Posted by: socalsalty | April 21, 2012

Trip Report: Yellows On The Yo-Yo

Yellowtail, #1 on the Salty Top 10

After Jacob, Juliana and I fished last Sunday on the New Del Mar, we came home and I started getting in reports of yellowtail biting down in San Diego.  I checked the counts on 976 and sure enough, several boats had managed to score some.  Then as I was perusing Facebook, I saw that none other than Brandon Hayward was one of the lucky anglers to score and it was a quality 25lb or so fish.  At that point, Forkie Fever was fully taking hold of me.  Monday I had some tasks to do, so I stayed home.  That night I checked the counts again and they were steady from the previous day.  Last year, a similar situation happened.  It was May and various crews and anglers were telling me that they were around and sooner or later they’d start to bite.  I was urged to come down, but I tried to “be responsible” and went to work.  Bad call.  That Monday that I would have gone down…was the day that the San Diego got 105!  I vowed never again.

The San Diego – 3/4 day boat out of Seaforth

So Tuesday night I packed my gear, and made my way down to San Diego (city of).  The next morning, I drove over to Seaforth and boarded the San Diego (the boat).  There were only 24 other anglers on the boat.  We picked up bait and headed out.  Capt. Ryan Bostian introduced the crew: George and Rene on deck and Chris manning the galley.  He said we’d be hunting the yellowtail in the La Jolla area.  He advised they were being seen everywhere from just outside the harbor on up to La Jolla, so be ready.  Although we had picked up live sardines, he said that the ones being caught were mainly on the yo-yo jigs as they were less on the top and holding lower in the water column.  Just in case, I prepared a surface iron rig, a yo-yo jig stick, and a live bait rod.

Since we were only headed up to La Jolla, we were quickly in the zone and on the hunt.  It was a lot like offshore fishing.  We were running around and looking…using the electronics, looking for bird activity etc.  Before too long, Capt. Ryan advised to be ready as he was spotting them and they were headed our way.  The first stop of the day was only in about 90 feet of water. With the yo-yo jig, what you do is sink the jig to the bottom, and then crank it as fast as you can back up.  Repeat the process…fairly simple deal.

Birdpoop is the s**t 😉

Almost immediately, a couple guys went bendo and both managed to boat their tails.  Not bad.  We went on the hunt again, stopped, and got 4!  Things were going well for the boat, but I hadn’t managed to get bit yet.  I had started jigging with a Salas 6x Jr. in Scrambled Egg.  I switched up after the second stop and put on a sardine pattern in birdpoop.  Apparently, that was the right call, as I got bit.  Wow!  What a pull.  I was using my heavy Loomis Pelagic Series pole with a 2 speed Avet MXL on it.  The reel is spooled with 60lb braid and I tied on about a 5 foot topshot of 30lb. mono.  That fish gave me all I could handle.  I’d never seen that pole get bent like it did.  After a nice initial run, he took a breather, and I was able to start gaining line on him.  He had one more little burst and that was it.  Nice fish.

I managed to pick up another shortly after on the same rig, and then we hit a midday lull.  We anchored up on a hard bottom spot and rockfished.  At that point we already had 10 on the boat.  We started looking around again after 2 or so.  Nothing really happened until about 4 when we got into another run.  We started a drift and almost immediately 2 guys got bit in the port stern.  I dropped in on the opposite side and bam!  Really?!?  I boated the last one and spent the rest of the day basking in my good fortune.  Final tally for the boat was 15.  All were caught on yo-yo jigs, except for one on the surface iron.

Last and biggest, 28lbs!

Marvin got bit on the opposite corner when I got my last one

I went to my buddy John’s house to show off my catch.  Want to stay and go tomorrow?  Twist my arm.  He called his other buddy Jim and we met up the next morning at Seaforth.  I guess the word got out a little as 50 other anglers decided to chase yellows too.  Thursday was going to prove to be a challenge.

There’s a reason I listen to John, despite the ribbing I take from him

The day progressed in the same manner.  Run and gun, stop and fish.  Only this time, the fish often blew right past us without stopping and biting.  We were at only 6 fish after the morning for double the amount of anglers as there was Wednesday.  We stopped to rockfish midday.  Mostly smaller barberpoles and starries like the day before, but we did have a little luck.  Two lings were caught, with John getting one of them.  We hunted around some more, but nothing until late in the day.  Then on a Salas Jpot surface iron in birdpoop, John caught the last yellow of the trip.  Final tally: 7 for the 53 anglers.  I got skunked.  Just goes to show how things can change dramatically from day to day.

Thanks so much to the crew of the San Diego.  Capt. Ryan fishes hard.  George and Rene were helpful and knowledgeable.  Chris comes up on deck to fish and help out, and he makes a mean breakfast burrito.  The boat is an excellent fishing platform.  It also has a refrigerated saltwater hold for your fish below deck that keeps your fish in fantastic shape…uncommon for a local boat.  I’ll definitely be back.  The yellowtail are still around.  Take advantage of this opportunity and get one.  Tight lines!

New friend Paul scored his on a Salas 6x Jr…in birdpoop.  That’s George in the background about to photobomb him.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: