Posted by: socalsalty | July 15, 2012

Trip Report: Biscuit On The Seabiscuit

Photo courtesy of ‘Jackpot’ Dave Bentley

I posted at the beginning of the week that my immediate fishing priority was to get a white seabass.  Thursday, I rode the Seabiscuit hoping to catch one.  The Seabiscuit is a 60 ft long fishing vessel operating out of Channel Islands Sportfishing (CISCO’s). Wednesday, a bunch of the crew from Marina del Rey had chartered out another boat, the Cobra, out of CISCO’s also. The boys slayed them getting 27 white seabass, 3 big homeguard yellows and sacks of barracuda.

Seeing those pics had me really excited about the potential of the day. I’d already been out 6 times this season after white seabass. All I had to show for my efforts was one bite (last week) that ended badly for me. Somehow though, I had a feeling that Thursday would be my day. Happily, the day played out even better than I could have hoped for…

I got to the landing around 4:15am. Shortly after checking in, I was able to board the boat and we got underway. Owner/operator, Capt. Bob Valney came out to introduce the crew…JJ and Scott on deck and Jonathan in the galley. We were already tanked with live squid. Capt. Bob said we’d be targeting white seabass. A 1-1/2 hour drive was ahead of us to the backside of Anacapa Island.

Lots of company at the spot

Ready for action

When we got to the spot, there were several boats already there…a mix of other sportfishing boats and private boaters. Besides the human activity, there was lots of other life on the water…birds, sea lions…definitely looked fishy. My 30lb rig was ready to go. Unlike last week, I had taken off all the extra mono topshot. From the spectra, I had tied the standard WSB rig of high dropper loop with longish loop. I used a 3/0 Owner Aki Twist on the loop and was ready with a live squid pinned on as we dropped anchor over a squid nest.

I dropped in and just as my weight hit bottom…BAM!  I was hooked up. Similar to last week, 1st fish on the boat was a smaller fish, maybe 15-16 lbs., but it was the right kind and it was mine. Wow, that didn’t take long. 🙂

JJ gaffing the first fish

My fish kicked off a steady run of one hookup after another. Seabass hitting the deck punctuated a steady attack of barracuda. One of the toothy gar totally wrecked my setup and I had to retie. I discovered I didn’t have any more 30lb. mono in my bag, so I retied with 25. When I re-tied, I dropped down on the distance between the loop and the weight…hoping to find a level below the cuda, but above the nests so my bait could stand out. I guess I found the right level, because I got hooked up again almost immediately. This time I could tell it was a more weighty fish. I was on the starboard side of the boat when I got hooked. The fish headed toward the bow. I started getting nervous as it approached the anchor line. “Please go outside” I whispered to myself. Whew! I played him out and JJ was ready with the gaff. Nice fish. It was only 8:30.

By 10 or so things had started to slow down. I was loaded up with more barracuda than I wanted to take home, and the deckhands were starting to fill the back bait tank with them all. I was thinking that maybe the boat pressure made the seabass move.

Capt. Bob said we’d move on once an angler on the bow was done with his fish. I racked my stick and went up to the bow to check out the action…

Winner winner…seabass dinner!

We never got to see what it was.  The consensus though was that it was probably a black seabass (aka giant seabass, a protected species).  We moved, but that morning run ended up being the best action of the day.  It was a solid day though, 13 WSB for 23 anglers and all the cuda anyone wanted.  My 2nd fish ended up edging out another bass for jackpot.  After 6 skunks, I took home 2 AND won jackpot.  What a way to go for what is one of the most elusive fish we go after here in Southern California.  Thanks to Capt. Bob and his crew on the Seabiscuit!  Tight lines!

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