Daytime swordfish in CA

Ali

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Apr 24, 2003
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Is anyone night trolling for Swords?
I experimented with this many years ago but I kept getting fowled by floating kelp that I couldn't see in the dark.

I'd love to hear how you guys are doing it down there.
 
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stella marina

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Nov 21, 2011
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santa cruz
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Andrew
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Parker 2320, 16 Klamath cc, 10 ft Livingston "bass slayer"
people are starting to deep drop out of Santa Cruz (central California)
with success....I'd love to try this fishery.
seems like an investment, but would be worth the price of admission if we got one
 
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Let em eat 74

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Jul 12, 2016
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Kevin
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Whichever1is leaving
For those of you looking for larger rebar for the drop away weight. I have some extra epoxy coated bars from a job. It’s #10 (1 1/4”) so it’s plenty heavy, and because it’s coated, it won’t rust or beat up your boat as badly as uncoated. PM me if you are looking

Just to clarify since I’ve gotten a few PM’s. It’s free guys. I’ll cut to the weight you want (it’s 4.3# a foot) and you can pick it up either in Newport Beach, Laguna Beach, or where I live in Anaheim hills.


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Aliboy

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Dec 27, 2017
146
208
NZ
Name
David
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44ft Sportfisher
I experimented with this many years ago but I kept getting fowled by floating kelp that I couldn't see in the dark.

I'd love to hear how you guys are doing it down there.
I use trolling valves to get down to around 2knts. Tow a soft head moldcraft with a belly flap or similar tied into the skirt and a light stick tied to the leader well ahead of the lure. Mostly do this instead of drifting if the seas are a bit rough as it is better than getting tossed around on the drift. The other time is when resetting a night drift and travelling back upwind/current to the top of the drift.
If trolling any distance I will deploy the downrigger and run 2 lures. One down on the rigger and one on the surface.
 
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Aliboy

I've posted enough I should edit this section
Dec 27, 2017
146
208
NZ
Name
David
Boat
44ft Sportfisher
I experimented with this many years ago but I kept getting fowled by floating kelp that I couldn't see in the dark.

I'd love to hear how you guys are doing it down there.
Typically a soft head moldcraft lure or similar with a belly flap sewed into it. Light stick up by the swivel and slow troll about 1.5knts to 2.5knts. What I sometimes do over the right type of structure is drift for a few hours with baits down and then troll back up current/wind to reset the drift. Or if the weather is getting a bit messy just shift to trolling so you can ease the boat motion. I certainly works, but not sure if it is more productive than drifting. If you wanted to cover some larger area though it is worth doing. I run a down rigger so normally one on the surface and one on the down rigger. Rigger tends to get hit more than the surface lure. Certainly wakes up the sleepers when you get a hit.
 

Ali

Master of Nothing
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Apr 24, 2003
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San Diego
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That Guy
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31' Innovator
I use trolling valves to get down to around 2knts. Tow a soft head moldcraft with a belly flap or similar tied into the skirt and a light stick tied to the leader well ahead of the lure. Mostly do this instead of drifting if the seas are a bit rough as it is better than getting tossed around on the drift. The other time is when resetting a night drift and travelling back upwind/current to the top of the drift.
If trolling any distance I will deploy the downrigger and run 2 lures. One down on the rigger and one on the surface.
Typically a soft head moldcraft lure or similar with a belly flap sewed into it. Light stick up by the swivel and slow troll about 1.5knts to 2.5knts. What I sometimes do over the right type of structure is drift for a few hours with baits down and then troll back up current/wind to reset the drift. Or if the weather is getting a bit messy just shift to trolling so you can ease the boat motion. I certainly works, but not sure if it is more productive than drifting. If you wanted to cover some larger area though it is worth doing. I run a down rigger so normally one on the surface and one on the down rigger. Rigger tends to get hit more than the surface lure. Certainly wakes up the sleepers when you get a hit.
Great info!

I'll give this a shot this season!

Keep it coming!
 
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Aliboy

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Dec 27, 2017
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David
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44ft Sportfisher
Couple of weeks before I head out next. Mainly chasing marlin and YFT this trip but may do a night on Swords if the weather is kind. Woman's all tackle world record Pacific Blue Marlin landed at one of my favourite spots today. 1084lbs. First ever pac blue grander for a woman apparently. Awesome area gets a Bluefin run late winter, big blue marlin, striped marlin, black marlin and short bill spearfish during the summer. And big yellowtail kingfish any time you like. And albacore early summer. Trouble is it is 2.5 days away by sea so i only do that one when I get 10 days free. Anchorages are all horrible as well do need good weather
 
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Ali

Master of Nothing
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Apr 24, 2003
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San Diego
Name
That Guy
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31' Innovator
Couple of weeks before I head out next. Mainly chasing marlin and YFT this trip but may do a night on Swords if the weather is kind. Woman's all tackle world record Pacific Blue Marlin landed at one of my favourite spots today. 1084lbs. First ever pac blue grander for a woman apparently. Awesome area gets a Bluefin run late winter, big blue marlin, striped marlin, black marlin and short bill spearfish during the summer. And big yellowtail kingfish any time you like. And albacore early summer. Trouble is it is 2.5 days away by sea so i only do that one when I get 10 days free. Anchorages are all horrible as well do need good weather

PLease post some fish reports this season! I'd love to see how and what you guys are catching down there!
 

Aliboy

I've posted enough I should edit this section
Dec 27, 2017
146
208
NZ
Name
David
Boat
44ft Sportfisher
Exhausted angler and 206kg contest winning Blue raised from 220m comp.jpg

Blue of 450lb raised dead off the bottom out of 500ft. Dont like killing Blues but have had a few die on the line. Biggest blue I have ever seen nearly spooled us in the same place the day before. Ran until it died and was too big to raise on 50lb line. Broke off after several hours of trying. Blue in picture was a contest winner.

150kg Stripy comp.jpg


Stripey of 350lbs. Wasnt even hooked properly. Tip of hook was just barely under the skin by its anal fin and the leader went up through its mouth and around its opposite pec fin. Big fight, lots of leaps, and it never fell off. Fat fish put on an awesome performance. That one the angler wanted for the smoker. Mostly we tag and release.

Fuji Camera May 2011 010.JPG

Giant sea bass around 100lbs. Another pic somewhere of a double hookup I got of a seabass that size and a 60lb groper. Busted my a$$ hauling them out of 1000ft.

Happy angler with 25kg Shortbill Spearfish from Waihau Bay (2).JPG

Short bill spearfish. About 55lb but reasonable size for a 'chucker'. Saw him in the lure pattern one day and went back to the same spot next day on the same tide and up he came. Maybe just a coincidence but I'll claim it.

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NZ Groper around 90lb. One of my favourite winter targets but we fo get them all year around.

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NZ pink snapper 25.5lbs. 25lb is a lifetime catch. 20lbs is a trophy. Took a group of novices fishing to my favourite big Snapper spot. 4 of them had trophies over 20lb in just over 2 hours. Told them to take lots of photos because they will never do that again.

They build them big at the Ranfurly. One of 60+ kingis caught in a 2.5hour 4 person jigging se...JPG

Yellowtail Kingfish around 65lb. 4 of us caught over 60 kingies in 2.5hrs on jigs that day. Mostly smaller but 5 over 55lbs. If I had had some 3 or 4lb livebaits it could have been real interesting but didnt have the big baits. Did drop a 2lb livebait we caught later at another spot trying for a big bass and got another 55lb kingie instead.

My normal long range trips we target all of these plus YFT if they are around. Blues and Spearfish are harder to actually target and usually come up when targeting Stripies.
Typical day is off anchor 30mins before daybreak and head out trolling. Stop out deep somewhere to drop for groper, bass and several other species. Troll back towards land and stop for Snapper and Kingies over reefs or around headlands etc. Can get the Kingies out in the shallower deep drops as well if using live baits. Swords at night if the guys are keen and I have the right crew onboard. Haven't been doing much day dropping for Swords but might ramp that up a little this autumn. We usually leave base and just anchor in bays near the best fishing each night as we travel around. Can do 10 days or so between fuell stops. Longer if we do more livebaiting and less lure trolling. Best big fish fishing is a day or two of travel north or south depending on the season and weather. Some great fishing closer to home but mainly for table fish.
 

Aliboy

I've posted enough I should edit this section
Dec 27, 2017
146
208
NZ
Name
David
Boat
44ft Sportfisher
A few more pics I found on the phone.
20200307_144337.jpg

4 days ago just 2 miles or so in front of my house. 26lb on a cut bait while fishing for a Snapper for dinner. Good fun on the little baitcaster and light braid. Get quite a few close to home but not many over 60lb. Lots up to 30lb or so though. Big boys are mostly further away along the coast.

Here's one from a remote island chain.
3 Kings Kingie being released (2).jpg


A double of groper (we call them Hapuka). From around 600ft I think. 2 hooks isnt always a good idea. Black Magic harness time.
Fuji Camera May 2011 009.JPG


This is a prime eating size hapuka. Just about perfect. From 600ft. This spot is closer to home and can do an overnight trip staying at nearby islands. Usually leave Friday afternoon and return Sun evening. Islands are beautiful and remote as well. Get the less experienced guys to fish the bent butts from the rod holders. Get the harnesses out for the masochists. 50W's & 70W's loaded with 80lb braid and max's drags.
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Another Stripy for the smoker. Fish only went 250lb. Looked bigger but could see once hung up it was a bit skinny. Was heading that one in for weighing and smoking when we got a double hookup and tagged those 2. Blowing around 30knts so playing a double was fun.
Bull Marlin Comp.jpg


We dont get the volume of Marlin like in central America but anything under 200lb is quite unusual. Mix of lure trolling and slow trolling live baits. Typically skipjack tuna livies on a bridle rig.