November 2002

I rented a bobcat for Thanksgiving day to do some grading in the corals. After a half an hour, the key broke off in the ignition and couldn't get the Bobcat started again. They brought another key out Friday, so I resumed the project on Saturday. I moved a mix of dirt and manure, to build up the area around the feeders on the barn. The horses wear the ground down because they spend so much time there. I build it up once a year. It was a blast.

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Went out with Dennis on November 23rd for Albacore. We met at the marlin Club at 4:30 on Friday, left the bait receiver at 6:00pm.
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We plotted a course inside of the Coronado's and could see the lights of many boats anchored up in the lee of South Island. as we clear the Coronado's, we hit very thick fog. At 9:15, the fog clears, the water temp is 63.5, and we can see lights to the east. The moon is dancing off the swells. Looks like there might be a boat inside of us.

10:30-As we approach Ensenada, the water is sloppier and it is getting colder. I have all my layers on, including my rain pants an I’m still cold. I can smell the chill in the air and I think they still have a Santa Ana working down here.

9:45-Finally see the lights inside Ensenada harbor. We are still about 5 miles out. I can smell the wood burning for heat in the houses, verifying the Santa Ana’s still in effect. We are almost at the Hotel Corel, our ETA was 10pm. No fog in Ensenada harbor. We are looking for Hotel Coral. No direction signs out here on the water....

10:15 we are crawling along the coast, trying to find the Hotel Corel... No signs.... And it’s dark...  We finally find it, and find an empty slip. Dennis backs the boat in, point the bow to the west. Dennis Slept below and Ken and I slept on deck. We all froze our butts off because the Santa Ana winds were blowing to the west from the hills and the boat was 'catching' the wind.

At 3:00am  we are up, getting ready to go. Dennis added a microwave to the boat so we had hot rolls for breakfast. by 3:30, we are on our way out of Ensenada..... We heading 240 degrees at 11 knots into the swell so at times we bounce pretty hard. The moon is bright above us and we can see a couple of boats. At grey light starting to troll... which was the drill for the day.  Pretty sloppy out there. We kept trying to head west and took some really big waves head on. The bait tank pump lost its prime so we lost most of the bait - large sardines. Some of the waves are at least 8 feet coming from the west. Our destination was the lower 500, but we never made it. We did get to the 295 shortly after 9, then headed north picking up a Skipjack.  Long, sloooow day. The sun peeked out occasionally.

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November 16, 2002, Lisa and I headed out to do some rock fishing. First we hit the ling cod spot, but everyone was there, Including the party boats. I didn't want to get on the spot and give it away, so we left for the old standby rock cod spot and sure enough, it was easy to get limits. And the best part, we were the only ones there. 

Lisa snagged the bottom, so I did my 'tie the line around a cleat' routine that lets the boat, wind and swell put steady pressure on the line to pull it free. I put the boat in gear and backtracked toward where the line was pointing. Once the line was straight up and down, I tied it around the cleat, then continued in gear in the same direction. I would ask Lisa if the line was tight and she would say 'yes'. After a couple of minutes, she said the line was still tight, but we had gone nearly a half a mile. Hmmm. I untie the line and start to wind. It was free of the bottom, but there was definitely something there. I let Lisa bring it up. It turned out to be a large piece of coral with a big wad of monofilament fishing line, about 6 pound test, balled up through it.

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And Lisa caught a nice blue ling cod.

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The Salmon Grouper were biting better than the reds today. It was easy to pull up 4 at a time.

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Water was a little choppy, but very fishable.

No fishing November 9 due to weather....

Saturday, November 2, Al, Lisa and I fished on my boat for halibut. Initially we thought we might try fishing the harbor, but the Navy security patrol was very visible, so we decided to move out of the harbor. On the way out, we saw this Navy catamaran coming in with a tow boat escort.

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Our first stop was the Imperial Beach pier. We started in shallow water and the wind would push us to deeper water. In shallow area was rocky and we would catch the sculpin. As we drifted into deeper water, the bottom would smooth out and was sandy. That's where the sand bass and halibut bites were. There were plenty of Sculpin, Sand Bass, and Barracuda. 

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Al caught one short halibut and a sea urchin. While we were fishing this spot, a research vessel pulled up about 50 yards away and took some water samples.

We moved on to the "the bull ring" but nothing was biting.