Great write up Bull! It was an amazing trip!!I am sure others will add or start their own thread, but here is what went down on the Ballast Point 8 Day on the Excel which returned 8/9/2021
We fished two days at the Rocks and two days at the new adult Disneyland, Guadalupe. I am becoming a gear whore and brought enough set up’s for two anglers. I love having duplicates as I absolute hate having to retie during a hot bite. Here is what worked for me:
Alijos Rocks – reading the recent reports on here and getting some intel I used the Captain Jimmy Bombs in Green, and yes, wound fast. We made it through 4-5 troll rotations over the 16 hours we fished the rocks. I think trolling although important, is very boring. I just refuse to do it and always give it away to a new angler at first or someone who hasn’t caught a hoo. We caught 60 ish wahoo over the two days of circling the rocks. The weather the first day (10 hour or so) was pretty smooth (52 fish or so) and the second afternoon it was a little snotty with 6-8 fish for 3-4 hours. Sharks were thick. I lost 3 hooked fished to them and got chewed off on the spider hitch another 3x’s. Zero losses of bombs on 130lb fluoro. I know, I know you need a short and stiff rod for throwing the bomb so purists, please excuse me…
UC Reaper w/ a Trinidad 30A
UC Reaper w/ a Trinidad 20A
Alijos Bank – we arrived early in the evening and doing circles around the rocks. Made bait after dinner and started getting after it. Sharks were thick on the initial spot so we meandered over to honey hole #2. Picked up a few here then hit the sack with Justin letting everyone know the best bite was 4am – 830am. He was right.
We picked up 120 or so YT from 22-45 pounds with 50% being the 30-38lb variety. The YT here preferred the greenback mackerel, but Spanish mackerel and a 3 sardine chandelier rig did the trick at times. Current wasn’t too bad and using 16oz. of lead worked.
What didn’t work for me, yo-yo’s. I can’t honestly say I put 100% effort into it as I was worn out from the previous days bomb casting. I made 75-100 drops yielding 1 short bite. Others who were more dedicated to the cause all were rewarded.
I was stoked to put some new gear in action and really happy with its performance. As I fish party boats 99% of the time, I bought the longer version of each blank in order to get out from underneath the boat, navigate the anchor, etc.
7’6” Centaur w/ a Mak 16
New Heaven On Earth – Guadalupe
Yes, is everything you have been reading and 4x that. We sat in one spot for the greater part of two days and at times had 10+ fish going. The tax man didn’t seem to show up until after breakfast. There was no rhyme or reason to when taxes were paid, some on 100lb gear and others on the lighter stuff. Amazing to me that the seals here swim around giving zero F’s about the sharks. In fact, numerous times we saw seals tormenting the sharks and the sharks retreating. Had a GW breach 25 feet from the stern with speculation that a seal had bit its fin. Amazing.
Mr. Fleck recommended a 10 foot top shot of 60lb fluoro tied directly to your spectra. This is a new style for me as I typically use 50-80 yard of mono to fluoro. I am a fan. The greater feel you have for your bait and the rush of feeling your bait picked up is amazing.
My personal preference is to get bit. So much to the chagrin of Justin, I dropped to 50lb and paid the toll a few times. Had 3 fish I could not stop and 4 fish lost to sharks in some capacity, whether bit in half or bit through the line.
645am day 1 Mr. Fleck “Bull, good job getting a bite. What lb. test are you using?”
A very shy and embarrassed Bull “50lb”
Justin nods, then says, “You got desperate after 45 minutes of fishing?”.
It is true, others were getting bit on 60 and I couldn’t get it done. So I went to my old tactics of small hooks and light line and did just fine. Every time I got tooled, bit off, sharked, etc., I just told myself it’s better to have more bites and get my arse back in the water and try again. I hooked a few on 60lb but not as many as you can imagine. Handed off a few as well which always makes my day.
Pro Tip – don’t forget about using hearts as chunk bait. Had 6-10 bites for the group dedicated to this on day 2. Day 1 for whatever reason we didn’t think to try it.
UC Terminator 30-80 GP80 w/ a Avet JX Raptor accounted for 80% of my hook ups
UC Terminator 30-80 GP80 w/ a Mak 15T accounted for the others
Blacktail mutsu hooks in sizes 1 – 2/0
Everyone knows I am an Excel homer and I don’t see myself fishing any other boat. The food is fantastic, the rooms are cold and the customer service is everything I can ask for.
Pro Tip #2 – I often skip dinner as a way of managing my weight (used to be 299lbs). During the long hours at the rail, I skipped breakfast and sometimes even lunch as well. I also skipped drinking water, what a mistake. When I do it again in October I will be bringing in a hydro-flask type thermos to load up and leave next to my tackle box. At times I felt dehydrated/not myself and forced myself to go drink some water/soda and have a snack. 20 hours from help is not the place I would want to have a heat stroke. I get so caught up on getting the next bite or taking in all the scenery I forget that food and water are pretty damn important. No excuse.
The charter masters Josh and Matt were great. Beer's o' plenty and apparently I was "that guy" as I did not encounter a too drunk or unfriendly passenger on the trip. A great group of guys and I will be back next year.
I often get asked to join other trips on other long range boats and my standard answer is, “I don’t cheat on Lumpy, Jason, Mikey, Tim, Rene, Vance, Will, Nick, Chase and Richard”. Thanks boys!