Malibu to Santa Barbara 2/27/10

by Chuck Melber


New Boat for Captain Hooks

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Hello hello my fellow fishing friends. I hope todays message finds you in good spirits and good weather. I know I am. Despite the fact that I am five hours to the north in foggy San Fran, with a slow drizzle falling from the heavens, I am happy for each and every one of you anglers to the south of me. Things are starting to shape up in the way we all love to see in February, giving me high hopes for the season to come. One which will hopefully erase last year from our minds forever. The conditions are calming, and the fish are starting to bite, so get out there and get to fishing. The Cod opener is only a week away, so I hope you all are ready to go.



Another reason for my optimism is because it seems there is little to no Humboldt Squid plying the waters of the channel. It is beyond me as to why they aren't here, but alas all the sport boats that went looking came up empty handed. While it may be a fun time to pull one of these beastly mollusks up from the deep, I feel it is a blessing in disguise that they are not around. Even though there is no hard scientific data that suggests that they can wipe out a reefs population of fish, it feels hard to believe that they couldn't. An animal that is always hungry no matter how full their stomach is, and one which will feed on its own given the opportunity surely would happily eat all the Reds and Copper's your honey hole holds.



This past week, the famous Calico fishermen, Larry Heron headed out to scout the coast for some up-coming charters. He was hoping to find new conditions in the new year and headed out looking along the Santa Barbara coast. Bass fishing out of Santa Barbara for the past year has been difficult at best on the good days, and dismal the other 90 percent of the time. Larry made the wise choice of heading south to check out some structure along the beach. Right off the bat they found themselves loving life and in a wide open bite on clear red flake swimbaits. After the bite tapered off, Larry ran the boat a little further south to find another great bite, and this one lasted. After fishing six and a half hours they had 65 bass in the 2-3 pound range and it was time to head for the barn and call it a day. Not bad for winter time fishing in a place that was a ghost town last year. Hopefully the conditions keep on developing like this.

At the islands there are rumors of squid circulating. There is squid to be made, (and maybe ghosts to be caught), along the west end of Santa Cruz island from Cueva Valdez on. It isnt packed in there, so you will have to do some looking, but it is there none the less. For what its worth anglers have also been getting some pig Halibut at the islands as well, with some pushing the 50 pound mark.  


Sanding Sanding Sanding, keep those sanders going!





Along the coast things are really bumpin with some amazing perch fishing. This time of year the big females get bigger as they get ready to give live birth to their young. Fishermen have been frequently catching 12+ inch fish throughout the zone with some going as big as 15 inches and two pounds. I'm sure many of your have heard it before, but its worth repeating, be gentle with the big female fish when they are close to letting their young go free. The stress of being brought up on the sand can cause them to release their young early. It doesn't seem to do much harm to the fish it self, but does decrease the survivability of the young. As usual Gulp has been working flawlessly for many anglers up and down the coast.



For this weeks boating update we are going to take a look at the Maximus. The Maximus will be the newest overnight and early departure full day boat also boasting the capabilities of running three day tuna trips all out of Captain Hooks. Maximus is owned and operated by Captain Keith Denette who also owns the Martuni, a six pack boat running out of Captain Hooks.

Keith and his son Hunter pondered the idea of this boat for well over a year, and finally sprang for it this winter. Keith worked on the boat in its past life as the Morning Star and even then knew it was the boat for him. They spent this off season going through every nook and cranny on the boat, making sure she is completely dialed in for this season.

It goes without saying that they have this boat dialed in with the creme de la creme of what sportfishing is all about, bringing long range quality to the world of overnight fishing at the Channel Islands. Keith completely redid the galley with seating for 16, and also included a 42 inch plasma for those those who cant get to sleep in anticipation of their trip. The bunk room has been redone as well with new carpeted wide bunks. The wheelhouse has been cleaned up with a slough of new gadgets to put customers on the fish, and they built in a refrigerated fish hold to keep the catch in pristine condition.



With the snotty weather this weekend, maybe winter has not quite released its grip on us, but it is only time until we will be free to enjoy what the ocean has to offer, and bring home its bounty. Hopefully next weekend is much better with everyone able to get out and fish the cod opener. Its a very taco time of the year.



Until next week, tight lines and screamn drags.



If you have any questions, comments or fish reports you can email me at Tunachuck@gmail.com 


She sure is going to look nice!

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