Catalina 7-29 Report, Yellowtail Point to West End

Discussion in 'Southern California Inshore & Islands Fish Reports' started by Azarkon, Jul 29, 2018.

  1. Azarkon

    Azarkon I've posted enough I should edit this section

    Location:
    California
    Name:
    Joe
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    Short: very slow day with one heart break at the end.

    Long: Been watching conditions all week, saw the nice weather, but also the full moon and the increasingly disappointing surface fishing reports. Saturday's reports and counts gave me last minute second thoughts. I didn't want to bottom fish, and with the way the off shore fish have been reacting recently, it just didn't justify running out to the 43 or San Clemente Island. Looking for similar fish in the Long Beach area seemed like a very long shot, and the near coast bite on bass and barracuda had all but died down. With what seemed like poor options, I was this close to just staying at home, but decided to take a look around Catalina, since I haven't been to that island in a while.

    By all counts, Catalina has been slow, so I wasn't hoping for much. Picked up a half scoop of fat sardines from the usual place and headed out of Long Beach around 6:00 am. Water temperature in the morning was 72 right out the gate and 68 to 69 in the channel. On the way back around 1:00 pm, it was 73 to 75 every where. Summer has arrived - but summer fishing, unfortunately, hasn't yet. Seas were smooth and I could see anything on the surface, but didn't see anything all day. Arrived at Catalina at 7:10 am.

    Plan was to hit Yellowtail Point and then look around the Isthmus, in case that didn't work out. It didn't work out. The morning "bite" did not exist. Maybe the sardines were too fat, more likely it was the full moon, since I didn't see any one of the other dozen boats parked around me catch anything, either. Saw fish on the sonar, they just didn't want to bite. It was frustrating enough that, when I came back later in the day around 10:30 am, most of the other boats had long left.

    I left before they did to look at the Isthmus. The party boats were just arriving. Nobody seemed to be on fish but then again I didn't hang out with them long. Found a spot of small bass that wanted to play to the west of Two Harbors, but with the size of the sardines I got, all I could get were short bites. Troll all the way to West End for nothing. Not even a bonito, though I did get hit by a barracuda that shook the hook. Decided to go back east past Yellowtail Point.

    It was around 10:30 by now, and Catalina was turning out as disappointing as I had expected, so I decided to switch to the light gear for just anything I could get - I was hoping for a few barracuda, bass, and bonito. This would prove to be the biggest mistake of the day. I did get a few short bass, including one almost legal bass that managed to actually swallow one of the fat sardines I had, and a couple of baits destroyed by barracuda that obviously couldn't swallow the whole bait. But I didn't get any bonito - and with water temperature up to 75, this is very surprising. In retrospect, I don't know what happened to the bonito - it seemed like ever since the end of 2016, they've been largely missing from every where. Another down cycle?

    Then, around 11:30 am, just as I was about to leave, I got The Bite - you know, the bite that you always get when not prepared, but which never happens when you actually are prepared.

    The fish hit an active sardine I just cast out in 70 feet of water. Judging by the head shakes, it was more likely to have been a WSB than a yellowtail, but it could've been either, or even a shark, because I couldn't stop the fish on bass gear any way so its movements were less typical. Its strategy for escaping, however, led to a 15 minute fight because it didn't just run in one direction, but instead made circles under the boat, never showing color but probably looking for a rock since I wasn't near an area with rocks.

    In retrospect, I don't think there was much I could've done. When the line snap happened, I wasn't applying that much force, and the drag wasn't that tight, so I was surprised. But since I wasn't on anchor, I thought it might've been because I passed over rocks or kelp and the fish simply cut the line on them. Before then, it seemed like a very solid hook set and I even entertained the idea that I could eventually win because of the new 20 pound test line I was using. The problem, though, was that I couldn't put much pressure on the fish with bass gear, and it had the freedom to run where it wanted to. That's never a recipe for victory in an area with structure.

    Yeah, it was a heart break situation, but I was obviously not prepared and expected nothing, so in retrospect, I think this actually made my day. Without these 15 minutes of excitement, the trip would've been even less worth talking about and I'd have forgotten it within a week. As it is, I'll remember it for a while. You can't always get them, but it's better to have fought and lost, than to have not fought at all.

    For those looking for that extra information, most of the boats were fishing on the western half of the front side of the island, particularly within 2 miles of the Isthmus and between Yellowtail Point and Long Point. I'm guessing that's where the best fishing at Catalina is right now, though best still seems pretty slow.
     
    Last edited: Jul 29, 2018
  2. Stayskunkedmyfrens

    Stayskunkedmyfrens Newbie

    Location:
    Huntington Beach
    Name:
    Jose
    Boat:
    21footer
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    Hell ya just one moment the moment that you dont think is a movement or never expected to make the trip awsome. Great story I'm heading out time. Yeeew
     
  3. Arima-bob

    Arima-bob pescadore n jäger

    Location:
    Too far from water
    Name:
    Beeulzebob
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    uh....
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    Possibly a schoolie size yellowfin? The water temps you reported would support them, going in circles with head shakes and then maybe bit off?
     
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  4. tuner

    tuner pysgotwyr

    Location:
    Huntington Beach
    Name:
    Steve
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    260 Mackinaw
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    Sorry you missed them, they were there.

    We made the same call and ended up anchored near eagle reef for a decent pick. The bonito and barracuda were there. I burned though a full scoop of sausage sardines in about three hours. No yellows to the boat, but a few tell-tale squashed heads to know they were around.

    Next time!
     
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  5. Donkey Nick

    Donkey Nick Well-Known "Member"

    Location:
    Hollywood, CA, USA
    Name:
    Nick Shamrock
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    Shamrock 246 Walkaround
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    Good Morning! In 70 ft of water over structure?
     
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  6. Arima-bob

    Arima-bob pescadore n jäger

    Location:
    Too far from water
    Name:
    Beeulzebob
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    uh....
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    70' yes, but th OP mentioned a lack of structure. It is very shallow for a yellowfin, but not unheard of.
     
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  7. mhanson59hb

    mhanson59hb Fear No Fish

    Location:
    Huntington Beach
    Name:
    Mike
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    2008 Trophy 1802 "Mako My Day"
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    Good intel, too bad about the lost fish, but it keeps you stoked for your next trip!
     
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  8. Tunaslam

    Tunaslam I've posted enough I should edit this section

    Location:
    Diamond Bar, Ca 91765
    Name:
    Cory Visser
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    Full moon and lots of pressure certainly shut the bite down. Better luck next time, bummer on the lost fish!
     
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  9. Azarkon

    Azarkon I've posted enough I should edit this section

    Location:
    California
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    Joe
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    I was over sand when the bite happened. I did drift into structure during the fight, though, and I'd expect a tuna to run the other direction. It's still possible and it makes for a better story for sure!

    One more piece of intelligence: a bunch of fish came up during the fight that looked about 15 to 20 inches long, but were not bass, perch, yellowtail, or barracuda. Couldn't recognize them, they had a grey color.
     
    Last edited: Jul 30, 2018
  10. C.Bergs

    C.Bergs Member

    Location:
    Marina del Rey
    Name:
    Cory
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    Skipjack 24 Open - Pau Hana
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    Thanks for the report!
     
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  11. Trayscool

    Trayscool Captain

    Location:
    Long Beach
    Name:
    Travis
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    My boat partner fished all day Saturday from 2 harbors to the west end and caught 1 cuda all day. Def slow
     
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  12. the SLIDER

    the SLIDER https://multimediabylj.com

    Location:
    Dana Point
    Name:
    L J
    Boat:
    arima - the SLIDER
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    Solid A for writing composition.

    Always like your post's even though I don't agree with some of them. I guess what I appreciate is that your not afraid of speaking your mind and can articulate in written form.

    Taking quite a risk by creating a thread with no fish. I just did it, surprisingly most get fishing. It's not always about the catch.
     
    Last edited: Jul 30, 2018
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