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Author: Subject: 8/4 Catalina - long day with a payoff at the end

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Registered: 17/6/06
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[*] posted on 6/8/18 at 19:40 Reply With Quote
8/4 Catalina - long day with a payoff at the end

I had the pleasure of taking Mr. Conkalini from OC out on my boat this Saturday. He had been out a few times with Vaughn fishing the island, but was really keen on getting over there again. I called him the day before to make sure we were on the same page. The forecast was calling for a continuation of the dreaded SE winds in the AM, and the fishing was described by most as hit and miss. But he was game, and I always happy just to get out on the water.

After launching at Cabrillo around 5:45am, we decided to pick up some bait for chum - though both of us had brought bait sticks along - just in case. Purists can say what they will, but I've personally never regretted having another arrow in my quiver.

After a relatively smooth run over to Avalon, I decided to head over to the east end and check out the Quarry where we found some calicos willing to take a fly, but no signs of anything else. The SE wind was blowing, but gently, so I decided to poke around the back side and see if things were happening over there.

Arriving at Orange Rocks, there weren't too many boats, and little signs of life. Oh well, I thought, before we head back around the front side, maybe I can check out some of the lobster pot waypoints I'd entered in my GPS from the season before. I kept my eyes glued to the sonar and as I approached a spot that had produced well for me last season. In what seemed like a barren wasteland of nondescript bottom, all of the sudden the biggest cloud of bass I've seen in a while rolls across my screen. I hit spot lock on my trusty MinnKota remote and we proceded to "catch" for a solid two hours. Mostly smallish calicos, but a fish a cast is entertaining nonetheless. There were swarms of gold and bronze coming up behind every hooked fish. All you had to do was flop your fly out past the stern and let it sink, and soon you'd get a take. Making a long cast or stripping too hard was actually counter-productive. Kent tied on one of his Conkalini's and caught a couple really fat perch. Just for a change of pace, I pinned on a sardine and caught a nice legal calico. Later on, Kent got in on that action and sent a sardine to the bottom. It was inhaled by a beautiful 4lb calico.


After two solid hours of calico madness, we decided to make a move and have some lunch. Kent grew up in Laguna Beach, and had brought along a home town delicacy - Have 'a Corn Chips! I grew up in OC, and hadn't had them in years. So good! The sandwiches were great too.

Fueled up and ready to go back on the hunt, we moved around the front side again. About that time, the wind had shifted to a light breeze from the west. I figured we'd probably get about an hour or so more of fishing time before we had to head back over, but that was not to be the case at all.

We drifted along, hitting frontside spots for more calicos, and I picked up what was surely one of those nice-sized bonitos trolling a deceiver. But it came unbuttoned. I farmed it. Of well... We also got into a couple of decent-sized cudas around Gallaghers. They shredded my anchovy pattern pretty good, but still fun.

We kept moving west, and the wind kept picking up. As we approached Empire, Kent saw fish breaking back behind us. We turned around and went back to the area and immediately got into a really nice cuda bite. It was late in the day, and the wind was starting to really pump - but we couldn't leave with the first signs of actively-feeding fish. We each caught a number of cuda on fly, and then I decided to use up the few remaining lively sardines in the tank. Every bait got instantly picked-up, and shredded. But I wasn't hooking many fish. They were dog-boning the baits, and not taking them down. With boils erupting around us pretty regularly, I thought I saw a much thicker-bodied, yellow-tailed fish come up along with the cudas. Kent thought he saw what looked like a yellow too.

There was one lone sardine in the tank. I told Kent to put it to good use, and that he did. Not long after casting it out, he got picked up and after a couple pick-ups and short-strikes, he got the right bite. I had just gotten my ten weight out of the rod holder and was getting ready to start casting a sardine pattern when I saw Kent's rod bent over. I knew this was going to be a fish to end the day on, and put my fly rod back in the rack. After a decent battle, Kent led his yellow into my landing net and we brought him aboard. It weighed 14 pounds on the Boga.



It was nearly 5pm, and time to head home. It was another extra-long day at the island, but we were pretty satisfied overall. Going out with a bang at the end put a great capper on it for sure.

Great fishing with you Kent. Let's do it again soon.
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[*] posted on 7/8/18 at 11:52 Reply With Quote

Awesome guys, glad you got into 'em!

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[*] posted on 10/8/18 at 10:26 Reply With Quote

Nice fish!

Mark F.
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