Islands Catalina Report and Home-Guard Yellowtail 7.10.21

Donkey Nick

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Greetings Everyone...

Left Cabrillo on Saturday the 10th with 85 y/o Dad, a good buddy and his 12 y/o son.

The kid has never caught a fish, so chasing Tuna was out and we opted for our usual routine at Catalina. Shoved off at 5:30 AM, picked up 1 1/2 scoops of decent sardine from SP Bait and made it to the Empire Landing area around 7, with a super smooth crossing and beautiful weather. 1-2 other boats, water was around 67 degrees with what looked like mixed current. Snooped around for about 1/2 hour to find a nice spot to anchor, but didn't like what I saw on the machine and had a few dogs on us already. After a few drifts, made the call to head west towards the Isthmus.

Fished between the reefs and marked tons of bait with predators in the mix, so tried to read the wind and current for a good anchor job. Threw the pick in 90 ft and looked like we were going to nestle in nicely. Well, the boat swung and we were pretty much sitting right on the reef in about 30-45 ft...You could literally see the bottom (really nice and clear Catalina blue). Time to reposition, BUT the fish started to chew. Bass and Barracuda were biting and boiling. The boat swung a few times towards the deeper water, BUT I knew if we hooked a Yellow it would be trouble. Sure enough, they started to blow up around us and these Mossbacks were BIG. Pin on a slimy sardine on a #2 hook/20# test and my trusty Newell 299...ON!...Oh sh*t...ON!

First thing I said to the crew, was "There is NO way I'm landing this fish". Well, some really strong runs and the beast heads towards the open water. "Yes"! I have a chance. Another long run and...GONE. Line came back frayed 3 feet long. Rocked. Of course I lost the fish. I knew it and I knew it and I blew it.
OK...Reposition time. Reworked my assessment of the wind/current and set up much better this time. 90-100ft and swinging right between the reefs.

We start chumming the sardines with some cut up fresh dead squid and the fish get with it again. The B's start biting, the birds start working and the yellows blew up again. Identical setup with a nice lob away from the boat and...ON!!! Same old song and dance and worried about the line, the kelp, the rocks, the knots, etc...lol. Well, eventually landed the fish. A solid thick one and 1st YT of the year.

homie yt 2021.jpg


Worked a few more spots on the area and the 3 B's were biting pretty much everywhere. No more Yellows were seen. Beautiful weather and smooth seas coming home. My buddy's kid had a blast and was catching fish all day long, including a very big stingray at the end of the day (swallowed a whole squid on the bottom). It's very satisfying to put your friends on fish, especially the kids. The boy was so stoked, he kept fishing back at the dock and was slaying some beautiful bait fish. Oh...to be a kid again!

The Yellowtail was just the cherry on the top.

Home gaurd YT 7.20.21.jpg

We all need the cherry, once in a while. 😎

Tight lines and all the best!

- Nick
 

Blackfish

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Perfect time to hunt the island while everyone is chasing local Bft.
Congrats on the fish and great trip. Enjoyed the read.
 
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woodfish330

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  • Aug 14, 2012
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    Nick.... your posts are always good stories... I've come to enjoy. Its not easy.... to put words and emotions to keyboard... keeping thing relevant and interesting for those reading.

    So I wanted to compliment you on your writing style!! Great post.... great picts. Best of all... Great memories!! Isn't that why we all do this crazy thing called fishing. MEMORIES!

    Kids NEVER forget. You earned your place.... good work brother! Nice fish! Be safe out there.
     
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    Donkey Nick

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    Jul 16, 2012
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    Nick Shamrock
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    Shamrock 246 Walkaround
    Nick.... your posts are always good stories... I've come to enjoy. Its not easy.... to put words and emotions to keyboard... keeping thing relevant and interesting for those reading.

    So I wanted to compliment you on your writing style!! Great post.... great picts. Best of all... Great memories!! Isn't that why we all do this crazy thing called fishing. MEMORIES!

    Kids NEVER forget. You earned your place.... good work brother! Nice fish! Be safe out there.
    Thanks man. I really appreciate your comments. Wishing you well.
     
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    gettingbentwithbo

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    Mar 7, 2009
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    Hell ya! Nice work on the home guards! Thanks for sharing.
     
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    Donkey Nick

    Member
    Jul 16, 2012
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    Hollywood, CA, USA
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    Nick Shamrock
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    Shamrock 246 Walkaround
    Great report as always! Way to be an ambassador for our sport! Hope Pops got in on the action too!
    Mark...Very cool to call me out as an Ambassador. Thanks man. I'm just a grinder, but I appreciate it. For us "Ambassadors", do we qualify for a discount on gas, bait and maintenance? :) Wishing you well, my friend.
     
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