Posted by: socalsalty | December 2, 2011

Trip Report: Sunday Morning On The New Del Mar

Jake and Juju in the parking lot at Dock 52

I had the kids last weekend, and we had made plans to go to the circus Sunday afternoon.  Still time though to get in a halfer Sunday morning.  Half days are so relaxing…just get up normal time between 6-6:30, takes us only a half hour to get to the dock, and you’re done around noon.  The regular crew was on tap Sunday…Captain Danny driving, Big Vic & Eric on deck, and Dale holding it down in the galley.  Good group out to enjoy a sunny day of fishing on Santa Monica Bay…about 40 anglers on the trip.

It can be tough sometimes…I love when a lot of people come out.  It’s good for the boat/crew, but it can be a challenge as well.  The day started out at a fairly deep sculpin spot.  I was looking for room on the rail where the 3 of us (Juju wanted to fish Sunday!) could fit together, so we ended up on the port side, underneath the wheelhouse.  The current was a bit strong and it was running under the boat.  Under other circumstances, I’d just go around to the other side of the boat, but there wasn’t any room on the other side, so we had to make do.  Rig up a little heavier, cast out and let the current bring your line back toward you.  The good thing is that the transducer is below where we’re standing, so the fish marking on the finder, should be directly below us.

Vic asked me if I brought my Lucanus, referring to my Rained Out post and the fact we were starting out on the scorpionfish.  I thought we were going to fish rockfish to start when we setoff.  I had rigged up a two dropper loop setup with a shrimp fly on top, and a 2/0 bait hook on the bottom.  We had both live squid and sardines on board for bait, and I figured I would put live bait on the bottom hoping to get a ling cod.  Since we were on the sculpin, I cut down the amount of line running down to the weight and replaced the bait hook with a white lucanus.  That was the ticket and I quickly got my limit of 5.  I mentioned that there were a lot of folks on the boat.  A pretty decent percentage of them were rent rodders.  Jake was getting frustrated as he was spending a good amount of time dealing with tangles because of the rent rods near us.  I got him squared away and he was soon near a limit himself.  Meanwhile, Juliana was plugging along and managed to get one too.

Deckhand Eric weighing jackpot

It seemed like the boat lingered there a little longer than we needed to, but eventually we made a move and made an attempt to get on some rockfish.  The 3 of us managed to find a spot on the rail on the other side, but there were more inexperienced anglers upcurrent from us.  So sure enough, their lines kept drifting our way and we spent an inordinate amount of time detangling.  Time was ticking down, and I only managed to score a smallish starry rockfish.  The irony of it was one of those newbs was (in my estimation) in the lead for jackpot with a decent sized sheephead.  As karma would have it though, one of the regulars on the other side scored a bigger one to edge him out for jackpot.

That was essentially the day.  No gigantic fish.  No exotics.  Fighting tangles from the rent rodders.  To me, it was not a particularly memorable day from a fishing standpoint.  On the way home, Juliana grabbed my hand and said, “Daddy, let’s go to the front.”  She loves to feel the wind in her hair, and it’s just a nice moment that we typically share.  Juj always hopes that she’ll see dolphins, and Sunday a nice school of them accompanied us on the ride back in.  She was thrilled.  She turned to me and said, “Today was the best day ever on the water!”  It’s good to be reminded that a sunny day, catching some fish, and seeing dolphins can amount to the best day ever.  Tight lines.

Best day ever

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