Three fun days on the Islander!

Dexter Outdoors

hagridfish

I Should Upgrade My Account
Oct 21, 2008
1,132
589
Aurora Colorado
Name
Kevin
Boat
None
Hello all. I guess I'm the first to post a report on this trip. However, I'm going to include my entire adventure. From leaving Denver, to trying to get back to Denver in time for work Wednesday.
I had everything planned packed etc.. After a really rough month or so at work, I figured some windshield time would do me a world of good (WRONG!!!!!!!).
#1) My boss informs me that the department manager is holding a leads meeting on Wednesday the 9th, and I WILL be there! I told him fine, give me back my vacation day, but I'm leaving by 1:pm. On the road by 2. Everything is going great, No traffic, beautiful weather, just enjoying the road. As an aside, I bought my first new foreign car last year. A 2012 Nissan Altima. Great ratings in consumer reports, great price since it was April of 2013 when I bought the thing, it's a 2 door, so it's a little small for my fat ass, but 33 miles to the gallon makes it livable. I get about 30 miles west of Grand Junction Colorado, and BOOM!!!! A blow out, right rear. Get out put on the doughnut, and start making phone calls trying to find a nissan dealer where I am. No such luck, everything is closed except Sears. O.K. I'll bite the bullet, buy a new tire, and argue with Nissan when I get home. Sears has only one tire that will fit, and it is a different brand, and tread pattern, etc... It took over 4 hours to get ONE tire, mounted, balanced, and put on the car, Now, the car drives like shit at highway speeds, finally make it into San Diego, and only one Sears, has 3 of the same tire I need. Back up to Escondido, and only wait 4 hours to get 3 tires and a wheel alignment. Between the 2 stops, that blew over $800.00 just for the tires,(not mentioning an unscheduled hotel stop.... more $$$$$). Finally get to the landing, and get on the Islander. This is going to be the R&R I'm looking forward too. A GREAT bunch of people on the Rice bowl charter. I'm terrible with names, so please don't hold it against me. The Charter master, is friendly, accomodating, and always looking to help his people. He even had a "shot girl" wandering the dock, and the boat, with various "adult beverages" for our consumption. So far all is really good. We get on the way, and within 3 hours (Less time than it takes to change a tire GGGGGGGRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR) we are trolling. First hookup is within a few minutes and we have a yellowfin on board, nothing hits on the bait (By the way, we had some 'Dines!!!!) The next trolling team gets picked up too! We are having a BLAST!!!! I haven't hooked a fish, but fun is fun.
Lunch was a mexican dish I have never had before, but damn it was good.
My thanks to all the guys who gave me a heads up on the boat before the trip, but believe me when I say, with Rick in the galley, the have solved whatever food issues they may have had.
Dinner was lamb chops. I normally shy away from lamb, but this stuff was to DIE for!!!! Really good chow the whole trip. GIANT KUDO'S to Ricky the chef. He did a phenominal job in the galley. Back to the fishing.Trolled a bit more, picked up some yellow fin, and blue fin. Then a Dorado, this is going to be a GREAT trip. Bait fishing is a little slow, but we have time.
The guys who were using jigs, did really well. I didn't bring any flourocarbon, but got picked up fairly often using 20 lb. test. Getting them to gaff on 20 is another story. Weather was up a little on Friday, and Saturday, but the fishing was still a steady pick. Nothing over the top, but enough to keep us busy all day. We were fishing the "pens" and it wasn't too bad.
The comments on the A/C on the boat were true, but survivable. At least my room seemed very warm.
The crew on the boat is really good, they are eager to help, work very hard, look out for all of "us", and each other. A really amazing experience. Like I said, I wish I was better at remembering names, but that is the cost of getting old. The deckhands even offered to wash my rods down, since they are going into storage, instead of home with me. I have NEVER seen anything like that before.
I just can't say enough good about this trip. Frank (or is it Fred) from "Rice Bowl Charters" is a lot of fun, a really nice guy, as are all his regulars, helpful, and he even supplies the booze, the golf, and we had a little competition between crew and passengers (It ended in a tie). Great trip all around.
I didn't have enough fish to bring any home, so I gave my meager catch to one of the nicest ladies on the dock, and told her to enjoy.
Jump in the car, get loaded up, and start back to Denver.
Everything is going really great. Good tunes, light traffic, just thinking about the trip, and all the good people that were on it. A few people called to check up on me since the tire fiasco really pissed me off. But there were no issues until I hung up the phone with one good friend, and low and behold, while climbing the hill into Cedar City Utah, my transmission decides it wants to start slipping, not shift, and a few other things. Just so you all know, the closest Nissan dealer (still under warrantee) is about 3 to 4 hours from where I am just outside of Provo Utah.
So here I sit, in a Cedar City Hotel room, writing this report while it is still somewhat fresh in my mind. Sorry about no pictures, but I didn't bring a camera, and I refused to turn the phone on, just in case it might pick up a signal.
So all in all, I had a GREAT time on the boat, hopefully made some new friends, and am looking forward to the next trip I can make. Now all I need is the $$$$$$$$$. Thanks for reading. And Thanks again to the Islander capt. and crew, for all they did for us all, and to Frankie (Fred)(I think my C.R.S. is getting worse) from Rice Bowl.
 
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Statistico

Statistition
Jan 23, 2007
691
254
San Diego
Name
Joe
Boat
None
Hello all. I guess I'm the first to post a report on this trip. However, I'm going to include my entire adventure. From leaving Denver, to trying to get back to Denver in time for work Wednesday.
I had everything planned packed etc.. After a really rough month or so at work, I figured some windshield time would do me a world of good (WRONG!!!!!!!).
#1) My boss informs me that the department manager is holding a leads meeting on Wednesday the 9th, and I WILL be there! I told him fine, give me back my vacation day, but I'm leaving by 1:pm. On the road by 2. Everything is going great, No traffic, beautiful weather, just enjoying the road. As an aside, I bought my first new foreign car last year. A 2012 Nissan Altima. Great ratings in consumer reports, great price since it was April of 2013 when I bought the thing, it's a 2 door, so it's a little small for my fat ass, but 33 miles to the gallon makes it livable. I get about 30 miles west of Grand Junction Colorado, and BOOM!!!! A blow out, right rear. Get out put on the doughnut, and start making phone calls trying to find a nissan dealer where I am. No such luck, everything is closed except Sears. O.K. I'll bite the bullet, buy a new tire, and argue with Nissan when I get home. Sears has only one tire that will fit, and it is a different brand, and tread pattern, etc... It took over 4 hours to get ONE tire, mounted, balanced, and put on the car, Now, the car drives like shit at highway speeds, finally make it into San Diego, and only one Sears, has 3 of the same tire I need. Back up to Escondido, and only wait 4 hours to get 3 tires and a wheel alignment. Between the 2 stops, that blew over $800.00 just for the tires,(not mentioning an unscheduled hotel stop.... more $$$$$). Finally get to the landing, and get on the Islander. This is going to be the R&R I'm looking forward too. A GREAT bunch of people on the Rice bowl charter. I'm terrible with names, so please don't hold it against me. The Charter master, is friendly, accomodating, and always looking to help his people. He even had a "shot girl" wandering the dock, and the boat, with various "adult beverages" for our consumption. So far all is really good. We get on the way, and within 3 hours (Less time than it takes to change a tire GGGGGGGRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR) we are trolling. First hookup is within a few minutes and we have a yellowfin on board, nothing hits on the bait (By the way, we had some 'Dines!!!!) The next trolling team gets picked up too! We are having a BLAST!!!! I haven't hooked a fish, but fun is fun.
Lunch was a mexican dish I have never had before, but damn it was good.
My thanks to all the guys who gave me a heads up on the boat before the trip, but believe me when I say, with Rick in the galley, the have solved whatever food issues they may have had.
Dinner was lamb chops. I normally shy away from lamb, but this stuff was to DIE for!!!! Really good chow the whole trip. GIANT KUDO'S to Ricky the chef. He did a phenominal job in the galley. Back to the fishing.Trolled a bit more, picked up some yellow fin, and blue fin. Then a Dorado, this is going to be a GREAT trip. Bait fishing is a little slow, but we have time.
The guys who were using jigs, did really well. I didn't bring any flourocarbon, but got picked up fairly often using 20 lb. test. Getting them to gaff on 20 is another story. Weather was up a little on Friday, and Saturday, but the fishing was still a steady pick. Nothing over the top, but enough to keep us busy all day. We were fishing the "pens" and it wasn't too bad.
The comments on the A/C on the boat were true, but survivable. At least my room seemed very warm.
The crew on the boat is really good, they are eager to help, work very hard, look out for all of "us", and each other. A really amazing experience. Like I said, I wish I was better at remembering names, but that is the cost of getting old. The deckhands even offered to wash my rods down, since they are going into storage, instead of home with me. I have NEVER seen anything like that before.
I just can't say enough good about this trip. Frank (or is it Fred) from "Rice Bowl Charters" is a lot of fun, a really nice guy, as are all his regulars, helpful, and he even supplies the booze, the golf, and we had a little competition between crew and passengers (It ended in a tie). Great trip all around.
I didn't have enough fish to bring any home, so I gave my meager catch to one of the nicest ladies on the dock, and told her to enjoy.
Jump in the car, get loaded up, and start back to Denver.
Everything is going really great. Good tunes, light traffic, just thinking about the trip, and all the good people that were on it. A few people called to check up on me since the tire fiasco really pissed me off. But there were no issues until I hung up the phone with one good friend, and low and behold, while climbing the hill into Cedar City Utah, my transmission decides it wants to start slipping, not shift, and a few other things. Just so you all know, the closest Nissan dealer (still under warrantee) is about 3 to 4 hours from where I am just outside of Provo Utah.
So here I sit, in a Cedar City Hotel room, writing this report while it is still somewhat fresh in my mind. Sorry about no pictures, but I didn't bring a camera, and I refused to turn the phone on, just in case it might pick up a signal.
So all in all, I had a GREAT time on the boat, hopefully made some new friends, and am looking forward to the next trip I can make. Now all I need is the $$$$$$$$$. Thanks for reading. And Thanks again to the Islander capt. and crew, for all they did for us all, and to Frankie (Fred)(I think my C.R.S. is getting worse) from Rice Bowl.
It was a great trip Kevin. Captain John Conniff and his crew made it seem like an 8 day or short 10 day as far as the galley and other amenities. Charter master's name is Fred and he had some great perspective on what a fishing trip should include...games, give-aways, good people, a few margaritas out of the biggest damned blender I had ever seen, and a friendly smile. The passengers got along fantastically...great teamwork at the rail and a lot of good conversation in the galley.
 
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shajcl

I Should Upgrade My Account
Oct 16, 2005
1,246
178
Alameda
Name
JL
Boat
n/a
It is no fun to have car trouble, anytime let alone on vacation. Hope you will get back home safely.
I am planning a drive to Colorado Springs in a couple of months to drop a car off to my son. I am not looking forward to that drive.
 
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Chris Penning

Member
Apr 13, 2011
329
95
Laurel, MD
Name
Chris
Boat
Total Ho
Great report and even better attitude over the whole thing. I can't imagine writing a report under the circumstances. Good on ya. Hope the rest of the return trip is uneventful.

Chris
 
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Corndog

Landlocked
Sep 22, 2009
4,854
1,611
Northern Colorado
Name
Jason Jones ( Lone Shark)
Boat
Century 1801, Hobie PA14 & SoA
Yikes. I've debated driving dro. Fort Collins versus flying as jigsticks and tackle wouldn't be a hassle. Let alone I could bag my own fish via experience and save some dough. At the end of the day southwest airlines and five star fish processing win. The only way I'm missing my trip is a plane crash ( knock on wood) side note wanna fish one day? Were neighbors bye an hour. I rarely catch shit but I'm fun lol
 
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hagridfish

I Should Upgrade My Account
Oct 21, 2008
1,132
589
Aurora Colorado
Name
Kevin
Boat
None
Thanks for all the responses. A big thanks to "Statistico" for getting the names straight (and for asking me to join you). I made it home last night about 7:30. Just some info to you all. Evidently, the CVT transmission that Nissan uses, has an advisory out. On the smaller engines, it needs to have an auxilliary tranny cooler installed. For the "flat land" it is fine, but driving the mountains in the heat can cause it to go into "fail safe" mode. Which is what happened to mine. Once it cools off it will operate fine. I'm just worried about the fluid breaking down with the heat, so it is getting a "tranny cooler" installed, and a fluid change (at Nissans' expense). We are still trying to work out the tire issue. As far as driving this again, no problem. I would drive again in a heartbeat. Just look to share fuel expenses next time :-) I enjoyed the trip, and the "windshield time did me a world of good. Just glad there was no permanent damage to the car. Continue on my friends, and keep on catching fish! I look forward to reading all the reports for the rest of the season. And I'll try to do one after the 14 day trip on the American Angler in February.
 
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Steve K

Hey, I'm gettin' bit...
Jan 2, 2005
11,517
7,211
Bishop
Name
Steve
Boat
18' Bayrunner, but I like the American Angler and the Red Rooster III
This was certainly a trip to remember. For me there were several milestones. It had been a long time since I last fished with Fred, glad I got back out there with the Rice Bowl gang with friend Joe. I scheduled back in April with an eye to the calendar and I wanted it as close to the six month mark after my shoulder surgery to give it a shakedown cruise, test drive. Figured if I could handle the fish we encountered on a 3 day, I'd be good to go for the October 8 day on the Angler. Well, that's checked off the list, no problems with the shoulder. Another milestone we could not see coming and that was suddenly we had Sardines and had a good catch of quality school sized Bluefin. The one that really blows us away is that now, those Bluefin are off limits for the rest of the season. So we were some lucky bastards to say the least to get this trip in under the wire.

I got away from Bishop at 10:00 P.M. on Thursday evening and punched in Joe's address on the Nav unit. I was going to have plenty of time to kill as it showed an ETA of 2+ hours before I wanted to arrive. So with frequent stops, a gas fillup, and a breakfast of pancakes in Temecula I arrived at his place at 5:45 A.M. Departure was 10:00 but we wanted to get down there a little early to see a couple of boats unload. So around 7:00, Joe's lovely and gracious wife drove us down to the landing and found a parking spot. We unloaded into a cart and put our "stuff" on the sidewalk just behind Kevin. The line started to fill in as folks started showing up. I can remember a few names like Bill and Bob, Al and his two sons, Ryan and Justin, and a young couple Brent and his lady Karry (Kerry, Carrie?). Along comes Fred and of course Tony, couple of guys with a lot of trips together. Tony is one of the most excellent ambassadors for fishing we could hope to have, always trying to be sure everyone was having a good time, fishing the right gear, helping in general so that we all got it done. We got under way after the usual Rice Bowl Tailgater. The Pre-Game festivities brought to us by Fred and served up by a fresh faced Rice Bowl Girl, Courtney. With that, I'll leave you with a pic of myself, Courtney and Fred on the stern. "I don't always drink beer and fish a 3 day, but when I do, I prefer Dos Equis and a Rice Bowl trip on the Islander!"

Fred.jpg
 
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Howroid

Newbie
Aug 24, 2008
5
0
Cerritos, Ca, USA
Name
Howard
Boat
n/a
Hi Guys! I agree....Fred does a really GREAT job of putting different folks together and having them ALL fish and enjoy themselves on his RICE BOWL CHARTERS! AND the Islander operation is really top of the line! Thanks go to Captain John Conniff, Captain Jason Murphy, Jarrod, Matt, Captain Mike, and our favorite cook, Rick!.....I was on the trip too and had a great time! Lots of Bluefin Tuna, a few Yellowfin Tuna, and some Yellowtail...The trip went by too quickly...
RICE BOWL CHARTERS always start their charters on the dock with cocktail waitresses serving beverages to the charter group! Nice touch! The party just starts there and never ends...lots of fun to fish with this group of fishermen!
 
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Steve K

Hey, I'm gettin' bit...
Jan 2, 2005
11,517
7,211
Bishop
Name
Steve
Boat
18' Bayrunner, but I like the American Angler and the Red Rooster III
I know it's a week since we got back and a lot has happened with the Bluefin. No more fishing for them in Mexico but they've popped up in U.S. waters and how great is that! What worked and what didn't tackle wise? First, the guys who hung in there and kept fishing the iron, Salas and Tady jigs and Megabait style, did really well. I pretty much suck at fishing a Megabait, and if you don't catch anything using a particular method, you get no confidence in it and then, don't use it.

So, I fished bait. These 30+ pound Bluefin are tough little buggers. On 40 lb with a small two speed, they are quite manageable. I caught one or two with a star drag reel and 30 lb. It was a Daiwa Saltist 30T, 4.9:1 gears. After one fish, I cut off the fluoro from the mono got another one, straight mono to the hook.

As the day wore on, I was tempted to try out the two 8' Calstars I had just acquired, 800L and 800XLH. I had a couple of reels spooled with about 250-300 yards of 50 lb solid JB Spectra and topshotted with some 20 lb that was pretty thick, probably breaking at 25 lb rated mono and a little bigger than 25 lb Seaguar Blue Label. So I grabbed the 800L with the Okuma Cortex 5CS on it, tied on a 1/0 ringed lyliner hook and pinned on a bait. Two or three times, after I had cast out, I looked up and down the rail and saw guys hooked up with 40 lb having no problem and guys battling fish on these lighter line rigs for up to an hour. I pulled the hook out of the bait and racked it back up! Like WTF was I thinking? ;)

On Sunday, I decided to see how tough I was and went ahead and hooked one with the light gear. For me, it was a learning experience, finding out just how hard I can pull on 25 lb. Don't think I've ever caught this grade of fish on tackle that light. Used to fish with a 270H-8 and 25 lb for footballs about ten years ago on an overnight.

I got a little gassed and didn't want to over stress the shoulder so I let the new kid on the crew pull on it for a while. He apparently had not seen me palming the spool as I lifted. I had the connection on the reel when I handed it to him. Without some helping pressure, the fish was able to get line back easily. John Coniff came along and took over. Turned into a great teaching opportunity as he showed the new guy his style; thumbing the line on the foregrip, keeping the rod pointed at the horizon and gaining line. When they went to hand it back to me, I said, no worries, let the kid finish it off. He used what he had learned and brought it up to gaff.

So, I know, we've all heard about the Sardine/Anchovy cycle. Hell, Frank LoPreste was warning anglers about it at the Fred Hall show ten years ago in one of his seminars. Seems inevitable, so I guess I'll hang onto those two outfits.

Both the open water schools of Bluefin and the ones we encountered drifting around the pens were biting 40 lb full speed. They boiled up on the bow frequently, a real visual. There was no need to drop down to 25 or 30 lb unless you just wanted to experience it. We had good bait, Sardines, and I was mostly back hooking my baits. Seemed like the quick bites on the bow and the long soaks were about equally successful. Back hooked baits, for me anyway, got picked a little more easily than a breast hooked or nose hooked bait. Fred was nose hooking and was hooked up a lot.

So, good luck to all of you guys headed out. I hope the Bluefin float for you this side of the border and that both the Yellowfin and the Yellowtail are keeper size. As Kevin said, first fish of the trip was Friday afternoon as Joe boated about a 30 lb Yellowfin. It bit on one of those cool little Halco plugs. Get some!
 
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