Maiden Voyage to Cat; no idea what we were doing

PENN

tyko

Newbie
Apr 21, 2012
9
18
huntington harbour
Name
T
Boat
z
New guy. Took my new boat on its maiden voyage to Catalina on Saturday morning with my dad. We've fished freshwater lakes for decades in the PNW, but are very new to the ocean game. After reading almost every word of this forum over the last few months, we decided we were ready to make the crossing.

4:50 a.m.: left Huntington Harbour for the LB bait barge and picked up some squid.

6:00-ish: set GPS for Avalon (dad's first trip to the island, so wanted to show him Avalon). Visibility was decent, but it wasn't the smoothest day. About 15 miles out, it started to smooth out. Got there about 7:00 a.m. Because I've never been to the island on a private boat, I wanted to secure (and figure out how to use) a mooring for the night before we went fishing, so that's what we did.

8:30: Dropped anchor a bit pst Long Point and went to work on dropper loops. Missed a few bites. Dad hooked what we thought was a beast, but turned out to be a bat ray. You guys aren't kidding about how they pull. It ended up wrapping around the anchor line, so I pulled the anchor so we could release the ray properly.

10:30: Dropped anchor again just short of YT point. We got EATEN ALIVE by what we could only guess were small bass. Seriously, every time we got a bite, we would pull up and the heads or tails of the squid would be gone. No hard hits, just what felt like a crappie too small for the hook (I know we don't have crappie, but it's my only frame of reference for the feeling). Any ideas on what could have been happening, or is this common?

12:30: Tossed some iron at some kelp around Willow Cove. Nothing, but we aren't really set up for it yet rod/reel wise.

1:30: Ran around the East End past Seal Rocks and I caught a nice (for me) male sheepshead. Maybe 6 lbs. or so. Released. Fished that spot for about two hours without a bite and rolled up for Avalon.

4:00: Hit the shore at Avalon so the old man could take in the town. Had a few beers and dinner. Back to the mooring at about 9:30. Played some cards and caught up with Dad. He lives about 1200 miles away, and I moved down here about 6 years ago. We spent about 20 years going fishing together 2-3 times per month before I moved down, so it was really nice to spend some time on the water together again.

Sunday

7:30 a.m.: Set course for home. Much smoother the whole way than the day before.
9:45 a.m.: Hit the slip and cleaned up the boat.
3:00 p.m.: Drove Dad to the airport and started planning for next time.

Water temps at the island were 67-69F. The boat worked perfectly and we had a great time not getting skunked. Next time, we probably won't be so satisfied with this result, but I thought it was fun for a maiden voyage.

Anyway, thanks for all the info on this forum. Can't wait to start contributing more.

Tyko
 
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Trayscool

Captain
Sep 26, 2008
8,289
1,397
Long Beach
www.skipjackmafia.com
Name
Travis
Boat
NO BOATS
Nice report. It tough the first few times out, trust me I still have days like that.

The squid that is half eaten is most likely perch.

You should try a leadhead with a piece of squid in the kelp line, you can catch bass all day long.

Dropper loop isnt bad at the right spot, but the perch will kill you.

Get a catalina fishing map and just try all of the different spots, you will find some you like.
 
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tyko

Newbie
Apr 21, 2012
9
18
huntington harbour
Name
T
Boat
z
Nice report. It tough the first few times out, trust me I still have days like that.

The squid that is half eaten is most likely perch.

You should try a leadhead with a piece of squid in the kelp line, you can catch bass all day long.

Dropper loop isnt bad at the right spot, but the perch will kill you.

Get a catalina fishing map and just try all of the different spots, you will find some you like.

Awesome. Thanks for the tips.
 
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Simon Bon Bowery

Lizard Fish Hippie
Feb 18, 2007
10,277
1,444
O'side
Name
Simon
Boat
Chris Craft 19 cc "LiL Lizard"
Epic! time with dad!
 
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In-the-cooler

Fish Hard
Aug 11, 2012
63
8
Norco
Name
Steve
Boat
Crackerjack
Nice maiden trip, great that you got to spend time with your Dad it always make the time special.
Looking forward of hearing about your next trip.
See on the water.
 
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Jun 19, 2009
136
122
Costa Mesa, Ca
Name
Mike
Boat
36 Riviera, RIPTIDE
Been to Catalina 270 times on my own boat since 1985. Still get a thrill every time I arrive. Welcome to the island.
Not sure what you meant by "just past Long Point". Hope it wasn't to the West. That is MPA country. Be sure to have latest charts for MPA closures.
The DFW have been out there a lot lately.
 
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tyko

Newbie
Apr 21, 2012
9
18
huntington harbour
Name
T
Boat
z
Been to Catalina 270 times on my own boat since 1985. Still get a thrill every time I arrive. Welcome to the island.
Not sure what you meant by "just past Long Point". Hope it wasn't to the West. That is MPA country. Be sure to have latest charts for MPA closures.
The DFW have been out there a lot lately.

Thanks. We were past the MPA, so a bit farther west of LP than I made it sound. MPA, SMCA, etc. show up on my GPS, but I'm sure that will be outdated someday soon.
 
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the Goodlife

SMILE!!!!! YOUR NOT DEAD!
Nov 19, 2008
578
27
PQ
Name
Aaron
Boat
14 & 20' Bayliner, Thee Goodlife & Captin Morgan
Thanks! I picked up a Defiance 220 San Juan with a 200 Honda outboard. It's pretty bare right now, but I added a third battery and shore power on Friday. I'm really pleased with the way it handled.

nice ride! my dream boat some day!:devil::hali_olutta:
 
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finishright

Member
May 17, 2008
965
384
Oceanside Ca.
Name
Mike Morris
Boat
prowler kayak
welcome nice time w/dad as it should be I take it your pops still live in PNW I grew up there keep at it time on the water check out dave hanson skipper takes you out on your ride always good reports think it would be worth it
 
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Randy V

Slamma Jamma
Mar 19, 2008
3,001
1,030
Insane Diego, CA
Name
Randy
Boat
30' Kona Star
Thanks! I picked up a Defiance 220 San Juan with a 200 Honda outboard. It's pretty bare right now, but I added a third battery and shore power on Friday. I'm really pleased with the way it handled.


Definitely a hardcore fishing machine with many options to modify it. Looks like a great platform to add a tower onto to increase your success paddy hopping.
 
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MItoCali

Member
Mar 26, 2014
545
255
39
Newport Beach,
Name
Stephen
Boat
Pursuit Express 3000 Bella Mare
I am in the same "boat" as you.... grew up fishing the great lakes in Michigan for walleye, lake trout, salmon, perch. Took my maiden catalina voyage 3 weekends ago. We just caught one bonito. Ive been having great luck fishing the kelp in Newport, the Newport artificial and the Huntington flats. Bass, barracuda, halibut, etc. Its tons of fun and I cant wait until the tuna get up this way. I daydream about the first tuna on my new boat!
 
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bajaandy

Condition One
Jun 13, 2008
733
293
Escondido
Name
Andy
Boat
Parker 2530 "WET-O's"
Awesome trip report! Congrats on the new ride and on the first trip to Catalina. Some of my fondest memories with my dad were times we would spend on the water and going to Catalina. Wish I could share that with him again. But now I spend time on the water with my son, so the tradition continues. Nice boat ya got there!
 
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witcohe

Newbie
Sep 16, 2009
24
6
Los Angeles
Name
Sam
Boat
mikelson
The small fish are a real pest when you're fishing either live or dead squid. Everything goes after the squid. Some days, I can't keep the squid on the hook long enough to attract a bite from the bigger fish!
 
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historic

Member
Oct 29, 2003
348
129
3 Rivers
Name
Jack
Boat
2459 Trophy "Driftwood"
Great first report, thanks. Nice ride you have there, awesome vessel for SoCal. I'm headed over to Cat and Clemente next weekend Thursday night through Monday. Can't wait to get out there and beat the heat (105-108 at home) and hopefully pull on a few fish. Feel free to hit me up on the radio if you are out there, I'll share what I know.....

Later Jack on the Driftwood
 
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invictus

AVD
May 26, 2006
4,413
1,998
Orange County
Name
Jason
Boat
Tiara 2000 Cuddy
Sounds like an outstanding time with your Father! Invaluable days on the water together.

Some suggestions Mark's book on the island and that is a great start and I often find myself referring back to it from time to time just to get me out of the "norm" you develop fishing spots on the regular.

The island can actually be pretty finicky to fish at times. After a while you get a few "go to spots" on certain conditions. Then, every so often it comes together!

Very nice boat!
 
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