Tag Archives: calico bass

The Group

Gail Force – Epic Catalina Yellowtail Fishing 6/9/2019

21 passengers boarded the Gail Force out of LA Harbor Sportfishing, leaving the dock at a little before 5:00 AM Sunday morning.  My friend Danny arranged the trip for my birthday.  After doing the same for several years now, it has become an annual event, filled mostly with friends of ours.

We had Captain Jared Malott at the helm, Calvin and Steve on deck, and Mark in the Galley, as well as helping on deck.

Breakfast on the ride out.
Breakfast on the ride out.

We arrived at Catalina Island after a smooth ride out.  Passing Avalon and going around the back side, we stopped at several spots with minimal results.  One nice halibut and a handful of legal calico bass and more shorts, minimal water movement, I was afraid it was going to be another slow trip.

Mike Nixon and Grandson Jayden
Mike Nixon and Grandson Jayden
Terry Flynn
Terry Flynn

A stop while working our way around the other side produced one nice grade yellowtail, then another.   A pick bite turned into a steady bite, and finally at times a wide open bite.  We ended up spending the rest of the day there and leaving a bit earlier than our scheduled departure because we were out of bait!

Patty Rich
Patty Rich

We ended up with 60 yellowtail, most around 18-22 pounds, plus the one halibut.  The crew worked hard to make sure everyone had a fish, ran around like crazy, and broke several gaffs!

Pam Sharp
Pam Sharp

Jackpot went to my friend Mark Ramero.

Mark Ramero, Jackpot winner
Mark Ramero, Jackpot winner

Thanks to all of the crew for a fabulous trip, and to all my friends for coming out!  Also, thank you Mark in the galley for the wonderful birthday cake!  I can’t wait to do it again next year!

Danny Lynch
Danny Lynch

The Gail Force is available for charter, with occasional open party trips!  For information on the Gail Force, visit:

https://gailforcesportfishing.com/

Fighting a Fish!
Fighting a Fish!
Full sacks = happy fishermen!
Full sacks = happy fishermen!
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Pacific Quest Bait Wraps Sponsored trip to San Clemente Island – 6/5/2016

DSCN0789 ?????????? ?????????? 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.

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Pacific Quest – Bait Wraps Sponsored trip 5/21/2016

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 3:30.24# Yellowtail in the dark

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.Nice Calico Bass

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.Julie's first yellowtail

On the gaffSo 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. On board

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:

http://www.questsportfishing.com/index.php????????????????????

 

Gail Force Catalina Birthday Trip June 14, 2015

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.

Jeff Dalton's jackpot yellowtail
Jeff Dalton’s jackpot yellowtail

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…

Birthday burger!!
Birthday burger!!

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…

Mystery Man!
Mystery Man!
Captain Steve Kugler

Commander 1.5 day San Clemente Yellowtail (April 18) BAIT WRAPS Sponsored

Captain Steve Kugler
Captain Steve Kugler
Jackpot fish at 29.7 pounds
Jackpot fish at 29.7 pounds
Burgers for Lunch
Burgers for Lunch
Stew Suenaga with a nice calico bass
Stew Suenaga with a nice calico bass
Quality Calico Bass
Quality Calico Bass
Sheephead bit the plastic for Danny Lynch
Sheephead bit the plastic for Danny Lynch
Chicken dinner
Chicken dinner

 

Awesome Cheesecake!
Awesome Cheesecake!

When weather conditions and other factors forced the cancellation of a 2.5 day Bait Wraps sponsored trip scheduled on the Eclipse, Captain Mark Gillette was kind enough to move our trip to a 1.5 day trip already scheduled on the Commander, out of Long Beach sportfishing. Fortunately we were able to fill that trip.

Breakfast
Breakfast

Danny and I got to the landing early and had calamari, while the boat ran out to get fuel and bait.

Captain Steve Kugler welcomed everyone on board, went over safety features of the boat, our game plan, and tackle set up recommendations. We’d be headed for San Clemente Island in search of yellowtail and calico bass. After that Danny and I drew sack numbers and gave each of the passengers a Bait Wraps jig. As a bonus, if the jackpot fish was caught on a Bait Wraps jig, they would get to order another $100 worth of jigs directly from Rich Whitaker.

Ed served trays of sliced meat and cheese with crackers as we headed out. It was a little rough heading out, but conditions were nice around the island.

We anchored in the cove, with most of the rest of the fleet around us, I think. Ed was serving breakfast already when I got up, huevos rancheros! It was really good! And right about the time I’d finished scarfing it down, the fish started biting.

Unfortunately for our jigs, today the yellowtail were in the mood for live sardines, and couldn’t be enticed into biting iron. I stuck with my jig for a while, but with fish hitting the deck around me all hooked on sardines, I gave up and switched to live bait.

We had a steady pick at them for a couple of hours, that slowly dwindled. Boats around us gave up and left. We stuck it out for a few more fish, and made an hour long run to the 9.

We picked away at them there, too. Several drifts produced some nice quality calico bass, most of them released.

Ed made us some great burgers for lunch, with pepper cheese, bacon, peanut butter and jelly, with French fries.

Later in the day Captain Steve moved next to island to find a calm place to stop for dinner. Metering alongside the island, though, he found no signs of fish to stop on. He finally settled on a spot to anchor for dinner… Ed made a wonderful dish, of barbeque chicken over rice, with grilled red pepper and green beans, salad, and a chilled corn and black bean salsa. The dessert was absolutely amazing! Cheesecake over a grilled piece of cinnamon bread, drizzled with caramel and balsamic vinegar!

I hear the ride in was rough… I just zonked out and slept the whole way in.

All around it was a great trip! We ended up with 50-something on the yellowtail, the jackpot yellowtail went just ounces under 30 pounds, on bait, so no winner on the extra jigs. The average yellowtail was probably something around 15 pounds. And a few rock fish and some monster sized sheephead in the mix as well.