Posted by: socalsalty | April 30, 2013

Trip Report: Catalina On The Fury

IMG_6550Early Sunday morning, I met up with new fishing friend Randy and we carpooled down to Dana Wharf.  We were headed down to board the Fury for a full day trip to Catalina Island.  At the landing, we met up with my other friend Vance and boarded the boat for a 5am departure.  In the last few weeks, some boats had found yellowtail in and around Clemente and Catalina islands.  I was hopeful we might run into them too, but I knew that I’d at least get a chance to knock off a ling or sheephead on this trip.

Capt. Rick Doesburg introduced the crew…2nd captain Marcus would also run the galley, and Aliyar and Mike were going to manage the deck.  Including the 3 of us, there were 17 anglers for the trip.


Wake me up when we get there

It was a very comfortable load as the boat actually has the ability to sleep 46 passengers!  Good thing too…I wasn’t able to sleep much the night before.  After we hit the bait dock and got the trip briefing, I sacked out for the ride over.

I woke up around 8:00 and the island was in sight.  The plan for the day was to start here on the east end of the island and rockfish, then work our way along the backside in the afternoon, hug the outside of the kelp line and see what’s around.  We had cut squid and live anchovies to work with.  The boat anchored up in about 250 feet of water.  I kept it simple…double dropper with some light wire 3/0 circle hooks.  I used the chove.  I started out with 6 oz. of lead, but the current was ripping pretty good.  It seemed like the spot was kind of small as dabs were getting picked up if you weren’t in the right spot on the boat.  I went up to 8 and then 10 before I was able  to get up and down and benefit from Rick’s positioning of the boat.  Once I did, the bocaccio (aka salmon grouper) were ready to eat.  I quickly got my limit of 3, and so did Vance and Randy.

Randy with a big bocaccio

Randy with a big bocaccio

The boat was close to limits on the salmon grouper, so we made a series of moves hoping to find a rock holding some reds.  We never found “the” rock, but we made a steady pick of it.  Reds, starries, barberpoles and handful of tasty bankies made their way into the sacks.

Time to head to the beach.  Capt. Rick recommended to use the chovies, as the plastic hadn’t been working so far.  On the move, I had some lunch and rigged up my light pole.  I’m still using the Shimano Crucial 711H, but I updated the reel to an Abu Revo Toro 50.  Really liking this reel, and it actually has more drag than my Avet MXJ.  I have 40lb spectra on it and tied on 20# mono.  I wasn’t thinking bass though.  At this point in the day, a grouper Vance caught looked to be the lead for JP.  I tied a reverse dropper and was thinking cast & drag along the kelp line for a hali…and snatch JP from Vance 😉  Just in case, I tied on a small slider and a hook onto my 30# stick.

We parked on the outer edge of the kelp, in about 25 feet of water.  Most were flylining or using a small sliding sinker to a chove and tossing them into the kelp.  The calico bite was immediate and there were a few of legal size.  I worked my plan and hooked up a few times for a short calico, short sandy, and a nicer sand bass (3 lbs.).  I released all of them.  I was thinking later on I should’ve saved the big sandy in the bait tank for the JP weigh in, but oh well.

People were having fun catching the calicos, and the newer anglers were using strips of squid on droppers to easily have their way with various kinds of perch.  We even saw a few boils of smaller cuda (water was about 61).  I noticed another angler using a small glow sinker to a piece of shrimp and nailing small sheepheads.  Hmmm, there could be a big one around…  I retied to copy him, but to no avail.  No sheepies for me.  He didn’t get a big one, but I swear he caught 5 or 6 which was pretty impressive.

That was pretty much the day.  Vance ended up taking JP with his grouper.  Randy and I both had respectable bags.  Everyone had fish.  No sign of yellows or any other exotics, but a solid day on the water.  Team Fury was a tight crew.  The boat was nice.  I’ll definitely ride again.  Thank you Capt. Rick and crew for a good day on the water.  Tight lines!



  1. […] one of the fish from his haul. Below is a nice red he snatched up. Check out the Salty blog to read the report on this […]

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