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Catalina Yellows 6/9/08

I told my boss Neal I needed a day off to go fishing and he promptly said he did too and we invited along another co-worker Brian and we made plans to fish the island Tuesday morning. I made a few calls to find out the squid availability and found out the squid boats I use on a regular basis were on hiatus for a few days, so I phoned Andre at LB Bait Company and he advised me that he was running low but that he would hold some for me. In order to make sure we had bait in the morning I decided to launch the boat on Monday night and pick up a scoop that evening. I then proceeded to sleep on the boat at the dock until the boys arrived for a day of fishing. Is it just me or is sleeping on a small boat about as uncomfortable as it gets? I was lucky to actually sleep for two hours. Anyway the boys arrived at 3:30am and we were off to the island. The crossing was pleasantly smooth and we arrived at our destination at 5:15am. There were a number of boats already fishing the area, so we dropped the hook up the line a little bit to give them and us some room. Not 5 minutes later my boss Neal's dropper rig goes off and we have our first fish going. By the way this fish was taking line I knew he was on a large yellow. Neal was little paniced at first with all the line peeling off, but with a little coaching he calmed down and he was ready for the battle that lied ahead. I continued to coach and fish at the same time and I advised him to let me know as soon as he sees deep color. Well all of sudden he yells to me that he has color. I calmly grab the gaff only to find out that he had no idea what deep color meant and he in fact had the fish on top ready to be gaffed immediatly. Here's where the fun starts! As soon as I go to swing on his fish, a frickin seal grabs it by the tail and takes it for a ride. Neal is freaking out all the while I'm telling him to be ready to wind as fast you can. The seal took it down deep and then surfaced a short time later. I told him to keep applying pressure and if he lets go wind as fast as you can. Amazingly enough he let go and the fish took off. He fought it back to the boat and this time I had the gaff ready to go. The seal was awaiting his chance too, but as soon as he made a move on the fish I smacked the water with my gaff and scared it off. One head shot later and the fish was ours! I couldn't believe we actually won our battle with the seal. Furthermore, despite a few teeth marks on the tail the fish was unscathed! After all that excitement it was my turn. I soaked a bait for the next 15 minutes or so and I finally get picked up. I'm fishing 30lb and so I'm feeling pretty confident, but as he continues to pull line and is rapidly nearing the bottom of my spool I keep reminding myself that I should have filled my spool before I left last night. Thankfully the fish never realized how close I was to being spooled and I was able to work it back my way. Unfortunately no sooner had I started to win the battle when my line went slack. Expletives were flying as I reeled my line in to find the hook had pulled. Well that sucked! :z We soaked some baits for another hour or so for nothing and we decided to make a drift through the area. About 10 minutes into our drift my co-worker Brian gets picked up and his battle is on. Brian is very experienced when it comes to trout fishing, but this was a whole new world to him. To be honest he needed help casting his bait out early on. 8* That being said, with a little coaching he was doing a great. I continued to stand at the ready if he needed help, but as he got further in to the fight I was beginning to think he was actually battling something much bigger than a yellow. We had to chase this fish numerous times to keep from getting spooled and yet we could not get this thing to the surface. I've landed quite a few large yellows and the battle has never lasted this long. On the other hand I battled a 200lb+ BSB (released unharmed) for over 1 1/2 hours and this battle seemed very similar. Anyway, to make a long story short at about the 45 minute mark the frickin hook pulled and we never got to see the mystery fish. That being said, I would bet my house it was a large BSB. To be honest, assuming it was a BSB I wasn't too bummed. Had we got it to surface we more than likely would have had to revive it and there's certainly no guarantee it would have survived. Regardless my buddy got to enjoy a battle he won't soon forget. :tu: We finished our day on the frontside pulling on some calicos. We called it a day around noon and made our way for home. Like most boat owners I was pleased to have put my friends onto some fish. My boss confirmed he hadn't landed a yellow in over 10 years and without a doubt this was his personal best! Now would be a good time to ask him for a raise. :) On a final note, we were boarded by the DFG on the frontside, but of course we had all our paperwork in order. They were very friendly and after a small search of the boat they were on their way within 5 minutes. I've attached a few photos below of our day on the water. By the way if you look at the first photo you'll notice Neal is not wearing a rod belt and in the second photo taken later in the day he is. He put it on after he landed his fish and all I could do was laugh. I tried to tell him we weren't tuna fishing, but his back told him otherwise. :p

This post edited by Dalton Boys 06/11/2008
 

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re: Catalina Yellows 6/9/08

Excellent job, its nice to have a boss that fishs and understands the timing and passion. great job and sacrafice on the squid, that alone says a lot about you.
 

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re: Catalina Yellows 6/9/08

ChannelIslands said:
Jeff,

Great job! You deserve a raise IMO!!! You let the boss outfish you on purpose you Kiss A.. LOL :p

Thanks for the great report and pics!


Chris
Chris, I have to admit every time I fish with Neal he ends up catching the biggest fish. He's one lucky SOB! :p I remember a trip to the Kenai River in Alaska and I hooked and lost a 40lb # King and that was the last fished hooked until the very last minute of our charter and Neal hooked and landed a 79lber. Unbelievable!
 

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re: Catalina Yellows 6/9/08

Dalton Boys said:
ChannelIslands said:
Jeff,

Great job! You deserve a raise IMO!!! You let the boss outfish you on purpose you Kiss A.. LOL :p

Thanks for the great report and pics!


Chris
Chris, I have to admit every time I fish with Neal he ends up catching the biggest fish. He's one lucky SOB! :p I remember a trip to the Kenai River in Alaska and I hooked and lost a 40lb # King and that was the last fished hooked until the very last minute of our charter and Neal hooked and landed a 79lber. Unbelievable!
So did you get a raise?? :p


Chris
 
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