Posted by: socalsalty | June 18, 2012

An Act Of Fishing Kindness

Jake on rent rod duty

The kids wanted to know what I wanted to do for Father’s Day.  “I want to be on the water, with you guys, on our home boat (the New Del Mar).  Done deal.  I was shock and awed that SO MANY other dads had the same vision as yours truly 😉  Oh yeah…100 other anglers joined me on the boat to fish the productive waters of Santa Monica Bay.  Dale (in the galley) informed me that there was a Groupon deal or something.  There were so many new anglers on the boat, that Jake was conscripted into being a pinhead.

OK then, it was going to be the kind of day where I’d need to accept what the day gave us.  There wouldn’t any moving around the boat to improve our lie or take advantage of random opportunities.  It was a scenario where would just have to make the best of it.  When Juj wanted to fish, I second row fished behind her.  That kind of day.  I reminded myself that on a similar day last year, I scored my one and only white seabass ever for one of the most memorable moments of the year.

The day started out in a shallow spot over some sandy bottom.  Jake was up in the wheelhouse when we stopped and said there was a nice, big, white seabass-looking mark below us.  There were several boats around us, including a kayaker who we saw hooked up and fighting what could very well have been a biscuit.  He didn’t land it.  The live bait onboard was mostly anchovies, with a smattering of sardines mixed in.  I setup the three of us with the standard high dropper loop WSB rig.  Jake and I fished a big bait (sardine), while Juj fished a strip of squid.  A couple of the regulars jigged for squid, and a few of us (including Jake and I) were lucky to eventually fish live squid (thanks Hacker).  The wide open sand dab bite (groan) was punctuated by NDM regular Jason getting picked up by what might have been a seabass.  Unfortunately he didn’t score and we moved on.

One of these days, I’ll pickup that hitcher

Next we anchored up on a deeper water spot to rockfish.  More intel from Jake…”we’re on top of a big school marking kind of high up…probably bocaccio.”  Live anchovies are the perfect bait for bocaccio, and some really nice ones started to come over the rail.  There were some bigger ones, but they weren’t the nasty black splotched looking ones that you see sometimes when they get big.  These were very nice looking fish.  I was enjoying getting bit on almost every cast, when all of a sudden I got heavy.  Oh my.  A minute later, the big heavy was gone.  Ugh.  I reeled up to find a badly scarred salmon grouper.  No doubt a lost ling opportunity.

Not long after I missed the ling, regular Phi Long, got bent big a couple spots over to my right.  He slowly reeled up, ending in the gaff of a large lingcod.  Damn.  I was sure he got “my” ling.  I was happy for him though and had him pose with Capt. Danny and his big fish.

Phi and Capt. Danny with the big ling

Phi’s ling ended up winning him jackpot…just edging another nice one caught by a rent-rodder up on the bow.  On the way home, Juj and I were hanging out on the upper deck, while Jake helped Julian setup rent rods for the afternoon ride.  Phi came up and motioned to me.  He offered me his fish.  Now as you all know, I’ve got fish coming out of my ears…even after giving away an s-load to various friends and family every week.  I don’t need more fish.  I was so taken by his generosity though.  Phi is mute and deaf, so it’s a little hard for me to communicate with him.  I just shook his hand and thanked him.  So I got the ling after all.  These trips on the ocean are mysterious like that.  You can have a magical day…even when crammed together with a 100 other anglers.  Tight lines!


* Shoutout to new Salty reader Eric who was onboard yesterday.  Thanks for introducing yourself.  Hope you had a good day too.  See you out there.

** MDR Sportfishing is back on summer hours, with daily twilight trips from 6-10pm.  Call ahead for details.



  1. 101 anglers … WOW! I’ve been on the Dana Pride with 100 people yellowtail fishing. Crowded but my dad and I each ended up with a yellowtail in a scratch bite.

    Last winter I had something grab a belinda on my hook, and it fell off but I got it up and no teeth marks. I wonder if bocaccio would take a swipe at them, since there were no teeth marks…

    The best hitchhiker video is on YouTube from Alaska…40+ pound lingcod stuck on an Alaskan cod … … this and Jeff Spence’s 25# lingcod that hitchhiked on a 4# red on the Spitfire.

    • My previous most was 93 on the Freelance out of Davey’s Locker. Caught one calico. They refunded half fare and I never used it. Surprisingly though, most people seemed to enjoy Sunday’s trip. I think most went home with fish and there were some moments of excitement with the exotics (wsb and ling). Not my favorite trip, but not terrible given all those people.

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