Ran out on the Boss Lady with plans for an overnighter. Weather was looking great other than a slight breeze stirring up some chop out of the North, but plenty comfortable on the 50′ East Bay. We got to the canyon with high hopes since a new piece of water moved into their according to the satellite images we saw from Roff’s. As we hit the West Wall we hit the edge of the water and it went up to 77.3 degrees and blue. We had lines in at 4:15 and around 4:40 FISH ON! The center rigger went down (black/purple 8 oz Joe Shute with a medium ballyhoo) then the two long rigger dink baits on circle hooks were hooked up along with some other bites . We ended up pulling one off, got one in after 25 minutes and then right next to the boat we wound up having the hook break on us. Kind of bittersweet, but after seeing the bigeyes were there we made a few changes to our spread.
After that melee, we got back on the troll and started looking for them again. After about 20 minutes, Captain Bill May said, “They are under the boat at 100 feet.” Ten seconds later there were explosions behind every bait. It was insanity, We ended up having 6 come tight. One pulled off on the initial run, and we lost another as the line went slack on the angler and the bigeye threw the hook. After that, we were able to manage getting all four in the boat. We had one straight up and down and the reel cracked, so we had to handline it in the last 50 feet which was wild. Right at the surface the leader parted and Joe managed to get a gaff in it before it sank to the depths. We had the last of the 4 bigeyes in just after sunset, which Bill fought to the end. With everyone stoked and the boxes full of bigeye tuna iced down nice, we started our way back in to Avalon. AMAZING trip! I hope I get to see that again in my lifetime, because it was absolutely incredible watching those 200 pound tunas crashing our baits behind the boat. Thanks to Todd, Bob, Bill, Andy, and Ben for being part of yet again another epic trip with us on the Boss Lady!
After yesterday’s phenomenal fishing, we had to give it another go today considering the winds were supposed to be calm. We ran out on the 27′ Contender Trade In with a 4 person crew of me, Maureen, Vinny, and Peter. We had some fog which brought visibility down to 1-3 miles all day which wasn’t bad. The run out was a little nasty because of a tight 3-4 foot swell right in our face, but we just pulled the throttles back and made our way out. We ran back to the same general area as yesterday, and the first thing I noticed was that the water temperature dropped 2 degree from yesterday to 49 degrees, but it didn’t really phase my confidence in the bite. We started on a different piece of structure about 1 mile away from where we fished yesterday and made a couple drifts that produced sea bass, but the bite wasn’t what we wanted. We picked up and headed to the wreck we were on yesterday, and GAME ON again! The sea bass where inhaling squid and green crab without hesitation. We had a current that was north to south today and the majority of our sea bass were taken on the southern part around the wreckage. Once we got too far from the wreck, we would get covered up by spiny dogfish and then we knew it was time to reset our drift.
We had lots of double headers! Super fun fishing. Once we had our fun with the sea bass, we put out our double anchor setup to try and get some tog, but they would not bite here today. I managed to put one in the box and we caught a few shorts, but it was slow. Luckily the sea bass kept bitting a little while we were anchored and it kept us busy. We made a quick run inshore to try a wreck we believed would be holding better numbers of tog. Again we setup the double anchor setup so we could sit right where we wanted. It took a little bit of time to get the fish going but once we did, it was a steady pick of tog at about a 3:1 throwback to keeper ratio. We put 8 more keeper tog in the box but ran out of time as the fog was thickening and darkness was setting in, and I absolutely can’t stand running in the dark with a thick fog. We were all happy as could be with the day and picked up to run home.
I have to say, I can’t stress enough how important it is for a boat operator to know their boat and electronics well, especially their radar! If you have one, and are not familiar with it, use it during the day so you know how certain “marks” pick up on your radar. That way, when you really need your radar, you will know exactly what you are looking at. I have heard of way too many close calls the past few years due to operators not taking it slower in a fog and not knowing their electronics. Had we not had radar today, we would have surely either run into or been run over by a tug boat with a barge today, and I can’t tell you how many times my radar has saved me in situations like today where the fog rolls in so thick that you can barely see the bow of your boat. Being on the water is supposed to be a fun experience every time, so keep it that way by being safe and using common sense, it goes a long way.
Today we ran out on the Trade In to do another recon trip and try some new pieces of structure that have come to our attention. We had very calm seas which made it the perfect day to make a 30 mile run to an area we have been wanting to try for BIG tog (aka blackfish) and large numbers of sea bass. We had a solid crew on the boat today with me, Maureen, Joe, and Steve ready to whack some fish. We made our way out at 8am and ran a solid 30 knots to our destination. When we made it to the piece of structure I was looking for we had to ride around a bit to mark it on our sounder so I could mark the piece well on the Plotter. We had a steady water temperature of 51 degrees and there were a few pods of smaller dolphins in the area. We made a few drifts over the structure to see if anybody was home and to see what the drift was before we anchored. On our drifts, it was drop and reel fishing! We were catching one sea bass after another, the majority being keeper size. It was nonstop action and they were eating everything from butterfly jigs, hammered diamond jigs, along with squid and green crab on top and bottom rigs. Maureen ended up settin the hook on a nice 4# tog which proved to us that tog were there, so we setup our double anchor setup so we could work the wreckage.
We spent the whole day on this wreck picking through sea bass and some tog. Green Crab was by far the best bait since the dogfish left it alone. Squid would get hammered on by sea bass, but it also accounted for quite a few spiny dogfish catches which we wanted to avoid. We lucked out and got into some nice 6-7 pound tog. Steve caught his personal best at 7.75 pounds and Maureen caught her personal best, a 10 pound slob! It put up an awesome fight, but Mo brought the fish into reach of the net and it was a done deal! We decided it was time to pack it up around 3:30 pm and we wound up with 15 keeper tog. Amazing day of wreck fishing, and trying some new pieces of structure paid off.