1. SaltH20Angler

    SaltH20Angler Well-Known "Member"

    Location:
    SoCal - Corona
    Name:
    Christopher
    Boat:
    Not Yet
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    After fishing mostly offshore over the last few months with @Benny Mora, I was looking forward to an easier day fishing inshore, especially because the offshore bite seemed to be pretty far south with most reports showing Skipjack with smaller grade YFT mixed in were being caught. Also, from what I have seen lately, the reports of the larger BFT off the back side of San Clemente have been hit and miss. We were fortunate to be able to put a few nice Dorado on deck recently with a smaller YFT a few weeks back, so we decided to take a break from paddy hunting and target our local Yellowtail.

    I reached out to Mr. T, (a 30+ year San Diego fishing vet, killer fisherman, and all around great guy) to see if he wanted to fish for Yellowtail. He was up for it, so Benny and I made the drive from Corona to San Diego this past Saturday. I was really looking forward to this trip because there have been only a few times I have been able to put Yellowtail on deck and every time I did, I was fishing with Mr. T. The best day I ever had catching them was with him last year when his fish finder wouldn’t work and he followed subtle signs of life to stay on the 8-12# YT all day.

    We met up at Mr. T.’s house at 6am, loaded the fishing gear on the boat and were off to Mission Bay in no time. Launched the boat and decided to pass on buying live bait because the line was probably 15-20 boats deep and we figured we could save the time and make macs at the harbor entrance. Tied on a couple of sabiki rigs and chummed cat food for only 1 smelt…wtf? We then moved a bit, chummed the rest of the cat food and even cut a few frozen squid into little pieces to see if that would get the macks going, but no luck there. After about 30 minutes or so, we pointed the bow towards La Jolla and agreed that we would probably find bait on the way and sabiki up some macks when that opportunity presented itself.

    The wind was a bit up at 7:30 am, maybe 5-8 mph or so and the swell was smaller (2’ or so) but closer together than what I would prefer making the ride to La Jolla a tad bit bumpy. It was overcast for most of the day until about noon or so when the sun showed up. The water temp was right around 72-73 degrees and after a couple of miles without finding bait, we tied on a couple of rapalas and made our way to North La Jolla waiting for a jig strike. There were a few times throughout the day where the wind seemed to have laid down, but only for a few minutes at a time. With no luck trolling, we ended up joining a bunch of our new best friends at one of the more well-known La Jolla fishing spots.

    When we pull up, the right kind of birds were working, so I grab my old trusty Penn Californian 9’ jig stick, with a Diawa SL20SH filled with 50# spectra and a mint colored surface iron and toss that iron towards the working terns. I am pretty sure it was my first cast on that spot when I go bendo and hear that beautiful sound we all love of line peeling off the reel. I can’t explain why, but I seem to catch more (or better grade fish) when my expectations are low compared to when I am optimistic and have high hopes. So instead of thinking I have a yellow hooked, my mind tells me it’s a smaller shark, a bat rat, or maybe even a black bass, but Mr. T. and Benny knew from the weight and the headshakes that it was a nice grade Yellowtail. The fish took line several times with big strong headshakes before Benny brought it to gaff and put it on deck. As soon as it hits the deck, the iron pops right out of its mouth.

    Make no mistake these fish fight hard, so much so, that I was surprised to see it was smaller than what felt like a 30# fish. I wish I could tell you I catch tons of YT, but I don’t. I have caught maybe 8 or so over the past 2 years all of which were under 15#s. When this fish hit the deck, I knew it was the biggest Yellowtail I have ever caught. My new Personal Best Yellowtail weighed just under 20# on a digital scale after being bled. I cut a gill, then put it on ice and got busy cleaning up the blood. Mr. T. and Benny were extremely helpful and stopped what they were doing to take some pics and make sure to assist in every way possible to be successful. What a wonderful moment, I knew I would be replaying this event in my head for days to come.

    After getting everything settled, we reset the drift several more times to see if we could repeat what just happened with no luck. We made a few more moves to a couple of different spots and Mr. T. and Benny had some fun with decent sized calico bass (all released) and larger model mackerel. After about noon, the wind picked up to 10-15 mph or so. Due to the short swell period and the way the drift was working, we had to work hard to keep our footing. We also kept on reeling in kelp or eel grass on our jigs. Between the rocking and the debris in the water we decided to call it a day at about 2:30 pm. In no time, we were back to the launch ramp and the boat was on the trailer before heading back to the house to clean and put away the boat. Benny and I stopped to get a couple more bags of ice to make sure the fish stayed cool on the drive back to Corona.

    On the way home, I texted my wife and told her “Sushi is on the menu tomorrow” and she texted back “Woooo Hoooo!!!” Perfect timing because I had some friends coming over for BBQ Mahi-Mahi that day and now we were going to add Hamachi and Poke’ Bowls to the spread. In my opinion, there is nothing like well cared for sashimi that was swimming free in the ocean less than 24 hours ago. Thank you to Mr. T., Benny, and to @tmitch760 (the “Dopeman”) for a great day that I won’t forget any time soon. Like Mr. T. says, “It’s always a good day when nobody gets hurt, the boat/trailer have no issues, and no tickets were received, catching fish is just a bonus”.

    Side note… We saw a skiff getting pulled out on a trailer and watched from a distance as the prop was scrapping hard as it was being dragged up the launch ramp, OUCH!! Felt bad for that guy driving the truck and for who was probably his wife who may have forgot to tilt the motor up before getting pulled out. This can happen to the best of us and illustrates the importance of having solid launch/trailering routines in place. For the owner’s sake, we all hoped that the damage to the prop or motor wasn’t too bad. We got checked by DFW after pulling the boat out and everything went well, he was a cool dude and not a dick to us in any way.

    Good Luck and Tight Lines fellers!!

    20180825_100105.jpg 20180825_100505.jpg 20180825_134546.jpg 20180825_202031.jpg 20180826_133309.jpg 20180826_134828.jpg
     
    Last edited: Aug 27, 2018
  2. mrkrabs

    mrkrabs I've posted enough I should edit this section

    Location:
    Santee/ca/usa
    Name:
    Marty
    Boat:
    Lard ass
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    :finger::food-smiley-014::food-smiley-014::food-smiley-014::appl::cheers::jig:great write up, that sushi looks unbelievable. mrkrabs
     
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  3. mhanson59hb

    mhanson59hb Fear No Fish

    Location:
    Huntington Beach
    Name:
    Mike
    Boat:
    2008 Trophy 1802 "Mako My Day"
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    Congrats on your new PB yellowtail - that's a solid jack. Great write up for a fun trip (and the food looked great, too).
     
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  4. Paddyman1

    Paddyman1 I love pangas

    Location:
    Left Coast
    Name:
    Steve
    Boat:
    N/A
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    Those seas look like butter, Chris! Congrats on the sweet hamachi. Looks tasty!
     
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  5. SaltH20Angler

    SaltH20Angler Well-Known "Member"

    Location:
    SoCal - Corona
    Name:
    Christopher
    Boat:
    Not Yet
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    Thanks Steve!!

    The seas do look pretty nice in these pics. Maybe it was the all the beer that made it hard for me to walk straight. lol

    :cheers:
     
  6. SaltH20Angler

    SaltH20Angler Well-Known "Member"

    Location:
    SoCal - Corona
    Name:
    Christopher
    Boat:
    Not Yet
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    Thanks Mike. I sure could use some help on catching those Catalina YT like you do. I have tried and tried but no success there so far.

    Every time I read one of your reports, you and your son, Sean, seem to be holding up several nice ones. What's the biggest yellowtail you or Sean has caught roughly? I imagine north of 30 pounds at least. After feeling the power of this 20 pounder, I hope to feel the power of a bigger one someday.

    I'm thinking I should practice catching big ones by hooking an old iron to my wife's bumper before she leaves to the store next time.LOL
     
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  7. colemans224

    colemans224 Member

    Location:
    SoCal
    Name:
    Tim
    Boat:
    seaswirl cc
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    Nice yellow!
     
  8. mhanson59hb

    mhanson59hb Fear No Fish

    Location:
    Huntington Beach
    Name:
    Mike
    Boat:
    2008 Trophy 1802 "Mako My Day"
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    The biggest yellow we have ever caught at Catalina (and anywhere for that matter) was my sons 35-pound toad last year. There have been several in the 30-31 pound range and more over 25 pounds. For what ever reason, we have been hooking more of the bigger models the last 3 years then ever before. Maybe it's just a cycle.

    The way we do it is quite boring: Slow troll big baits over multi-day trips. Trolling gives you the advantage of chasing the hooked fish. Not a lot a people have the patience to do this all day, due to dogs, cost of gas, etc. Sometimes we don't even get a bite for 3 days, like what happened on our July trip this year.

    Our best bets usually are (and this is only my opinion)

    Fish during the week, preferably on a new moon. Weekend fishing sucks!

    Winter: locate schools on the deep reefs and drop iron or big baits.

    Spring to early June: Be set up on the squid grounds before dawn. The bite is early and often over before 7 AM. June is my favorite Month for yellows. Seabass and halibut are a welcome bonus.

    Summer to fall: Slow trolling big baits or chasing bird schools. It's hard to do both at the same time!

    Just stick with it, you'll get one soon!

    Sean's boat record 35 pound yellow: caught on the squid grounds June 2017:
    DSCN1525.JPG
     
    Last edited: Aug 27, 2018
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  9. SaltH20Angler

    SaltH20Angler Well-Known "Member"

    Location:
    SoCal - Corona
    Name:
    Christopher
    Boat:
    Not Yet
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    Damn Mike!! I had to screen shot that post and save to my phone gallery. Supercool of you to share your knowledge.

    I remember when you posted the report when your son caught that yellow. That's a photo for the living room wall for sure buddy
     
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  10. clevel

    clevel Captain in Learning

    Location:
    Laguna Niguel
    Name:
    Cabo Jack
    Boat:
    Cobia 261
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    The address for your plated food is?
     
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  11. mhanson59hb

    mhanson59hb Fear No Fish

    Location:
    Huntington Beach
    Name:
    Mike
    Boat:
    2008 Trophy 1802 "Mako My Day"
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    Also - if you don't have it already, get a copy of Mark Wisch's Catalina book "In the Gray". It is invaluable
     
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  12. Hismosa

    Hismosa I've posted enough I should edit this section

    Location:
    Burbank, CA
    Name:
    Glenn
    Boat:
    20' Skipjack
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    Nice YT, still none for Benny?
     
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  13. SaltH20Angler

    SaltH20Angler Well-Known "Member"

    Location:
    SoCal - Corona
    Name:
    Christopher
    Boat:
    Not Yet
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    Aw Damn Glenn!! You had to bring it up...lol

    Benny's YT is gonna make that one look like its little sister.
     
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  14. Benny Mora

    Benny Mora Member

    Location:
    Socal
    Name:
    Benny mora
    Boat:
    Triton 195cc
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    Hopefully this weekend haha
     
  15. SaltH20Angler

    SaltH20Angler Well-Known "Member"

    Location:
    SoCal - Corona
    Name:
    Christopher
    Boat:
    Not Yet
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    I've heard of that book a few times so I took your advice and picked it up off amazon for $13.

    Thanks again Mike!
     
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  16. tmitch760

    tmitch760 Member

    Location:
    Santee
    Name:
    T.J.
    Boat:
    Triumph 21 cc
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    Good job guys!.. Mr T is a hell of a captain.! Good luck this weekend bros
     
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  17. the SLIDER

    the SLIDER https://multimediabylj.com

    Location:
    Dana Point
    Name:
    L J
    Boat:
    arima - the SLIDER
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    Nice write up.
    Need to have you prepare my catch, when I actually catch something worth preparing. :1041677399:
     
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  18. the SLIDER

    the SLIDER https://multimediabylj.com

    Location:
    Dana Point
    Name:
    L J
    Boat:
    arima - the SLIDER
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    Great information Kinison. BD needs more posts like this.
     
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