The Magic Paddy

flyliner

@thereelflyliner
Aug 19, 2007
1,902
2,673
Santa Monica
Name
Jonathan
Boat
31' Cabo Express
There aren’t many things in this world that I enjoy more than fishing dorado on local kelp paddies. If I was to describe my perfect day of fishing it would be to find a huge local kelp paddy full of big hungry dodos and have it all to ourselves.

Having our boat in San Pedro, we haven’t had many shots to fish offshore the past couple years. Then this season came out of nowhere. Unfortunately, we weren’t able to get out 4 weeks ago when the dorado were so close that the ½ day and ¾ day boats out of San Pedro were getting into them. Then just like that, the counts started to drop, and the fish moved back South. Recently even the ¾ day boats out of Newport have given up on the offshore fishing and started to opt for Catalina instead. So, we figured this weekend was going to be our last shot at trying to find that “magic paddy.”

We left our slip early Saturday morning and pulled-up to San Pedro Bait in the dark. Mike loaded us up with wonderfully cured dines and a ½ scoop of squid. Obviously if we were going to strike out today, it wasn’t going to be because of the bait.

By the time we cleared the lighthouse, I still didn’t know where I wanted to go. Eventually I decided that because the warmest water was on the 277, we would head in that direction. We made it to the bank in good time and in smooth seas. But while we found 71-72 degree clean water and lots of bait, we didn’t see a single paddy. We thought about making our way to the 209, but I wanted to get off the beaten path, so we just kept on going at the same heading. And going. And going. Until my wife said enough was enough and suggested we change course.

I punched in the numbers for the 279, and immediately we started to see small strands of kelp here and there loaded with bait. I told my wife that if we could just find a decent sized kelp in this area there was a good chance it would be holding some fish.

Then I saw it…….and just like that I lost it. I started to think my mind had been playing tricks on me, but then I found it again….and didn’t take my eyes off it.

Of course, we started to get very excited. It was huge, beautiful, and brown. Then we saw something jump. And then another something jumped. And another. I slowed the boat to idle speed and stopped us a conservative distance away.

My wife was first to pin on a hot dine, but in her excitement, her bait flew off and landed only a few feet away. As she rushed back to the bait tank to pin on another, I watched in disbelief as a school of 100+ dorado swarmed the boat. It was unreal.

By that time Jenn got another bait in the water. This one didn’t fly off and she was bit instantly. I would say there were several followers, but it was really just that there were dorado everywhere. Like a kid in a candy store I flipped my bait off the stern towards a bull that looked decent and he turned and ate it. Double.

Jenn got her fish to color first, so I loosened the drag on my fish, put the rod in the holder, and grabbed the gaff. Pretty fish.


In the meantime my fish had run up to the bow, so naturally I followed. By the time I got him to color, Jenn was already hooked-up again, so I got to do the honors myself. My first dodo on our current boat ended up being a decent one.


We had the paddy all to ourselves for about an hour. It was truly wide open. Dines, squid, dead chewed-up bait, it didn’t matter. I should have thrown the popper, but I just didn’t want to stop fishing long enough re-rig and do it.

Jenn with another fish.


Hooked-up on the Terez rod and a Talica 8. Love this set-up.


A nice long female.


We also released several small 2-6 pound yellowtail and a ton of smaller dorado.


Portrait of a dodo.


At one point we watched as a marlin started grey-hounding out of the water for no apparent reason. Looked about 150 pounds or so. Very cool to watch.

The only time the fishing slowed for me was when I gaffed a nice fish for Jenn that gushed blood all over my t-shirt (I must have hit a major artery), so I had to actually take the time and stop fishing long enough to change. Thankfully the new t-shirt was just as lucky.


Jenn with a blood-shot dodo from an eyeball gaff.


At the one hour mark, another boat showed up. These guys were very respectful and we shared the paddy well. But eventually after another hour or so another 7 boats joined the party and the bite finally slowed to a steady pick.

I decided to fish a little lighter tackle to see if it would help. I had been fishing a Terez rod with a Talica 8, 30 pound fluro, and a 4/0 j-hook. I downsized to a Trinidad 12, and medium action Teramar rod, 20 pound fluro, and a 1/0 light wire circle hook.

Unfortunately this is when the larger bulls came out to play. The next 4 fish I landed were all over 25 pounds, and two were probably over 30. It was pretty hard to move them on the light gear when they hunkered down and laid flat in the water…..but of course it was a blast.

This guy really liked to jump.


This guy jumped once, went deep….and kicked my butt on the light gear.


After that, we called it a day and started the 38 mile trip back to the slip. We kept 10 fish, and released at least that many. The fishing was just spectacular. For the first 2 hours it was like being in an aquarium with dorado free swimming around the boat constantly. Once the other boats showed up, the fish eventually went down and stayed closer to the paddy. On the way back to the slip we found one more little kelp on the Avalon Bank that had 4-5 small dodos on it.

My perfect day.
 

sdfishkiller

Cod Smuggler
Mar 13, 2005
5,062
525
Point Loma
Name
Todd Victor Mora
Boat
19' Whaler: EL SUPER LIZARDFISH
Unreal local quality! :hali_olutta:
 

lega*sea

I've posted enough I should edit this section
Nov 18, 2011
591
21
canyon lake
Name
james
Boat
lega*sea 17' Arima sea ranger and SAUERFISH
That's insane!!!!!!! Great grade fish there lovebirds.
 

Marcus

"Oddjob"
May 21, 2004
7,969
336
46
Carlsbad
Name
Marcus
Boat
Tuna Jihad toilet cleaner/Intrepid
Epic job on some pig dodo's!
 

Cheney

SkateAndDestroy
Jun 10, 2010
1,981
8
Oceanside, Ca
Name
Cheney
Boat
none
do you guys ever NOT have an epic trip?!

nice gaff shots too!
 

Cheney

SkateAndDestroy
Jun 10, 2010
1,981
8
Oceanside, Ca
Name
Cheney
Boat
none
the blue color on this one blends so well with the background it looks like someone went at it with a BB gun

 

Raz-n-Kane 27

http://www.bloodydecks.co
Apr 24, 2005
323
3
58
In My HEAD
Name
Raz-n-Kane
Boat
Luhrs 28
Its good to see you smile!! Well you can check this one off of your bucket list ;), As I sit at LAX reading this (damm it:() Good job you two!! well I can say hooping season is right around the corner !yea! maybe yellowfin????in Oct.
 

Gil Marlin

World Peace? Visualize Using Your Turn Indicator
Nov 27, 2003
25,514
3,021
Laguna Percebu Baja Norte
Name
Scott
Boat
19.655' Aluminum
Why go to East Cape when you can do better here??? Great report and I really like the Dorado portrait shot...
 

26grumpy

who hooked who
Sep 24, 2006
9,335
3,702
Anaheim Hills
Name
Joe
Boat
Freefrom Boats Club
EPIC is an understatement, WTG J&J, that is the true definition of "magic paddy" !!!
 

OnoEric

Sometimes I fish
Dec 13, 2003
854
815
San Marcos
Name
Eric
Boat
Grady White 208
Doesn't get any better than that! Excellent work. I like the colors on the striped one... last 2 photos.
 

mattbush

I've posted enough I should edit this section
Feb 16, 2011
334
46
Newport Beach
Name
Matthew Bush
Boat
none at the moment
Congrats on the great fishing and awesome photos. What kind of camera do you use?
 

Tunahead

Long Time Tuna Abused Member
Aug 11, 2006
8,012
2,043
Costa Mesa
Name
Ron
Boat
several
Ahhhh the garage door paddy....nice dodos...HEY they all eat the same gang! LOL
Had some last night with crushed pineapple! try it!