Tag Archives: Fisherman’s Landing

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Pacific Queen 1.5 Day – February 25, 2017

Danny and I have become regular attendees at the Angler Chronicles Taco Tuesday events at Michael’s Sports Bar. A few months ago, Danny won a pass for a day and a half on the Pacific Queen, so we picked a weekend trip during what we hoped would be good yellowtail fishing.

We left Torrance around 1:00 on Friday afternoon. It would be the first trip on the Pacific Queen for both of us. The weather forecast looked ok, at least there was no rain forecasted for Saturday. Still, the drive down to San Diego was probably close to one of the worst I have had. However, on a brighter note, we arrived to find the

Old Glory
Old Glory
Vagabond
Vagabond

 

parking lot nearly empty, and parked right in front of Fisherman’s Landing.

We checked in, finding all of the staterooms full and only top and bottom bunks available. With possibility of rough seas, we both settled for bottom bunks, and went to Mitch’s to grab a bite to eat. Their mixed seafood plate is a favorite to share; with lots of fried calamari, shrimp, fish, French fries, and a crab cake, it’s plenty for both of us.

We got our gear out of the car and got in line at the top of the landing. The boat came in from fueling and getting bait, and we loaded right around the 6:00 time promised in the landing office.

We had help loading gear with lots of familiar faces in the crew, in spite of it being our first time on this boat; Captains Gavin and Bobby, and Johnny in the galley. We signed in and encountered something I found a bit unusual, the Pacific Queen no longer does a jackpot. After the safety briefing and trip plans, we rigged up and I went to bed.

I was freezing most of the night. I woke up at grey light and came out in a heavy jacket and sweatshirt, but the jacket went quickly back downstairs. We had relatively light winds, and it wasn’t nearly as cold as it had been at night. We’d gone about 120 south, past Colenet, and seemed to be in very good company, with 8-10 of the other San Diego boats already around us. We’ll pulled up the first drift and quickly started hooking a few fish.

The first few drifts were pretty chaotic, with horrific tangles on every hooked fish. That did seem to improve some over time, as the anglers began to settle in, the crew reminding everyone to keep their lines in front of them… Each drift would produce a few fish, when the bit died, Gavin quickly reset the boat, and so it went most of the day. No real crazy bites, more of a steady pick.

Danny's Pacific Lures Jig Fish
Danny’s Pacific Lures Jig Fish

The winds slowly increased during the day. In the morning yo-yo irons definitely worked better. There didn’t seem to be any particular color that was any better; I saw fish landed on just about any color.   Danny got a nice one on a Pacific Lures 7 ounce SR Model in Dorado Image.

As the day wore on, bait seemed to be somewhat more successful; a heavy sliding sinker or torpedo on a rubber band. I caught a yellowtail around 18 pounds on a sardine with a 2 ounce sliding sinker on 30 pound Soft Steel Ultra mono.  A few fish were even caught on the surface, but staying higher up also put you in the zone that some big bonito were hanging around occasionally.

One of the larger yellows...
One of the larger yellows…

Although rock fishing was in the plans for the afternoon, that was foregone for windy conditions and a raging current.

We ended up with something between 50-60 yellowtail.

The food was awesome! Johnny had an egg mix ready for burritos for breakfast, but would make a plate for anyone who’d rather have that. Lunch was Caesar chicken wraps that were paired with a wonderful pasta salad, and dinner was slow roasted beef with mashed potatoes and gravy that was hot and very satisfying in the chilly night. Conditions had continued to deteriorate. As soon as dinner was over, I went to bed.

Lunch
Lunch

After a long day of fishing, I slept like a rock. (Other than waking up a couple of times hearing a passenger than was having a bit of a rough night… eeww….) We were back to the landing, unloaded, and on the road before 8:00 AM for a much quicker trip home.

Dinner
Dinner

Thank you to the crew of the Pacific Queen, for really staying on top of things, helping with tangles and gaffing, bleeding and tagging fish!

Also thanks to Heather Bodnar, for procuring a pass for the raffle!!

Conditions

Pacific Quest to Cortez Bank September 12-13, 2015

It’s always fun to fish with Captain Greg Obymako… He posted up a

Danny with his first small yellowfin
Danny Lynch with his first small yellowfin

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!

Dave's big yellowfin
Dave’s big yellowfin

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!

Mike fighting his fish
Mike fighting his fish

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!

Captain Greg assisting
Captain Greg assisting

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.

Mike with his big yellowfin
Mike with his big yellowfin

Greg had had it with the skipjack and made a move.

My yellowfin, first of 5
My yellowfin, first of 5

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.

Danny with a nicer grade of fish
Danny with a nicer grade of fish
We landed these two at about the same time
We landed these two at about the same time

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.

Jeff, taking a break from Galley and Deck duty
Jeff, taking a break from Galley and Deck duty

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.

Stew and Jeff crossing lines
Stew and Jeff crossing lines

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!