Santa Barbara 3/4

jrodda

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Sep 8, 2012
56
154
United States
Name
Jeremy Rodda
Boat
15' Saturn SK470XL "Mosquito"
At the end of my last trip (PV last week, ~20 miles roundtrip for a turd, a scorpion, and a few big macks), my outboard didn't want to start back up at the ramp, or even turn over after running/idling the whole 7 hour trip.

Thankfully, when I got back to my house, my boater neighbor happened to be in his front yard, so I told him about my adventure then mentioned my potential motor woes. He said he could do a little diagnostic and tune up the carburetor right then, so I dollied it across the street, filled a bucket with water, and he got it going better than before in a few minutes. Phew!

So just to make sure that I wouldn't find out in the middle of the Sant Barbara Channel that he and I collectively screwed up my outboard, I needed a little shakedown trip somewhere relatively safe. Oxnard looked to be windier than I should be bothering with, so instead I took the first day of my weekend yesterday to do a shakedown at Lake Piru, which I'd never been to before. I packed up my car in a light rain, got over there in an hour, and spent a few hours on the lake chucking a 1/4oz KM, and a spook, as I was seeing bass boils intermittently. I got one tap on the KM and that was that. Real nice little lake, though. I was hoping for crappie but it must be a few weeks too early still. Best part was my motor sounded great and started up just fine.

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On to the main event, my rockfish opener today. I watched a number of buoys from Redondo to Santa Barbara, and watched reports for what new deep areas were going to be hype and what would be a potential jackpot. Ended up choosing Santa Barbara Harbor to launch. 2-4ft swell with only a light breeze was the forecast, which was accurate.

Arrived at 0745. Setup took a little long, I got the boat in the water at about 0830. Started off with the outboard stalling and burning some oil...turning over though. A few minutes of futzing and easing off the choke and I was golden.

Lake Pacific outside the harbor, boat cruising at its WOT max of 15mph. Once I got about 4 miles out, some gentle 3-4ft rollers with a very long period made an appearance, still able to skim right along.

Just short of an hour ride and I get to my spot on the edge of the shelf. Drop down to 425ft with 16oz and my line is sideways pretty quick, so I went to managing my position via reversing every minute or so, which worked like a charm.

First drop, hit the bottom, feel light hits, some heaviness. Feel almost like I'm fishing mono, not sure if my braid sucks or I'm rusty or it's just dinks down there. Finally give up and reel up, does feel heavy...got one. 12" greenspotted rockfish.

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Noticed I was drifting west, and I set up on the spot assuming I'd drift east, so I took a few minutes to slide east. From there I got bit and bendo as soon as I hit bottom every drop. Get the fish in the boat, unhook, put the reel in freespool and begin the next drop and throw it in the rod holder; iki the fish, cut the collar, throw it in the kill bag; grab the rod out of the holder, reverse the boat til I'm on top of my bait, at which point I make contact with the bottom; instantly hook up, and do it again. Had my limit in no time. All greenspots too. I don't think I've ever gotten a limit of rockfish off of one species, so I was pretty baffled by that today. Nothing huge, but no dinks. Couple thicker ones...okay, gassier ones.

Just as I pulled up my last fish to limit out, another boater swings by and chats me up. Compliments my rig, we chill for a minute, then he hands me his business card (a little unusual place for that but hey) and we split. If you're on here, it was nice to meet you Marco!

I still had some sanddabs I froze the other week just to hunt lings with, so I reset my drift and dropped a dab down. Waited a minute and then I was bendo, but didn't feel like a ling...pulled it up and it was another greenspot, and it bit the bare hook above my dab....thanks a lot pal! Now I gotta poke you all over, rig my f#kn descender.....a 1 pound weight couldn't get him down to start so I had to poked him in 2-3 more spots to finally get him down.

Dropped again, waited...started getting nibbled, grabbed, dropped....bendo. Again not huge...pull it up and a greenspot had torn the dab to bits and inhaled the head. Alright, I thought I could weed out the rockfish, but I guess not. Headed out of there to avoid any more potential trouble.

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Motored back toward the mainland and decided to make a stop around the Summerland shoreline to see what the kelp looked like. Wasn't as thick as I remembered, so decided, with my rockfish setup rigged with the pound weight, that I'd half-assedly bounce ball some squid in 30-40ft while I worked my way back toward the harbor. Laid back between the tubes of my boat while hanging onto the rod. Tried for about 45 minutes until I got a little too comfy and started feeling sleepy, so I packed it up and motored back to the ramp around 2pm with no halibut but a whole sack of greenspots.

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~30 mile trip today, about $6 in gas.
 
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bazzturd

I fish in the ocean, not the internet
Aug 7, 2008
629
1,134
Westminster, CA
Name
Brian
Boat
2005 Grady White Seafarer 228 (no name yet)
Dang, that would be a 28 dollar trip in the boat I'm hoping to buy in the next couple weeks. Maybe I should get another skiff. Sub $10 trips sound good.
 
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jrodda

Your Ad Here!
Sep 8, 2012
56
154
United States
Name
Jeremy Rodda
Boat
15' Saturn SK470XL "Mosquito"
nice. next time at Piru try a half ounce kastmaster deep. There are some good brown trout in there.

Wow, never thought there'd be browns so close to my house. That motivates me to try again soon. Thanks!

Dang, that would be a 28 dollar trip in the boat I'm hoping to buy in the next couple weeks. Maybe I should get another skiff. Sub $10 trips sound good.

PVC 15' kaboat inflatable + 6hp Mercury 4 stroke. Lots of positives to the rig, and just as many negatives, but I'm getting my money's worth and then some. As Snow White so famously said, "Some day my farallon will come."
 
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jrodda

Your Ad Here!
Sep 8, 2012
56
154
United States
Name
Jeremy Rodda
Boat
15' Saturn SK470XL "Mosquito"
I’ll be up there on the Stardust next week! First time fishing SRI and I am pumped! Thanks for the report.

Good luck, I haven’t been on the Stardust but it looks like a great operation in an epic locale.
 
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