BLUEFIN, WSB, LINGS and Reds on the Sea Adventure 80
Just got off a 2.5 day trip on the Sea Adventure 80 for my son Joey’s 11<SUP>th</SUP> birthday present. Capt. Scott McDaniel and Crew (Jimmy, Gavin, Adon, John, Bruce, and Charlie) provided an excellent adventure for all. The goal was to score the first tuna of the season with plan B to go in and fish inshore if it doesn’t pan out. There was a crazy group of Canadians out for a guys bachelor party (I was waiting to for things to get outta hand, which they did, but all in good fun). Those guys know how to fish. They really respected Joey’s presence and he learned a ton of new words (he was cracking up and I was cringing a bit but silently laughing). Left the dock at 8 pm and got bait and then headed out for squid offshore. The water was crystal clear when we found them and it was amazing to see how much there was. Joey was having a blast catchin them on the squid rig (a first for him and me). We loaded up with the nets and so much so that we clogged the tanks. It got a bit dicey that we might lose the tanks, but they got the blockage cleared and everything was back to the plan.
Day one-grey light, beautiful blue water, tough to find life early, and trolled for nada, around mid morning life started to pop up (birds, dolphins, one sea turtle, and small paddys). The paddy’s were pretty lifeless. Around 10 we spotted boiling bluefin and they were good sized around 40 pounds. Go figure that the bachelor (Moosefrom Canada would be the first guy to get bit and land one, and on a mega bait of all things. 90% of us were using 20lb. flouro and ringed circle hooks. It was crazy to see how many of them were boiling but they weren’t biting. One to the next pod, and the old guy (Custom Bob) gets bit, on a big fly lined sardine (he was using 30lb mono to a 3/0 standard j hook) but he breaks off. The crazy Canadian gets bit again on the mega bait but it gets off. Me and Joey and the rest of the 18 guys on the boat are trying hard, changing baits, doing everything but that was it. Around 2 pm, we see some huge finback whales and another pod of boiling bluefin, and again, Custom Bob gets bit on his big sardine and 30lb mono with a j hook and this time he lands it. A Japanese guy also gets bit (this time 20lb flouro and ringed circle hook), but he breaks off under the corner after about 20 minutes which was heartbreaking to see. And that folks, was the tuna story. Just goes to show how finicky they can be.
Around 4 we find a paddy and a guy pulls a sierra mac off it (again it was Moose). We trolled the rest of the day east for nada. Pulled inshore and started rock codding. We got a bunch of quality reds (Joey finally caught a honker), lings, salmon grouper, etc… We anchored up inshore by some kelp and we were beat. Joey wakes me up at 2am to tell me to get up, they’re catching white sea bass. So I get up and see a 20 pounder and a 35 pounder on deck and two guys fishing. I join the party and only managed a nice ling and another rockfish. Joey goes back to bed and it’s just me and one other guy and I get another ling and had to ask myself what I was doing out in the cold at 3 am with another day to go. I went to bed and tossed and turned until 6 am with so many thoughts of what might be the next day (you know that feeling). The weather was crap when I got up (NW winds around 15-20 with mixed swell. Plan B was in full effect with only similar reports of life outside but hard going for the other boats to get something consistent. We got boarded by the Mexican Navy, machine guns and all, and 11 guys. They went through everything, bags and all, and checked everyone’s licenses. They left without incidence after about and hour and the Captain thanked them and told them what a privilege it is to fish in their waters (which we all agree). We worked up the line looking for life, which there was plenty (whales, dolphins, bird schools, a jumping mako, and a strange big dark fin that sank out, but not much biting. We continued to get lings and quality rock fish throughout the trip. The water was still around 60-62. It was a bit rough and a few guys were chumming. For the first time, Joey felt like he was getting seasick and I had him eat a roll, some lays chips, and a few sips of sprite and to sit on deck and watch the horizon. He learned not to go inside until he was ready to sleep. Anchored for the second night off Rosarita and only one other guy fished all night for nothing.
All in all, it was a great trip with a variety of sites to see. We got plenty of fish but unfortunately no tuna for us on this trip. Joey says he wants the Sea Adventure 80 trip to be his birthday present every year and I seconded the motion. Thanks again to Capt Scott and the crew for a great time and I highly recommend them as those guys know what their doing and will put you on the fish. The life is there now boys, you just have to work at it and go get em! Better pics to follow later.