Based on the story and pics at least you managed to have a good time. Not the epic fishing trip you would have liked but... Hey you were on the water. I ran all over the place and watched people (on other boats) catch fish while my giant bait sucked! In the end at least I was out and trying.. I've had my share of limiting out in the first two hours this season and they can't all be that way.. Looks like good times in the pics..Long Story Short-Basically the worst trip I've been on (not because of the slow fishing).
Short Story Long- Where do I start? How bout from the beginning. Got invited from my best friend that I served in the Army with 17yrs ago on his company trip with LADWP (Los Angeles Department of Water Power). Boat was suppose to leave around 7-8pm on friday and just about 10pm Chuck Taft shows up and tells us he will not be running the trip. The crew he had put together looked like they just got picked up off the street. So finally, about 2-3hrs late we boarded and headed out. Hit he bait barge and actually loaded up with some really great looking 4-6inch sardines. We thought ok cool we got some good bait so it's on. That is where it ended.
The cook ended up giving the safety/game plan speech which I thought was weird especially since he never left the galley the entire trip. Game plan was to head to San Clemente. I was a guest on this trip so I didn't really have an opinion nor did I care since the fishing has been amazing all season. Then my buddy and I overheard two of the deckhands bragging to eachother about how much jail time they've done and for what crimes they committed. Sweet, keeping all valuables on my person the whole trip. Great, this is gonna be a an awesome trip (insert sarcasm). After getting rigged up finally got to bed a little after midnight.
Day one-Woke up the next day at grey light and headed out on deck. No trollers were out yet so the charter master and another guy finally got them in the water. I had no idea where we were but we had headed north out of the bay and there was island in the distance so I'm assuming it was San Clemente. Drove around for a few hours with nothing. Got the call for breakfast which was either a breakfast burrito or a plate. The hashbrowns were definitely the cheap freezer type you could taste the freezer burn. Galley was already a mess but the cook let me watch a soccer game on tv so i didn't care. Lunch comes around and it was a choice of frozen hamburgers or a frozen hamburger with cheese. You only got a plate if you asked or else it was wrapped in paper which was actually better because those that got plates were the cheap paper kind and theirs got soaked through. While at lunch, we finally hear HOOOOKUP!!!! Sweet, Game on. I ran outside and only one guy was bringing in his troller so I grabbed one and it felt tangled so I was reeling it in a little slow and low and behold there was a rat yellowtail on it. Maybe 2lbs? Yes I killed it. (I used a fancy camera angle to make it look cool). The other guys fish came off. This was the story for the rest of the day. Literally, the only hookup for the rest of the day. Once people started to realize this was going to be the story that is when everybody started drinking and having their own fun.. Dinner was served and if I hadn't seen the cook pull the roast out of the oven I would've swore it was Banquet microwave salisbury steak.
The charter master asked everyone if they were cool with going to the Cortes Bank and everyone said yes because it was better than what we were currently doing. After driving for a few hours we dropped the anchor. Weird for me to see on a tuna trip but whatever. Deckhand said we were gonna fish rockfish at night. Ok might as well right....One very nice lady caught a good sized sculpin and actually won the first night jackpot since my yellowtail was on the troll. Her sculpin was bigger anyway haha. Lots of people were drinking lots of beer and I ended up going to be around 1am.
Day two-Woke up on the anchor at grey light with no land in sight and were told "no more fresh water" not that it mattered because the showers didn't even have shower heads it was just a threaded pipe coming out of the wall. But it really sucked because they didn't even have any bottled water on board and the soda machine doesn't work without water. And yes we were still rock fishing. Breakfast was the same choice as the day before. After breakfast the captain said we were going to start trolling south because we needed to be home by 8pm so that they could be in for the next trip. I think we picked up one bluefin on the troll and one on bait and one good size yellowtail(25ish Lbs) on bait. But that was it. Lunch was The same burgers as the day before but you got chili on it, and if you wanted a cheeseburger like the day before you got a dirty look and comment. After lunch we were told we wouldn't be in until 1am Tuesday morning because one engine was down and the boat couldn't turn left. Every now and then we'd do a big right hand circle to get back on course. I think I took two naps that day and many others did the same. Watched the monday night football game which was pretty cool then people started getting hungry. The cook said dinner wasn't included because we were suppose to be back around 8pm. People went to the captain and about it and they ended up giving us dinner free of charge (gee thanks). Guess what it was....the same burgers as the previous lunches. Whatever, people were hungry.
Lots of people went to bed but I had already taken two naps so it was a loooooong ride home for me. We ended up pulling into the bay around 230am this morning and it took almost an hour to get docked since the boat couldn't turn left. I got in my car at 3:28am.
Overall the trip sucked on so many levels. I have been skunked before and when I took my chick a couple weekends ago I only fished a little and caught only rat yellows but still had a blast. The crew wasn't friendly, and really didn't do shit. The couple tuna that came on board were gaffed by passengers. They were also smoking in the galley while watching tv and I was the only one that said anything and almost got into it with one of them over it. Food sucked and the galley was filthy the entire time. The bathrooms were also filthy and luckily I brought my own toilet paper because there was never any. Fresh water ran out. The entire boat looked like shit. Things falling off everywhere, people getting caught on sharp edges, trash all over the entire bow (not that you needed to be up there because we never even got on any fish to fish the bow), cook was a little asshole and if he wasn't 80yrs old I'm sure more than a few people would have talked shit to him. And to top it off we were told we wouldn't be charged for the extra time out on the water WTF!?
The only two, and I mean only two things that were good about this trip was that they had plenty of beer and it was the coldest I've ever had on a boat. And the second is the great group of people. I think the people on this trip really held it together well considering the circumstances and everybody seemed to have a good time drinking lots of beer, playing cards and dominoes, and finding other ways to keep entertained.
That all being said, I won't ever go on this boat again even it is a really good deal. Maybe I've been spoiled by going on awesome boats even if the fishing isn't good but this trip, the fishing was was least of our worries. We got a couple tuna, yellowtail, few bonito, and a few rockfish. Probably the reason that no report has been posted yet.
Talk your shit about bashing a boat or complaining or get your popcorn or whatever but this is an honest trip report reporting on the trip that I was on. And yes, all of these issues were brought up to the captain by myself and others and were met with either a blank stare or straight up "deal with it attitude".
Enjoy the read or not or bash away or take it as useful information. I'm on the Pride in two weeks so I'll be over it real quick
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Hope you don't get summoned into the wheelhouse.
You must like punishment....
After the trip. Let me know what you think of Captain Steve Taft !
Sure is not the Chuck Taft I remember. Watched this guy train many crews and his operation taught me how to fish and allot about boats. My days go back to a boat he co-owned called the Sea Spray and the great memories are many. Few captains and crews in the fleet would work as hard to make sure the passengers got into fish. I use to tell people that as long as we had a piece of bait we would still be fishing. He never gave up. In those days many of these internet shity comments could get your ass kicked if said to the man outside the landing. We all get older and I cannot say anything about his operations now but I always respected and appreciated what I learned from the man and his crews. Hope he does well.
+ 10 . As I stated on last years Taft Bros. bashing on here ,in 30 years of fishing , I've had two bad trips .Both with Tafts at the helm. I'd rather have warm carp sashimi , then spend another dollar on their operation.F taft and F his fleet of crap. he is a prick and will always be remembered as such. what a legacy to leave.