Weather and marine forecast for Tuesday looked good, so Friday before I left on the Outrider, I grabbed the last spot on the Pacific Quest.
Arrived at 7:30 to a nearly empty parking lot at Pierpoint!! Grabbed a spot, got my parking permit, and from the landing I could see people on the boat. I grabbed my gear and got on board.
I was greeted by second captain for the trip, Rick Slavkin. Captain Josh got on board and greeted me with a big hug. The Chartermaster arrived and took roll call. As soon as everyone was on board, Captain Josh gave a safety speech and talked about plans for the day, we had plenty of squid already, and we were off to Santa Barbara Island.
We arrived at the island early. I got up and started soaking a bait with a few other passengers while we had good current. When the current slacked off to nearly nothing, I went back and grabbed another hour or so of sleep.
Up again at gray light, as we approached something closer to daylight the white fish started biting nearly wide open. Some really nice sized fish made it to the kill box, with many more released.
Then they simply shut off. We all hoped maybe some seabass had scared them off. One of the anglers hooked and landed a yellowtail. I switched to a lighter sliding sinker and got bit on the next cast, landing a second yellowtail. But after a long period of nothing, Jason made a couple of moves in the cove, then headed out around the island to look for something else.
One spot we pulled into under a high cliff with a thick kelp line produced two halibut before the anchor was done. But nothing else, and nearly nothing being metered. We probably circled the island twice, and a little after 11:00 Captain Josh said he was going to head back over the west end of Catalina, and see if there was something more happening there. I retied a couple of rigs that had seen a little action, and grabbed another nap while we made the crossing.
We arrived at Catalina and started down the island, stopping here and there. It was pretty quiet. The Pursuit called him in, they had been sitting on one spot all day, picking a seabass every half hour or so, and were close to limits. We pulled in close, watched them land their last two and leave, and pulled in on their spot. There was a commotion on the starboard side for a few seconds, when a 15-17 pound class yellowtail cruised down the side of the boat, checking us out, but took no interest in any of the baits in the water, and cruised on by. The wind had come up, though, and it seemed the bite was over.
Thank you to Captain Josh, who stuck at it until nearly 5:30. We called it quits and headed back in.
We ended the day with the two yellowtail and two halibut, plus a few dozen nice sized white fish.
I'll add a few pictures if I can get some from the chartermaster...