Just got off the third Bait Wraps sponsored trip on the Pacific Quest.
I scored a parking spot in the main lot, and took my gear down to the boat. 8:10 and only one other passenger ahead of me. Everyone else was there by 8:30 or so and we loaded and got settled in.
We checked in, and everyone got a free bait wraps yoyo “BB” jig…. and fresh baked cookies!
Captain Greg gave the safety speech and game plan. We had some squid already, and would not be stopping for fin bait. Saturday’s trip had stayed at Catalina, tonight we were heading to San Clemente, try to get some more squid in the dark, and set up to look for seabass at gray light.
We got to the island around 4 AM. I woke up when the engines slowed, but went back to sleep until I heard the anchor drop 30 minutes or so later. The squid were thick around the boat, and they guys were easily filling the tanks just with scoop nets. We fished a bit there, too, but not even a nibble.
When the tanks were sufficiently filled, we moved in closer to the island. Greg metered fish where we were sitting, but there was absolutely no interest in our hooked squid. We hung out in the cove until light, hooked a few very small yellowtail, most of those were released.
Bone chilling winds in the morning gave way to a sunny afternoon, but still quite breezy. We passed the day moving from one spot to another, catching fish pretty much all day… Just not any of the big seabass or yellowtail we would have liked to have seen.
A few of the guys fished the Bait Wraps jigs, catching a few nice bass on them, as well as a white fish. Ken fishing one in the bow had something follow it all the way up that Captain Greg thought at first was a nice sized yellowtail, but when it came into full view it was actually a big bat ray that followed it all the way to the boat and snagged a “wing” when it turned to head back down!
About mid-day we had a visit from the Department of Fish and Game. Two wardens boarded the boat, checked licenses, took a peek in the fish hold, and were on their way.
With nonstop action all day, we ended the trip 31 yellowtail, 57 calico bass, 14 whitefish, 7 sheephead and one blue perch (it was a big one!). Lots and lots of yellowtail and calicos released.
Back by popular demand, after the April Bait Wraps sponsored trip on the Pacific Quest, we set up two more; one in May and one in June.
After boarding and handing out jigs to everyone, Captain Greg came in and went over the game plan; we’d be going to Catalina to see if we could continue the recent seabass bite, look for some squid in the dark, fishing into gray light, then looking along the beaches for yellowtail or seabass. We had some squid left from the previous trip, so there would be no stop at the bait dock.
I slept for the ride out and got up around 2:00 AM. Most of the passengers were up, and one by one drifted back to bed with no biters. I went back to my bunk around 3:30.
I woke up again at around 5:15, still anchored in the same spot. I was debating whether to get up when the second captain came down and said it was gray light, we should be up in case there was a morning bite.
15 minutes later Matt came out and dropped a squid on a dropper loop and got bit immediately. He hadn’t been fighting it more than a minute and I was bit as well! We landed both fish, 25# class. But there were no more bites. When it got light, Captain Greg started hunting around the other beaches.
It was slow picking around all day. There were a few bat rays, a few bass, and some tiny white seabass released. Captain Greg said he knew where there was a hot bite of some really small yellowtail. We could go get in on that, or we could keep looking around. The consensus was, keep looking for some better grade of fish.
Late afternoon, perseverance paid off. Around 3:30 we anchored up by a few other boats and within a few minutes the yellowtail started to bite. Decent grade, maybe 8 to 10 pound range. We put 41 of these fish on the boat in just under an hour. Pretty much non-stop action, with the fish coming through in waves biting 3-4 people at a time.
So that’s about it! Great breakfast burritos and burgers from Geoffrey in the galley. And once again a really fun group of anglers. A stiff wind over night died down pretty well by morning, and not a bad trip home. And everyone got a new Bait Wraps Kraken surface jig to take with them.
Thanks again Greg and the crew of the Pacific Quest! I can’t wait to do this again. The next trip, Sunday June 5, is sold out.
The Pacific Quest will be running trips to the islands and offshore from Pierpoint in Long Beach through June. Remaining trips are selling out fast! They’ll move back down south July 1 for the tuna season. A complete schedule can be found on their web site:
I haven’t done a lot of open party full day trips, especially on the weekends. The loads end up being a little heavy. The Indian had been running on weekends with 15-20, so Danny and I decided to take a Sunday and get out on the water.
Of course, today, there were 30 people. Oh well….
We picked up some nice sardines on the way out. Decent weather, a little choppy going out, but not bad in a big boat. We had a breakfast plate on the way out, dawdled too long to get a bunk for the ride.
Fished here and there. Nothing spectacular, but pretty constant bite of something. Early morning we had some awesome calico bass fishing, Danny and I each release a dozen or more “almost legal” and each manage one that was legal.
Next up were the bonito. Mostly fairly small.
The biggest one I hooked ended up being seal lion breakfast after I got tangle with a few novice anglers and the fish running in circles.
No yellowtail or other exotics, we got the short end of the stick on allocation of sardines. They lasted longer than Captain David expected.
When we ran out early afternoon they had some frozen squid so we went out to look for rock fish. Danny and I grabbed a cheeseburger, they were awesome.
The rock fishing was pretty good, we got some decent sized fish.
Linda was hammering them. The red and yellow shrimp flies seemed to be the hot ticket. She was pulling up two of them like this on nearly every drop.
It didn’t look bad when we were leaving the island but the crossing was less than wonderful. I managed to snag a bunk, Danny was tired enough to sleep on the floor and hop into a bunk when someone else abandoned it.
All around a nice day. The Indian is a nice big boat, and actually the load wasn’t horrible. I’d definitely do it again. Redondo Beach has plenty of parking, $2 on the way out with validation.
It’s always fun to fish with Captain Greg Obymako!
We put together a Bait Wraps sponsored trip on the Pacific Quest. First run was postponed due to boat work, and rescheduled to Sunday April 24.
Long day, short story. The wind was up so Captain Greg decided our best option was to see if we could get some squid over night and look for seabass on Sunday.
It was a rough ride out. The guys were able to find some squid that floated, but the sea lions did their best to scatter it. They ended up with probably around two scoops worth.
Captain Greg tried well over a dozen spots, but the fish were largely uncooperative. We had a couple of spots in the morning with decent bites on calico bass, mostly short but one really nice one.
A small barracuda that was released and having trouble recovering produced a great show from a group of eagles late morning. One of the eagles got the fish, with two others following and trying to steal it.
Shortly after that, Stew picked up a short seabass, but that was the only one we found there. Another spot found four of us hooked up at once and optimistic, but what we landed was two leopard sharks, a shovel nose, and a bat ray.
We did a couple of drifts over Farnsworth for not even a nibble.
Then back along the beaches in milky water for the afternoon when the tide was changing. The squid lasted through the day, and one angler managed one legal white seabass. (Then the guy who caught it lost the rod he caught it on over the side just a few minutes later… ) The crew and a couple of passengers tried to snag it with a jig, but we were unable to locate it again.
We finished the day with a couple of drifts by the quarry hoping for some ling cod. They weren’t playing either, and just a couple of nice rock fish was all that came up out of that.
Great breakfast burritos and burgers from Jeff in the galley. We had a really nice group of anglers, and a lot of fun in spite of the weather. And everyone got a brand new Bait Wraps Kraken jig to take with them.
Thanks Greg and the crew of the Pacific Quest! I love this big little boat!! There’s always plenty of room with the loads limited to only 12 passengers! I have some great trips on this boat, and this was another one!
The Pacific Quest will be running trips to the islands and offshore from Pierpoint in Long Beach through much of June, then they’ll move back down south late June or early July for the tuna season. A complete schedule can be found on their web site:
Amid rumors of a decent yellowtail bite going on at San Clemente Island, and a great looking weekend weather forecast, Danny Lynch and I went in search of a Saturday trip over Easter weekend. We hadn’t fished with Captain Rick Slavkin on the Oceanside 95 since last season, so we booked a couple spots on an open party trip and started packing.
Danny and I drove down to Oceanside Friday afternoon, with a stop to pick up Danny’s friend Joey. We got to the landing, unloaded, and I parked in the lot across the street. We put our gear in line, signed in at the office, and got some fish and chips from one of the little local restaurants.
We got the word to board around 8:30, everyone checked in with license in hand (more on that later) and we were on our way. Capt. Rick gave the safety speech and talked about the plan for tomorrow. We’d be heading to San Clemente Island (of course). We loaded up with some nice looking sardines, but Captain Rick noted that most of the yellowtail had been caught on the iron. He recommended a setup for bait as well, just in case. The sardines were a mix of small and medium, the crew suggested 1 to 1/0 size hooks.
I rigged up for jig and for bait, and went to bed. I woke up in the middle of the night and it was quite bumpy… a few loud bangs made me almost want to get up and check our tackle bag on deck to see if it had fallen over.
I woke up to the smell of bacon and got up. We were surrounded by sportboats, probably at least 10 or 12, all shuffling around each other and drifting through a small area. Most of the passengers were fishing iron, I started off with that as well. With all the red crabs around I tried a Bait Wraps red squid. Rick was metering fish, but none were biting. Not much current or wind, I switched to a 6X Jr sized red squid. I ordered breakfast, and just as Doug came out of the galley with my plate I heard “We’ve got one hanging!” Doug offered to put my breakfast in the oven, and I ran back outside. Jolene Thompson was coming up from the stern to the bow, and I think everyone she passed asked “Bait or iron?” Bait. Everyone switched to bait. Jolene landed her fish (that first fish of the day took JP…) I did a few more drops on the iron, no one else got bit, so I went in and had my breakfast.
I switched to fishing a sardine. After a while a couple of fish were caught on iron, seemed mostly scrambled egg, so I tried a yellow jig. Nothing. Another was landed on a light green and white iron, so I switched to something closer, a white mackerel. Third drop and I was bit, and landed my first of the day!
The fish came in waves, with 2-3 people bit at a time, and one or two landed.
Somewhere mid-morning we were visited by fish and game, who checked all our sacks and our licenses. The wardens were very nice, laughed at our occasional jokes, handed one passenger a pen and told him to sign his license. (Very nice of him, as he could have just as easily issued him a citation for that.) When they left us (I think we were first), they made the rounds to the rest of the boats in the area, and then left.
Later Danny caught a nice yellowtail on a flylined mackerel, I switched back to bait for a few minutes (mostly to rest!) but as Captain Rick predicted, most of the fish were on iron.
I switched back to my jig and within a few minutes hooked and landed my second fish of the day.
We had a slow pick at the yellows all day. There was cut squid, and a few people took an occasional break to drop a piece of squid and pick up a few rock fish and whitefish.
With no trip on the books for Easter Sunday, Captain Rick stuck it out a little later than usual, but the yellowtail bite had drifted off to nothing. We called it a day and headed in with 20 yellowtail and a bunch of miscellaneous bottom fish.
Doug made tri-tip and offered sandwiches on the way in, with cole slaw and baked beans. Nice flat ride home. And we actually got back much earlier than I had expected.
We had a great group of anglers and a lot of fun! I met a lot of people in person that I’d only talked to previously on-line, and saw a few old friends as well. We had beautiful weather and a fun day on the Oceanside 95!
It’s always fun to fish with Captain Greg Obymako… He posted up a
weekend trip in mid-September on the Pacific Quest and I saw some friends who said they were going, so Danny and I booked a couple of spots on it as well. Good thing! The trip filled up really fast!
So I snuck out of work early on Friday and we ran down to the landing. Got a parking spot and went to make the rounds looking for some other friends heading out that night. Then off to Mitch’s for a mixed seafood platter… all the good stuff! Calamari, beer battered cod, crab cake, shrimp… yum! And a local craft beer on the side! Finished that off and found Stew Suenaga and his friend Dave watching a dock cart of their stuff and ran and got ours out of my car. Mike Blackburn was also among the group, and a few other people waiting around. There were lots of boats going out tonight. Lots of people to chat with. Good fun already, and we weren’t even on the boat yet!
Captain Greg came in with his group from a two day. They’d lost a nice wahoo at gaff, but had decent trip out of it anyway. Greg promised to have the boat turned around quickly and get on our way. Didn’t take long at all to unload, load the galley, and get us on board!
Along with Captain Oby, we had second Captain Cal, Jeff running galley as well as working deck, and Jake on deck with him. Jeff gave us the rundown on the way to the bait dock. We’d be fishing US waters, heading to Cortez where there’d been some good scores in the last couple of days on better grade yellowfin. We loaded up on big sardines, both bait tanks and the slammer, and we were on our way!
Up in the morning and still on our way to the bank, breakfast burritos were served before we made it the rest of the way. First few stops were a couple of smaller grade yellowfin (8-10#) and massive quantities of skipjack and bonito, that rushed every bait that hit the water. Jeff on deck suggested trying chunks of sardine, but the skippies eventually went for that as well. Then I tried a flat fall and they murdered that. After releasing a couple of skipjack off of that, on a third drop they rushed it and I think one of them bit the line. I watched my $20 jig sink away, with the skipjack following and snapping at it until it sank out of site.
Greg had had it with the skipjack and made a move.
We stopped on a dolphin school and hooked up 4-5 large ones. Only two yellowfin made it to the boat, Mike and his friend Dave. Think these were 50-60 pound class.
We drove around for quite a while, chased some bird schools and had burgers for lunch. I grabbed a nap, and got up when we stopped again on a pod of dolphin, for no biters. We finally stopped on a spot of fish that started to bite late afternoon. Greg said they were bigger fish, I landed one on 40# but then couldn’t get bit, so I dropped to 30# and started nailing them! We had a steady pick at them for a couple of hours until it started getting dark. We put probably 30 of these 25-30# fish on the boat. I ended up with 5 of them. One guy was still hanging a bigger fish in the bow when the bite fizzled. Greg said there were no fish on the meter, and they chased this guy’s fish around for a bit while Jeff started serving a spaghetti dinner. He eventually broke it off.
We started the next morning at San Clemente Island for yellowtail. The bite had been early morning. Greg metered a school in gray light, but they weren’t biting. We ran around a few other boats out there as the sun came up, but never found the school again or any biting fish. Greg’s not one to wait around, we left and headed offshore to look for paddies.
Shortly after we started trolling, Stew hooked up on the troll and landed a nice big yellowfin. Unfortunately there were none of his friends in the neighborhood who wanted to play.
It was a wasteland out there. Very few paddies, almost no birds. We found one paddy packed with 12” yellowtail, another with some even smaller. One of them through the tiny yellows you could see a couple of dorado cruising around, but they could not be coaxed into biting.
Greg rigged up the trollers for wahoo. We’d been running them an hour or so when one of them suddenly went limp. The marauder was gone, wire leader shredded. No one heard a sound. Had we gotten bit and snapped off that quickly?
We arrived back at the dock, tired and sunburned. It had been clear and sunny all weekend. Hot!
Awesome fun trip! We ended up with 39 yellowfin, 62 skipjack (many more released), 6 yellowtail, and 15 bonito.
Thanks Greg and the crew of the Pacific Quest! I love this big little boat!! There’s always plenty of room with the loads limited to only 12 passengers! I have some great trips on this boat, and this was another one! I can’t wait until they move back up to Long Beach, I hope to get some fall, winter, or spring trips with them before they move back down south for the next year’s tuna season!
I was looking for a weekend trip and totally struck out. Everything was booked. I did find that the Triton was running some open party trips mid-week. I was itching to get out while they’re biting, and secured Monday off, then booked a spot for that day.
Sunday was sweltering in my house, so I decided to forego the cookies I usually baked for the crew of this boat. First question from Mikie and Captain Bryan when we boarded at o’dark-thirty… Sorry guys…
So we had Captain Bryan Holton at the wheel, Mikie and Jack on deck, Jeff cooking, and 27 optimistic anglers rigging up. We hit the bait barge for some nice sardines, waited for the boat to finish a set to get some anchovies, and off to the Horseshoe area to look of those yellowtail that had been biting.
Two anchor sets produced nothing, but it was barely light out. I had a breakfast burrito and tossed a sardine out at our third anchor stop (on the 105). Charlie was standing next to me and hooked up first. He’d been dragged almost to the bow when I hooked up too. I felt some drag on the line… darn thing had found the one small patch of kelp we were near. Jeff was on deck out of the galley and strummed a short session of “Guitar Hero” on my line and coaxed the fish out of the kelp and I was off and chasing it toward the bow. In the meantime, Charlie had lost his fish. Jeff gaffed my yellowtail just under the wheelhouse. Capt. Bryan leaned out the window… “Lady Luck is on the boards!”
Tagged and bled and in the trash can… I threw out another sardine and waited. Several more hook ups put two more fish on the boat, with a couple more lost. I got bit again, another trip to the bow, another fish on the boat. I had two fish tagged by 7:15.
It was a slow and steady pick. We’d hang 3-4 in waves, land a couple. Charlie got bit again and landed a nice yellowtail.
By 9:30 the bite was pretty much wrapping up. I landed my fifth, putting the total for the boat at 18. Capt. Bryan was on deck when I walked by with that last one, and asked if I’d had enough yet. “Yeah, let’s go fish for sandbass!” He just shook his head…. 20 minutes later I pulled up a fat sandbass! By 10:00 the yellowtail bite was completely over, and we had a total of 20 yellowtail.
We made a couple of moves, and anchored on the middle grounds just around 11:00. We’d been sitting just a few minutes and the barracuda started biting. They went pretty wide open. With jigs flying I opted to stay in the galley and order lunch. As good as the burgers smelled, when Jeff said he could whip up some bacon fried rice I went for that, and a cold beer!
The sardines were about gone. Capt. Bryan stopped a couple more spots and the crew threw the small anchovies. I tried a few surface irons, tossed a mega-bait. No one was catching much of anything. At 2:30 we ran over to hand some anchovy off to the Southern Cal, then the crew pulled the fish up and started filleting. We got back to the dock a little after 4:00.
In the end, the key for the catch today was a long soak and a lively bait. The sea lions were a problem all day, racing around grabbing hooked baits and chasing the chovy thrown for chum. (Fortunately they seemed to have no interest in our hooked fish!) Most of my fish bit a long ways from the boat, and we had light current, so a long cast past the sea lions and a strong bait that would swim a long ways from the boat were key.
Thanks again to the Captain and crew of the Triton! Nice day with beautiful weather.
My third annual birthday trip on the Gail Force last Sunday!
Loaded up with mostly friends of mine (few spots had to go open party). We stopped at the bait dock for a load of smaller sardines, plus a load of larger sardines with some huge mackerel mixed it. It looked like we had some awesome ammunition to get them good at Catalina.
Saturday they had been out with a charter group… 40-some close friends! (Yikes! The boat is coast guard approved for that, but that’s going to be pretty crowded!) Captain Joel put them on a great bite of yellows and they put about 50 of them on the boat, so we were all stoked and excited.
I rigged up and caught some zzz’s on the way to the island. Nice ride in calm seas with a little overcast. We set up on a spot and the bass started biting within minutes. The smaller sardines were the perfect bait for them!
The bad news was most of those bigger sardines rolled on the way to the island.
Jeff Dalton got a really nice yellowtail fairly early, finding one of the larger sardines that made the ride over. I threw a mackerel at them that generated no interest, no one else got anything in the water that would entice them at that time either…
We made a bunch of moves… Lots more bass, most of them released, and a few smaller yellowtail pretty much rounded out the day.
Mike made me a huge birthday double burger that was very messy and very good!! There were also Jim Racela’s flaming Spam balls, and some chocolate chip cookies (I gave Danny my secret recipe and he did a great job on them!! ).
Always a good time on the Gail Force! This is a great boat to charter for a small group, their regular load is 20 people but if you like a crowd you can put more on there…
Danny Lynch’s longtime friend Wayne Carr is running trips on the Dominator, so we decided to go on a two-day weekend trip that was on the schedule. Rich Whitaker offered to sponsor a raffle for us, so we had a few jigs to give away to help in promoting the trip.
We ended up with a load of only 14, an awesome number on a boat that size! We got on with our gear and picked out bunks… all of them are pretty much double bunk size, so plenty of room to stretch out and put your stuff away!
Our crew, led by Captain Wayne Carr, included second Captain Kerim Hussainy, JJ in the galley, and Alex and Jake on deck. They loaded up with some awesome looking sardines and a tank of anchovies for chum. We were plugged and ready to do battle! The game plan was to fish offshore Mexican waters for yellowfin and yellowtail, and then hit some areas in US waters for Bluefin.
The weather was up a little, but not unfishable. We started trolling early Saturday morning in light winds and a bit of white cap. It was not the calm weather that had been forecasted. Kelps were few and far between, and the chop certainly made them more challenging to spot. One of the first ones in the morning yielded a few small yellowtail. Another one a single decent sized yellowtail and a few smaller ones.
Then the kelps became more and more scarce. Tuna fishing became, well…. Like tuna fishing. Long troll rotations, naps… breakfast and lunch passed into afternoon for a stop on a meter mark and one more nice yellowtail. And more trolling….
Dinner was cooking and releasing an awesome smell…. Lasagna…! I was up in the wheel house with Danny and Wayne. Danny was just saying this was about the time when Wayne usually pulled a rabbit out of the hat… when the sonar made an odd noise. Red spots on the sonar screen, and Wayne yelling on the PA to throw bait was enough to send me out of the wheelhouse and down the ladder to grab a rod. Everyone was grabbing for bait, hooking, and tossing them behind the boat. Three hook ups, one broke off quickly. Danny was overheard saying he was under geared, and line peeled off.
One fish hit the deck after 10 minutes or so, 25 pounds or so. But Danny’s on 30 pound line was taking a bit longer. For a while, it seemed like it could have been stuck to the bottom, and line put on the reel was quickly taken back. The sharing sort that he is, he handed it off to me to take a breather, and when he was ready took it back… twice. Checking timestamps on the photos, the battle went on for nearly 30 minutes, but Danny landed his yellowfin, running 45 or so. (Still in Mexico, we were all relieved to see these fish were not Bluefin.)
Lasagna dinner was
awesome, then off to bed.
Morning came, with long trolls. No kelps to speak of and the water was a dirty green. Flocks of birds and schools of mammals produced nothing…. chicken fajitas for lunch was our mid-day excitement. A meter mark produced a single yellowtail.
Dinner was served late afternoon, chicken parmesan with garlic bread. After a long day, we returned to the dock with the two nice yellowfin, two decent sized yellowtail with a handful of small ones, and some more released.
Lots of fun anyway. 6 people walked away with a Bait Wraps jig.
Big thanks to a professional crew who were there to help with every fish hooked, big or small. I can’t wait to get out and fish with Captain Wayne again, and hopefully the fish will be a little more cooperative next time too!
I had no plans for Memorial Day weekend, and when the rain was dropped from the forecast, I started looking for a good ride sometime over the weekend.
I saw the Triton was doing overnight trips, and grabbed one of the last spots on a trip fishing Sunday.
We left the dock a little late due to one late passenger. We tried unsuccessfully to squeeze him for a round of beers for everyone on board, and we were off to the bait dock. The sardines were lively… and HUGE!! Loaded up, we headed out.
Captain Ryan introduced himself and the rest of the crew, second Captain Bryan, Shane and Chuck on deck, and Jeff in the galley. I rigged according to the captain’s recommendation, 4/0 hooks for flylining, and sacked out in my double sized bunk!
We got to the island a little after one, and the crew set out lights to try for squid. They ended up with a few pieces, nothing huge. I’d heard the yellowtail weren’t really eating the squid, they were focused on fin bait. I knew the bass would love them though…
Up at gray light, Captain Ryan made a move and set us up on anchor. The yellowtail started biting almost immediately. We had a steady pick at them for about an hour and a half. Not sure if it was the time of day, or a skiff running over our chum line that shut them down, but by 7:30 it was pretty much over at that spot.
I had a breakfast plate while we made a move. A couple of slow spots later, we anchored up on a boiler rock and started a good pick at the calico bass. Most of them were short, but we did pull up a few that were legal. Most of those were returned. The one legal that I got was when I switched from fishing the squid to one of the big sardines, and flylined it way past the rock behind the boat.
The wind came up in the afternoon, making the boat swing wildly and fishing difficult. A couple of spots produced one more yellowtail each. We picked up a few sheephead and other bottom grabbers on spots set up to fish bass.
We ended up with 16 yellowtail for the 20 passengers. Most of those were good quality fish, in the 15 to 20 pound range. Jackpot was just over 20.