3 Setups For Right Now | Fishing Boat Setup

I was on one of the fishing forums the other day when an angler posed the question –

“What 3 setups would take out right now?”

I have a hard time narrowing down to 3 setups for any given trip, much less 3 setups to hold up for anywhere in our fishery. There are some very different bites going on right now. So I’ll try to give you 3 setups for 2 of the hot bites happening right now.

3 setups - Fishing Boat Setup

805 Setups

There’s a little bit of a seabass bite going on in the Channel Islands. Pictured above are the 6 white seabass caught yesterday on the Aloha Spirit. The yellowtail bite hasn’t been consistent of late, but 1’s and 2’s seem to creep into the counts every other day. Some of the boats fish the shallows at times for calicos during their trips. And then of course there’s always the rockfishing.

I’m headed out tonight on the Pacific Islander for what should be probably an overnight rockfishing trip, but Santa Rosa has produced seabass for me several times, so you never know. When we get back Saturday night, I’ll spend the night and go out Sunday morning on the Sea Jay for a day trip. That trip for sure I should have a shot at the ghosts, we may spend time fishing calico bass, and a yellowtail could pop up in either of those scenarios.

Here’s what I’m bringing:

  1. Shimano Teramar 90xh / Tranx 500PG – my jig stick and the “slow” (4.6:1 gear ratio) Tranx. Primary purpose is to throw the big swimbaits and/or heavy jigs for lingcod during the PI trip. I could also use it to throw jig and squid as a changeup rig on Sunday for wsb.
  2. Seeker Blue Lightning 909/Daiwa Lexa 300HD – primarily a bassing setup for Sunday, but I could go light leadhead and squid as a light changeup rig on seabass, or throwing small jigs if/when we shallow water rockfish on Saturday
  3. Coastal Customs 8’ 30-50 rod/Avet MXL – the Avet is about 2/3 full of 65lb. braid. I’ll fish braid to a short topshot for standard double dropper bait setup on Saturday. Sunday, I’ll topshot it with 30 and use as a high dropper setup when we fish for seabass.

tuna bite - Fishing Boat SetupSan Diego Setups

The bluefin have been mostly quiet since around this time last week when that wind hit. The San Diego had returned to fishing for yellowtail around the Coronado Islands, when the bluefin abruptly hit again yesterday. They came home yesterday with 11 fish up to 60-pounds. The situation is so fluid at this point that owner/operator Capt. Ryan Bostian is recommending to “be ready for anything” and the landing is requiring a passport to get onboard. My take, they aren’t sure what they’ll be fishing for until they get out there!

Here’s what I’d bring right now:

  1. Shimano Terez 80H/Avet MXJ – The MXJ is about 2/3 full of 65 lb. braid, and I’d fill the rest of capacity with fresh 30 mono to flyline a bait. I might tip with lighter fluoro if the bite dictated.
  2. The Coastal Customs setup (#3 above) to fish 40
  3. Shimano Teramar 90xh / Tranx 500HG – using the high speed Tranx (6.6:1) to throw surface iron.

Given the size of fish around, I might start with the 40 setup and go down from there. Make sure your line is fresh and bring a variety of hooks and fluoro to make adjustments based on what’s getting bit.

Hopefully the weather this weekend will cooperate. Good luck if you get out there.

Joe Sarmiento
Joe Sarmiento is the founder and primary writer of the So Cal Salty blog. The blog covers saltwater fishing, primarily aboard the many sportfishing b...