Catalina WFO on small yellows, BIG surprise kicker!

mhanson59hb

Fear No Fish
Apr 22, 2013
2,017
3,208
Huntington Beach
Name
Mike
Boat
2008 Trophy 1802 "Mako My Day"
My son Sean and I fished Catalina Wednesday through Friday this week. We picked up live squid and sardines from Nacho and tried to stay off the beaten path on the way over, looking for kelp paddies, but the few we saw were not holding. Starting at the Suicide kelp on the backside, 8 to 10 pound yellowtail were hammering slow trolled sardines right off the bat. We even had a double hook up. The tally for the morning was 9 yellows, with 4 of them released along with a few bass and bones. Early exit stage left to Avalon.

Thursday morning we headed off shore to the 152 and 277. A few toilet lid sized paddies had micro bait, but no game fish. We trolled around a few hours for zilch, and then gave it up to go fish the yellows again. Back in the same Palisades area, 2 more bleeder yellows went in the box, with another 2 released and we were back in Avalon by 11:00 AM.

A pump snafu left us sans-bait Friday morning, but we decided to give it one last try before heading home. Not expecting much, blue magnum rapalas went in and about 15 minutes later, Sean’s reel starts screaming the real deal (I love that sound!). Sean worked like a champ, with the fish making many long runs. After about a 10 minute fight, I see the fish at deep color, and it’s a huge yellow! One more big run, and then a chin music gaff shot puts 28 pounds of personal best yellowtail on the deck for Sean. He is SO stoked!

DSCN1206.JPG

DSCN1203.JPG
 

26grumpy

who hooked who
Sep 24, 2006
9,335
3,702
Anaheim Hills
Name
Joe
Boat
Freefrom Boats Club
That's what it's all about!!!
 

PacificPredator

Captain
Dec 9, 2010
729
271
LBC
Name
Brad
Boat
29' Phoenix Sportfisher
Nicely done
 

ckster

I've posted enough I should edit this section
Oct 8, 2009
488
287
SD
Name
Chris
Boat
F/V Rubber Ducky
Very nice dude!
 

washingtonspyde

I've posted enough I should edit this section
Jul 25, 2006
114
8
San Pedro
Name
Chris
Boat
1982 24' Skipjack Flybridge
Great job!!! Just curious how fast you troll those X-Raps. I have heard of different methods.
 

mhanson59hb

Fear No Fish
Apr 22, 2013
2,017
3,208
Huntington Beach
Name
Mike
Boat
2008 Trophy 1802 "Mako My Day"
Great job!!! Just curious how fast you troll those X-Raps. I have heard of different methods.
Thanks! We always vary the speeds between 2 and 5 knots, and troll in an "S" pattern to constantly change up the presentation of the lure. Sometimes just a little change in speed or direction will trigger the bite. This makes sense, because how often do real bait fish swim in a straight line or at the same speed for long?

Also - when trolling in close to the Island, say from 120 to 60 feet of water, set the lure back farther than you normally would offshore to compensate for boat-shy fish.

Good luck on your next trip!
 
Last edited:
  • Like
Reactions: Alan

dorado50

I've posted enough I should edit this section
May 5, 2006
1,431
201
San Diego
Name
DAVID
Boat
BERTRAM / EDGEWATER
I'd be stoked too!
 

gungr

I've posted enough I should edit this section
Jun 7, 2010
115
49
San Diego
Name
Greg
Boat
2000 Trophy 2302
Beautiful fish and good eats! Nicely done!
 

jeffdalton

"Well Known" Member
Aug 16, 2005
2,625
1,478
57
Long Beach, CA
Name
Jeff Dalton
Boat
21' Parker/Stealth Stix
Good job! I'm giving the tuna a break and fishing the island this weekend.