Islands Santa Rosa SPJ Report - 3/27-28/21

PENN

FishingFiend

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For those who private boat, getting a weather window to make the run to Santa Rosa is hard to come by. Calm seas and favorable winds are essential to making the 45+ mile run in a skiff. We've been waiting for a weather window since cod season began 26 days ago and finally got it!

I started experimenting with slow pitch jigging at the end of last season and was anxious to get back out there. This windy winter we've had has allowed me and my crew to become youtube experts in slow pitch jigging. LOLLOLLOL We were anxious to see if we could apply the concepts and what better place to test than Santa Rosa.

Saturday, we buddy boated with a friend and got to Rosa around 9am. We started in about 200’ exploring structure we researched with relief shading. First drop produced a 5# copper and it was game on. Every spot we hit from 200' to 135' had biting fish and it was so much fun. We experimented with different types of jigs, weights and retrieve presentations. We experimented with spot locking and vertical jigging and working the slow pitch jigs while drifting. We ended up with easy limits of Rosa grade cod and 7 different species with various jigs. The wind blew us out around 3pm and we had a down wind and down swell ride back. On the trailer at 5:30pm

Sunday, was supposed to be the best day of the weekend. Well, they got that wrong. It was blowing pretty good and it was white caps all the way to Rosa. With a late start and tough crossing, we did not wet a line till 11am. We had cold/wet fog at the island that would blow in and out while we were there. We were next to Rosa and could not see the island most of the time we were there, it was the opposite of what they forecasted. GRRRRRR We only had about 4 hours to fish and proceeded to whack them again. The grade of the fish was bigger today in the sloppy conditions. Because we had good grade limits from the day before, we had fun jigging and released more fish on the seaqualizer. By 3pm, we were getting tossed around really good and decided to call it with all the fish we wanted. The sloppy seas laid down around Santa Cruz and it was a beautiful ride back to Oxnard. On the trailer by 5:30 again.

The SPJ thing really does work and it's a lot more fun than soaking a bait.

Day 1
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Day 2
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PaDDy Killer'

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Great report. I think we rolled to the island together most the way. I was the Parker. We started on some small reef off rosa and your buddy dumped his anchor 20' off my stern. We picked a few fish off the spot before rolling to Miguel.

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Errin

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Rosa flats a very large area with lots of big red spots, to dump your anchor 20 feet from someone else is pretty bad etiquette!
 

FishingFiend

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Great report. I think we rolled to the island together most the way. I was the Parker. We started on some small reef off rosa and your buddy dumped his anchor 20' off my stern. We picked a few fish off the spot before rolling to Miguel.

View attachment 1268138
We only used trolling motors to spot lock. I didn't see another parker and Sunday we fished alone in sloppy seas. It sucks someone did that to you, but it wasn't me or my buddy. Please keep your false accusations to yourself...
 
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PaDDy Killer'

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We only used trolling motors to spot lock. I didn't see another parker and Sunday we fished alone in sloppy seas. It sucks someone did that to you, but it wasn't me or my buddy. Please keep your false accusations to yourself...
No worries, looked like your boat as one was a ranger bass boat and was spot locked and the other full of people. Didn't piss us off as there are so many spots up there. I was also thinking about Sunday but the weather repots were a little conflicting. Sunday looked like less swell and little more wind. Nice going none the less.
 

blubby07

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Wow what a trip we were out there Sunday as well but headed to Miguel first. After getting our butts kicked we went and had lunch at cuylers.
here’s a few picks of our day.
coming back to Santa Barbra was brutal

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FishingFiend

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No worries, looked like your boat as one was a ranger bass boat and was spot locked and the other full of people. Didn't piss us off as there are so many spots up there. I was also thinking about Sunday but the weather repots were a little conflicting. Sunday looked like less swell and little more wind. Nice going none the less.
That still sucks with all those fishy areas that someone would anchor next to you. Too many people fish boats instead of structure. Glad you're a patient man! I didn't hear anyone triggered on the radio over the weekend, which was nice.

We thought Sunday was going to be great, but it was not. We literally pounded our way to Rosa and thought about turning around several times. The fog was the final straw, but the we're only 5 miles away justification kicked in and we pushed forward. It was definitely fishy and fishable, but it was far from pleasant.
 

FishingFiend

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Wow what a trip we were out there Sunday as well but headed to Miguel first. After getting our butts kicked we went and had lunch at cuylers.
here’s a few picks of our day.
coming back to Santa Barbra was brutal

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That's what we experienced for sure! Your pictures totally bring back the cold/wet uncertainty of being out there in a bay boat. LOL It was crazy how the weather would change every 30 minutes. Luckily, the fishing was still very good and the ride home was awesome. How was the Miguel?
 
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PaDDy Killer'

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That still sucks with all those fishy areas that someone would anchor next to you. Too many people fish boats instead of structure. Glad you're a patient man! I didn't hear anyone triggered on the radio over the weekend, which was nice.

We thought Sunday was going to be great, but it was not. We literally pounded our way to Rosa and thought about turning around several times. The fog was the final straw, but the we're only 5 miles away justification kicked in and we pushed forward. It was definitely fishy and fishable, but it was far from pleasant.
Yeah, I was tripping that he threw his anchor right on the high spot we were fishing. He had 7 guys on a 24' boat so we already knew googans were out. You guys made me feel my decision to fish sat over sunday was the right one. Thursday and Friday I was contemplating to move the trip to Sunday. Marine weather can be so flakey. Sunday was looking like less bump.
 

FishingFiend

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Nice trip and great report on spj....hows that Innovate performed?
Thanks! There was no cod landed that the Innovate could not handle! LOL

I paired the Innovate 80MH with a regular Trinidad 16 with the handle moved out to the furthest notch, until I can get a hold of a Ocea Jigger 2000. With that out of the way, this rod and reel combo is a beast. It's not the ideal SPJ setup, but it works great. Add Trinidad cranking power with the backbone of the Innovate and I'm already looking forward to YT and tuna under 50#. Yes, this rod feels that good and gives me the confidence to chase big game like it was intended. When not chasing big game, it still feels light and balanced for cod fishing. I have nothing but praise for what Mr. Ortiz and Temple Reef were able to accomplish with this rod. I'm now considering the 78MH for jigs over 300g.

For comparison, the other SPJ setup I was using is the Phenix Titan 68L with a Trinidad 12. For fishing in under 200', this is another bad ass setup for jigs under 150g. With the 100 and 130g jigs I was testing, it was a light and very balanced setup. Every fish feels like a giant. However, I do not feel inspired to go chase YT or tuna with this setup...
 
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FishingFiend

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Wow what a trip we were out there Sunday as well but headed to Miguel first. After getting our butts kicked we went and had lunch at cuylers.
here’s a few picks of our day.
coming back to Santa Barbra was brutal

View attachment 1268167

View attachment 1268168

View attachment 1268169

View attachment 1268170

View attachment 1268171

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Had to read this again, you launched from Santa Barbara? That means you had the 15-20kt winds and increasing swells on your port side. OMG, you guys are hardcore. That must have been a long wet ride back to the launch?
 
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FlatPack

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Thanks! There was no cod landed that the Innovate could not handle! LOL

I paired the Innovate 80MH with a regular Trinidad 16 with the handle moved out to the furthest notch, until I can get a hold of a Ocea Jigger 2000. With that out of the way, this rod and reel combo is a beast. It's not the ideal SPJ setup, but it works great. Add Trinidad cranking power with the backbone of the Innovate and I'm already looking forward to YT and tuna under 50#. Yes, this rod feels that good and gives me the confidence to chase big game like it was intended. When not chasing big game, it still feels light and balanced for cod fishing. I have nothing but praise for what Mr. Ortiz and Temple Reef were able to accomplish with this rod. I'm now considering the 78MH for jigs over 300g.

For comparison, the other SPJ setup I was using is the Phenix Titan 68L with a Trinidad 12. For fishing in under 200', this is another bad ass setup for jigs under 150g. With the 100 and 130g jigs I was testing, it was a light and very balanced setup. Every fish feels like a giant. However, I do not feel inspired to go chase YT or tuna with this setup...
Wow....I always hear but good things with the TR Innovate 801MH...though its designed by Capt. Ben for larger sportsboat in West Coast but nice to know it handle on PB very well too.

With your coming Ocea Jigger then you have the killer spj reel too...try to take a look to pair it with the TR Levitate or maybe the Hearty Rise III Tokayo SPJ rods...Thanks again for the feedback on the Innovate.
 

FishingFiend

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Wow....I always hear but good things with the TR Innovate 801MH...though its designed by Capt. Ben for larger sportsboat in West Coast but nice to know it handle on PB very well too.

With your coming Ocea Jigger then you have the killer spj reel too...try to take a look to pair it with the TR Levitate or maybe the Hearty Rise III Tokayo SPJ rods...Thanks again for the feedback on the Innovate.
My buddy was using the Saltiga 15 Lever Drag/2-speed filled with 30# maxcuatro on his Innovate 80MH. This is an amazing setup and something I keep thinking about. Not 100% sold on the ocea jigger yet.

As for using an 8' rod on a private boat, well that's what we're used too. Most of my rods are 8' or longer. A huge benefit of the Innovate is that it also works great as a long fall rod. Switching between slow pitch and long fall really unlocks the versatility of this rod. Most importantly, keeps me engaged.

After I get some more experience, I'll think about the Levitate or the Hearty Rise. Still not ready to appreciate the next level of gear yet. It's damn pricey!
 

FlatPack

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My buddy was using the Saltiga 15 Lever Drag/2-speed filled with 30# maxcuatro on his Innovate 80MH. This is an amazing setup and something I keep thinking about. Not 100% sold on the ocea jigger yet.

As for using an 8' rod on a private boat, well that's what we're used too. Most of my rods are 8' or longer. A huge benefit of the Innovate is that it also works great as a long fall rod. Switching between slow pitch and long fall really unlocks the versatility of this rod. Most importantly, keeps me engaged.

After I get some more experience, I'll think about the Levitate or the Hearty Rise. Still not ready to appreciate the next level of gear yet. It's damn pricey!
Try to check Accurate 500N SPJ too...I think its the size Capt. Benny has been using. Yes that Saltiga is a badass reel too. You are right on the versatility for long fall on the Innovate, it seems becoming a hit now on SoCal spj scene.
 
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blubby07

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Had to read this again, you launched from Santa Barbara? That means you had the 15-20kt winds and increasing swells on your port side. OMG, you guys are hardcore. That must have been a long wet ride back to the launch?
Yah it was the weather prediction was wrong again.
glad to be in a pilot house.
 
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pldouglas

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I'm surprised at those reel selections for fishing basic cod - they seem like overkill to me, but it sounds like your planning to fish tuna too. I fish the islands and conception area for reds quite a bit too. I use heavy bass gear, 8' Powell and Loomis rods, with Curado 300's. It makes it funnier to have lighter gear I think. No way do you need a two speed. The flatfalls are great - agree with you on that. Also if you haven't yet, try the 4" Hammer swimbaits on a 1.5 oz. head, if you can spot lock with a trolling motor. You can catch fish down to 150+ on that deal and it's a really fun way to fish. Thanks for posting.
 

FishingFiend

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I'm surprised at those reel selections for fishing basic cod - they seem like overkill to me, but it sounds like your planning to fish tuna too. I fish the islands and conception area for reds quite a bit too. I use heavy bass gear, 8' Powell and Loomis rods, with Curado 300's. It makes it funnier to have lighter gear I think. No way do you need a two speed. The flatfalls are great - agree with you on that. Also if you haven't yet, try the 4" Hammer swimbaits on a 1.5 oz. head, if you can spot lock with a trolling motor. You can catch fish down to 150+ on that deal and it's a really fun way to fish. Thanks for posting.
I know it crazy looking at Slow Pitch Jigging from the outside, but it's an exciting new technique that's catching on here on the West Coast. The Saltiga setup you're referring too was spooled with 500 yards of 30# maxcuatro so that he can fish SPJ at 500 to 600'. It has comparable feel to a 300 sized baitcaster, but in no way can you compare the cranking power between the 2 reels. It's not just for catching cod in less than 200'. This same setup can be used for YT and for what is now considered smaller tuna under 50#. It's important to know that it's just another tool/presentation to use to catch more fish. More specifically, it's best for a vertical presentation. One more point, we're fishing jigs that are 200g or heavier at times depending on current and depth. A 300 sized baitcaster can work a 7oz+ jig, but it's going to take a toll on you. Search SPJ on youtube and you'll be surprised at it's effectiveness and popularity. I'm just starting my SPJ journey and so far it's fun, exciting and productive.

This video got a lot of us interested in SPJ