Santa Monica Bay – MDR boats
Didn’t have time this week to get out a full trip report, but I got out on Spitfire Sportfishing on Sunday (May 26th) over the long weekend. As I mentioned in the previous weekend’s trip report on the New Del Mar, lings were the thing. Newly minted skipper (and longtime deckhand) John Corzell was at the helm. Tip of the Salty cap to Capt. Couch as he was riding a hot streak of putting his customers on a great ling bite. My buddy, Jimmy Bass, rode on Saturday and caught 3, including one over 14lb ling-o-saurus to take jackpot. I rode Sunday and the boat got 20 lings! Monday was good with another 17. Then the fin bait ran out at the bait receiver and the lingcod disappeared from the count.
Everyone’s going to be watching the MDR count for barracuda, but who knows if they’ll show up in SMB this weekend or not. Call to the landing and see if they’ve got sardines. If they do, there’s a great chance you’ll hit a limited load ride and catch a fat ling.
Tips For Barracuda Success
I fished on the Enterprise out of Long Beach Marina, with Capt. Andy Siratt yesterday (Thursday). The cuda had just hit OC and Long Beach on Wednesday, and we went out to chase them again on Thursday. I had some tackle issues. In my rush to get my new jig stick on the water, I clamped on my Avet MXL to the new rod. I’m not a big fan of the deckhand style wraps and having to use a clamp. I’d rather have a reel seat and just tighten them on the normal way. It’s faster and easier to change reels. I also don’t like having that lump of metal resting against the inside of my wrist when I’m fighting a fish. Well, long story short, I wasn’t able to use that rod most of the day and had to make do throwing a jig with my 30lb. bait stick. I made do, but it wasn’t optimum. Lessons learned on the water. Now you can have the benefit of that experience…
1) Fish Heavy – minimum 30 lb test, 40lb test better with a Heavy or Extra Heavy rated rod.
These are big fish…some serious logs in the mix with 8-12lb. fish at the top end. So why do you need 30 to catch a max 12lb fish? For one, these are toothy fish and your line will get nicked up. Fishing the heavier test gives you a fighting chance even if that happens. Secondly, lots of sea lions are out there. The faster you can horse that fish in and avoid a protracted fight, the better chance you have of avoiding the sea lions and successfully boating the fish. Also, with the heavier line and heavy stick, you have the option of bouncing the fish. When all the newbs get out there and everyone’s calling for the gaff…you’ll want to be able to bounce it.
2) Check your line often
See above…your line will get nicked often. Every time you catch, in between spots or when you go to change jigs…take a moment to check your line. Run your fingers from where you tie on up 3 feet or so. If there is a rough spot or fraying, cut it off above that spot and re-tie. You’ll feel like an idiot if you break off, lose a jig, and know you could’ve prevented it.
3) Use smaller, heavier jigs
The first fish I brought in, it spit out two 5 inch anchovies (damn, I wish we were getting that size for bait!). I continued to see that size of bait getting spit up on the deck. They’re keyed in on the smaller bait, so give them what they want. They’re holding lower too. You could fish surface iron, but it’ll take too long for it to drop down. In the meantime, other people are getting bit and the sea lions are moving in. Fish a bait that can get down quickly. Megabaits, and small, but heavy iron (CP105 6x Jr etc.) are the ticket.
So there you go. Good luck and enjoy!