Posted by: socalsalty | June 18, 2011

Trip Report: Cuda Madness Part 2

Jackpot red on the Daily Double

For a couple weeks in May, the barracuda came into Santa Monica Bay (SMB) in a big way.  During that first run, I was lucky enough to catch the height of the action on video.  I took Jake out during this time as well for another memorable outing.  Then just like that…POOF!  They were gone.  While I was gone last week, I heard reports they were back, but down the coast in San Diego and Orange County.

Last Sunday, I rode the Daily Double to see if I could get into them again.  That trip turned into rockfishing.

So when I heard they were back in SMB and the New Del Mar was doing some extra twilight trips this week to take advantage of it…guess where Salty was?

The trip almost didn’t happen.  I had a late afternoon appointment for work up in Sherman Oaks.  I was able to get to Dock 52 with plenty of time before the boat went out, but as we neared departure, we still hadn’t reached the minimum passenger load of 10 to go out.  I was ready to see if dudes would buck up a little extra to pay for the missing passengers when out of nowhere a car rolls up with a dad and two kids.  YAY for dads!

Deckhand Joel with my 1st of the night on Jake's jig

I had a good feeling about the trip’s prospects when at the bait dock we loaded up and it was all anchovies.  Lately the bait has mostly been big sardines, but you’re always looking for a nice little ‘chove to put on your hook.  We motored out to a spot not too far from the harbor.  I was in the galley waiting for a cheeseburger from deckhand turned galley cook Jordan and jumped out to join the action before my burg was done.  I was throwing Jake’s Tady 45 cuda killer a little with a bit of success.  When Jordan came out with my burg, I switched up to a dropper loop setup so I could eat it.  I managed to catch 2 more on the ‘chove while I was eating.  OK then…it’s on kids.

After dinner, I was ready to throw iron again and made my way to the stern.  Pure magic.  I was getting hooked up on almost every throw.  Most landed, a few lost.  Barracuda were jumping out of the water and if you missed on a retrieve, they were following you in and hitting it again.  Jordan was on my right and killing it.  Capt. John was to my left and doing the same, while alternately helping Madeline (one of the kids that came in at the end to start the trip) get hooked up on fly lined anchovy.  Everyone was catching fish and they were coming fast and furious.

When we finally had a break in the action, I turned to Jordan and asked, “We never moved, did we?”  “Nope” he smiled back.  Wow!  I was well over the limit of 10 when it was all said and done, and I also won the jackpot for big fish.  After it was all slabbed out, I had 4  one gallon bags of meat and needed to get a garbage sack to carry it all off the boat.  It’s rare to get second chances in life.  You just got lucky…another shot at a wide open cuda bite.  The New Del Mar is running their regular half day schedule, plus Fri-Sun twilight rides.  They may start adding more runs if the bite keeps up.  Get out there.  Tight lines!

Salty, Madeline and the jackpot slimesider


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