July 2002

I took Thursday 7/24 off to begin paying my dues for Marlin. The first marlin of this year was caught 7 miles south of the Coronado Islands last Saturday, basically where the first fish last year was caught and two weeks eralier. There was a good band of warm water up through the 9 mile bank, where the next catches were reported last year. So we went out and towed our lures up and down the 9 mile bank. We did have one reel go off, with a steady pull, but after about a minute, it was gone. Not a mark on the lure. We saw a lot of Sun fish that got our hearts pumping because of their fins out of the water. We only saw one kelp paddy and it had Yellowtail under it. I hooked up one who took the line right into the kelp and broke off.  I hooked a second, but wasn't able to set he hook. Al's picture gives you an idea of how exciting most of the day was.

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Fished Saturday July 13 with Al on my boat. We decided to stay inside since the Albacore were 70 miles out. We thought we were starting at the Tijuana Bull Ring, but we were actually much further South. Al hooked a legal Halibut on the first drop, then there wasn't any other action. We heard the fleet was at the Bull Ring and some kid caught a 50 pound seabass. Since we were the only ones where we were at, it was clear we were not in the right place. So we headed North to the point where we could see the Bull Ring. We were in 40 feet of water and there was only one private boat and two bait boats. We were just inside the US border. Then off in the distance to the west, I could seethe fleet. We took off caught up with them and found a nice wide open spot in the middle. We put our lines in and Iwas immediately hammered with an 8 pound Sand Bass. It was wide open. Eventually some sharks showed up and spooked the sand bass, but after a while we began getting the Sand Bass again. 

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Fished on July 6, with Rob Pedigo on his boat UNREEL, a 36 foot Topaz. Best numbers for us were 32-05, 117-53. We had 23 fish for 6 of us, with a good mix of Bait and trolled fish. I was running the boat from 3:00am til grey light and about 4:00am while everyone else was sleeping, this flying fish smacked into the boat with a thud and really got my attention. It was about 12 inches long.

Robs tuna jigs got bit the most. He was trolling Rapalas at a slower speed, so I have to adjust my lures. Initially the fish trap wasn't getting bit, but it ended the day with 4 fish.

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Al I and fished on Al's boat, the HIDEOUT, Thursday July 4th. We planned  to meet at the Shelter Island Launch Ramp at 2:30 am. I was there at 2:00am but Al had to pick up some gas and had trouple with a new headlight kit, so we were running about 20 mimutes behind schedule.
I loaded my gear, jumped in Al's truck, dropped the boat in the water and parked the truck. We hit the bait receiver and were on our way at 3:30 am. This time we were heaaded to the 390, 50 miles out, based on reports on 976-BITE. We were able to run at 20 mph, although the night was pitch black as we approach a dark moon. We made one pit stop and finally got to the 390 at 6:30am and started trolling. Once past the 390, we started to pick up fish and finally worked the strategy to keep the boat idling forward, throwing bait and getting a bait line in the water. Bingo, it works. The first hookup was on the Channel Island Chovy Fishtrap. This rig ended hooking 5 fish although one got off. Have to test whether it's the fiahtrap, or the factt hat we troll it waaaayy back. We continued to pick up a trolled fish, then bait fish. Al said he finally got his first bait fish. We got two fish on a purple Yozuri (rapala) and one on a purple/Blach tuna lure.  
The temperature ran 63.5 from just off Point Loma to the 390 and we had trouble finding cooler water. We worked our way west of the 390 and got as low as 62.9. I heard of one report much cooler at 59.8 and the guy said he had his limits.
By 9:30 we were done, picked up running back to Point Loma, while looking for paddies. We stopped on 2 but no one was home. I cleaned 9 of the fish, weighed one in at the Marlin Club for the July Firecracker 150, July Albacore tournament. Turns out I had the first fish at 18.1 pounds.

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