No other captain has won more tournaments on the West Coast than Capt. Steve Lassley. In this new column, a BD Outdoors exclusive, Lassley shares what he's learned over the years, and plenty of fishing tales.
Into the Light
When the guys from Bloodydecks and I first started talking about me writing a column for the new website, we discussed all of the different scenarios. I told them that personally, I don't really like writing the how-to articles. Most of what I write here will be about a trip or a particular event that occurred while fishing. From there, it's going to be up to you to extract the info. It will be in there just the same. They gave me a ton of latitude to write about anything I wanted. Most will be short stories but I'm going to write three or four longer articles over the course of the year as well. Let me know what you want to hear about, it makes it easier to write.
I have to start out by saying this, there is no ego in what I'm going to write in this column — none. No big deal being smarter than a fish, right? I have been given a ton of great opportunities in my career, more than I deserved I am certain. I have had the great fortune to work with several boat owners who supported me in my endeavors, a lot of good men. I have also fished with great teammates and crews. I couldn't have had any of my successes without them. It's true — you are only as good as those that surround you. I have also been very fortunate to have several captains on other boats (all excellent fishermen) work with me over the years. It has been quite a run.
I truly love the sport of fishing. It is and has been my passion my entire life. I have fished as hard as possible for 40 years now. Scott Harvey and I bought our first commercial boat, a 30-footer, at 17 years old. We bought it towards summer's end in 1974. It was just a hull, house, deck and tanks. That fall we built the rest of the boat in my parent's side yard. We powered it and built our own engine beds, wired the boat and everything. Scott and I graduated high school early and took off fishing (Scott eventually became an engineer for Texaco). Since then I have commercial fished for swordfish, albacore, sea bass, rock cod and just about anything else we could sell. All of my commercial fishing was done with harpoons, rod and reel or set lines — no nets — well, maybe a few times.
Elmer Hehr gave me the opportunity to captain his 87-foot harpoon boat Dorsal from 1980-82. That was a fine boat. Elmer was one of the legends of his time. That was my introduction to yacht fishing. Since then I've run the Hana Pa'a, Colleen, Mirage, After Midnight and Bad Company to name a few. All top-notch operations that were extremely successful. My teams have won every major tournament on the West Coast except one.
The idea for this whole "Into The Light" deal goes something like this: For so many years I have heard people make statements that weren't even close to true about what goes on in our operations. In this column, I am going to talk about everything — fishing techniques, strategies, electronics, what separates the good guys from the really good guys... everything. If you have a question about something, ask it and I will do my best to answer it. As I see it, it's time for me to give back to the sport that's been so good to me.
I hate fishing in crowds. It makes me mental but it also forced me to figure out diverse techniques and technologies to be successful. Most true fisherman would rather be someplace by themselves than fishing in a crowd. These are the guy's that are expending the effort and doing whatever it takes to figure it out and make it happen. Sure, sometimes you have to go into an area where other guys are fishing, or have been catching, but it is not nearly as satisfying. Nothing is better than coming back in full and nobody had any idea where you were. That's why I enjoyed fishing all of the remote regions like Mag Bay, the Outer Islands, Bluefin at Guadalupe, fishing swordfish, the Gulf of California, etc. Finding an area and being able to work it as you please, well there's nothing like it.
We've caught a lot of fish — a lot, trust me. This column is gonna be about some of those trips, what we've learned and the thought processes behind how we did it. In some of the columns I'm gonna interview guys that have caught a heck of a lot more than me and let you see into some of the fisheries that have sadly recently disappeared. I'll talk about era's that are gone and stuff I would want to have heard about it if I didn't get to see it. I'm not much of a writer, but I hope you enjoy it anyway.
About the Author:
Capt. Steve Lassley grew up fishing swordfish, rock cod and albacore commercially. He bought his first fishing boat at age 17 and has made a living fishing ever since. He has more than 20 first-place tournament wins to his credit, and is approaching $7 million in winnings. As captain, he won the largest Bisbee's in history (most boats in 1999 with 238) and the most money (in 2006, winning $3.9 million). He's logged thousands and thousands of days fishing California and Mexico waters, and now is fishing Hawaii as well. He was one of the first captains operating out of Mag Bay, exploring this fertile area for months at a time. In this column, he will share some of the things he has learned over the years. "Most of us guys spent our whole lives trying to be as under cover as we could about where we were and what we were catching," he says. "We went to huge lengths to make sure nobody knew. It's time people heard not just what I did but what some of the best fishermen did, captains whose work ethic and accomplishments I respect — people that most guys have never even heard of."
CAPT. STEVE LASSLEY
Capt. Steve Lassley grew up fishing swordfish, rock cod and albacore commercially. He bought his first fishing boat at age 17 and has made a living fishing ever since. He has more than 20 first-place tournament wins to his credit, and is approaching $7 million in winnings.
"Most of us guys spent our whole lives trying to be as undercover as we could about where we were and what we were catching," he says. "It's time people heard about not just what I did but what some of the best fishermen did, captains whose work ethic and accomplishments I respect — people that most guys have never even heard of."
He's logged thousands and thousands of days fishing California and Mexico waters, and is now fishing Hawaii as well. He was one of the first captains operating out of Mag Bay, exploring this fertile area for months at a time. In his “As I See It” column, a BD Outdoors exclusive, he shares many of the things he has learned over the years. Steve heads up Team Bad Company, one of the West Coast's top tournament crews.