Intrepid - Silent Jim 15-day report

DC61

I've posted enough I should edit this section
Dec 28, 2011
968
1,215
Dana Point
Name
Paul L.
Boat
33’ Blackfin
Hello everyone,


We just returned from the Silent Jim 15 day on the Intrepid. I wanted to share some thoughts about the trip. With the chance of rain, I packed all of my clothes in plastic bag and brought a tarp to cover my cart while waiting in line. This was due to a tip in a thread here on BD about preparing for rain. Thanks guys! Another thread that was timely was about scaling down in my packing. Although I brought way less “stuff” this year, I still way overpacked with t-shirts, tank tops, and pants. I will bring even less next year.

The trip began a little early when Craig Chamberlain (Nebraska) and his wife Tammy and daughter MJ arrived at our house a couple of days before the departure date. They drove all the way from Nebraska and were planning a surprise trip to Disneyland for MJ’s birthday. I so enjoyed seeing the look on MJ’s face the morning she opened her gift and learned that she would be spending the day at Disneyland and not at the beach.

The morning of our departure the weatherman predicted rain. The five of us piled into my truck and (my wife drove us) headed to the landing. Fortunately, we just had a slight drizzle. Craig and I checked into the office with Hoffy and took my place in line as #7. I introduced myself to people I didn’t know and reacquainted with some old friends. Jim Odlum (Silent Jim) was the charter master. He is one of the most talented fishermen I have ever met. He is also the consummate gentlemen. He always has a nice word and is always upbeat. I found my roommate Dan (we both worked together on the fire department before retiring 4 years ago). I met George from Missouri who owns a catering company, Steve Kiesel from Vegas, Michael, Ben, Jack, Pete Wight (my roommate on a trip 20 years ago and the three-time Calico Bass world record holder), Steven a restaurant owner, and a bunch of other folks who I would get to know better over the next 15 days.

We left January 12th at 0700 and headed to the bait receiver. We spent a couple of hours there loading what turned out to be the best bait I had seen all season. They were 5-7” sardines with a few mackerel mixed in. They were great throughout the trip.

Captain Bill Cavanaugh gathered us in the galley and introduced the crew to us. Sam Moore was the second with Jack, Austin, Travis, and Kirk on the deck. Brian and Chasen were in the galley. Bill delivered the safety speech and said we would likely head to the Hurricane Bank, but we would keep an eye on the reports from the lower banks and be in position to go there if the reports warranted. Jim Odlum raffled off some great UC rods and Okuma reels as well as some jigs painted by Gary Grant and some artwork by Peter J.

The weather report called for some “sporty” conditions as we traveled south. We readied our tackle as we headed south. I made sure to set up a 100# bait setup as the Independence had recently run into a school of bluefin on the way down. After a couple of days of “how to” seminars on catching wahoo, fishing for tuna, and fishing big bait, Bill informed us that the destination would be Hurricane Bank.

We arrived at the bank about the same time as the American Angler. The Independence had been on the bank for a few days and reported that fishing had been pretty good 4-5 days ago but was on the decline. We put out the wahoo trolling gear and Bill scouted out the bank to find out where the life was. Before long we had our first of several stops on wahoo, each stop resulting in a couple of additional fish on bombs or on jigs. Before long we had 15 wahoo on the boat. This was a nice start to the trip.

We dropped the anchor and began soaking baits. The tuna were scarce and mostly on the smaller side, but the wahoo kept things interesting. I fished 100# pink FC and most others also fished 100#. Long soaks on small circle hooks were the key to getting bit. I ended up catching a couple of fish in the 145# class the first afternoon and was pleased with my efforts. By the end of the first day we had roughly 30 fish ranging from 25 – 145#. The kite was getting some bites, but mostly on small fish. The good news was there were no sharks.

Pete Wight fished a small wire leader and put on a clinic catching his limit of wahoo on really light gear. He is a very talented fisherman and was constantly hooked up. Steven Sotello fished the Raider jig and also caught over 10 wahoo for the trip. As a side note, he had 5 hooks break free from the Raider jig when the weld broke that held the hook on the jig. I cut off his rings and redid the rings all of his jigs. I am not sure why they broke, but there was definitely an issue. He caught a bunch of fish on the jigs after they were redone. The Raiders absolutely get but, there was an issue with the jigs he had. For the record, some of the jigs were brand new with the price tag still on them. He was not the only one that had this issue.

We spent a handful of days at the bank and the fishing never really took off. We did get one nice fish on the kite. Nebraska landed a 182 (his personal best), which turned out to be the jackpot. The fishing was the same each day. We sat on the anchor and fished. This is one of the reasons I like the Intrepid is their huge bait capacity. We had a slow pick on the tuna ranging from 20 – 100# and a consistent bite on wahoo. In the evenings and early mornings and on a few occasions throughout the day the skipjack and small yellowfin were around. A bunch of us fished them and Dustin is the only one to catch a fish on a big bait. As I recall his fish was around 145#. The bigger fish either weren’t interested or absent altogether.

We had reports of some big fish being caught on the lower banks, so we pulled the anchor and made a 2+ day move to the Jamie bank. The word was the fish were big but very touchy. We scaled down to 80# line. The weather was up the first morning the fish showed but never really went on the chew. We ended up with three tuna and a couple of Marlin for the day. We tried chunk and fly line, but the fish just were not interested. The next day the weather was down, and fish showed pretty good, but we never even got a bite. Guys dropped down to 40# and couldn’t even get a bite. Maybe the fishing was influenced by the lunar eclipse?

We headed for home with some time to fish our way instead of simply beelining it for the dock. Our first stop was on a bank below Mag Bay in hopes of yellowtail. After a few drifts for a few triggerfish we moved on. Thetis bank above Mag Bay was our next stop. We caught some small tuna and a couple of yellowtail. We continued northward to San Pablo bay in hopes of catching a few yellowtail. We managed a few.

We continued north to San Quintin. Bill conducted a seminar on how to catch rock cod. A couple of hooks and a 16-ounce sinker and we were in business. I know there are some long-range purists who have an issue catching rock cod on a long-range trip. It was a first for me. I can honestly say that I thoroughly enjoyed it (as did everyone else). It was a great way to break up the monotonous travel days. The reality is that we did not catch a bunch of tuna a d wahoo. Frankly, it was fun to catch a bunch of really nice rockfish and they are also really good eating.

We made it back to San Diego. Most anglers participated in the dock side service which meant that there was no pushing of carts. This was a welcome relief. The complete process of offloading your gear and saying goodbye to everyone took less than 90 minutes.

Prior to our trip there were some pretty unflattering things said on this site about the condition of the boat and the attitude of the crew. I was keenly aware of these and I can honestly say that the boat was in great shape. The crew was informative, approachable, and friendly. They were there if you had a question or when you hooked a fish. They were engaging and very personable. The restrooms were clean, and the guys were always scrubbing the rails to keep the blood off the boat. I have nothing but praise for the crew and for the operation. The food was the best I have ever had on a long-range boat. Brian and Chasen make a nice team. The effort it takes to prepare 45 meals for 28 people (passengers and crew) is a monumental undertaking. The guys did it with style and grace. They were so on top of things. What was even better was that they were truly happy when you complimented their cooking. It was a very pleasant culinary experience.

What I learned or would do differently would be to focus more on catching wahoo. I would bring an 8’ rod with 30# test and a bunch of wire live bait leaders. I also plan to upgrade my high-speed jig reel. Those with extra fast reels did the best. I would also put this reel on an 8’ rod. I always shied away from longer rods for wahoo because of the storage issue of an 8’ rod on the traditional long-range boat. The guys who picked away at wahoo on the anchor changed my thoughts. In regard to tuna, Steve Kiesel turned me on the 4/0 Charlie Brown hook purchased from John at Trophy tackle. I will certainly add these to my arsenal. Steve is a very talented fisherman and got bit extremely well using this hook.

What I am glad I did was stock up on 80# FC. I was able to share this with some fellow anglers while at the lower banks. In years past, I didn’t bring 80# and I regretted it. I am also glad I brought some small (40#) rods. These came in handy fishing for yellowtail on the way home.

Lastly, I wanted to say thank you to my fellow anglers. This was a really nice group of guys. There were definitely the standout hard core fishermen, but there were also the new long-range fishermen. The seasoned guys helped the new guys and were very patient. The newer fishermen listened and were very successful and caught a bunch of fish. It was a nice blend of personalities that fished will together. I hope to fish with them again.
 
Last edited:

David Brewer

I've posted enough I should edit this section
Jan 10, 2006
360
95
68
Huntington Beach
Name
Dave Brewer
Boat
none
Hello everyone,
Hello

We just returned from the Silent Jim 15 day on the Intrepid. I wanted to share some thoughts about the trip. With the chance of rain, I packed all of my clothes in plastic bag and brought a tarp to cover my cart while waiting in line. This was due to a tip in a thread here on BD about preparing for rain. Thanks guys! Another thread that was timely was about scaling down in my packing. Although I brought way less “stuff” this year, I still way overpacked with t-shirts, tank tops, and pants. I will bring even less next year.

The trip began a little early when Craig Chamberlain (Nebraska) and his wife Tammy and daughter MJ arrived at our house a couple of days before the departure date. They drove all the way from Nebraska and were planning a surprise trip to Disneyland for MJ’s birthday. I so enjoyed seeing the look on MJ’s face the morning she opened her gift and learned that she would be spending the day at Disneyland and not at the beach.

The morning of our departure the weatherman predicted rain. The five of us piled into my truck and (my wife drove us) headed to the landing. Fortunately, we just had a slight drizzle. Craig and I checked into the office with Hoffy and took my place in line as #7. I introduced myself to people I didn’t know and reacquainted with some old friends. Jim Odlum (Silent Jim) was the charter master. He is one of the most talented fishermen I have ever met. He is also the consummate gentlemen. He always has a nice word and is always upbeat. I found my roommate Dan (we both worked together on the fire department before retiring 4 years ago). I met George from Missouri who owns a catering company, Steve Kiesel from Vegas, Michael, Ben, Jack, Pete Wight (my roommate on a trip 20 years ago and the three-time Calico Bass world record holder), Steven a restaurant owner, and a bunch of other folks who I would get to know better over the next 15 days.

We left January 12th at 0700 and headed to the bait receiver. We spent a couple of hours there loading what turned out to be the best bait I had seen all season. They were 5-7” sardines with a few mackerel mixed in. They were great throughout the trip.

Captain Bill Cavanaugh gathered us in the galley and introduced the crew to us. Sam Moore was the second with Jack, Austin, Travis, and Kirk on the deck. Brian and Chasen were in the galley. Bill delivered the safety speech and said we would likely head to the Hurricane Bank, but we would keep an eye on the reports from the lower banks and be in position to go there if the reports warranted. Jim Odlum raffled off some great UC rods and Okuma reels as well as some jigs painted by Gary Grant and some artwork by Peter J.

The weather report called for some “sporty” conditions as we traveled south. We readied our tackle as we headed south. I made sure to set up a 100# bait setup as the Independence had recently run into a school of bluefin on the way down. After a couple of days of “how to” seminars on catching wahoo, fishing for tuna, and fishing big bait, Bill informed us that the destination would be Hurricane Bank.

We arrived at the bank about the same time as the American Angler. The Independence had been on the bank for a few days and reported that fishing had been pretty good 4-5 days ago but was on the decline. We put out the wahoo trolling gear and Bill scouted out the bank to find out where the life was. Before long we had our first of several stops on wahoo, each stop resulting in a couple of additional fish on bombs or on jigs. Before long we had 15 wahoo on the boat. This was a nice start to the trip.

We dropped the anchor and began soaking baits. The tuna were scarce and mostly on the smaller side, but the wahoo kept things interesting. I fished 100# pink FC and most others also fished 100#. Long soaks on small circle hooks were the key to getting bit. I ended up catching a couple of fish in the 145# class the first afternoon and was pleased with my efforts. By the end of the first day we had roughly 30 fish ranging from 25 – 145#. The kite was getting some bites, but mostly on small fish. The good news was there were no sharks.

Pete Wight fished a small wire leader and put on a clinic catching 17 wahoo on really light gear. He is a very talented fisherman and was constantly hooked up. Steven Sotello fished the Raider jig and also caught over 10 wahoo for the trip. As a side note, he had 5 hooks break free from the Raider jig when the weld broke that held the hook on the jig. I cut off his rings and redid the rings all of his jigs. I am not sure why they broke, but there was definitely an issue. He caught a bunch of fish on the jigs after they were redone. The Raiders absolutely get but, there was an issue with the jigs he had. For the record, some of the jigs were brand new with the price tag still on them. He was not the only one that had this issue.

We spent a handful of days at the bank and the fishing never really took off. We did get one nice fish on the kite. Nebraska landed a 182 (his personal best), which turned out to be the jackpot. The fishing was the same each day. We sat on the anchor and chummed. This is one of the reasons I like the Intrepid is their huge bait capacity. We had a slow pick on the tuna ranging from 20 – 100# and a consistent bite on wahoo. In the evenings and early mornings and on a few occasions throughout the day the skipjack and small yellowfin were around. A bunch of us fished them and Dustin is the only one to catch a fish on a big bait. As I recall his fish was around 145#. The bigger fish either weren’t interested or absent altogether.

We had reports of some big fish being caught on the lower banks, so we pulled the anchor and made a 2+ day move to the Jamie bank. The word was the fish were big but very touchy. We scaled down to 80# line. The weather was up the first morning the fish showed but never really went on the chew. We ended up with three tuna and a couple of Marlin for the day. We tried chunk and fly line, but the fish just were not interested. The next day the weather was down, and fish showed pretty good, but we never even got a bite. Guys dropped down to 40# and couldn’t even get a bite. Maybe the fishing was influenced by the lunar eclipse?

We headed for home with some time to fish our way instead of simply beelining it for the dock. Our first stop was on a bank below Mag Bay in hopes of yellowtail. After a few drifts for a few triggerfish we moved on. Thetis bank above Mag Bay was our next stop. We caught some small tuna and a couple of yellowtail. We continued northward to San Pablo bay in hopes of catching a few yellowtail. We managed a few.

We continued north to San Quintin. Bill conducted a seminar on how to catch rock cod. A couple of hooks and a 16-ounce sinker and we were in business. I know there are some long-range purists who have an issue catching rock cod on a long-range trip. It was a first for me. I can honestly say that I thoroughly enjoyed it (as did everyone else). It was a great way to break up the monotonous travel days. The reality is that we did not catch a bunch of tuna a d wahoo. Frankly, it was fun to catch a bunch of really nice rockfish and they are also really good eating.

We made it back to San Diego. Most anglers participated in the dock side service which meant that there was no pushing of carts. This was a welcome relief. The complete process of offloading your gear and saying goodbye to everyone took less than 90 minutes.

Prior to our trip there were some pretty unflattering things said on this site about the condition of the boat and the attitude of the crew. I was keenly aware of these and I can honestly say that the boat was in great shape. The crew was informative, approachable, and friendly. They were there if you had a question or when you hooked a fish. They were engaging and very personable. The restrooms were clean, and the guys were always scrubbing the rails to keep the blood off the boat. I have nothing but praise for the crew and for the operation. The food was the best I have ever had on a long-range boat. Brian and Chasen make a nice team. The effort it takes to prepare 45 meals for 28 people (passengers and crew) is a monumental undertaking. The guys did it with style and grace. They were so on top of things. What was even better was that they were truly happy when you complimented their cooking. It was a very pleasant culinary experience.

What I learned or would do differently would be to focus more on catching wahoo. I would bring an 8’ rod with 30# test and a bunch of wire live bait leaders. I also plan to upgrade my high-speed jig reel. Those with extra fast reels did the best. I would also put this reel on an 8’ rod. I always shied away from longer rods for wahoo because of the storage issue of an 8’ rod on the traditional long-range boat. The guys who picked away at wahoo on the anchor changed my thoughts. In regard to tuna, Steve Kiesel turned me on the 4/0 Charlie Brown hook purchased from John at Trophy tackle. I will certainly add these to my arsenal. Steve is a very talented fisherman and got bit extremely well using this hook.

What I am glad I did was stock up on 80# FC. I was able to share this with some fellow anglers while at the lower banks. In years past, I didn’t bring 80# and I regretted it. I am also glad I brought some small (40#) rods. These came in handy fishing for yellowtail on the way home.

Lastly, I wanted to say thank you to my fellow anglers. This was a really nice group of guys. There were definitely the standout hard core fishermen, but there were also the new long-range fishermen. The seasoned guys helped the new guys and were very patient. The newer fishermen listened and were very successful and caught a bunch of fish. It was a nice blend of personalities that fished will together. I hope to fish with them again.

We just returned from the Silent Jim 15 day on the Intrepid. I wanted to share some thoughts about the trip. With the chance of rain, I packed all of my clothes in plastic bag and brought a tarp to cover my cart while waiting in line. This was due to a tip in a thread here on BD about preparing for rain. Thanks guys! Another thread that was timely was about scaling down in my packing. Although I brought way less “stuff” this year, I still way overpacked with t-shirts, tank tops, and pants. I will bring even less next year.

The trip began a little early when Craig Chamberlain (Nebraska) and his wife Tammy and daughter MJ arrived at our house a couple of days before the departure date. They drove all the way from Nebraska and were planning a surprise trip to Disneyland for MJ’s birthday. I so enjoyed seeing the look on MJ’s face the morning she opened her gift and learned that she would be spending the day at Disneyland and not at the beach.

The morning of our departure the weatherman predicted rain. The five of us piled into my truck and (my wife drove us) headed to the landing. Fortunately, we just had a slight drizzle. Craig and I checked into the office with Hoffy and took my place in line as #7. I introduced myself to people I didn’t know and reacquainted with some old friends. Jim Odlum (Silent Jim) was the charter master. He is one of the most talented fishermen I have ever met. He is also the consummate gentlemen. He always has a nice word and is always upbeat. I found my roommate Dan (we both worked together on the fire department before retiring 4 years ago). I met George from Missouri who owns a catering company, Steve Kiesel from Vegas, Michael, Ben, Jack, Pete Wight (my roommate on a trip 20 years ago and the three-time Calico Bass world record holder), Steven a restaurant owner, and a bunch of other folks who I would get to know better over the next 15 days.

We left January 12th at 0700 and headed to the bait receiver. We spent a couple of hours there loading what turned out to be the best bait I had seen all season. They were 5-7” sardines with a few mackerel mixed in. They were great throughout the trip.

Captain Bill Cavanaugh gathered us in the galley and introduced the crew to us. Sam Moore was the second with Jack, Austin, Travis, and Kirk on the deck. Brian and Chasen were in the galley. Bill delivered the safety speech and said we would likely head to the Hurricane Bank, but we would keep an eye on the reports from the lower banks and be in position to go there if the reports warranted. Jim Odlum raffled off some great UC rods and Okuma reels as well as some jigs painted by Gary Grant and some artwork by Peter J.

The weather report called for some “sporty” conditions as we traveled south. We readied our tackle as we headed south. I made sure to set up a 100# bait setup as the Independence had recently run into a school of bluefin on the way down. After a couple of days of “how to” seminars on catching wahoo, fishing for tuna, and fishing big bait, Bill informed us that the destination would be Hurricane Bank.

We arrived at the bank about the same time as the American Angler. The Independence had been on the bank for a few days and reported that fishing had been pretty good 4-5 days ago but was on the decline. We put out the wahoo trolling gear and Bill scouted out the bank to find out where the life was. Before long we had our first of several stops on wahoo, each stop resulting in a couple of additional fish on bombs or on jigs. Before long we had 15 wahoo on the boat. This was a nice start to the trip.

We dropped the anchor and began soaking baits. The tuna were scarce and mostly on the smaller side, but the wahoo kept things interesting. I fished 100# pink FC and most others also fished 100#. Long soaks on small circle hooks were the key to getting bit. I ended up catching a couple of fish in the 145# class the first afternoon and was pleased with my efforts. By the end of the first day we had roughly 30 fish ranging from 25 – 145#. The kite was getting some bites, but mostly on small fish. The good news was there were no sharks.

Pete Wight fished a small wire leader and put on a clinic catching 17 wahoo on really light gear. He is a very talented fisherman and was constantly hooked up. Steven Sotello fished the Raider jig and also caught over 10 wahoo for the trip. As a side note, he had 5 hooks break free from the Raider jig when the weld broke that held the hook on the jig. I cut off his rings and redid the rings all of his jigs. I am not sure why they broke, but there was definitely an issue. He caught a bunch of fish on the jigs after they were redone. The Raiders absolutely get but, there was an issue with the jigs he had. For the record, some of the jigs were brand new with the price tag still on them. He was not the only one that had this issue.

We spent a handful of days at the bank and the fishing never really took off. We did get one nice fish on the kite. Nebraska landed a 182 (his personal best), which turned out to be the jackpot. The fishing was the same each day. We sat on the anchor and chummed. This is one of the reasons I like the Intrepid is their huge bait capacity. We had a slow pick on the tuna ranging from 20 – 100# and a consistent bite on wahoo. In the evenings and early mornings and on a few occasions throughout the day the skipjack and small yellowfin were around. A bunch of us fished them and Dustin is the only one to catch a fish on a big bait. As I recall his fish was around 145#. The bigger fish either weren’t interested or absent altogether.

We had reports of some big fish being caught on the lower banks, so we pulled the anchor and made a 2+ day move to the Jamie bank. The word was the fish were big but very touchy. We scaled down to 80# line. The weather was up the first morning the fish showed but never really went on the chew. We ended up with three tuna and a couple of Marlin for the day. We tried chunk and fly line, but the fish just were not interested. The next day the weather was down, and fish showed pretty good, but we never even got a bite. Guys dropped down to 40# and couldn’t even get a bite. Maybe the fishing was influenced by the lunar eclipse?

We headed for home with some time to fish our way instead of simply beelining it for the dock. Our first stop was on a bank below Mag Bay in hopes of yellowtail. After a few drifts for a few triggerfish we moved on. Thetis bank above Mag Bay was our next stop. We caught some small tuna and a couple of yellowtail. We continued northward to San Pablo bay in hopes of catching a few yellowtail. We managed a few.

We continued north to San Quintin. Bill conducted a seminar on how to catch rock cod. A couple of hooks and a 16-ounce sinker and we were in business. I know there are some long-range purists who have an issue catching rock cod on a long-range trip. It was a first for me. I can honestly say that I thoroughly enjoyed it (as did everyone else). It was a great way to break up the monotonous travel days. The reality is that we did not catch a bunch of tuna a d wahoo. Frankly, it was fun to catch a bunch of really nice rockfish and they are also really good eating.

We made it back to San Diego. Most anglers participated in the dock side service which meant that there was no pushing of carts. This was a welcome relief. The complete process of offloading your gear and saying goodbye to everyone took less than 90 minutes.

Prior to our trip there were some pretty unflattering things said on this site about the condition of the boat and the attitude of the crew. I was keenly aware of these and I can honestly say that the boat was in great shape. The crew was informative, approachable, and friendly. They were there if you had a question or when you hooked a fish. They were engaging and very personable. The restrooms were clean, and the guys were always scrubbing the rails to keep the blood off the boat. I have nothing but praise for the crew and for the operation. The food was the best I have ever had on a long-range boat. Brian and Chasen make a nice team. The effort it takes to prepare 45 meals for 28 people (passengers and crew) is a monumental undertaking. The guys did it with style and grace. They were so on top of things. What was even better was that they were truly happy when you complimented their cooking. It was a very pleasant culinary experience.

What I learned or would do differently would be to focus more on catching wahoo. I would bring an 8’ rod with 30# test and a bunch of wire live bait leaders. I also plan to upgrade my high-speed jig reel. Those with extra fast reels did the best. I would also put this reel on an 8’ rod. I always shied away from longer rods for wahoo because of the storage issue of an 8’ rod on the traditional long-range boat. The guys who picked away at wahoo on the anchor changed my thoughts. In regard to tuna, Steve Kiesel turned me on the 4/0 Charlie Brown hook purchased from John at Trophy tackle. I will certainly add these to my arsenal. Steve is a very talented fisherman and got bit extremely well using this hook.

What I am glad I did was stock up on 80# FC. I was able to share this with some fellow anglers while at the lower banks. In years past, I didn’t bring 80# and I regretted it. I am also glad I brought some small (40#) rods. These came in handy fishing for yellowtail on the way home.

Lastly, I wanted to say thank you to my fellow anglers. This was a really nice group of guys. There were definitely the standout hard core fishermen, but there were also the new long-range fishermen. The seasoned guys helped the new guys and were very patient. The newer fishermen listened and were very successful and caught a bunch of fish. It was a nice blend of personalities that fished will together. I hope to fish with them again.
Hello everyone,


We just returned from the Silent Jim 15 day on the Intrepid. I wanted to share some thoughts about the trip. With the chance of rain, I packed all of my clothes in plastic bag and brought a tarp to cover my cart while waiting in line. This was due to a tip in a thread here on BD about preparing for rain. Thanks guys! Another thread that was timely was about scaling down in my packing. Although I brought way less “stuff” this year, I still way overpacked with t-shirts, tank tops, and pants. I will bring even less next year.

The trip began a little early when Craig Chamberlain (Nebraska) and his wife Tammy and daughter MJ arrived at our house a couple of days before the departure date. They drove all the way from Nebraska and were planning a surprise trip to Disneyland for MJ’s birthday. I so enjoyed seeing the look on MJ’s face the morning she opened her gift and learned that she would be spending the day at Disneyland and not at the beach.

The morning of our departure the weatherman predicted rain. The five of us piled into my truck and (my wife drove us) headed to the landing. Fortunately, we just had a slight drizzle. Craig and I checked into the office with Hoffy and took my place in line as #7. I introduced myself to people I didn’t know and reacquainted with some old friends. Jim Odlum (Silent Jim) was the charter master. He is one of the most talented fishermen I have ever met. He is also the consummate gentlemen. He always has a nice word and is always upbeat. I found my roommate Dan (we both worked together on the fire department before retiring 4 years ago). I met George from Missouri who owns a catering company, Steve Kiesel from Vegas, Michael, Ben, Jack, Pete Wight (my roommate on a trip 20 years ago and the three-time Calico Bass world record holder), Steven a restaurant owner, and a bunch of other folks who I would get to know better over the next 15 days.

We left January 12th at 0700 and headed to the bait receiver. We spent a couple of hours there loading what turned out to be the best bait I had seen all season. They were 5-7” sardines with a few mackerel mixed in. They were great throughout the trip.

Captain Bill Cavanaugh gathered us in the galley and introduced the crew to us. Sam Moore was the second with Jack, Austin, Travis, and Kirk on the deck. Brian and Chasen were in the galley. Bill delivered the safety speech and said we would likely head to the Hurricane Bank, but we would keep an eye on the reports from the lower banks and be in position to go there if the reports warranted. Jim Odlum raffled off some great UC rods and Okuma reels as well as some jigs painted by Gary Grant and some artwork by Peter J.

The weather report called for some “sporty” conditions as we traveled south. We readied our tackle as we headed south. I made sure to set up a 100# bait setup as the Independence had recently run into a school of bluefin on the way down. After a couple of days of “how to” seminars on catching wahoo, fishing for tuna, and fishing big bait, Bill informed us that the destination would be Hurricane Bank.

We arrived at the bank about the same time as the American Angler. The Independence had been on the bank for a few days and reported that fishing had been pretty good 4-5 days ago but was on the decline. We put out the wahoo trolling gear and Bill scouted out the bank to find out where the life was. Before long we had our first of several stops on wahoo, each stop resulting in a couple of additional fish on bombs or on jigs. Before long we had 15 wahoo on the boat. This was a nice start to the trip.

We dropped the anchor and began soaking baits. The tuna were scarce and mostly on the smaller side, but the wahoo kept things interesting. I fished 100# pink FC and most others also fished 100#. Long soaks on small circle hooks were the key to getting bit. I ended up catching a couple of fish in the 145# class the first afternoon and was pleased with my efforts. By the end of the first day we had roughly 30 fish ranging from 25 – 145#. The kite was getting some bites, but mostly on small fish. The good news was there were no sharks.

Pete Wight fished a small wire leader and put on a clinic catching 17 wahoo on really light gear. He is a very talented fisherman and was constantly hooked up. Steven Sotello fished the Raider jig and also caught over 10 wahoo for the trip. As a side note, he had 5 hooks break free from the Raider jig when the weld broke that held the hook on the jig. I cut off his rings and redid the rings all of his jigs. I am not sure why they broke, but there was definitely an issue. He caught a bunch of fish on the jigs after they were redone. The Raiders absolutely get but, there was an issue with the jigs he had. For the record, some of the jigs were brand new with the price tag still on them. He was not the only one that had this issue.

We spent a handful of days at the bank and the fishing never really took off. We did get one nice fish on the kite. Nebraska landed a 182 (his personal best), which turned out to be the jackpot. The fishing was the same each day. We sat on the anchor and chummed. This is one of the reasons I like the Intrepid is their huge bait capacity. We had a slow pick on the tuna ranging from 20 – 100# and a consistent bite on wahoo. In the evenings and early mornings and on a few occasions throughout the day the skipjack and small yellowfin were around. A bunch of us fished them and Dustin is the only one to catch a fish on a big bait. As I recall his fish was around 145#. The bigger fish either weren’t interested or absent altogether.

We had reports of some big fish being caught on the lower banks, so we pulled the anchor and made a 2+ day move to the Jamie bank. The word was the fish were big but very touchy. We scaled down to 80# line. The weather was up the first morning the fish showed but never really went on the chew. We ended up with three tuna and a couple of Marlin for the day. We tried chunk and fly line, but the fish just were not interested. The next day the weather was down, and fish showed pretty good, but we never even got a bite. Guys dropped down to 40# and couldn’t even get a bite. Maybe the fishing was influenced by the lunar eclipse?

We headed for home with some time to fish our way instead of simply beelining it for the dock. Our first stop was on a bank below Mag Bay in hopes of yellowtail. After a few drifts for a few triggerfish we moved on. Thetis bank above Mag Bay was our next stop. We caught some small tuna and a couple of yellowtail. We continued northward to San Pablo bay in hopes of catching a few yellowtail. We managed a few.

We continued north to San Quintin. Bill conducted a seminar on how to catch rock cod. A couple of hooks and a 16-ounce sinker and we were in business. I know there are some long-range purists who have an issue catching rock cod on a long-range trip. It was a first for me. I can honestly say that I thoroughly enjoyed it (as did everyone else). It was a great way to break up the monotonous travel days. The reality is that we did not catch a bunch of tuna a d wahoo. Frankly, it was fun to catch a bunch of really nice rockfish and they are also really good eating.

We made it back to San Diego. Most anglers participated in the dock side service which meant that there was no pushing of carts. This was a welcome relief. The complete process of offloading your gear and saying goodbye to everyone took less than 90 minutes.

Prior to our trip there were some pretty unflattering things said on this site about the condition of the boat and the attitude of the crew. I was keenly aware of these and I can honestly say that the boat was in great shape. The crew was informative, approachable, and friendly. They were there if you had a question or when you hooked a fish. They were engaging and very personable. The restrooms were clean, and the guys were always scrubbing the rails to keep the blood off the boat. I have nothing but praise for the crew and for the operation. The food was the best I have ever had on a long-range boat. Brian and Chasen make a nice team. The effort it takes to prepare 45 meals for 28 people (passengers and crew) is a monumental undertaking. The guys did it with style and grace. They were so on top of things. What was even better was that they were truly happy when you complimented their cooking. It was a very pleasant culinary experience.

What I learned or would do differently would be to focus more on catching wahoo. I would bring an 8’ rod with 30# test and a bunch of wire live bait leaders. I also plan to upgrade my high-speed jig reel. Those with extra fast reels did the best. I would also put this reel on an 8’ rod. I always shied away from longer rods for wahoo because of the storage issue of an 8’ rod on the traditional long-range boat. The guys who picked away at wahoo on the anchor changed my thoughts. In regard to tuna, Steve Kiesel turned me on the 4/0 Charlie Brown hook purchased from John at Trophy tackle. I will certainly add these to my arsenal. Steve is a very talented fisherman and got bit extremely well using this hook.

What I am glad I did was stock up on 80# FC. I was able to share this with some fellow anglers while at the lower banks. In years past, I didn’t bring 80# and I regretted it. I am also glad I brought some small (40#) rods. These came in handy fishing for yellowtail on the way home.

Lastly, I wanted to say thank you to my fellow anglers. This was a really nice group of guys. There were definitely the standout hard core fishermen, but there were also the new long-range fishermen. The seasoned guys helped the new guys and were very patient. The newer fishermen listened and were very successful and caught a bunch of fish. It was a nice blend of personalities that fished will together. I hope to fish with them again.

Thanks for the report. Glad to hear that the experience with the boat and crew were great.It sounds like the fishing was a little on the slow side, but we have all had those trips. I will be boarding on 2-17 and will will remember the hints you gave to have a more successful trip.
 

Tony O'Connell

I've posted enough I should edit this section
Dec 5, 2011
406
211
Santa Monica, Ca.
Name
Tony O'Connell
Boat
Hardcore
Paul great report as always. You and my calico buddy Pete are some of the best long rangers I have fished with in every respect. On my Nov. Spirit trip we lost 5 hoo to broken rings on some of the newer Raider jigs. I have been re-ringing all of mine and when you cut off the original ring the tac weld simply breaks apart. Thanks again. T
 

Fishybuzz

fishybuzz
Apr 4, 2003
8,508
8,240
Tucson
Visit site
Name
David Tang
Boat
Intrepid
Thanks for the great report Paul....I will be joining you next year....sorry I missed this year and seeing your smiling face...
 
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Anglewood

Up to no good...
Feb 16, 2012
1,249
1,076
Culver City, CA
Name
Connor
Boat
Intrepid, New Del Mar
Thanks for the report, I heard that fishing was slow, but am glad to know that you all were able to make the best of it. I fish with a bunch of those guys on the Jarvis trip in July and they are a great group. Seems like Stephen was up to his usual wahoo slaying routine for sure.

-Connor
 
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fishdoggary

I do what I want Bitch!
Aug 23, 2007
1,087
1,094
66
Huntington Beach, CA
Name
Gary
Boat
Intrepid
Thanks for the report Paul. I really missed not being there this year and hopefully I will return for the next one.
 

fsh4calico

Paralabrax clathratus
Oct 31, 2004
105
131
Torrance, Ca
Name
Pete
Boat
Long Range, Float Tube
Hello everyone,


We just returned from the Silent Jim 15 day on the Intrepid. I wanted to share some thoughts about the trip. With the chance of rain, I packed all of my clothes in plastic bag and brought a tarp to cover my cart while waiting in line. This was due to a tip in a thread here on BD about preparing for rain. Thanks guys! Another thread that was timely was about scaling down in my packing. Although I brought way less “stuff” this year, I still way overpacked with t-shirts, tank tops, and pants. I will bring even less next year.

The trip began a little early when Craig Chamberlain (Nebraska) and his wife Tammy and daughter MJ arrived at our house a couple of days before the departure date. They drove all the way from Nebraska and were planning a surprise trip to Disneyland for MJ’s birthday. I so enjoyed seeing the look on MJ’s face the morning she opened her gift and learned that she would be spending the day at Disneyland and not at the beach.

The morning of our departure the weatherman predicted rain. The five of us piled into my truck and (my wife drove us) headed to the landing. Fortunately, we just had a slight drizzle. Craig and I checked into the office with Hoffy and took my place in line as #7. I introduced myself to people I didn’t know and reacquainted with some old friends. Jim Odlum (Silent Jim) was the charter master. He is one of the most talented fishermen I have ever met. He is also the consummate gentlemen. He always has a nice word and is always upbeat. I found my roommate Dan (we both worked together on the fire department before retiring 4 years ago). I met George from Missouri who owns a catering company, Steve Kiesel from Vegas, Michael, Ben, Jack, Pete Wight (my roommate on a trip 20 years ago and the three-time Calico Bass world record holder), Steven a restaurant owner, and a bunch of other folks who I would get to know better over the next 15 days.

We left January 12th at 0700 and headed to the bait receiver. We spent a couple of hours there loading what turned out to be the best bait I had seen all season. They were 5-7” sardines with a few mackerel mixed in. They were great throughout the trip.

Captain Bill Cavanaugh gathered us in the galley and introduced the crew to us. Sam Moore was the second with Jack, Austin, Travis, and Kirk on the deck. Brian and Chasen were in the galley. Bill delivered the safety speech and said we would likely head to the Hurricane Bank, but we would keep an eye on the reports from the lower banks and be in position to go there if the reports warranted. Jim Odlum raffled off some great UC rods and Okuma reels as well as some jigs painted by Gary Grant and some artwork by Peter J.

The weather report called for some “sporty” conditions as we traveled south. We readied our tackle as we headed south. I made sure to set up a 100# bait setup as the Independence had recently run into a school of bluefin on the way down. After a couple of days of “how to” seminars on catching wahoo, fishing for tuna, and fishing big bait, Bill informed us that the destination would be Hurricane Bank.

We arrived at the bank about the same time as the American Angler. The Independence had been on the bank for a few days and reported that fishing had been pretty good 4-5 days ago but was on the decline. We put out the wahoo trolling gear and Bill scouted out the bank to find out where the life was. Before long we had our first of several stops on wahoo, each stop resulting in a couple of additional fish on bombs or on jigs. Before long we had 15 wahoo on the boat. This was a nice start to the trip.

We dropped the anchor and began soaking baits. The tuna were scarce and mostly on the smaller side, but the wahoo kept things interesting. I fished 100# pink FC and most others also fished 100#. Long soaks on small circle hooks were the key to getting bit. I ended up catching a couple of fish in the 145# class the first afternoon and was pleased with my efforts. By the end of the first day we had roughly 30 fish ranging from 25 – 145#. The kite was getting some bites, but mostly on small fish. The good news was there were no sharks.

Pete Wight fished a small wire leader and put on a clinic catching 17 wahoo on really light gear. He is a very talented fisherman and was constantly hooked up. Steven Sotello fished the Raider jig and also caught over 10 wahoo for the trip. As a side note, he had 5 hooks break free from the Raider jig when the weld broke that held the hook on the jig. I cut off his rings and redid the rings all of his jigs. I am not sure why they broke, but there was definitely an issue. He caught a bunch of fish on the jigs after they were redone. The Raiders absolutely get but, there was an issue with the jigs he had. For the record, some of the jigs were brand new with the price tag still on them. He was not the only one that had this issue.

We spent a handful of days at the bank and the fishing never really took off. We did get one nice fish on the kite. Nebraska landed a 182 (his personal best), which turned out to be the jackpot. The fishing was the same each day. We sat on the anchor and chummed. This is one of the reasons I like the Intrepid is their huge bait capacity. We had a slow pick on the tuna ranging from 20 – 100# and a consistent bite on wahoo. In the evenings and early mornings and on a few occasions throughout the day the skipjack and small yellowfin were around. A bunch of us fished them and Dustin is the only one to catch a fish on a big bait. As I recall his fish was around 145#. The bigger fish either weren’t interested or absent altogether.

We had reports of some big fish being caught on the lower banks, so we pulled the anchor and made a 2+ day move to the Jamie bank. The word was the fish were big but very touchy. We scaled down to 80# line. The weather was up the first morning the fish showed but never really went on the chew. We ended up with three tuna and a couple of Marlin for the day. We tried chunk and fly line, but the fish just were not interested. The next day the weather was down, and fish showed pretty good, but we never even got a bite. Guys dropped down to 40# and couldn’t even get a bite. Maybe the fishing was influenced by the lunar eclipse?

We headed for home with some time to fish our way instead of simply beelining it for the dock. Our first stop was on a bank below Mag Bay in hopes of yellowtail. After a few drifts for a few triggerfish we moved on. Thetis bank above Mag Bay was our next stop. We caught some small tuna and a couple of yellowtail. We continued northward to San Pablo bay in hopes of catching a few yellowtail. We managed a few.

We continued north to San Quintin. Bill conducted a seminar on how to catch rock cod. A couple of hooks and a 16-ounce sinker and we were in business. I know there are some long-range purists who have an issue catching rock cod on a long-range trip. It was a first for me. I can honestly say that I thoroughly enjoyed it (as did everyone else). It was a great way to break up the monotonous travel days. The reality is that we did not catch a bunch of tuna a d wahoo. Frankly, it was fun to catch a bunch of really nice rockfish and they are also really good eating.

We made it back to San Diego. Most anglers participated in the dock side service which meant that there was no pushing of carts. This was a welcome relief. The complete process of offloading your gear and saying goodbye to everyone took less than 90 minutes.

Prior to our trip there were some pretty unflattering things said on this site about the condition of the boat and the attitude of the crew. I was keenly aware of these and I can honestly say that the boat was in great shape. The crew was informative, approachable, and friendly. They were there if you had a question or when you hooked a fish. They were engaging and very personable. The restrooms were clean, and the guys were always scrubbing the rails to keep the blood off the boat. I have nothing but praise for the crew and for the operation. The food was the best I have ever had on a long-range boat. Brian and Chasen make a nice team. The effort it takes to prepare 45 meals for 28 people (passengers and crew) is a monumental undertaking. The guys did it with style and grace. They were so on top of things. What was even better was that they were truly happy when you complimented their cooking. It was a very pleasant culinary experience.

What I learned or would do differently would be to focus more on catching wahoo. I would bring an 8’ rod with 30# test and a bunch of wire live bait leaders. I also plan to upgrade my high-speed jig reel. Those with extra fast reels did the best. I would also put this reel on an 8’ rod. I always shied away from longer rods for wahoo because of the storage issue of an 8’ rod on the traditional long-range boat. The guys who picked away at wahoo on the anchor changed my thoughts. In regard to tuna, Steve Kiesel turned me on the 4/0 Charlie Brown hook purchased from John at Trophy tackle. I will certainly add these to my arsenal. Steve is a very talented fisherman and got bit extremely well using this hook.

What I am glad I did was stock up on 80# FC. I was able to share this with some fellow anglers while at the lower banks. In years past, I didn’t bring 80# and I regretted it. I am also glad I brought some small (40#) rods. These came in handy fishing for yellowtail on the way home.

Lastly, I wanted to say thank you to my fellow anglers. This was a really nice group of guys. There were definitely the standout hard core fishermen, but there were also the new long-range fishermen. The seasoned guys helped the new guys and were very patient. The newer fishermen listened and were very successful and caught a bunch of fish. It was a nice blend of personalities that fished will together. I hope to fish with them again.
Excellent report, Paul. Thanks for the kind words. It was a blast fishing with you again. Glad to hear that you're the charter master next year. Pete
 

pele

I've posted enough I should edit this section
May 20, 2009
752
198
Ventura
Name
ken
Boat
I found out the hard way about boats
Outstanding report!
 

swami 805

I've posted enough I should edit this section
Mar 9, 2016
3,373
4,118
65
805
Name
Bill
Boat
sunk it
Nice report, not all trips have cows eating the paint off the boat,sounds like a good trip with a lot of fish,fishing your way back up is a bonus too. Thanks
 

hilltop

lurking in the shallows
Jan 1, 2010
1,537
719
sb 805
Name
hilltop
Boat
sold, pangas, Intrepid, and diggin the RRIII
Thanks for the detailed report and reflections, and also glad you had fun with the boat, the crew and the grub along with your friends, and oh yah, the fishing!
 

ducksbuddy

Well-Known "Member"
Jan 6, 2017
64
129
53
Columbia Missouri
Name
George Nickols
Boat
intrepid
Paul-

First of all thanks again for everything you did for me on this trip it was truly appreciated and noted, You are not giving yourself any credit to your own fishing knowledge, experience and wisdom that you so freely gave to so many on this trip, watching you at the rail was truly a gift, Always Bent! I will be attending this trip next year with you as the new charter master.

I will be putting together a collection of video footage that I put together during the trip, I just returned to home to a chilly 5 degrees today and will be downloading to edit soon, I will definitely post a link to the finished product when I am through to this post for all to see after editing.

I do however need to add a few comments on crew and boat-

Culinary-


Being in the Culinary business I can appreciate and understand the level of expertise it takes that preparing and serving the style and amounts of food on a daily basis that was served on this trip-

Brian and Chase Put it down!

Quality and ingredients where flat out ridiculous in stature! All done in a rocking Galley kitchen, UNREAL!
Lobster,
Scallops,
Prime rib,
Ahi
Poke
Sashimi

I am missing about 40 other items but im sure you get the point!

The crew! Totally professional, Worked there asses off!

Some added highlights:

Trolling the beach in Cabo for rooster fish and yellow tail……….Ughhhhhh YEA!

Whales up close…..Priceless!

This is my 3rd long range trip aboard the intrepid, Super cool experience!


Silent Jim I will miss you! Paul is correct, Classy, Fishy, Gentleman!

Dan you are the man!

Ben Mims Great roomie!

Stiny……..Well …..really one of the best!....LMFAO!

Steve Sotello- Gentleman, fisherman, and now friend!

Peeetie……You are a great Man!

NEBRASKA! MID WEST LOCALS!

Chris

David,

Dustin,

Kory

Jeff

The rest of the guys all great! Not one ego or attitude amongst them!


I love you guys! See you next year!

George,
 

SSUfish

I've posted enough I should edit this section
Sep 14, 2006
987
454
San Diego
Name
Eric
Boat
n/a
Stellar write up of a report and what a great group of people it sounds like were on the trip. I keep eyeing the 14/15/16 day trips for end of 2019/start of 2020 and it's getting hard to choose!
 
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