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Old 10-25-2007, 09:34 AM   #1
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Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Diamond Bar, CA USA
Posts: 992
Default Rpt Weds 10-24-07-Carnage at SCI

Fishing with Dave Robinson, on his 28? Farallon ?Hooked?. We launched out of Dave?s slip in Newport Harbor at 5:30 am Weds. Morning. We stopped at the bait barge in Newport, waited until after 6:10 am for them to open? They still have the sign up ?open 24 hours a day?, but Dave had asked them earlier in the week, when they would be open on Weds. and was told 6am. two weeks ago they were closed at 4pm, with no bait? Oh well, we had plenty of frozen squid, guess we won?t be fly lining baits for Calicos today? So we set out for our destination, San Clemente Island, on the West End, near Castle Rock. The seas were like a lake, absolutely flat calm, glass conditions, finally a fall day with the right kind of Santa Ana Conditions.

This is a picture at 7:30 am midway between Catalina Island and San Clemente Island. The seas never changed all day, barely a ripple on the water, with the ride over at 27 knots, 30 MPH, and home at 28.5 knots, 32 MPH. Wow!

The picture above depicts an eerie sensation, caused by the enormous amount of smoke and ashes in the air. The nearly full moon, low in the sky, resembled the sun more than a moon, as through the haze it appeared as a bright red orb. Should of took a picture? Off in the distance we believe we could see flames rising from the hills.

Arrived at our initial rock pile off the west end of SCI at 8:20 am. The meter was alive with color, and structure. Dave hollered, let em go. Both of us were fishing with iron, and I also had a teaser Shrimp fly 24? above my Jig. We were both bit before we hit bottom, game on! I was first up with a Copper and small Starry. Dave came up with a medium size ?extinct? Bocaccio, also known as a Salmon Grouper. In fact these extinct Bocaccio were so extinct, we found them on every stone and structure fished throughout the day. Total carnage. We successfully released many to swim down and live another day, however, the birds, sharks and seals had plenty of reserve food.

Fortunately we found many areas with Red Vermillion, Copper rockfish, Starries, Johnny Bass, and Green Stripes to fill out our limits. Unfortunately we found no areas without the ever present Bocaccio. Whenever we both caught a Bocaccio, we moved to the next spot. Somebody has to point out to whoever sets limits on these fish, that they are taking over the rock cod scene.

Dave with a big Red Vermillion.

Here I am with a Red Vermillion & Copper Rockfish. One of many doubles I had on the day.

Every now and then Dave would pull out the binoculars, and scout the area for working birds, or signs of Yellows breaking the surface. Unfortunately we never metered any bait, and consequently nary a sign of any yellowtail.

Dave has SCI dialed in like no one I know for rockfish structure. It was amazing how almost every spot we tried was loaded with fish. The conditions for fishing were incredible, current running with a very slight breeze early on, and no breeze by late morning. Onetime, as we were running between spots, we ran over a new area with several large pinnacles close together, and clouds of fish hanging over each pinnacle. We both thought simultaneously, Lingcod! Once again before we hit bottom, the fish jumped all over our jigs! Dave hollered, yikes this fish is taking drag, I?ll bet it?s a big ling? I hollered back, double bent over, I can hardly turn the handle on my reel. Dave worked his fish carefully to the surface, as I brought over a Big Red Vermillion and large Bocaccio. I grabbed the gaff, as we looked down and saw deep color. It?s huge, but not a Ling, wrong color, well right color if you appreciate orange, white and red? It floated to the surface, and using a small double pronged gaff, hooked it through the mouth.

This was a crying shame to have to release, Dave with about a 12 lb. ?no take? Cow Cod. It did swim down, and hopefully survived?

Here I am with a Red Vermillion & Bocaccio (Salmon Grouper).

This was the biggest Bocaccio of the day.

With near limits of rockfish in the cooler, plus numerous releases of the extinct Bocaccio, amongst other smaller rockfish released, we moved into shallower water, to concentrate on some light tackle fishing for Whitefish, and Sheephead. We were unable to find any hot spots for whitefish and sheephead with the dropper loops and squid. We tried numerous stones, and near large patches of Kelp to no avail. However, there was what appeared to be an unlimited supply of rockfish. Of course more Bocaccio, but also some larger Red Vermillion, which were easily released in the shallow water. We both switched to plastics, and were not disappointed. We had a blast, and released a whole lot of fish.

Called it a day at 3:30 pm. An extraordinary day of fabulous fishing and sensational weather. Dave turned on the auto pilot and set the engines at a comfortable cruise speed, so we could filet the fish, and clean up the boat. Back at the dock before 6pm. The ride back was as pleasant as it could get, except for the large clouds of smoke in the sky, so dense it almost appeared as if we were in a fog bank.

The day?s catch!

Dave, it was awesome to share a rail with you again, we sure enjoy this kind of fishing together. Had an incredible time today, and we were both overdue for some calm seas. Can?t wait until we do it again.

Hook up! Cory
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