Happy New Year Salties!
I hope everyone enjoyed some time off and had a chance to reset over the holidays (fishing odyssey). I ended up having to go into the office for a day, but otherwise I had a nice long break. Along with some good family time, I got to fish…A LOT.
San Nicolas Island on the Eldo
Usually come December, I’m chasing sheephead for my Top 10 list. The Eldorado to San Nic run in December is kind of the ace up my sleeve when it comes to scoring That Damn Fish. The added bonus is that the boat typically does a BOGO deal at the end of the year. Buy a trip during that window, and get a pass to use the following year. No brainer. Keep an eye out for it next year.
After some initial buffoonery that delayed our departure (Oh Lito), we were on our way to Nic.
I don’t have the time and space here to go into the details, but the sheephead fishing was a disappointment with only 11 for the ride…a big number for any other boat, but slow for this run. I got a pinkie that I could’ve kept, but released. I lost out on the opportunity to catch the bull mastering over her when a whitefish took my bait and proceeded to wrap me around the line of a lobster trap. Big whitefish were definitely the story of the trip (above). I put 7 that size and bigger in my bag. A really feisty one pulled drag!
Ceviche for days!
Capt. Sal Salazar told me they had a small pop on yellows when they had live squid, so that’s something to keep an eye on in the coming weeks.
Punta Colonet On The New Lo-An
After we returned from Nic, I got a text from Capt. Adam Williams, one of the captains on the New Lo-An. Adam had gotten some dope from one of the long range captains saying they had enjoyed good yellowtail and bluefin fishing in that zone off Punta Colonet. He invited me out for a 1.5-day trip leaving Friday night (Dec. 29th).
We arrived in the zone around 7am Saturday morning. There were 2 long range boats and a private in the spot…a stark contrast to previous trips to this area when I’ve seen a dozen or more boats in the spot.
They didn’t stay long. Conditions weren’t good and the fish weren’t biting. They went offshore looking for bluefin. We learned later they found some toward the end of the day.
We spent our day chasing scattered sonar fish without any luck. The last couple hours of the day we targeted rockfish. The quality was good, but it was disappointing not finding our target fish. The silver lining is it seems like the fleet has a firmer fix on where the bluefin are south-of-the-border. The NLA is leaving tonight to go after them. Tickets were still available as I write this post.
As far as Colonet goes…TBD. This renewed bluefin bite is going to distract boats for the near term. I’m supposed to head back down there on the 26th this month. I’ll keep you posted on how that trip is shaping up.
New Year Day Halibut!
I have 100% confidence in Capt. Adam. The trip was a bummer though and I was looking to get it out of my system.
As luck would have it, Capt. Bob Beyer of First Dawn Charters invited me for a quick halfie on New Years Day. The previous week, Bob was able to put his client on a halibut. He will be doing regular bass and halibut targeted inshore trips this month and next.
I posted a full trip report on So Cal Salty, but long story short we scored! It’s difficult to target halibut on the big boats. I highly recommend going with a smaller operator like Bob if halibut is your fish of choice.
It’s a new year, so your 2017 license is now EXPIRED. You must purchase a new license. You can buy it online HERE.