Posted by: socalsalty | February 28, 2012

Trip Report: Fishin’ The Tradition

New boat for Salty: The Tradition

In the dark hours early Saturday morning, I made my way down to Redondo to ride on the 3/4 day boat, the Tradition.  I had fished down there before, but on the Redondo Special.  On that particular day, it was when the hot WSB bite hit the South Bay last summer.  I was a jig cast away across the water on the Special, while the Tradition pulled 13 of the elusive ghosts over the rail.  Our boat…it was a big goose egg 😦  Ever since, I’ve been wanting to get onboard.

Along the way, I had made friends with Jimmy Bass, whose dad owns the boat.  Last month, Jimmy posted a guest report here on the blog.  I’ve been noticing they’ve done really well in their counts on the bass.  When Jimmy asked me to come down and it was open on my schedule, I was excited to go fish with him.

The Tradition was out of the water late Dec/early Jan.  During that time, Jimmy and some of the Tradition regulars had come up to join us in MDR.  I recognized a couple of the 13 other anglers riding when I arrived.  We boarded the boat at 6am and met the crew:  Capt. Steve, Morgan on deck, and Kevin in the galley.  First stop, the bait dock where we picked up some really nice sized smaller sardines.  There was freshly dead frozen squid already onboard.

Bag of scullies

About 30 min out of the harbor, in about 200 feet of water, we anchored up and started fishing for sculpin.  It was cold and pretty windy.  The current was a little strange too, so we weren’t able to stay too long on the spot before the boat swung around and needed to reset.  That said, I might have been the first on the boat to score as I picked up a nice sized scully on my first drop.  Once we reset, I was able to quickly limit out.  I used a single dropper loop with a with a 1/2 oz leadhead.  On the leadhead was a glow grubtail and a strip of squid.  The boat hadn’t hit limit yet though, so I tried using a plain hook instead and using the sardines.  Jimmy likes to go this way as he said it yields a bigger sculpin.  Definitely a little trickier to fish them this way, but Jimmy was right as the picture below attests.

Jimmy hiding behind a fat sculpin

Once we were done with the sculpin, we headed inshore over by the oil pipeline.  Here we tried a few halibut drifts inside the marker buoys in 30-40 feet of water.  Now the wind had died down a bit and we weren’t getting in much of a drift.  We tried 3 times and had nothing to show for it, not even any promising bites.  I was glad we tried though.

From there we focused on getting bass.  We started out in front of Venice…not much happening.  Moved north a bit where we had better luck, but still not great.  I managed a couple more sculpin (threw ’em back), but no bass.  Jimmy and a few of the other anglers had better luck.  Tom scored a nice sand bass to take the jackpot.

Tom with his jackpot sandy

This sea lion caught the only halibut for the day

Final count: 4 calico, 22 sandies, 70 sculpin.  On the way home, Capt. Steve slowed down and Morgan and Jimmy grabbed gaffs and headed to the bow.  Hmmm, what’s up I wondered.  I went up to take a look and saw a pretty large sea lion just underneath the surface.  In his mouth was the unmistakable white belly of I guessed to be about a 20lb halibut.  They tried to snatch away the fish from him, but it was his day and not ours.  Not a great day, but time on the water.  I tried something new fishing for sculpin with sardines, and had a good ride on a new boat.  I’ll be back again.  Tight lines!

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