August 2002

Finished up August fishing with Dennis on the Aluminator. Thursday evening, August 29, We headed tot he Airplane Bank in search of big bluefin. We got limits of Albacore, 2 Yellowtail and 2 Bluefin. All but the two yellowtail and three Albacore were trolled fish. The Zuchinni was getting bit first thing in the morning, but the Bluefin hit a Catchy Tackle Black and Purple. The second Bluefin hit the sevenstrand Mexican Flag with the red vinyl skirt. Tom Long, from Arizona Tile was along and held his own fishing and did a great job cleaning half the fish. 

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Marty Morris captain of the KENDAN invited me to fish on Saturday, August 24. Originally it was going to be an overnight tuna trip but then it changed to a casual day fishing for marlin. Either way, I wanted to go to see how Marty fished and learn some new things. The KENDAN is a 40' Egg Harbor, floating tackle box.

We met up at 5am, skipped the bait barge. Marty already had a half dozen mackerel from his private bait receiver in his slip. We headed to the 9 mile bank, trolled north to La Jolla Canyon and back south to the inside of the 9 mile bank, then out across the 9. No marlin. One seal rolled behind one of the jigs which had all three of us up for a second until we realized it was a seal. The highlight was the porpoise schools up off of La Jolla.

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So we put in our time, and you can get a sense of the excitement.

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It was a treat to fish with Marty, who has invited me back for a Thursday tuna trip.

Dennis called to see if I wanted to fish the ALUMINATOR on Thursday, August 15 and I jumped at the chance. It turned out to be one of those trips you should have been there yesterday for. Chris, the Yachtsman from the private boater board, was the third person on the boat. We left at 10pm Wednesday night, put the jigs in about 6am got bit within 5 minutes and got our limits on bait in the same spot. Limits of Albacore and Bluefin by 7:30. One of the keys to keeping the bait stop going was being able to throw chum. Jim Day finally delivered the bait tank he promised and it's great. Dennis had it installed inside the boat and it has two wells so we could keep the sardines separated from the anchovies.

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Planned to fish for Marlin with Al Saturday August 10. Lee from work has asked many times to go fishing with me so I figured this would be a good test. Then Thursday night, Al decided to stay home Saturday. Since no marlin have been caught by a member of the Marlin Club and we are 10 days past the normal time they are caught, I have to put in my time and pay some dues. So it was me and Lee, who had never run a boat before, going after Marlin. We stopped for bait and ran into Wayne, persistent of the Marlin club. He gave me a tip that there were feeders spotted at the 101 spot, so I figured we would give that a try. As we were leaving the bait barge, we saw the seals piled up on the bait receivers. Reminded me of Monterey where the seal collapsed the boat docks from their weight.

In order to insure I didn't lose the interest of my new fishing friend, I stopped on my rock cod honey hole and we caught a half a dozen Salmon Grouper and a couple of Reds. One of the salmon grouper was a real pig.  After we caught enough fish for meals this week, we headed off to the west to catch the drop off past the 9 mile bank.

We trolled all the way down to the 101 where the water temp was 61.9. Boy was that a bum steer. I should have paid more attention to SST chart that actually showed 61.9 as the temp down there. If I had a printed copy, I would have headed north, where the warmer water was. We did not get anything on the lures except eel grass and kelp. Water was pretty crummy down that way. Trolled all the way back. The only real signs of life were periodic schools of porpoise who came by to say hello. 

On the way back in we had a race with the Navy...

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Saturday, August 3, Al and I fished on his boat, HIDEOUT. We met at the launch ramp at 3:00am, picked up bait and headed for the 976-BITE numbers off the 302/230. Nothing happening at grey light, so we began trolling southwest.

At several miles past any numbers we had, Al's trolling rod with a purple Yozuri Lure goes off. It's a 50+ pound Mako. Unfortunately it took the line into the outboard and broke off.

We found four boats that looked like they were working a patty as we were trolling by. Some one from the group got on the radio yelling at someone who was running their boat over the patty, so we decided to keep going. We found another group of boats around a patty and someone was explaining the fish weren't' under the patty, they were outside. So we decided to give it a try. Al immediately hooks up. I get a fish too. We got 4 yellowtail off that patty and I lost a nice fish right at the boat, with the line breaking at the knot :-( ... 

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We left that patty when no one was getting any new hookups and headed to the 390. At about 5 miles into the troll, we got a double hookup on albacore. We boxed the area, then headed to the 390. On the way, we ran across a dead seal, but it wasn't holding any fish.

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At our 'half a gas tank' point, we turned around trolled all the way back through the 302 without a bite. We did hear that various spots were starting to kick out some albacore, but we were committed to return to Point Loma. On the way back, we had a race with a tanker crossing our path.

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Diawa Pacific Charter
I fished on the  Daiwa Pacific Thursday, August 1, on a charter I lined up for my fellow PETCO associates. Priti Pal, Lisa Yanni, Tom Cahill, Steve Cahill, Craig Parsons, Kevin Drath, John Miller, Thomas McCarthy, Robert Price, Zander Pinto, Joe Hill,  Mitchell Lombard, Glenn Lagman, John Weddle, Clint Kunz, Kelly Donohue, Frank Koch and Dennis Albert were all present and accounted for when the boat left the docks at 10:30pm Wednesday evening. Kenny, the owner/operator had a great report out west so we headed out to the West Butterfly. The boat went 80 miles West and fished the day between San Clemente Island and the Butterfly Bank. We were heading into the west swell so it was a bumpy ride while we were trying to sleep. We arrived at the grounds before grey light.

Several of us put lines in the water and Lee Yanni got bit on a fish trap lure, but it turned out to be a Sunfish. The day turned out to be a slow pick on the troll with only an occasional bait fish. The crew had a boat line out with a Zuker Zuchinni lure that outfished all the other rigs. It got the first strike and I managed one on a Black/Purple Catchy lure as a second fish in the same stop.  The boatline probably caught 9+ fish. Since most of my trolled fish on all the other boats I fish had been coming on Black/Purple and Green/Black, I decided to leave the bright stuff at home. What a mistake. My Black/Purple Catchy was replaced with the crew's ZUKER, Red head with Mexican Flag feathers. Now it outfished the boat line. We caught 49 Albacore for 20 passengers. Everyone got to pull on one fish and everyone went home with at least 2 fish. The jackpot fish weighed 14 pounds, so these were small fish, which was good for the newer people in the group. Everyone had a good time, even those who got seasick. Kenny provided the electronic sea sickness wrist bands for two people who were able to have a decent time in spite of how they started out. There was a third person who remained down in the bunks until about 1pm, then appeared in good shape. The crew hooked a fish and handed it off to him so he got to bring in one by himself. The crew had already stuck one of the boat fish in the bag because we figured he wasn't going to make it. Everyone got to pull at least one Albacore in and everyone went home with at least two fish. Our count for the day was 47 fish for 20 anglers. The captain and crew did a fantastic job of taking care of everyone to make sure they got their fish on the boat.

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PETCO Albacore Fishing Charter - August 1, 2002

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