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Old 05-23-2009, 11:23 PM   #1
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Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Diamond Bar, CA USA
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Default Rpt 5-23-09 Huge SCI tails on the Fury!

Earlier in the week I received an invitation to join Paul Balito, his family and friends for a Birthday fishing Charter trip on the Sport boat Fury out of Dana Point, celebrating Paul’s birthday on May 8th. When I called to confirm, I told him how coincidental this was, as it was my birthday today, 5-23-09. Our destination being San Clemente Island, as we headed for the East End, in pyramid cove. We departed Dana Point at 9:30 pm.

The seas were at first quite bumpy going out, and not until we reached the lee of SCI shortly before 3am, did they gradually settle down for a better ride. Upon arriving at Pyramid Head, the horizon displayed an armada of boats, both private and commercial, including the Seahorse, Freedom, Big Game 90, and the Aggressor. A radio discussion with the Long Beach Carnage indicated squid making was difficult, as the place was littered with seals. We elected to buy a $100 worth of squid from the Carnage, which later turned out to be a waste of money, simply an insurance policy, as the squid float was quite impressive, and the crew filled one of the bait tanks to the brim, and a second bow tank, then proceeded to fill a number of five gallon buckets for fresh dead chum.

I’ve seen better floats, but this was still excellent for crowding, and filling the tanks.

Paul and I fished from 3am to 9am, before we moved, neither of us getting a single bite, and no love for our birthday’s during that time. We were the only one’s fishing until around 6am, when Brad joined the fun, and was the first to get bit.

Here is Brad with the first yellowtail caught, on 25 lb. test line, on a spinning reel, which took him to the knot, which miraculously held.

The jackpot of $20 each, which I think everyone entered, consisted of $5 for the first fish caught and $15 for the biggest. Looking at Brad’s yellowtail, at an easy 35+ lbs., we all figured he had instantly won both at once, not to be? There were bigger boys out there.

The bite lasted until a little after 7:30am, with nine big tails caught, only one under 30 lbs, and the biggest pushing 40 lbs. There was easily as many fish lost, as caught. Most of the anglers were using rental gear, and each exceeded their personal best on yellowtail, some of whom caught their very first yellowtail, and may never see such a huge fish again. All fish were caught on a dropper loop, with a single squid right off the bottom. I tried a white jig with two squid pinned to the hooks, I yo yo iron, and worked the dropper loop, only to repeatedly see anglers get bit on either side of me, it just wasn’t my day to howl?

Here is Jim with a nice tail.

All nine tails on the deck.

A group shot of big yellowtail, most couldn’t lift them very high.

The jackpot weigh in!

And the winner!

We spent the rest of the day looking for more signs of yellowtail, none showed, inexplicably, the water temps in the cove were only 56.8. I guess since the big home guards were biting only in depths exceeding 100’, they didn’t care what the surface water temps were? We never once saw a boil? After picking away at whitefish, sheephead, blue perch, and assorted rockfish both in the cove and past china point, Captain Skip took us to the front side of the island to find 65 degree water. We caught a few calico bass, and more junk fish, and called it a day at 2:15 pm, with an ETA of 7:30 pm at the dock.

For Paul and I, it was disappointing, and a frustrating day missing out on a chance to catch a trophy yellowtail, yet it was a thrill for both of us to witness beginners catch their fish of a lifetime. Our thanks to the crew, Captain Skip, second ticket Jason, Mike, Phil and cook Tyler who made some mean breakfast sandwiches and burritos, while equally grilling up a spectacular double cheeseburger. The crew hustled through out the day, and gave the entire group of rookie fisherman close attention, allowing them to catch some enormous size tails. The Fury is a comfortable boat, the crew exceptional, and everyone should look forward to returning for another trip.

Thanks Paul for the invite, we’ll get them next time!

Hook up!
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Old 05-25-2009, 05:10 PM   #2
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Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Downey,Ca
Posts: 5,137

Wow good to see that the big tails came out to play.

I am sure you will get more then your share of big tails on future trips.

Thanks for the detailed report with good info!
Dive Deep and Fish Hard!

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