Posted by: socalsalty | February 17, 2013

Trip Report: Working PV On The Tradition

Tradition at Berth 55

Tradition at Berth 55

Tried a “new” boat this weekend.  Well not exactly new…I’d ridden the Tradition before.  My buddy Jimmy Bass‘ family previously owned the boat and ran it out of Redondo Sportfishing.  However in January, the boat was sold to Capt. Tom Dur and subsequently moved to Long Beach Sportfishing.

I’m always on the lookout for affordable options to take out the kids.  I’m all about getting them outdoors and away from the tv and videogames.  Let’s face it though, it’s an expensive day to bring them out, pay 3 fares, pay for fish cleaning and pay for a galley tab.  We’ve been longtime fans of the Free Kids Clinic and half day ride out of Dana Wharf that they do every Sunday.  It caught my eye  when I saw that the Tradition was running a kids free day on Saturdays, so I was all over it.

Jake's setup

Jake’s setup

The boat got underway at 7am.  Capt. Tom was driving, Chuck managed the deck, and Myrna held it down in the galley.  We didn’t stop to pickup bait as they had fresh dead squid on board that the crew made out at Catalina.  It was about an hour ride north to the southern side of the Palos Verdes peninsula.  We went to work  just outside the Abalone Cove MPA in about 60 feet of water.  Lobster trap buoys dotted the area around us.  We were over some hard bottom and small structure with the target species being calico & sand bass, and sculpin.  I setup Juj on a dropper loop rig with 2oz. of weight, while Jake and I opted to go the leadhead and squid route.  I told Jake how Jimmy had found success last week using a grubtail with his leadhead, so he went with a green/gold combination and a strip of squid.  Ever since we went to Fred Hall last year and watched a scully attack a yellow swimbait outside the tank, Jake has been convinced that yellow is the magic color for the scullies.  Well sure enough, he was one of the first people to connect on the boat with this nice sized sculpin.

Sculpin love yellow?

Sculpin love yellow?

Leadhead dressed in a tube jig with a full squid scored this calico

Tube jig with a whole squid scored this calico bass

Shortly after Jake scored his scully, I got one too.  Then I scored a nice calico.  Jake got another scully.  Another angler to our left got a nice sand bass.  We were having a decent go of it, but Capt. Tom wanted to make a move.  Come to find out that our 4 fish and the sandy were the only legal fish on the boat.  Any other fish that got caught were rockfish and a lot were of a good size.  They were in close to spawn.  Since we’re still in the bottomfish closure, it wasn’t putting fish in the sacks though.

We headed north, through the MPA, past the Point Vicente lighthouse.  On the other side, we found a much different marine environment.  A thick forest of kelp was all around us.  In the previous spot, Jake and I casted and dragged.  Here, that strategy would only lead to losing a lot of tackle.  I told Jake to just flip to the outside of the kelp and hope for the best.  There was a lot of life in the water.  Dolphins lazed slowly along the surface.  Baitfish skittered around the kelp in the clear water below us.  A big mola mola joined the party.  It was really beautiful, but the only fish to come aboard were a few treefish (Jake couldn’t get anybody to bite on the “smells like pine” joke).

Pt. Vicente lighthouse as we headed north

Pt. Vicente lighthouse as we headed north

Nice out-of-season whitefish

Nice out-of-season whitefish

We went back south and eventually worked the little sliver in between the Pt. Vicente and Abalone Cove MPA’s.  Jake and I were able to go back to our previous strategy of cast and drag and I immediately connected with a small salmon grouper that based on the bite I thought was going to be a bass.  Jake got a short calico.  I connected again on an impressively large brown rockfish and then a short calico right after it.  Another angler caught a large whitefish of a size I had only previously seen up in the Channel Islands.  Some blue perch came on board (aka halfmoon).  Pretty good fishing, but again, not much of a dent in the sacks to show for it.  At this point, it was getting late in the day.

Capt. Tom made one last move and we headed out to deeper water.  He had a hunch about an area that he thought might be holding sculpin.  When we were inshore, there wasn’t much current to work with.  When we went deeper, a swift current  made it difficult to fish the spot we were trying to target.  Despite the tough conditions, some sculpin did come over the rail including a big one that ended up taking jackpot (got 2nd with my calico 😦 ).  We also saw a nice sheephead (guessing just short of 10lbs?) and that was the day.  It was one of those days where the count didn’t really reflect how the day went (8 Sculpin, 1 Sand Bass, 2 Calico Bass, 17 Halfmoon for 24 anglers).  I’ll be interested to check these guys out again after the closure is over.  Thank you Tradition Sportfishing for a good day on the water.  Tight lines!

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