Advice For Socal Anglers – Game Advice Socal Anglers
Offshore fishing can be really tough. Driving across a vast ocean, hoping to find a kelp paddy, birds working, a dolphin school, jumping fish etc. can feel like stumbling across a desert in search of an oasis. It can be easy to lose interest. After multiple empty kelps, or just fish that don’t want to bite, a nap in your bunk might seem like a better option.
Don’t do it. stay in the game
I’ve seen it dozens of times. Not just offshore, but on all kinds of fishing trips.
There was that time on the Ranger 85. I was hosting a WON 2 day charter targeting white seabass. The first day was slow. I got lucky and had two fish on the boat, including a then personal best (ask me about it, I love telling that story). Most of the anglers onboard though were still tallying skunks going into Day 2.
Day 2 wasn’t proving to be any better and around lunch time, Capt. Dustin Tench presented us with a choice. Dustin told us he just got some dope from another captain. The other captain was on a hot bite at the Anacapa Arch, was nearing limits and was calling us in. The choice was stay and hope things turned around (or give up and rockfish), OR make the long drive to the Arch. If it didn’t work out, that would be the end of the trip. As a group, we voted to go. It was the right choice.
Another memorable time, I was riding with Capt. Adam Williams (now with the New Lo An – top) on the Eclipse.
It was one of those trips. Empty kelps, no bird activity, no jig stops, it was miserable. I was sitting in the wheelhouse with Adam, and he was telling me it was getting way late. We’d need to head home soon. I was resigned to go down on deck and start breaking down my gear.
Then suddenly, Adam shouted, “Bluefin!”
By the time I got on deck, they had responded to our bait and were jumping all around the boat! That one stop made the trip.
Pacific Queen – 2-Day
Last weekend, I hosted a 2-day So Cal Salty offshore trip aboard the Pacific Queen sponsored by AFTCO. Day 1 started with promise when Capt. Billy Santiago found a school that bit in the pre-dawn darkness. Billy expected them to come up on our bait and really get going once the sun came up. The sun came up and they disappeared.
We plunked away at them the rest of the day and managed to scratch out a decent day of about 50 fish.
Day 2, we started working our way back north. Billy had identified a kelp paddy at the end of the first day that we were able to re-locate early on. Unfortunately, it had drifted into colder water and was empty. The next couple paddies yielded a handful of rat sized yellows and we kept moving. As the day progressed, our circumstances didn’t improve. Crewmember Zeke Cruz even resorted to doing a tuna dance.
Then in the 11th hour, with the Coronado Islands already within view, we got called in. Another boat was leaving a school of biters after running out of bait. We slid into their spot and for the next 20-30 minutes, it was wide open.
A lively bait and a well placed cast into the chum corner produced an automatic bite. For many anglers that struggled the rest of the trip, that final stop successfully resulted in getting their number tagged on a tasty yellowfin tuna.
It was a good reminder…
One stop can make your whole trip. Stay in the game.
Good luck if you get out there.