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Old 07-01-2007, 09:24 AM   #1
Team MOF
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Diamond Bar, CA USA
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Default Rpt Sat. 6-30-07 Near limits of 302 Tails

Cory with today?s big?n, a 12-13 lb. Yellowtail

Jerry with two nice yellowtail.

Fishing Sat. with Jerry on his 18? Striper "The Bear". We left Shelter Island at 1:45am Sat. morning. We stopped at EB for a scoop of very large, but hardy sardines, seems that?s all that anyone has anymore up and down the coast.

So we cleared the harbor and the seas were nice at first, allowing us to do 18-20 knots. We were guided by the gleaming moonlight in its full state of array, and the myriad of bright stars sneaking through the sparse clouds. As we reached 10-12 miles outside, the swells began building, with shifting wind from various directions. Trying to maintain at least 15 knots without getting air, and destroying our bait, we pushed on. At 30 miles the swells were now consistently in the 3 to 5 mode, only 4 to 5 seconds apart, with an occasional 6 to 8 mixed in for more fun. We were now forced to drop our speed to 10-12 knots, still creating mass turmoil with the bait, as they sloshed around badly, and began dying a little at a time.

By daylight we were still 25 miles from our anticipated starting position near the East Butterfly, making only 8-9 knots. We decided we might as well troll at this speed. At 9:30 am still 6 miles from our beginning numbers, after running for six+ straight hours, we yelled uncle, as fuel concerns arose. In good conditions Jerry has a 280-300 mile range; it drops to 170-200 in these conditions. We had already traveled some 80 miles to make only 50. That?s how bad the ziz zag motion was, in a small boat, without autopilot, in rough seas.

We had originally planned to be at the 390 for the afternoon Albacore bite, but that plan went out the window, with the conditions. So we plotted a course to swing wide to the Northeast, and then back to the 302, looking for kelp paddies along the way. We stopped on so many barren kelp paddies, it was ridiculous! Not one kelp paddy held even a single fish. We saw temperatures ranging from 66.2 near the E-Fly, to 70.5 near the 302. Most of the water had a very deep dark blue color, and was extremely clear. That has to be good? BTW, the afternoon weather became quite nice, although we were now less than 30 miles from the Point.

Shortly after 1pm we began hearing reports of the Albacore going off at the 390, we were just sick. Mother Nature had dealt the small private boater another blow! We continued our search for more kelp paddies, and eventually reached a point south of the 302 by 2pm. We had heard an earlier report by a private boater of catching some yellowtail at the Middle grounds, slow trolling sardines. Our bait, although more than half gone, still had some life. We sure had little reason to have used much bait, given the circumstances.

We could see the Islands in the distance, and set out for the Middle Grounds. About a mile into our course, I spotted a big Kelp Paddy. We figured this kelp must have been hit earlier in the day, how could anyone miss it? What the heck, got to give it a try. As we approached very cautiously up swell, within 20 yards, we could see flashes of color under the kelp. We both cast almost simultaneously, and both baits were instantly inhaled. We looked down and there were numerous yellowtail swimming under the boat. Both our tails ran to the kelp, and at this distance, there was no stopping them. However, each of us managed to work them out of the kelp. Mine was first to the boat, and I stuck him with the gaff, finally the skunk was over! Jerry?s fish was at color, so I stuck him in the head. Our mood changes were instantaneous, and high fives prevailed.

We each grabbed another bait, and same results. There were followers, and free swimming tails everywhere. As our third fish each hit the deck, we were now some 300 yards from the paddy, and the tails had disappeared. We slowed trolled our baits back up to the paddy, and as we pulled the baits around the paddy up swell, Jerry was bit, and game on. Another nice tail hit the deck. Jerry?s next bait was also bit, and he soon had his Mexican limit of five. I switched to iron to no avail.

Cory with several nice yellowtail.

We slow trolled around the paddy, then noticed the tell tale sign of a shark fin circling outside. That?s why the tails took a hike? With no more bites, we decided to box the area in case there might be a sister paddy nearby.

Spotting no more kelp paddies in the surrounding area, we returned to the original paddy, some 20 minutes later, and gave it one last gasp. After a short wait, I was bit, and my fourth yellowtail hit the deck. We needed one more for full limits, but it was not to be. We were happy campers, and headed to the barn at 4pm, stopping on a few more empty kelps along the way. We continued to hear reports of Albies being caught late at the 390. Well it wasn?t meant to be this time on the chickens for us; however, we?ll both be back after them soon.

The Day?s catch

All in all, a great ending to our trip. Jerry thanks so much for the invite, we hung in there, and it paid off. Hope we do it again soon. Cory
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Old 07-01-2007, 10:29 AM   #2
Big Hammer
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Join Date: May 2006
Location: Goleta, California
Posts: 62

Nice! I wish we could've found some at Santa Cruz.
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Old 07-01-2007, 11:36 AM   #3
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Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Downey,Ca
Posts: 5,137

Good to hear plan "B" worked out for you

Thanks for the report!
Dive Deep and Fish Hard!

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