Catalina serves up humble pie – and fish tacos

mhanson59hb

Fear No Fish
Apr 22, 2013
1,648
2,445
113
Huntington Beach
Name
Mike
Boat
2008 Trophy 1802 "Mako My Day"
After reading about the phenomenal yellowtail bite for the last few weeks, it was with great anticipation that I took my son Sean fishing for a few days at the island. We launched Monday morning from Huntington Harbor and there was a delay at the PCH bridge as the USS Anchorage was berthing. The all clear was finally given at 8:00 AM, so off to the bait barge we went.

We got the very last half scoop of squid from Mario at LA Harbor Bait and topped it of with a quarter scoop of medium sardines. The crossing was fairly smooth with the occasional bump and we pulled up to every boat in the fleet at Empire a little before 10 AM. I saw one guy in a skiff get a nice yellow but that was it. We tried everything: Fly-lined ‘dines and squid, 3-way droppers, jigs, flat falls, SP minnows and slow trolled sardines - and the yellows were having no part of it (or us).

Bass and barracuda were flipping out and we released as many as we could catch. Opting for less crowded fishing grounds, we headed west with the intention of coming back to Empire later after the fleet left for home. A 3-pound sheephead and a couple of big reds were taken off some deep stones we checked, and slow trolling west from Parsons produced nothing.

Around 4 PM we went back to Empire, put out the trollers and headed east. A couple of barracuda were caught and released. Yellows were a no show. The other boats in the area had no action either. What is going on here? Running past the MLPAs we resumed slow trolling sardines at the K20 kelp to Frog Rock for nothing. It’s like someone has flipped a switch and the yellows just disappeared. We moored up in Avalon for the night.

Tuesday was an exercise in frustration. We started out at first light drifting squid at the Vs. Not even a Calico. The water was a lot colder on the backside, around 62. We ran out to the Farnsworth Bank. Nada. We fished some back-side beaches looking for halibut. Zippo. While doing this the engine decided not to start. Great. I had Sean throw out the anchor and fortunately, all it took was cleaning the battery cables to get it going again. I did manage to hook a calico while we were stalled. Yeah Team!

At this point Sean decided we have had enough of this BS so we went looking for some bigger baits to troll. We hit up several shallow green off color water areas and put around 25 nice size smelt in the tank. Slow trolling these up and down the front side, Sean managed a log cuda that a dog ate half of and more calicos. Where have all the yellows gone? Long time passing….

Wednesday morning was more of the same. Slow trolling is boring work and can be demoralizing when not catching anything. As a last-ditch effort before heading home, we hit up our rockfish spot again and put another sheephead and some really big reds in the hold. Sean even got the boat record red! At least we have some taco fixins’.

This trip was a really humbling experience for me, as June is a time we normally kill the yellows over there. It was not to be. That’s why they don’t call it catching, I guess.

So good luck and stay safe out there!

Fish taco combo number 2:
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Nice reds!
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Mike_I

Well-Known "Member"
May 19, 2006
908
342
63
Irvine
Name
Mike_I
Boat
Cabo 216 First Love
at least you got to spend time with your son and you guys caught some really nice reds.
 
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Paddyman1

A mossback is better than a hairy back
Nov 7, 2010
5,540
4,099
113
La Costa Izquierda
Name
Steve
Boat
N/A
Wow Mike, that is a humbling 3 days of fishing, especially with all the YT news at Catalina lately! Trolling can be a demoralizing event, especially when the lures stay quiet. But with that much time on the water, I'm surprised. Weird.

Heading out to paddy hop and/or possibly hit Cat next Friday for a day trip. We'll see what gives.
 
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Azarkon

I've posted enough I should edit this section
Aug 28, 2015
1,686
1,289
113
35
California
Name
Joe
Boat
N/A
Bite shut down over the weekend and never recovered. Still a few fish being caught over there but not reliable. Great red fishing though
 
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mhanson59hb

Fear No Fish
Apr 22, 2013
1,648
2,445
113
Huntington Beach
Name
Mike
Boat
2008 Trophy 1802 "Mako My Day"
Wow Mike, that is a humbling 3 days of fishing, especially with all the YT news at Catalina lately! Trolling can be a demoralizing event, especially when the lures stay quiet. But with that much time on the water, I'm surprised. Weird.

Heading out to paddy hop and/or possibly hit Cat next Friday for a day trip. We'll see what gives.
Hopefully you'll do better than we did! Slow trolling those big smelt or mackies is usually our golden ticket, but not this time. We did have a lot of fun still, but a bit disappointed we did not get our target fish.
 

MItoCali

Member
Mar 26, 2014
508
175
43
38
Newport Beach,
Name
Stephen
Boat
Pursuit Express 3000 Bella Mare
Think I saw you guys coming back in yesterday in HH. I was right next to you by the warship in the pursuit. Im heading out to Cat tomorrow, hopefully better luck.
 
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mhanson59hb

Fear No Fish
Apr 22, 2013
1,648
2,445
113
Huntington Beach
Name
Mike
Boat
2008 Trophy 1802 "Mako My Day"
Think I saw you guys coming back in yesterday in HH. I was right next to you by the warship in the pursuit. Im heading out to Cat tomorrow, hopefully better luck.
Yep, that was us. I remember the name of your boat. It is indeed beautiful! Good luck.
 

Paddyman1

A mossback is better than a hairy back
Nov 7, 2010
5,540
4,099
113
La Costa Izquierda
Name
Steve
Boat
N/A
Hopefully you'll do better than we did! Slow trolling those big smelt or mackies is usually our golden ticket, but not this time. We did have a lot of fun still, but a bit disappointed we did not get our target fish.
Sean is no boy anymore! That kid has got some shoulders, especially handy when holding up some hefty reds and a goat! I hope his studies are going well.
 
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the SLIDER

https://multimediabylj.com
Jun 11, 2015
1,532
3,015
113
Dana Point
Name
L J
Boat
arima - the SLIDER
Quality Reds!

You'll get them next time Mr. Catalina.

I was in an office, your winning.

1551826_3bb0bc17bde7f476d59f8acce3356518.jpg

Father/Son time together . . . . Priceless!
 
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WilliamL

Member
Aug 1, 2018
53
72
18
HB
Name
Jay
Boat
21 WA, nothing special
Thank you for the report, sorry about the YT no show, I did a quick run to the island end of last week and the boat show was the worst I have ever experienced. But I'll take reds like that any day of the week.

What were the reds biting?
 
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MikesOcean

Well-Known "Member"
Jun 23, 2011
342
498
63
49
San Pedro
www.marinabaywatch.com
Name
Mike
Boat
Therapist
Thank you for always posting great reporrts.
Father and son memories like that to me is priceless. Just remember, catching is just a bonus.

I will be doing a father/daughter at cat tomorrow. We are so looking forward to spend time together. I will have a blast just pulling on calicos with her. Anything more will just be bonus.

Great trip with your son.
 

karlow

Twins 2017
Apr 29, 2004
1,657
622
113
62
Duarte/Covina
Name
karl
Boat
20' skippy Topless /17' whaler Wet Ride (sold) /18' Outrage
Hell yea!
Thanks 4 the report.
I need some of those reds!
Those are quality fish for sure.
Good times plus taco meat!
In my case it more of a fish and chips thing
Its a Win Win!
 
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El Chiva

Well-Known "Member"
May 23, 2010
214
261
63
Hb, ca
Name
Nomad
Boat
Parker 2120 Nomad
Oh man....those are some great reds!!!

Your humble pie looks great to me! I’ve come home with just ice!

You’ll get them the next time.
 
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Tunaslam

I've posted enough I should edit this section
Apr 25, 2003
20,546
6,124
113
72
Diamond Bar, Ca 91765
Name
Cory Visser
Boat
N/A
Right place at the right time, have to find current, or no Tails. Good job on the Reds.
 
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