Posted by: socalsalty | November 19, 2011

Trip Report: Twilight Bassin on the New Del Mar

Big bass

I hadn’t fished since the twilight trip last Thursday on the Basshole.  So by Friday, I was really feeling the itch to get out.  I escaped work & traffic and managed to get to Dock 52 in time to make it out.  It’s been awhile since I’d been out, and I was happy to see the crew and the regulars.  I tweeted earlier in the week that I’d gotten an update that the bass were “Sizey nice” and by the looks of the leaderboard, that information appeared to be accurate.

We got out on the spot pretty quickly as we were only fishing just off Venice.  Live squid was onboard for bait.  Target fish were bass.  At this point in the year, the water is getting pretty cold and the bass are holding low.  Preferred rigging is 20-25# test tied directly to a 1 to 2oz leadhead.  Some guys have various plastics hooked onto the leadhead, but most pin 1 or 2 whole live squids without plastic.  The idea is to cast out and slowly rake it back to the boat.  Feel the structure below and once you find it keep tapping that well ’til it dries out as that is where the fish will tend to congregate.

Short cabby

At the first spot, we got on some nice structure and tapped away…couple sand bass, but mostly sculpin.  Quick move and more of the same.  After 2 stops, I had only managed 1 legal sculpin and hadn’t had any strong bass hits.  We kept making quick moves, trying to find hungrier fish.  Finally I got a strong hit, and as I reeled it up was hoping to see my first bass of the night.  I was disappointed to find that it was only a short cabezon.

Deckhand Burt with Clark's big calico

At this same spot, I noticed that a couple treefish came over the rail…a sign that we had gotten into a kelpy area and that perhaps we might see some calico bass.  I heard some excitement around the corner and when I turned to look, NDM regular Clark was pulling a nice calico up and over the rail.  I’d guess it was just short of 5lbs.

It went on this way for the rest of the night…consistent (though not wide open) sculpin bite, and a bass here and there.  I really regretted not having my Loomis rod.  The couple times I got that strong bass bite, I wasn’t able to get on it, set the hook and turn that fish quickly enough.  In other words, I suffered the indignity of farming away my best opportunities.  It made a HUGE difference, but at least I can take comfort that I’ve progressed to the point to understand what I need to do the job.

Dennis with his jackpot cab

Things were winding down for the night when I noticed Dennis got into something big down the rail.  He was getting bent pretty good, so there was some anticipation to see what it was going to be.  When he got it over the rail I could see it was a much larger version of cabezon than the one I had gotten earlier.  It easily ended up winning jackpot.  I was guessing it was around 6lbs.  Someone had a scale in their box and it ended up at 6lbs, 8oz.  I didn’t get a final count, but I think pretty much everyone took home a limit of sculpin.  Not a bunch of bass, but good quality.  I only got my 5 sculpin, having farmed my bass bites.  There were a few treefish, and of course the big cabby.  Not a great night, but decent.  As always though, a good time on the NDM.  Thank you Capt. John, Jordan, Burt, Eric and Dylan, and all the regulars that make the twilight ride a good time.  Tight lines!

NOTE – Clark had them save his calico in the bait tank for the weigh in and it was released afterward.  Good job Clark.

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