Posted by: socalsalty | August 20, 2012

Trip Report: Coming Home

Deckhand Eric Ullman gives the Fishing 101 class on the New Del Mar

Sunday morning, Jake, Juliana and I got on the home boat, the New Del Mar…half day boat out of Marina Del Rey Sportfishing.  It had been awhile since I’d been on the boat.  The kids and I were out on Father’s Day, and I went out on a twilight somewhere in between.  I’ve been chasing my Top 10 and the kids have been wanting to mix things up a little.  We were all very happy to get back and see all the crew and regulars on the boat.

Capt. Danny was driving.  Big Vic, Eric and Dylan were working the deck (with new pinhead, Victor), and Dale was manning the galley.  I believe there was about 80 anglers on the boat (us included).  Leaving Dock 52, we headed due west.  The original plan for the day was to just go out and have Jake practice flylining a bait.  We wanted to prepare for going down to San Diego over Labor Day Weekend and hopefully get Jake his first yellowtail (or other exotic).  As it turned out though, with all the other anglers onboard, and a squadron of pelicans hanging around all day, we played it straight and just fished.

The first stop of the day was in @ 200 ft of water.  We were over some structure and rockfishing.  I’m on a self-imposed moratorium from bringing home any fish that aren’t “two-handed fish” (requiring 2 hands to hold up ;-)).  Reason being, my freezer has reached full capacity with ‘exotics’, so I need to work on freeing up some space.  Given this scenario, I spent the day fishing mostly large sardines…less bites, but better quality fish when connecting.

I fished a “dropper loop” setup where the loop had been snipped to create a longer, single line leader to the business end.  I started the day snelling a 3/0 hook on the leader and tying a stinger (treble hook) to the tag end.  Almost immediately, my ‘dine got whacked.  It felt too light to be a ling, but still a substantial fish.  I reeled it up to reveal a larger sculpin.  Got him with the stinger too!  Next cast, I nailed a just short ling.  Next one, I cast out, but then had to deal with a mess created by Juj not keeping her line tight and pelicans fouling it all up.  By the time I got back to my own line, it had managed to get caught up in the structure and I had to break it off  😦

This was kind of how the day went for me…fish at the beginning of each stop until Juj required additional attention.  All good though…I’m happy to tend to Juj when she’s into fishing and Sunday she was.  During the same spot, she connected on a scullie fishing a strip of squid.  It took her forever to get it in the boat, but I always enjoy seeing her catch a fish.  It was legal.

Good enough for 2nd place

Meanwhile, the other regulars were following the more or less the same strategy as me.  My buddy, “Jackpot” Dave and Phi Long (who gave me the ling on the Father’s Day trip) were just around the corner on the stern.  Phi really has lings dialed in and he pulled the first legal one of the day.  At the next stop though, I got myself into the jackpot conversation by nailing a big bocaccio (aka salmon grouper).  I was surprised that it turned out to be a bocaccio as it fought pretty hard and actually stripped out some line.  When it got to color, I didn’t immediately recognize the species.  Dylan was standing next to me as it came up, stuck it with the gaff and then paraded it around the boat to show the rent rods what was possible if they stopped dangling their ‘dines in front of pelicans and wondering why they didn’t go away.

That was pretty much the day for me.  Jake and I traded showing each other ‘dines that got whacked (but we didn’t hook the whacker).  I managed one more short ling.  Phi picked up another legal ling.  Dave got one.  The boat ended up with 5 lings total.  Another angler pulled up a really nice red.  Other than those fish, it was small starry rockfish (Juj got one) and sculpin.  Solid halfer though.  The 3 of us enjoyed our day and we won’t wait so long to come back.  Tight lines!

Dave and Phi with 3 of the boat’s 5 lings – middle one took jackpot

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