May 2002

Fished Thursday May 30 aboard the Legend and caught 6 Albacore and one Yellowtail...

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The Legend, with captain Shawn Trowbridge out of Seaforth Sportfishing in Mission Bay, had 82 albacore and 12 yellowtail for 21 anglers.

May 25, We fished again on Al’s boat out of Point Loma. Because his boat sat for so long, he wanted to use the rest of the gas. We launch Al’s boat from his trailer at the Shelter Island launch ramp. That is a real circus and makes me really appreciate the fact that my boat is in a slip. We just hop on and take off. Next we stopped for bait, and it was a real zoo. They usually have a sign up telling you which side they are loading bait from. They had the single side up pointing to the port side, but also had the double sign up which means they are loading bait from both sides. There were a dozen boats milling around, waiting to pull up to the barge, plus the starboard side of the barge was full with small boats. There were several large boats in the group milling around that were there before us and they usually take a lot of bait and take a long time to dock. We stay with the shorter line and bigger boats. Sure enough, one guy can’t get his boat to the dock. Finally we get to the dock, and they bait the big boat, but not the one boat in front of us. They mentioned that they were running out of bait! Then they clear all the small boats from the other side to make room for the big bait boat. In the mean time they had us move all the way forward so we were now second in line. In order to get things ready for the bait boat, they open all the receivers. A big seal jumps on deck and into the receiver. I got my camera and think I got a shot of him jumping out. A little while later, there was a huge one that jumped out of another one and stood on the receiver deck. That one stood taller than me and probably weighed 3-4 times as much. Once they filled one of the receivers, they baited the boat in front of us and we finally got our bait. As we were pulling away, there must have been 50 boats backed up waiting for bait.

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We headed for the Rockpile, where the fleet was already anchored up. We picked our spot and dropped the anchor. First line in the water hooked a Barracuda. Next was a Bonito. Lot’s of Red Crabs in the water as well as small bait and Mackerel. I was hooking Mackerel on every other cast. We picked up a couple more Bonito and plenty of short Lingcod. By 11:00 the bite slowed down on the better fish, so we decided to pull the anchor and slow troll the area. That got us one more Bonito. Next we headed up to the South Kelp Ridge, where Mark (another fishing buddy) was anchored up in the kelp fishing with his kids. We decided to drift for a while. The wind and current was pushing us pretty fast. Flylining bait was difficult because of the kelp. So we used ‘iron’. We could see the kelp on the fish finder and when we reach the edge of it. Sure enough, just as we clear the kelp, I get bit on the bottom. I figure it was a Lingcod. It was giving a pretty good fight all the way up. As I got it tot the surface, it turned out to be a Halibut.

No yellowtail for the day and the fish counts at the landing indicated they were few and far between. However, the big news we kept hearing was the Albacore bite was on at the outer banks. So it’s time to shift gears into the Tuna mode.

When we were coming back in, almost at Point Loma, I reached down to pick up a Styrofoam cup that was blowing around, and the boat hit a wave at the same time, throwing me backwards. I hit my lower right side on an edge of the boat with all my weight. OUCH! I was in pain. I eventually managed to stand up, but something wasn’t right. Al pounded our way back to the launch ramp, where he let’s me off to get his track and trailer. I couldn’t manage bending over to grab the dock. We eventually pull the boat up to the dock and I get off. I slowly walk all the way to where I parked his truck. Once I get there, I realize I can’t get in because of the shooting pains in my back. His truck sits higher than my Yukon. I finally see a bucket in his back seat, and used that as an intermediate step. I used his boat tie-down to hook the handle of the bucket, so once I was in, I could retrieve the bucket. It all worked, but it was a struggle. Then it was tough closing the door.

I finally got to the ramp to load Al’s boat. Since I took so long, he figured out what happened and was docking the boat to come get me. What a guy. Anyway, we unloaded the boat, and I carefully got into the Yukon for the long drive home. It wasn’t too bad because I could adjust the seat. But when I got home, I took about a half hour to get out.

We fish Al's boat 5/11 down off the rockpile. We got 1 Yellowtail (I lost mine), and 2 Ling Cod…..

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