You’ll remember that last week, I was preparing to go on a 1.5-day trip on the Pacific Queen. At the time I wrote my post, What I’m Bringing & Why, it was still unclear what direction we would go. Would we go offshore targeting bluefin? Or would we go down the beach and fish yellows and rockfish off Punta Colonet?
Captain Gavin Harbour made a game time decision to head down the beach. And as you can see from the smiling faces of anglers Nick Lam and Steve Kohatsu, Gavin made the right call. Final boat tally was 71 yellowtail, all the bonito you wanted (I kept one for poke. The PQ has RSW.), lots of reds (probably 6 per angler?) and one lingcod (caught by my buddy, Matthew Lowe).
My tackle recommendations were good. One reader who came out told me,
“I’ve never felt better prepared”
which I really appreciated hearing. For myself, I ended up using all 4 rods I brought. The 20# bait setup rod, I had rigged with a small jig. That combo would’ve been perfect to target bonito, but I only actually used it on the PM halfie I rode (Dolphin) before boarding the Queen. So you can leave that one at home. If you really wanted to go minimalist, you could probably get away using one rod…your yoyo setup, then re-rig for rockfish when it’s time to switch up. There were a fair amount of rent rodders on our trip and they did ok. Jig-wise, if you brought one tray like the one pictured (right), you’d be pretty set.
What’s Up With The Bluefin?
There were 3 other boats that were down there with us. Other boats out for the weekend were offshore targeting bluefin tuna. They found a handful of fish, but no one set the world on fire. Similar outcomes happened over the course of this week. Despite the results, I think a handful of boats will continue to look. You never know when things could flip and return to that limits-style fishing from before the last storm (left). You should definitely keep these trips in your consideration set.
At the end day, the fact that we have a legit shot at catching these fish in February is pretty remarkable. The boats targeting bluefin are going to be the ones NOT requiring passports.
All for now. Good luck if you get out there!