Catalina report 8/16 – The old man evens the score against the odds! 30+ pound yellow!

mhanson59hb

Fear No Fish
  • Apr 22, 2013
    2,041
    3,287
    Huntington Beach
    Name
    Mike
    Boat
    2008 Trophy 1802 "Mako My Day"
    I took my son Sean fishing to Catalina for a few days starting 8/14/2017. This would be his last trip of the summer as he is going for an engineering degree and resumes school in a few weeks, while working part time.

    We left Huntington Harbor on Monday and picked up a half scoop of 4 to 5-inch sardines from Nacho. We motored out to the oil rigs, the Avalon bank and the direction of the 152 without seeing a kelp paddy. The water was getting cooler as we headed south, so we made a break for the east end.

    Trolling the back side east with Spanish mackies and smelt produced exactly zero fish, so we made a move to the front side. After enduring kooks running up on our trolling spread, sea doo rentals trying to commit suicide via hook and line and limits of wind - against all odds Sean gets a ripper that turns into a 13-pound yellowtail just west of Frog Rock on a slow trolled Spanish. Yeah Team!

    Sean's 13-pound yellow!
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    That night we got a mooring in Avalon and proceeded to whack cailcos on the mini sardines for an hour after dark. A few “mooring margaritas” later for me and we called it a night.

    Night time calico. I did not even get a shot of the 3 bigger ones he caught!
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    Avalon mooring margaritas: Don Julio Anejo, Mikes Harder Lemonade, rimmed with sea spray salt, garnished with Black Flys Tahitian Hookers and a marlin lure. Yum!
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    Tuesday morning, we woke up to our boat knocking against our neighbor. We were on mooring Q, and it is really tight to mooring P. After issuing apologies, we headed out looking to catch some bait, and I noticed my Calstar and Okuma Cedros spinner combo is gone. I can only figure it caught on the other boat and went in the drink. We went back and tried to spot it, but it was a little too dark, as well as windy so we could not find it.

    We returned at 9:30 AM after the sun came out and I jumped in the water and found the set up under the bow of the other boat. The very kind owner of the “Summer Time” volunteered to dive down and retrieve it for me, as I was having ear pain. Loss avoided. Thank you!

    Bait is very tough to make at the island, but we managed about 8 pieces and started trolling them for nothing. We moved west to Empire, where Sean released a nice cuda, but overall fishing was slow. We decided to go back inside Long Point as the wind was picking up and saw the Patriot just about to leave, but had a few nice yellows hooked up at Frog Rock. Another boat slid in behind them and hooked something big, but we never saw if they landed it or not. We did not catch another thing for the day.

    We spent the night at Descanso, and the morning found us trying to make bait. We did not catch a single one! We still had a few Spanish in the tank from the day before, so we slowed trolled those. I had saved the biggest one for last and pinned it on.

    Right off of Toyon Bay, a dude in a Sea Ray style boat came charging right up our trolling spread 25 feet from us. Some people have no friggin clue. Don't be "that guy". This was when we saw him later, after cutting in front of us again. Avoid this douche at all costs:
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    As we smile and wave, I steer us outside, and get totally slammed on the big mackerel. A sea lion had been dogging us, and I figured I hooked him. Not this time!

    Sean clears the other lines and motors us out to deeper water. The fish made 3 big runs – the whole time the dog is lurking near the boat. I actually feel the dog take the fish and run with it, but it is just too big for the floating fur ball to handle. The bite marks on the tail confirms this later.

    I drop the reel into low gear and start short pumping the fish into range, the whole time the dog is just waiting for another shot. I was putting too much pressure on the fish, but managed to work it to the surface, where Sean put a perfect gaff shot into its chin – and 30+ pounds of yellowtail hits the deck. Back at home after bleeding out, it was still 30.5 pounds! My first yellow of the summer after seeing Sean boat 26 and 35-pound yellows earlier in the year. The guy who almost ran us down had to watch the whole battle. Sweet.

    Solid 30+ pound yellowtail for dad! Finally!
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    Another shot:
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    Bite marks from the dog. Too bad, so sad for you!
    DSCN1569.JPG


    The fish was too big for our fish hold, so we had to cut our trip short a day early. I need to get a large kill bag for next year. Anyway, fishing was slow over-all, but persistence paid off with quality over quantity. The biggest issue was securing bait. It can be had, but you have to work at it. Coming home was pretty bumpy as it was white capping by 11:00 AM, but we made it home safely and with some fillets!

    Be safe and good luck out there!

    Mike
     
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    Reel 007

    I Should Upgrade My Account
    Jun 12, 2006
    1,624
    837
    Glendora Ca
    Name
    Leon
    Boat
    28 Wellcraft Coastal "vagabond'
    I have not found it difficult making macks at Avalon, the wall at the express terminal east along the beach, sabiki and a couple cans of cat foot usually do the trick.
     
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    mark johnsen

    Ichthus
    Aug 1, 2015
    361
    236
    redlands
    Name
    Mark
    Boat
    Blue J
    Congrats to both of you on your fish! Nothing better than that father/son time. Good luck to your son with the engineering. Great field to go into...challenging and rewarding! You must be a proud papa.
     
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    flyliner

    @thereelflyliner
    Aug 19, 2007
    1,904
    2,679
    Santa Monica
    Name
    Jonathan
    Boat
    31' Cabo Express
    I love reading your Catalina reports with your son. Another awesome trip.

    Congrats on that big beautiful Catalina yellowtail. Fish that size on the front side are really special.

    Those "mooring margaritas" sound good....lol. I like mine with Mezcal instead of tequila - highly recommended if you haven't tried it.
     
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    P

    Paddyman1

    Mike, that's a great report and congrats on the nice mossy! Dang that thing has shoulders! You and your son own that rock called Catalina.

    Figures you'd be using "Mikes" hard lemonade, Mike. Going to have to try one of those.

    Best of luck to your son. Takes a major "thinker" to be an engineer.
     
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    P

    Paddyman1

    I love reading your Catalina reports with your son. Another awesome trip.

    Congrats on that big beautiful Catalina yellowtail. Fish that size on the front side are really special.

    Those "mooring margaritas" sound good....lol. I like mine with Mezcal instead of tequila - highly recommended if you haven't tried it.
    Don't take this the wrong way, Jonathan, but you don't come across as a guy to down that worm! LOL

    Skol!
     
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    Pgnracr

    Member
    Sep 3, 2014
    1,682
    1,168
    56
    HB
    Name
    Jeff
    Boat
    Line up
    Very cool report. I was a structural engineer for Boeing for 22 years. But mostly old McDonnell Douglas then they devoured the old Douglas aircraft plant. Laid off guys with triple my seniority. Big Business. No hard feelings I had many great well compensated years. Now more time to fish!!! Lol
     
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    mhanson59hb

    Fear No Fish
  • Apr 22, 2013
    2,041
    3,287
    Huntington Beach
    Name
    Mike
    Boat
    2008 Trophy 1802 "Mako My Day"
    I was a structural engineer for Boeing for 22 years. But mostly old McDonnell Douglas then they devoured the old Douglas aircraft plant. l

    I hear you! My uncle Donald Hanson was the national public relations head at Douglas Aircraft for many years at the plant at Bolsa Chica road in HB. Maybe you crossed paths at some point with him. He was a good man.

    Unfortunately, he died in a hiking accident in Azusa canyon more than a decade ago. RIP. He was a scout leader and taught me to love the outdoors, and along with my father, developed my love for fishing and adventure!