The skipper gave us the news that the lightening will 'look' for the highest objects, which of course is the boat, and the highest objects on the boat. And if you happened to be trolling on the back of the boat, you 'IT'. Well, they dissipated for a while, then reformed in three different places. We were surrounded. We were all in the Galley. We saw a flash and about the time it took me to get out 'one-one thousand's heard and FELT the thunder. We estimated it was about a mile and a half away.

I was using what they call a 'Fish trap' lure which is 5" plastic rubber that fits over a lead head hook... While Live bait always is better, the problem on a party boat is getting to the bait (15 other guys doing the same thing), getting a good bait, hooking it properly and getting it into the water as soon after a jig fish is hooked. Needless to say, it's far easier to drop a 'Fishtrap' back at the first sound of the reel screaming out line. During the trip, the other guys would see me hooked up and of course I would yell 'Another one on the Fishtrap'. One yellowfin swallowed the whole thing.... What was amazing is that most of these guys had never heard of Fishtraps....


Fished Sunday the 10th with Rob Pedigo on the UNREEL, 28 Topaz.
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We left at 5:00am, picked up some great Sardines to go with the dozen MACS that Rob already had on board. We decided to head towards San Clemente Island and if we saw anything on the way, we would fish. Saw one Paddie that wasn't holding anything.

We got to SCI and started trolling parallel to the island looking for 69 to 70 degree water that we were seeing on the Terrafin SST chart for the day before. Continued along and toward the dome on the island, never finding anything above 69 degrees. dome1.gif (43742 bytes)

As we got to the dome about 2 miles of the shore, the wind was picking up.
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We made the turn to parallel the island, into the wind and had a knock down and about 10 seconds of drag pulled. Never saw the fish. We boxed the area, but nothing more happened. We trolled back out of the area and headed home. It turns out there was a fish caught earlier in the day, right where we got hit!

While we were coming back in, Rob invited me to fish on Bruce Reid's charter trip Friday the 15th on the International Star
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Left the office at 2:30 for a dentist appointment in Rancho Bernardo, the opposite direction of the landings and I had to drop off some Volleyball gear at a hotel in Mira Mesa. Dentist appointment takes 15 minutes longer than it should have and the off ramp at Mira Mesa Blvd going east is slow, then it requires a u-turn to come back to the hotel and traffic is backing up. I drop off the stuff and hit the freeway, pushing it where I can. Parking at the landing is terrible. I try to get there early specifically to get that over with. I hit the landing gate at 5:01pm. There are 10 cars already lined up in the back row, where I usually am the 1st or second. I back up to the corner and when I turn my head to the front, there is a car pulling out.... I got his spot. Unbelievable!

At about 8, the boats start rolling in, telling of a pretty good day of fishing. Mixed bait, although the anchovies are working the best. (I better pick up some more Cannel Island Chovys) Finally the International Star pulls up and unloads. Pretty good count. At 9 we begin to load. Rob and Bruce are there and 14 guys and 1 gal that work for or with Bruce. I have to make a second trip for my tackle box so Rob grabs me a bunk. The boat has 'staterooms' with 2-4 bunks per room. Rob gives me the upper, which requires stepping on his to get up, so it's about half the width. But it was plenty long and it had a portal that opened an kept fresh air coming in, which is a plus because my sinus get plugged up if I don't get fresh air and then I get a migrain headache. I hit the sack without seeing th bait. At 5:00 am I'm up, check the bait and begin rigging based on the size of bait, which was a great mix of anchovies, sardines and small mackeral.

By 6:00 several guys are up and two of us start trolling as it is starting to get light out.  The other guy is trolling a cedar plug and gets bit..... everyone comes up from below. I get one fish on a fishtrap after I bring in my trolling gear. We began trolling rotations. I would use a fishtrap as the trollers got hooked up and got a fish on almost every stop. Once I got one on the FT, I would switch to bait. For the most part, the tuna weren't taking the bigger sardines. The smaller sardines or anchovies were the ticket. I 'collar' hook the bait. On one relatively short stop, I got 4 fish, 3 on FT and one en bait. We had our limits for the boat of Yellowfin Tuna so the skipper asked us to troll with Marlin lures to try for Bigeye Tuna. We had two more stops, the last of which I got another Yellowfin on the troll, then another one on a FT.... what a trip..... 18 fish, 14 Yellowfin (gave the excess to several people who partied too much the night before and never made it out of their bunks), 3 Skipjack and one Dorado..

The trip netted limit of Yellowfin, 16 Albacore, 12 Skipjack, 8 Dorado and 3 Yellowtail
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Jeff won the jackpot with a 37# Albacore he got on a bait stop....
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September 22, I fished with Al's on his boat, the HIDEOUT, fishing oput of Oceanside, looking for Tuna and Marlin. We headed out to the 209, stopped on paddies for zero. On our way back in we ran across the porpoise with several boats working them. Turns out if you were patient you could get a fish or two. We weren't patient enough....


September 30th was the 'Make a Wish' Tournament sponsored by the Kona Kia Anglers.... there were reports all week of some Bigeye on the 302 and Friday, when I went to pick up some Tackle I saw a guy who had just weighed in a Big Eye at the marlin Club and Hook, Line and Sinker, who said he got the fish right on top of the 302. We figured the 302 would be a zoo, so we decided to head south to Ensenada. Poor choice, at grey light, the water was 65 degrees and dropping as we continued to head South. After and hour of no bites, we tried heading West. We ran into the lowest temperature of the day at 64.7. We decided to troll North and the temperatures began to rise. At noon, with no fish on board, we picked up and headed for the 425, where we put the gear out again. We trolled from south of the 425 to the 302, and it wasn't until we got to the 302 that we got our first fish. Small Yellowfin Tuna. We ended the day with 4 Yellowfin....